Today’s picture, just to keep Tuckamoredew happy, is a bridge and a bike (and a cyclist).
There was no cycling today as I had an early visit to the Health Centre followed by a drive to Innerleithen to fit in. In between the two activities, I filled up the bird feeder and it was soon busy.
The visit to the health centre was of no interest but the visit to Innerleithen more than made up for it. This was not least because I had Bruce, a fellow Archive group member, as my passenger. Bruce has lived and worked in the Borders for a long time and was a mine of information on every subject as we passed.
The purpose of our visit was to collect four boxes of prints that the expert printer at R Smail & Sons’ historic printing works in Innerleithen had run off for us from a set of blocks that had been given to the Archive Group. Smail’s are a National Trust for Scotland property and it had been a labour of love for them to run off the prints for us over the quiet days of winter.
The staff there were very helpful and even helped Bruce carry the boxes of prints and the printing blocks out to the Kangoo.
The prints had been made using a Heidelberg press.
The whole thing had been made possible by the work of Eric and the goodwill of Gen Harrison and the Archive group are grateful to both of them.
Their printing shop is a treat to visit.
In the dead centre of the picture, secured by a piece of string, the sharp eyed can see a printing block for the Langholm Common Riding poster. Eric was saying that the block weighs 112 lbs or a hundredweight in old measure. Printers obviously have to be strong as well as skilful.
The pleasure in getting this valuable addition to the Archive resources was heightened by the drive up and down the Tweed Valley and through the hills between Selkirk and Langholm. On our way up, we took the main road but on our way back, we took the scenic route along the Tweed. We crossed the river, which was running strongly after the recent wet weather..
…by a modern bridge in Walkerburn.
This took us onto the back road which runs high along the bank above the river.
Then we had to cross the river again to get back to the main road.
Once on the main road, it wasn’t long before another crossing loomed up.
We crossed the Tweed for one last time in Selkirk, using the bridge built in 1977 to replace the one washed away in the great flood of that year. Then we headed for Hawick where Bruce was kind enough to stand me lunch. We parked the car and walked through some of the back streets of Hawick which I had never been along before. We got a glimpse of the handsome Hawick Town Hall.
We also added to our bridge experience by passing the spot where the Slitrig Burn first disappears and then reappears having dived under the streets.
Having reappeared, it promptly dives again, this time under the High Street, before joining the Teviot.
We had our lunch in the sort of bookshop cum cafe which you would expect to serve a vegetarian chilli. It did and it was jolly good. I had a good cup of coffee and Bruce bought a book.
The whole trip can only be described as a grand day out.
I was a little tired by the time we got back to Langholm so I confined my afternoon activities to mowing the middle lawn in a rare burst of sunshine. Otherwise sitting down was the order of the day, though I caught two roses before I went in.
The nice day out and the lawn mowing had put me in such a good mood that I even took an arty picture of an allium head.
The evening was given over to music. First Luke came for his flute lesson and once again pleased me by showing that he had been practising hard. After he left, I noticed this very yellow blue tit on the fat balls.
Then I went up to the town and played a good selection of recorder sonatas with Mike and Isabel. Mike is a cellist and it is very nice to have the solid bass line that a cello provides. We played for so long that I was quite puffed out when I got home and I am going to sleep well tonight.
The flying chaffinch of today is a flying chaffinch.