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Posts Tagged ‘blackbirds’

Today’s guest picture is a cabbage from our daughter Annie’s allotment.  Possibly the best cabbage ever, I think that you will agree.

cabbage

We had a forecast of persistent rain all day so I resolved to put the day to good use by doing things that needed to be done.

It was indeed raining when we got up.

I started off by grasping my umbrella and setting off to the town, taking some of the Archive Group postcards to the paper shop where they kindly sell them for our funds and following that up by a visit to the Archive Centre to collect some more weeks of the data miners’ work.  Then I went down to the Langholm Initiative office to put in a bill for sales of Langholm Archive stuff at Welcome to Langholm.  Here my busy morning was somewhat waylaid by meeting an old friend, Dr Barlow from the Moorland project, whom I hadn’t seen for some time and having a cup of tea and a chat with her.

This meant that the morning was quite well advanced by the time that I got home.  The rain, on the other hand, had retired and it was now a pleasant morning so I walked round the garden.

Both day lilies and lilies that last more than a day are  doing very well.

lilies

New hosta flowers and old lupins added a bit of delicacy.

lupin and hosta

The blackbirds were no more cheerful than they were yesterday.

blackbirds

I walked round to the back of the house and looked at the splendid set of flowers along the dam.

Damside flowers

potentillas and crocosmia

Potentillas and crocosmia

Somehow lunch time slipped past without much happening and I went out to help Mrs Tootlepedal who was attacking the yew with her new secateurs.

They yew is on one side of the pond and she thought that she might have disturbed a frog.  Sometime later I looked at a curious brown spot on the box ball on the other side of the pond.

box ball with frog

She definitely had disturbed a frog.

box ball with frog

I have heard about a bird in the bush but I have never seen a frog in a bush before.

I spent quite a lot of time during the day mounting and framing some photos for a friend in preparation for a camera club exhibition later this month and followed that by selecting and printing a few of my own pictures for the show.

This is a tedious business because trying to pick six or eight pictures out of several hundreds is very hard and when you have picked one, it never seems to print out just as you would like.

And then there was tennis to watch. To celebrate Andy Murray’s victory, Mrs Tootlepedal made some scones and we had them with strawberry jam and some cream, which appeared as if by magic.  Mike Tinker’s scone radar was working well and he arrived in time to have one too.

It is annoying when the forecast rain doesn’t appear after you have made plans for a rainy day but it was a pleasantly warm and still day in the garden so I picked another pound of blackcurrants and took a picture of a rain battered poppy….

poppy

…which still looked quite exciting.

In the evening, as it seemed that the rain had gone for good, I went for a walk round Gaskell’s.

There was loosestrife and a hint of a good blackberry crop to come at Pool Corner…

loosestrife and bramble

…and a beckoning hand to encourage me up the Manse Brae.

willowherb

The verges on the way to the Auld Stane Brig were alive with red campion…

red campion

…and the path through the woods was lined with this flower….

blue flower

…whose name I have forgotten.

I do know that this is St John’s Wort…

St John's Wort

…because kind readers told me so when I saw it on my last walk round Gaskell’s.

But I don’t know what this is…

yellow wildflower

…but I thought that it was well worth a closer look.

yellow wildflower

It looks a bit like birds foot trefoil but it was growing on the end of quite a long stalk.  It might be a yellow vetch of some sort, I suppose.

The willowherb is coming along nicely and the path should soon be ablaze with it.

willowherb

A foxglove did its best to stop me in my tracks.

foxglove

…but I sneaked past.

I was hoping to see some fresh fungi but had to settle for some fine old specimens.

fungi

Gin drinkers will be encouraged to see that it looks as though we should have a good crop of sloes this year.

sloe

When I got back, we had mince and tatties for our tea.  This was made extra good because the tatties were from the garden and they were accompanied by some tiny carrots and three small beetroot from the same source.

Rather unexpectedly, there was still tennis to watch after tea, as the last set of an exciting match between Muller and Nadal went on for over two hours.

We are promised a warm, still and dry day for tomorrow.  I hope that the good forecast for tomorrow is more accurate than the bad forecast for today was, as I intend to go bicycling.

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Today’s guest picture shows Justin half way up the Old Man of Coniston in the Lake District  yesterday.  He was accompanying my brother Andrew to the summit and had paused to admire the view.  My brother took the picture.

Old Man of Coniston

I am going to break with habit and start today’s post with a picture that I took last night after I had posted yesterday’s offering.  Clear nights have been  a rarity lately so this view of the moon just breaking free of a layer of thin cloud was very welcome.

Moon

I have not been sleeping as well as I would like recently so it took me some time to get up and have a late breakfast this morning and Mrs Tootlepedal had long departed to sing with the church choir before I managed to get the fairly speedy bike out and set off for a traditional Sunday morning 40 mile run down the flat roads to Newtown and back.

I was very pleased to see that although Genghis the Grasscutter…

Canonbie by pass

…had slaughtered most of the orchids along the Canonbie by-pass, a few….

orchids

…had escaped his vengeful blades.

There was a westerly wind blowing with quite a bit of bite in it so I had to pay attention to my bicycling and didn’t stop to take any pictures until I paused for a breather and a banana on the bridge at Longtown on my way home.

The River Esk at Longtown

The River Esk at Longtown

When Mrs Tootlepedal and I had driven to Carlisle yesterday, we had noticed that the knapweed on the banks of Aucherivock diversion were beginning to make a show so I stopped just before I got to Langholm today to show the knapweed in action.

knapweed

Auchenrivock diversion wild flowers

Thanks to the hedges on the Brampton road sheltering me from the worst of the crosswind and the kindly wind helping me up the hill on my way home, I managed to knock a few minutes off last Sunday’s time for the same journey and averaged just under 16 mph for the trip, a very good speed for me these days.

When I got home, I took a look round the garden.

blackbird

It seemed to be full of blackbirds.

The roses were as gorgeous as ever…

roses

…and they have been joined by a buddleia…

buddleia

…which I am hoping will attract hordes of butterflies into the garden.

The poppies come and go quickly…

poppy seed head

…but I think that this new pretty little Fuchsia will last a bit longer.

Fuchsia

I went in to have a cup of tea and watch some of a very exciting stage of the Tour de France.  It got a bit too exciting and the strain of watching it got too much for me so I went back out into the garden for another look round and to pick some more blackcurrants.  I am hoping to make blackcurrant jelly if I have the patience to pick enough of them.

Mrs Tootlepedal has a red flowering potentilla which has been a bit disappointing after some early promise but it has just started to flower again.

potentilla

I hope that it continues to make progress.

The nasturtiums need no encouragement.

nasturtiums

More roses caught my eye.

roses

Lilian Austin and the revived Ginger Syllabub

I went back inside just in time to watch a most horrendous crash in the tour as the leaders whizzed down a hill.   They were going down a narrow and twisty road at 70 kph.  On my own ride earlier on I had gone down a wide and straight road at 50 kph and I thought that that was quite scary enough.  These tour cyclists are  very brave men.

I append a quote from Cycling News that gives you an idea of just how hard these fellows are.

 

“X-rays confirmed a non-displaced right clavicle fracture and a non-displaced right acetabulum fracture. Richie also suffered extensive superficial abrasions involving the right side of his body. At this stage, the injuries will not require surgery. The plan is to re-evaluate Richie tomorrow morning and confirm that he is stable enough to be transferred home.”

While the crash was dramatic and the injuries fairly serious, the team remains hopeful that Porte can be back in action before the season is over. If all things go to plan, then they say that he could be racing again by August.

The other person involved in the crash, got back on his bike and finished the race.  When he was asked if he was hurting at all, he replied that he couldn’t tell yet.

I take my hat off to them.

After the stage was over, I went back out to pick a few more blackcurrants and have a last look round the garden.

new white flowers

Two new white flowers

clematis

A clematis with a big smile

astrantia

A fly turning its back on the beautiful centre of an astrantia

bee on ligularia

A bee among the twists and turns of the ligularia

I didn’t have long to look around as it was soon time to get showered and changed, ready to go out for a meal with the ‘old man’ of the Coniston climb, my brother Andrew.  He is on a touring holiday with his wife’s nephew Justin who comes from New Zealand and he kindly took the three of us out to the Douglas Hotel for an excellent meal.    We enjoyed good food and stimulating conversation.  It was interesting to get a New Zealand perspective on our present political situation in the UK.

The non flying bird of the day is one of our resident blackbirds, taking a dim view of life this afternoon.

blackbird

Note: I wish that I had had my flying bird camera to hand during the afternoon when I saw a sparrowhawk arrive in the garden, do a handbrake turn and disappear into the middle of our neighbour’s holly tree.  A very large number of starlings made a hasty exit from the tree in short order.  It was an unusual sight as mostly the sparrowhawks swoop down and pluck their prey  off a feeder, a branch or the ground.  I have never seen one fly into the middle of a thickly leaved tree before.

 

 

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Today’s guest picture, from my younger son Al, shows Matilda having fun in the Art Park yesterday.

Matilda

I had a long day today as Mrs Tootlepedal had decided to go to London to buy some secateurs for the garden.  This involved getting up at 5.30, having a quick breakfast and taking her to catch the early train in Carlisle.

When I got home, I took advantage of a handy bed to do some horizontal reading of the newspapers but then got up and mowed the greenhouse grass and the drying green before shifting a lot of the compost from Bin C into Bin D.

I also took a walk round the garden to see what had been going on while I was away yesterday.

More lilies had come out.

lilies

The one at the back had some nice detail.

lilies

For some reason I thought of Darcy Bussell

A second day lily has joined in the fun.

day lily

The new one took some time during the day to open fully.  When I first saw it, it looked like this…

day lily

Is it all right to come out?

The cardoon is now taller than me and has got several flowers in the making.

CaRDOON

The first of the flocks of phlox have arrived too.

phlox

I couldn’t pass by the roses without a glance.

The queen of Demark and the Wren

Then Dropscone arrived for coffee.  I was shocked when I discovered that he had not brought the traditional Friday treacle scones but more than recovered when he unveiled a big pile of these eponymous treats.

drop scones

They went very well with some strawberry jam.

When he went off to ponder about the state of his golf game, I went out into the garden again and mowed the front lawn, dealt with the last of the logjam….

logjam

…turned some more of the compost and looked at a few more flowers.

clematis

Clematis is everywhere

Bobbie James has flowers in all stages of development.

rose Bobbie james

The last of the pinks is just holding on when all the others have gone.

pinks

And I found that I had been a bit disrespectful about the ageing Ginger Syllabub the other day as new young, vigorous blooms were to be seen today.

Ginger Syllabub

As usual the astrantia was buzzing.

astrantia with bees

You might think that the bees would have taken all the pollen by now but obviously not.

This all made for quite a busy morning and I sat down when I got in, intending to have a bit of a rest and then go out for a walk or a pedal as the mood took me.

Things conspired against me.

First it was Wimbledon, then it was the Tour, then it was Wimbledon and the Tour simultaneously with feverish channel hopping and then, just when I was feeling guilty enough to leap into action, it started to pour with rain.

I took the hint and stayed sat sitting.

I did get out after the rain had stopped but only as far as the compost bins where I finished the transfer from Bin C to Bin D.  No pictures today though as the government has asked me not to put compost bin pictures on the internet for the time being as there is already far too much unstable political excitement about without adding compost into the mix….and I forgot to take any pictures anyway.

I rounded off the garden action by picking some gooseberries and stewing them.  They are delicious with ice cream.

I then adjourned to prepare the Water of Leith post which some of you may have seen and when I looked up, the sun was shining…

delphiniums

The view from the front room window

…but alas, too late to be of practical use.

It was very pleasant though as I drove back down to Carlisle in the late evening sunshine to pick up Mrs Tootlepedal up off the evening train.

She had purchased a very stout pair of secateurs so she felt that her trip to London had been most satisfactory.

I should add that as she had bought the secateurs at the RHS Hampton Court Garden flower show, which she had attended in the company of our daughter Annie and followed that up with a boat trip down the Thames on her way back to London, she felt that the whole thing had been well worth the long day.

I was pleased to see that she had survived the fierce southern heat (28°C or so) and the blazing sunshine.  It was 9°C by the time that we got home.  Different worlds.

On a sad note, I couldn’t show her any of the wonderful display of orchids along the Canonbie by-pass as Genghis the Grasscutter had been along with his mower and mowed them all down.  Tragedy.

The flying bird of the day is a blackbird in the silver pear tree.

blackbird

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Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Susan who started a journey north by going to Kentish Town Station where she was quite surprised to find a garden on the platform.

Kentish Town Station

We had a better day today with just a hint of warmth, although no one would have called a high summer day.

I had to spend two hours in the morning not taking advantage of the good weather while I sat in the Welcome to Langholm office in the Market Place from ten until twelve.  I was able to take advantage of the peace and quiet though (just two visitors to welcome) by getting a couple of weeks of the newspaper index put into the Archive Group database so it wasn’t time wasted.

When I got home, I found that Mrs Tootlepedal was still helping out at the Buccleuch Centre but she was soon back home and out in the garden.

I went out too.

By the front lawn, two blackbirds sat upon a hedge.  One stayed for a picture….

blackbird

…and the other flew off, stood on one leg and gave me a hard stare.

blackbird

The Rosa Wren nearby drew my attention away from the blackbird.

Rosa Wren

It is bursting with blossom.

Rosa Wren

 

I walked through the garden.

In the back border, I noticed a clematis covered up by other plants and Mrs Tootlepedal kindly stepped forward and drew aside the curtain.

Clematis

Its name is Ernest Markham

Beside it, a pink geranium stood out.

geranium

Mrs Tootlepedal has some knapweed in one of the flower beds…

knapweed

…and it is a plant which is popular with bees.

knapweed with bee

High above the knapweed, Bobbie James looks light and airy…

Bobbie James

…while further along the fence, the Ginger Syllabub has entered a rather blowsy period…

ginger syllabub

..and like Blanche Dubois, it is perhaps past its best.

The fancy geums are also coming to an end but they have been very good value and lasted a long time so we say goodbye to them with gratitude.

Geums

After lunch, I was tempted by the Tour on the telly but managed to resist it long enough to get the fairly speedy bike out, pump up the tyres and head off down to Canonbie and back.  A brisk wind kept me concentrating on just cycling for most of the trip but I did stop to admire the bus shelter  at the Hollows…

Bus shelter, Hollows

…and some wild knapweed on the old A7.

Knapweed

Knapweed

It was growing among the meadowsweet in a really rich roadside verge.

Wild flowers in verge Auchenrivock diversion

I kept to a steady speed and had enough energy when I got home to saw a few logs, sieve a couple of buckets of compost, have a shower, see the finish of the Tour stage and be ready for my flute pupil Luke when he arrived for another go at our Haydn sonata.  I had asked him to be sure to find a little time to practise through the week and it turned out that he had.  Nothing could be more satisfactory.

After tea, for which Mrs Tootlepedal had prepared a roasted shoulder of lamb, I went off for more music with Mike and Isabel.  This was to be our last evening of playing for a month so it was especially enjoyable.

The flying bird of the day is still sitting and still giving me a hard stare.

blackbird

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Today’s guest picture is another from the treasure trove of lovely pictures that my sister Mary took on her Lake District holiday.  This one was taken while she was having elevenses in Grange.

Having elevenses sitting outside a cafe in Grange

I have gone well over my self imposed picture limit today for which I apologise as I realise that readers are busy people with lives to lead but on this occasion I was overtaken by sunshine and couldn’t help it.

The morning was cool and breezy so I was happy to get up quite early (for me) and put a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database before breakfast.  After breakfast, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to weed the Kirk bridge with our friend Nancy.

I had a look round the garden after she had gone and spent quite a bit of time trying to get pictures of a bee on the comfrey.

bees

Although it was a rather subdued morning, some plants still managed to produce a bit of  zing.

japanese azalea and rhododendron

candelabra primula

Others were more refined.

lupin

Looking deep into a lupin.

But my favourite shot was this droplet bespangled web between two plants.

raindrops on web

I went down to watch the weeders at work and wielded a hoe myself for a while.  Then it was time to cycle home via the corner shop and make a cup of coffee for Mrs Tootlepedal who soon went off to Hawick for an Embroiderers’ Guild committee meeting.  She knows how to have fun.

After she had gone, I had another look round the garden.

New flowers are arriving and these two show that Mrs Tootlepedal likes flowers that others might keep out of their gardens as weeds.

hawkweed and foxglove

I had my lunch and settled down to some serious music practice.  I must say that trying to get everything sorted for two concerts at the end of the week is making my head hurt a bit but I am sticking in and hope to be reasonably ready when the time comes.

As a break from singing and tootling, I went back into the garden and did some therapeutic mowing, getting the drying green, the greenhouse grass and the front lawn done in one go.

When Mrs Tootlepedal came back from Hawick, it was time for a cup of tea and a biscuit and as we drank and nibbled, we were very entertained by family life outside the kitchen window.

A blackbird was having a really hard time trying to feed a worm to a very large youngster.

blackbird feeding young

The youngster kept dropping the worm and after several fruitless attempts, the mother got fed up and flew off, leaving the youngster looking very disgruntled.

young blackbird

There were families of starlings about too.  Some posing prettily in the elder….

starlings

…and others making a mess of my lawn again.

starlings

I liked the sight of the youngster in the middle getting sound pecking advice from its mother.

After a grey day with occasional rain, things had now brightened up to such an extent that I was compelled to go out for a walk up a hill and as you can’t go for a walk up a hill without taking pictures, this accounts for today’s glut of photos.

Mrs Tootlepedal kindly drove along the road to Whitshiels and from there I walked three and a bit miles to the top of Whita Hill and back down to the town.  The first part of the route took me up a track and across fields with a lot to see as I went….

lichen, bugle, tormentil and an a pretty pick flower

The hillside was speckled with tormentil.

I would have stopped and taken some views at this point had it not been for the looming presence of a herd of cows…..

cows

…who looked curiously at me as I skulked round the edge of their pasture but decided that I was not worth a closer look. Phew.

I got much closer to another local resident.

sheep

Once up the track and across the fields, I joined the road and decided not to take advantage of this bench….

Copshaw road bench

…but pressed on to the White Yett and then up the track to the monument.

Monument

From the top of the hill, I phoned Mrs Tootlepedal to let her know that I had reached that point safely and although she was a mile away in the middle of the town….

Langholm

…I jumped about so vigorously that she could pick me out with the naked eye.

It was a good clear day by now and the view from the top is one of my favourites.

Ewes valley

Looking in the other direction, the view down to the Solway is now interrupted by the new windmills at Gretna.

Gretna Windmills

They were earning their keep in the brisk breeze today.

I had my walking poles with me and they were certainly very helpful in pushing me up the hill but they were even more helpful in stopping me falling down the hill. The track down the front of the hill is quite steep in places.

By the time that I had got down  to the golf course, I was back in hawthorn country…

hawthorns

hawthorns

…and they lined the track back to the town.

Kirk Wynd

A little patch of rhododendrons near the second green on the golf course provided a colourful contrast to the hawthorns.

Golf course rhododendrons

I took a picture of the weed free Kirk Bridge as I passed….

Kirk Bridge

Mrs Tootlepedal and Nancy had done good work this morning.

…and arrived home feeling less tired and a lot more cheerful than I had been when i set out.

I did think about going out again after tea because the evening was so lovely….

Walnut tree

The walnut tree in the garden catching the evening sun

…but the call of music and photo editing kept me at home.

The forecast for tomorrow is for a fine, calm day.  I hope that it is right because it is the last day of the month and I would like to add a few miles to my monthly total for May.

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from my brother, who was on one of his outings.  It shows the Old Bridge at Hereford across the Wye.

Old Bridge at Hereford across the Wye

We had a very pleasant day here today with lots of sunshine but with a wind just brisk enough to make me think of several reasons why going cycling might not be my best option.

It had rained overnight and the plants in the garden were holding on to some of the raindrops.

willow and pulsatilla

Willow and pulsatilla unwilling to let go

There was plenty of buzzing to be heard in the garden…

bees

…and plenty of new flowers for the bees to visit.

Star of Bethlehem, tree peony and iris Siberica

Star of Bethlehem, tree peony and iris Siberica

After coffee, I persuaded Mrs Tootlepedal that a short trip on our bikes up the Wauchope road might be worth while and so we went off to see the bluebells that I had noticed on my bike ride yesterday.  We left our bikes by the side of the road and walked up the hill.  The view down the valley without the bluebells was very good….

Wauchope valley

…but it was even better with bluebells.

Wauchope valley with bluebells

And there was no shortage of bluebells on the hill side for us to enjoy.

Up…

Wauchope valley with bluebells

…down….

Wauchope valley with bluebells

…and along.

Wauchope valley with bluebells

I could have filled a whole post with bluebells.

There weren’t a lot of other flowers among the bluebells but there were some of these tiny yellow flowers.

yellow wild flowers

As we cycled home, I stopped for a look at some fresh hawthorn blossom…

hawthorn

…and an orange tip butterfly which kindly rested for a moment or two on a bluebell beside the road.

orange tip butterfly

After lunch, I mowed the front lawn, chatted to blackbirds…

blackbirds

…who were keen to share the lawn with me, enjoyed a whole hearted tulip…

tulip

…and then went off on an outing with Sandy.

We drove up past the bluebells but the sunlight was in quite the wrong place so we drove back through the town and went to visit the Moorland Project bird hide.  When we arrived, we found that others had beaten us to it so we left the car there and walked down the road…

Rashiel road

…to the banks of the Tarras Water.

Tarras water

We crossed the bridge and walked along the bank of the river for a few hundred yards and stopped to be amazed by a forest of horsetails which Sandy spotted…

horsetails

…growing in a very soggy patch beside the river.

I will have to come back and look at these again as they are interesting plants.

One of them had a friend.

horsetail

We walked back up the hill to the hide and found yet again that someone else had got in before us but this time we went in too and shared the viewing windows.

There was a lot of woodpecker activity and for the first time ever, I saw a woodpecker on the ground pecking away at the grass.  Of course there were plenty of pheasants doing that too.

pheasant and woodpecker

There wasn’t a great deal of other activity so we made for home and had a cup of tea and a couple of mini Jaffa cakes with Mrs Tootlepedal.

Sandy went off and I mowed the middle lawn and had a look round the garden.

Alliums

Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that these are Alliums

The garden was alive with sparrows feeding their young…

sparrows

One even sat on Mrs Tootlepedal’s bicycle handlebars

…but because the feeders are not up, it was hard to be sharp enough to catch them in the act.

I had a last look round…

Garden

…and went in to practice a few songs and look at the many, many pictures which I had taken on my outings and in the garden.  It is very hard not to take too many pictures in spring time.

I noticed that I had seen quite a lot of unfurling ferns here and there during the day…

unfurling ferns

…so I put some together.

I was feeling pretty tired by now and I let the chance of an evening bike ride slip through my fingers and settled for eating spaghetti with tomato sauce cooked by Mrs Tootlepedal and having a little snooze.

It is not a good picture but I feel that a flying bee of the day is the way to end this post.  It was a flying bee sort of day.

flying bee

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The weather was very good yesterday so my sister Mary went down the Thames and paid another visit to Greenwich.  Today’s guest picture shows her view of the planetarium there.

The Planetarium

It was a miserable wet and colourless day here as our mini spell of good new year weather ran into the buffers.   It was hardly worth looking out of the window as there were no birds about and if there had been, they would have been hard to see.

no birds

A typical scene

Luckily we had better things to do than sit at home and feel gloomy so we got into the car and drove to Carlisle.    We were after good things and it wasn’t too long after we arrived there that many good things fell into our shopping bag.  I am talking about dates and prunes, cheese and more cheese, tea leaves and coffee beans.

The rain had stopped by the time we parked below the mediaeval city walls…

Carlisle city walls

We had to stop and watch some blackbirds picking berries off trees in the car park…

blackbirds

…but luckily we didn’t have to stop at the old Sally Port and pay our tithes as the notice on the wall tells us that former visitors had to.

Sally Port

The centre of the town was quiet and the amusements in the Market Place were locked and silent…

Carlisle helter skelter

…but this did mean that the elegant old town hall was easy to see for once.

Carlisle Town hall

As well as edible goodies, we were in the city to pick up our daughter Annie from the London train.

In the car park outside the station, waiting buses reminded us that the line from Carlisle to Settle has still not been fully repaired after a landslide during last winter’s storms.

Buses rail replacement

The winter has been so gentle this year that it is sometimes hard to remember the devastation that was caused in Cumbria a year ago.

The Citadel Station roof has been wrapped up so thoroughly while it is being replaced that it looks like a giant Christmas present.

Carlisle Station

But our train arrived bang on time…

Virgin train on time at Carlisle

…and deposited our daughter safely onto the platform…

Annie and Ally

…where she was warmly greeted by Mrs Tootlepedal.

Although the most valuable package had been picked up, we hadn’t finished our raids on the Carlisle shops yet and with guidance from Annie, we bought a new washing machine and a sound bar for our telly.

Laden with good things we returned home.

While Annie and I had been acquiring the sound bar, Mrs Tootlepedal had been watching long tailed tits in the car park trees.  She had seen a flock of waxwings on a rowan tree in the centre of Edinburgh yesterday so she has seen a lot more interesting birds over the last couple of days than I have.  It’s not fair.

Some shop bought crumpets might have found their way into our bag among the other good things and we enjoyed these with a cup of tea when we got home.  Buying them was certainly a lot easier than making them.

In the evening, Mike and Alison came round and Alison and I had a good music session.  Neither of us has been practising so it was just as well that we were able to stop between movements for a glass of fizzy white wine.

During the evening, the skies above the house were filled with the sounds of geese calling to each other….

It was extremely misty and there were some bright lights on at the sports pitch and we think that the geese had got disorientated and were circling round waiting for the night to end before heading onwards.  It was rather distressing to hear their plaintive calls.

They have been circling and calling for several hours already.

The calling geese are the flying birds of the day.

 

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