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.

Rogue River

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.

goldfinch looking down

Perhaps they were wondering…

chaffinch looking down

…when I was going to top up the feeder.

goldfinch lloking for seed

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…

Carlisle Christmas fun

…and a man juggling with fiery torches.

Carlisle Christmas fun juggler

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…

Bank street decoration

…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…

MandS Bonnie Prince

…and at the north end, we read this….

MandS Butcher Cumberland

….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.

Carlisle Christmas crowd

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.)

flying oldfinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “Shopping

  1. I enjoyed everything in this post, the wondering birds, the wry comment on history and the fact that everyone at Wauchope Cottage will be nourished over the festive season.

  2. When I was a little boy in the 1950s, I remember Bank Street’s coffee shop. A vent discharged aromas from roasting coffee beans. Those aromas permeated the street and its surroundings. Moreover, in those times Marks and Spencer was a cinema (where I saw The Ten Commandments and Pinocchio). House of Fraser was Binns. Complete with wooden floors, lift attendants, compressed-air tubes for the transfer of money from tills to office and other accoutrements redolent of Are You Being Served?

    1. Watts have moved the coffee roasting to different premises so there was no smell to greet me on this occasion. The Binns compressed air tubes were still on the go when we came to the area in 1974. I can’t remember about the lifts.

  3. I also failed to have a pedal yesterday, even though the forecast was just as dire as that in the Borders, I still got up early got my gear on, and was en route to the shed to get my Pioneer when the heavens just opened. 10 minutes ticked by so I wimped out and drove to work instead. By the time I got to Neath it was as if I had arrived in the Borders there, for the sun was shining, the sky was blue and the clouds were sparse. I could have pedalled after all. He who dares eh? Great to see the crowds out shopping in the proper shops of Carlisle. Cheers.

  4. Good to see the bustling high street and to know that you’ll be well fed over the festive holiday. As long as one has a good supply of delicious cheese life is perfect!

  5. Carlisle center appears to be bustling. We watched a documentary last night about Jane Jacobs. I will be getting her book “The Death and Life of Great American Cities “.

    The birds do seem to be letting you know that the feeders are running low. 🙂

  6. Then again I like to keep in mind that the days will be getting longer for the next six months. The Carlisle town center looks quite festive. Wishing you both a very pleasant Christmas celebration. 🎄

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