Tuesday, 18 July 2017

A Walk and a Potter

Another fine morning awaited us once more and I wasn't going to waste a minute of it. I got up showered had some breakfast and set of to do a small circular walk by way of Jimmy's Brae, Becks Burn then past the Ha' Crofts and back into town missing out Gaskell's Walk. 

I hadn't gone too far before I met Ramsay Johnstone who was mucking out his stables and was more than happy to spend some time with me and have a general chat about the weather and the forth coming Common Riding. Ramsay was one of a few local Common Riding enthusiasts that set  up The Young Riders Club a few years ago, this was done the ensure the future of the Common Riding was safe and the young riders were very capable riders and encourage future Cornets. He also imparted some rather sad news about ex cornet Ian Ewart who suffered a fatal heart attack yesterday, Ian was the son of Mr & Mrs Tootlepedal neighbour Liz, my condolences and sympathy go out to Liz and family.

Heading up Jimmy's Brae....

.....passing this leafy tunnel that leads to Meikleholm Hill.

Insects were busy.....

.....and wild flowers were in abudance which makes up for most of this post.


Getting ready for lift off.

Now this isn't fooling anyone.

Nice light through the trees down by the Becks Burn

I cotinued on taking shots of local flora along the way.

The hedgerows seem to be reaching the height of their growth and will be starting to die back in the next few weeks.

Ha' Crofts with a magnificent backdrop.

 Nice reflections at the Pool Corner.

I returned home and spent the rest of the morning pottering about in the garden. 

Monday, 17 July 2017


I woke up to a very fine and sunny morning after breakfast I headed of to Annan for an appointment with  my solicitor which I doubled up with a visit to the recycling centre to get rid of more accumulated rubbish. Having done my business I stopped off  at Gretna Gateway to purchase a much needed pair of slippers then off to The garden centre near Longtown for some lunch.

Later in the afternoon I received a text from Tootlepedal to see if I was interested in going for a walk. I suggested we have run up to Winterhope reservoir.

The following shots are my result of the excursion.

There seems to an abundance of wild orchids this year,

Some lambs enjoying the sunshine whilst others are taking advantage of a little bit of shade.

Mr Cockerel and his girls rushed to welcome us .

 I paused to take a shot of this rather exquisite rose.

The dam head looking rather imposing.

 Some young goosanders  out for a paddle

 This stinging nettle caught my eye

We were watched by some rather suspicious cattle on the horizon, I remarked to Tootlepedal that if we were boys they would've been Indians in our imagination
This is my one and only shot of the many dragonfly's that were about, I must admit it is heavily cropped.

The reservoir was teeming with these small fish, every so often there was a great flurry on the surface when they rose to the surface in unison for some reason

 I managed to get a shot.

One final look over the reservoir

 Just loved the contrast.

 Heading back I noticed crab apples were starting to form.... were hazelnuts.

On the way back to the car we were invited in for some refreshments by Jean and Wattie Rutherford who have lived and worked at Winterhope for many years and have a extensive knowledge about the wildlife around the reservoir. On returning to Wauchope Cottage Tootlepedal kindly picked some blackcurrants for me which I have the notion to try and make some blackcurrant vodka. Mr & Mrs Tootlepedal are heading south tomorrow to meet up with family for a birthday celebration so I bid them a safe journey. 

on a footnote I am getting well settled in to my new home, lots to do yet but I can plod on at a more leisurely pace now.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

A New Chapter

Well I'm here sitting in my renovated bungalow composing my first blog in months. I must say it has been worth every second of hard work and some trying times but I couldn't have done it without the help of my now very close friend Graham who was an old school pal I reconnected with a couple of years ago. I went to my old house last night for one last look before I shut the door probably for the last time and I didn't get any of the emotional feelings that I expected in fact I felt nothing, it was like closing the door on part of my life and moving on with some wonderful memories and a few sad ones.

There's still a lot to do around the house, mainly finding space and where to put things as I've down sized and lost some cupboard space but it is a pleasurable task that I can do at my leisure. After some organizing I text Tootlepedal to see if there was a pot of coffee on offer, which there was. It was nice to catch up with each others news and I was most impressed with his 125 mile bicycle ride recently. We arranged to meet later in the afternoon as Tootlepedal was keen to show me the wild flowers that were abundant on Meikleholm hill.

We met at the appointed time at the top of Jimmy's brae which now is a short walk for me and headed up the hill. Apparently the grazing cattle were taken off the hill awhile ago allowing the wild flowers allowing the wild flowers to flourish giving the hillside a meadow appearance.
A small collection of the flowers we came across.

The town in all its glory

The long and winding path

Tootlepedal stops to take a shot from Hunters Gate, a favorite place amongst favorite places.

Some serious tree felling across the valley.

I'm always in awe at the amount of effort and labour it must have taken to cart the stone uphill to build these wonderful walls.

looking up towards Potholm

Tootlepedal commented on the light grass seed heads which has come out reasonably well on camera.
We camme upon a flock of foxgloves.....

......before taking this final patriotic shot 

We made our way back down the hill and I left Tootlepedal and headed off on my very short journey home. On summing the day up I feel as though I very much have entered a new chapter in my life and with friends like Graham and Tootlepedal around I sense some good times ahead.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Being Distracted

I've just realized that I haven't posted for about ten days, the reason being I've been distracted with having my bungalow renovated with the idea of moving in as soon as possible, but I still found the time to go for a stroll with Tootlepedal on a couple of occasions, so this is a very basic post.

The following shots are a selection I took over the last couple of weeks.