Boo! I am still alive. Did you miss me? Oh...I see! The kilted hordes failed to drive this fearsome Yorkist Sassenach into the North Sea. Remember Culloden! And we had a lovely time these last few days. The weather was mostly gorgeous - with me frothing at the mouth as I observed endless photogenic scenes bathed in glorious light.
The Scottish Borders are like "The Land That Time Forgot" - an ancient landscape of winding lanes, farmland, castles, villages and little market towns - enclosed by the wild North Sea to the east and by wild uplands to the north, south and west. And then we headed up to The Kingdom of Fife, finally arriving at St Andrews which is a unique little town.
It boasts the ruins of an ancient abbey, an old castle, the world's most famous golf course, gorgeous seascapes, stolid stone university buildings and proud merchants' houses. Seagulls perform their acrobatic manoeuvres on the wind while bulky Americans and slender oriental students roam the streets, marvelling at the place like children at a sweet shop window.
While Shirley attended her day course at the university, I parked in a fishing village south of St Andrews. It is called Crail and it looks as if it belongs on the lid of a luxury box of shortbread. With boots laced, I marched off to Fife Ness and along the coastal path. Three hours later a young seagull seemed desperate for the cheese and pickle sandwich that I had bought in Crail's little "Co-op" store. Needless to say, its begging was not in vain.
The next day we bypassed Edinburgh - stopping at Dunbar - birthplace of the famous New World conservationist - John Muir. Then after tea and scones we headed back to Merry Olde England, only stopping on the Northumberland coast to snap distant views of Lindisfarne - The Holy Island. Then onwards to Alnwick where Steve and Moira were perfect hosts.
We walked on the beach at Alnmouth and then drank Black Sheep beer in "The Red Lion" before heading back to their house for a lovely meal and wine. And on Sunday morning we visited the famous "Barter Books" second-hand book-store in Alnwick's old station. It was here in 2000 that an old "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster was re-discovered. This iconic design has now spread about the planet in different forms. Perhaps I should design an alternative "Get Angry and Fight!" poster.
A trip like this reminds me that we are very fortunate to live on such a beautiful island with its intricate history and its special character. We ought not to listen to the detracting "Boo!" boys and girls for this really is a land of hope and glory and when the weather is good, there really is nowhere finer....Gallery:-
|Boarhills Church near St Andrews|
|Crail Harbour, Fife|
|Th Old Course, St Andrews|
|View to The Holy Island|
|The original "Keep Calm" poster in Alnwick|