Tried and tested

Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone. It shows his golfing partner Tom enjoying the delights of the winter game beside a large and icy puddle. I think that it may be possible to have too much fun sometimes.

We woke up to another dry and frosty morning. When I went out into the garden, I could hardly see some smaller leafs for the large amount of frost on them.

The car window had an ice jungle on it…

…with some pretty ferns…

…when you looked closer.

My brother says that this is a model of how the universe is developing.

The powers that be are anxious to get as many people in Langholm tested for Covid as possible following an outbreak in the town, and they have organised several days of testing on the Kilngreen to make this possible. I thought that it might be hard to get a testing slot, but Mrs Tootlepedal went on line after breakfast and found plenty of of slots available, so she booked us in for after lunch.

It was very chilly outside and cycling indoors did not appeal for some curious reason, so I passed the morning away with preparing bread for the bread machine, preparing a lamb stew for the slow cooker and making some lentil and SLA soup for our lunch. (SLA = stuff lying about.)

In between times, I went back out into the garden to take a picture with my phone of ice on a piece of chicken wire in the vegetable garden…

…and I kept an eye on the birds. The usual chaffinches were flying about…

…and a couple, showed that it is not always easy to make a perfect landing on a perch.

The peanut butter feeder was in demand again, with birds returning often.

The robin and blue tit were well fluffed up against the chill.

I saw two unusual things as well as the birds. The first was a fly crawling slowly up the outside of the window…

…and the other was a tiny mouse which the alert Mrs Tootlepedal noticed while it was picking up seed from the tray under the feeder.

We were rather nervous about going to the Covid testing but everything went very smoothly. We were directed to park neatly when we got there and sat in our car the whole time so there were no contact problems. We were given a home testing kit each and went through the uncomfortable swabbing process, put the sample back in its bag, dropped the bag off from the car window and drove home. We had to go online again to register that we had been tested, but the whole system worked very well.

All this took time, but there was enough left for a quick walk so I set off down to the river in the hope of a dipper but only saw a beautiful view…

…with ice dangling over the water showing how cold it still was.

On the opposite bank of the river to the testers at the Kilngreen, a row of uninterested gulls had an interloper among them.

I was interested in some straightforward walking without having to worry about ice or tussocks, so I walked up to Whitshiels and then took the road up the hill to the White Yett. It was almost totally ice free, though I had to watch my step a couple of times, so I was able to stride out as briskly as age and the gradient would let me.

As I started the ascent of the hill, I did stop to note that today I was under a cloud, and the sun was over there…

..but it still provided an excellent view to keep me happy as I went along.

I got to the top safely and went over the cattle grid at the col to have a look over the Langholm Moor. It looked cold and wintery today…

…but the view down the Tarras valley was kinder.

And indeed, the sun came out for me as I walked back down the hill, lighting up a couple of curious sheep…

…and providing another blue background for a second moon shot.

The late afternoon skies have been very clear lately.

The blue skies didn’t last however, and when I looked across the valley, I could see what looked suspiciously like a snow storm brewing…

…and I was a bit worried when a few wintery flakes fell on my glasses. It did provide a dramatic backdrop for my favourite trees though …

…and fortunately, it disappeared as suddenly as it had come, and left me enjoying pink clouds up the valley as I went down the hill..

…and a nice sunset when I got home.

I got back in time to have a cup of tea with Mrs Tootlepedal before the regular Zoom meeting with my brother and sisters.

Mrs Tootlepedal and I got an invitation this morning to go and get vaccinated next Monday which we will take up with enthusiasm. Should that go to plan, only my brother, who the youngest of us all, will be unvaccinated.

The lamb stew turned out well (it is hard to make a bad stew in a slow cooker) and as it was followed by peaches and ice cream, I felt that the day had been satisfactory.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch. I have added a goldfinch for interest today.

Footnote: There has been a certain sameness, to say the least, about recent bog posts but it is not entirely my fault. The thermometer managed to stagger up to nearly 4°C this afternoon but the forecast says it will not even get that far tomorrow and may come with added rain. We could all do with some genuine warmth. Even though we have had quite a bit of sunshine, it feels as though we have been frozen every night since Christmas. Thanks to the pandemic restrictions, we aren’t allowed to go anywhere interesting or see anyone interesting. Certainly we have done little gardening or cycling in January. But the days are getting longer and there are green shoots in the flower beds, so we haven’t given up hope of better things to come. One day, patient readers may come across something interesting in a post. Fingers crossed.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

41 thoughts on “Tried and tested

  1. I suppose the benefit of golfing in winter would be that you wouldn’t lose any balls in the water traps. They’d skitter along the ice, wouldn’t they? (I’m not a golfer!).
    And better days are coming. But in the meantime, your daily diary injects some normality into these strange times. Thank you.

    1. They would skitter along the ice but it might be quite tricky trying to play a shot off the ice. In better conditions there would not be a puddle there to get lost in.

  2. The vaccine rollout seems to be going better than could have been expected with 80%of the over eighteen having been vaccinated…I’m in group 4 so am expecting the call in mid February and can’t wait.
    You and Mrs T should get the call very soon.
    Research says that excercising after the jab doesn’t effect the efficacy of the vaccine which is good news.
    Some slightly better weather expected as well this week….we’re on a roll👍👍😉😃

  3. I always find something interesting here, like the pink clouds today.I like the sepia toned hills before it as well.
    Two hand held moon shots like that one I didn’t expect to see.
    Glad you’re in line for the vaccine. Nobody has yet been able to clean up the mess of the last four years here so I don’t expect my chance will appear anytime soon.

    1. I was surprised to find the sky so clear too. This may be partly because of the much reduced air traffic overhead. We are on quite a busy route in normal times.

      Our death rate per head of population is worse than yours I am told so the vaccination can’t come soon enough.

  4. I’m glad to hear that you and Mrs. T. will soon get your first shot. The “rollout” here does not seem to be as advanced or organized at it is there, but I try not to judge too harshly because this is new for everyone.

    You may feel that your posts are uninteresting, but I assure you they’re not. Most of us don’t live where you do, we’re mostly locked down in our own small worlds, and your local sights are always interesting. All I’m doing here is watching the thermometer drop (-34 tonight and tomorrow night, before it moderates).

    I wonder how the frozen golf balls affect a player’s game?

  5. Your posts are never boring. You always spot lovely details and glorious landscapes in your treks on what seem to me, endless fascinating trails and roads. And I love the descriptions of your meals! It’s a vicarious way of seeing a foreign country when foreign travel isn’t possible.

  6. I am always interested in your posts and your terrific photography. Lots of lovely one in today’s post. Good luck with the testing! And fabulous news about the vaccination s. You must be so looking forward to seeing your family.

  7. Having blogged about flies on my car window before, I empathise with your thoughts. I join the others in saying that your lovely scenery alone draws me in every day.

  8. Don’t do yourself down, your posts are always interesting. The variety of pictures that you post always has something of interest for everyone and your observations in the text are a pleasure to read. I loved those pictures of the frost on the car window.

  9. Very glad the test arrangements went smoothly and you have a date for the vaccination. Great pictures of the lovely sunny views along your walk.

  10. Some good ice photos and the line of gulls brought a smile to my face. Shots of the trees and snowstorm were excellent too. Compared to my lockdown life yours is a constant delight of incident and frolics.

  11. What a cornucopia of beautiful photographs. The ice formations are particularly fascinating and I love the interloper among the gulls. I am impressed that you could get tested and subsequent vaccine appointments. My friends have scored vaccine appointments but I have not yet and am trying not to waste too much energy on vaccine envy.
    I don’t detect any sameness to complain about in your blog posts at all! I am quite impressed by all you still manage to do during the winter, the pandemic…and after all, it is soup and bread weather.

    1. We got into the queue for vaccines on account of our advanced age so it is not entirely a good thing! What did impress me is that we got the results by text this morning which seemed very prompt….and they were negative.

      1. I have become eligible lately due to advanced age as well but we don’t have enough supply to go around. So I’ll have to wait for the vaccine. Testing has been left up to one’s own discretion. Completely different approach here, it seems.

  12. I’ve been thinking that you manage to make the sameness of lockdown restrictions and weather more interesting that they should rightly be. Great news you’re getting your vaccine shot. Things are rather slow this side of the channel 😦

    1. I gather that from the news reports. They are saying here that that the EU backed the wrong horse in the vaccine stakes though whether that is true, I don’t know.

  13. How do you do it? You make every single day full of interesting things to see and enjoy filling every hour with amazing photographs and lively commentary. On top of the lovely nature themes there’s up to date news about vaccines and test and trace! Love all the bird photos today and the views through the trees on to the varying shades of sunset.

  14. I missed your post yesterday, and I am catching up today. I loved the frost flowers and ferns. Even the chicken wire was coated in icy jewels! The views around your area are breathtaking as always, and I enjoyed the birds, especially the dark interloper amid the fence post gulls.

    We had a cold, wet day and a light snow this afternoon, but it is melting as the ground is still too warm.

  15. Your posts are still fascinating. Cotton candy clouds! You actually have me missing living somewhere with beautiful ice. I’m excited for you that you will get the jab soon.

  16. Your mundane posts are more than welcome to this welshcyclist. I seem to be trapped in a loop of no cycling because of frost, heavy rains, some snow lately and some disgusting lethargy. It was my dear twin sister’s funeral last week, a completely sad affair that just washed over me. The crematorium working like a machine 30 minutes for each client, family in masks, social distancing observed, only 30 mourners allowed, and no singing, even though she loved singing so much. Yesterday, another funeral, this one for Billo a choir member, taken by Covid. What a difference. The whole village of Pont Nedd Fechan was out on the streets to show their respects. The rest of the choir including myself were there, we sang outside his house and again in the village square as Billo’s funeral cortege stopped before we clapped him on his way. We sang Gwahoddiad, his favourite hymn, Angharad our choir leader said she was so proud of us and told us she hadn’t heard us sing as well before. I believe the atmosphere got to us all as we said goodbye to, Billo, a founding member of our choir. It definitely brought out the Hwyl in us all, even with this damned social distancing. Oh how I wish my sister’s funeral could have been so, as well. But I was singing for her as well as Billo.
    Cheers and stay safe.

    1. That sounds as though it musty have been some occasion. I am sorry about your sister. This has not been a good time to lose family members with no good way to say goodbye.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: