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Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Taking the air

Went for a walk yesterday!  Actually I had two walks!  The first was a wander along the path by the Cuddy Burn, after a singing lesson!  Did I tell you I joined a Gaelic choir last week? Well, anyway, I did, and finding my voice was quite rusty, I decided I would try and find a singing teacher to help me do something to improve it.  I found Fay – a former musicals and music hall singer, who has sung  and acted with all the Scottish “greats”, and who lives just along the road from my old house – she moved into her house about the time I was moving out of mine!!

So after a very enjoyable lesson, during which Fay said some very complimentary, and rather unexpected things about my voice, and  then a visit with my late friend Vina’s husband, I took advantage of the  path by the burn-side home.  It’s such a pretty walkway and has been upgraded considerably since I used to walk it most days on my way home from work.

peebles cuddy walk Alongside the burn, between the path and the road is a swampy area that gets flooded every time the river rises.  At the moment the water is just where it should be, but there are little pools in the swamp, growing pretty clumps of wild flowers, like the marsh marigiolds in this picture.  Looks like there might be some flags (yellow iris) coming on too!

There haven’t been many ducklings on Cuddy for ages – the ducks seem to adapt to the fact that the heron and the crows prey on them, and have less ducklings every year.  peebles cuddy ducklings2It used to be common to see several large families - ten and more youngsters – but not now.  However, there was just one small family – of five – exploring among the grasses at the edge of the water yesterday.  Here, mother duck is keeping three of her brood close by, and looking out for her two stragglers who have fallen behind.  Sorry, it’s a bit fuzzy!

peebles cuddy walk2

A bit further down the path, the main part of town comes into view, but for a bit longer we can enjoy the “out in the country” feel of the last half mile or so.

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I hadn’t long had my tea by the time Morag called.  Would I fancy a walk?  Rapidly becoming a slave to the computer I said yes, and agreed to meet her in just a few minutes.  We started along the High Street, but soon cut off to reach Tweed Green and beyond it the river.  Crossing Priorsford foot bridge, we began to head upriver with the view over to the Parish Church and Tweed Bridge in front of us.  peebles spring evening walk with heron!The sun was in our faces so a photo was not going to turn out well, but after we had walked under the big bridge we were able to look back across the cauld (weir) to the swimming pool and the church behind.  If you look carefully, about a third of the way across the cauld you should see the heron patiently waiting for its unsuspecting supper to aswim by!  Here he is closer up.peebles spring evening walk with heron2!

 

We sat on a bench and watched him for a while, enjoying the evening sun lighting up the church tower and the tops of the trees but soon we were on our way again, veering off the riverside path to walk the path through the trees that would eventually bring us to the old railway line and the cutting leading to the tunnel entrance!   peebles walk tunnelYou can still walk through the tunnel, but it isn’t recommended, and as it bends its way through the hillside you can’t see the other end, so it’s VERY dark.  Even a torch doesn’t help too much, I can say from experience – and no, I haven’t walked the whole way through.  About 100 yards was enough!  That was from the other end, years ago, with friends.  The daylight brightens the entrance at the other end – a little – but this end is very gloomy among the trees!   That wall leading to the tunnel is covered in moss and lichen so it shows just how damp and sunless it is down there.

peebles walk back to town Turning back we came again to the riverside and crossed Fotheringham Footbridge, looking back towards the church tower above and behind the trees now clothed at last in their new spring leaves.

peebles walk from haylodge park The light was beginning to go as we came through the park, so this was the last picture of the night, looking towards Tweed Bridge and Lee Pen, the conical hill in the distance.

I do feel privileged to live in such a beautiful area.

Talk again soon.

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