A long farewell to Edinburgh


Today’s guest picture shows the pretty church at Cavers which my neighbour Gavin passed while on a walk in the country near Hawick.


I had a well organised day today with a sting in the tail.

The morning started with a view of the feeder…

several chaffinches
Several chaffinches appeared

…which was followed by a brief floral tour….

daff, snowdrop and wallflower
Signs of spring on all sides

…and concluded with a spin down to Canonbie and back on the fairly speedy bike.  This is a regular route and the whole thing would have been quite humdrum except for a burst of song which stopped me in my tracks as I passed Pool Corner on my way out of Langholm.

The song came from a pair of dippers by the side of the pool.

dippers at pool corner

One below in full courting mode….

dippers at pool corner

…and one above, like Juliet on her balcony.

dippers at pool corner

Music must have worked its charm because in a trice, both birds were side by side, singing their little feathered hearts out.

dippers at pool corner

I pedalled on in an uplifted mood.

I was ready to be entertained by anything that I passed.

Tree with cows
A tree with added cows
cows being fed
Social services in a farming area – meals on wheels for coos.
A tree with starlings
A tree and field full of what I think are starlings
More work on the bridge at langholm.
More work on Skippers Bridge at Langholm.

The weather was as perfect as a January day could be for a pedal with very light winds, high clouds and a very friendly temperature.  My serotonin levels were well topped up by the time that I got home.

After a shower and lunch, it was time to set off to Lockerbie to catch the train to Edinburgh to visit Matilda.

The train was on time and we even arrived a minute or two early.  Like the station at Carlisle, there are works going above the platform in Edinburgh and the bridge above the station has been well upholstered.

North Bridge

We took a bus down to Matilda’s from Princes Street which gave me a chance to take a picture of the old North British Railway hotel at Waverley Station…

NB Hotel

…built in a time when keeping the customer happy was part and parcel of running a railway.

We had a very good time being entertained by Matilda and her parents, especially while playing Snap.  Matilda won the first game by the simple expedient of taking all the cards into her care whether they were pairs or not.  But we all had a lot of fun.

After an excellent tea of cottage pie conjured up by Mrs Tootlepedal (or Scottidge Pie as Matilda referred to it), we caught the bus back to Waverley station and were a bit stunned to say the least to find that our train had been cancelled, as indeed had all trains running on the line.  Some unexplained incident had closed the line and we were at a loss as to how we were going to get home.  There were no notices or information but a kind lady in the ticket office advised us to go to the station entrance and wait for a bus to take us to Lockerbie.

We went and waited.  This gave me the chance to take a photo of Edinburgh by night.  Someone had been painting the town red.


A bus duly arrived and we were taken to Lockerbie with the minimum of fuss and the maximum of comfort.  The only downside of the nearly two hour journey was that we didn’t get home until after eleven o’clock and that will explain the late posting and hurried prose of today’s blog for which I apologise.

I found a flying chaffinch of the day.

flying chaffinch



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

34 thoughts on “A long farewell to Edinburgh

  1. It’s nice to see the flowers beginning to show some color. We won’t see that for a while yet. The first two weeks of February might be more winter like than January has been.
    The lone tree is a nice one, even with cows.
    They don’t seem to be sparing any expense on the bridge repair.

  2. Enjoyed the dippers.
    What a shock about the train – sorry you had such a long bus ride, but at least you got back before it was toooo late.

  3. Another full day in the borders! Love those dipper photos looks like there’ll be lots of little dippers in the spring! Like the guest photo too and the Wiki info!

    1. I haven’t noticed the dippers being so vocal and observable at this time of year before. Whether this is because it has been a good year for dippers and there are a lot of them about or just because I am normally very unobservant, I wouldn’t know.

  4. What a magnificent old railway hotel. I also chuckled at “Scottidge pie” – that sounds like something that could be a permanent change in nomenclature!

  5. The North British Railway Hotel looks very grand and somewhat craggy! Excellent dipper photos – I would love to see this! I am sorry you had such a long journey home.

  6. The dippers must have been very uplifting! Nice captures of their courtship.

    I am sorry to hear of the train incident. Glad you and Mrs. Tootlepedal arrived home safely.

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