Will this fine weather never end?

Today’s picture shows a Zulu dancer and his group who were performing in Langholm today.  Not the sort of thing we see every day.

zulus

The Zulu group rounded off a very good day indeed.

The day started, as usual on the first Saturday of a month, with a visit to our local producers’ market where a number of satisfactory and tasty purchases were made.  The best of the purchases was some cod’s roe which is a special treat for me as I love it and there is probably only one opportunity per year to buy it in Langholm.  This was that day.

Sandy came round for a coffee after he too had visited the market and we agreed to meet after an early lunch to go on an outing to make the best use we could of another perfectly sunny day.  I had cod’s roe for lunch.

I had a moment after lunch to look out of the window.

There were plenty of chaffinches about
There were plenty of chaffinches about

After some discussion when Sandy reappeared, Mrs Tootlepedal decided to spend the afternoon gardening and Sandy and I decided to go to England and visit Kirkandrews on Esk.  This didn’t entail a great journey as Kirkandrews is less than  a mile over the border.

The church and tower at Kirkandrews are set in a large park and like so many other areas roundabout us at the mpment, a new large puddle had appeared and we stopped to admire it.

puddle

I always enjoy the mature trees to be seen in parkland.

fine tree

The church at Kirkandrews is small but elegant and of an unusual rectangular design.  It was built in 1776 as an estate church for Netherby which curiously is on the other side of the river Esk.  This accounts for a fierce notice still attached to the bridge from Netherby to the church.

Notice

Luckily our approach was not by the bridge but by road.

St Andrews Church
The church of St Andrew

We parked beside the church and took a picture or two.

The church bell tower
The church bell tower
The sundial clock
The sundial clock: the Latin says’ Light after shadow’

The clock celebrates the safe return from the Great War of two sons of the Graham family.  It seemed to be about an hour out as the photo was taken at 1.13pm.

St Andrew's Church
The front door
A stile leading to the river crossing.
A stile leading to the river crossing.
New suspension bridge, Kirkandrews on Esk
The new suspension bridge across the Esk

I think this bridge was constructed more for the convenience of fishermen than churchgoers.

The Esk at Kirkandrews
The Esk was in peaceful mood at Kirkandrews today
Tree on Esk bank
One of the many fine trees on the river bank
Church
The church seen from the riverside

Near the church is Kirkandrew’s Tower, a pele tower into which both cattle and family could be taken for safety in the event of a raid by border reivers. Kirkandrews Tower

Kirkandrews Tower was built as a border fortress around 1530-50 by a Thomas Graham. It was sited in the area that both the English and Scottish claimed as their own. The square tower measures 10 metres by 7 metres and has walls over 1½ metres thick.

Unlike many such towers, it looks in good repair.

Kirkandrews Tower

I am going to buy it and live there when my ship comes in.

There were a great many trees to admire in the surrounding park.

Trees at Kirkandrews
Some in better condition than others
And others that were  definitely dead.
And others that were definitely dead.

As we drove away, we stopped by the big puddle (it was really a pond) to watch some birds.

lapwings
A flock of lapwings took fright and flew off towards Canonbie
Two ducks
Two handsome ducks flew round in circles, annoyed by our intrusion on their peace.

I haven’t any idea what sort they are but I am sure that one of my knowledgeable readers will be able to tell me.

We left Kirkandrews and travelled about two miles north to Canonbie where once again we took to the banks of the Esk. I had intended to take a picture of the fine bridge there but got distracted by some river birdlife.

grey wagtail
In spite of clearly being yellow, this is a grey wagtail.  This is only the second one that I have seen.
dipper
I have seen a dipper often.

The dippers often seem to have white eyes when I photograph them and Mrs Tootlepedal (who did some research) tells me that this is because they have a membrane which they can pull across their eyes to help deal with refraction from the water.

We had parked at the village hall and after watching the birds for a while, we walked across the bridge and past Canonbie Church.

Canonbie Church

We walked along the edge of the church yard and I noticed this wall as we passed.

wall at Canonbie Church

Our target was the grassy bank of the river opposite the Deid Neuk.

Deid neuk

The Deid Neuk (Corner of the Dead) got its name from a tragic ferry accident claiming the lives of a party of church goers who were crossing the river in a flood before the bridge was built.

It was quiet and beautiful today.

This is one of my favourite spots along the Esk

Esk at canonbie
It also has a lot of gates.

We walked back to the car and worn out by standing around and pushing buttons for three hours, we returned home for a refreshing cup of tea and a dainty bsicuit (or two).  Mrs Tootlepedal had been gardening all the time we had been away…

gardener

…and was quite happy to come in and join us.

Before we went in, we took a quick look to see if the frogs were enjoying the sun as much as we were.

frog
I think this one was.

After our cup of tea, Sandy went home and Mrs Tootlepedal and I took a well earned rest.  Soon it was time for our evening meal and then we got ready to go out to the Buccleuch Centre.  The show was called Zulu Tradition and we had been in two minds as to whether we would go until our minds were made up by the offer of two free tickets which Mike and Alison had purchased but couldn’t use.  We accepted them gratefully and were very pleased that we had because the show was an absolute delight.

A troupe of six young singers and dancers gave us a very rich programme of Zulu song and dance which was packed with sizzling energy in the dance and rich, deep harmonies in the songs.  Mrs Tootlepedal went as far as to say that it might have been the evening that she had enjoyed the most at the Buccleuch Centre.  I thought that it was certainly up there with the best.

The flying bird of the day was also the only fly in the ointment in a very splendid day.  It is an oyster catcher flying off before I could get a really crisp picture of it.  You can’t have everything I suppose or it wouldn’t be good for you.

Oyster catcher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “Will this fine weather never end?

    1. Mrs Tootlepedal is complaining about the large quantity of moss everywhere in the garden at the moment. We have have had two pretty poor years and if this one is wet too, we will be in trouble.

  1. You might want to knock a few more windows in that tower when you buy it. It looks like it could be a bit dingy in there.

  2. A particularly interesting blog I thought today, such a splendid range of pictures as I never did see in all my days,

  3. Great photographs as usual, and a splendid one of the frog. So glad you enjoyed the concert.

  4. The stone stile may be the finest stile I’ve seen. Very grand. All the other stonework is great, especially the odd tombstone wall.

    The frogs are quite photogenic. Striking eyes when seen close up.

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