Sunday 26 April 2020

Week 6 in Isolation

While we have been 6 weeks in Isolation the weather has been excellent with only one nighttime shower of rain in all that time and this week has been the warmest so far with glorious sunshine most days.  
I have managed to walk every day in this 6 week period and was averaging about 6 miles a day. Unfortunately I have developed a sore left knee and had to turn back after a few hundred yards this morning as it was too painful. It looks like I will have to rest it this coming week so that will not be much fun but needs must.
When I walked up to the High Mill Bridge last week I was incensed by the amount of litter so I spent some time on Thursday picking it all up on one side of the road. My plan is to spend one day at least each week picking up litter within the town area.  
The path to Jenny Nobles Gill which has become my favourite walk now I am confined to the Langholm area. I do miss going in the car to places within 15 miles of Langholm for a walk as there are so many fantastic walks.
Eck and Anne Christie are walking all 14 of the Langholm Walks paths so I met them on Friday just as they were about  to go round Potholm and Castle Hill. A great effort from both of them as its almost 100 miles of walking.  
It's been a great week for Blossom and the trees beside the Esk are looking wonderful
The Bluebells or Cratties as we call them in Scotland are coming out as well and by next week they will be spectacular. 
More Bluebells but not yet in full bloom
The week started with Gaye baking a 100th Birthday Cake for Tom's Aunt Jean as she was 100 on Monday and of course could not have a proper party but she managed to have a wee function outside her house with a Piper and a few neighbours and of course Tom
On Monday I had a great walk up the Hungry Burn and along the Forestry road to Skippercleuch and I heard what I thought was a dog barking but it turned out to be a Deer and I just caught it on video as it rushed through the young trees. Try and spot it just right of centre starting after about 4 seconds of the video.

Sunday 19 April 2020

Week 5 in Isolation

Today should have been the opening day for Langholm Old Bowling Club. It looks like most of the Bowling season will be cancelled and we can only hope we might get a few games played near the end of the season in August or September but I have my doubts. Our age group who are most of the bowlers may have to stay in Isolation for months. I am very sad about missing the Bowling season as I had my best ever season last year and won the Club Championship. The green is looking good and opening day would have been superb as the weather for the 5 weeks we have been in Isolation has been perfect. We now could do with some rain for both Farmers and Greenkeepers. 
My Saturday walk round Potholm shows just how dry the land has become. February was a record wet month but March and April has had little or no rain so this ploughed and Harrowed field is as dry as a bone and nothing will grow until it rains. 
I am spending a lot of my time in the Sitooterie in the garden playing  Patience and this is a game called 11s which I managed to get out after many hours of failure. 
They leave one tree for the Raptors and this is one of the best in the area on the Potholm walk.
Lambing is in full swing and the dry warm weather certainly has helped them, although the grass needs some rain soon
In California Fraser recruited Elliot and Thomas to work in his Home Apple office so they dressed for the job. Elliot makes sure they have a Coffee break.
Most days on my morning walk I make sure I pass this garden at Wauchope Cottage. Alison helped by husband Tom has a lovely garden that gives me loads of pleasure every time I pass it.
Gaye has spent some time baking this cake for Tom Stothart's cousin Jean who will be 100 on Monday so she will be spending this birthday at home alone but hopefully the neighbours and Tom will be outside helping her to celebrate at a safe distance.
The Bluebells are coming out and I hope to have better photos of them in the next few weeks but these early ones give a taste of what is to come
This shows how low the River Esk is getting 
An unusual Bird Scarer near Potholm Bridge

Sunday 12 April 2020

Week 4 in Isolation

This is the first time I have ever gone a whole month and never been out of Langholm. I can hardly believe the fact that I filled the car with petrol exactly a month ago and have only done about 50 miles. At the same time I drew £30 from the cashline and its still in my wallet as all transactions have been by Apple Pay and I have never been in a situation to pay cash. We live in strange times indeed. This is the carving of an Eagle on the Lodge Walks which I must pass 3 or 4 times a week.  
On the same walk there are loads of these Pheasant Pens for the breeding season. Last year they bred almost 100,000 Pheasants and Partridges but I think there will be a lot less this season and maybe there won't even be a shooting season. I have never been one who actively supported shooting but in a remote rural area like Langholm it has created about 8 full time jobs and from September to February it provides a lot of business to the local hotels
The road to Murtholm
A great display of daffodils beside the Wauchope river and Caroline street
On Monday I visited Langholm Cemetery to pay my respects to my mother and father. I had been thinking about them a lot recently and the effect World War 2 had on them. My mother suffered terribly in Hull during the war and lost one house to a Land Mine and was dug out of an Air Raid Shelter that took a direct hit. 
A lonely Lennie Bell at his regular seat on the Castleholm. We usually walk together on a Monday and Thursday morning but now we walk on our own and occasionally pass each other.  
The path round Jenny Noble's Walk which I have done twice this week

This is the footprint from a Mountain Lion which was discovered by Fraser and my 3 American grandchildren last weekend on their hike in the foothills near their home in Saratoga, California.  
The English Kirk round the Lodge Walks or The Scottish Episcopalian Church to give it its correct title. It has been closed as a church for many years and is now just a store room for Common Riding equipment.

Sunday 5 April 2020

Week Three of Self Isolation

This week I stopped travelling a few miles out of the town to do my morning walk so not many photographs as I am just repeating my local walks that I am sure have been seen many times. This was the A7 a couple of days ago when I walked up to the High Mill Bridge and never saw a vehicle.  
Thank goodness for gardens. In Newcastle my son in law Mario is enjoying a cup of tea in their garden in High Heaton
In Saratoga, California our son Fraser is busy spending time clearing the jungle of Bamboo in his new garden. It is a mammoth job clearing this and many years of neglect by the previous owner, but they will get it all sorted this summer. The house was a huge job as well but that is more or less finished now
The High Mill Bridge over the River Ewes
This is one of my favourite lanes around Langholm as it runs parallel with the A7 on the north side of the town and above the Rugby Club.
Spring is on its way and these Primroses are popping up everywhere. It wont be long until the Bluebells or as we call them in Scotland Cratties come into bloom. 
The Sawmill Bridge at the Kilngreen over the River Ewes. We are now getting into a routine in isolation and life revolves round a morning walk for me and an afternoon walking round the garden for Gaye. We are both reading a lot and I spend a long time on my computer speaking to friends and family. We had a Zoom Conference call with all my walking friends on Friday afternoon and that was great fun. We also play Bingo with Fiona and many of her friends on a Sunday afternoon at 4.30pm. It was even better as I won, but there is no prize just the honour of winning.

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