Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony in East Wemyss. He wondered for a moment today if he was seeing a comet streaking across the sky, but it was nothing more exciting than an aeroplane catching the evening light.

We had another ten-ten morning here today, 10°C inside the house and -10° outside. A blackbird at breakfast time was obviously feeling the cold too.

In an effort to generate some much needed hot air, we invited Dropscone, Sandy and Margaret all to come for coffee, and they warmed the day up for us. We may think that we are hard done by with no central heating or hot water, but Dropscone had a sadder story to tell. His boiler had suffered from the same fault as ours, and when he had got it repaired and restored the heat to his house, it was revealed that a pipe in his attic had frozen while the boiler was off and had split. He discovered this when the heat returned, the pipe unfroze, and water flooded through his ceiling. He was remarkably cheerful, all things considered.

After coffee, I had a look at the birds. A shy blue tit turned away from the camera . . .

. . . while many greenfinches and some sparrows and chaffinches bustled about.

As it was another lovely sunny day, I had a frosty walk round the garden . . .

. . . found some sparrows round a small patch of open water in the frozen dam . . .

. . . sawed up some of the walnut branches for firewood, and then went back inside for lunch.

Mrs Tootlepedal had made a warming ham broth which went down well.

After lunch, I had another look at the birds . . .

. . . and then went for a walk. Mrs Tootlepedal was going to go to a sewing meeting in a warm place but got a message at the last minute to say that the warm place had got no heating either. She stayed in and did more work on her minutes.

I decided that getting up into the sunshine was a priority so I headed up the Kirk Wynd towards the monument. I was very happy to get out of the shadows of the valley and on to the open hill.

I didn’t go straight up the hill to the monument, thinking that the easier diagonal route along the old road . . .

. . . and then up the track to the summit would be preferable. Once again, the going was generally good but there were icy patches . . .

. . . which had to be treated with respect.

When I got to the track up to the monument, I found that that tall fellow was following me about again.

It was a very clear day, and I could look behind me down into the nearby Ewes’s valley . . .

. . . and I could also look thirty miles ahead, right across the Solwaybank wind farm and most of eastern Dumfriesshire, to Criffel on the far side of the Nith estuary.

When I got to the monument . . .

I had a look around . . .

. . . and then I came down the hill by way of the mountain bike track.

This was not the best idea that I have had this week. I was descending into the setting sun which made looking ahead tricky at times. The track was very icy in parts and I had to make diversions through the heather, and even where the track was not icy, it was frosty and uneven and care needed to be taken. All this was too much for my legs after quite a bit of recent walking, and they made it clear that the sooner that I got to the bottom of the hill, the better it would be from their point of view.

Even when I got to the new forestry track . . .

. . .it seemed steeper than it was when I went down it a few days ago, and it really was much more icy at the bottom. I was very pleased when I finally reached tarmac and a level surface back to the town.

I fancied that an illuminated Santa was laughing at me ghoulishly when I passed . . .

. . . and even the Parish Church was sighing as I neared home.

A cup of tea and a ginger biscuit were never more welcome than when I got home today. I did manage to summon up some energy afterwards to put a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database before our evening meal.

The forecast suggests that after another cold night, the temperature might finally creep above zero tomorrow, though there is a chance of us getting some snow as it does so. It will be the end of our sunny spell too, so even if my legs were complaining a bit, I am very pleased to have made good use of the lovely weather today.

The flying bird of the day is a sparrow.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

33 thoughts on “Dislegsia

  1. I was going to ask if you had checked your pipes, too! Poor Dropscone indeed! I enjoyed seeing all your beautiful photos from your walk and I’m glad you got safely back home without a slip.

  2. I like the light in your shot of the wind turbines. It looks desolate there in that shot.
    I hope Dropscone has good insurance that will pay for the cleanup. Burst ceiling pipes can make quite a mess.
    We also have a chance of snow tomorrow. They say we might see about a foot.
    I hope your legs will feel better.

    1. We might get a little snow tomorrow evening but it won’t be anything like a foot. That would be a massive amount for us. I hope you are well prepared and I’m sure you are.

      1. Yes, you have to prepared to go through a New Hampshire winter. There is a lot you have to think about and plan for in advance.
        A foot of snow is manageable but any more than that can be difficult. Luckily this time the forecasters were far off the mark and last time I checked we barely had two inches.

  3. You’re all having quite the time in Langholm. Burst pipes are no joke, and you will be heartily sick of a cold house. I hope the plumber works magic and you get some temperate weather soon.

    1. The plumber worked his magic. In truth, we could have worked the magic ourselves but it would have invalidated our contract with the maintenance people. Our temperature is due to go up to 11 degrees shortly but only for a very short time.

  4. Oh no, I have to go back and get caught up with your heating woes! It also looks like you have the weather we are expecting very shortly. It looks so much better, though, where you are in that paradise of beautiful views. The blackbird photo is priceless. I hope you do get a warmup soon. Isn’t it amazing how one gets so acclimated to the cold that one or two degrees makes a difference…

  5. That was quite the walk. Sounds as though those legs need a rest. And another heating system in the fritz? Do you suppose some evil cold demon is at work?

  6. I take my hat off to you for braving such cold weather and icy conditions to walk in the hills and provide us with the pleasure of seeing those winter views.

    1. With the sun out and the underfoot going remaining remarkably unslippery, it has been a pleasure to be to be out on the hills and didn’t require much bravery.

  7. The cash register is ringing full bore for the heating repairmen this winter. Dropscone’s situation does not sound like much fun. Many years back we had a field spigot split during one very cold winter, and a frozen pipe during another bad winter.

  8. I hope you get your heat and hot water working soon. I was without heat for nearly a week several winters ago, and my little electric heater could only heat up one room. It was not fun. But I eventually got a new furnace and it has worked well since then.

    It has been snowy and slippery here and I worried about falling during a couple of my recent walks. I’m glad you are being careful, at least as much as possible once you are out and away and trying to get safely home again.

    Looking at the captions of your pictures taken from the monument, I was reminded of the traditional song “Over the hills and far away”. The song speaks of King George, and it made me wonder about King Charles III – considering that Charles I and Charles II both had seeming strong ties to Scotland (as I recall).

    1. We had three electric heaters going which was very expensive but did keep us fairly warm some of the time. I do take as much care as possible when I am out walking but there is never a guarantee that you won’t trip up so I’m feeling very lucky at the moment. I don’t think that our present king has a particularly strong relationship with Scotland. He went to school here but he didn’t enjoy it much

  9. Thanks again for the beautiful winter impressions but most of all… I hope that you don’t suffer the same problem as Dropscone … So trie to keep warm and DRY !

  10. Beautiful pictures, you did well to keep upright on that treacherous climb.
    Sympathies to Dropscone for having to cope with a ceiling leak on top of everything else. Hope the temperatures will rise and you won’t have too much snow.

  11. Sight of the Criffel reminds me of my time at St Josephs College in the mid 1950s.(Where the Criffel meets the sea) was part of the opening school song. Cannot remember if I ever climbed up the hill.

  12. Great views across the winter landscape. It looked a very tricky icy footpath …good job getting safely down it and home for that ginger biscuit!

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