Jam today

Today’s guest picture is another showing my missed opportunity yesterday. As well as Tessa, my friend Gavin found a moment to rush up the hill, and got there in the nick of time before the mist burnt off. He was pleased that he went.

We got up to a lovely sunny morning today and not surprisingly, considering the time of year, it was pretty chilly with the thermometer at 0°C.

In the sun, it was warm enough to let Mrs Tootlepedal do some cleaning up in the garden before coffee, and for me to check on some flowers after the overnight cold.

The calendulas continue to cock a snook at chilly mornings.

And the verbena looks impervious too.

The dahlias have taken a hit and Mrs Tootlepedal is busy removing them from the beds. This is one of the last survivors.

My neighbour Ken set off on his bike for a ride but it was still too chilly for my taste, and I was happy to sit with Margaret and Mrs Tootlepedal in a sheltered sunny spot for an hour outside while we had our regular coffee and conversation. Out of the sun it was pretty chilly still.

Perhaps because of the cold air, passing aeroplanes were leaving a very clear trail in the sky above us…

…and we saw not just one…

…but two of them…

…going over us while we sat.

One of the benefits of the slowdown in air travel thanks to the virus has been the very clear skies overhead.

After coffee, Mrs Tootlepedal went back to gardening and I went back to wandering around, carrying dead plants to the compost bin from time to time. As well as the large Michaelmas daisy, given to Mrs Tootlepedal by our friend Angie, which has done so well, another from the same batch which has sulked so far, decided that today was the day to come fully out.

Some flowers are trying hard but fading away like the fuchsias…

…and Lillian Austin…

…while others just need a little warmth in the morning to show a lot of life by lunchtime.

According to the forecast, we are in for a week of warmer weather with no frosty mornings so there may be hope for the flowers continuing for a while.

After lunch, I went for a cycle ride. Our thermometer said it was 8°C by this time but it still felt cold so I wrapped up well again and put on a pair of new waterproof socks which I have recently purchased. I hoped that they were wind proof too. Any cyclist will know that there is nothing worse than cold feet on a ride because there is absolutely no way of getting them warm again so this was a test to see if I had spent my money wisely.

There was a light north wind blowing so I headed north up the main road. I always like to be blown home if possible.

The Ewes valley was looking at its best…

…in the sunshine…

…but soon, there will be many more trees and fewer green hills to see as these signs of preparations for planting show.

Although it was a sunny day when I started, some light clouds came up behind me and by the time that I got to the top of the hill at Mosspaul after ten miles and looked back, it was a different picture.

It wasn’t quite as dramatically dark as the camera makes it seem, but I abandoned any thought of going further and headed for home.

It got gloomier as I went along and the ridge of Potholm Hill looked quite impressive in the fading light.

For a day which had been so bright, it was a disappointment to find it disappearing at such a pace but I got home in good order, helped down the hill from Mosspaul at 17mph by a light but still useful wind. The new socks worked very well.

Once again, I had timed my ride well and was able to join Mrs Tootlepedal, who was resting after more work on the drive in my absence, in watching the final kilometres of the Vuelta stage.

We then were able to take in the developments in the US election before I went off to do some shopping. While i wasn’t paying full attention, 500g of Portuguese raspberries at a handily reduced price fell off the shelves into my basket, and after tea, I converted them into two and a bit jars of raspberry jam.

Quick raspberry jam is the easiest jam to make as it only takes three minutes of boiling once you have put the sugar in, with no need for thermometers. The only requirement is that the jam should be eaten fairly soon after it has been made. After sampling a little on some newly made bread, we don’t think that this is going to be a big problem.

I didn’t get any opportunity to watch the birds at the feeder today but I did see a starling on a wire in the morning…

…and a rook passed at just the right moment in the afternoon to become the (distant) flying bird of the day.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “Jam today

  1. Thanks to Gavin for a great shot of the mist.
    The shot of the fuchsia is fantastic. Just perfect.
    You’ve reminded me that I was going to look into some waterproof socks. I have waterproof hiking boots but I’d like a little more guaranteed dryness.

  2. Fantastic shots of the aeroplanes,especially the last one..as you say they are a rare sight in our skies at the moment. Wether that’s a good thing or not I’m not sure,it’s good for the planet,but not if your an airline employee.
    Lovely views of the Ewes valley,the light was perfect.

  3. Much relief in our house after news of the “developments”. I won a coffee bet, but I think our neighbours to the south won much more.

    I enjoyed reading “cock a snook” – it’s an expression I don’t run across very often and laugh every time I hear it!

  4. That was a chilly day to go for a walk. Glad the socks worked well. By now you must have heard the good news across the pond about the presidential election. As soon as I heard, it felt as though a great weight had been lifted from me.

  5. Great to read your blog as I eat my afternoon breakfast following my night shift last night, my life is complicated? Got fairly wet on my cycle home this morning, but really enjoyed it. Rain ain’t pain. The temperatures are really mild 13 degrees when I got home at 06.40. Of course the sun’s out now, but more rainfall is forecast tonight and tomorrow. I’m currently suffering from a lazy inkling, to go back to bed for a couple of hours and not ride my Pioneer this evening. You know that little man who sits on your shoulder, Mr Prevaricator I like to call him. Shall I, shan’t I, will I, won’t I? Cheers for now.

    1. 13 degrees at 6.40 in November is really warm No wonder that the rain didn’t bother you too much. I hope that you went back to bed and got some extra snoozing time in.

  6. Just seeing those beautiful views on your cycle ride is a real pleasure and to know that your toes were warm too is even better! Another busy day including jam making …jam on freshly made bread…delicious!

  7. The views are quite beautiful and I enjoyed seeing your post this morning. We had a light frost and a sunny morning here today, although the forecast show it not getting out of the 40s.

    Those orange Icelandic poppies and calendula are hardy souls. I looked up “cock a snook” as I had not heard that expression before. It is known as “thumbing a nose” here. 🙂

    I like that long, very neat stonewall in that one photo. Any livestock in there?

  8. I do like to see a morning mist creeping into valleys below as in Gavin’s lovely picture. Your sweet fuchsias are looking ready for a rest. Sad to see them fading out for the winter.

    Fingers crossed our weather prognosticators right about our first serious storm coming in to stay for 3-4 days! We are overdue. 🌧

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