The shock of the new

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.

loch rannoch view

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.

deserted feeder

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 shows 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.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

44 thoughts on “The shock of the new

  1. Tsk – leaving you on the editing room floor (or whatever the digital equivalent is) – and you in your new coat! I agree with Clare about pockets in women’s clothing – usable pockets in any garments are rare indeed. I was just complaining today because women’s Carhartt work pants are half the weight and significantly more expensive than men’s. Grump grump.

  2. I to have a thing about pockets (and sturdy properly functioning zips especially ) in my jackets..Mountain Euipment and Haglofs I find to be about the best.
    When I do find a particularly well made and functional one I usually buy another the same as a spare..in fact I do that with most things I buy wth the exception of motor vehicles.😃
    Who said I’m OCD.

    1. Buying a spare is a good idea but I don’t think that i could have got that past Mrs T on this occasion. My ‘scarecrow’ coat lasted for many years so I am hoping that the new one will do so too.

  3. Hooray for Matilda. I was glad to be able to do trigonometry with the computer’s help and I was a mechanical engineer. She’s obviously destined for high peaks.
    A real good warm, rain proof coat costs at least $300.00 here. That’s why I stay away from brambles.

    1. I should think that you do at that price. I could easily pay that here but I don’t that think my modest walking needs require a top quality coat.
      I hope that Matilda does take to trig in later life. The world need good mathematicians.

  4. I am glad you were able to see Matilda in spite of the new train service not being so good. Sounds like she is learning good things at an earlier age that it was taught here back in my day.

    Clare is right about women’s coats. Women’s clothing and shoes in general seem to be more expensive and less well made than men’s items, at least here.

  5. Hooray for making it to Edinburgh(and home), finding a bargain, and having someone to explain trig. Pockets? Pah! Too few, too shallow, and nearly always undercut so they split if you put anything in them. Oh, I am a grump😁

  6. Sorry the train service is still so awful. My solution to the pocket problem is to wear a man’s coat, problem solved, it has no less than six pockets!

  7. Your description of the train service there makes me realize how fortunate we are to have a reasonably reliable one here that takes us into Chicago. Too bad you didn’t get on the air with your comments which I’m sure were well worth hearing.

  8. Oh, that Matilda! Clare is so right about pockets in women’s clothing. Noticed Derrick’s comment about privatized railways. That explains a lot. While I don’t think everything should be run by the government, I do think essential services, such as trains, should have a lot of government oversight. I know not everyone agrees with this, but I have seen firsthand the damage deregulation has done.

    1. I agree with Derrick too. There were problems with the railways when they were run by the state but these were problems that could have been overcome. The privatising solution produced some pluses but a lot of minuses.

  9. Pleased you got a bargain with your coat- I too was given an extra surprise discount when I bought a jumper this week…might go back and get another now! Matilda starts the New Year looking very grown up and very in control of teaching her grandpa new things.

      1. I thought it was for the best. Having had quite a few birthdays I have learnt the wisdom of not saying the first thing that comes to mind. Or even the second…

  10. Matilda looks far too young to be explaining the finer points of trigonometry! Then again you look quite impressed with her explanation. What a good grandpa!

  11. Claire is absolutely right about women’s clothing lacking pockets.

    Did not the newscaster know they had a worldwide celebrity on their hands? Would love to have been able to watch your opinion on a newscast. You’d be surprised how many folks read your blog here in the Washington Coast.

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