Spicing up my life

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He came across this unusual bee sculpture from Manchester made out of seized knives and firearms. It is touring Derbyshire to promote anti-violence policies.

We had another cold day here, with a little rain in the morning, but it was mostly dry and sometimes bright.

I started the day quite brightly and early myself by taking a second hand microfiche reader which the Archive group has acquired up to the Archive Centre. Nancy and I installed it and switched it on. Our excitement when it sprang into life was tempered by the fact that I had managed to order the wrong lens. The microfiche of the newspaper was very visible but the writing was too small for us to read it easily.

A quick phone call when I got home sorted things out. The supplier is going to send me a selection of lenses so that I can choose the best one for our needs and return the others to him. That is very good service, I thought.

I had a quick look at the birds when the sun came out for a moment. There was a good deal of coming and going . . .

. . . while other birds waited their turn.

Cute birds were available under the feeder . . .

. . . and among the willows.

Then Sandy arrived for coffee, and in spite of a rain shower which came with him, his presence warmed up a cold day.

As it was still wet when he left, I turned my hand to having another go at making gingerbread using the ‘steam bake’ function of the air fryer. I tried to learn from the mistakes of my first effort, and the result was a definite improvement. I put plenty of ginger in which helped.

Then the sun came out again so I had another look at the birds. Sparrows made shapes . . .

. . . a greenfinch took in some rays . . .

. . . and the feeder got quite busy . . .

. . . which led to newcomers being shouted at.

After a plate of Mrs Tootlepedal’s excellent ham broth along with some cheese and sourdough bread for lunch, I got my road bike out and took advantage of some more sunshine to go for a pedal up the Wauchope road. I didn’t want to go along the thorn covered back roads and risk getting punctures in two bikes at the same time, and I didn’t fancy cycling ten miles up the main road straight into a 12 mph chilly northerly wind, so I took the easy way out, and did my twenty miles in three trips to Wauchope Schoolhouse and back in the shelter of the valley.

Some might think that this would make for a boring ride but I enjoyed it. Changing direction every three and a half miles gives you a new light to look at, a new feel to the ride, and a rest from either the head wind or the gentle hill.

I didn’t stop often, as my feet get cold if I stand about for any length of time, but I did take a couple of pictures on my way.

As I approached Langholm for the third and last time, I could see the low sunshine lighting up Whita Hill while I was pedalling in the shadows . . .

. . . and the illuminated hill made a grand backdrop for the town as I came round Pool Corner.

With a bit of luck, I may be able to get out on my bike again tomorrow as the much forecast freezing nights are not due to start for another day. In the meantime, I found two surviving roses in the garden and a couple of hopefuls who may not have enough time left.

There are plenty of green shoots about which offer the gardener a reminder of the pleasures of the spring to come.

Mike Tinker dropped in for a cup of tea and reported that his bad back is improving. It is good to see him getting about after a spell of forced inactivity. We hope to see him and his wife Alison on Friday. There has not been enough recorder playing lately.

The day wound down quietly, with a zoom with my siblings and phone calls to both our sons.

The flying bird of the day is a sparrow.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

22 thoughts on “Spicing up my life

  1. We’re just settling into winter weather so your green shoots seem an impossibility! The thought of new growth is quite heartening though.

      1. Surprisingly, no. It’s getting a bit nippy now though, so we’re reminded of where we live 🙂

  2. I enjoyed your selection of photos, especially the late afternoon angled golden light and dark clouds. Your remaining flowers are still attempting to live on even as the new shoots of spring poke their heads above the soil. We should see daffodils shoots here soon.

    It was a cold foggy day in the lower 30s here. I got out for a walk anyway.

  3. Yes, I loved seeing the robin, and it was a lovely clear photo. I’m surprised to see spring bulbs coming up already, although ours started much earlier this year too. I like comparing gardening in the north and southern hemisphere, and I feel I get a ”double dip” at spring and summer.

  4. A very special bee and above all, I hope the message is clear enough. There is more and more violance in our world and it must be stopped !

  5. All the birds were very photogenic! I wish there was no need for bee sculptures and the like but as there is, that is a clever way to get a sober message across

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