Just to remind us of how lucky we are to get generally kindly weather here, Lucie from Brandon in Manitoba has sent me today’s guest picture. They get five months of winter there, and visits from rather ferocious wild turkeys too. You can see one on her neighbour’s doorstep if you look closely.
We had a kindly day here today, and although it was freezing when we woke up . . .
. . . and still nippy in the shade when I went off to have coffee with Sandy . . .
. . . it was a perfect way to greet the first day of meteorological spring . . .
. . . even if the real first day of spring is still three weeks away at the vernal equinox.
I was pleased to find Sandy doing well after his second operation, and in remarkably good spirits considering that he has had to start recuperating all over again, just as he had recovered from his first operation. I take my hat off to his fortitude.
When I got home, I made some sausage rolls, using a roll of ready made puff pastry. I haven’t used one of these before, and I was really pleased how the finished products turned out. They went down well for lunch.
After lunch, I looked at the birds for a short while. There were a few chaffinches and siskins about . . .
. . . but traffic was generally very light.
As the wind was light too, it was agreed that this was too good a day not to go for a cycle ride, so I set off on my bike, while the ladies of the house went for an extensive walk round the town, visiting two play parks and the corner shop.
In spite of the sun, it was far from warm so I was well wrapped up as I pedalled over the hill at Mosspaul and down the other side to Teviothead. This is an out and back route designed to get easier as it goes along and that was born out by my times, 51 minutes for the first ten miles, 42 minutes for the next ten miles and 34 minutes for the final ten. Perfect route choice.
I stopped for a few views on my way up the road . . .
Those who followed my last ride up this road will doubtless remember the monument erected in memory of Henry Scott Riddell, the local minister and poet. I called in at his church today . . .
. . . and if I stood in the right place, zoomed out fully, and looked carefully past the church and through the trees on the hill, I could just see his monument too.
I am curious about the reasoning behind the pruning of the trees in front of the church.
As I went back to the main road, I passed the village hall.
The sun had sunk behind the hills to my right as I cycled back down the Ewes valley, and I was happy that I had not gone any further as it was getting decidedly cold in the shade. To underline this point, I was once again peppered with salt by a passing gritter lorry.
When I got home, I saw that in spite of the gathering chill, the crocuses in our garden had obviously enjoyed the sunny day . . .
. . . and a loud buzzing drew my attention to a tree bumble bee. Oddly, it was more interested in the hedge than in the open crocuses.
The daffodils are increasing every day, it seems.
I went in and found that the ladies had enjoyed their walk (and playing on the swings). Evie helped me make a brioche loaf in the breadmaker, and then we combined to make some batter for pancakes for our evening meal as it was Shrove Tuesday today.
Mrs Tootlepedal made spag bol and pancakes for our evening meal, while Evie enjoyed playing our keyboard, a little dancing and several jigsaw puzzles.
As it looks likely that we are going to be back to grey and rainy weather, it was good that we all managed to get out today.
The flying bird of the day is a siskin.