Sunday, 5 April 2020

Week Three of Self Isolation

This week I stopped travelling a few miles out of the town to do my morning walk so not many photographs as I am just repeating my local walks that I am sure have been seen many times. This was the A7 a couple of days ago when I walked up to the High Mill Bridge and never saw a vehicle.  
Thank goodness for gardens. In Newcastle my son in law Mario is enjoying a cup of tea in their garden in High Heaton
In Saratoga, California our son Fraser is busy spending time clearing the jungle of Bamboo in his new garden. It is a mammoth job clearing this and many years of neglect by the previous owner, but they will get it all sorted this summer. The house was a huge job as well but that is more or less finished now
The High Mill Bridge over the River Ewes
This is one of my favourite lanes around Langholm as it runs parallel with the A7 on the north side of the town and above the Rugby Club.
Spring is on its way and these Primroses are popping up everywhere. It wont be long until the Bluebells or as we call them in Scotland Cratties come into bloom. 
The Sawmill Bridge at the Kilngreen over the River Ewes. We are now getting into a routine in isolation and life revolves round a morning walk for me and an afternoon walking round the garden for Gaye. We are both reading a lot and I spend a long time on my computer speaking to friends and family. We had a Zoom Conference call with all my walking friends on Friday afternoon and that was great fun. We also play Bingo with Fiona and many of her friends on a Sunday afternoon at 4.30pm. It was even better as I won, but there is no prize just the honour of winning.

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Second Week of Self Isolation

Our second week of self isolation started on Sunday with a Mothers Day afternoon tea provided by The Buccleuch Centre and paid for by Fiona. It was excellent and we enjoyed it at home.
At the start of the week I was still continuing to travel a few miles for my morning walk and this was near Rowanburn 
I have met very few people on my morning walks and those I do meet we keep a good distance apart. On this walk at Rowanburn I met an old friend George Steele and his daughter Georgia. George was in The Boys Brigade for many years when I was Captain and we had many enjoyable times together on BB Camps and sporting occasions. 
Because the weather has been so good on Wednesday Gaye and I sat in the Sitooterie in the garden and played 7 Card Rummy. Gaye has never played it before but she managed to beat me. It was great fun and I got my revenge on Saturday when we played again in the Conservatory at Birkwood 
Todays walk was round Jenny Nobles and it was nice and dry but a biting cold wind. I had to take my regular photo from The Skippers Bridge and will show the various changes in the season there during our enforced isolation.  
Canonbie Kirk from the banks of the Esk 
This pair followed me thinking they were going to be fed 
Daffodils at Lands End on the outskirts of Langholm. From Tuesday I have now stopped travelling out of town for my walks so this coming week I will try and do a different walk each day and yet never be more than about a mile and a half from Langholm

Friday, 20 March 2020

Our First Week of Self Isolation

On Tuesday we started our enforced Isolation on instructions of the Government. I still plan to walk every day but will just do it in the remote areas round Langholm of which there are plenty. We visited Rowanburn, Terras Valley, and Westerhall Estate. The weather has been excellent and Gaye joined me on two out of the four walking trips. She met the Tin Man at Rowanburn.
A flood damaged bridge on the Terras river near Cooms Farm
Westerkirk Parish Church
Some of the Daffodils on Westerhall Estate. They will be at their best in another week or so
The remotest part of Terras Valley with Lodgegill in the background. The house was destroyed by fire a few years ago but The Langholm Moor Purchase Group would like to turn it into a Bunkhouse and Outdoor Adventure Centre if they succeed in raising the money to purchase the 10,000 acres 
The garden of Westerhall House
One of several statues in the grounds of the estate
The river Tarras
Rowanburnhead Farm
A tree carving in the grounds of Westerhall estate 
The upper stretch of the river Tarras 
A Toad laying its spawn in a pond at the quarry on the Newcastleton road a couple of miles out of Langholm

Friday, 13 March 2020

A Day out in Ae Village

I originally posted this blog on Wednesday afternoon after our walk but for some reason several of the photographs did not upload. I deleted the original blog and have reposted the photographs but wont write much of the blog. This was a lovely walk at 7 Stanes in Ae Village.
This is the prickliest tree I have seen on our walks 
A lovely fancy seat
The Bridge over the river Ae
A lovely couple 
Sandria and Elizabeth enjoying a good catch up
A large wind farm from the highest point of our walk
There is an exhibition of old forestry ploughs with some of them almost 100 years old.
It was a lovely walk and we managed to avoid most of the rain with it only raining on the last mile. We finished with a lovely lunch h in the cafe at the bike shop. The food was excellent.

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Back at Stobs Camp After Eight Years

Our Wednesday Walk this week headed to Stobs camp near Hawick. We met John in Hawick and then the 3 of us  took the Newcastleton road to the Camp. On the entrance to the camp there is this memorial and if you look closely it is for the 1914-1919 War. John who is the font of all knowledge tells me it was because for another year after the 14-18 World War 1 we had troops in Russia fighting against the Communist uprising.
Tom and John at the entrance to Stobs Camp. The 10,000 acre Stobs Estate was purchased by the War Office in 1902 as a military training ground. It became a Prisoner of War camp with about 6000 German troops interred there during World War One and a smaller number during World War Two. After the War it was a resettlement camp for Polish Forces before their repatriation and then a training camp for the Territorial Army until it closed in 1959.
There used to be huts there and I think the mounds would protect them from the weather. It must have been a terrible place to live for any length of time never mind for 4 years.
The largest of the 2 reservoirs further up the valley
This is the smaller of the two reservoirs

From the highest point of our walk the view accross the Border Hills is spectacular with the Eildons in the distance. We finished our walk with a nice lunch in The Damascus Drum.

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Sharon's First Visit to Silloth

Sharon has a day of work on a Thursday and she asked me to take her on walks at places she has never been before. This will become a monthly excursion during the summer. On this occasion her son Luke joined us and Gaye also came to explore the shops of Silloth. Neither Sharon or Luke had ever been to Silloth before so it was good that the weather was so sunny. It was also very cold but we were well wrapped up so not a problem. This is a fabulous statue on the seafront and is very popular for people to stop and sit beside the man and his dog. 
A very friendly passer by took this photo of the 3 of us.
This is taken at Grune Point at the farthest point of the spit of land going into the Solway Firth. The masts in the background are at Anthorn on the Cumbria Coast and are special  VLF and LF radio transmitters operated by Babcock International.
Sharon loves taking the obligatory selfie. We finished our walk with a lovely lunch in Mrs. Wilsons Cafe in Silloth. This was in the old Bank Building and Mrs. Wilson was the famous singer Kathleen Ferrier who married the Bank Manager in Silloth in 1933. It is rumoured that the marriage was never consummated and they parted in 1940 when he left to join the army. Gaye had a grand time visiting Silloth's Charity Shops and came away with some bargains.

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

River Annan Walk to Newbie and the Solway Coast

Annan Harbour with the only boats on show a couple of ageing wrecks just like Peter and Tom
Crossing the River Annan on the pedestrian bridge below the main Annan Bridge
The River Annan from near Cochran Boilers Factory 
The view from the pedestrian bridge towards the main bridge and the town.
The offices of Cochran Boilers. I started dealing with them in 1984 when they had about 750 employees and that will be reduced to less than 200 now. They were a great customer and in my time with Atlasair, Transglobal, Wilson Logistics, and EMS Cargo (Carlisle) Ltd we must have shipped thousands of consignments of Boiler Spares to every corner of the world. The most challenging was Ships Boiler Spares in Transit when a vessel with a Cochran Boiler was arriving at a port in some obscure part of the world and we had a window 48-72 hours to get the spare parts for it's boiler there before it moved on to its next port of call. They were an absolute pleasure to deal with and I have such happy memories with dealing them and especially their Shipping Manager Mario Motroni who was a real gentleman. 
A short seat beside the sea but we did not linger as it was a cold wind. Tom is back wearing his tea cosy hat, which we thought we had seen the last of.

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