Spending a lot of time doing very little

Today’s guest picture is another from Venetia’s recent musical outing.  As well as singing with sackbuts, she saw an angel playing a trumpet.

venetia's weathervane

We are strictly rationed to only one fine day at a time at the moment, so it was no surprise to wake to a very gloomy morning with additional drizzle today after yesterday’s sunshine.

For some reason (Mrs Tootlepedal suggests that it may have to do with too many birthdays) I was a bit tired and took a long time after breakfast in my dressing gown to get up, make coffee and visit the corner shop.

I had hoped to go for a walk in the late morning and give my new coat an airing but the drizzle was of that particularly depressing kind which discourages enterprise.  I stayed in and spent time sorting music for church and Carlisle choirs tomorrow.

And occasionally looking at the birds.

We are not getting a lot of birds at all which is concerning.  I see that I was complaining about the lack of winter birds last year too so it is not just a passing phenomenon.  There were some birds today, goldfinches, siskins and chaffinches.

three birds on feeder

The light was poor and I had a struggle trying to get a flying bird of the day, though I thought that this effort was pleasingly reminiscent of Woodstock, the bird in the Peanuts cartoon strip

diving goldfinch

For a decent flying bird, I need to to have enough birds so that queues form for the perches.  When there are vacant perches, as was the case today, the birds arrive very quickly and I was usually too late…

rising goldfinch

…and the birds had got too close to the feeder.

nearly flying goldfinch

The drizzle eased off and I had a look round the garden for signs of life.

new growth

There is still plenty of potential leek soup out there.  Mrs Tootlepedal tries to keep exposed soil well mulched over the winter.

old leeks

She had used her new vegetable chopping device to help make some very tasty vegetable soup for lunch and after I had enjoyed eating some with bread and cheese, I went out for a cycle ride.  It had stopped raining completely by this time.

The wind hadn’t stopped blowing though and I found the first few miles straight in to the breeze very hard work.  I sensibly turned off and with the wind now across and slightly behind, I pedalled happily across the hill and down into the Esk valley.

The wind was in the perfect direction and helped back up the hill into Langholm.  It was very gloomy and I only stopped once to add another tree to my collection.


Once I got home, I felt that I had done enough for the day and passed from afternoon tea and the last of the Christmas cake into an evening meal of fishcakes and broccoli without noticeably moving at all.

Because of the lack of sunshine and photographs today, I am going to break with tradition and use a photograph from yesterday which escaped from my filing system to fill out today’s post.  This was the sky at dawn.


We are going to London in a couple of weeks and I booked the railway tickets today.  The route has recently been transferred from one operator to another, and although I had received a reassuring email from the new operators saying that the changeover would be seamless as far as booking went, I feared the worst.  Oh ye of little faith!  Everything went perfectly smoothly and the tickets are booked.  This is not the same company that runs the Lockerbie train.

I gave up on goldfinches for the flying bird of the day and  looked to the heavens to catch a jackdaw in the walnut tree instead.

flying jackdaw

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “Spending a lot of time doing very little

  1. We had the same kind of day here, except we had thick fog to go with the drizzle.
    Nice to see the daffodils up and the leeks not covered with snow. I used to have to cover them deeply with straw to keep the ground from freezing if I wanted to dig them in January.
    I’m glad you salvaged the sunrise photo. It’s a beauty.

  2. Interesting note about your winter birds not showing up two years in a row now. I wonder what is responsible?

    Your dawn sky is beautiful, and I like the new tree.

    1. Various reasons come to mind:
      1. we have made changes to shrubs and bushes in the garden and we have also changed where the feeder is, but this would only affect this last year.
      2. the council flail hedges and cut verges more frequently than before which may affect nesting
      3. the weather has changed over the years
      4. there seems to have been quite a bit of disease about among garden birds lately too

      so it might be any of these alone or in combination plus other things which i haven’t mentioned.

  3. I’m not sure there is such a thing as too many birthdays. I was reading your post whilst watching Sherlock Holmes on TV and was not as attentive as i should have been, until jerked back from my daydream by the thought of a Woodcock on the bird feeder. Turned out to be Woodstock, which is not quite the same thing. 🙂

    1. We did see a woodcock or possibly a snipe on a recent walk but it was far too fast for the camera. I take you point about the too many birthdays question. It is well made.

      1. They are always good things to see. I have managed a few snipe shots from hides on reserves but they are generally so well camouflaged that only I can see them on the photos.

  4. The jackdaw photo is my favourite photo today…it’s all the twigs and splayed feathers and…oh everything about it! How lovely that the train ticket booking went well- hope the price hadn’t gone up by too much though!

    1. You can never tell about the price on the west coast line as there are always offers on the go. We were a bit late in booking this one but it wasn’t too bad.

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