What fun!

Today’s guest picture is another from Gunta, who sent me this charming photo of snowy plovers resting in horse hoofprints on a beach.


We had a day with plenty of birds about and some dry and occasionally sunny weather…

plum tree of birds

…which came with the first sign of snow of the year when I looked out of an upstairs window.

monument with light snow

As it was our day to go to Edinburgh and the recent timetable changes require us to leave home shortly after coffee, I had no time to explore the snow and stuck to a quick tour of the garden where I saw the winter jasmine and..

winter jasmine january

…that first daffodil bud that Mrs Tootlepedal had noticed yesterday..

first daffodil bud

I noticed that there were quite a few blackbirds about too but they were shy and I only just caught this one before it disappeared.

blackbird january

A jackdaw hung about for a bit longer.

jackdaw chaecking things out

By the time that we got to Lockerbie Station, the sky was blue…

lockerbie town hall

…but a pile of snow on the platform bore witness to a heavy shower of sleet earlier in the day…

snow lockerbie station

…and there was plenty more snow to be seen when the train got into the hills.

snow on train to edinburgh

We had had time to admire the pile of snow on the platform before we left as the train was quarter of an hour late.  However, it bustled up the line and got to Edinburgh only a few minutes behind schedule.

We popped across the road from the station and enjoyed a light lunch in an art gallery cafe and, having lunched, we enjoyed three free exhibitions in the gallery itself.  The best of the the three was of the work of Mary Cameron.  She was quite unknown to us but we really enjoyed her work and felt that we should have known about her earlier.


She had a wonderful range of subjects in the exhibition, including such a harrowing picture of horses after a bull fight that the French government made a postcard of it which it then used in its public campaign to discourage bull fighting in France.

We went back across the station to do a little shopping and catch the bus to Matilda’s.

The station was busy and we watched the London train roll into the platform to pick up passengers for the trip south.


Matilda was in good form and we were joined by her other grandparents and her aunt and cousin for our evening meal.  Alistair cooked a delicious feast, this time a lentil and dahl, and we all tucked in.

After the meal, we caught the bus back to the station.  Knowing the railway comany’s unreliable habits, I had carefully checked that the incoming service from Lockerbie was running and would arrive in time to take us back to Lockerbie.  We were pleased to see it roll into the platform as we got to the station.

To say that we were therefore a bit stunned to see on the departure board that our train south had been cancelled is a bit of an understatement.

It turned out, as far as anyone could tell, that they were going to keep this train to act as the next train two hours later and if we wanted to get to Lockerbie meanwhile, there was a bus waiting outside the station to take us there.

We took the bus.  And arrived at Lockerbie an hour behind schedule which is why this post is hurried, I haven’t answered yesterday’s comments and I am not going to read any posts tonight.  I will try to make up for these omissions tomorrow.

On the plus side, the bus was remarkably smooth and comfortable, the driver competent and cheerful and motorway traffic light, so the actual bus journey, though long, was not too bad at all.

I took a flying goldfinch picture which didn’t come through the editor quite as it should have, but I liked it all the same so it has sneaked in…

flying goldfinch

…but the official flying bird of the day is this chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “What fun!

  1. I am glad you got to see Matilda and family, but sad to hear about the train problems. Fortunately you were able to get a bus!

    I enjoyed Gunta’s guest photo as well as the ones from your day. Our weather is turning colder here, and snow is in the forecast again for next week.

    Some of the daffodils by the old garage are at bud stage now too. I just planted the last of the late season discount daffodils today, so I know we won’t see those until late spring.

  2. Gunta’s photo is super. Were they hiding from the wind or just having fun? Mary Cameron is someone to look out for. The news on UK trains never ceases to amaze. Mind you, they’re hardly running here but that’s due to other reasons.

    1. We have striking railway works here too but if our company’s workers went on strike, it would be hard to tell the difference. The snowy plovers are ground nesting birds and I think that these were young birds just practising. 🙂

  3. That train company! What the heck! It makes me wonder if they are in cahoots with the oil companies and are trying to encourage people to drive more rather than take a train. On a happier note…I really liked Mary Cameron’s work. Would very much like to see an exhibit of her vibrant art.

  4. What a day- you did all you set out to do and went with the flow which although not how you planned it worked OK in the end. Enjoyed all your photos of the garden, the distant snow and the railway station and loved your birds in your tree. What strange feet that flying goldfinch has!

  5. Great shot of those snowy plovers sitting in horse hoof prints, and to learn of Mary Cameron’s paintings reminds me why I read your blog. There’s always something to learn. Cheers.

  6. The new train schedule has made your trips different, with more time for tourism ahead of seeing Matilda (nice for your readers) and longer, which must make you quite tired when your trip back is delayed by bad trains.

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