A final outing for the year with Mrs T

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Caroline. She was very impressed by the Christmas decorations in her local hairdresser’s salon. I am too.

After a night with more rain and the sound of mournful geese calling out in the mist as they circled the town at midnight, it was a relief to wake up to dry weather, even if it was very grey once again. I read in the newspaper today that this month has been one of the dullest Decembers on record. I don’t feel quite so bad about the large number of dull pictures which have appeared on the blog during the month. Any camera needs light, and light has been in short supply.

At least we had a goldfinch on the feeder this morning to make a change from the usual chaffinches . . .

. . . but it was very cloudy when I looked back over the town on my way up to have coffee with Sandy.

After we had spend some companionable time drinking coffee and remarking that we hadn’t got a lot to say as nothing much had happened since we met two days ago, I walked home again. I was nearly overcome by excitement when there was an actual hint of sunshine . . .

. . . but I managed to contain myself as it was only a hint, and it only lasted for two minutes.

The goldfinches had disappeared by the time that I got home, and they had been replaced by two siskins, who in turn were soon overtaken by chaffinches.

After lunch, Mrs Tootleped,al and I decided that we should see the old year out with a final walk. It was a windy day so we drove down to Canonbie and went on a very sheltered walk, up one side of the Byre Burn and down the other.

To start our walk off, we went along the old road from the Hollows and enjoyed fungus on a tree stump and moss on a wall as we went.

We crossed the Byre Burn and looked down from the bridge at the Esk which the burn joins at this point. There was plenty of water going down the river after the recent rain.

Then we came up behind another couple of walkers just as we got to the start of the path through the woods. They every kindly suggested that we might like to go first. After that of course, I couldn’t stop to take as many pictures as normal for fear of holding them up. We also had to pass up the opportunity to rest for a moment on the bench with a view thoughtfully provided for tired people at the top of a steep little climb.

After negotiating a couple of small fallen trees, we got to the road back down to the bridge at the top of the Byre Burn, where we noticed a set of trees with many stems that were growing strongly from were they had been cut back. A closer looked showed that they were ash.

We crossed the little bridge and took the track beside the burn. I looked back as we walked down the path and reflected that had we been doing this walk 50 years ago, we would have been walking under a magnificent viaduct.

The viaduct was demolished in 1987 and there is no sign of it now.

The Byre Burn was bubbling along beside the track on its way to plunging over the waterfall at the Fairy Loup . . .

I took a two second video to provide a soundtrack to the waterfall. Click here to find it.

We came across some more substantial fallen trees at the bottom of the track, just before rejoining the old main road.

Luckily, some fine chainsaw work had created a way through the chaos . . .

. . . and we were able to get through without having to climb, vault or duck.

As we walked back along the old road towards the car, we saw the last surviving viburnum berries high above our heads.

It was only a two and a half mile walk, but it had felt good to get out and enjoy the fresh air, the trees and the stream. And we we had been very well sheltered from the strong wind.

I put the car on charge when we got home, and then we made some inroads into the biscuit mountain created by generous Christmas gifts. I ate the most. It is hard work but someone has to do it.

In the evening, we had the last of our regular Zoom meetings with my siblings for the year.

The flying bird of the day is another chaffinch.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the readers of the blog for their patience over the past year when Mrs Tootlepedal and I have been leading a rather limited life. I would like to extend special thanks to all those who have taken time to add their comments to the posts over the past year. I really appreciate your contributions, and they give me extra motivation to try to find something a little bit interesting to say when I sit down in the evening to compose a post. And trying to find something interesting to say gives me a motivation to try and actually do something a little bit interesting every day (even if I don’t always manage to achieve that ambition).

A Happy New Year to all!

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

45 thoughts on “A final outing for the year with Mrs T

  1. A fine final walk of the year. You always seem able to find babbling waterfalls to add interest. ( I could not open the video) Thank you for persevering in providing your daily chronicles, they are always entertaining and I am always interested to see which birds you see each day.. Happy new year to you and Mrs T.

  2. ​Oooh, I like the comparison shots of the view ‘today’ and the one from archives. That viaduct was pretty impressive. ​

    ​I might have told you if our ‘creek’ sounds the same (has the same accent) as your ​burn but it seems you have your video set to private.

    As for your final paragraph… I happen to enjoy your posts even if you don’t think they’re interesting. I can never seem to get enough of your countryside. (It’s lovely no matter which path you take.) I also very much enjoy the wry, understated humor in your narratives. Perhaps your life seems to you to be mundane, but it’s a different world from the one on my side of the globe. I wish you better luck than I have with achieving all the ambitions we set as goals.

    ​Wishing you and Mrs T good health and whatever weather suits you in the coming year! I’ll throw in a bit more sunshine while I’m at it. ☀️ ​

      1. Thank you. It did work. I think your waterfall sounds exactly like our creek in places where it cascades over a bunch of rocks.

  3. I’m sure the viaduct was demolished because it was unsafe, but it looked to be a magnificent structure at one time and its demolition is sad. On a brighter note, what you may find pedestrian is of great interest to your readers, so please do continue!

    We are set for -35 tonight, but the windchill will only be -44 . . . it was -51 when I walked to the gym this morning. That’s the coldest windchill I’ve encountered so far in my walks, and it’s surprisingly easy to stay warm when you’re all kitted out in the right kind of clothing. Hopefully you won’t need such togs in Langholm in the new year! Best wishes to you both.

    1. From neighboring Saskatchewan, MJ. Ditto. But remember: it’s a DRY cold!😂😂😂
      Happy New Year to all.

    2. That clothing must be very good! The viaduct was demolished to save the railway company the expense of maintaining it. In a better managed world it would now be part of a spectacular cycle path from Langholm to Carlisle.

  4. Thank you for sharing the last walk of the year. There is still bit of color to be seen around the woods! Our grey day here has almost cleared entirely, and the temperature will drop into the mid to lower 20s by morning.

  5. A very Happy New Year to you and Mrs. T. What a year it has been, it’s hard to imagine what comes next. Thank you for your commitment, wonderful photographs and delightful musings. I will try harder to keep up with you. …And the video of the waterfall was delightful.

  6. I do like Sandy’s view looking over the town. I hope his leg heals quickly so he can get out to see it.
    I liked your shots of the wall moss and black ash buds. It was nice to hear your waterfall as well. I love the sound.
    Thank you for another year of interesting reading and fine photos. I hope 2022 will bring even more of the same.

  7. The one video led to another, to another … fun to see very early on the morning that has started our year with blue sky, bright sunshine and the call of birds. May some sunshine make its way to you and along with it I wish you both a year of good health and of seeing more of your grandchildren in between gardening, cycling, walking, baking and home renovations – as well as taking such fine photographs!

  8. I very much enjoy looking at your pictures every day and reading the excellent text which you put together. I love pictures, still or moving, of running water so yours today were a real treat.

  9. That was interesting about the disappearance of the former viaduct.
    Enjoyed the fairy loup video.
    Happy New Year to you and Mrs Tootlepedal!

  10. Happy new year to you both, enjoy reading and looking at your photos, and hearing about Mrs T s garden. Glad you have some gold finches ours seem to have deserted us, maybe because it’s been mild, mostly. Jenni smith.x

  11. Thanks for the 2021 blog, and all the best for 2022,( It’s got to be better, maybe even a Common Riding)

  12. Happy New Year! May 2022 be a year of new adventures. Thank you for all the travels we have enjoyed vicariously through your excellent blogs. They are always something to be enjoyed each evening here in the frozen north. Cheers!

  13. My word that is a very fine hairdresser’s salon. Thank goodness that magnificent viaduct has been recorded by the archivists and its history is being kept alive and not lost in the undergrowth of time. A lovely walk to end your year. Look forward to following many more in 2022.

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