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Thursday, 27 December 2012

No white stuff at Christmas

The temperatures these last few days have been pretty mild, so no snow for us this Christmas. 

flat tyre Colin came up for a visit last weekend, and wasn’t it lucky that I discovered my car’s flat tyre on Sunday,while he was around to fix it .old tyre off

Off came the old tyre, and on went the spare wheel.new tyre on

At least I had a spare wheel, as so many new cars these days don’t, I’ve heard!   (I took the car to the garage on Monday to get the old tyre replaced and ended up with not just the one, but two, new tyres.)  

The job done, we decided to take a walk along the river to see just how full it was.  From my windows it looked full enough!  It wasn’t as bad further along as I thought it might be.  flooding at the cauld Just beyond the swimming pool, the bank was well underwater, but the path was still clear.   

As for the cauld/ weir the water was really rushing furiously over it.the cauld

winter walk etc 030

colin We followed the high wall  by the river to my favourite beech tree; up the steps; alongside Hay Lodge; down the next set of steps to where I expected to find water right across the path - but surprisingly the path was clear, albeit pretty muddy (the river must have come out but gone back again), so we were able to continue all the way up to Fotheringham Bridge (a gift by a former mayor of Johannesburg in 1953).  You can see the river is higher than normal with the bushes in the water.  fotheringham bridge

Once on the bridge you can look back to Peebles.  I often take this picture as you might remember!from foth'ham bridge

Crossing the bridge then, we followed the raised path  along the other riverbank back to town.  blackbird

I was lucky enough to get this photo of a blackbird amongst the autumn leaves in the woodland, and a bit further downriver, in this flooded area……..more flooding


diving birds……Colin spotted these little guys dipping and diving.

By now the sky was darkening and rain wasn’t far away so we hurried onthe fishing platform ….

….past the fishing platform, and the cauld,the cauld again

church and bridge back to Peebles.

It was just as grey in Peebles when I set off to Edinburgh to meet Linda on Christmas Day, but as we drove off to East Lothian for Christmas dinner at Dirleton, the sky brightened and the sun came out!  It turned out a beautiful day!  Linda and I have spent Christmas together for years now, always going out to eat.  I had my camera with me but didn’t take many photos…. coffee at dirleton

……just this one of Linda taken after we’d had our dinner and were having coffee in the lounge.

If you were celebrating Christmas yesterday I hope you had a good time too.

Talk again soon.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012


I wonder if we’ll have a white Christmas this year?  It’s likely in some areas but here in the Scottish Borders it’s still debateable!  It hasn’t been too cold recently, but it has been wet!

 tweed green However a few weeks ago we had a couple of inches of the white stuff fall overnight.  It was actually quite pretty.  I put on my boots and wrapped up well and headed for the bridge to look back at Tweed Green – and my house!  I’m so lucky to have a view of the river.lee pen and prorsford bridge  


The view downriver is lovely.  Lee Pen is the pointy-topped hill, which stands above Innerleithen six miles downriver.  You can tell which side of the river the sun shines on!  Being in the northern hemisphere the sun the sun goes round to the south, and shines on the north side.  I get the sun on my balcony most of the day in summer – when it’s not raining.

from the bridge Turning to the left I took this photo of the parish church with the Italian  restaurant and the pub nicknamed The Trust in front.  The lamps on the bridge rampart are beautiful, with salmon twisting around the base, their tails winding round the post.  


 Neidpath castleCrossing the road and looking upriver you can see Neidpath Castle in the distance, a bit beyond the other end of the park.  I used to love looking round the interior of the castle but for the last few years new caretakers have shut the place to visitors, instead, using it as a wedding venue.  It’s such a shame so many visitors to the town are missing out on seeing a part of the area’s history.

   All  that snow has gone now, and we wait to see what will happen between now and 25th!

Just a short entry today.  So much to do.  Wonder if I’ll get all that done!

Talk again soon, though I’m not promising it will be before Christmas.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

A little bit of Glasgow

It all started when I looked up Alan’s address in Glasgow on streetmap.co.uk.  He had asked me to accompany him at a dinner one Saturday night about a couple of weekends ago which was why I was looking to see where his flat was.  The Botanic Gardens are not far away from the flat and the area around the entrance appeared on the same map as his place.  “Did you know there’s a disused tunnel under the Botanics?” I wrote in my email to him – and it turned out he did know and what’s more he could show me evidence of it.  I was staying over in Alan’s flat after the Saturday dinner, so on the Sunday we took a stroll over Great Western Road into the Botanic Gardens.  kibble palace I have often driven along the GW Road and noticed the large circular flying saucer roof of the glass house called the Kibble Palace, but this was the first time I had actually been into the gardens.

botanic gardens station A little way along the main path to the glass “Palace” another path goes off to the left, and not far along that path there is another, again on the left, which takes you to the bridge from where you can look down on the former underground railway, and what was once the Botanic Gardens Station.  I suspect there was once a glass roof above the station resting on the concrete ……lintels(?) but down in the bottom of the dip were the old station platforms on either side of the double track bed.  This stretch of line opened in 1896, continued under the Gardens to end at Stobcross on the west of the city, but was closed in 1964.

Well, Alan only recently had an operation on an Achilles tendon, and just two days before had had the stookie  removed  (Stookie is the Scots word for a plaster cast, that derives from the Italian word ‘stucco’ ),  so walking a distance was out of the question.  hot house However, we did a short circular walk, taking in the glass hot house –with some stunning plants on view.  I don’t know their names I’m afraid.orange flowers     

purple flowers

but aren’t they spectacular?glasgow botanics 011

hot house flower 


insect catchers

Then there were the insect catchers and these (below) that I titled Yak yak, yak yak, because they looked to me as if they were having a gossip!yak yak yakyak 

We emerged from the glass house and continued to the Kibble Palace, commissioned in the 1860s by John Kibble for his garden on the shores of Loch Long.  the kibble palace

It came to the Botanic Gardens in 1873 as a venue for concerts and exhibitions, but later housed the temperate collection of plants. interior kibble palace It is a beautiful building with its candy-twist pillars and decorative ironwork – all restored about 6 years ago . glasgow botanics kibble palace 

I  just love the curving lines of the place.  There are more interesting plants in here too…glasgow botanics 022

glasgow botanics trumpet flowers


glasgow botanics  bottle brush


Eve …..and marble statues such as  Eve,king robert of Sicily

and the arrogant king Robert of Sicily from Longfellow’s very long poem of the king’s character-changing dream in which he found himself stripped of his kingly apparel, and his only friend an ape.

Alan We spent quite a bit of time wandering through the various sections of the Palace, before returning to Alan’s.

This is Alan, by the way.


Talk again soon.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

A run out in the car

On the Sunday Ray took us out in the car, down the A9 to Aviemore and beyond, to Feshiebridge  I always think of my late cousin Moira from the far north of Scotland when I hear the name Glenfeshie, the valley of the river Feshie.  Being a bit deaf she often didn’t quite catch everything people said to her, instead hearing something quite comical.  I can’t remember exactly what I said to her one time but it was something about fishing, and a boat, but Moira got “There are gypsies coming up Glenfeshie with a goat!”  At that time I had no idea exactly where Glenfeshie was, but now I’ve been to Feshiebridge, so I know now!

distant snow Anyway our objective was to take a woodland  walk round some sculptures by a Scottish guy called Frank Bruce  who decided to turn his hand to sculpting after a back injury. It wasn’t the brightest of days but I did like the light on the snow on the hill.

autumn twg  There were still little bits of autumn colour in the red rosehips and the rosehips few remaining autumn leaves, but winter was giving signs that it meant business.

fb sculpture2Frank’s large wooden sculptures in the woodland at Feshiebridge are really not my cup of tea and the titles and descriptions are way over my head, but I enjoyed the woodland.fb sculpture3 and the occasional view of some sunlight shining through the trees.light through the trees.. 

inverness 094

and the slight covering of snow, where the sunlight couldn’t reach.ray and janet

Ray and Janet


inverness 120Sasha worked hard to keep her pack together.  Every time I hung back to take photos she would try to” round me up” although eventually she got used to the idea and gave up!country walk nr feshiebridge

Soon we headed back to the car for the drive back to Aviemore and the road to the Cairngorm ski centre and the funicular railway.  cairngorm funicular

It was too late in the afternoon to take the train up to the Ptarmigan restaurant, but at least I got a picture of  it as it left the bottom station.  funicular model

This is the bottom station – in a model in a glass case.  The little  train must be in about the same position in the model as it was in my photo.  I had walked up the path a little way to get the shot looking back.

highland burn

So coming back down the path again, the view of the little burn, or stream, appealed to me so I made it the last photo of the day – right before the camera battery ran out.  There’s always another picture to take, but that day I had to let it go!  Can’t even remember now what it would have been!

Anyway, talk again soon.