Warming up

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. Like us, he had a chilly but bright day today and he liked this sunny church which he saw on his walk.

With our gas boiler out of action, the house cooled down a lot overnight and it was a rather miserable 10°C downstairs when we got up. It was -8° outside. We have other sources of heat though and we got the house back up to 15° by lunchtime. Margaret came round and had coffee, with all three of us sitting with coats and hats on.

After coffee, I went up to the High Street for supplies and before I left, I noticed that the starlings are enjoying the trimmed walnut tree as a place of rest.

There was an interesting icicle along the dam, the church looked pretty in the frost and the Wauchope had completely frozen over above and below the Park Brig.

When I got home, I filled the feeders and watched the birds for a while.

In the garden there is now so much frost that it is sometimes hard to see what is underneath all the sparkle.

There are some sizeable crystals about

Where the sun strikes, the frost gives way gracefully. On the shady side, all is frosty. The chicken has a split personality.

In spite of the attempts to heat the house, I was a bit chilly after lunch, so I went out for a walk up a hill to generate a bit of internal warmth. I took the track up Warbla, and looking back, I could see that I had a tall friend with me.

I pressed on up the track to generate a bit of heat and soon found myself near the top of the hill on a cloudless afternoon.

I did pause when I got to the top and I had a good look round. My phone had a look round too.

I carried on over the hill and walked down across the rough ground towards the track to Skippers Bridge. If I was walking back up towards the summit, a power line would guide me towards the mast at the top of the hill.

I avoided tripping or slipping on my way down the hill and soon found myself back in the shadow of the valley as the sun lit up Whita Hill in the background . . .

. . . and when I got to Skippers Bridge, I stopped to take another little gallery of pictures with my camera. It was a chilly scene with the river almost frozen right across below the bridge.

We are not far from the shortest day so I was happy to spot a sign of good things to come as I walked back along the Murtholm track.

I looked around again when I got to the park.

I had taken a picture of the war memorial when I had been out shopping at midday, and I took another as I walked past it now. I was in shadows both times and using the same camera with the same settings, so I was surprised by how different the light was.

I was almost home when I noticed a satellite dish and a window casting reflections on the house opposite.

My walk had warmed me up very well and the house had got a little warmer too in my absence so I felt quite snug as I had a cup of tea and a ginger biscuit with Mrs Tootlepedal. She had been busy writing up minutes while I was out.

I had gone online yesterday to try to book an engineer to come and fix our boiler, and had only managed to get an appointment a week away, so this morning we tried the telephone. Mrs Tootlepedal did the initial work very patiently and got through to the help line. After a longish wait, we actually found a real person to talk to. By pleading old age, we managed to get the appointment put forward to this Friday, and so we hope that we will only have one more full day without hot water and a warm house.

We had a very cheerful Zoom with my brother and sisters, avoiding all mention of the political situation, and followed that up with a nourishing evening meal of beef stew and potatoes.

It is back down to -9°C as I write this, so if you want to know what a millisecond is, it will be the amount of time between the moment when I take off my day clothes and the moment when I put on my night clothes in our unheated room upstairs.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

34 thoughts on “Warming up

  1. The close-up of the crystals is wonderful!

    It’s odd to read that your current temps are colder than ours.

  2. Its ridiculous that it should take so long to get your boiler looked at; Im guessing theres no one local who does that sort of thing. Keep warm and keep the photos coming…very pretty. Your last comment had me sniggering😁

    1. We probably could have got a local plumber in more quickly, but we have a paid for maintenance contract with a big firm so we didn’t want to pay twice.

  3. I wish you both warmth and a rapid boiler repair! Your pictures convey the cold – as well as the beauty of the cold – very well.

  4. Oh my, oh my! So glad someone is coming in on Friday to fix your boiler. Never have I seen frost like that. Is it common in your area? If so, what causes it? It can’t just be cold weather, or we would have it here. Perhaps it’s the moisture in the air? Or the lack thereof in our case?

    1. It doesn’t feel very moist but it must have been to create all the frosting. This is an unusually cold spell for us as we have had mild winters lately, but we have had colder spells quite often.

  5. I hope your boiler can be repaired soon…. not the moment for technical failure !
    I enjoyed all you winter shots, the ice cristals and even your long fellow on the road 😉
    Stay warm and healthy…. Warm greets.

  6. You and your camera are making the most of the frosty conditions. I loved the picture of the ice crystals. Commiserations on the boiler breakdown.

  7. Plumbers and heating contractors are extremely busy at present, I believe. So many people have delayed putting their heating on this year because of the cost of fuel and are now finding that they should have had their boilers serviced in the autumn. My mother has just had her kitchen sink waste pipe unblocked after waiting ten days for the plumber to turn up. I am glad you have other means of heating your home but I don’t envy you your freezing bathroom and bedroom! The photo of the ice crystals is beautiful.

    1. We have kept up with the maintenance as we have an annual contract. The present boiler problem is the result of poor installation when it was first put in. We will know better when we get our next boiler.

  8. Love the photos of the war memorial angel and trees and all the other frosty, icy photos too. We haven’t any water…pipes froze…being unfrozen as I write this! Hope you have an electric blanket!

      1. The pipes didn’t burst but the large filter container on our bore hole exploded!! No one hurt but great expense buying new one to be fitted when it thaws!!

      2. Thank you for asking. …still no water but there is a thaw setting in so hopefully start of next week water will start flowing again!

  9. The frost photos are amazing. But small consolation I imagine without heat. I still have vivid memories of days and nights without heat, resorting to a space heater to at least warm up the room the birds inhabit. And now that the heat has gotten so expensive I have turned down the thermostat a couple degrees but it’s still so lovely to hear – and feel – it come back on again. I wish you a successful repair and warmth very soon.

  10. Cloudless, cold and very beautiful. I enjoyed the frosty landscape, but am sorry to hear you and Derrick are having heating problems. I hope your system can be repaired quickly.

  11. This brings back memories of 14 years of life in a little house (shack or hovel) that we could not get above 50 degrees F when it was wintry outside. Fingerless gloves helped, also putting a lamp with a red lightbulb in it over the computer keyboard. It was heaven when we moved to a cozy warm house in 2010. I recently read an article about how living in that kind of cold house, as poor people might tend to do, is actually bad for one’s health longterm. And here I had thought it made us hardier!

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