Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary who is back from Wales. She found herself looking across the Thames and reflecting on how enormous the new buildings in London are when compared to the Tower of London which can be seen cowering on the extreme right of her shot.
We had another dry day today and it is now so long since it has rained that Mrs Tootlepedal was heard to say (very quietly), “We need a bit of rain.” She is right as things are starting to dry out too much. But at least it was slightly warmer today with less bite in the wind and things are forecast to get warmer still over the next few days.
Mrs Tootlepedal had a very busy morning and afternoon with things to do, including getting her hair cut and then helping out at the Buccleuch Centre Coffee Shop, followed by doing the front of house duties at a screening of a film about the current big Rembrandt exhibition.
I, in contrast, had a very quiet day involving a crossword, coffee, biscuits and bird watching and two very short spells on the bike to nowhere in the garage.
The birds at first were very excitable…
…but getting out a different lens slowed them down a lot until they….
…almost looked as though they were frozen in time.
We had another siskin at the feeder today.
In an effort to improve my brain power I had a sardine sandwich for lunch on the grounds that P G Wodehouse always claimed that Jeeves, who was a clever fellow, ate a lot of fish.
Then I went for a gentle walk.
I decided that it was time to go up a hill so I walked up the Kirk Wynd from the middle of the town and took note of some colour on the way.
There was a fancy garden escape just at the entrance to the golf course…
And a native berry a bit further up but how such a fancy daffodil found its way all by itself even further up the track and far away from a garden is a mystery.
The noise of creaking and groaning as I got to the top of the golf course alerted me to the fact that elderly golfers were playing nearby.
Jim and George were basking in the glory of having won prizes in the winter competition which has just ended.
I went through the gate at the top of the track and walked on to the open hill. It was rather misty so there was not much in the way of views but there was sea of gorse…
…. silhouetted against the misty hills.
These three trees are remarkable in that a closer look will show…
…just how slimly attached to reality they are.
I had crossed the Newcastleton road and I made my way back down into the valley by way of these sheep pens.
I walked back to the Sawmill Brig where I saw a dipper again. It flitted away before could catch it so I walked on round the bottom of the Castleholm on the new path.
There was plenty of variety in the conifers beside the track.
And plenty of signs of life on all sides.
I enjoyed the sight of this tree plainly stretching its back beside the river.
I know just how it feels.
I waited for a while on the Jubilee Bridge to see if a nuthatch might be using the nest site in the big tree there. In the end, I was disappointed to see a blue tit popping in instead.
I met Mike Tinker and Mrs Tootlepedal when I was nearly home. They were admiring Mike’s handsome new fence. I walked home with Mrs Tootlepedal and we enjoyed a refreshing cup of tea and a biscuit or two.
Because I was going out in the evening, I put my pictures onto the computer straight away and then made a shepherd’s pie for tea.
While it was cooking, I walked round the garden and took a final picture.
After tea, I picked up my friend Susan and we went off to play recorders with our group in Carlisle. I had missed last month’s meeting because of a clash of dates so it seemed a long time since I had last played. As a result, the music was even more welcome than usual and I had a thoroughly enjoyable time puffing away on the bass recorder while Jenny, Sue and Susan played the more elaborate upper parts. We had a good selection of music and some excellent biscuits to go with the after-playing cup of tea so the evening could hardly have been better.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch in full aerodynamic mode, heading into the wind.