Today’s bright guest picture comes from my friend Simon. After sampling the sunshine on England’s northern fells last week, he went off to Europe to see what they could do there this week.
We had another grey day here, slightly warmer than yesterday but much windier, especially in the afternoon. Mrs Tootlepedal went off on Langholm Initiative business after breakfast, and I needed no excuse to idle around reading the papers and doing the crossword while she was gone.
I got dressed in time for a cup of coffee with her when she got back, and then I finished off putting a week of the local newspaper index for 1902 into the Archive Group database.
Mrs Tootlepedal went off to do some shopping, and I shifted about half of the compost in Bin B into Bin C. It has rotted down quite well, and we should be well supplied with garden compost when the gardening season starts again.
It was a very quiet day for birds in the garden. A few chaffinches were all that there were to be seen.
In the afternoon, Mrs Tootlepedal got back to work on her curtains, and I went for a walk. I was going to drive up the Wauchope road to try out a new route, but in the nick of time, I remembered that the road is closed to cars, and chose a familiar route round the town instead.
I started by walking up to the Stubholm, and then down to the Murtholm. I had met a man on my last walk along here who told me that he was going to clear the trees from the path along the river back to the park. For one reason or another, this has not happened . . .
. . . and the path is still thoroughly blocked.
I took pictures of ash buds . . .
. . . and a friendly horse . . .
. . . as I went along to Skippers Bridge. I just managed to restrain myself from adding to the many Skippers Bridge pictures on this blog, mainly because the light was terrible.
I walked along the road beside the river until I came to the path from Jenny Noble’s Gill up to the oak woods.
Even in the dim light, the oak trees in the wood were impressive.
When I got to the Round House, I took the track up the hillside to the stile over the wall just below the quarry.
One of the benefits of our comparatively small but steep hills is that it doesn’t take you long to get an airy feeling . . .
. . . and I could soon look back down on the track on the left of the river that I was walking on thirty minutes earlier.
The climb to stile from the Round House is only half a mile, but it gains 450ft so I was happy to rest under a pylon for a moment to get a breather on my way up.
There was a brisk wind helping me up the hill, and it made me very glad that I hadn’t gone for a cycle ride. The stile, which marked the highest point of my walk, was welcome . . .
. . . as was the bench on the other side where I took time out to enjoy the views (which were too gloomy to photograph) and have a snack. Fortified by my snack, and being given a hefty shove in the back by the wind, I ignored my original plan to come home by the Kirk Wynd, and walked along the track past Whita Well and the golf course, and continued along the grassy path . . .
. . . which took me to my favourite set of pines at the road above Hillhead.
I paid the price for this extension, as the walk back down to Whitshiels and the main road was a battle into a now ferocious wind which was accompanied by a light drizzle. However, unlike cycling where pedalling into a strong wind is deadening, walking into a brisk breeze is quite invigorating, and I was in fine form when I got down the comparative shelter of the valley below.
Although there was still half an hour to go before official sunset, it was getting very dark by the time that I got home. I was a bit disappointed at the poor light on my walk because the sun had come out just before I left. However, as the sunny interval only lasted twelve seconds, I suppose that I should have known better.
We are promised slightly longer sunny intervals tomorrow.
Mrs Tootlepedal came down from her curtain making, and after restorative tea and ginger cake, we watched Monty Don’s programme on Greek gardens on our new TV. It was quite impressive. I wonder how long it will take before have got so used to the new screen that we will take it for granted.
We had a sibling Zoom in the early evening where the photographic contributions from my brother and sisters included early flowering garden plants, an Anglo-Saxon cross, a Franz Hals portrait and some incomprehensible modern art. Our zooms are rarely dull.
Waiting around for a flying bird to turn up on cue was not a profitable occupation today, so the flying bird of the day is not flying.