Wednesday, 1 February 2023

Afternoon Tea in Canonbie

Our plan today was to start later so we could have afternoon tea at Canonbie Kirk. On the second half of the walk we came across this huge puddle in the road so 5 minutes working with our sticks ensured a little stream was created and the water drained away. Reminded me of doing that when I was a boy and it was just as much fun today.
The Fairly Loup. In full flow today but 2 years ago it disappeared into a hole in the ground a few yards above this and then came out 300 yards further down.
We sat in the new seat just across from the waterfall.
The seat was placed by the family of Stella Geddes who was a good friend of both Tom and myself.
This seat is next to the bridge that goes over the old railway and I found out this afternoon on Facebook it was built and placed there by Tony Mattinson. It's in a very appropriate place as it overlooks where the old Coal Mine used to be at Rowanburn and brings back thoughts of my father working there when he left school at 14 and spent 6 months in his first job working underground. He hated it and left to become a Groom with The Buccleuch Family at Langholm Lodge. He worked with horses for the next 20 years until the 2nd World War.
The offending puddle now getting smaller and if we had stayed another 5 minutes it would have gone completely. We completed our walk by returning to my car at Canonbie Kirk just as they opened up for Afternoon Tea. It was excellent and only cost £6.40 for both of us. Great value and excellent home baking. 



 



Wednesday, 25 January 2023

Wilton Lodge Park, Hawick


This weeks Wednesday Walk with Tom took us to Hawick for a walk through Wilton Park and along the Teviot River. This is a lovely Bandstand in the park and in the summer months there are regular concerts held there. The park is really nice and a lovely place to have a walk.

After walking round the perimeter of the park we headed up the road out of the park and along the Teviot river. I was disappointed at the amount of empty beer cans beside the road. It really needs a good clean up. 

While on our walk we met Bobby and Shirley Froud. Shirley of course is from Langholm. Bobby and I used to play Squash against each other when he played for Hawick and I played for Langholm. We had a grand blether before we headed on to the Pavilion Cafe for our lunch.

The River Teviot from one of the several bridges leading to Wilton Park

The Museum in the park. It was closed much to Tom's annoyance and my pleasure as I have been in it before and its very nice but having seen it once I am happy to leave it at that.

The War memorial which strangely mentions the 1914-19 War rather than 14-18.

The statue commemorating Bill McLaren the BBC Rugby commentator.

The statue to Steve Hislop the Motorbike Racing Driver who was tragedy killed in 2003. 

A lovely fountain in front of the museum

These silhouettes commemorate the Battle of Passchendaele and were placed here in 2017 to mark the centenary of the Battle. It was a most enjoyable 4 mile walk followed by a grand lunch and of course a good blether with Bobby.

Wednesday, 11 January 2023

Rolling Hills Middle School. California.


 I understand that some of my Granddaughter Eleanor's friends from Rolling Hills Middle School in Saratoga, California follow my blog. These are some of the Feral Goats that are found on the Hills above Langholm and are favourites of Eleanor and her brothers. Mind you if they give her any nasty comments I will send the Goats to Butt them in the Butt. Eleanor is such a lovely girl and we love her very much and she loves Scotland, which is the most beautiful country in the world. 

Wednesday, 4 January 2023

My Favourite Photos of 2022

A walk with Lennie Bell in January.
On 5th January on a lovely cold day Tom and I walked to upper Stennieswater. 
 
I love to see the first Snowdrops of the year and the North Lodge is the place to see them.
Our granddaughter in California at a school party.
After the Snowdrops we have the Daffodils and this was in mid March between the two bridges
One of my favourite places is Kippford and on 27th March we had a lovely days walking over there.
In April we held our 50th Wedding Anniversary get together in The Buccleuch Centre. It was 4 months early but the only time all the Graham family would be together since the last time 4 years ago. This is my good friends who joined us for the event.
The Graham family minus Thomas who was poorly. 
Our 5 Grandchildren, Hannah, Eleanor, Leo, Thomas, and Elliot.
As Thomas missed the family photo on the day of the event this was from the previous day. He had just burnt himself out with travel plus 3 games of Football the previous day and after sleeping most of the day he was fighting fit again. He scored 3 goals in the Football matches and thoroughly enjoyed himself.
In May we visited the Outer Hebrides for a week with John and Sandria and stayed in a cottage on North Uist. Just a couple of miles from the cottage I saw my first Corncrake. I have heard them many times on my Island trips but never seen one so this was a very lucky photograph.
On the Wednesday we visited Vatersay, Barra, Eriskay, South Uist, Benbecula, and a couple of the smaller islands and this is East Beach on Vatersay.
This is Barra airport on the beach. I flew into here many years ago. It is probably one of the most spectacular airports in the world and on this day there were loads of visitors waiting for the daily flight from Glasgow.
In June Hannah and Leo came to Langholm for a few days and spent a day on Tarras Valley Nature Reserve planting some trees with me. They loved doing it and hopefully will be back in 2023 to plant some more.
Langholm Walks Group raised almost £6,000 to purchase new seats on various Langholm Walks routes. We placed 2 of these picnic tables on TVNR. The seats were sponsored by Niall and Elspeth Weatherstone and Niall is photographed here with the TVNR Team, Jenny, Angela, and Kat.
In July Gaye and I were treated to our lunch in Newcastle in a lovely Cafe on the Tyne
After an 18 month closure of Gaskell's Walk Langholm Walks Group managed to get a diversion put in place a few days before Common Riding. This was it but it was not exactly what we wanted and took a further few months to get sorted. Fortunately D & G Council accepted our proposals and ensured that work was done to ensure the safety of walkers by putting in a barrier on the steep slope and they paid for everything as it is part of the Core Path network.

In August we were treated to lunch in St. Boswells by John and Sandria to celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary. 
A lovely lunch with good friends
September was a very busy month for us with a visit to South Wales, Isle of Coll and then we flew to California for a month with Fraser and family. This is Gaye and Leslie on their way to a shopping trip.
One of the nicest beaches on Coll. We were there for 3 days as guests of Bob and Sheila Milne. Bob was there for 2 weeks as a Locum Minister so we stayed in the old Manse. We had a superb few days on this lovely island.
This is Sammy the Golden Retriever. I walked with him almost every day during our month long holiday and we became such good friends. He is such a loveable rogue.
The Graham family in the garden on a lovely evening before we left for home the following day.
The Graham girls, Gaye, Leslie, and Eleanor off on another shopping trip. In our month is California we never had a cloud in the sky.
Fraser with Gaye in the Big Tree State Park. We stayed in a log cabin for a couple of nights and thoroughly enjoyed our time in the mountains.
We had only been back a couple of weeks when Fraser sent us this photograph of Thomas as his team had won a big Soccer tournament in California over a weekend when he played 4 games. He just loves his Soccer and also plays Baseball. During the winter months skiing is his activity and even although he is only 11 he manages the Black adult runs as he is such a good skier.
Another of the 9 seats provided by Langholm Walks Group with this one on Tarras Valley Nature Reserve  near the bridge. John came down for a couple of days and enjoyed his walk on TVNR.

The family with us for Christmas and Hannah and Leo showing how much they have grown. Both of them are now taller than Gaye. It has been a wonderful year with holidays in Wales, Outer and Inner Hebrides and then a month in California. Unfortunately it ended with both Gaye and I taking ill with Covid just 2 weeks before Christmas but we managed to be clear of it just in time for the family coming.







Our First Wednesday Walk of 2023

For our first Wednesday Walk of 2023 Tom and I headed to Rowanburn and a walk along the old railway and then a loop to Rowanburnhead. This is one of my favourite trees on the lane above Rowanburnhead.
As we walked along the old railway line from Rowanburn I had a feeling we were being followed so looked round to see a flock of sheep following us. 
The lane above Rowanburnhead with my tree in the distance

 Tom trying to compete with Lang Sandy at Rowanburn. We had a nice 4 mile walk and ended up at The Buccleuch Centre afterwards for Coffee and Cake (Tom). My Achilles Tendonitis is much better and as long as I don't overdo it I can avoid it being painful. Hopefully it will eventually not be a problem but I do have to be careful at the moment. 

Sunday, 1 January 2023

New Years Day Walk

My good friends have met for many years on New Years Day to join the runners for the New Years Day run. We of course just walk part of the route which up until today was round Potholm a distance of 5 miles. Today we decided that we would just do a 3 mile walk starting at 10.00am and finishing in the Market place at 11.00am and we timed it to perfection arriving just as the clock was chiming. Our excuse for the shorter walk is that 2 of the group and now Octogenarians and another 2 are recovering from various injuries. Its a fairly poor excuse but we are sticking to it. I was impressed with another octogenarian Tom Hutton who walked the full 8 mile route and arrived back at the same time as us. This is Tom Stothart with Wattie Borthwick at the end of the walk in the Market Place. Wattie of course ran the route and is to be much admired having had several operations on his hips or knees in the last few years and yet is still running. We used to play in the same Squash team together. 
The winning male runner James Taylor from Annan who did it in a time of 60 minutes and 12 seconds. He is being presented with his Bottle of Whisky by Mike Tinker who started this event in 1998.
The winning female runner Marie Marshall also from Annan who managed the same time as the winning male as they ran together. The whisky is presented by Charlie Graham who helped Mike run the event for many years.
Myself with David Stevenson, Wattie Borthwick, and Mikes son in law Lorne from Linlithgow
Mike with his daughter Elizabeth who has taken over the running of the event.
The group of walkers on the Duchess Bridge
 

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