Today’s guest picture comes from our daughter Annie. She and Joe took Evie to the children’s zoo at Battersea Park but as Evie fell asleep, Joe and Annie did most of the animal watching for her.
I started the day with a visit to the producers’ market at the Buccleuch Centre where I made purchases of fish, honey and meat and ordered a capon for Christmas. While I was there, I turned down a kind offer of a cup of coffee from Mike Tinker on the grounds that I was going cycling and had no time to spare.
Having spurned the coffee, I had no alternative but to turn my words into action so I wrapped up well when I got home, and went of for a twenty mile pedal round my well worn Canonbie route.
It was grey but dry and the brisk wind was coming from the best possible direction and it helped me more than it hindered me as I went along.
I kept an eye out for trees along the way and saw several.
These are the remains of an old hedge.
And this one has seen better days.
This one lives on the edge of the first hill after the Solway Plain and as a result knows the local south westerly wind very well.
It wasn’t a day for views and I could hardly see England at all.
My final tree was this impressive specimen at Woodhouselees near Canonbie
The recent rain had lent impetus to a little tributary of the Esk at the Hollows….
…but it has been pretty dry recently after a prolonged period with an easterly wind, so there was not a great deal of water coming down the river.
There was enough though to keep the Archimedes Screw at the mill turning over sweetly, making green energy with little fuss.
W hen I got home, I found that Mrs Tootlepedal had dug up the Christmas tree ready to be brought into the house when Christmas Eve comes for another festive scene .
I had timed my bike ride well as the weather got steadily worse as the day went on and by the time that we went to Carlisle in the afternoon for the first of our two choir concerts it had turned into a horrible day.
Luckily, as is often the case, the weather in Carlisle itself was better and we were able to get a little shopping done before going to the warm up and concert performance. We usually have a primary school choir performing with us and this tends to add good numbers to our audience. Unfortunately on this occasion the children weren’t able to be there as their conductor had suffered a family crisis and was called away.
Nevertheless we got a good audience (i.e. more than there were singers in the choir and we are a big choir) and they received our singing enthusiastically. St Cuthbert’s Church is a good place to sing and as it is the custom of our choir directors to have short concerts, both the audience and the choir members left the church in a very good mood. The choir are going to do it all again tomorrow afternoon in a different venue.
The Christmas lights outside St Cuthbert’s Church, which have been silver angels in previous years, are golden kings this year.
I counted them and I think that there are three.
I think that the brisk wind must have kept the birds away from the feeder today as I hardly saw any birds at all, let along a flying bird, so a greedy goldfinch, trying to get a big beakful of seeds, is the non flying bird of the day today.
The weather forecast is terrible for tomorrow, Sunday, but we might get a bit of sun on Monday.