Posts Tagged ‘Small and yappy dog’

Today’s guest picture, sent by my younger son from Edinburgh, shows the Scottish Parliament building at Holyrood.  In 9 months we will know whether it is to house the governing body of a newly independent nation or to remain a provincial outpost of the London banking system as at present.


It was raining when we went to bed last night and it was raining when we got up this morning.

I went out to see where all the rain had gone.  Some had gone into the Wauchope.

Kirk Brig, Wauchope

It was just squeezing under the Kirk bridge.

Quite a lot had gone onto the Esk which was why the Wauchope was having trouble getting under the bridge.

Esk in spate

The Esk was having quite enough difficulty squeezing under the town bridge…

The esk at the town bridge

…and the fence posts on the Castleholm which had been a resting place for gulls a day or two ago…

Gulls along the Esk

…looked very different today.

Castleholm fence posts

I went home to have a cup of coffee and a scone or two with Dropscone and was rung up by Bruce who told me that there had been a landslip on the main road to the south of the town.  After our coffee, Dropscone kindly offered to drive to the site of this literal catastrophe.  Although it had figured on a national radio station traffic report an hour earlier, it was less than sensational by the time that we got there.

Landslip on A7

A couple of good men with a digger and a truck had cleared the rubble off the road and only the water remained.  The slip had not been very big in the first place….

Landslip on A7

…and cars were able to pass it with disappointing ease (for me at any rate).

A7 landslip

I walked back towards the town, stopping at Skippers Bridge to admire the sticking power of the old distillery.


They have even routed a stream under the road and through the building.

The Esk was rushing through all three arches of Skippers Bridge which is a rare sight.  I hoped to be able to get a good shot of this but getting down the bank to get clear of the trees was just too risky.

Skippers with three arches full

I had to settle for a clear shot of a little stream pouring down the bank onto the road beside the bridge.

Cascade at Skippers

This won’t help the road which is already in a very bad state of repair.

I crossed back over the bridge and splashed my way home along the track past the Murtholm, enjoying the gate of the day on my way.

Murtholm gate

I only had Pocketcam with me but I was sorry that I hadn’t taken a long lens when I saw this busy puddle/pond in one of the Murtholm fields.

Herons etc

I think that I can count at least three herons and possibly a pair of goosanders too.

The trail back through the woods along the riverside path was enlivened by many little streams cascading down the bank to my left.

streams from Stubholm Bank

The path had stood up well to the amount of water passing over and under it.

As I was going along through the Beechy Plains, an unfortunate incident occurred.  I heard some barking behind me and was surprised to find myself bitten  on the back of the thigh by a yappy little terrier.  A good shouting  from me did nothing to put it off and it had another go when I turned to walk on, this time just catching my welly rather than my leg.  Resisting the temptation to land it a good kick in the particulars, I waited until its ineffectual owner appeared crying, “Come here Fido, (or some such doggy name),” a command which it found all too easy to disobey.

I stood my ground until finally he caught the little pest.

“Your dog’s bitten me, ” I said indignantly.

“That’s most unusual,” he replied, an answer that was both inadequate and probably untrue as well.

As I had a pair of waterproof trousers on over a pair of ordinary trousers over a stout pair of long Johns, I expected to have suffered no great hurt and I left him trying to get his other, less aggressive but equally disobedient terrier to come to heel and continued my walk.

The river had risen enough to get onto the park when I got there.


I was intending to take a turn along the Esk and see what the state of play was on the Kilngreen but the back of my leg was a feeling a bit sore where the horrid hound had sunk its tiny teeth so I returned home and got Mrs Tootlepedal to check on the damage.  Amazingly, although there were no tears in any layers of the trousers, there was a bit of collateral damage on my leg.  (Warning:  For those of a squeamish nature, scroll quickly past the next picture.)

dog  bite

Picture courtesy of MRST Photo Associates.

This was annoying as it meant that I had to go to the walk in (hobble in?) afternoon clinic at the health centre to get it checked out. It got a clean bill of health and a neat dressing but a check on the records led to me having to have a tetanus injection as I hadn’t had one since 1998.  I am definitely going to kick that dog if it comes near me again.

I took advantage of the visit to the health centre to take another couple of pictures of the Esk as I crossed it on my way.

Elizabeth Street

The residents of George Street are doubtless very glad of the wall along the river.

Suspension Bridge

Mrs Tootlepedal had to cross this in the dark on her way home from work. It made her quite nervous.

The church looked a little lonely across the Wauchope

The church looked a little lonely across the Wauchope

When I got home, Sandy came round to cheer me up and we had a quick walk to check on the water level and amazingly, since it was still raining, the rivers had dropped considerably and we soon returned home for a cup of tea and a couple of the many biscuits that I was given for Christmas.

It is a sad thing when your enthusiasm for photography leads to you wish for just a small disaster to photograph so I was probably well served by getting bitten.  As a side note, I rang up Dropspcone to tell him of my misfortune and he was very scornful.

“I’ve been bitten nine times,” he said, “Once is nothing.”   The joys of being a postman!

We are still full of the Christmas spirit and we had some tasty turkey rissoles for out tea.

I didn’t manage to catch a flying bird in the gloom and the excitement so I hope this very brief movie of a flying river or two will do instead.  Be prepared, the noise of the river is quite loud.

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