Saturday, 27 November 2010

Beech Leaves and Roast Beef Rolls

Cold and Crisp
There was a generous covering of snow when we woke up this morning. I think there's something magical about fresh snow. It was Mrs gill's morning at the Library so I decided to drive her down to work as the road conditions could have been a little treacherous, but as it turned out they were fine.

After dropping off Mrs G I did some shopping on the High St. I stopped and chatted with Dennis Barker at the bus stop whom I haven't seen for some considerable time.

I have a lot of fond memories of the time I spent in the Fire Service with Dennis, he was always a great source of entertainment, sometimes knowingly but mostly unwittingly.One tale I do remember was the time we were on hydrant duty.

Looking towards Warbla
These were usually carried out on a Saturday and was very much a relaxed and jovial occasion. I was driver for the day so my duties would be restricted to the cab. Anyway we headed off down the B6318 Tarras road stopping at the hydrant at Longwood Lodge. Then carried on to the one at the entrance to Broomholm, continuing up the hill to Broomholm Sheils road end. The next hydrant after that was on the steep decent down to the bridge near the old distillery. I pulled up by the side of the road, the wheel chokes were put in place everything was hunky dory until I went to move off. For some reason the engine was well and truly stuck in second gear. So there was nothing else we could do but limp on in second gear to the Tile works and contact head quarters for assistance.
As we anticipated a long wait I decided to have wander around. It was a lovely spring day and I noticed how fresh and tasty the freshly sprouted beech leaves looked so I picked a handful. When I got back to the machine everyone was just lazing about outside, I climbed into the cab when I noticed Dennis's bait box. Being curious I opened it up to discover Joyce had made him roast beef rolls. How tasty they would be with beech leaves I thought. Just at that moment Toovey poked his head through the door, "what are you to Gill?" he asked, so I told him. Soon everyone was back and getting tucked into their bait. "What have you got in your roll Den?" I asked as he took his first bite."Roast beef" he replied, taking another bite. Just then he obviously noticed something wasn't quite right and opened the roll to see what the green stuff was. "OK"! "which one of you b*****ds put beech leaves in my roll?" By this time Toovey was absolutely helpless with laughter. "It was you Jackson" he yelled. As Toovey was in such a state and couldn't deny the fact that he was innocent, and couldn't defend himself I decided to remain silent.
We eventually returned back to Langholm under our own steam, still stuck in second gear by way of Gilnockie and back up the A7, as there was no assistance available from Dumfries. Just as we were leaving the station I asked him what he thought as he was eating the roll. "I couldn't understand why Joyce would put lettuce in a roast beef roll" he said. Just as I was walking away he said "you wouldn't have had a hand in that, would you Sandy"? "not a bit  Dennis" was my reply. It was many years later at my retirement I finally owned up to the dastardly deed.

After saying goodbye to Dennis I headed up to the Kilngreen and took the following shots which I'm reasonably pleased with.The exposure coming out OK, as it can be very difficult to get the correct exposure as the snow can give you a false reading and your photos can come out quite dark if you let the camera do the work. The way I get over this is to set the camera on manual and take a reading from something that is a mid grey, the back of your hand can work quite well if you are stuck.


1 comment:

  1. I shall remember that useful tip. Remind me not to let you near my sandwiches.