Musings from the Merse
Garden after rain
4 weeks without rain-just like 01, 82, 76, 47 ad nauseam. Then 16mm in no time. One cloud burst produced 5mm in 5 minutes. Result: yellow lawn turning green after an hour; better result: too wet to pick fruit. A welcome break for Huttonian
How is this going to help?
Abroad thoughts from home. Musings from a Mess.
Bloggees from Jordan have asked why Huttonian has remained silent about the awful situation in Palestine and Lebanon. Actually he hasn't. He was asked together with five other 'experts'-two Jewish-to answer the question 'How to stop the killings' by the Political editor of the Sunday Herald-the Sunday edition of the better Scottish national daily: The Herald. The article is as follows:Mission Improbable
12 Years ago, as British Ambassador to Jordan I witnessed the signing of a Peace Treaty between Israel and Jordan. As someone whose whole diplomatic career had been spent in the shadow of the bitter long running and bloody Arab-Israeli confrontation nothing had prepared me for the sight of Jordanian and Israeli Generals embracing one another and exchanging gifts as world leaders, including Bill Clinton looked on. And after the Oslo agreement of1993 there seemed a real chance of peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.
That was then. We are now back to the bad old days of bitter unrelenting conflict which is in danger of getting out of hand. A ceasefire? I doubt it as long as both Israel and Hizbullah believe they can deal each other mortal blows. If Israel does not get her way might she not turn on Syria and Iran as the sponsors of ‘terrorism’? And might she not do it with the tacit, at least, approval of Washington in hot pursuit of the remaining elements of the Axis of Evil.? And in Gaza the violence continues, Palestinians die, as the international community’s attention is diverted by the destruction of Lebanon.
What to do about it? Very little is practicable for the moment. Only the US has the leverage to rein in Israel and does not seem in the mood to do so if the main Israeli target remains ‘the terrorists’ of Hizbullah and a certain amount of collateral damage in Tyre, Sidon and Beirut is ’regrettable’ but ‘acceptable’ Innocent victims of the War on Terror. As for the Palestinians they feel they have little to lose in a one sided relationship with the ancient enemy. Their leadership is weak and divided and cannot bring their people to the negotiating table.
The British role. We are discredited throughout the Arab world because of our perceived lap dog relationship with Washington. All we can do is to yap at American heels-at best irritating, rarely influencing. We are getting good at that
University of Edinburgh. Formerly Ambassador to Kuwait and Jordan
Any one interested can rush out and get the SH before it is recycled and look on pages 41 and 43.
GNER at Peterborough
A bloggee has asked what is GNER? He lives in very foreign parts where GNER is not on every lip. Flickr has 700 images entitled GNER. This is the most boring I could find. Enjoy
Well they have broadband in Little Giddings! Even more remote than Hutton and even smaller-45 souls. Great Gidings is
huge-bigger than Paxton if you can imagine such a metropolis in rural Cambridgeshire. This used to be Huntingdonshire but got swallowed up-rather like East Lothian absorbingBerwickshire. God forbid. Please.
GNER had problems. Indeed every train passing South ofDoncaster had severe problems on Friday. 'Overhead cables' apparently. No power on track, never mind the wrong kind. It could have been worse. But bad enough.Two hours stationary at two different stations and reassuring messages promising news. And less reassuring remarks about 'severe disruption' 'eighty trains stuck' Passengers with onward connections please let us know. Flight details taken down and promises of contacts with airlines. One young Chinese girl with a 10pm flight to Hong Kong was hard to help as she did not know her flight number, was to collect her ticket from the airport.Which one? Was not sure . Could be Heathrow or possibly Gatwick. And so the long day dragged on
Very hot and as our train was carrying people from three abandoned ones it was a tad crowded. No way of reaching the restaurant car apart from causing gbh en route.
We return this evening. It couldn't happen again!
Huttonian has had a preview of the Village Hall interior. No question it is a great improvement on the old hall-with a snug meeting room
, well fitted kitchen, a spanking new custom built post office, disabled loo (yet to be doored) The main hall will also provide not only for Hutton's champion carpet bowlers but will allow Huttonian and others to return to the Badminton Court. This is a job well done and the Hall Committee can deservedly pat themselves on the back. Opening ceremony apparently under preparation. September? And the hall is now in use with the PO moving back on or about 8 August.
The blog is off for the weekend to a rurally isolated conference centre -GNER always permitting. No chance of internet access there and I doubt if Little Giddings (or even Bigger Giddings) rums to a cyber cafe.
Back in touch..
If we are spared
Naming the parts
See following Post on fishing on the Tweed. Ms KB and Mr P get professional instruction on what makes a sea trout tick
once in a while the salmon netters come to the Tweed below Paxton House to try their hand at the old technique of salmon netting. A net is rowed across the river and then winched in (click images to see detail) It is hardly a productive operation. Netting all day produced one sea trout which you see Mr P admiring before it was knocked on the head for one of the fisherman's supper. Poor reward for a long day in the hot soon. The problem was with too much weed floating upstream and the sea and river temperature too high to attract the fish inland as it were.
I am not sure what the point of it is. Amuse the Tourists? There was one more than the number of fish netted. Keeping you hand in perhaps? There were a couple of young fishermen swaggering cow boy like in their tall waders-but surely not apprentices to a trade which is dying fast. In the upper image the boats have been stowed away and a boom is in place down stream to stop more weed floating in on the rising tide
It takes alot of sun to get the good people of northern Northumberland into the sea. And we got it and a warm sticky breeze. But imagine this stretch of sand further south and you would not be able to see the sand for humanity.
Ice Cream Van Cocklawburn Beach
Its a hot climb up steep sand dunes from Cocklawburn beach. But the £1.20 (extra scoop) cone makes it all worth while
I don't know how
much credit the blog can take but there is good news for the denizens of Kirk Lane about the nearly completed Hutton Village Hall. Apparently there is more cash sloshing around in the Hall committee treasure chest than previously thought and in consequence we are going to get (some) of our wall back. It will not be the identical wall replaced as before but it will be a wall and this will do much (depending on how it is built and with what) to enhance the appearance of the lane and indeed of the hall. I mention the blog has Huttonian after a previous post bemoaning the disappearance of an old familiar landmark got a number of (anonymous) comments expressing support for a bring back the wall campaign. And here it comes. Image to be posted as soon as there is one.
Really Coach. I just don't want to do this. Its hot and sticky and its Balamorey on the box. And my wrist has gone alarmingly limp. Tomorrow? Please!
Well that is better. What changed this young man's attitude to this discipline? The prospect of a gold medal in 2012? The thirst for fame and glory? Permission to pull Rosie's tail, real hard? A large ice cream cone with extra chocolate?
Who says it is difficult to motivate today's youth?
We need one of these with associated moisture. Rain in Hutton this month 3mm. Last month 12 mm
There is a belief in certain quarters of a condition (for want of a better word) called Purgatory-a sort of post mortem
ante room to Heaven (if you have been quite good) or to Hell (if you have lived a bit of a naughty life) You can be in Purgatory whilst still alive. As today on the A1, in an antique French registered unairconditioned car, steering wheel in the distaff position, with two small pugnacious., bickering, children- siblings apparently lacking filial affection A Ms Cain and a Mr Abel ( I am now stretching biblical analogies somewhat), in a high temperature (not quite as hot as Hell, obviously) and 356 miles to endure. En route one endures a number of little Purgatories-sort of ante rooms to ante rooms-called on earth 'Services' with weird neo biblical names like MOTO where you are ripped off for inedible food, grumpy service and child friendly means 'Shut that brat up'
Anyhow we have arrived safe and relatively sound in peaceful Hutton-so we now know what kind of purgatory we have survived. Ante room to Heaven, of course
As the senior daughter remarks 'You have had a good day haven't you'
Irascible old gentleman concurs.
(You will have gathered that the shot above of loving siblings seemed of little relevance to our purgatorial progress north)
I have every sympathy with Disgruntled Commuter-5 stops on the Northern Line just about finished Huttonian off. How anyone can survive that heat every day I do not know. But I have not been so overheated since Kuwait. In August and that was only rarely 50C.
GNER was enlivened by a Cross Old Yorkshireman who came on at Darlington. He simmered quietly until the Ticket Chap arrived:
COY : On a point of information there is someone with a different name to mine sitting in my seat. Not good enough. Paid good money for that seat' and the train is 10 minutes late.
TC (having looked at COY's ticket) 'On a point of information, Sir, you are three days late. Your tiocket is for the 21st. This is the 24th.
COY I know what the bloody day is. I may be a countryman but I can tell the date and the
bloody time. I was told by your man in Darlington after queueing for 45 fiddling minutes that the ticket was valid to day and my reservation would be too. Now do something about it.
TC What I am going to do is give you the benefit of the doubt. Sir. I should charge you lots of money for your ticket being invalid and reserved seats are never moved except with valid tickets. (Hands ticket back and moves on)
COY (subsides at mention of more money at risk) When TC is out of earshot: Well I never. Cheeky Sod. Talk about unhelpful..Bloody Gestapo..Customer is always right in my book-I'll complain to the Head Poncho....blah blah moan moan
Nice Old Lady sitting opposite : Could you please simmer down and shut up. The Ticket collector is quite right. You are very lucky man not to be charged for a new ticket.
COY remains silent until lunch is called and he drags his wife off to the Buffet car muttering something about the standard of fellow passengers these days.
NOL sums it all up. Not a nice man
and a very stupid one.
Amen say we
Heat Wave 2020
A few more summers like 06 will the Merse become like this? This is from a study of climate change done by the Hutton Think Tank (Weather and doom watch section) A computer enhanced graphic of Hutton Hill? Not a good harvest predicted for 2220.
It will be hard to leave the comparative
cool of the Merse for the steam of London and then face a long drive back. Mind you cool is comparative-for the first time since we moved here I have had to water the pond; it is evaporating at an alarming rate. No rain now for over three weeks and only the fruit bushes seem to enjoy it-everything else is wilting and the lawn is as yellow as the fairways at Hoylake. I wonder how the Royal County Down (PBUI) is faring.
The Hutton and Paxton Centenary 'Flower' show is nearly open us. We will be in Norn Iron so no red cards this year. Were we living in the hose free South East I suspect the show would be a farce with only pot plants to display, jam of course and a few wrinkled potatoes. At least in water rich Scotland we can still be free with the moisture. But for how long?
Will report from the big smoke if I am spared.
No not hers but I just could not resist this stunning study of Ms Z at a friends wedding. Her cousins will dominate the blog for the next few days so it is only fair to give her another airing-with the usual apologies to the usual bloggees worried about too many cute kids
hutton-mills green huts 1998
At the request of a bloggee I put 'Hutton Mill 'into Flickr. This image of 'Hutton-Mills 'appeared. After a careful examination Hutton Think Tank (Identity, Doppleganger and Media Section) have said that this is not our Hutton Mill-style of architecture all wrong and too many trees. Wrong sort. Exotic foreign. Flickr does appear to be a bit of a loose cannon. Apparently (according to www.flickr.com) this is a painting by a Ghanaian Artist who may never have been to Berwickshire.
Blogging may be a bit erratic in the next few days as Huttonian GNERs to Lunnon tomorrow-always assuming that the
latest excuse about wrong type of sun on track does not get in the way. Imagine it being so hot in Scotland that the rails expand-perhaps technical assistance could be sought from the survivors of the bridge and rail building on the River Kwai. The journey down is just a prelude to driving back in a French registered vetran car, steering wheel on the cote de gauche de continong
with Mr P Mmsle KB and their minder. The vehicle is ,I am sure, pre a/c and the journey promises to be very hot and sticky. Simultaneously the Wife flies back from Africa thus relieving me of most of the house hold stuff (but no the fruit etc) and putting me on child care duties. This will be reflected, eventally, in the choice of cute, endearing, sweet, Aaah ! Aaah! images to the horror of the CB bloggeee. Sorry.
Ms ZK at speed
Some one has suggested that no nice 23/4 year old would try and run down her grand father on a wooden scooter thus raising the possibilty of grievious bodily harm. Some one did not get it quite right. The grand father in question was very lucky to escape more or less unscathed by leaping ou of the way as his would be assailant hurtled towards him at top speed.
HUTTON. But which one
I went into .www.flickr.com to see how many images of 'Hutton' I could find. There are several hundred. Very few appeared relevant but this one might well have been at the bottom of Kirk Lane whilst the new hall was being built-but wasn't. It may of course come from the better known village Hutton-le-Hole down south. (I am glad we are not known as Hutton -the Hole-quite the wrong image even if partly in French.) The original image is an ironic commentary on the BBC and the Hutton enquiry.
The Great Heat of 06
The neighbour is excited! A call from the A1-its raining near Morpeth, heading towards Aynwick and the Borders! 60% chance of heavy showers says the ITV forecast for 'The Borders and South West Scotland' Good chance of thunderstorms warns the BBC. But I wonder. We often boast that we (and Dunbar) have the lowest rain fall in the British Isles. Less than some parts of northern Jordan, although not many people know that. And with global warming we should perhaps be thinking of planting a few vines.
But at the moment its not too funny. Farmers are suffering and , although I am no expert we will need moisture and lots of it if the potatoes are to come to anything. We have no hose pipe ban here but Scottish Water is making warning noises about the need to conserve-so it may be two to a bath, three to a shower and dust the car if it goes on like this.
The dry sunny weather is taking its toll in Sir Morrisons. Caravanner's tattoos obscured by vivid sun burn, a/c not coping with under arm perfume, tempers flaring with outbursts of trolley rage. Only benefit is the countryside-Big Mac customers are not chucking debris from their BMW's-don't want to open windows and let the cold air out with the dead chips. Something I suppose.
I am off to Lunnon on Monday. Frying pan to fire, I fear. And there will still be all that fruit to pick when I get back, and the pruning, and the shredding. Why did we ever leave town?
Top floor flat. Cool breeze through open window .With a view of a garden. Some one else's.
Moving (well not quite)Target Driving Range
When I first saw this car I thought that some blithering idiot had dumped his car in the middle of the golf driving range. (near Duns) Dumped it is but by the management as an extra target-much more satisfying to ping on this then aim at a boring old flag. It has been suggested that three strikes and you get your money back.
Unlikely. This is Scotland, after all.
The crop of 06
Yes they are nice. Plucked from one small bush with about 20 more to harvest. Its hot and although the birds are not interested the wasps are. Shorts and nettles (which the wife preserves for the sake of the butterflies) do not mix.
Just a small fraction of the raspberry bushes, swarming with them-and I seem to have been picking them for weeks. I don't know why raspberries seem to ripen all at once. And then there are the black currants, redcurrants, whitecurrants, Woosterberies still on stream. Mercifully the strawberries having gone through the 1000 mark are stopping.
So with the Village Hall
at the very nearly completed stage (still) and with the inside ready for business the next question is who will be invited to perform the opening ceremony. The old hall (in about 1934) was opened by the Earl of Home-the then most prominent Berwickshire Laird. The present one has few connections (apart from a distant cousin living locally) in Hutton. The Lord Lieutenant would be an obvious choice but again has had little to do with our hamlet. Huttonian considers that our MSP the amiable Euan Robson might be a good choice. He was very helpful over the campaign to save the primary school and has shown considerable interest in the hall issue although his idea of transforming the old school into the new hall never really caught on with the Hall Committee-it has to be said that it has played its part as a temporary community centre with great distinction and even managed to provide a site for the indoor bowls Hutton's main winter sporting activity.
It will be a big occasion with invitees including the funding agencies and all other bodies involved in this major project. And the whole village of course.Probaly too many to all get into the hall but speeches can be relayed to the listening world-perhaps some Pub can provide a giant screen -must be a lot surplus to requirements now that the World Cup is (mercifully) over and no one wants to watch Trinidad and Tabago any more.
Spillover spectators could sit on the outside wall. Except. of course,
there ain't one.
Anyone with good ideas pass them on to the Hall Committee. Vox Pop always welcome, I am sure
Over heard in a steamy village street mid morning
'Yo Blair' sorry sorry wrong transcript
'Are you on your way to the Post Office?'
'No. I am not'
' Is it too hot?'
' No its not'
' So why are you not going?'
'Its not open'Quite right. Its only Mondays and Thurdays.And today isn't.
Birds Around the Pond in Hutton?
A bloggee has commented: its all very well showing your pond and various birds but why can't you combine them in one uplifting picture. Sorry bird watcher of Burnmouth. All I can offer (courtesy of AOL) is young ladies in the Big Smoke enjoying the heat wave. I would welcome them around the pond in Hutton but I fear the frogs might get in the way, never mind the nettles. I know it may be the wrong type of bird-apologies again Burnmouthian-but I bet thus gets more hits on flickr than all the feather friends put together.
It takes something to drive Huttonian
(no pun intended) off a golf course. 80mph wind coupled with horizontal rain; maybe. 6 feet of snow. Possibly. But 75F of heat? Surely not. I have played in 95F in Aden and with near 100% humidity; ditto in Dubai. In well over 100 in Kuwait but admittedly the dry wind of the desert kept the humidity at bay. But at Duns (MPBUI) ? It
was just after 7am. The sun was scorching. No wind. Humid, certainly. Flies lots. Seemingly attracted by the anti midge spray on. It was just no fun despite an unusual 4,4,4 start. The clubs rapidly increased in weight even in my 'summer bag' The fairways were like concrete tough on hot feet. Why am I doing this I said to myself after a very sticky half an hour so I followed the usual example of the Cardiac Three and cut out many holes on my way home to cold water, shade and a light breeze through the apple trees.
I finished on a high note. I noticed through the shimmering heat haze a glimmer of water. A Mirage? The 18th green was covered in it-the Gnarled Old Greenkeeper having had his refreshing cool shower had left the water sprinkler on and gone off on his cart for a scenic drive, complete with white hat and twelve bottles of ice cold something. The water surrounded the hole. My third shot to this par 5 landed in the water and floated towards the hole. I stood there admiring it enjoying a pulsating shower. When I was cool enough I tapped the ball encouragingly with my state of the art under water putter_ U-boat X2. Mk 67
The ball sank gratefully into the hole. A Birdie.
It made it all worth while
The pond, pictured here, was a birthday present from the extended Huttonian family to the wife some 7 years ago. With a little help from a Rutherford digger we spent a week end making it and filling it from the garden tap. Now I defy anyone not to believe that it is a natural creation -an old watering hole from the time the Merse was marshy and the Rievers looking for a source of clean water for their thirsty (and probably stolen) horses.Now the pond is a bit too natural, the oxygenating plants have run amok and there is more foliage than water. It will need a good clean out one of these days -perhaps when the temperature drops to normal values (its not too bad at 26C as I post) I will strive to get rid of most of the oxygenators-many of whom are 'exotic' and turn into a solid triffid like mass-imported by visiting birds from the Whiteadder I suspect. We can then make use of the little gizmo-solar powered water percolator (centre of picture-click to enlarge) which keeps it oxygenated-as long as the sun is shining of course. Its slightly labour intensive as you have to keep moving the solar unit to keep it directed at the sun-which seems to move quite a bit.
Its nudging 30C or 86F in real money. The lawn is almost the same colour as Farmer C's wheat. No rain for about 1o days now.But the bushes are loaded-more sun-more fruit and already at once-see images below which do not show the raspberries, the gooseberries, the woosterberries or the thousands of blackberries. Its hard work for Huttonian-on with the bush hat, the shades, the sun cream-hope the wife will be back soon.
A record crop this year. But a devil to pick.
A glimpse of Red Currant
A glimpse only but behind them leaves thousands are lurking and yet to be picked. Awaiting the Wife's return from Foreign Parts
Rhubarb Rhubarb Rhubarb
The wife's prize winning triffids. More red cards than Zidane at previous Village shows
A real handful of extreme goodness. Over 700 so far (in one bed) and still coming up. Virtue has other rewards
With the temperature soaring
into the high twenties (Yes, I do mean Centigrade) the weather has moved into the centre of most conversations and the inevitable, tedious comparisons are being made with '76, 82, 90 something, etc etc.
Overheard leaving the Kirk;
' Can you remember a day as hot as this?'
' Oh when? 76, 82, 90 something?'
More Pimms all round
I am very grateful to Paper Boy for alerting the sleeping world to this announcement from the BBC :Police have issued a warning for Borderers to be on their guard following two purse thefts in the area
Borders crime figures are actually not as low as you might think. In many instances (particularly motoring offences) we compare unfavourably with Berwick upon Tweed. This has made a slight nonsense of a campaign to get a TD16 post code for Eastern Berwickshire instead of being part of TD15 which is mostly Berwick itself in population terms. We had thought that Insurance Companies were passing on higher premiums to us country folk based on crime levels in town and we wanted our own crime free postcode. I am assured by my company that this would make no difference. However, crime or no, we are assumed, in TD15, to be part of Northumberland and it was a battle to persuade BT to remove us from the Northumberland phone book and insert us into the very slim Borders volume. A group of earnest Northumberland ladies once dropped in on Huttonian soliciting support for their Tory parliamentary candidate and were dismayed to find themselves in the wrong country. And I had two good reasons for declining to pledge my X .
But we do seem short on crime around these immediate parts. Not that I am complaining, mind you. Apart from the odd theft of fishing rods or agricultural equipment we seem left alone by the criminal fraternity. Well done the Neighbourhood Watch. We will now have to go to Warning Code Amber (see Home Office security alerts) and keep our purses at home. Under the mattress or somewhere similar where no burglar would dream of looking
FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT (AGAIN)
This image is from the annual re enactment of the Battle of Tewksbury which as you will all know was one of the engagements of the Wars of Roses in the 15th C . The junior son-in-law found the proceedings rather boring-fighting unconvincing and no blood spilt and only one minor casualty from a rubber arrow. He thought that the participants were only interested in the dressing up bit. But I have to admit Tewksbury revisited seems much more spectacular than the replay of the Battle of Halidon Hill as part of the Union of the Crown events last year. The English cavalry never arrived having not survived the A1 . Only a handful of soldiers took part-all with Yorkshire accents except for Edward III who was an obvious Scot; all the action was in the beer tent. UN peace keepers might learn from that.
Union of the Crowns
The man in full armour,
emblazoned with a Saltire
and a Yorkshire accent
sold me a lager in
a Woolworths' flagon.
Outside the Ale tent
(Horse transporter broken down
on the A1)
refought the Battle
of Halidon Hill
while Edward the Third, crown wilting
in the drizzle
mud of his toes.
This time the Scots won
But no one noticed.
(or at least in the Ale tent
HUTTON HALL-The End?
After several months of what at times has seemed fairly slow going the new village hall seems near to completion. Mind you I said that about a week ago doubting the last finishing date that I had been told of 13th July. I have heard no new one but its looking like the end of this monthwith all the finishing touches that need to be done.
Not everyone will be happy with the new building. That is inevitable. The blue roof has already attracted critical comment but Huttonian quite likes it. Matches the July Sky. Where we denizens of Kirk Lane (incidentally a private-non officially maintained road shared by four households) may have a grouse is with the removal of the old dry stone wall (you can see the remains of it in one of the images-click to enlarge) and with its replacement by a slightly raised pavement. The wall at the front has gone too and the whole building has an exposed look to it. I am told that the original (approved by the community) plans envisaged a wall in Kirk Lane but somehow the final design was changed without consultation with us. Indeed there are features about the new hall which developed as the work went on and I am not sure how many people were asked their views before decisions were made. OK the Hall committee should be able to take decisions on the finishing touches which were not included in the approved plans but it is surely a different matter when it comes to altering the original design without consultation with us. If this is what has happened.
After all it is our lane.
I am happy to be corrected.
The comment facility is there to be used.
Bloggee in Thailand One
See caption to image below-the figure is more recognisable in this shot. It appears that the drive over water has been taken as the wee caddie (right front) sems to be making her way confidentally towards the green. Huttonian is grateful for the images all the way from Thailand and wonders how three weeks in the steamy heat of South East Asia will prepare this Dinger for the steamy dreich of tropical Duns
A bloggee in Thailand
Some Dingers may recognise this well known bloggee taking a break from Duns Golf Club (MPBUI) in Thailand. Lots of water apparently and I assume that the dimunitive female figure is the caddy. Can't get those at Duns.
Huttonian took advantage of his visit to the Big Smoke-no longer a good description of Lunnon, more like the Big Heat-to take the senior grand daughter to where he used to live in the sunny uplands of Muswell Hill, once the centre of the known earth. She did not seem terribly impressed, more intent on showing off cycling skills on her scooter than taking any interest in grand parental ramblings, physical and mental. One day she may be in awe of our once near neighbour, just down the road in Cranley Gardens-the notorious mass murderer Denis Neilsen to whom Ms ZK's mother used to deliver the papers on her round. (She can't remember if he took the Guardian, said to be the favourite rag of the better type of mass murderer) Mr N put away about 11 or so lads (unemployed youngsters he met when working in a Job Centre) during his stay in the top flat of the house pictured above. Not being able to bury the victims because of a fierce donkey which guarded the only nearby piece of accessible land he dismembered the corpses in situ, boiled them a bit flushed them down the loo (not the heads which he kept in a cupboard) *and was only caught after he himself at complained about the smell to the Public Health authorities.
Ms ZK having made one unsuccessful attempt to run over her proud grand father in the act of photographing her out- walked the older folk whose desperate attempt to seek refreshment from the 1870 water fountain (built by public subscription) was thwarted by the City Fathers (click on image to read blurb) who had disconnected the device to save about two pints a day of leaking water thus ensuring the dehydration of a large proportion of northern Londoners and the entire dog community which infests Highgate woods. Dogs and joggers are the most numerous specimens of creation in the woods and now the fountain is not functioning the runners have no reason to relieve bladders behind bushes , not dense enough to shield their activities (good ness knows there is no shortage of public loos) and the dogs can only crap rather than wee.
Which I suppose is something
* Enough gory details. Blog-ed
Dark Satanic Mills
GNER's 'literature' focuses on the scenery you can expect to enjoy as you race along consuming 'Go-Eat' healthy options. Goats cheese on a brown bun washed down with Iron Bru and a Mars for afters. The dark satanic mills seem to be a great boost to global warming judging from the amount of nice fluffy clouds issuing from the chimneys.
Next few images glimpsed from GNER are less industrial. And this time my view was not interrupted by the moving heads of talkative fellow passengers
Crossing the Tyne at Newcastle-Upon-it. A mass of bridges looking East.
This is one of the lesser known White Horses and can just be seen from GNER north of York. Tip: all the best sights are to the right going north. So it really is POSH from Berwick-Port Out Starboard Home
The Flasher of the North
Anthony Gormley's famous statue taken at speed courtesy of GNER. I sometimes think that this title is more appropriate than his.
Eye contact is not the thing in Lunnon. Walking out in N13 to buy a paper from a traditional 'corner shop' (albiet not on a corner), I joined scores of people walking trainwards. Heads down, eyes evasive, the worries of the coming day already bearing down on hunched shoulders. No chance of a cheerful greeting from this lot. On my way back with one of the 100 or so Grudians (probably more than in the whole of the Borders) I thought I would take a chance. Coming towards me was a particularily morose looking thirty one something, power dressed, aggressive black bag, designer shoes with no doubt poison sacs in the pointy toes for dealing with presumptious commuters, severe hair, a piercing gaze focused on the paving stone but one in her path. I took a deep breath, poised for flight. 'Good morning' I ventured, trembling slightly. She stopped, her gaze travelled up me slowly, menacingly She looked at me, hardly crediting the evidence of her ears. A delightful smile transformed her face: 'Good Morning? Yes it is What a lovely day!'
Yes it is.
Yes a bit like Elvis I suppose but she is very much alive and enjoying life at the seaside-and a slightly warmer seaside than we are used to in Berwickshire. I am endebted to Ms ZK's minder for this image of the her in Welsh Wales
It ain't half hot mum. Bad as Jordan and humid to boot-unlike dry Amman. GNER did their thing well apart from arranging a very talkative Yorkshire lass of some 75 summers next to me I made the mistake of helping her with a very heavy bag which she insisted went into the overhead container-didn't trust them southerners helping themselves from the luggage space near the entrance door. I nearly ruptured something and in gratitude she burst into memoirs of a well spent older age during which nothing much seems to have happened at enormous length. By feigning sleep I turned her down if not quite off and actually drifted into a little doze only to have my toes trampled on at Peterborough and then helped her on her way-thankfully on my part. She went towards the Cambridge train in search of another audience.
I don't know how we could cope with such heat in the Merse. Its a different climate up there. THe nice slow rythyms of rural life would suit the high temperatures. How would Stan the Man adapt, one wonders. He is almost stationary at 16C . Put him in ambient 25C and he would be forced into reverse. He too is a natural relentless talker. In this heat he might actually dry up.
Now I could live with that
GNER is allegedly on time
.How they know that is a mystery as the train starts from Edinburgh and won't have left yet unless someone has stolen it. It is a moot point as to whether or not you should book a seat. GNER puts all the reserved seats together with a couple of carriages crammed and several virtually empty-not of course at peak periods but most times. It can be dangerous to move from your allocated seat to pastures new-I once heard a ticket inspector shouting at an old lady ' You are not sitting in your seat-why can't you stay where you have been put. Move now' He added, belatedly, 'please' and an entirely unmeant 'madam'. She scuttled back to her reservation to find it had been snapped up by a bolshy businessman who was not prepared to disturb his stomach and large bottom from where they were resting to anywhere else for a mere technicality. Like sitting in the wrong seat. The old lady asked the ticket czar to intervene but he had lost interest, presumably given the size if the offending person. 'You are at fault for abandoning your reservation..Madam.. There are plenty of empty seats elsewhere' (Including of course the one he had just evicted her from')
I hope I shall be spared such hassle. I don't like to make a fuss, me.
I also hope that the refreshment car will be attached. Once it wasn't owing to the wrong sort of something, somewhere. Any inconvenience was regretted especially by another large man who had been looking forward to 'Go Eat' for days. Stomach rumbling he leapt out at York to grab a morsel from a food stall; But ever watchful GNER saw him coming (or at least going) blew its whistle and left him mouthing incoherently on the platform. Incoherently as his mouth was filled with a Healthy Choice (Brie and Cucumber, I believe-hard to be sure as the train was accelerating in case he made a run for it)
But at least he had his lunch.
Leisurely. (next train 55 minutes later)
Tomorrow its off to the Big
Smoke for a bit of r and r from the household chores of Hutton With the wife in foreign parts for another two plus weeks the full burden of House and Garden has fallen to Huttonian. With the Strawberries,Raspberries, Woosterberries, black, red and white currants coming on stream simultaneously, plus a record crop of gooseberries. -Add to this the shopping- fighting off the caravanners at the basket-only-cash-only-tattoos optional checkouts; the washing and drying-hanging up the smalls in a force 7 wind, watering the 45 house plants. feeding the birds via the numerous receptacles-nuts, fatballs, organic seed things, changing the bird bath water, weeding the patio, doing the compost, recycling, struggling with the crossword, the newspaper run...no wonder the wife has escaped to Zambia. You can now understand Dr Livingstone's motivation for missionary work on the Dark Continent
Photos of Ms Z will inevitably follow. Sorry CB bloggee.
A group of young people appeared
to be filming the area in front of the old pub early this morning. Some uni project-the Jim Clark Rally after the cars have gone? Not riveting stuff as there is absolutely no trace of the action of last Saturday. No burnt out cars, no shredded tyres, not even a churned up verge or two. BT may be disappointed that their phone box survived as it has been on a possible closure list for some time.
Possibly this could be a trainee film unit from the Hutton Think Tank's Media and Soft Soap unit. There have been plans for a 'soft soap' (drama without sex, violence or even gratuitous nudity) about Hutton for some time, with the working title of 'Knowe's Terrace', an every day tale of rural folk. Plans included shooting scenes outside the old pub to be renamed 'The Reivers Return'. It was hoped that Mel Gibson might be persuaded to play a cameo role as the village character who defies the establishment, saves the village school single handedly and goes on the win the individual British carpet bowls championship. Perhaps these film makers are doing the context shots
On Cameo roles, my golf was enlivened by the appearance of the Gnarled Old Greenkeeper on his souped up rally enabled golf cart. The field to the right of the 14th fairway was being mowed by the farmer. This is a notorious hiding place for balls struck erratically from the tee. The GOG had obviously heard the mower from afar and came charging out in the expectation of finding some recently lost balls in the newly cut grass. I watched him for some time as I made my way down the fairway. He left empty handed. I am not surprised.
The same thought had occurred to me as the mowing tractor first whirled past. I too was over the style and into the grass a few minutes before GOC put in his appearance.
With the same result.
An alert bloggee has noticed that
a post of about a week ago about the Pheasantry on the Whiteadder has disappeared from Musings. Well spotted, enquirer of Eyemouth. . Huttonian has pressed delete after representations from the manager of the facility who was anxious that some comments might be commercially damaging to his competitors raising chicks elsewhere. Huttonian is not in the business of endangering livlihoods -however remote the possibility of doing so may be so the post has gone to that great trash can in hyperspace.
It just shows that jocularity is too often taken on its face value-one man's meat being another man's Poisson-and that is not intended as a comment on the commercial fishing aspects of the Whiteadder operation.
Moreover I am assured that some aspects of the rant were just wrong. The small number of Chick's is nothing to do with any restrictions imposed by the threat of Bird Flu, as Huttonian speculated, but because they have not arrived yet.This year 14,000 of them are to be bred on the banks of the Whiteadder-see image of their neighbourhood. Anyhow I have been promised a guided tour of the enterprise later in the season and a better informed report with pictures will follow.If I am spared, of course.
And I just wonder if the post, warts and all, was really worth a visit by East Lothian's finest. Aggrieved bloggees please use the comment or e-mail to Huttonian facility. Our polis have better things to do. Surely
Finally the latest image of the new Village Hall. It is still in the nearly, nearly finished stage. As it has been for some time now- a slow start, a slow finish. The pundits claim it will be completed this coming week. (13 July is a date which has been bandied around for some time) I hesitate to evoke the rodents of disbelief. I would be very happy to be wrong.
JIM CLARK MEMORIAL RALLY
Some images of the big event -the Whiteadder leg-in action-these shots all taken at the mini roundabout opposite the old pub. Not a big turn out in the village this year compared to last and the sight of 157 cars screaming past begins to lose its novelty appeal-to Huttonian at any rate after car 34. The corner is actually too sharp for any heroics and of the vehicles I watched only one came unstuck-or rather the opposite-ground to a halt to avoid taking the BT Telephone Box with it. And another took the corner very wide-se image-and very nearly had to stop to realign himself
There were almost as many marshals as spectators-and the most bored bystander of all was a wee dog who slept throughout most of the proceedings-seen it all before.
And who is to blame him?
Click on images for best effect.