Today’s guest picture comes from my nephew Dan. He was walking recently with his father, my brother Andrew, when he saw these alpacas.
The weather outside was cold and grey but indoors we had a quiet but satisfying day, meeting our children and grandchildren electronically. Mrs Tootlepedal cooked a delicious Christmas lunch while I watched birds in the morning.
Our daughter Annie had given me an unusual Christmas present, a jar of peanut butter for birds with an ingenious housing to hold it. I hung it out a day or two ago and it took until today for any birds to get bold enough to approach it. A blue tit paid several visits…
…but when I turned it round so that I could get a better view of it, the only visitor was a coal tit and it didn’t actually have a peck.
We didn’t have a great quantity of visitors but we did have a good variety of birds today.
A dunnock, perhaps slowed down by the cold, was more obliging than usual.
Pigeons always look as though they have a grievance with pursed lips.
And this chaffinch didn’t look very happy either.
A blackbird was happy enough…
…and a sparrow practised its James Dean look (mean, moody and magnificent).
We had busy moments…
…and blue tits kept coming.
I was hoping for a Christmas robin and when one did turn up, it attempted to attract my attention…
After a late and excellent lunch, I felt the need to shake the food down a bit to make room for Christmas cake later on so I went for a short three bridges walk.
It might have been just above freezing by this point but it was still pretty chilly, and it was gloomy too as it was getting late, so it was more a walk for exercise than images.
I did see an old friend who wanted to wish all you readers a very merry Christmas.
The gulls had mainly deserted the fence posts and were lining up in the river instead.
I had walked this route yesterday and seen no hair ice but there was plenty about today.
It is curious stuff. It looks like fabric threads but if you touch the filaments…
…they immediately melt on your hand and have no strength in them at all.
I noticed that the hazel catkins have got even more cheerful in spite of the frosts..
…but otherwise, I just kept walking to avoid getting too cold.
I had a slice of Christmas cake with my afternoon cup of tea and then turned a tin of Seville oranges into six jars of marmalade in half an hour. It may not be quite the same as marmalade made from fresh oranges but it saves a lot of time and work.
We had a cheerful zoom with my siblings and then we enjoyed a light evening meal. We did manage a morsel of Christmas pudding with cream and bandy butter for afters, so all in all, it turned out to be a pretty good Christmas under the present trying circumstances.
And there was a crossword with 100 pretty good clues and a nice unclued cryptic puzzle round the edges to solve as well. So time never hung heavily on my hands.
I hope that everyone else had as good a day as possible too.
The flying bird of the day is sparrow.
Footnote: Mrs Tootlepedal gave me a high performance base layer (or vest as we used to call it) for my Christmas so I hope to get a chance to test it out soon.