Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He found this job lot of mini Santas in a basket on his shopping trip today. He resisted the temptation to buy one.
Andrew’s Santas were the only glimpse of colour that we got all day, as it was an even greyer day here than yesterday. It was colder too, just above freezing all day, but it didn’t rain so we were grateful for small mercies.
In the morning, we drove up to the moor and cut down some more of the intrusive Sitka spruces. This was not entirely an altruistic effort, as one of them by sheer coincidence was a perfect shape and size for our Christmas tree.
We cut more than we meant to, and had to make two journeys to get them back to the garden.
After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal went off on her bicycle to do some shopping, and I went off on my feet to do a little walking. It wasn’t icy, but at 2°C, I thought that it was too cold for cycling any distance.
There was virtually no breeze at all, so walking was quite pleasant, but the light was appalling, which was perhaps appropriate for the shortest day of the year.
I entertained myself, if nobody else, by taking pictures of lichen on wood . . .
. . . and stone . . .
. . . on my way down to Skippers Bridge, and some trees on my way back.
I stopped in the park to look at some of the trees that fell there. Unlike most of the other trees, these ones didn’t have large shallow root plates. They were well rooted, and they heaved the ground up with them as they fell.
I am pleased to see that the two copper beeches that guard the bridge to the park have not suffered any harm.
When I got home, I had a look round the garden, where I had to use the flash on my camera to pick anything out.
I went in and spent some useful time putting a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database. We are entering 1902 at the moment, and I was intrigued to find a reference to a report of what was described as a unique game of cricket between men’s and women’s teams on the Langholm Cricket Club ground. I haven’t seen the full article but I expect that this would have been played amongst those staying at the Langholm Lodge, the summer residence of the Duke of Buccleuch in the shooting season. It was very sporting of the men to play the women, but that chivalry did not extend far, as the men won by an innings and 38 runs.
Mike Tinker dropped in for a cup of tea and a ginger biscuit, and that concluded the entertainment for the day.
I did try to take bird pictures during the day but it was just too gloomy. I managed a fuzzy goldfinch on the feeder . . .
. . . and a blackbird on the compost bin . . .
. . . but there was no chance of a flying bird at all today.