Today’s guest picture is another bridge over the Rogue River sent to me by Gunta. This one is a bit further upstream than yesterday’s.
I had hoped to get a cycle ride in during the morning but I was persuaded by the weather forecast, which promised heavy rain and discouraged me, to sit down to drink coffee and do the crossword instead. And then of course it didn’t rain and I should have gone.
Top be perfectly truthful though, I think that shortest day blues had some influence on my readiness to believe the forecast. I am rather glum at the moment.
It was too gloomy outside to get much of a look at the birds and they seemed to be a bit downcast too.
Perhaps they were wondering…
…when I was going to top up the feeder.
In the end, we had an early lunch and drove down to Carlisle to do some shopping in preparation for the festive season. Although there are still a few days to go, we like to be ready early.
Annoyingly, the weather got brighter as we approached Carlisle. It’s bad enough having gloomy weather in Langholm without knowing that it is a lot better twenty miles down the road.
Still, it meant that it was quite pleasant to stroll around the city centre, where fun was available for those in the mood, including a rather small big wheel…
…and a man juggling with fiery torches.
We visited embroidery and book shops and I went to the covered market to stock up on good cheese. Then while Mrs Tootlepedal went to Marks & Spencer’s, I went down Bank Street…
…and bought four sorts of coffee beans. With ample supplies of cheese and coffee in the bag, I felt that we were now ready for Christmas.
I waited for Mrs Tootlepedal to come out of Marks and enjoyed, as always, the history lesson inscribed on the side of the building. At the south end of the frontage, we read this…
…and at the north end, we read this….
….the story of a failed enterprise told in two sentences.
The Duke may have won the war, but he is known as ‘the butcher’ and Charles Stewart may have lost the war, but he is known as ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’, which all goes to prove that you can win as many battles as you like but if you don’t wear a kilt, you are nothing.
It is often said that town centres are dying, but if they are, it is plain that the people of Carlisle haven’t been told. The place was full of shoppers today.
It turned out that Mrs Tootlepedal felt that we might need more than just coffee and cheese to celebrate Christmas, so we went to a supermarket on the way home and bought a few other things as well.
I made some cauliflower cheese for our tea when we got home and that concluded the excitement for the day.
The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch heading through the gloom in search of sunflower hearts. (I bought a new bag of seed on our way down to Carlisle today, so there should be plenty of food for Christmas for the birds as well as us.)