Talk about confused! I am sitting here listening to seagulls squawking loudly outside my window. You’d think I was at the seaside – but no, I’m in Peebles, about half way between east and west coasts! When I was a kid we were always told that there were storms at sea when the gulls came inland – and that was in Edinburgh which wasn’t that far from the sea. However we often do seem to have gulls flying around over the river here though I’m not generally aware of the sounds I am hearing today!
It was the same feeling of confused I had last night as I joined Janet, her husband, birthday boy Ray – 70 yesterday – and friends Marion and Scott, at North Berwick for a celebration dinner. Janet is an old school friend – less of the old, I can hear her saying, especially considering she was the youngest of the group last night. She met Ray in Darlington in the north of England, which was where I also first met him, as they were living there when I was in the Dales. They moved to Inverness about 25 years ago, and since I too moved back to Scotland I have seen them loads of times up there. Scott and Marion live in Inverness too, so seeing them all in North Berwick which is on the coast and about halfway between Inverness and Darlington, got me quite confused. Where was I? Inverness? Darlington? Certainly not Peebles, as I’d driven up there for the evening. We had a lovely dinner at the Marine Hotel where they were all staying, and it was a bit of a thought to have to drive home again later – takes just over an hour.
Before it got dark we could look across the Firth of Forth to Fife and east to the Bass Rock off the coast just beyond the town. I tried out the zoom on my newish camera and was amazed!
On the right is the view from the hotel looking towards the Bass (rhymes with lass), that small lump in the sea just to the right of centre of the photo, and this was the Bass with full zoom! Not a clear picture without a tripod to steady it but pretty stunning, eh? As it grew dark the lights of the small towns on the Fife coast came on, twinkling in the distance beyond the dark expanse of water that is the mouth of the River Forth. It’s very beautiful!
On Saturday night I was just a bit further west along the coast, celebrating Edwina’s 60th birthday. She went to school in North Berwick, though living nearer to Gullane. Ween and I have also been friends for years, having first met in Edinburgh’s Waverley Bar which we both frequented for the folk music. When she got married to Barney from the south of England and went to live down there, we still kept in touch, and met up on occasions when they came north to visit her sister, Jean, or I went south to see them. She decided to have her “special” birthday in Scotland with family and friends, so there were 14 of us at dinner in the Castle Inn in Dirleton. Riotous! What fun!
Here’s Edwina (right) with two of her school friends, Christine and Sheila. Afterwards, back at Jean’s, Edwina’s main birthday present – a Wii – was set up and we played tennis and ten pin bowling on it till the small hours! It was the night the clocks were put forward for daylight saving so three o’clock in the morning became 4.00 before we all headed to our beds! It was a late rise the next morning, with a few sore heads – not mine, despite the wine the night before – but later Jean, Edwina and I had a walk round the garden, watched Willow the cat playing amongst the plants,
These are Joe
and Sunny….and managed to explore the Wii some more, trying out baseball, golf, boxing – that was a hoot – archery, table tennis…… I got home to Peebles just after midnight on Monday morning, after a great weekend!
The third - or rather the first – birthday celebration had been Morag’s on Friday when three of us had a girls’ night out, to a restaurant in West Linton, not too far from Peebles. The Old Bakehouse has been a tearoom and restaurant for years and years in various owners’ hands, and as the name suggests was originally the village bakery. In the main restaurant the old ovens still remain and various pieces of bakery apparatus adorn the walls and ceiling. Here’s Morag. She had celebrated her actual birthday with her husband the day before and last weekend had had a surprise gathering with lots of her family, including Sandy, her youngest sister, who had come up from London, and Ness, her 92 year-old mum. I think by Friday she’d already had 6 birthday cakes!
So now things are back to normal, and I think I have a few bits of blog to catch up with from before the birthdays! So that will be the next posting.
Talk again soon.