Lockerbie’s Townhead Hotel, where I was to stay for four nights, turned out to be another good one. After breakfast the next morning, Wednesday 22nd July, I was picked up by Tom and his wife. Tom is a brother of my very long-standing London friend Mary. They very kindly looked after me for the whole day, and took me round to see just some of the wonders of their part of the world, near Borders country. (I had thought to offer to do the driving in my hire car, but I was very happy in the event to escape the BWB for a day.)
We went first to the town of Moffat,
where I was able to buy a new umbrella to replace the one I’d left on a Glasgow bus, and where I singularly failed to notice the Moffat Ram monument. You can see that on Tom’s (Tootlepedal’s) own blog. Over a very welcome coffee (coffee is always welcome) we talked about blogging for a long while. Not for the only time in the day. Poor Mrs Tootlepedal.
We drove north, to a once sinister place called the Devil’s Beef Tub, where raided cattle used to be hidden at the time of the Border Rievers. The hollow was pretty impressive, even in today’s more peaceful times.
Then on to a waterfall called the Grey Mare’s Tail. Mrs Tootlepedal and I took a short walk to get nearer to it while Tom pottered below taking lots of pictures (though these are mine).
So did I at the slightly elevated position we were in, and I practised focusing with my bridge camera on further things when the auto focus wants to concentrate on the nearer object.
It was never really warm during the day, but we were pretty lucky with the weather. Not though just as we got to our next stop, the Loch of the Lowes.
So we didn’t even try to stop at the adjacent St Mary’s Loch. For lunch we drove on to a community café in Eskdalemuir, the Hub, about which I had read much in Tom’s blog, and where I was able to admire examples of his camera club’s work on the walls.
After lunch the sky started brightening.
A pause to draw breath and admire the garden at their home in Langholm followed. Most days there are some beautiful photos of Mrs Tootlepedal’s amazing horticultural achievements on Tom’s blog.
We didn’t linger for long, but were off again after a cup of tea, this time to see – it was too late to go in – the outside of Hermitage Castle, on the Riever Trail.
To return to Langholm we crossed a moor, where we stopped for a while, got our binoculars out, and watched a hen harrier quartering for prey. No successful photos, regrettably. The next and last stop of the afternoon was at the MacDiarmid Memorial
where I took advantage of the afternoon sun to take a couple more pictures of the beautiful Dumfriesshire countryside.
A meal at the Douglas Hotel in Langholm rounded off a really enjoyable day with my friend’s brother and his wife.