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.

Wednesday 6 December 2017

A Visit to Sycamore Gap on The Roman Wall

The forecast for today was rain from 1.00pm in the area we were walking near Haltwhistle so we headed off early and had started our walk by 10.00am.  
The start of our walk from Steel Rigg on The Roman Wall involved a couple of steep climbs
The view from the top was spectacular but it was a dark day so the light was very poor for photos.
This is the start of the steep cliffs on the eastern side of the wall
This is the famous Sycamore Gap
Three Merry Men waiting for Robin Hood to appear 
Two of Robin Hood's gang
More cliffs on the eastern side of the wall 
One of the Loughs next to the Wall
A view of The Lough looking from East to West with the Wall at the top of the cliffs
Sycamore Gap from the other side
Todays route although we reduced the walk by about 3 miles to 5 miles in view of the impending rain. We ended up at The Sill which is a new Visitor Centre and Youth Hostel. We had soup and a sandwhich plus a drink and it came to £36 for the 4 of us which we all thought was a bit expensive as it was nice but not very well presented and had no extras.

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