Wednesday, 17 January 2018

No Snow at Gretna

Only 1 photo today as my camera has packed up and then my phone run out of power 2 minutes after this photo was taken. Tom reckoned we should head for Longtown as there would be no snow there and in Langholm there was at least 3" last night. On our way there we decided to go to Gretna instead and by the time we arrived the snow had gone but was replaced by heavy rain and a biting cold wind. We did manage to do 6 miles but it was not the best walk we have done but its still a walk and we finished with afternoon coffee and cake at Canonbie Community Cafe so that was very acceptable as was the price of £5 for both of us. My new cheap pocket camera arrives tomorrow so hopefully there should be plenty of photographs again soon. 

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

A Misty Day in Newcastleton

It was just Peter and myself today for our Wednesday Walk and the weather was pretty dismal although it was not raining. This photo in the forest at Dykecrofts gives an idea what the visibility was like. On a good day this walk is spectacular with some excellent views of the Liddel valley. 
North of Newcastleton after walking through the forrest section this is the old bridge over the Liddel.
And just a little bit further along is the bridge over the Hermitage water just before it joins the Liddel. 
This pair of Shetland ponies don't mind the weather. 
Walking back into Copshaw along the old Waverley railway line it backs onto this house with the spectacular Pod in the garden which I think belongs to artist Julie Dumbarton. 
Back in Newcastleton work is going on at a pace on the new filling station which will be unmanned but will allow locals and visitors to get petrol at all hours. 
We managed to do a short detour to find a Geocache at the local cemetery.
Dykecroft Circular which on a good day would be an excellent walk.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Foiled by Floods in Carlisle

Our first Wednesday walk of 2018 and our plan to walk at Newcastleton was changed as the weather forecast was awful. The forecast for Carlisle was much better with no rain until mid afternoon so we headed there for a walk along the river Eden.  
When we came to the river Petteril a tributary of the Eden the flood water was almost lapping over the bridge. 
The water was still rising so within another 30 minutes we reckoned this bridge would be flooded.  
Although the Eden had not burst its banks there was a lot of flooding and the paths were very muddy

Another bridge over the Old Eden burn and this was very precarious with broken slats in the background 
Our walk came to a sudden stop when we came to the this flooded area and there was no way round it. This is the Collar Beck which usually can be easily stepped over but at this point it was over 2 feet deep and too wide to jump. 
Our way back again took us over the Petteril and a bridge that regularly causes problems according to Tom from his regular reading of the Cumberland News as when in flood it builds up against the bridge and floods onto the road. 
Our way back to The Sands Centre took us past the entrance to Brunton Park the home of Carlisle United and the statue of Hugh McLlmoyle which was erected in July 2005 to commemorate the clubs centenary.  
Just past the Carlisle United ground is Carlisle Squash Club where our friend Ronnie Bell is club coach and manager. Ronnie used to play for Langholm in the mid/late 80s as our no 1 and was sponsored by Edinburgh Woollen Mill. The Carlise club has had tough times over the last 12 years having been badly flooded twice but they are now doing very well and have over 600 members and a superb fitness centre there as well. It was great to see him and we enjoyed a very pleasurable half hour looking round the club and reminiscing about old times. 
This is a photograph from those days with Peter and myself in the top photo of the 1st Team winning the Border League and Tom in the bottom photo of the 2nd Team who also won the Reserve League in the same year. 

Sunday, 31 December 2017

My favourites photographs of 2017

New Years day 2017 and our annual walk round Potholm to finish in the Market Place at 11.00am to coincide with the finish of the Whisky run. Bowman as usual keeps us in hand. 
This was not taken by me as it was on a beach in Barbados in January. Best friends Tom and David have both had a tough year health wise but are now on the mend and can look forward to 2018 and hopefully no more problems.

This is my granddaughter Eleanor (far right) with her friends in San Jose, California and they look smashing in their new hair styles and each of them is a different hair colour.
Hannah and Leo with Granny Gaye the night before we depart to San Jose in March.

And this is the welcome party waiting for us on our arrival in San Jose
Bridal Veil waterfall in Yosemite National Park early April. We spent a few days here in a lovely cabin and the weather was beautiful
This is Mirror Lake in Yosemite with Tommy and Eleanor.
In May we went with John and Sandria to Orkney to celebrate both John and I becoming 70 this year. John and I have made it 12 year challenge to visit all of Scotland's inhabited islands and this island of North Ronaldsay took us to our 50th Island. Needless to say it will take much longer than 12 years to complete our challenge as we still have about another 30 to visit and most of these are in very remote places. 
This is us on Rousay on a glorious spring day with virtually no wind. 
Gaye with the beautiful Bay of Isbister on the Orkney mainland in the background
The Last of the Summer Wine Walkers on a June day trip on the Carlisle to Settle railway line including a 5 mile walk at Ribblehead viaduct. A splendid day. 
Our annual last week of June walking and socialising holiday this time in Galloway where we stayed in a fantastic house beside a Loch at Colvend near Rockcliffe. It was a most enjoyable week but the weather could have been better.
Fiona and Hannah on a visit to Alison and Tom Hutton in their beautiful garden when they were over for Common Riding.
While Fiona and the kids were in Langholm for the Common Riding Hannah asked if we could go up onto the Langholm Moor to find the wild goats. She borrowed my camera and this was her best effort. It was accepted and displayed on the BBC Scotland website as a photo of the week and also featured in the Langholm paper. 
Hannah just loved dogs so a walk with Bowman and Ruger who belong to David was a great event for her and she was in her element looking after them. This was Tom's first walk after his operation and he was exhausted after it but did enjoy himself. 
We were delighted to get places in the draw to walk the Queensferry Bridge on 2nd September. It was a beautiful day and the organisation of the event was superb. 
This photo was featured together with an article in The Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser. 
In October Alix Stevenson and I were guests of Rick and Cat while they ringed these barn Owl chicks before they flew the nest. This was the second nest of the adults and it has been a great year for Raptors on the Langholm Moor with 37 young Hen Harriers flown and almost 50 Barn Owls

Halloween and our 3 American grandchildren were dressed for Trick and Treat
During our holiday in the South Lakes with Fiona and the kids Leo proved to be an excellent archer scoring a total of 7 points in this go and coming very close to a bullseye.
And as my final photo of the year the family photograph Fraser used for his Christmas Greeting card. It has been a fabulous year despite the poor weather this summer but we still managed some great holidays and family visits to both California and Newcastle. Next spring we will all be together near Barcelona for 2 weeks and it will be the first time all the family have been together since Common Riding in 2014 before Elliot was born. It will be wonderful to have all our 5 grandchildren together and I am sure they will give us some very happy memories.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

A Walk in Penton

It had originally only been Tom and myself that were going on this Penton walk but John's travel arrangements to Cambridgeshire were delayed due to snow in the Midlands so we enjoyed his company for another day. We parked at Pentonbridge Inn as we were going to have a bar lunch there at the end of our walk. The weather was excellent made even better by the thought of all the bad weather south of us in the Midlands.
We have only once before walked in this area. Today we stuck to the roads but for a later date we plan to use many of the lanes and paths between the roads.
Visibility was perfect today and Whita and the monument is the best feature but we could also see Criffel and Burnswark when we looked to the west. 
There were loads of streams and burns with this one called Andrew's Syke the nicest.
This Holly tree has the most berries I have seen in a long time.
I often wondered what Santa does after Christmas but it would appear he drives a digger.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Tom's 75th Birthday Walk in Holyrood Park

Tom celebrates his three quarters century on Sunday so he choose Edinburgh for his Birthday Walk as he was unable to attend John's one in Edinburgh in September when he was recovering from his operation. He is now back to almost full fitness and managing to do even the more difficult walks. The weather forecast last night for Edinburgh was awful and we decided to review the situation this morning at 9.00am with everybody expecting cancellation. The forecast this morning was a bit better so we decided to go for it and were very lucky with only one shower of rain during the walk and most of this was when we were walking through the Innocent Railway Tunnel. There were only 5 of us today and none of the ladies but it was an excellent walk with a nice meal at the end in The Sheep Heid Pub in Duddingston
Duddingston Loch and the starting point of our walk
Tom and Martin best pals for almost 65 years.
At the gates of Holyrood Palace just outside the Scottish Parliament. Just as I stood in the middle of the road to take this photo I was nearly knocked over by an Edinburgh Bus. 
The entrance to The Innocent Railway Tunnel.
Salisbury Crags in the background and the sun actually came out for a few minutes
Duddingston Loch from much higher up 
This is a special platform outside Duddingston Kirk to enable riders to mount heir horses.

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