The bigger picture

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary. She visited St Paul’s Cathedral and found herself among the choir stalls.

We had to get up a bit earlier than usual today, as we were expecting a delivery at any time between 7.30 and 9.30 in the morning, with a warning phone call 30 minutes before arrival. I naturally expected the deliverers to come at 9.30 once we had got up for the earliest possible delivery, but it turned out that we were their first port of call for the day, and they arrived shortly after eight.

They brought us a new smart TV, with a table to put it on. While they set up the TV, Mrs Tootlepedal and I assembled the table, using well known flat pack techniques. On this occasion, we used all the bits and bobs correctly, and had no spares lying around when we had finished. The new set is sitting on the table and working well. We were able to watch Winterwatch tonight, and we enjoyed the bigger clearer picture. The set has many capabilities but if we are able to use even 10 per cent of them, that will be quite enough to keep us happy.

Once we drew breath and looked around, we could see that it was an even greyer day than usual, and at 4°C, a bit colder than the last few days too. It was far too grey to take satisfactory bird pictures. Before coffee with Margaret, I had a look and got a wave from a chaffinch . . .

. . . but I didn’t waste a lot of time trying.

We had an early lunch, and then I went for a cycle ride. I wouldn’t have gone for choice but we are supposed to get some very brisk winds over the next few days, so this looked like an opportunity that I should take. It was cold cycling into the wind, and there were no views to be had at all.

It wasn’t a day for looking around with interest, so I didn’t look around at all until I was roused from my apathy by loud noises in the sky. I did look around then, and I could see geese rising from the ground in their hundreds, if not thiusands. . .

. . . and beginning to form their characteristic echelon as they headed off.

Even though they were a good way off, the noise was terrific.

I was very pleased to get the wind more or less behind me when I got to the bottom of the Canonbie by-pass and turned for home. It had been a bit of a penance cycling into the wind, and my hands and face were feeling the cold.

I warmed up a bit while cycling uphill with the wind behind me, and I even stopped for another misty view.

I can’t offer a fine metal viaduct like my brother’s guest picture yesterday, but I could just make out our fine stone viaduct across the Liddel Water.

It has its own peculiar distinction as it spans the border between Scotland and England.

When I had gone through Canonbie, I took a picture of Hollows Tower . . .

. . . and then headed back to Langholm and warmth without stopping again.

Mrs Tootlepedal is making new curtains. The lining for the curtains had also come today, so she had sensibly spent the afternoon indoors, laying material out and weighing up the task. I had considered entitling today’s post as “It’s curtains for Mrs Tootlepedal”, but I thought that that might unnecessarily alarm patient readers.

I got changed, put on my gardening boots and dug another couple of rows of the potential potato bed. The end is nearly in sight now.

Tea and ginger cake was the reward for us both as we sat down after a busy afternoon.

With the political situation as grey as the weather, it would be nice to see a bit of sunshine to cheer us up, but we will have to wait until Thursday for that, and as it will be very windy, even that might be cold comfort.

At least I saw more than one flying bird of the day today.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

34 thoughts on “The bigger picture

  1. I quite liked your stone viaduct shrouded in mist…it had a slightly gothic look about it.
    A bit too cold for cycling,but well done you for making the effort. Your knee must be better I presume.
    Up on our cold local moorland road walking my dog I see the same few hardy cyclists at least once a week.
    Hopefully when the temperature gets above 10c I’ll have a spin,can’t come soon enough.

  2. Enjoy that new TV! Clif got one for his birthday, which feels like a present for me, too. Seeing (and hearing!) all those flying geese must have been quite the experience.

  3. The Hollows Tower looks very much in its element. I am in awe of Mrs T and her curtain making (loved the alternative title) as my thriftiness ensures I opt to make them myself, too, but it always involves many naughty words and a few tears. Know youll enjoy the TV. While ours is infinitely smarter than me, it is also great – when I remember how to drive the thing

  4. I’ve dreamt of a TV with a large screen, but it would likely be used to exhibit a slideshow of photos. Paying for access to politics and sports would likely endanger the TV screen in no time from flying objects aimed at it.
    The sound of geese overhead is so thrilling. I never get enough of hearing them.

  5. I like the shots of your misty countryside. I wish we’d have more days like it.
    It sounds like you are going to have a lot of potatoes.
    That’s an amazing number of geese. We sometimes have a dozen or so on the pond near where I work and the honking is often quite loud but even so, I can’t imagine what your day sounded like.

    1. We are hoping to get a good crop of potatoes from the new bed. We are still eating potatoes from the garden at the moment but they are not going to last for long so a bigger crop next year would be welcome.

  6. Knowing the sound, I can almost hear your geese in flight, what an amazing noise! Yay on the new TV. We just got a new one too, I find ours is smarter than us…..ugh, sometimes gotta call our son to outsmart it right back.

  7. It must be quite an experience to see and hear those geese in flying formation.
    I’m most impressed with Mrs Tootlepedal’s new curtains project.
    Glad you new television set arrived promptly – hope it will more than live up to expectations.

  8. We had a new TV for Christmas. After a few weeks of excitement I find I am back to watching repeats and shouting at the news. Old habits die hard. Magnificent misty goose photos, and a good decision on the title – it would definitely have alarmed me.

    1. For the moment at least, the bigger brighter screen made some quite dull programmes on our old telly look much better when reviewed on the new one.

      1. There is a lot to admire on new TVs, it’s just that I’m not a very active viewer – just slump and complain. I have Amazon Prime, despite previous comments – needed it for emergency shopping when I was laid up in autumn and kept it on for Christmas shopping – can also watch it on TV. I saw a good drama series over Christmas but found myself watching too much.

      2. The thing that we are looking forward to most is the Tour de France on the big screen. I have discovered how to mirror my phone on the TV which opens up possibilities.

      3. Yes, it sounds as if it will be impressive. I had to look up about mirroring phones but as all I do with mine is talk or text It’s probably something I don’t need to know.

      4. Re your comment below, I found out how to mirror my iPad recently…had tried to figure it out before to no avail…and it is so easy! Now I can watch all those new gardening shows on HD Clump on the big screen. It’s fabulous.

  9. “I had considered entitling today’s post as ‘It’s curtains for Mrs Tootlepedal’, but I thought that that might unnecessarily alarm patient readers.” You are right, I would have found that alarming, and I am glad you did not. 🙂

    I enjoyed all these misty day photos, especially the impressive numbers of geese in flight. It has been freezing or below freezing a number of mornings now, though the daytime temperatures have been sufficiently warm with at least some bright sun. I watched a junco pester a towhee at the feeder this morning. The towhee was having none of it.

    1. We have been consistently above freezing but we have not been able to enjoy going out very much as it has been incessantly gloomy. A bright frosty day would be welcome.

  10. Wuthering Heights springs to mind with your first misty photo! Love seeing all those geese can just imagine the sound too! The stone viaduct will do nicely as a follow up to the metal one.

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