Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Bruce who was checking the time by the floral clock in Princes Street gardens in Edinburgh yesterday.
After quite a hard day yesterday, I thought that I ought to take it easy today but another miscalculation led to me taking over 170 pictures so I apologise in advance for putting 10 more than my usual limit of 20 into this post.
If you want the short story and can’t be bothered to scroll through the pictures, I had a quiet morning at home while Mrs Tootlepedal was singing in the church and in the afternoon we drove across Scotland to the North Sea coast and then came back again in time for a late tea.
For those who like a picture or two, here goes:
It had rained again in the night and the rain gauge showed the results.
As a result, it was too soggy to mow the lawn so I had a wander round and counted seven butterflies on the red buddleia at the same time….
…with the exception of a rather battered peacock, they were all red admirals.
I cycled down to the river to see what was what and was surprised to find some swallows (or possibly house martins) feeding young under the eaves in Caroline street…
…though I was less surprised to see Mr Grumpy in the middle of the river.
I had filled up the fat ball feeder and when I got back home, I was entertained by a robin popping up and down between the ring on the feeder and the fat balls.
Other birds took their chance too.
When we went away in the afternoon, I took the feeder down. If I leave it up when we are out, the jackdaws come and eat the lot in minutes.
When Mrs Tootlepedal came back from church, we had a cup of coffee and a light lunch and then we set off for an outing.
Mrs Tootlepedal likes the sea side and although we only live a few miles away from the Solway Firth on the west coast, the estuary there is a thing of mud flats and flat grassy shores so we decided to head across country to the more scenic coast of the North Sea near Berwick on Tweed. It is only about 75 miles and the roads were very quiet so we arrived at a tiny village called Burnmouth at two o’clock and drove cautiously down the exceedingly steep road to the harbour.
We walked along the shore as far as we could go.
The couple on the beach were looking for fragments of well polished broken glass to use in jewellery.
There were a great number of gulls and oyster catchers about but among the gulls, we also saw what we think are redshanks wading through the shallows.
We walked back to the harbour and watched a fisherman putting out lobster pots ready for tomorrow. He was happy to talk to us and said he has hundreds of pots either at sea or ready to go out and might catch as many as 800 lobsters on a good day.
He fishes all year round and catches brown crabs in the winter going as far as forty miles off shore to find them on the many shallow banks that lurk under the North Sea. He was very entertaining and we admired the hard work he has to do to make a living.
We watched in sympathetic amusement as a pair of male and female cyclists attempted the steep 20% road up from the harbour which you can see in the background in the picture above. The lady whizzed up but the gent had not found the right gear and ground embarrassingly to a halt. The slope was so steep that he couldn’t get going again and had to return to the bottom and start again. He made it on the second go.
As we talked to the fisherman, the sun came out and lit up the cliffs behind the harbour.
When we left, more boats were heading for the small harbour.
We were slightly worried about going up the steep road in the car, but the Kangoo coped very well and we were soon on our way along the coast a few miles to Eyemouth, a larger fishing village.
It too has a harbour.
By this time, the weather was on its best behaviour and Eyemouth was looking very pretty.
Oddly enough, the rather conspicuous house in the picture, Gunsgreen House, was built by a very successful local smuggler but it has many secret places inside it where the smuggled good were concealed.
Eyemouth lies in in a natural sheltered bay….
…which makes it ideal for fun in the water….
…even on a breezy day like today.
We visited a cafe for scones and a cup of coffee and then we walked along the harbour looking at a family of swans…
…who were very calm in the face of a series of boats coming into port.
The rocks outside the harbour mean that careful navigation is required.
We left the harbour and followed a coastal path, enjoying the views to the north…
…and the many little coves along the golf course to the south of the village.
We stood on the sixth tee of the golf course and peered across one of the coves to try to see the flag on the sixth green on the other side.
The green is near the gap in the wall that you can see. I have lost a few balls playing this hole in years gone by.
The twisted rock strata in the coves shows that things have not always been gentle here.
We had seen many gulls over the harbour and we were delighted to see several gannets flying south over the sea as we walked along the cliff top.
We met a bird watcher who promised us peregrine falcons if we walked far enough along but time ran out and we had to return to the village before we got to the appointed spot.
We went by a fine hedge of sea buckthorn and rugosa roses.
The swans were tucked up for the evening on a slipway as we passed.
One of the nice things about Eyemouth is that it still celebrates its past life as a major herring port by electing a Herring Queen each year and as we walked about, we couldn’t help noticing many banners attached to lamp posts and featuring Queens of past years.
We had had a really good outing and were happy to get back in the car and hit the road for home. Once again, the traffic was light and we got back in time for a second helping of the venison stew and a little post-prandial rest.
I apologise again for the lengthy post but it was a really good day and it was hard to cut the pictures down any more than I have.
The flower of the day is a bunch of pink poppies from the garden this morning….
…and the flying bird is an Eyemouth harbour gull.