How lovely it was today to be able to open up my new French windows to the warmth and sunshine. Michelle came to visit for a couple of hours this morning with her 7-month old baby Edie, so we sat outside on the balcony with a cup of tea watching everybody out on the Green. Makes a change to see so many people out there at once, walking, jogging, running, cycling, playing games or just relaxing. Edie was very well behaved and even fell asleep on my lap for a time while Shell and I talked.
It was past her feed time when Shell thought it was time to go home, and Edie hadn’t made a murmur. I walked along the road with them and after a detour into the Co-op, left them at the end of their road and carried on to Morag’s. She and Mike were working in the garden, well, Mike was clearing out the garage, but they were quite happy to stop and have a cup of tea and a blether.
Then I WAS going to walk home alongside the river, but seeing the daffodils at the far end of the park reminded me that there had been a request for a photo of the Haylodge daffodils on my Peebles blog, so on I went to get some pictures. At the edge of the park there’s a path through woodland that winds alongside the river to Neidpath Castle and beyond. At the beginning of the woodland, the path climbs up a little way over roots of old trees growing over a rocky outcrop. Years ago the water was deep enough at this point for swimming and diving. They called the spot The Dookits from the Scots word dook which means to dip, as in going for a dook or a dip. There was even a diving board fixed to the rocks once, but the river current changed over the years and began to silt up the deep pool, so gradually it became unsafe to dive there. The diving board has been removed but you can still see where it was fixed to the rock, and it’s still called The Dookits here!
Further on at a turn in the river you get the first view of the castle through the trees. It too stands on a rocky outcrop in a good position commanding views up an down the river. It’s quite a sight.
I love this castle!!!
So, time to turn back, and retrace my steps to the park where I crossed the Priorsford footbridge and continued home on the opposite bank. Unfortunately the battery on my camera ran out before I reached town again, though I did manage to get one or two photos before it did. The little white speck near the centre of the picture is the top window of the 18th century Hay Lodge, once the home of the Hay family, and now owned by the National Health Service.
You can imagine I was quite ready for a cold drink when I got home, so I sat out on the balcony once more with a can of fizzy orange, and a book, till the sun disappeared round the other side of the house. Bliss! The forecast is for more of the same tomorrow. I could cope with this for a few months - with rain during the nights sometimes of course!
Talk again soon.