Today’s guest picture shows the Royal Shakespeare Theatre at Stratford upon Avon. It was kindly sent to me by Mike Griffiths, author of the Wilden Marsh blog which is always an interesting read. He is a first class photographer.
It was a dry morning again. Recently the weather gods have taken to raining in the night and leaving the days dry. This is very welcome. It was extra welcome today as I had to take the car to the garage first thing in the morning to get its winter tyres put on and then walk home.
After a light breakfast, I had to walk up to the town again to sit for a couple of hours in the Welcome to Langholm office where I was filling in for an absentee welcomer.
There was not a lot of welcoming to do so I was able to put two weeks of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database which I regarded as time well spent.
I picked up the car from the garage, complete with its winter tyres, and drove home in sunshine. It was such a nice day that I rang Sandy up to see if he would like a walk after lunch. He was keen so we arranged a time and almost immediately, it began to rain. It was only teasing though and it soon stopped and the sun came out again.
We decided to visit Rowanburn and walk to the viaduct that links Scotland and England, the route we had planned to follow last Saturday when we were foiled by the road works.
There was no let or hindrance today and we parked in the middle of the village…
…just beside a tribute to its past existence as a home for coal miners and a coal mine.
We set off down the path to the old railway line from Langholm to England, passing through a coal and timber yard which looks as though it has more demand for timber than coal these days.
Although the timber may look a bit dull, it turned out to be a treasure trove of fungi.
Every tree trunk seemed to have its own crop.
And I mean, every tree trunk.
This was my favourite.
The sun wasn’t out when we started the walk and everything is still wet after a soggy autumn so these cows with their feet in the mud summed up the situation rather well.
It is enough to make a cow thoughtful.
We walked on, along the disused railway bed…
…and entered the woods. We thought that we would be in the woods until we reached the viaduct….
…but great tree felling has gone on and most of the track is now in the open. This was made more welcome by the reappearance of the sun…
…and we enjoyed good views up the Liddle Water valley over the felled area…
…until we came to the viaduct.
It has a big new fence across it to stop me and Sandy walking on to it. I could just poke the Lumix lens through a gap in the wires.
That is England on the far side of the bridge.
I was quite pleased not to be allowed to walk on the viaduct because it is a lofty structure as we could see from below when we had scrambled down a bank onto the road…
…and splodged through some very muddy fields to the waterside until we found a place where we could look back up at the viaduct.
It is a rather frustrating structure to try to do justice to with a camera. It is impossible to get a position where all the arches can be seen at once and its curved construction is very tricky to capture.
The skill of the men who designed and built it is manifest when you look up at the arches.
The trackbed crosses the supporting pillars at an angle and on a curve and all this was done with a bit of string and a piece of chalk (and a lot of sound mathematics) and not a computer in sight. My respect for engineers is unbounded.
I walked down the river a bit to try to get a better shot of just some of its many arches.
I enjoyed the peaceful water above the bridge too.
Sandy didn’t fancy the splodge back through the muddy field so he clambered up a very steep path to the end of the viaduct but I took the longer way round and met him on the track.
We walked back to the car with one eye on a rainy looking cloud and got there just as a light rain started to fall.
We had stopped to looked at a few things on the way back…
..so we were very pleased with our timing.
We went back to Langholm and Sandy entertained me to tea and a chocolate biscuit or two before I headed home.
It was too dark to do anything other than go in and look at the pictures that I had taken on the walk and practise a song which I have to re-learn by heart for our Christmas concert with the Carlisle choir.
Generally speaking, my cough was much improved today and I really am quite optimistic that I may have seen the last of it soon.
In the evening, Susan arrived and she drove us to Carlisle for the monthly meeting of our recorder group.
Because I had got the winter tyres on the car, I was expecting a long spell of warm and dry weather but it was near freezing as we drove back so maybe the winter tyres will come in handy.
The recorder playing was most enjoyable as was the cup of tea and chocolate biscuits that followed it. Two cups of tea with chocolate biscuits in the same day is a very good thing.
I didn’t have much time to look out of the kitchen window today so the flying bird of the day is a non standard one….but quite striking all the same.
Sandy has produced a record of our walk with some very nice pictures on it. You can see it here if you would like.