Welcome to my blog. Thanks for dropping by. Hope you'll stay and enjoy reading about where I've been and what I've been doing!

I don't mean this to be a replacement for personal emails, but it gives me the chance to put up photos and my scrapbook layouts, so I don't block up your in-boxes, or have to send the same photos and stories to everyone separately!
Thanks, and welcome, to the followers of my blog. I'm very honoured that you enjoy it. Drop me some comments from time to time! It's good to hear what you think about the posts. Come back again soon.

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

Saturday, 16 February 2013


bridgeIt was a cold but beautiful day today, the day of the U3A gardening group visit to see the snowdrops at Kailzie Gardens.  Lady Angela showed us around, first telling us a bit about the old house that used to stand just over the bridge.  It was once her husband’s home but it was demolished  around 50 years ago because of dry rot that riddled the building back then.  She says it was a horrible old building, but I think the pictures I have seen of it have been quite attractive.  kailzie view The view was pretty special though. This would have been the view from the back of the house.  The front would overlook the garden, facing up the burn – the stream or creek.shadows


This is the same view over to the hills east of Peebles.  I liked the shadows of us!  It’s probably the first time we’ve seen our shadows this year!  Gives you the feeling that spring is coming!snowdrops4

I think the snowdrops themselves show that spring isn’t far away.  There don’t seem  to snowdrops1be quite so many snowdrops this year, but there were still carpets of them, most  of them being the most common variety of galanthus nivalis,


but there were some whose name I don’t remember, like these, below.snowdrops 6 

We had a very pleasant    afternoon  in the gardens. jennie j at kalzie

This is Jennie getting up close and personal with the snowdrops.

snowdrops 8a

Of course I did my share of photographing them too, but I only had my wee compact - on automatic!snowdrops 7






Still, it doesn’t do so badly!

Anyway a garden visit usually ends up with tea and a cake or something so of course we repaired to the Kailzie stables restaurant.  No horses there now but some of the stallsthe stables are still in the building, and the tearoom is located in what I imagine was the tack-room, extending into the carriage building.the coach house and tackroom

Lovely place, but no chocolate and beetroot cake today!  So I hope you enjoyed our little tiptoe through the tu…….. oops, snowdrops!  I’ll have to see what the snowdrops are like at Dawyck next!

Talk again soon.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Back to Pinterest

Just a few short lines after I had a comment on my last entry from Margaret at BooksPlease.  I would hate to be accused of putting people off joining Pinterest, as there are some fabulous ideas and things collected by lots of other subscribers.  Here’s what I said to Margaret: 

“ I suppose there are ideas and things on the internet that you see and want to save, so perhaps it IS a good idea to have them all in the one place. Alternatively of course you could save to a file in your own Documents. The difference is that other people can look at your Pinterest board/s, and you can search theirs! I still call it a time waster, but it IS nice to see what other people are interested in and you do find good ideas that you never thought of!” 

What I mean is that you can get sucked in just looking at everyone else’s boards and collecting stuff, that you never have time to look at, far less do, any of the things you have pinned on your own board!  I could easily be sucked in, but I’ve been sucked in to all sorts of other stuff already and could, and sometimes do, spend hours in front of my laptop screen instead of getting up off my backside and doing things! 

Margaret, I am looking forward to looking through your blog.  I love your part of the world!

Talk again soon.

PS It’s snowing again and I am going up to Edinburgh this afternoon to take my sister for afternoon tea, courtesy of a Groupon voucher I bought recently. It gave me 55% off the normal price!  However my problem is, do I drive into town or take the bus. If the weather got too bad later, the buses might stop running, but if I drive my car in, I might have difficulty getting back.  No, I won’t be a wooss!  I’ve driven in worse conditions than this!  I’ll go by car! -

Well, I forgot to post this this morning!  So now I can tell you that I took the car up to Edinburgh and it wasn’t a problem.  By the time I was half way there it had turned to rain anyway!  More of that story next time.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Have I got time for this?

As if I need any more websites to waste my time on!  Someone has just introduced me to Pinterest!  Now I really don’t see any point in this website.  OK, you can get all your favourite things, arranged in categories you make up,  all in the one place – and then it seems you look at other people’s “boards” to see what they like, and if you like something they like then you can pin it on your own board!  So what then? 

Well some stuff you might collect may be instructions to make something you like, so I see the point of that, and you may get ideas for decorating your home; advice on looking after your garden; recipes for gourmet or easy everyday meals ; hints on crafts you might like to take up……. Well, you can make any number of boards … and then?  You spend time looking at everyone else’s boards and hopping from one board to another pinning more and more to your own boards …… all time you could actually be doing some of the things you found to begin with.  Well so saying, I have registered and have started collecting stuff on several boards I have created.    cake tin magnetic boardThis looks like a good idea! A notice board for the kitchen made from a sandwich tin/traybake tin/cake tin?   I really might make this one day, honest!  I think it’s great!

Cake tin magnetic board by Create paper

house to home water featureThen there’s this idea for a water feature, which is exactly what I want to do in my garden!  It is on Housetohome.co.uk

But like I said …. As if I need any more websites to waste my time on!

Twice this week I was told about a website about Peebles.  Both people gave me the same website name, but I spent ages trying to find it!  Turns out it’s a Facebook page, which has kept me occupied for a good couple of hours tonight!  I tried to bookmark it, but that didn’t work, and now I can’t get back into it.  I can’t remember what its name was as it won’t recognise the original name I was given which was why I couldn’t find it for so long the first time!  I’ll have to try again another time because it is so interesting.  There are lots of pictures of Peebles in days gone by, which are really fascinating!tsbtsb and bank of scotland    


Here’s an example!  The same view in the High Street, then (whenever)….. and now!  Funny!  Someone jut said to me the other day they thought there had been a butcher’s shop along my end of the street, and I didn’t know anything about it – but here it is!  Now Lloyd’s TSB, with the shop next door the entrance to the Royal Bank of Scotland.  It’s now an outdoor clothes shop, the one with the awning on the modern photo.  The rest of that building must have have had a facelift as that beautiful balustrade and the ornate front door have gone.  It’s now the Bank of Scotland.  We have the Bank of Scotland AND the Royal Bank of Scotland.  The Royal Bank is now way up the other end of the street.  The shop with the awning in the old photo is still plainly the same and is now a confectioner’s, or as we say – a sweetie shop.now royal bank

This is where the Royal Bank is now.  These shops with the tearooms above were demolished in the 1970s or 80s and a concrete block built in their place.  The taller red stone building used to be the Temprance Hotel many a long year ago but is now one of the liveliest pubs in the town!  It bounces at weekends!  Through the close (enclosed passage) at the bottom of the old Temprance there is a very old door which I must photograph soon.  It looks as if It goes back far further than the present building. 

Evelyn McDonald 1973ishI like this old school photo from 1973.  The teacher is my friend, another Evelyn, from college days, who taught in the very new primary school on the south side of the river.  She later went to America and settled there, eventually marrying No-lee who comes from Laos.  That was a surprise photo on the facebook page.

 Now, just one more old picture.  bridge at cardrona This is the bridge across the river Tweed at Cardrona, with a diesel train crossing, having just left the station on its way to Peebles – next stop!  The bridge is still there, though sadly the trains have gone, and in those days Cardrona was just a handful of houses.  Today the land just beyond the station has been developed and a new “village” built!  The folks there would probably quite appreciate having the trains nowadays!

So many changes and not always for the better!

Talk again soon.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

An update

This is what I wrote in my very first blog post on 10 January 2008!  Just thought, with Katrina’s blog birthday happening recently, I should look back to see what I wrote on my very first page on 10 January 2008.  Then I decided I would give you some updates, which I’ll add after you’ve seen this.

10 Jan.2008

Hello! My first post on my very own blog. This is for all my friends and family to let you know how things are going here, and to enable me to include photos and digi scrapbook pages for your interest, amusement.....

So here's the first one, because I met up with Holly and Jesse the other day. Great kids! Holly is studying medicine and doing a few weeks at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary observing and learning about organ transplants! Not for the squeamish! (Me!)

Jess is currently doing an apprenticeship in a German ballet company, having studied ballet since he was an even younger youngster, in Australia and then Canada. Hoping to see him dance before long!

I've known these two since they were babies, having first met their dad, a third cousin, once removed, in 1977!

I'll show you the layout I did of him too!

The first picture shows my sister and myself with Bruce at the Bear Gates, or the Steekit Yetts, of Traquair House not far from Peebles. Holly and Jess thought that picture was soooooo funny!

The other picture was taken at the same spot, 30 years later!

Anyway it was great to see the kids again! They are growing up, and doing what they enjoy! Holly's passion is ski-ing and she reckons her ideal job once she finishes her degree would be as a ski doctor!

So, all for today. I have work to go to! Hope you'll post comments if you feel so inclined! This is all about sharing!

So! Holly qualified as a doctor and has been working in hospitals, most recently in Sydney;  though at the moment she’s ski-ing in Europe somewhere.  Meanwhile, her brother has just celebrated his 25th birthday.  He’s dancing with a ballet company in Mexico now, and obviously enjoying life with loads of international friends and a partner who dances with the same company.  I haven’t managed to see him dance, and unless the company comes to Britain, I can’t see that I will ever achieve that ambition.

Bruce was a TV cameraman in 1977 but is now doing freelance work, filming arts programmes for TV, and I don’t have work to go to any more!!  Yay!!! 

My blog has changed over the last five years, and just recently I haven’t been going too far afield, so the blog-postings are not too regular.  The price of petrol is one big problem.  I don’t just jump i the car and take off somewhere now.  Then since I retired I’ve got involved in so many things that keep me in or not far from Peebles,  and without photo opportunities.  However, do stick with me, pleeeeease.  I had to restrict the comments section a while ago as I was getting so many spam advertisements instead of genuine comments, but if you want to send me your comments, do please email me and I’ll put your comments in the comments section.

Talk again soon.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013


or Groundhog Day, if you prefer,  Either way, it means the same!   Old folklore has it that if 2nd February is fine and sunny then we’ve still got some winter weather ahead of us.  Well, Saturday, 2nd February was like a spring day, albeit cold, but bright and sunny…….

Morag, Mike and I decided to take a drive out to Dawyck Gardens tearoom for lunch.  We could have gone for a walk in the garden but at £4.50 each it was just a bit expensive for probably only a half hour visit.  However, we go quite often for lunch, so I decided I would become a member of the Botanic Gardens, which allows free entry to this garden as well as the others in Edinburgh, Ben More – near Dunoon – and Port Logan – south west Scotland.  I could also use my membership to visit Kew Gardens in London, and only five visits to Dawyck would cover the membership fee!   

The Dwarf Stone Well, we didn’t go into the garden this time, but instead took a little drive in Manor valley, just on the edge of Peebles.

This large stone, part of the field wall, is said to have been carried here from Peebles by a resident of the valley, David Ritchie, way back in the 18th century.   He was attempting to carry the stone to Manor village for a wager, but is said to have tired at approximately this spot only a few hundred yards from Manor, but several miles from Peebles, his starting point.   It would have been an amazing achievement for a man of normal build, but Davie was seriously deformed and appeared to have no legs, but despite his deformity he was very strong.  It is said that he was very anti-humans, due to the mocking he suffered, so he built a small house for himself on land belonging to Sir James Naesmith in Manor valley. davie ritchir's house Later Sir James built a house for both David and his sister, so that they each had a  place of their own.  You can see the small door and window on David’s half of the righthand building.

Sir Walter Scott the novelist met Davie once – and found him to be a bit of a dark, almost scary, character, and later used him as his inspiration for The Black Dwarf in his novel of the same name.  Nowadays Davie Ritchie is referred to as the Black Dwarf, even though he wasn’t actually a dwarf  at all.  old fever hospital

This building was once used as the local fever hospital for the area .  It was where victims of  scarlet fever  were isolated from the rest of their community until they recovered.  High on the hillside it has a beautiful view. upper tweeddale

Down below, along the row of trees that crosses the photo is the track leading to Barns House.  We had seen the house from the road to the old hospital.  barns house

It was built in the late 18th century in  Georgian style,  to supercede  the 16th century fortified tower house that has recently been restored as fabulous self catering  holiday accommodation.barns tower2 barns

Here are the two Barns buildings.  When I first saw the tower it was unclad and pretty much as it appeared in this 1951 picture http://www.francisfrith.com/peebles/photos/barns-tower-1951_p177001/ I got to visit it when I was still doing B&B, when there was an open day for Tourist Board members.  You just have to click “holiday accommodation” above to take a look.haswellsykes heehaw

The road we were driving along doesn’t have a great deal of traffic on it so this donkey had to have an inquisitive look over the wall at us!  Isn’t he lovely!

After our run out we came back to Morag’s for a cuppie.  They have a great bird feeding station outside their living room window, so it was great watching a succession of birds coming to feed, as we drank our tea.  I’ll finish off with a few of the pics I took of them!baby bluetit2

 great tit

great tit2




Well, after that beautiful and sunny Candlemas day, that old groundhog was surely right!  Winter isn’t over yet!   It has been snowing again!  In fact it’s blizzarding out there right now and everything is white again!  Oh well. What can we do?  Not a lot, other than look forward to the proper springtime – which can’t be too far away now!  snowdrops

It’s not as if it’s November with the prospect of several months of snow ahead.  Already the spring bulbs are shooting up, and the snowdrops are almost in flower. 

Talk again soon.