Today’s guest picture comes from my youngest sister Caroline. She lives on the south coast of England and found a lovely day recently to look across the sea to the Isle of Wight.
(As far as today’s title goes, I don’t know why chalk and cheese are considered to be so different that they appear as opposites in the familiar saying. I have often been served cheese that tasted exactly like chalk.)
All the same, I have got some really good cheese in the house at the moment so I can truly say that today was a chalk and cheese day, with a perfectly horrible morning and a really delightful afternoon as far as the weather went.
It was cold, wet and windy when we got up, and apart from walking to the shop under an umbrella, I wisely stayed indoors, did the crossword, drank coffee and watched birds.
There were quite a few to watch today. (They like to come when the light is bad just to annoy me.)
Chaffinches sometimes watched out for each others’ backs and sometimes went for each others’ throats.
A greenfinch and goldfinch were more sedate.
There were very busy moments, familiar to those who have had to circle over airports waiting for a landing slot.
By lunch time, things had improved and while I was waiting for Nancy, the Archive Group treasurer, to come round with the accounts for this year, I wandered about in the garden.
The pick of the floral bunch is still the purple sprouting broccoli in my view.
After Nancy came and went, I had another quick look at the birds. The feeder was still busy.
I need to get an invisible pole to hold the feeder up. The present one keeps getting in the way.
As the weather looked set fair, I did think about a cycle ride but fortunately Mrs Tootlepedal fancied a walk. This saved me from having to battle into an unforgivingly chilly and brisk wind. Walking in a warm coat and in sheltered spots was a much more sensible way to spend time.
We decided to walk up to the Kilngreen and over the Sawmill Brig. I couldn’t decide whether the bridge made a better picture with the conifers in front…
…or the bare trees behind…
…so I have put them both in.
We crossed the bridge and walked up the hill to join the track known as the Baggra. On the last occasion that I walked along this track, the weather was very grey and there was no view at all. Today it was ‘chalk and cheese’, and the views were excellent.
I looked around as we walked along….
…at the bigger picture….
…and the smaller ones too. I love a good wall…
…and an interesting twig.
We got to the end of the track….
…and Mrs Tootlepedal was disappointed to find that it fizzled out into a field. She thought that this was the old main road north from the town and expected to be able to follow it a bit further. Some research when she got home confirmed that it was indeed the old main road until the High Mill Bridge was built in 1820, but there is no sign of the continuation now.
We had to turn for home. Some fine trees were a consolation.
Our route home took us back across the High Mill Brig and along the new main road and then across the Castleholm. Moles had been busy….
…but otherwise, with the sun already dropping low in the sky, there was nothing to tempt the camera out of my pocket. You can tell that the sun is low when a molehill casts a long shadow.
On the way home, I met Mike Tinker out for a walk again. Unlike yesterday, on this occasion he went his way and I went mine.
I enjoyed more profiteroles with chocolate sauce and creme pat for my afternoon tea. Mrs Tootlepedal decided not to join in today, so I bravely ate them all. (There are still some more in the tin for tomorrow. I have volunteered to eat them too.)
A lively sibling Zoom and a second helping of the shin of beef slow cooked stew rounded the day off. It had started very gloomily but ended very well.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch auditioning to be an angel on the Christmas tree.