Wednesday 24 August 2016

A Trip to Perth

We were invited to spend a couple of days in Perth with Dinah Morren an old friend of Gaye's family in Dalbeattie. On the Sunday we took a long drive up through the Glens to Braemar and Ballater. It was a beautiful journey but a bit on the long side and I was very tired after we got back to Perth. We covered over 200 miles on very quiet rural roads.

Gaye and Dinah in her lovely garden on the banks of the Tay in Perth.
These are some of the beautiful houses on the banks of the Tay. Dinah's house is in the grounds of this big house on the right. 
On Sunday we visited the Black Watch Museum in Perth where this Weeping Window of Poppies is on display.
The little summer house by the river on the right of this picture was a lovely place to sit in the morning and read my paper.
One of the two main bridges over the Tay

Thursday 18 August 2016

An Aborted Walk to Minska Wind Farm

Tom decided last night that today's walk would be to the Minska Wind Farm as he has never been to it despite passing it many times. We took the Lockerbie road and parked the car at the gated entrance to the service road at Paddockhole. We climbed the gate and walked steadily up the hill for about a mile when a farmer a few hundred yards away working in a field cutting hay started shouting at us. The gist of his conversation was that he would not allow us to walk any further. There was cattle on the road but we intended to give them a wide berth. We decided to avoid conflict and return down the road to access the wind farm from the other side of the hill. 
What a glorious day but our problems were about to start
The wind farm on the skyline and the angry farmer in the field to the left. The cattle would not have been a problem as we would have given them a wide berth. I wanted to continue but agreed eventually that it was better to return to the car and access the hilltop from the other side. 
We headed over to Minska farm and parked up at the entrance to the farm road leaving the car in what we thought was a very safe parking place. 
The entrance to the farm is very nice with these Eagle statues at the road end.
Tom was very confident that we would soon make it to the top of the hill. Prior to this we had a very close call on a single track road with another car coming the opposite way too fast. Tom almost ended up in the ditch and stalled the car in the process. It would not start but lucky for us we were on a downhill bit of the road so we managed a jumpstart and got going again. Life is never dull with Tom taking us in his car.
This is a close as we got to the wind farm as we were stopped by a very abusive farmer.
This is the farmer in question and I know his name but wont publish it until I have checked if some of his statements have been checked out with the Dumfries & Galloway Council Access Officer. He was very abusive and told us if we continued up the road he could not guarantee the safety of our car as there were loads of vandals in the area and it would certainly be damaged when we returned. This was a definite threat to us and rather than cause further conflict we decided to turn back. He offered us an alternative walk but we decided to head to Winterhope for a cup of tea with Wattie Rutherford.

Wednesday 10 August 2016

My Birthday Walk round Castle Loch

This was my postponed Birthday Walk and I am delighted to report that we had a complete full house of friends walking. I chose Castle Loch at Lochmaben as it was easier for Tom who is recovering from surgery. The walk is about 5.5 miles and was only completed last year but they have done a good job with it and it is excellent. The Edinburgh contingent arrived at Lockerbie station and we all arrived at the starting lay bye within a minute of each other. 
Sister and Brother Elizabeth and Martin
A family of Cormorants in the trees
Bowman as always is the centre of attention. He loves walking with us all and takes his place at the front  and looks round every now and again to make sure we are all following. 
We stopped to take a look at Lochmaben Castle
The Castle was build by Edward 1 of England  around 1300 
Ruger and Bowman enjoying a romp as we crossed a field 
Tom at the front with David did very well after his recent surgery but was very tired by the time we finished. It was great to have him back walking with us. After the walk we headed to The Townhead Hotel in Lockerbie where we had an excellent meal. 

Thursday 4 August 2016

A Lemon Common Riding

Marti Borthwick is presented with the Hound Trail Cup with David Stevenson looking on. 
David prepares to hand the Flag to Cornet Tweddle
The Barley Banna at the head of the parade
The Front Three 
My good friend Lennie Bell came over specially to welcome Carlo & Sidne Lemon. This is his 62nd year in the Pipe Band as a Drummer 
Ray Elliot cries The Langholm Fair
The Thistle in front of the new logo on the old EWM shop. 
Sidne and Spot the Hound Trail winner 
Wattie's daughter Alison sits on his knee for the first time in many years with Jean looking on in the background in our Sitooterie when the Cornet and horsemen were up the hill.
Relaxing in the garden before going up for the 2nd Fair Crying 
Highland Dancers at the Sports Field
A chance to be photographed with the Crown at the end of a perfect day. Carlo & Sidne were completely overwhelmed by the number of people in the town for the Common Riding and also with the huge number of people who stopped to speak to them, especially to ask if their lost bags had arrived yet. I am pleased to say they arrived at 5.00pm that day.

Lindisfarne Castle

As the causeway did not close until 1.00pm we had plenty of time after breakfast to walk to Lindisfarne Castle on a beautiful warm morning. Sidne does love her castles and this may be very small but it is one of the nicest we have seen and the views over Holy Isle and the Northumberland coast are just superb.
The Castle courtyard
Looking out over the fields is this lovely walled garden 
The small dining area in the kitchen
The view of Holy Isle harbour and village from the Castle
One of the four poster beds
The main hall looks more like a corridor but the floor is very attractive
The main dining area
At the entrance to the Castle they have maid full use of the old upturned boats. Holy Isle is the only place I have seen boats used in this way.

Islands & Castles

We arrived on Holy Isle on Sunday evening as soon as the causeway was open and checked into our B & B and headed to The Ship Inn for a nice meal. The weather was superb and Carlo & Sidne just loved the rural charm of the island.
The tide not fully out yet. We never saw the island when the tide was high as we were either away somewhere or it was in the middle of the night.
St.Mary's Church 
Enjoying a seat in the community garden
Gaye looking very relaxed and enjoying herself. 

 Our visit on Monday gave the girls a chance to sit on the throne. Sidne looks more like a Queen than Gaye as she has a regal look about her. 
The superb view of the Northumberland Coast from the ramparts of Bamburgh Castle
From Bamburgh we headed to Alnwick Castle Gardens where the main feature is the splendid fountains 
Back on Holy Isle on Monday evening I went for a walk to St.Cuthberts Island where this photos taken showing the village on Holy Isle
St. Cuthberts Cross on his small island

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