Wednesday, 9 October 2019

A Little Detour

After a good night's sleep I got up to watch Scotland v Russia in the Rugby World Cup.  Scotland won comfortably but I think it's going to be an uphill struggle for them to progress to the knockout stages. I spent the rest of the morning doing odd jobs around the house and made some soup for lunch. 

In the afternoon I decided to have a run out on the ebike. I was about 17 miles short of doing my first 200 miles and thought it would be nice if I could achieve that goal. I set off up the Westerkirk road and when I got to the top of the quarry brae there was much going on as the quarry was being worked, a large crushing machine was being loaded with slate and rock and was pulverized into fine shale for industrial use. How this is going to affect the landscape I'm not sure, but hopefully for the greater good. There is so much going on in the area with new access roads being created for forestry extraction and wind turbine construction. 

I cycled on stopping to take the odd shot along the way.

I passed over Westerkirk Bridge and made my way up towards Enzieholm Bridge on the back road. On the way I took a detour up towards Megdale, a road I haven't explored before. I went for a few miles before turning but it's a place I'll cycle further in the near future.


The rest of the pedal went well and I returned home achieving my 200 goal.

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Free Wheeling.

My Ebike had it's first service last week so on Saturday I decided to give it a good run out. I headed of with the intention of cycling over the hill to Newcastleton and back by Harelaw and Claygate. The climb from Whitsheils to the White Yett was fairly easy but some effort was needed, the climb from Tarras Lodge to the county boundary needed a bit more effort then it was freewheeling into Newcastleton. The rest of the journey was very pleasurable with no real challenges along they way. I arrived home 2½ hrs later having covered 26 miles, this used 4/5 of the battery so if I intend to go on further trips I need to plan my journey where I can stop somewhere and recharge the battery, either that or use a mode that uses less power but that means more effort from the cyclist.

A few shots I took along the way.

Thursday, 3 October 2019

A Nice Autumn Stroll

There was quite a bit of ground frost when I pulled back the curtains this morning, according to the temperature gauge it had dropped to -1.9° outside at some point during the night. After breakfast I went to do my turn at the moorland feeders. The birds mustn't be very hungry at the moment of there is plenty of autumn fruit as the feeders were still partially full. I have noticed there is an abundance of haws this year so I would imagine the birds are gorging on them and other fruits and seeds.

When I returned home I set about giving the shower room a really good clean and polished all the chrome items so everything is sparkling and sanitized now. After lunch I pored over The Langholm Paper for a while and got caught up with local news there was some interesting and varied reading. Later I decided to have a stroll the loaning towards the Becks Burn as I hadn't been that way in a while, unfortunately it was quite cold and apart from the fact that I wasn't dressed properly it also was threatening to rain so after a short while I turned and headed home. I did manage to get some shots along the way even though the light was poor.

There's lots of die back in the hedgerows now.

I liked the deep red of these hips.

There is an abundance of crab apples.

Two young riders out for a gentle ride.

A ghostly looking tree,

A bit forlorn looking.

It's interesting how some trees shed their leaves quickly and others hold on for much longer.

These fungi were growing at the foot of the wall at the top of Jimmy's Brae

I't hard to believe that this was the sight of one of the most popular and busiest pubs in the town back in the eighties. 

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Sunny Beach

I have just returned from a two week break at Sunny Beach on the shores of the Black Sea in Bulgaria. I had Kenny and George for company and we were joined for a large part of the stay by Kenny's brother Cliff and his friend Paddy, they were located about a mile from our Hotel but we managed to meet up on a regular basis.

We had a couple of days to spare before Paddy and Cliff Arrived so we did a bit of exploring, avoiding prehistoric tourists on the way.

The area had rather tacky but colourful stalls.

Beach Volleyball was popular.

We took a boat trip to the ancient city of Nessebar

Sadly I haven't quite managed to capture the feel of the place with its narrow winding cobbled streets. Every available space was used to sell wares to the tourists although again a bit tacky I found this rather a attractive as it added colour and character to the place. To find out more about Nessebar click here.

We returned to Nessebar later with Cliff and Paddy where we had a nice afternoon showing them the ancient city. Unfortunately the day was marred by Kenny getting his pocket picked by two young girls working in tandem as we boarded the bus back to Sunny Beach, so it pays to be very careful and vigilant. 

In reflection, we had a good time, nice hotel ( we were given an upgrade to deluxe accommodation, with pool and sea view) the food was varied and presentable, (the sweets were to die for, the best we've ever had). Whether I would go back is questionable as I don't think I seen the real Bulgaria by any means, but maybe some day.

My apologies for this post being rather erratic but travel fatigue is catching up.

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Fine Dining

The weather gods were obviously in a good mood today as we woke up to fine weather which lasted the full day. I was in a lazy mood when I got up and mooched about in my dressing gown longer than was necessary. When I got myself together I had light breakfast and watched the Great North Run for a while and marveled at the fitness and tenacity of the everyday runners, I also was hoping for a glimpse of Jenny Pike who was running in aid of Eden Valley Hospice in memory of her daughter Anna. She did extremely well by getting round in 3 hrs 24 mins. 

I then had a run across to Gretna Gateway to get some footwear for the up and coming holiday next weekend to Bulgaria with George & Kenny. When I got home I put on my cycling togs and had a leisurely pedal round the usual route via The Bloch and Claygate. 

In the evening  George, Kenny and myself had planned to go out of town for a meal. George kindly drove us all out to The Powfoot Hotel where In my opinion the best food is being served in the area at the moment at a more than reasonable price, and in delightful surroundings and a view over the Solway Firth from the dining area which is quite stunning.

Powfoot Hotel

The view from the car park

Anthorn Radio Station

My meal, wood pigeon encased in black pudding and parma ham