Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew who noticed this unusual street sign in an alley when he was on a visit to Spondon.
It was quite an appropriate sign for the post today, as I seemed to spend quite a lot of the day eating.
After breakfast, I cycled round to the corner shop, and then had a look at the birds. It was a cloudy day so I didn’t have a problem with the shadows. There was a steady but not spectacular flow of birds to the feeder,
A collared dove made an appearance down below . . .
. . . and up above, a goldfinch perched on the topmost twig of the almost leafless walnut tree.
I couldn’t watch the birds for too long as we were visited by our choir friends Mike and Anne who joined us for coffee with Margaret. Mrs Tootlepedal had made a great pile of drop scones for the occasion, and as all the others ate modestly, I polished off most of the pile myself, with home made raspberry jam and bramble jelly to help them go down. There was the other half of yesterday’s cake to finish off too, so it was lucky that we had plenty to talk about to give us time to get round to everything.
There was no need for lunch when the coffee gathering dispersed, so I got my bike out and went off to try to shake a few of the drop scones down on the way round my familiar Canonbie route.
The scheme to burn a few calories was slightly handicapped by eating some delicious Turkish Delight before I set off. Mike and Anne had brought this with them as a gift.
In reasonable calm and tolerably warm (8°C) conditions, I took things easily as I didn’t want to set back my knee recovery, and I enjoyed a gentle journey past a quizzical bull . . .
. . . a blasted tree . . .
. . . and others in better condition.
My favourite tree was this one, set against a distant background of English hills just before I got to my turning point at the bottom of the Canonbie by-pass.
There was not a lot to see on a grey day on a tried and tested route, but I liked the edging of larch needles showing where to go along the old road . . .
. . . and there were a surprising number of needles left on the young larches when I got to the point where the cycle track joins the main road.
I took a look round the garden when I got back and found more interest than I had expected.
The fungus under one of the plastic compost bins has grown well . . .
. . . and a berberis along the vegetable garden fence had some very colourful leaves.
I have been trying to get a picture of the tiny flowers on a viburnum for several days without any success, but the dull light this afternoon was oddly more suitable for capturing them. I got so excited that I took two pictures.
I was quite impressed by the little red rose which has made a good effort at recovering from yesterday’s frosty morning . . .
. . . but I was stunned to find that a clematis had come out.
We have had clematis out in November before, but this was ten day later than any recent sightings.
When I looked indoors, I found that Mrs Tootlepedal had disappeared, and I wondered if she had gone off on a cycle adventure of her own. It wasn’t too long before she reappeared though, and it turned out that after some indoor cycling, she had been no further that the offices of the Langholm Initiative.
The day was in a kindly mood, so after a cup of tea we went out into the garden. Mrs Tootlepedal did more work on improving the soil in the front beds while I raked walnut leaves off both lawns and sieved a little compost to help with the soil improvement.
It was almost dark when we finally went inside. I started work on entering another week of our local newspaper index into the Archive Group database.
There was a good deal of yesterday’s roast chicken still left, so we ate that for our evening meal (followed in my case by quite a lot of Turkish Delight).
We watched the final of the Great British Bake Off and that rounded off two good days of birthday cake and visitors.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch (with a bonus flying chaffinch in the background.)