Today’s guest picture comes from former Archive Group member Ken, who is now over in the north east. He sent me this picture of a very special K4 kiosk, one of only 50 introduced in 1927. They combined a telephone kiosk with a coin operated stamp vending machine and a post box. This one is still in use in Whitley Bay, although the stamp machine no longer works.
After the recent Christmas excitements, I had a quiet morning at home with nothing more testing than a crossword and a visit to our corner shop to help pass the time.
I did have a look at the birds who were out in force today.
We had siskins and goldfinches…
…and lots of chaffinches…
…and sometimes siskins, goldfinches and chaffinches at the same time.
A chaffinch landed with a single claw on the perch…
…but once it was in situ, it was determined not to be shifted.
Unlike the chaffinch, Mrs Tootlepedal was set on being shifted and so, after an early lunch, we went out for a walk.
Encouraged by her five mile, relatively flat walk yesterday, she had bigger ambitions today. I followed in her wake as we walked along the main road for a mile before turning up the Copshaw road to walk up to the White Yett.
We stopped to admire the beautifully trimmed beech hedges at Hillhead…
…and I noted that the monument, which was on Mrs Tootlepedal’s planned route, looked quite far away and quite high up.
I stopped again to record an unusual grey sheep in a field with more standard models. I have no clue as to what make it is.
As we got higher up the hill, I looked over a wall at a view up the valley, but it was a dull day so the wall was more interesting than the view. I have no idea what the little brown globe on the lichen is. I haven’t seen anything like it before.
Another wall caught my eye. It had a purpose built hole in it.
Mrs Tootlepedal likes this bench near the parking place at the White Yett. It reminds her of one like it in her childhood.
We didn’t stop to sit on it though, but pressed on when we got to the MacDiarmid memorial and headed up the track to the Monument.
It was warm for the time of year, and the hint of sunshine was encouraging as we climbed up to the monument on the summit of Whita at 355m (1164ft), passing some good looking lichen on the way…
…and being passed by an enthusiastic mountain biker…
…who soon disappeared over the horizon.
It is very difficult to get a view to the west at this time of year because the low sun is in the way, but it did make the Solway Firth gleam as it came into sight.
Following Mrs Tootlepedal’s plan, we walked on past the monument at the top of the hill and came to the edge of the world.
Or at least we came to the end of the last Scottish hill and looked out over the expanse of the Solway plain stretched out below us. It was misty in England.
We kept going and walked down the ridge towards the Moorland Project bird hide. This involved some hard walking through heather, over moss…
…and tussocky grass…
…following faint tracks across the moor until we finally got to the road just above Broomholmshiels.
Both of us fell into bogs on the way but we were very brave and soldiered on.
It was a relief to have solid ground under foot again. We had a choice of road or a somewhat soggy track to take us back to Langholm and unsurprisingly, we chose the road. After walking down the hill to the banks of the Esk, we took the direct route home and arrived in perfect time for a cup of tea after three and half hours of fairly strenuous walking.
A check on the map when we got back showed that Mrs Tootlepedal had taken me on a seven mile walk. I was very grateful to her as this was the longest walk that I had managed all year.
Not unnaturally though, we were fairly tired after that so not much else of note happened before the end of the day. To be be honest, nothing else happened before the end of the day.
We look as though we might be in for a spell of dry weather so I hope to add a little pedalling to the walking before the end of the year.
The flying bird of the day is a siskin. It was not the cleanest picture that I took today but I like the tiny siskins a lot, so it got the honour.