Sunday 30 December 2018

My Favourite Photos from 2018

Our year started with some bad weather in February and on my daily walk for a few weeks I was met most days by this tame Pheasant who walked this stretch of the riverside with me. Hannah and Leo named him after a Dutch Speed Skater but I seem to have forgotten his name. 
A visit to Eskrigg to see the Red Squirrels is always an enjoyable trip

Our year always starts with the Whisky Walk round Potholm on New Years Day
In February we moved out to Birkwood to enable work to commence on Ardlui. We were away for about 2 months while our house was being altered and at times we wondered if it was all with it, but it eventually proved to be a great success.
More snow in March and a trip to the Bird Feeders for Bob, Nancy and myself to top up the feeders. It was tough going in places.
Our roof at Ardlui being replaced. It was at this time I wondered if it would ever come together.
There is nothing like a good walk with this pair of rogues to brighten your day. 
At Easter we headed off to Barcelona for a couple of weeks with the family. It turned out to be a bit of a disaster with 8 out of the 11 of us taking ill with a bug. Despite that we had some great times together and these 5 got on extremely well together. 
The Graham & Menger Clan
Ardlui all finished
My Birthday Walk at Lauder
In June we had a Thank You party for all the Tradesmen involved in the Ardlui alterations. They made a fantastic job of it and we were delighted with the finished job.  
In June I met up with Mark Beaumont at the MTAF. I have followed his adventures for many years.
In June we all went to Embleton in Northumberland for our annual Walking Week. The weather was glorious.
A visit to Howick Hall Gardens near Embleton in Northumberland
Embleton Beach at 6.30am on a beautiful June morning. None of my walking colleagues would get up early to join me on this lovely walk at high tide so they missed out on a magical experience. An hour later the north sea Haar came in and the sun disappeared for several hours.
July and we were so proud of Fiona who graduated at Newcastle University and can now be called Dr. Menger. 
Dr. Menger with Mum and Daughter
Common Riding week and I had help at the Bird Feeders 
A Lovely walk near Haltwhistle
A grand afternoon out at Comlongen to celebrate Margaret Rodgers 70th Birthday 
I had been taking a photograph of this tree on the Castleholm every month but just a week after this photo was taken it was split in half during a storm and has now been completely felled. 
In September I was invited to The Scottish parliament on behalf of Paths for All
In September Gaye and I visited the Slate Islands and this is Gaye on Easdale  
A cold autumnal day near Alston
My good friend John with his new granddaughter Charlotte
Of our five Grandchildren I think Tommy is the most adventurous and he just loves being in the big outdoors. This is him on a Kayak expedition in Northern California
Hannah will be 13 on 2nd January and my how she is growing and will soon be as tall as Granny Gaye.

Wednesday 12 December 2018

Tom's Birthday Walk at St. Boswells

Today was Tom's Birthday Walk and he choose a walk at St. Boswells along the river Tweed. We have done sections of this walk in the past but this was the first time we had done this exact circuit. The light was not good but it was dry and we did enjoy a grand walk in excellent company. When we walk in a group of 8 you find yourself walking with different people at each section of the walk and if the path is broad sometimes all 8 together. The time passes to quickly and the humour and craic is just great. Tom had as usual just given everybody 4 toffees so I was eating my first one. For the benefit of our friends in Mendon Utah from L to R the names are Gavin, Tom, Martin, John, Ken, Sandria, Elizabeth, and last but not least Peter. Missing from our regular Birthday walkers are David, Niall, and Elspeth who are in warmer countries at the moment. 
The obligatory stop beside the Golf Course next to the river Tweed
Trees without their leaves are always very interesting at this time of the year.

This embankment of the Tweed suffers from serious erosion
This is a Caul for an old mill now converted into a lovely house. We can often see salmon running up the Caul but none today.
Back walking on the opposite bank of the river along a lovely lane
Tom and Martin have been best friends of about 70 years. Martin deserves a medal. 
The gate to Nowhere 
The footbridge over the Tweed with the Temple on the hill in the background 
A lone Salmon Fisherman not having much luck
When you walk in this area the Eildon Hills dominate the skyline and over the years I have photographed them from every angle. It really is a lovely place to walk. 
Tom admiring one of the statues at The Temple of the Muses. It is a tribute to James Thomson a Borders Poet who loved the natural world. 
We ended our walk at The Mainstream Trading Company for lunch. This has just been voted the best small shop in Britain. It is a Bookshop, Deli, and Cafe and we enjoyed a lovely lunch there and then several of the group purchased a book for Christmas.
This will be our last walk of 2018 as we are all busy before Christmas and then we meet up again at Langholm for a Hogmanay dinner and a New Year Day walk.
This week I had a lovely e mail from Fraser's In-Laws Carlo and Sidne in Mendon, Utah, USA. They remarked on how much they enjoyed my blog and what excellent friends we have. I therefore post this photograph to remind them of July 2016 and our trip to The Kelpies and loads of other places in Scotland and England. Haste ye Back Carlo and Sidne there are loads more of wonderful places to see in the UK and we would love you to come over again soon. Have a lovely Christmas and all the best for 2019. 

Wednesday 5 December 2018

Another Wet Wednesday and a Landslip From 3 Years Ago

It is 3 weeks since I last blogged as we have had wet Wednesdays on our last 2 walks and it was just not worth taking photographs. It was very wet this morning so we cancelled our Canonbie walk and headed down to inspect the Landslip on the B3618 which is the longest B road in Britain. It stretches from The Skippers Bridge to Heddon on the Wall near Newcastle. The landslip is a mile from the Skippers Bridge and the landslip happened exactly 3 years ago today when storm Desmond hit the country.  
The D & G Council have at last sorted a contractor to repair the road at a cost in excess of £1.5 Million. My own opinion is that the road has been closed for 3 years and only a few people have been slightly inconvenienced by it so that money could have been used for much more worthy projects in the area. The only reason it is being repaired is because the road will act as an emergency road if the A7 is ever closed, and I suppose that is a good enough reason.
Trees are being felled and at last work is commencing.
It is the last road in the country affected by Storm Desmond to be still closed. 

On our way home we passed by our friend Bruce's old home which has been up for sale and hopefully is now sold. Bruce still owns the adjoining land and decided to build a shed on it to store some effects from the house. He might eventually build on his land but at the speed he takes to make decisions I wouldn't bank on it. We finished our 5.5 mile walk with a nice lunch at Whitshiels  Cafe where we are always made very welcome.

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