Taking the long view

Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Liz, Dropscone’s sister.  She has just visited the Chelsea Flower Show and saw these impressive alliums while she was there.

allium at ChelseaThere was a theoretical moment today, if I got up early and went out before breakfast, when I could get a quick pedal in without getting caught in the morning rain.  To my complete amazement, I got up early and got the pedal in. It wasn’t long (14 miles) and it wasn’t quick (13 mph) but it was before breakfast.  Mrs Tootlepedal was stunned.  So was I.

The reason for the need to get the pedal done with early was an appointment in Melrose, 45 miles or so away, just after lunch.  A lady from the south had got in touch with me in my capacity as a member of the Archive Group as she was anxious to find a good home for two 1859 paintings which had been presented to her father on his retirement from a local firm many years ago.  She was in Melrose for a day or two so I had agreed to meet her there today.

As we have Granny staying with us, we thought that this would be a good opportunity to take her on a tour of the border country.  We left in time to have an early lunch at the excellent Buccleuch Arms Hotel in St Boswells….

Buccleuch Arms Hotel…and Granny made things even better by standing us the lunch.   It had been raining all the way up but by the time we left, the rain had stopped.  We got to Melrose bang on time and met Mrs Turner and her son.  We chatted to them over a cup of tea and a biscuit and she gave me the paintings.  They turned out to be absolutely charming and regular readers of the blog will have no difficulty in recognising what the subjects are.  I took a couple of quick photos of the pictures when we got home.

skippers bridge by NutterThe distilleryThe paintings are by a Carlisle artist called William H Nutter, who our archive database tells us died at the house of the British Consul at La Peria, Spain on 5 June 1872, aged 50.  Mrs Tootlepedal did some research on him and you can find prints of his Carlisle paintings still on sale today.

We said our goodbyes to the Turners and continued with our tour of favourite spots with Granny.  We started at the Leaderfoot railway viaduct, one of the most elegant bridges you will ever see.

Leaderfoot viaductIt makes the old and new road bridges behind it look very lumpy.

A68 bridgesWe carried on to Scott’s View, allegedly a favourite spot of the author Sir Walter Scott.  You can see why he might have enjoyed it.

Eildon Hills Scott's viewThe tweed Scott's viewThe yellow gorse and the yellow fields of rape were a big feature of our drive.  The gorse was sensational at  times.

gorse Scott's viewWe left the viewpoint and drove on to one of my favourite spots, Smailholm Tower.  There is too much scrambling for Granny to get to the tower so she and Mrs Tootlepedal admired it from the car while I nipped out for a quick shot or two.

Smailholm towerAt the foot of the tower lies an old mill pond.

Smailholm towerLong serving (suffering?) readers will have taken this tour with me before but I make no apologies for revisiting these sites as I never tire of them.

We made our way home through Kelso and past many more brilliantly coloured yellow fields of rape. Although they are a treat to the eye, they don’t do my asthma any favours at all and I am still coughing and spluttering as I write this.

Our final stop on the tour was for a cup of tea and a toasted teacake (without which no day out is complete) at the Teviot Smokery and Water Gardens.  We were going to buy some of their smoked salmon after our tea but we forgot but I did manage a quick run round the water gardens.

Teviot water gardens

Teviot water gardens
The River Teviot at the foot of the terraced gardens

Teviot water gardensTeviot water gardensThey have a pool full of big fish to encourage people to buy their own.

Teviot water gardensThey hoped that I was going to feed them.

We got home in good order after a 100 mile round trip, with Granny still wide a wake and interested in everything that she saw.  Considering that she is 98, she is a remarkably durable lady and a treat to take on a tour.

The thing that she was most delighted with was the gorse and so I finish our tour with a another flash of yellow.

gorseI don’t think that I have ever seen the gorse so plumptious as it is this year.

In the evening, I went off to the Archive Centre with Sandy and we put a couple of weeks of the newspaper index into the database.   It has been a full day.

I just had time when we got back from our tour to snatch a gloomy flying bird of the day before the light faded.

flying bird

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “Taking the long view

  1. I’m with Granny, the gorse is really beautiful. I’ve never seen anything like the gorse covered landscapes.
    The paintings are beautiful too, and quite a gift! I think I recognize the bridge but I’m not sure about the house.
    I like the alliums but I’m not so sure about the way that they were displayed. A bit too stiff and formal for my tastes, but I’m sure Mrs. T will remedy that if she plants some.

  2. Spectacularly beautiful photos, and I do enjoy those paintings, as well. I’m glad Granny is still sounding sharp as a tack at 98! My mom will turn that in September. Still astounds me their energy and conversation skills.

  3. Well done fitting in such an early cycle ride. Thanks for the tour and the sight of the two paintings, what a wonderful gift to your Archive collection.

  4. The gorse is stunning! The early morning cycle was impressive. I’m glad you were able to squeeze it in. You must be keen. The paintings are lovely. I’m impressed with the alliums. I might try growing them here. I wonder if the possums would eat them.

  5. I have never seen anything like your photos of the fields of yellow! I recognize the settings in the paintings, but can’t remember the names, at least not positively. I think the one may be the old mill, or am I completely wrong?

  6. Plumptious! A lovely word. The Schubertii alliums are fabulous – I used to grow them in a former garden. The more modern strains are even more explosive-looking than the ones I used to grow. The photographs you took on your trip to Melrose are so good!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: