Today’s guest picture is another from my friend Marjorie’s Highland jaunt. She may have visited Dull but she had a far from dull time, as this shot of the sun behind the hills at Loch Rannoch shows.
We did have a dull day here. In fact it was so dull that when I pointed the camera out of the window at the deserted bird feeder, it couldn’t even summon up enough shutter speed to take a clear picture of that. (With the aperture set at f5.6 the best shutter speed my bird camera could offer was 1/80th. In an ideal world, I like speeds of 1/1000th or better for a flying bird!)
To be fair it was blowing a gale at the time so the feeder wasn’t exactly hanging quietly.
No birds visited anyway, so it don’t really matter that I couldn’t have taken their picture if they had come.
As it was Thursday, a visit to Matilda in Edinburgh was on the cards. The train company has introduced a new timetable which has had two effects. The first is that the service has become more unreliable and the second is that our usual afternoon train no longer stops at Lockebie but rushes through the station, laughing as it goes.
This means that we now have to catch a midday train which leaves little time for fun at home in the morning in the winter months. Mrs Tootlepedal did find time to cut my hair though.
We checked very carefully to see if our train was actually running, and when we found that it was on the way, we had a coffee and set off to catch it.
It was only five minutes late, but not with the promised new coaches and with the old ones now painted in the livery of another rail company altogether. Still, it did get us to Edinburgh…
…where it was pouring with rain.
As we were earlier than usual, we had a light lunch in a rather nice cafe just across the road from the station and then we went shopping.
The heavy rain had reminded me that my old wet weather coat, which I was wearing, was no longer watertight and Mrs Tootlepedal told me the sight of me wearing it had made her think of a scarecrow. Under the circumstances, a new coat looked like a good idea.
We considered a very nice coat with a multitude of pockets, warm linings and a good hood but had to have a quick sit down when we looked at the price tag. We moved along a bit and found one with less pockets but still warm and well hooded and as it was a third of the price, we settled on it.
When we got to the till, another twenty pounds disappeared from the price in an unheralded discount so I was very happy to put it on and walk out of the shop into the rain wearing it.
A friendly bus appeared and took us down to Matilda’s where we enjoyed a full afternoon of entertainment. Mrs Tootlepedal took this picture of Matilda explaining the finer points of trigonometry to her grandpa.
Matilda’s mother Clare was very unimpressed by my mild moan about the small number of pockets on my new coat. She pointed out that it is almost impossible for women to find a coat with any usable pockets at all.
To be fair to the train company, our train back from Edinburgh was the new five coach rolling stock and it was on time. On the down side, the ride is incomparably worse than the old coaching stock. The guard helpfully explained to us the the new coaches, which are Spanish, are far less sophisticated than the old stock as far as the system of attaching the carriage to the bogeys underneath it. Hence the bumpy ride. The seats are pretty uncomfortable too. The guard, having chatted to us and other passengers, then made an announcement over the intercom to suggest that disaffected passengers should be sure to send their complaints to the management!
On our way up to Edinburgh, we were interviewed on the platform at Lockerbie by a man from ITV Border news, but my contribution to the general abuse of the train company hadn’t make the final cut when we watched the news in the evening. It was a well recorded and edited package though, so I had no complaint.
No flying bird of the day today because of the very poor light and strong winds this morning. Looking at the forecast, things should be better tomorrow.