Sunday 28 February 2016

Picnic at Montalvo Arts Centre and a Morning Walk With the Family

For lunch today Fraser and Leslie took us to Montalvo Arts Centre which is only a 10 minute drive from their house. It is a Theatre and Arts Centre with both indoor and outdoor theatres and extensive gardens and entry to it is free. We took a picnic and sat in the lovely gardens. February is a very quiet time of the year, although there are shows on in the indoor theatre several times a week all year and in the outdoor theatre during the spring and summer through to autumn.  
Elliot just loves being outdoors and is as good as gold most of the time.  
One of the many features in the garden
The middle gargoyle looks vaguely familiar. 
Elliot and his mum enjoying a seat in the cactus garden

The open air theatre is superb and the kids wanted to be the only ones in the seats. We could make the Buccleuch Centre open air and it would solve the excessive heat we have some evenings 
Last night Fraser and Leslie went out to a birthday party while Gaye and I looked after the kids. They were in bed and fast asleep before 8.00pm which is just as well as Gaye was in bed by 9.00pm and I fell asleep on the settee until 10.00pm when I just had to go to bed. We are just about over out jet lag now and maybe by Monday we will be completely in Pacific time.  
The family joined me on my morning walk this morning. I must admit it is much easier to get the incentive to go for a long walk in the morning when the temperature is in mid 60sF and the chance of rain is nil. 
We headed to Quito Park where the kids enjoyed the swings 
Elliot thinks this is great fun

Arrival in California

We soon get into the way of life in California and this is our first full day here. Today (Saturday) Eleanor is off to tennis lessons in Saratoga. She loves tennis and having had a series of 4 lessons to introduce her to the game is keen to sign up for many more.
Its all about learning to control the ball. 
After the tennis we headed to the Library which is surrounded by an orchard and all the trees are just coming into blossom. 
This was the welcome party that met us on Friday afternoon when we arrived from San Francisco airport. Leslie and the kids with neighbour Kelly and her children plus another wee boy from the street.  
Eleanor had been sent Hannah's hand me down PJs from Auntie Fiona so she had to wear them for bed tonight 
Granny Gaye as popular as ever with her grandchildren 
Elliot loves his food but is a messy eater

Wednesday 10 February 2016

Lockerbie to Hoddam on Annandale Way

A glorious day for a long walk and a welcome back to both Tom and Peter who have both been away with Peter in Switzerland and Tom in Barbados. We had missed the healthy arguments with Tom over the last 4 weeks but he was back in fine form today and we were even arguing before we had reached our start point. Our choice today was part of the Annandale Way from Lockerbie to Hoddam. This is a distance of 7.75 miles but due to 2 wrong turnings we actually walked 10.5 miles.The weather was beautiful although cold at the start and in open areas the wind was biting cold
Burnswark in the distance from a different angle than we mostly see it.
Back on speaking terms again with Burnswark in the background
This is St. Mungo's Church near Kettleholm
These are the ruins of kennels belonging to the ruined big house a couple of hundred yards further along the road. There was no more information available in the walk notes about these buildings so I will do some research and add it to my blog in due course.
The old ruined big house

Peter pointing out Repentance Tower in the distance
Although it is called the Annandale Way we did not see a river until almost the end. This is the River Milk
Which a few hundred yards further down runs into the River Annan

There are several of these wooden sculptures along the bank of the Annan. This one has a Raptor, a Salmon, and an Otter on it.
We soon have to cross the Annan and into the Hoddam Estate. Forgive me for being serious in this photo but Tom was kneeling down to take it and we were not sure if he would get up again. Peter was enjoying the spectacle. 
On the estate there are several of these odd looking pods for the use of visitors.Not as good as a caravan but better than a tent. 
Hoddam Castle 

Thursday 4 February 2016

A Walk to Broomholmshiels on a Sunny Day

They are clearing all the trees from along the old railway line near jenny Noble's walk and what a difference it makes to the views. Just John and I for our Wednesday walk this week as several are still abroad and Tom had a hospital appointment.
The cleared trees 
What a difference it makes when the sun shines. This was our first sunny day of the year and it was a pleasure to be out. 
This view would not have been possible a few weeks ago. 
A deep gully visible for the first time

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