More unhappy shepherds

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony in East Wemyss, and proves that even when it rains in East Wemyss, the sun still shines.

Unlike yesterday, we didn’t get a nice sunrise to ease our pain today. After a night of rain and moaning winds, we woke to a day of rain and moaning winds.

I joined in with the moaning while Mrs Tootlepedal filled her time with admin work on the computer for the buy-out group. The Langholm Initiative got hundreds of new memberships from people who wanted to support the project, and they all have to be recorded and sorted.

I walked round to the shop and was surprised to find that the river wasn’t particularly high. It has rained a lot recently, but obviously the rain has been mostly light. I think that the strong winds have made it feel heavier than it actually was.

I did try to take some bird feeder pictures but the light was appalling…

….and the birds were few and far between anyway…

…though there was an occasional small rush.

After lunch, while Mrs Tootlepedal had an appointment in the town, I went for a walk.

I was thoroughly prepared for rain, with my wellies, waterproof trousers, coat and an umbrella, so I wasn’t at all surprised when it stopped raining as soon as I set off. I could even see the monument when I looked back over the town from Scott’s Knowe.

It was still damp and gloomy though, and the sound of running water was the prevailing accompaniment to my footsteps as I splashed along the track.

It started to rain again in a half-hearted effort to make me turn back, but I persevered and the rain gave up.

When I got to the Becks Burn, I went to look at the little cascade above the bridge. I peered down from above, not getting too near the edge…

…and looked up from below, not venturing too far into the water.

Then I went down to the bridge where the burn looked fairly calm I thought, considering how lively the cascade had been..

I crossed the bridge and puffed up the steep slope on the other side. When I looked back down the stream…

…I was happy to see that the clouds were still quite high for my walk back home, though there were some curious grey blue clouds lurking behind the mast on Warbla.

The road at the Auld Stane Brig had been flooded last time that I had cycled along it, and it was still flooded today….

…with a river from a blocked drain running along one side of the road.

I did some welly boot engineering in an effort to clear some little gaps in the verge to help the water to drain off the road. It is no fun being on a bicycle and meeting a car going in the opposite direction when there is this much water about.

Nothing will really help though until the drain under the road is unblocked, which is beyond my pay grade.

I walked back to the town along Gaskell’s Walk. It was a lot drier than the road.

Through the leafless trees, I could see the Becks Burn rushing to join the mighty Wauchope.

Although it was only just after three o’clock, it already felt as though the day was ending so I put my camera firmly in my pocket and didn’t waste any more time taking pictures in hopeless light. At the park, I met fellow camera club member Stan who was out walking his dog. We strolled along together and he remarked that he was missing the photographic chat over the tea break at our camera club meetings. We will try to get them going again when we can. I miss the chat too, and getting fresh ideas from other photographers.

Mrs Tootlepedal was back when I got home and once again she was hunched over a hot computer. I made a cup of tea and we enjoyed the last slices of my birthday cake.

Fortified by the cake, I applied online for a renewal of my driving license. I have to ask every three years now.

The wind has calmed down as I write this in the evening, and if we can avoid fog, we might get a better day tomorrow. It looks as though we are in for a spell of chilly weather after that to end the month.

A sparrow, aided by quite a lot of brightening up in the editor, is doing his best to be the flying bird of the day.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “More unhappy shepherds

  1. A stiff wind driving the rain can certainly make it feel heavier. The river running down the road from a blocked drain looks hazardous. It was good of you to try to drain some of it off the sides. It is definitely not in your pay grade to unblock the drain.

    It has not bee that long since the fires here, and I am still happy to see rain. By winter’s end I may feel a bit differently. 🙂

  2. So many societies have had to halt their meetings since that dreaded virus began its world tour in March. Some have gone into quiet hibernation, while others have chosen the Zoom route. The latter has added advantages in that members and other people interested in a particular topic can join from all over the country and outside of our borders. What so many of us miss is exactly what your friend has pointed out: chats during the tea break and informal discussions before and after the meetings. I really hope 2021 will afford us the opportunity for real face-to-face encounters.

  3. I too liked seeing all the rushing water.
    Maybe the public works people will read your blog and unclog that culvert. It’ll start washing the road away eventually.
    It’s encouraging to hear that the Langholm Initiative has so many new members. There’s no such thing as too much protected land, in my opinion.

    1. I agree with you on that. In this case the power of the community to have some say in what happens around them is the key point after living in a world where the whim of a big landowner has influenced everything.

  4. Yes, Zoom meetings are a useful substitute, but they end with a jolt, with none of the wind-down chats with one or two others as you leave.

  5. That little sparrow looks quite ungainly in that shot, says he who can’t fly, on a bike or through the air. I can report that the strawberry preserve that accompanies my toast each morning is from Mackays of Scotland, so not sure if it’s “crafted”, as they call it, in Dundee or not, but it is excellent. That was a very enjoyable walk you had yesterday, I was engaged for every step of it. Like yourself, I have had that, not so inevitable, soaking when drivers pass in areas of flooded roads. I say “not so inevitable”, because some drivers manage to slow down and pass at a more opportune moment, or pass the other side if they can. Otherwise, I do believe, some enjoy giving a cyclist a soaking. Keep the good tootling and posting going. Cheers.

    1. I agree about the intent of some motorists but I think that impatience is the main cause as motorists just don’t like to have to consider the needs of other road users.

      I am glad the jam is good. I made my last lot too sweet but I am going to eat it quite happily all the same.

      1. Nothing wrong with a sweet tooth. My mum, grandmas aunties etc all used make jams of all sorts. One of those arts lost to convenience and lack of time. But what lack of time? There are still 24 hours in a day, we all spend too much time sat on our behinds doing mindless things like watching TV. It’s another time, a bit like Dr Who? Cheers.

  6. Good photos of the gushing water through those rocky sides. Hope they clear those blocked drains soon they are such a hazard for all. I phone our council road department when we have similar problems and they usually sort things out promptly…maybe because I mention H and S!

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