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Thanks also to Mary of Mary's Mixes for doing all the work on the blog's heading. You are great, Mary!

Monday, 27 December 2010

The Christmas Season

00000 festive wishes Large Web view Well I hope you had a good Christmas!  I meant to put in a festive greetings card before the “big day” but just didn’t have time.  As it doesn’t specifically relate to 25th I’ll put it in now before I continue.  It looks far nicer when enlarged so do click on the picture.

The lead up to Christmas was quite busy with preparation and a couple of pre-Christmas lunches and get togethers.   cringletie house Linda and I decided to take advantage of a special offer at what is thought of as a rather expensive hotel.  Lunch at £10 for two courses sounded very interesting so we paid them a visit on Wednesday.   I had never been there since I was a child and the family had afternoon tea there on occasions after a weekend walk in the country, but couldn’t remember anything about the place.  The building is rather fine, built in 1860 to replace a previous house that was built around 1600.   cringletie hall There’s a long tree-lined drive uphill and cringletie barround to the front of the hotel, and impressively, we were greeted just outside the front door, and ushered inside through the hall – above left - to the lounge – above right.

cringletie d rm ceilingWhen our table was ready we were taken upstairs to the dining room which was probably the drawing room in its pre-hotel life, judging by its panelled walls and beautifully painted ceiling, cringletie fireplace not to mention the splendid fireplace with portrait one of the ladies of the original family.

cringletie dining room

We had a beautiful meal, well worth the reasonable £10.  Another few pounds and we could have had pudding/dessert/ sweet – choose the word that suits you.  We call it pudding here! – but two courses were enough, an ample sufficiency, as my dad would have said!  Apparently they hope to continue with a £10 menu into the New Year, so I am sure we’ll meet there again sometime soon.

23 Dec 10 sundown On the way back to  Peebles the sun was beginning to go down leaving a pastel glow in the western sky.  The snow-covered landscape looked so pretty, but how we are getting sick of the snow!

cuddy ice and grasses


cuddyI took photos down by Cuddy burn the next day.  Frozen grasses and ice along the edge of the water made an attractive photo, as did the view downstream towards the Cuddy Bridge.

On Christmas day the snow was actually thawing, so dinner at Melrose was possible after all.  burts christmas We had been expecting more snow, but it didn’t happen, so all was well.  It was another good meal at Burts hotel – too much turkey really – but we managed our puddings, and delicate little mincemeat pies with coffee back in the lounge. – left.  Burts is another old hotel, possibly a coaching inn in centuries gone by.  I should have taken pictures of the grand dining room and of a painting of the hotel on the wall of the bar!  Another time!

So, since Christmas there has been a little more snow…. but now we are feeling almost warm with temperatures above freezing!  One degree celsius is above freezing!  The snow is slowly disappearing…. but guess what?  We’re to get more snow next week!  Hope we don’t get as much as the east coast of America is getting just now!

Talk again soon.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Thursday again

cuddy meets tweed In the afternoon I had to go up to the health surgery for a check up at the diabetic clinic.  So I took the riverside walk again – honestly, you’ll know that walk as well as I do soon. hungry ducks


At the point where the Cuddy meets Tweed the ducks were again hopeful of some food, so came running towards me.  Sorry, ducks!walker by tweed

front of hay lodge


This is the front of Hay Lodge, now joined to the modern health centre.  I’d rather like to see inside the old house, but it’s not  accessible to the general public as a rule.  (Wonder if I could persuade someone to allow me a sneak look through the front door sometime?)

Anyway, blood taken; blood pressure and weight checked – oops (to the weight check);  feet prodded for pulses and reaction and it was time to come home again.  reflections on tweedBack along the riverside again  with some more photos taken.  It wasn’t yet 4.00 but the moon was already shining through the treesI see the moon



Not quite full moon yet!  (It is now, as I write)

tweed bridge

Heading down towards the bridge again – right – and just at the cauld I caught sight of a heron – the “presbyterian minister in his long grey coat”


   in the words of the poet Kenneth C Steven - heron


which I watched until he took off, skimming across the top of the water to look for a perch on the river island.the flight of the heron2

above bridge





If I was to go along this way tomorrow, I think I would find all these grasses quite iced up.  There has been no let up in the weather.  In fact it has just got colder and we’ve had another couple of inches of snow.through the arch

I always like the view of this arch of the bridge.  Depending on the weather and the time of year you can either walk through it or you can’t!  After the high water from last weekend’s thaw, at the moment you can’t.  I could have walked through the arch to its left but instead,  took the path up to the bridge, crossed it and came round the corner to the High Street again.  Not yet dark the Christmas lights were on and the street looked quite festive.christmas lights clock the christmas lights

I decided to call the photo on the right - “Clock the lights!”  In case you didn’t get that, to clock something means to take a look at it … and there’s the church clock just behind the lights!  Probably teaching grandmother to suck eggs here!

Talk again soon.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

A lucky escape

I’ve some more photos to show you from Friday afternoon, but I’ll save them and just show you this for now.  Last time, I told you about the bus that “left the road”!peebles bus   I was on the back road  when I took my photo, but Linda emailed me this one  today that tells the actual story!   Photo courtesy of the Peeblesshire News, our local weekly newspaper.

It was a double-decker and it was a service bus!   It is thought the bus wheels clipped the frozen icy edge of the road, causing the driver to lose control, and the bus slid down the banking and toppled.  Thank goodness the hedge was there – an old hedge no doubt and pretty tough – or things could have been so much worse, with it toppling right over and down into the field.   I wouldn’t have liked to have been on the upper deck – well neither deck actually but especially not the top one!   None of the ten passengers was injured, thankfully, but it must have been a bit of a problem getting out of the emergency door there at the back.  Later a crane was brought in to lift the bus – and the road had to be closed for a time. 

So, that was Thursday’s talk of the town.

Talk again soon.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

A morning’s adventures

At 8.30 a.m. the other morning – it was  Thursday morning – it was looking a bit frosty outside, and at 8.36 it was snowing heavens hard!  It was rather weird – from no snow, suddenly there was snow falling, not just starting gradually with a few flakes, but a fully fledged snow fall all at once!  snow again The sky got darker and greyer and the snow got heavier, till it was almost like a white mist looking across the river from my window!

Wasn’t this the day I had to go back to the dentist to have the root canal treatment completed!  Well,  I wasn’t walking over there in the snow  – it’s about a mile  - so decided to take the car.  That was fine but of course I had to clear the snow off it first, but at least I got there in good time.

I had the rest of my treatment done – pain free and no need for anaesthetic thank goodness.  I’m not sure what she did but there was a lot of water skooshed into my mouth and the sooker–out thing sooked/sucked the water back out again.  She fiddled with the stump of the tooth that holds the crown tooth and finally stuck the crown back on!  THEN she decided to take a look at the newish dental plate I got fairly recently and which I hadn’t been using as it  made me want to boak/gag after only a few minutes.  I also hadn’t been happy at the alignment of three teeth on the plate and she’d also added two back teeth that I must have had removed years ago, as I don’t even remember ever having had them.  Suffice to say I wasn’t happy with them.  Take off the two back ones, get rid of some plastic on the plate pallet and realign the three  at the front – left of centre!  I got her to pare more plastic off so that I could at least tolerate the thing in my mouth.  Persevere!  I was ordered!  Well,  I persevered yesterday and again today, and everything was ok till I started to speak!  Because of the alignment of the front teeth they tend to catch the inside of my upper and lower lips… ouch!.  As for eating… the two teeth at the back make it impossible for me to bite without pressing them into the top of my gum – boak - and as my teeth don’t meet on the other side I can’t chew!  You could post a slice of cucumber between my teeth and I couldn’t grip it!  So tonight I am back to wearing my old plate which Mary reckons only stays in my mouth by some stroke of good luck!!  Apart from the sore bits where the other plate nipped, I’m fine – now!

snow at Cavalry Park againWell, when I came out of the surgery it had stopped snowing and the sky was blue.   Practically everything else  was white though!  Another photo opportunity perhaps?  I was on the back road to Traquair already, so reckoning the roads couldn’t be too bad yet I decided to drive a few miles down to Traquair House and take a few more snowy pictures – like these, en route…..! snowy trees on back road

snowy Scots Mill snow at innerleithen

(upper left) On the back road    Scots Mill (upper right) and the view to Innerleithen (left).


While I was driving with the radio on, there was a road traffic bulletin.  National radio –i.e. BBC radio 2, based in London - mentioned that the A72 between Peebles and Innerleithen was partially blocked because a bus “had left the road.”   Well I was on the parallel road between the same two places, so I was OK.. What had happened to the bus though?  Had it overturned?  Were there  injured passengers?  I hoped it wasn’t too serious.  The words “left the road” sounded less dreadful than “careered off the road overturning into the  river injuring all those on board”!  It was on my return journey along the same back road that I caught sight of a bright red fire engine over on the main road across the fields.  It took a moment more to make out the single-decker bus because it blended into the countryside so well.  snow accident on A72

See what I mean?  (You’ll have to click to enlarge it).  It isn’t a local service bus, so must be a touring bus or a works bus.  Doesn’t look too bad, but this was a good while after I heard the bulletin.  snowy TraquairI had been to


Traquair House and had a short walk in the grounds, taking my pictures of the oldest continually inhabited house in Scotland, and its old gates….. snowy trees and a window at Traquair

snow at the Bear Gates




…..the ones that haven’t been opened since 1746 when Bonnie Prince Charlie rode  through them away on his journey north to Culloden and the battle that was to put an end to his dream of reinstating the Stuart monarchs on the throne of Britain.snow on a Traquair statue

I think this young lady once carried an urn in her arm - right

snowy pond at Traquair

Reflections of the frosted trees and grasses in a pond – above, and view of Lee Pen, the hill behind Innerleithen – below right.

snow on lee pen So my return journey to Peebles was by the same road, from where I saw the bus.  I rather think it will have skidded on the icy road and probably come to rest  at that precarious-looking angle.

So that was yesterday morning!   Sin agad e!  as they’d say in Gaelic – There you have it!

Talk again soon.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010


Another wee film for you today!

If you like cats you'll love this!

You have to watch it!

Talk again soon.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Back to the buses

It must have been four buses I missed yesterday -one at Straiton at the garden centre; one at Craigmillar Park in Edinburgh; the one that I missed at Penicuik to begin with and the one at 1805 after I had been to Lidls!  Oh well!  I got home eventually!

thawed out 002By the way, here in Peebles, the snow is gone!   thawed out 001The only problem is that the rivers are high.   I hope we don’t have any flooding next.thawed out 003

Talk again soon!

A thaw

Not a big thaw but a thaw all the same!   Yesterday was positively warm after the day before!  No, not really but it was actually above freezing point!  I didn’t need the new fleecy gloves I had to buy on Wednesday, or the hat that falls over my eyes if I pull it over my ears – haven’t got the right shaped head for hats!

steely grey riverThe snow had dripped off the trees and the river was looking pretty steely grey – with a trail of ice through it that I hadn’t seen yesterday!



thaw The street below my windows was beginning to look slushy and mucky where cars had started to be moved after being buried for so long and no doubt it will get worse if the thaw continues.  The forecasters are saying it will get cold again in a couple of days so if all this slushy wet stuff freezes it will be lethal.

Linda and I arranged to meet at Leadburn Inn for lunch.  I wasn’t going to take the car out but take the bus up over the moor to Leadburn crossroads where an inn was built in 1777.  A few years ago it was burned to the ground in a terrible accident, but in the last year a new inn has been built, not a replica but a new modern one.  Nice food!  Afterwards we visited a nearby garden centre on the edge of the Pentland Hills mainly to pick up some wild bird food but a cup of tea in the cafe went down well too.  I took this photo from the cafe window of the last of the daylight at around 4.00 p.m.winter sunset pentland

It was very pretty despite strong winds blowing those clouds along. 

Coming out of the garden centre, I just missed the Peebles bus, so Linda took me into Edinburgh for the next one, to save me waiting.  She dropped me off  and all I had to do was cross the road to the bus stop.  Oh oh!  Just as Linda drove off, and me still waiting to cross… There goes the 62 to Peebles!  Rather than stand waiting for another half an hour for the next one I decided to take a bus to Penicuik.  If the Peebles bus was due when I got there, well and good.  If not I’d go and see what Lidl’s store had to offer!  However the bus I caught didn’t take the direct route but detoured to Loanhead and then off round a housing estate on the edge of Penicuik.  I hadn’t a clue where I was going but knew I’d get to Penicuik centre eventually!  And I did, only to discover that the 62 I had hoped to catch there had gone – just a couple of minutes ago, I was informed by someone at the stop!  I checked on the time of the next bus – 1805 – and trotted off to Lidl’s, getting back  in time – by my mobile phone clock.  1810….1815…..1820…… no bus!  I must have missed it-  again!  This time I stood and waited, and finally got the 1835 bus back to Peebles!  I can’t believe I actually missed 3 buses!  Linda, don’t laugh!  Actually I did laugh!  The buses only run every half hour, so it was just as well I was in no hurry!  Three buses!!!!  Good grief!   I must change the time on my mobile phone.  It must be slow!

Talk again soon.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

You must see this!

Got this by email today! Had to share it! Turn the sound up!

Talk again soon.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Eighth of the Eighth

Thinking about what I could write today, other than about the snow – which is still with us.  It was minus 16 C all day today -  I remembered I was reading someone else’s blog yesterday. when I came upon a challenge.  It  said “Go to where you keep your photos.  Go to the eighth file, and pick the eighth photo.  Then put it on your blog and write about it – what, where, when, why…… etc.”

So, as I have several photo folders, I decided on the external hard disk photos, and this is what came up - my eighth photo in the eighth file – one you will have seen before!the ferry tap

This is a very old pub in the historic Royal burgh of Queensferry, on the Firth of Forth just northwest of Edinburgh.  I can’t find anything on the internet about its history, but its name The Ferry Tap could be Scots for the Ferry top.  Queensferry got its name from the fact that in the 11th century Queen Margaret of Scotland, whose home was the Palace at Dunfermline, used to cross by ferry to journey on to her chapel at the castle in Edinburgh.  Her husband, King Malcolm III, granted a free passage at the Queen’s Ferry to pilgrims bound for St Andrews.  Maybe the original ferry crossing was from the shore below this ale-house – behind the building across the road - though the present building isn’t quite that old (17th/18th century perhaps?).  Another inn on the same spot maybe?  Or maybe the Tap was/is the  beer tap.  Historically though, I think beer would have been dispensed from jugs.

The photo was taken on 8 May 2009 when my cousins Don and Nancy from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, were visiting.  We stopped here to look at the old village and then continued to Culross, another Royal burgh, over the Forth in the Kingdom of Fife.  It was a lovely day. You can read about it here.

nice day again 005 dawn

Just a couple of snow pictures from today before I go!  Sun-up this morning from my balcony…..

 nice day again 011



…..and in my garden looking through the buddleia branches to the roofed bird table.  Before the thaw at the weekend the roof had far more snow on top of it!

nice day again 014

Well, just one more  –  a young blackbird sheltering in the laburnum tree in Morag’s neighbour’s garden.

Talk again soon.

Monday, 6 December 2010

More snow!

today's snow 004 Well, it doesn’t look like I’ll be doing much outside today, as it is snowing heavens hard – again!  Just when it was getting easier to move about outside – buses, trains, even planes, were back on; Peebles High Street had just about been totally cleared of snow and it was nice to walk outside…. and this morning we woke up to more of the white stuff, and it doesn’t look as if it is going to stop any time soon.

 today's snow 010 It’s looking very pretty out of the window though,today's snow 005 with snow on all the tree branches, but $@#&!  Why is it falling now instead of waiting till January or even February?  Yes, I know about the jet stream kinking over Greenland.  I’m just thinking rhetorically!  Wonder why it did that though  That’s not a rhetorical question.  You can tell me, if you know the answer!!! In words of one syllable though, if you please. 

today's snow 002So what to do today?  I had hoped to be having lunch with David who lives a couple of miles out in the country, but the snow will be as bad there as here I expect!  I could get on with some family history stuff entering data onto FamilyTreeMaker or on one of the search websites;  I could do some digi-scrapbooking – I’ve promised a couple of people I’d do a layout for them – oh, I hear a plane!  It’s just a small one, but a plane nonetheless.  The airport must still be open! – I could wrap some Christmas presents….. anything but get down to the chores that badly need to be done!

A tiny wren has just hopped along my balcony floor.  There she goes again.  Poor wee bird!  I must get some bird food and put it out there.  today's snow 001That’s what I’ll do next!  I’ll take a walk along the street to the hardware shop and buy some seed and some peanuts.  Time for chores later!

Talk again soon.