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.