Today’s guest pictures come from our son Tony. He won’t be short of company this Christmas.
My morning was brightened by the sight of Mrs Tootlepedal’s birthday flowers on the kitchen table when I came downstairs.
Later in the day, Mrs Tootlepedal sorted then into two smaller vases.
We had another fine and frosty morning here today, and we had to proceed to church with great caution as the roads were slippery here and there. It was the day of the children’s Nativity service so the church was a good deal fuller than usual. I had pretty well recovered from my cold, but I still wore my singing mask and kept it on throughout.
It had just crept above freezing by the time that we got out of church, but we were equally careful on the way home.
A little car window art gives a good idea of the temperature out of the sun.
The bird feeder was in the shadow of our neighbour’s house and a lone siskin looked a little chilly.
But as the sun moved round and up, other birds moved in.
Because it was such a good day, we had an early lunch, put on several layers of warm clothes, and went out for a walk. A couple of starlings watched us as we left.
Mrs Tootlepedal has not been round the Potholm walk since the storm, so we went that way today to let her see developments. The road past Holmwood has been neatly cleared of trees and debris and traffic can get through, but the phone and fibre lines are still lying beside the road.
Among the fallen trees, I found more hair ice.
We were pleased to get out of the shadow of the hill when we came to the road to Potholm, and most of the rest of our walk was blessed by cheerful sunshine.
I have put the things and views that we saw on the way to Potholm into a gallery so that those with time to spare can click on a frame to get the bigger picture, and everyone else can skate through. You will gather that once again I took too many pictures on my walk.
We crossed the Esk at Potholm . . .
. . . walked up the hill on the other side, paused for a moment on a handy bench, and then came back to Langholm along the Langfauld track. Once again, I have put the sights that we saw on this section of our walk into a gallery. Mrs Tootlepedal was very impressed by the amount of storm damage in the woods above the track.
When we came to the game larder at Holmhead, we saw how lucky we were that no inhabited buildings around the town had been crushed by falling trees . . .
We went down to the Duchess Bridge and found that the estate workers had done a very good job of clearing a path through the chaos to open up a popular walk.
Locals were making good use of this, and we were just one of several parties enjoying this favourite walk in the sunshine. As a bonus there was a good crop of staghorn fungus on a branch that had fallen some time ago.
When we came out of the shadow of the trees onto the Castleholm, I liked the silhouette of a pine against the background of Whita Hill.
For the second day running, we met the cute puppy and this time it stood still for a moment.
When we got home, both Mrs Tootlepedal and I were pleased to find that we had walked five miles without any great difficulty, and I was able to say that I am now officially cured of the cold. I just hope that I won’t be sorry for saying that when I catch another one tomorrow. There is a lot of it about.
We had a pause for refreshment and recovery after the walk.
Then I lit a fire in the front room, pulled two armchairs up in front of my computer, and in warmth and comfort we watched a live relay of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio streamed from Kings Place in London. My oldest sister Susan was in the the concert hall watching it in person. Even on a laptop screen it was engrossing and thoroughly enjoyable. And a great deal cheaper than taking a train to London, buying two tickets and taking the train back home again.
Under strict supervision from the expert, I made some ham rissoles for our evening meal and they rounded off a very satisfactory day.
Well, a satisfactory day except that I didn’t get a decent flying bird shot. I have put in a substandard panel to try to disguise this unfortunate fact.