Today’s guest picture comes from my camera club friend Simon. He has reached the Isle of Lewis on his Highland tour. This is the Dun Carloway Broch, probably constructed in 200 BC. It has walls so thick that a staircase goes up the middle of them.
December started as November finished, with a cold, grey and misty day. It was a little bit warmer than yesterday and Dropscone came round on his bicycle when he brought scones to have with our cups of coffee. Mrs Tootlepedal was still slaving over her spreadsheets.
When Dropscone left, I had a wander round the garden and was surprised to find a few hardy flowers hanging on.
My favourite was a fuchsia that had survived yesterday’s morning chill.
Then I filled the feeder and went inside to have a look out at the birds. There was a light rain falling by this time.
We had another visit from a blue tit.
Its beak is so small that it cannot eat a seed in one go so it has to grab one and take it off to nibble at it elsewhere. They don’t stay long on the feeder as a result and it is always a pleasure to find one there.
The feeder is like a little theatre, full of drama . . .
. . . and usually with some interested onlookers.
As it was almost windless again, I decided to go for a pedal in the afternoon. Mrs Tootlepedal pointed out that it had started to rain again, but as the rain was very light, I thought that I would go regardless. It was about 5°C and I wasn’t too keen to find myself miles out in the country, soaking wet and cold, so I settled for using the three and a half mile stretch up to Wauchope Schoolhouse as an outdoor gym. My plan was to go up and down it as many times as I could before darkness fell. This turned out to be three times, so I went just further than I would have gone if I had pedalled round my familiar Canonbie route.
It was gloomier than than the camera makes it look . . .
. . . but I was well wrapped up and had my bike lights on, so I enjoyed the outing, especially when the rain stopped, which it did every now and again.
I didn’t have an opportunity to shoot any sitting ducks today but I did get my cows in a row.
There were quite a lot of quarry lorries going up and down the road today, so standing in the road to take pictures was not a very good i. These two were the only ones that I took.
When I got in, I had a cup of tea with the last of the unsatisfactory gingerbread, got dry, and then mailed out the Langholm Initiative Newsletter.
We are getting the hang of the air fryer, and we had some well cooked chicken from it for our evening meal garnished with potatoes ‘baked’ in the microwave. The microwaved baked potatoes were very good, though you don’t get the same toasted skin on them that you would get from the oven cooked ones.
In the evening, we watched a very good programme on electric cars. It included the presenter driving an electric car which it was claimed had been driven by Thomas Edison himself more than 100 years ago. The programme ended with an prototype electric car covered in ingenious solar tiles which the inventor claimed could be driven for 10,000 miles in a year without needing external charging. He did add that you would have to live in Spain for that though. Here you would be lucky to get two miles. As it costs 250,000 euros, we are not going to get one.
Once again, I have turned to Mrs Tootlepedal’s birthday flowers to brighten up a dull post.
The flying bird of the day is a sparrow threatening a soggy goldfinch.