Sometimes you just have to drag yourself out to take the last photo of the year.
This was the last day of 2021. A day for thinking back to those warm sunny summer days, both of them. When the rain didn’t fall incessantly and you could ignore the weatherproofing of the camera and lens combination. When the wind doesn’t blow the flowers around just as you’re about to press the shutter button. Alas, the reality was another dull, dreary grey day. However I did go out dressed for the weather and took some photos, just like most of the other 364.
That was later in the day. Earlier a parcel had arrived that was bound for my old pal Fred who turned 70 on Christmas Day. I parcelled up the tee shirt and drove up to his house which, luckily, is only about ten minutes by car. It’s nearer an hour if you’re walking, but today wasn’t a day for walking. It was tipping it down. Torrential rain in the early morning had given way to just rain by midday. I caught Fred just as he was coming out of his car and handed over the parcel. I was going to head back via Tesco, but Fred told me there was a queue to get in to the carpark that started at the roundabout about 100m away from the actual carpark. I decided to drive home instead. There wasn’t anything on my list that was essential.
Even earlier, just as we were getting up and admiring the beautiful rain, we got a message from Jamie and then from DHL to say that a parcel would be delivered in about half an hour. We quickly dressed and unlocked the front door luckily just in time to collect the big box the man had left on the step. He looked soaked as he waved and got back in his van. The box contained a lovely hamper hand-made from willow and inside was a great selection of chocolates, biscuits jams and wine. Thank you both. That was a lovely surprise on the last day of the year.
I suggested pizza for dinner. Home made pizza. Scamp seemed happy with that. It used to be a tradition, pizza for dinner on Friday. I made the dough with plenty of time to spare for it to rise then cleaned the downstairs toilet, hoovered the downstairs rooms and then went to look at today’s photos. They were a mixed bunch. Some good, some not so good, but one stood out for me. A little dried out weed whose flowers and seeds had gone but the skeleton of the plant remained. It looked just like a Japanese pagoda to me, and that’s what I called it. The Pagoda Plant. It was PoD. The last PoD of 2021.
The pizza was exceptional. By far the best I’ve made for a long, long time. Scamp had Tuna and Sweetcorn I had Anchovies and Tuna. Both were finished with only crumbs left behind.
It’s been another strange year. Lockdowns, vaccinations, boosters and the constant threat of Covid, but it’s the holidays that will stick in my memory for a long time. Especially the first one in July when all three families came together in Cumbria. I’ll also remember climbing the Nine Standards with Jamie, Simonne, Sheila and Vixen. That was a tough one, but I did make it to the top and it was worth it. You were right, Jamie, it was a lot easier going down.
Tomorrow we have no plans. The weather looks like it might be better than today, so maybe a traditional New Year’s Day walk.
Tonight at 4pm Scamp noticed that it wasn’t quite dark outside. There was a little bit of light in the sky. The days ARE getting longer, we’re coming out of the dark.