Today’s guest picture from our son Alistair, shows that Matilda needed a parasol to cope with the bright sunshine in Edinburgh today.
We didn’t get any sunshine here at all. What made things more annoying was incessant talk on the radio about not letting the good weather tempt us to go out and have fun and break the lockdown. Just poking a nose outside the back door was more than enough to show that it was quite cold enough for us to need no encouragement to stay inside at all.
I took some pictures of birds to prove that we were visited by one chaffinch, two siskins and three greenfinches in the morning. (I was waiting for four turtle doves but they didn’t appear.)
Then I settled down to some serious time wasting which lasted until lunchtime. (I was helped by a good supply of ginger biscuits and a knotty crossword.)
After lunch, I did some desultory fiddling about in the garden and couldn’t find anything new to photograph, so I took a daffodil picture…
….and sat on a bench waiting for something to happen.
The resident blackbird turned up looking rather cross…
…perhaps because he didn’t think that I was paying enough attention.
I was sitting under the Forsythia.
I went in and put the cello and piano parts for the first movement of a Mozart divertimento onto the computer and cheered myself up by playing along with the result.
In fact I cheered myself up enough to ignore the chilly wind and get my cycling gear on and go out for a pedal. I had chosen the best part of the day because it warmed up a degree or two and the wind dropped a bit as the ride went on. I enjoyed a tour round my familiar 20 mile Canonbie circuit.
The economic slowdown has brought some benefits to cyclists as the roads were extremely quiet and the views were quite a bit clearer than usual. I could see details of the Lake District hills across the Solway….
…and a bit of colour and some features on the hills on the other side of the Eden Valley.
Both sets of hills are about 35 miles to the south of us as the crow flies.
I don’t know whether this fallen tree near Ryehills has appeared in a post before, but it struck a chord with me today. I thought that I knew exactly how it felt. Things have just got too much for it and it needed a lie down.
My three favourite trees at Grainstonehead are still upright…
…and when I looked between two of them, the clearer light let me get a good view of the old Liddle railway viaduct a mile away up the valley.
The savage cutting of the roadside verges and thrashing of many hedges mean that there is not a lot to look at as I cycle past but a few things caught my eye as I went along.
The patch of butterbur at the Canonbie bridge is very striking.
The landslip on the old road near Irvine House has left a slight better view of the river.
My Garmin record tells me that the temperature was over 10°C (50°F) by the time that I went cycling and it did feel a little warmer than it has been, but the cold wind made me glad that I was still dressed for winter pedalling.
When I got home, I found that the jackdaws were creeping about pecking the lawn again…
…but the condition of the lawn is so poor anyway that it doesn’t upset me.
I like these little daffodils with their windswept petals. They seem to suit a windy day.
The tree peony is still reaching up to the heavens, in supplication perhaps for some sunshine.
We don’t have a lot of new flowers but we are getting more of fritillaries and grape hyacinths every day…
…and there are encouraging signs of buds on the clematis by the front door.
The red tulips have still not come out and it looks as though they may be pipped at the post by a late surge from a couple of yellow tulips outside the kitchen window.
There is a lot of good stuff being offered for free at the moment by arts companies that are closed to the public. Having had a play from the National Theatre a couple of days ago, we watched Handel’s Acis and Galatea from the Royal Opera and Ballet company today. They are streaming Cosi Fan Tutte next week.
No flying bird again but a strikingly green starling perched on Mrs Tootlepedal’s fake tree in the early evening is the standing bird of the day.
35 thoughts on “Not here”
We watched Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat last night. Not my favourite by far but had always wanted to see how Donny Osmond dealt with the part. Looking forward to next weeks offering from ALW. Our national ballet also streamed Hansel and Gretel – now theres a sentence that would have been deemed nonsense 20 years ago 😊
We live in remarkable times.
I’m intrigued that you call doing a knotty crossword time-wasting. I would say it’s giving your brain a jolly good work-out.
Starlings are such handsome birds.
Not so much time wasting as time consuming.
I think there are many out there who could commiserate with that fallen tree these days. 🙂 The stores here are short of many things. Still can’t get peroxide, isopropanol, gloves, or masks. And red lentils? Why red lentils?
Your blackbird appears to want to have a word with you. I hope he was not too cross.
That is a very greenish and handsome starling. It is unfortunate they are considered an invasive species here.
Everyone thinks that they need lentils but I bet that a lot of them will still be unused in six months time.
It’s been too cold here as well to make me want to go outside (-18 this morning), so I stayed in and sewed masks. Shortages are occurring here as well – yeast is the latest. At least that makes a bit of sense – still trying to figure out why people stockpiled paper products.
The clematis looks lovely set against the stones.
Yes, I read in the paper here that yeast was hard to find. I have a stock which will last for a couple of weeks. -18 is a bit extreme. I hope that you warm up soon.
Sorry you missed out on the sunshine, it was lovely in the Deep South. I always enjoy the pictures you take of the Lake District over the Solway and this was a particularly good one.
We had sunshine today for the first time in a few days and I saw many people out and about on my way to the woods. Unfortunately I didn’t see anyone else there.
The flower bud on the clematis was a big surprise. Our plants haven’t even come up yet.
If I thought for a very long time I don’t think I could come up with a better place name than Eden Valley. That and all the flowers made this a fine read.
The Eden Valley divides the Lake District from the Pennines and has many pretty towns along the banks of the River Eden.
The blackbird wins the prize again today!
A striking bird.
I liked the picture of the blackbird calling you to order.
I hope your weather improves
It did, thank you. Your wishes are like magic.
Just to let you know how much we enjoy reading your blog. It’s quite a tonic in these extraordinary times. Thanks for your effort.
Thank you for taking the time to comment. It is much appreciated. Where are you from?
like you I am still in winter cycling gear. might be warm and sunny in the south but not here
It was better today but windier.
Love the starling photo – it’s amazing he doesn’t trip up when he flies off- his ‘toes’ are all tangled! Enjoyed the photos from your ride especially the viaduct peeping through the trees. The plays, ballet and concerts available on YouTube now are excellent- we are spoilt for choice!
It was still quite windy so perhaps it had to cling on tight.
Fine looking Starling and I’m enjoying your resident blackbird photos, great photos. The tree peony’s unfurling is beautiful and full of colors!
It is almost better at this time of year than when it is in flower.
I hope that careless people don’t end up getting us all trapped indoors.
Wonderful picture of Matilda with her pink parasol!
She is a star.
Great photo of the tree peony.
You’d think with the work slowdown or stoppage that “they” would stop mowing the verges!
Excellent photos all the way through. As I have nowhere decent to walk I rely on your legs to get me out and about. 🙂
Pleased to carry you along.
Thanks for pointing out some of your silver linings. I’ve been hearing a bit about the decrease in pollution and seeing far less traffic (though I suspect the two are related). Looks like it turned out to be a good day after all. Wishing you and Mrs T good health!