Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He took this reflective picture of his son Dan resting on a bridge while they were on a recent walk together.
After some overnight rain, we woke up to another grey and damp day here. It was still rather warm for the time of year, but the persistent drizzle did not encourage an adventure into the garden .
I had a good excuse to stay indoors, as Dropscone brought his laptop round to get my assistance in installing a new program on it. He has a touching faith in my computer expertise, but on this occasion, I was able to help out.
He had brought some of his excellent scones with him, so as soon as we had finished the computer business, we set about drinking a few cups of coffee to wash the scones down. We were joined by Mrs Tootlepedal and our neighbour Margaret, and the general conversation lasted for some time. Dropscone, Margaret and I were a bit cross that Mrs Tootlepedal had got her booster and flu vaccines while we three more elderly people had still not received the call.
When they left, I walked round to the shop under my big umbrella, and then I peered out of the window through the gloom to see if any birds were arriving at the feeder.
A chaffinch appeared from the left . . .
. . . and a sparrow turned up from the right . . .
. . . and then another chaffinch arrived.
I was so excited that I had to sit down for a while to recover.
A bedraggled goldfinch . . .
. . . and a mixed bag of greenfinch, chaffinch and sparrow completed my bird count.
After lunch, I surprised myself greatly by deciding to go for a bicycle ride in spite of continuing drizzle. A look at the forecast suggested that the rain might stop soon, and then there would be a dry interval before some really quite strong winds (gusting to 30 mph) would get up just in time to blow me home. It seemed like a suitable moment to go cycling.
The plan worked well in one respect at least. There was indeed a brisk wind to help propel me back home. In other respects, it wasn’t quite so successful. It turned out to be quite windy at the start of the ride and very windy as I headed down to Canonbie. The drizzle didn’t continue, but this was only because it soon turned into quite heavy rain and this came round with me fort most of the ride of the twenty miles to Canonbie and back
Even though I was well wrapped up, I got pretty wet, but as it was still warm, I decided to regard the outing as an adventure and not a penance. As a result, I enjoyed myself battling against the elements. I found myself humming, “There’s no discouragement shall make him once relent his first avowed intent to be a cyclist.”
I hadn’t brought my camera with me as it was still drying out after yesterday’s walk, but when the rain stopped for just a moment as I crossed the Hollows Bridge, I took a picture there with my phone.
After I got home, I found that my skin was the only thing that I was wearing that was truly waterproof.
However, my day was made a lot better when Dropscone rang up to say that he had found a number to ring which had let him book a vaccine appointment at the end of the week. I quickly rang up and was able to book one for myself and, quite amazingly, the lady on the end of the phone let me book one for our neighbour Margaret too when I explained that she can’t drive and I would be able to give her lift down to Canonbie where the vaccination centre is. The national Covid rates are so high at the moment that all three of us will be pleased to have a bit of extra protection.
I realised that I hadn’t taken any colourful pictures during the day, but by this time there wasn’t much of a chance to correct this omission. It was still a very gloomy day.
There might be a chance of some sunshine tomorrow, and if it comes, I will try to get out onto a hill and make use of it.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.