Musings from the Merse
Friday, August 31, 2007

Originally uploaded by disgruntled
Thankyou Disgruntled for showing how coddled Lunnon cyclists are with all the healthand safety instructions warning them that their lane is ending-'Cyclists Dismount' is on a par with the old Railway Loo notice' Gentlemen lift the seat' (either an instruction or a definition)We Borderers, with our bucolic common sense and native intelligence need no such kind instruction. You know that a bike lane has ended when you see a parked tractor with two squishy legs under one side of a wheel and a smaller twisted wheel under the other.

Mind you combine harvesters are more humane-death is quicker.
Lost Ba' over the Wa'

Playing the par 4 5th, called, irritatingly, 'The Hole in the Wa' in pseudo Border speak-at Duns (MPBUI) we were briefly held up by a chap with a stick, a shovel and a measuring device. Seeing us on the tee he kindly waved us through but without moving from the centre of the fairway-perhaps,he believed, the safest place to be! Trying to send my drive miles over his head I slightly pulled the shot and saw it drop safely just into the rough about parallel to his central position. Safely? Could not find it although the grass was short and the light excellent. 'Its probably in the field' said the surveyor-if that is what he was. 'Certainly not' said I 'It dropped well short' ''Well' he said with the stubborn certainty of the Borderer' That's the way it was heading' To humour him I looked in the field-recently cut it was and a ball would have been highly visible. No sign We reluctantly moved on and highly annoyed I hit my second ball well into the field, over the horizon-and never saw it again. Two balls gone in two shots.

5 holes later we were accosted on the tee by the same guy now roaming the fairways on his buggy. 'What make of ball ' did you lose?' He asked. I told him. He put into my hand. 'In the field it was-couldn't miss it. You gave up too soon' I thanked him through nearly gritted teeth-he roared off and spun on a wheelie turn and returned once more. 'And here is the other one' and tossed it to me. I don't know why I found this so irritating until when he had gone I looked at the second ball.

Not mine.

Much better in fact.

Did I race after him to return his find?

Did I Donald!

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Himalayas putting green
Originally uploaded by erase
It is not often (in my experience anyhow) that one sees a fellow golfer on his knees. Mind you it is St Andrews, The Royal and Ancient (PBUI) and so the direction of this Mecca is dead on. Is he praying that the golfer in front will miss the putt?(all of 40 yards so he may well do so without Divine Intervention) More likely he is thinking :get a bloody move on-my G and T is getting warm in the Club House-Putt or get off the Pott -or

mutterings to that effect. Huttonian is grateful to the youngest daughter's attendant for this souvenir image of an amazing golfing experience:

Usual Caveats Apply: any resemblance to a person living or nearly dead etc...


Thursday, August 30, 2007
Quod Erat Demonstrandum

The wife having returned from Lunnon has shot off to Embra, deserting Huttonian once again. As a lady who rarely lunches she is off to 'The Place to Eat' in John Lewes. This despite my warning about what once befell me there some years ago. I joined a long queue to the main counter keeping my eye on a delicious concoction which was the highlight of the 'snacks of the day' A wonderful combination of shrimps, smoked salmon, organic cheese, sun dried tomatoes and twiddly bits of 'hand picked' lettuce all on luscious looking wholemeal bread. Miraculously the item was still there when I reached the head of the queue, so I bought it plus a latte (since you ask) with some gusto.

It was not quite so nice to eat as it looked-bread was very wholemeal and the cheese highly organic and a bit of a struggle.I was suddenly aware of the approach of an official delegation: Sous Floor Manager (Catering and Toilets) a waitress and Chief Assistant to the Assistant Chef. ' Excuse me Sir' said SFM 'But you seem to have eaten the demonstration sandwich' Seem? I had. Apparently it was a few days old and 'should not have been sold'-being, er, for 'Demonstration Purposes Only' They were not empowered to offer a refund ( I had eaten the evidence to the last frazzled lettuce leaf) but a second helping of a newer variety was suggested 'at John Lewes' expense'. I declined and hurried to the Loo to await developments (the Prawns? How old were they?)

There were none. Worth describing.

But I have since found another ' Places to Eat'

I hope the wife exercises due diligence

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

SIR, - How good it is to see in your issue, of August 23, William W. Scott’s letter to you headed ‘No chance of independence.’
And how good it is to be able to tell him what most of your readers already know, that the Kingdom of Scotland remains independent legally and constitutionally under Scot’s law, as the union with the Kingdom of England in 1707 was illegall and unconstitutional under Scot’s law, as was the illegall and unconstitutional United Kingdom’s joining Europe!
And the Kingdom of Scotland, reactivated under the 1992 Declaration of Duns, with it’s parliament reactivated in 1999, and as it’s first meeting in Duns the following year, 2000, confirming me as regent, will certainly not hold a referendum on joining the European Union, nor join it under any other procedure

Whenever there is no real news in these here parts-late August is usually a case in point you can rely on the Berwickshire to give an airing to the quaintly lunatic fringe. If it is not the inability to buy a ham sandwich in Reston than it is the regent of the Kingdom of Scotland in his well worn groove.

AS for the 1992 Declaration of Duns the Friday night regulars in the Cross Inn talk of little else.

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The image is of the town wall and Cathedral Church in the town of Zagan, Lubuskie, Poland. Alert bloggees will recall that Duns is twinned with this Polish settlement. Indeed the church has a Scottish look-not too dissimilar to Chirnside Church of Scotland.

The Blurb from Google continues: (apologies for the repetition from a comment made on a post a few days back)

"Zagan is a small, picturesque, town with a population of around 14,000 in the south west of Poland. During the Second World War, the forest around Zagan (then located deep in Germany and named Sagan) was the location of the infamous Stalag Luft III, and the 'Great Escape' where 76 prisoners of war escaped by a man made tunnel from the German Luft Waffe prison camp. The escape, made famous by the Hollywood movie starring Steve McQueen, resulted in all but three of those who escaped being recaptured and 50 executed contrary to the Geneva Convention. The former grounds of the Stalag Luft III at Zagan are now part of a Polish military training area. Near the former camp site is small, but interesting museum, and some recently erected monuments. Zagan was also the birthplace of the German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler"

So Duns has Duns Scotus and Zagan Johannes Kepler. But as far as I know Duns Castle was never an infamous POW camp so we can't carry parallels too far.Only reluctant Brides with a sudden last minute change of mind might seek to tunnel out of there. I wonder why Zagan was chosen as Duns' twin?

In the meanwhile Hutton is thinking of finding a twin village within the EU. Hutton Think Tank is on the job. One early suggestion was twinning with Paxton.

It is in the EU.

Response so far from the HTT Board of Management has not been enthusiastic

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Nelson Touch

Huttonian does not usually do cut and paste joke jobs but the following has struck a sympathetic nerve. And it comes from an impeccable Scottish source-Embra if not the Merse. And in different circumstances the battle of Trafalgar could have taken place on the Tweed. Battle of Fishwick Mains has a nice ring to it.

Nelson: "Order the signal, Hardy."
Hardy: "Aye, aye sir."
Nelson: "Hold on, that's not what I dictated to Flags. What's the meaning of this?"
Hardy: "Sorry sir?"
Nelson (reading aloud): "'England expects every person to do his or her duty, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious persuasion or disability.' - What gobbledegook is this?"
Hardy: "Admiralty policy, I'm afraid, sir. We're an equal opportunities employer now. We had the devil's own job getting 'England' past the censors, lest it be considered racist."
Nelson: "Gadzooks, Hardy. Hand me my pipe and tobacco."
Hardy: "Sorry sir. All naval vessels have now been designated smoke-free working environments."
Nelson: "In that case, break open the rum ration. Let us splice the mainbrace to steel the men before battle."
Hardy: "The rum ration has been abolished, Admiral. Its part of the Government's policy on binge drinking."
Nelson: "Good heavens, Hardy. I suppose we'd better get on with it ........... Full speed ahead."
Hardy: "I think you'll find that there's a 4 knot speed limit in this stretch of water."
Nelson: "Damn it man! We are on the eve of the greatest sea battle in history. We must advance with all dispatch. Report from the crow's nest please."
Hardy: "That won't be possible, sir."
Nelson: "What?"
Hardy: "Health and Safety have closed the crow's nest, sir. No harness; and they said that rope ladders don't meet regulations. They won't let anyone up there until a proper scaffolding can be erected."
Nelson: "Then get me the ship's carpenter without delay, Hardy."
Hardy: "He's busy knocking up a wheelchair access to the foredeck Admiral."
Nelson: "Wheelchair access? I've never heard anything so absurd."
Hardy: "Health and safety again, sir. We have to provide a barrier-free environment for the differently abled."
Nelson: "Differently abled? I've only one arm and one eye and I refuse even to hear mention of the word. I didn't rise to the rank of admiral by playing the disability card."
Hardy: "Actually, sir, you did. The Royal Navy is under represented in the areas of visual impairment and limb deficiency."
Nelson: "Whatever next? Give me full sail. The salt spray beckons."
Hardy: "A couple of problems there too, sir. Health and safety won't let the crew up the rigging without hard hats. And they don't want anyone breathing in too much salt - haven't you seen the adverts?"
Nelson: "I've never heard such infamy. Break out the cannon and tell the men to stand by to engage the enemy."
Hardy: "The men are a bit worried about shooting at anyone, Admiral."
Nelson: "What? This is mutiny!"
Hardy: "It's not that, sir. It's just that they're afraid of being charged with murder if they actually kill anyone. There's a couple of legal-aid lawyers on board, watching everyone like hawks."
Nelson: "Then how are we to sink the Frenchies and the Spanish?"
Hardy: "Actually, sir, we're not."
Nelson: "We're not?"
Hardy: "No, sir. The French and the Spanish are our European partners now. According to the Common Fisheries Policy, we shouldn't even be in this stretch of water. We could get hit with a claim for compensation."
Nelson: "But you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil."
Hardy: "I wouldn't let the ship's diversity co-ordinator hear you saying that sir. You'll be up on disciplinary report."
Nelson: "You must consider every man an enemy, who speaks ill of your King."
Hardy: "Not any more, sir. We must be inclusive in this multicultural age. Now put on your Kevlar vest; it's the rules. It could save your life"
Nelson: "Don't tell me - health and safety. Whatever happened to rum, sodomy and the lash?"
Hardy: As I explained, sir, rum is off the menu! And there's a ban on corporal punishment."
Nelson: "What about sodomy?"
Hardy: "I believe that is now legal, sir."
Nelson: "In that case............................... Kiss me*, Hardy."

Unromantic purists insist that this was Kismet. (Blog-ed)

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Monday, August 27, 2007
Monday, Bloody (Bank Holiday) Monday

Where is it an English Bank Holiday in Scotland? Answer: in Hutton (and Paxton, and elsewhere in occupied TD15) Yes we are in Berwickshire, Scotland. Yes it is not a bank holiday in Scotland. But yes it is in TD15 and that includes big chunks of the Scottish heartland, Brave and otherwise. If we are sent a letter addressed: Berwick upon -Tweed TD15 etc it will arrive in a day-put in Berwickshire, and leave out the English Garrison Town it will take a day later despite the Post Code. Weird.

And irritating. I had an urgent missive to post and remembered at 11.50 AM that on Bank Holidays there was a Royal Mail collection from down town Hutton at 12 noon.Putting on the only First Class stamp sold in the Hutton Post Office since 1997 I raced out to the box. En route a villager told me with some satisfaction that the post man had emptied the post box a minute before (11.55 AM) Running five minutes early-blast his zeal. Nothing for it but to go to Free Scotland-the nearest point, so I was told, outside TD15 being Allanton. First, Second and Last Post not collected until 2pm. 10 am on Bank Holidays so I hope that our frenetic English postie did not get there first taking, as it were, the Bank Holiday with him.

At least in Duns we will know where we are -holiday wise.

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Sunday, August 26, 2007
  Morrisons : Anywhere on a nice summer's day

Morrisons supermarket Queensbury NW9
Originally uploaded by Route79
The image is not Morrison's Ber Wick upon Tweed (thankyou Route 79) but NW9. But it could well be, except that on a glorious late August day, Sunday, 1154 am , Sir Morrison's here was heaving and Huttonian ic marketing in The Wife's absence, had 7 people in front of him at the Basket Cases Only check out. No sense of urgency to pile up, pay up and skedaddle-just the Ghengis Khan Kharavanners aimlesly waddling from the liquor, to the Pizzas via the confectionary killing time until its back to the supermarket again.

'So how were your holidays this year?' 'Great. We went to our 9 bedroom/ 5 Jacuzzi caravan in Ber Wick' . 'Nice weather?' 'Can't say we noticed' '

But we had a real ball in Morrison's'
Saturday, August 25, 2007

A bloggee remembering Huttonian's address to the nation on Broadcasting House from Duns has asked for an image of the studio. Well this is not actually the studio but the building in Duns in which it is situated -up the stairs to first floor and keep right. You will need the key-either from Nairns the Newsagent or from mine host at the Black Bull -it may well have been there since Burns' time although there is no record of Burns broadcasting from there. This studio, usually used by Radio Scotland is a well kept secret in Broadcasting House, Lunnon and came as a surprise to the Producer that the Beeb had a facility in such an obscure locality (Southron view) as Duns. Should he deign to visit this bustling metropolis he might well, in his amazement at so much sophistication, expect to find two. After all it was once well described, perhaps by the Plowman Bard himself, as a two horse town.

High praise indeed

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Originally uploaded by xxxrmt
I don't think this was erected to mark Huttonian's move but it is the thought that counts, isn't it? Why Zagan? I hear you ask. Perhaps xxxrmt knows why. This welcome may have enouraged the beautiful Polish dentists who are rumoured (and have been since 2006) to come to these parts but do not seem to have materialised to date.


A bloggee has asked what we will miss most after our move to the-small-house-in-Duns. The view from our kitchen in Hutton which was the main reason why we said snap to the Old Manse 10 years ago. Also the lack of light pollution-no escape from that in down town Duns.And the very small garden although pretty and manageable 'benefits' (as the Estate Agents insist) from stone walls-and if the weather it was finer you could see the war in China if it wasn't for the houses in between applies as well. A bit like Fishwick when Farmer's N and C have done their best although Dingers seem to have little appetite for McMansions.

And Duns is intellectually stimulating (although it lacks a Think Tank)as any Scotus will tell you. Plenty of time to settle the two great questions of the age: (a) Does Duns Ding a' and (b) Was Rabbie Burns a habitue of the Black Bull.

If we are spared of course

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Thursday, August 23, 2007
VIS UNITA FORTIOR-But Still a weak Bridge href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_rY3qa_8b3X4/Rs3CLQZOg7I/AAAAAAAAAZc/NKeo2p3RTnk/s1600-h/chain+bridge+two.jpg">

Suddenly, with no fanfare, the Chain Bridge is open again after a few months of closure for 'essential repairs'. The last we heard was that planning permission was yet to be given and then it would be several weeks work to make the bridge safe. But today, to our surprise it was open. We asked the lady at the Honey Farm whose business had been disrupted by the closure, how long the repair work had taken.

'Two hours' she said.

A couple of blokes from the Council had come and had kicked this and tapped that.

And had a cup of tea. And what next?

'Another cup of tea'

So what was the problem? 'No idea' she said.

I wonder if they had.

*Classicists will recall how to decline Vis: vis, vis, vim, wanting. wanting, vi

(Or just say 'No Thankyou')

Click on Bridge plaque and parse the sentence.

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Huttonian is intrigued by the following letter in today's Berwickshire:

SIR, - As a frequent visitor to the Berwickshire area, I was saddened on my last visit to see that the paint spraying hooligans had been busy on the approach road from Burnmouth to Morrison’s roundabout.
I thought little more about it until I read in the Berwickshire News that the graffiti had in fact been done by the council. I find it difficult to believe that the very people who should be ensuring that the area looked good could actually create such vandalism.
I have always liked the Conundrum adverts. They are well designed and attractive and add to the appearance of the area. If only all signs were as good!
I am all in favour of sensible planning rules and regulations but whoever authorised such vandalism has used excessive zeal.
I would welcome the re-appearance of the Conundrum scarecrow adverts.

Council Vandalism ? And which council? Scottish Borders (Burnmouth) or Northumberland (Berwick) Do the Conundrum ads refer to the artwork of Big Jim Conundrum the successful Tory candidate for East Berwickshire? 'Build More Houses on farming land-mine preferably'might be one of his spray jobs. Or it could be 'Scotland Sucks' but surely that is not the official slogan of the city fathers of B-u-T.

Elucidation please. And any suggestions for official grafitti may be sent to the Hutton Think Tank at its usual deadletter box. Offensive comments about Paxton wil not be published. And certainly nor on the lines of a one written on the bench on the upper road in the early 1990s: 'P A X T O N spells trouble'. Under which wa scrawled:



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Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Well the Die is cast. Huttonian's offer for a -small-house-in-Duns has been accepted and sometime, probably later than earlier the move from the Old Manse to the new (well 1930s actually)establishment will take place. Huttonian farewell, Dinger hullo. 'Musings from the Merse' will still be appropriate but perhaps a new blog spot address: www.reluctantdinger.blogspot.com ? Reluctant? Yes we are not overjoyed about leaving Hutton but needs must when Times Winged Chariot Draws Near-time to leave a big house and a big garden for some more Saga friendly. So spread the word-magnificent house with marvellous Organic Garden soon on the market. Rush while stocks last. And in our case-buy one house, get two free.

You know it makes sense

I am saving the selling agents some work with these images of the north face of the Manse in the evening sun and the adjacent cottages

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A bloggee, near neighbour has asked for the following to be posted

I am taking part in the BUPA Great North Run 2007, Sunday 30th September.

Running as part of the British Red Cross team - over 350 in the team this year - I hope to complete the 21K / 13.1 Miles in under two hours. My best time for a Half Marathon is 1 hour 43 minutes, but that was over 15 years ago :-)

If anyone wishes to sponsor me you can do so via the Just Giving Web Site. All funds raised go directly to the British Red Cross.

If you are local to the Hutton area you may see me training three / four times a week, Hutton -> Fishwick -> Paxton -> Hutton. Two laps, 11.3 miles, 1 hour 50 min's presently

See more on

Best of luck Neil Couch but I am slightly concerned about the Fishwick training leg given the heavy traffic on that route

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Bye Bye GNER

National Express is taking over the franchise for the East Coast route from GNER in November. This news has gone down big in The Cross in Paxton according to what Huttonian was told by a habitue who overheard the news being discussed by two local gents with some intensity.

First Gent ' Hear about National Express?'

Second Gent 'Aye'

FG That will be the way to Lunnon and Embra come November.

SG 'Aye'

FG 'Wonder if they will be faster than GNER'

SG 'Fat Chance'

FG 'Why do you say that?'

SG' Bloody Buses..Bloody slow, especially if they are flippin

Double Deckers

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Monday, August 20, 2007
Burns hip flask up for sale

View Gallery BONHAMS' eighth annual Scottish Sale, to be held this year in Edinburgh on August 22-24 will feature a late 18th century hip flask, valued at £600-£800, which once belonged to the celebrated Scottish poet Robert Burns (1759-1796).
The vendor of the flask recently acquired it from the Rutherford family, when The Rutherfords sold their home Hunthill House, near Jedburgh in the Borders.
Burns spent time touring the borders in the 1770s and while there, he stayed with the Rutherfords at Hunthill

reads a short piece in the online Berwickshire

Its good to hear that Rabbi B did visit the Borders from time to time and is known, once, to have visited Coldstream which is as Borders as you can get. This may have been his only time in the Merse-Jedburgh being some distance from GOC * He was a bit of a boozer and this helps to explain his early death. In the absence of central heating in the 18th century a hip flask was an essential piece of equipment for the traveller. Even to balmy Jedburgh. According to contemporary records he was more worried about the Coldstream climate,if just for a day trip and brought two hip flasks, one for each ** ,topping up both of them in an 'Offe Lisense' 'Ye Slickie Timorous Beastie' which used to be just across the Bridge near the present Police Station

* God's Own Country

** hip

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Originally uploaded by erase
Amongst the tennis players at St Andrews one veteran was head and shoulders (figuratively speaking) above the rest. The image captured by the junior son in law is entitled '120mph'. As you can see from the blurred ball this is very much an underestimate. 180 would be nearer the mark.
Sunday, August 19, 2007

EFFing Fifteens

We spend much time and expend more energy complaining about low flying fighter aircraft in the Borders. A favourite training area for the RAF as we are thinly populated-unlike, say, Surrey or the Euphrates Delta. Huttonian has had several vain attempts to photograph low flying jets but with no luck after 10 years of trying. You may have some success in heading off the wilder pilots If you can prove that a plane is under 200 feet (take the registration number or describe the pilot's eyes to be convincing- RAF Liaison Officer Wing Co 'Bombs Away' Douglas Worse usually advises would-be complainants)
At last success! Image above of a plane at 199 feet terrifying defenceless civilians-it does not look too low as it was taken on my fairly basic digital without benefit of zoom-but click on image and it is large enough to identify by flight buffs.Take the ear splitting noise on trust and lets have no crap about defence of the realm. This was no 'essential training' but a post tea pre Gin and tonic jolly to notch up mpre air miles before a freebee to Basra.

So Mr H where precisely in the Merse was this image taken? Asks W/C Worse, mouse poised.

Well, actually, it wasn 't.

Oh where then?

Er, just north of here at Tentsmuir, Fife.

Is that near RAF Leuchars?

ER, not very, about a mile away.

So the plane was flying low to land at its base after evening manoeuvres? And flying slowly?

Of course it was flying slowly, that's how I could photograph it.

So whats your complaint then?



Put phone down
No use arguing with these RAF wallahs.

A fence for every gap.


Saturday, August 18, 2007
Market Opportunity

It will soon be decision time about casting the mud of Hutton off our Fair trade Sandals and moving to fresh fields and postures new-ie Duns. First crunch is upon us and we will need to make up our minds about a-small-house-in-Duns within the next 48 hours-to bid or not to bid? If we do, step 2 will be putting the Old Manse on the market, Thanks to the junior son-in-law we have some nice images of the house-or at least as seen from the house to put on the brochure to be issued by Build, Flog and Run or some other reputable House Agent, the greedier, the better. The images above will make an admirable start to the portfolio What man, with an ounce of soul and a fat wallet could resist the prospect of lording over our wild organic meadow and viewing the amazing Hutton sunsets from the comfort of a stool in front of our country fashionable Rayburn; clad in his green wellies (for fashion) and his green Barbour (for warmth-he can take it off outside)he can contemplate the pleasure of owning a classic Manse,an amazing frog brimming pond, tasteful steadings converted into two des res', an old three horse stables and all within a short Zimmer of downtown Hutton, the home of the Cultic Hutton Think Tank and many other original features.

If such a bloke had an other project for the expenditure of £.75M then I would be really surprised. Vision and possession of specie often go to gether and I am sure any new owner of the Old Manse will fall into this category.

With his eyes wide open

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  Beach Patrick and kite

Beach Patrick and kite
Originally uploaded by old_greywolf2000

We are back in the dreichy Merse after 7 days in St Andrews with barely a drop of rain. This is typical of the weather we had all week. Mr P had great fun with his pocket kite. So now its back to drizzle, gooseberry picking, shredding, monitoring three year olds, and hopefully golf at Duns (MPBUI). Not quite St Andrews (PBUI) but golf
Friday, August 17, 2007

Himalayas St Andrews is what the putting green is called beside the Old Course(PBUI) at St Andrews. Once the preserve of lady golfers banned from the links it is now a tourist attraction and a test of putting nerve. It is disconcerting and distracting to be beside the first green of the Old Course with the Silkin Burn guarding the green and some putts have ended up there as well. THe green is very undulating-hence its name and at 50p for crumblies, excellent value

The Response to Cod
Sorry to borrow from the Berwickshire two days running but this is an interesting riposte to Mr Councillor Cook-see yesterdays post. about the new Gaelic greeting on the Scottish wild frontier

At the outset, I must say I do respect Councillor Cook and work with him in Ayton. However, on this occasion his comments on the signage at the Border are quite disrespectful.
Duns, Gordon, Traprain, Dunbar, Eildon, Kelso, Penmanshiel, Dunglass, and Edinburgh (Dun Edin) are just some examples of placeneames derived from earlier names given in Gaelic spoken at the Scottish Court or Brythonic (Old Welsh) spoken by the likes of the Gododdin kingdom that inhabited the Lothians and the Merse prior to invasion by the Angles.
Most pre-Angle placenames have gone, but it is wonderful to drive around Scotland and see non-anglicized versions of names and be able to translate from the Gaelic to English and understand how our predecessors saw a place. After all, “Glas-ghu”, ironically translating as a “dear green place”, is now home to Scotland’s largest conurbation, while the famous Schiehallion in Perthshire apparently translates as “The Fairy Hill of the Caledonians”.
Gaelic speaking declined from more than 260,000 people in 1891, at which time around 6.5% of Scotland's population spoke the language to just 1.2% now (59,000).
Scotland has finally joined other European nations in trying to archive cultural material and preserve its native languages (including ‘Lallans’ or ‘Scots’ used throughout the Borders) and encourage greater use.
This is a sign of a civilised and confident society that is able to respect its indigenous minorities and protect their culture. It is our duty to future generations to do what we can to see these cultures survive.
Why shouldn’t Gaelic speakers travelling home via the A1 be greeted by a sign in their native or preferred tongue? Moreover, Gaelic words are embedded in English today and I think it is smashing (is math sin or phonetically is-ma-shin, literally “that is great”) that we reflect one of Scotland’s native tongues.
It is important that Scotland maintains its distinctiveness as place to visit in a shrinking planet with an all-pervasive ‘western/US’ monoculture.
Councillor Cook does not have to use the language, but is it too much to ask that he might respect its use by others? More might wish to learn the language, if courses were available locally - some chance if Councillor Cook has his way. Ignorance is no defence for prejudice, given the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act of 2005, brought in with cross-party support.

So perhaps the signage should be in one or all of these ancient languages?

WELCOME TO GODODDIN would stir a heart or two (in Old Welsh of course)
Thursday, August 16, 2007


Borders sign returns amid complaints says the headline in to day's Berwickshire And the stirring story runs:

Dismay at use of Gaelic

WELCOME: The new sign on the Scotland/England border at Lamberton with its welcome in Gaelic. Picture by Michael Reilly.

y"It is cod Highlandism"
Quote By : Councillor Michael CookBy Kenny Paterson
THE 'Welcome to Scotland' sign has finally returned to the A1 Lamberton crossing - but authorities now face fresh complaints about what language Scotland's pleasantries have been given in.
East Berwickshire Councillor Michael Cook has described his 'dismay' that the new sign, finally replaced after the last one fell off its brackets five months ago, has a Gaelic translation on it.
While he was pleased a sign of sorts was back in place, along with the missing saltire flag, Mr Cook believes the decision to include Gaelic on signs at all cross border roads creates a false notion of what Scotland is as a country. He also fears it could be hampering attempts to keep tourists from bypassing the Borders as a holiday desination.
Mr Cook told the Berwickshire News: "There were four issues of concern I had - the missing Saltire flag, the LGV's parked all over the place, the missing sign and the wording of the 'Welcome to Scotland' sign.
"The Gaelic wording on the sign I have to say I am dismayed about. It is wholly inappropriate, whether intentional or accidential. It creates a bogus idea of what Scotland is as a place and is supportive of this idea that Scotland has a purely Gaelic history.
"It is 'cod Highlandism', and promotes this American view that we all wear kilts and speak Gaelic."
Transport Scotland, the agency responsible for delivering the Scottish Executive's transport programme, said the presence of Gaelic on the sign was part of the Executive's 'First Impression's of Scotland Initiative', announced in May 2005.
A spokeswoman added: "The A1 is a cross-border 'gateway' route used by many visitors to the country as they pass through the Borders to access other parts of Scotland. This sign is reflecting the hertiage of the whole of Scotland - not just one area - and it is widely recognised by many that Gaelic is an important part of the country's heritage."
Yet, the opinion that the A1 should be used by visitors to bypass the Borders to visit the rest of Scotland and that Gaelic is a symbol of 'Scottishness', were rejected by Councillor Cook.
He added: "Here (the Borders), as with other parts of Scotland, we want people to stop and explore our fantastic culture, history and environment. Persuading people not to charge off up into the Highlands, after a brief visit to Edinburgh, is problem enough, without a government agency encouraging that by caricaturing Scotland as a one-trick Highland pony.
"Gaelic is well-promoted in the north and west of Scotland. To promote it right on the Anglo-Scottish Border at the expense of other equally valid influences is to sell huge tracts of Scotland short.
"Gaelic is simply one of Scotland's languages, albeit a significant one. What is appropriate for those areas imbued with Gaelic history and culture is not appropriate in the very south-east of Scotland. There are more Polish speakers here than there are Gaelic. More importantly, while there are some Gaelic place-names, the identity of this area was forged in circumstances very different to the frame of reference which applies in the Highlands or other parts of Scotland."
However, tourist officials dismissed CouncillorCook's belief that Gaelic signs will put off visitors from entering Berwickshire. Pamela McMahon, area director for VisitScotland Borders, said: "When people arrive in Scotland they usually have their itinerary planned, so the signage is unlikely to influence them on where they will go.
"If they are arriving with a flexible itinerary they are more likely to be influenced by the range of things to see and do in an area, or the type of activity/experience they are looking for, rather than being influenced by the language used on a sign."
The strength of the new sign has also been questioned, especially when faced with the strong winds that often arrive from the North Sea at the exposed Lamberton crossing point. Some have suggested that the design of the new sign will see it highly suspectable to being blown off its brackets again, in similar circumstances to the accident that occured in March this year.
BEAR Scotland, the company who took over the maintenance of the A1 from AMEY shortly after the accident occured, said the sign was due to be replaced at the end of August. However, it would seem media pressure persuaded the company to fasttrack the erection of the signage to early last week.
A BEAR Scotland spokesperson said: "Given the key location of the sign, we urged the manufacturer to make and deliver it as quickly as they could.
"We are pleased that they have managed to do so, which has allowed us to erect the sign ahead of the original timetable"

I assume Mr Salmond (not a Tweed man despite his monicker) will be
delighted at this symbol of Scotishness,Hieland Cod or not. He has the Gallic judging from the few well chosen words he used when introducing the Blue Paper on Independence.But the Borderers will not be too impressed-a knowledge of the Garlic
is not their culture but as the area is only a short break destination the notice is aimed at the more romantic tourists hurrying north for the real Scotland of Whisky, mendicant pipers and Australians dressed as Wallace

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007
  Golfless in Mecca

Kingsbarn 3rd Hole
Originally uploaded by old_greywolf2000
It is frustrating to be at the home of golf and not have the time to play on one of the dozen courses within 10 miles of St Andrews-7 of them more or less within the town boundaries. This is the third tee at Kingsbarn with a shot over the beach on this 516 par 3
Tuesday, August 14, 2007

If you wanted one image to sum up a St Andrews Beach holiday, in mid August-this is probably it. Actually this is Kingsbarn beach just 8 miles from the Old Grey Toon. THe rain started in earnest at 1130 am and even the lady in question with great reluctance decided to pack it in. 'Mind my words' she said 'It will be bone dry in St Andrews'. She was quite right

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Monday, August 13, 2007
Descent to Dementia

Three Lodges/chalets-three families. The daughters and offspring next door to each other; the crumbly chalet 300 yards away.Evening meal for all in one chalet, otherwise each chalet is self sufficient. Expedition to neighbouring Craigtoun Country Park. Senior granny stays behind on planet saving work. Senior grandfather decides to go with the youngsters to sample delights of CCP-especially mi nature railway. First helps S.Granny with shopping from Family Chalet (Four) to Crumbly Chalet (15)Goes to CCP. Finds he has left camera behind. Goes back to Family Chalet (Three) to get jacket for junior daughter. Key sticks in lock and takes hin 10 minutes to get in. Finds jacket-locks door. Phone rings. Junior daughter wants senior granddaughter's rain jacket as rain is starting at CCP. Reopens door; easier this time-only 8 minutes.Finds jacket. Relocks door. Turns off phone Gets into Family Chalet (four) Camera not there.

Walks to Crumbly Chalet (15):camera still missing. Storms back to car outside Family Chalet(Three) Finds camera on driver's seat (Must have been sitting on it) Sets off for CCP. This involves turning car to avoid going wrong way around complicated one way system. Reversing hits notice indicating no entry into one way system; forced to drive across grass to enter right bit of one way system. Sweep past reception en route to gate. Stopped by employee who asks about damage to car (CC TV?) Inspect damage: not apparent. Employee says notice is twisted (good!) and advises that if I drive car across grass after rain it will sink without trace. I advise Employee about deficiencies of one way system. No meeting of minds. Drive to CCP. Hand over jackets No sign of rain.

Take out camera for some fun shots of CCP.

Batteries flat. Telephone wife to seek sympathy. Find I have

her mobile.

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  Summer in St Andrews?

St Andrews 001
Originally uploaded by old_greywolf2000
I suppose people do not think of St Andrews as a seaside resort. But here we have a marvellous beach, no wind, rain passed over and passing by, balmy 21C, rock pools and a Sunday in mid August. Hardly a soul in sight.

Even Coldingham Bay would be more crowded.

The image is of the East Sands with the old abbey or castle in the distance
Sunday, August 12, 2007

Caravans to the left of us, caravans to the right of us-we lodge inmates are a very endangered minority and judging from the bright red Ferrari at the lodge next to ours from a different stratum of car owner. I don't know how many caravans that there are here but three hundred is a reasonable guess.

But-not spotted a tattoo or a faux gold chain nor even bulging buttocks. These are not the Morrison lot. Slim,well dressed and into eye contact and a friendly 'surprisingly nice isn't it.'

Surprising is right. It hissed down all night but cleared for the beach this morning.

Good start

Oh yes we went to Sir Morrisons to stock up on the booze, fags, Coke and chips as good caravaners should. Even swaggered down the aisles barging into other trolleys and swearing sotte voce.People looked very surprised-not how the knights of the road behave in these parts. So left tail between legs forgetting in our haste the fags, the Coke and the chips.But not the

booze. Not that disconcerted, really.

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Saturday, August 11, 2007
Blogless in Gaza
No on line facilities at Craigtoun Meadows Holiday Park-so be patient for a week or so. Forecast poor. Children fractious. But plenty of lively company-54 touring caravans. N=? stationary wheel less. One launderette for the happy campers. One tennis court to squabble over. Could be fun.

And you can bet your last Scottish Pound note that all 54 touring caravans will be just ahead of us on the A91.

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Friday, August 10, 2007
  St Andrews Golf

St Andrews Golf
Originally uploaded by Croftcr
Lucky people on the bridge at the 18th on the Old Course (MPBUI) st Andrews. Huttonian would hope to join them but family commitments.........................................
Amongst the Caravans

Believe it or not Huttonian is joining the caravan set-almost-for the annual family holiday-this year in St Andrews. First choice of accommodation having fallen through we are taking three 'lodges' in what is basically a caravan park two and a half miles from the centre of the Old Grey Toon. Hopefully the on site shop will have stick on your self tattoos so as we can pass muster amongst the creme of Scottish Knights of the Road.

The website( http://www.craigtounmeadows.co.uk/ ) is most impressive with moving panoramic images of all parts of the park including the interiors of the static caravans and the lodges. Great news is that Sir Morrisons is just down the road within large trolley range. No doubt I will meet again the Lady of the Road I accosted in Sir M's only yesterday as she barged past me in a mad rush for the checkout with one trolley crammed full with the Super-Giant-Caravan Family Size Crisps-144 packets in one lovely plastic setting (called by the cognescenti :The Gross) and with a spare trolley equally filled with individual-two bites size-crisp packets for that Little extra during the Ads. She beat me to the checkout quite comfortably but found it was hand baskets only and turned away with an unladylike curse to crush more toes, crack more ribs in her search for the right departure gate. I later noticed her leaving, St Andrews bound, in a huge mobile home which had taken up 8 places in the parking area_four 'Mothers and Children' and four 'Disabled'slots. Sadly as we will be lodging rather than caravanning we will not be licensed to behave in a similar fashion.

I suspect that blogging may be difficult-but be patient-the saved up blog will make James Mitchenors famous epic Caravans seem positively, er,


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Conundrum, wrapped in an enigma beside a fish pond

Walking up the path to the Rainbow trout pond at Conundrum (nothing to do with Councillor F) we-two three year olds, a minder and Huttonian, were trapped behind four of the largest buttocks I have ever seen- outside Sir Morrison's on a Saturday morning usually excepted. The two large ladies eventually managed to reach the side of the pond, breathing heavily and watched as Zoe and Katy feed the trout into their usual feeding frenzy (click on images for full effect) The food being exhausted the pond returned to its normal calm. Large Lady One turned to her companion LL2 and said 'why don't we feed them as well?' LL2 looked startled and looked inside the little paper bag she had bought in reception. 'Oh! That was for the fishes? I thought it was food. I seem to have eaten it!'

(Quite unwarranted abuse from LL1 involving overfed overweight bovines- pots and kettles did not seem to resonate with her)

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Thursday, August 09, 2007
  Reston Rail Station. A glimpse of the future.

Originally uploaded by tri vo
An artist's impression of Reston Station awaiting the 9.23 from Berwick. Do the good people of Reston really want to see scenes like this? See post immediately below
RESTON STATION: The Struggle continues

Yet another letter in the Berwickshire

"Since my last correspondance I have been in contact with many ex Restonians with regard to this train issue.
We have decided that rather than clog up the letters page of the weekly newspaper we will try and secure a date to book the local village hall where we can address the pros and many cons involved with this idea.
I can assure residents that we are good listeners and even better talkers, hopefully convincing the Reston public how silly this idea is.
We will also explain the benefits of mass importation into such a small community and the potential pitfalls.
So far we have four who are horrified enough to pay their own expense (suitable dates excepted) to attend. Others are getting back to myself or my father.
Finally we all wish the Reston residents good health and prosperity and hopefully see you all soon.
Ex residents of Reston who oppose the station idea may not get the warmest of welcomes in their former stamping ground. Bad enough having incomers pushing you around but former Restonians who emigrated to Embra (with its two stations) may not be regarded as the most objective advisers. And, it might be said, that it is no longer their business? And why leave Reston for Embra in the first place?

Er, because it had no station?

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Hotingham * Bay

What does one do in a hot summer day in the Merse asks an occasional bloggee. Do you have those? Yes, Willie of Wellington (New Zealand, next to Australia) we do and we go to Coldingham Bay. Berwickshire's answer to the Gulf and Costa del Petrodollar-but, on a day like this, slightly hotter than Dubai** and much nicer-see image. Coldingham is just missed by the Gulf Stream(other Gulf, not Arabian)so the water is even colder than bracing but was a welcome relief from the searing heat of a Berwickshire August. Coldingham City Fathers are always astonished that on both good warm days each season the public car park is full by 11am-it is expanded every year and it is still overflowing by 11 o'clock. Some enterprising entrepreneur has built an overflow car park a hot dusty walk away from the free one.A snip at £2 you might think. But he forgot one thing. Coldingham is in Scotland.Scots are prepared to hang around the public one until some one leaves and then jostle for the vacant space.

Meanwhile the pay and then swim facility remains


I apologise to the Chain Bridge Blog Reader for pictures of the youngsters but oone needs to take advantage of our summer which may end about 4pm this afternoon

* Feeble Pun intended

** In December

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Cognescenti of local planning issues should look at http://eplanning1.scotborders.gov.uk/WAM/showCaseFile.do?appType=planning&appNumber=07/01415/OUT

and note the usual ingredients so familiar in these 'ere parts in recent years-building on prime agricultural land-not envisaged in local plan-a dubious 'sense of place'. And one unusual feature is that the neighbours have given the proposed development of four dwellings the universal thumbs down. (The correspondence bears a a careful read)

One hopes, in the interests of good neighbourly relations, that the applicants, like Edward II, 'think again' and find another site which is less 'in your face'

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Blogging at the gallop

The gentle art of blogging requires total concentration and absence of worries about , for example how suddenly quiet the sitting room has gone. Has KB really finished watching the DVD on Fairy Godmothers/Princesses which was meant to occupy her for a whole hour and involves considerable careful preparation including dressing her for the role. Wand and all. Mr P can also be plonked -in his case in front of a computer where he can play games of imagination and terror with , fortunately the sound turned down as the music is 'too scary' He can also be diverted from, say, torturing his sister, by allowing his imagination to run riot through designing nuclear fuel enrichment facilities, complete with plutonium rods surplus to the Iranian programme, and in his case, not subject to UN sanctions. All this silent concentration by the parties of the first and second parts allows a quick furtive blog between, of course, the normal household and garden chores-known in the family parlance as 'pulling my weight' and not 'spending too much time on the computer'

An extra job this afternoon is the remowing of part of the front 'lawn' (Aka Southern Meadow)to permit a game of croquet. The meadow is very rarely fit for this purpose and the grass grows so fast that by the time the mow is completed it is time to start again. The mower is on the blink and is sometimes hard to start since its last extensive service; so with a little bit of luck

it won't go at all. And I can return to the blog with

an easy conscience.
At least that is how I see it.

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Monday, August 06, 2007
Very old friends reunited

One unexpected result of 'appearing Broadcasting House was a number of messages from old friends including someone whom I last saw at Dublin University some decades ago. One or two were quite flattering, others seemed surprised at my choice of career and country of employment:' Oh I thought you had emigrated to Australia, or was it New Zealand? Thanks, I was never that desperate. . Someone else seemed a bit put out that I was still around: 'Oh dear I must have got that wrong! (Dead right, you did,no pun intended) And It is interesting to note what kind of person listens to Broadcasting House-a programme, I have to confess, I never knew about before. Being at 0900 on Sundays may have something to do with it.

A bit like my infamous two page spread in the Mail on Sunday when Huttonian was belatedly outed thanks to a 'friend' tipping off a free lance reporter to follow up 'Our Man in Hutton gets up local noses horror' ground breaking tale about the blog. I had many sympathetic (mostly)messages from old friends who made a point of insisting they never normally read the MOS but 'just happened' to pick one up or someone, presumably a lower class acquaintance' 'drew it' to their intention. One person claimed that he had sat on the story, quite literally, flying from London to Glasgow and only spotted it when he took it to the loo. Obviously had an aversion to BA toilet paper.

No such imagined stigma seems attached to Broadcasting House.

I await the response to my interview in the Sun with great interest.

Not that one is imminent.


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Sunday, August 05, 2007
Dogged does it

At the (fairly) recent Scottish Border council elections most candidates pledged to do more about dealing with the mountains of dog poo which besmirch our villages and sure enough a plan of action was pledged in the aims of the new administration. A 'vision' rather than a plan of action in councilspeak. This pome(?) by a local bard is seemingly based on a vision-poppy/puppy induced? Who knows. I am advised that although considered by some as possible line of action it was never actually implemented. A pity.

The Hutton Solution

‘ The Notice reads:

'Dogs who offend will be shot’
and in smaller letters:
‘Owners of offending dogs.
You have been warned!’

‘That should do the trick’
said the large man
with a baseball hat’.
putting another shell
into his shotgun.
stepping carefully over
the spent cartridges
the corpses

There were some dead dogs
as well.

‘I sometimes think
that the chairman
of the Community Council
takes his duties too seriously’


the lady with the pooper scooter
and the bullet proof

NB very carefully. The chairman of the community council thus depicted must have been well before Huttonian's time

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

FISHWICK KIRK-it exists!

Or did up to 2002. Huttonian has to thank a nearby bloggee for the scanned images of an old map showing the exact location of the church. And thanks to his research we also have images from an organisation which lists Scottish historic buildings at risk. I reproduce one of the kirk taken 5 years ago. To see the rest in a higher quality (subject to copyright) you will need to go to http://www.buildingsatrisk.org.uk/view.asp?SCT+Ref+No=0942 and click on the individual images.

Next step is to send an expedition to find the place and take more photos.

But after the vegetation is less challenging

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Friday, August 03, 2007
Flodden Revisited. Once more. Again

Its that time of the year again and Coldstream Civic Week is upon us with the newly selected Coldstreamer, Right Hand Man, Left Hand man, former Coldstreamers doing their stuff. Including the visit to Flodden Field. Several Bloggees have asked, well two have, for a re run of the following ditty;

Flogging a Dead Flodden

Once more they are at it.
Repeatedly, annually.
(Since 1513 probably)
Reivers, Reivers’ Lasses,
Coldstreamers, “Wynsome Maydes”
Battlefield orations by real live
Generals. In full plumage.
Sods carried in triumph.
English sods to a Scottish town.
Tattered, ragged Saltires unfurled.
Ancient oaths retaken.

For what?
To commemorate
a glorious victory?
A disastrous defeat cutting down
the Flower of Scotland.

Can you imagine the
had they won?

I pity those
poor English incomers
who live near Bannockburn.
Unlike those of us
in the Borders
they can’t take refuge
in the smugness
of past victories.

For them there is
no escape from
that uniquely Scottish condition


I still find the whole thing a bit odd. Seems to me that the wrong lot are celebrating it. But this year's oration will be given by a former Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland-an English slant on a famous English victory.And as usual the Earl of Home will be sending the cavalcade on its way to Flodden Field with much bussing (no bus actually involved) of the Coldstreamer banner. The Homes played a prominent part in the 1513 affair and, according to most historians, they, with most of the Borderers left the battle at half time with loot and booty (saves writing loot twice) thus leaving their colleagues in saltires ill prepared to meet the English surge in the second half. Whether they should be seeking to extract some belated favourable publicity for their performance on the battlefield is a moot point.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007
Live (or rather in the can) from Duns?

Huttonian, has, out of the blue, been asked to 'appear' on Broadcasting House-the Radio 4 magazine programme. Apparently some highheidyins in the corporation intrigued by the description of the Bush/Brown talks as 'Free and Frank' want some one with dip service background to interpret the nuances of such labels which often do more to conceal than to elucidate. Watch that space.

The BBC have a built in abhorrence of interviewing on the bog standard phone. Much too low tech. I resisted the time wasting effort of being driven to the BBC studio in Newcastle so they have come up with a serve- yourself -studio in Duns apparently occasionally used by Borders Radio. This involves going to the first floor of the Workers Institute having collected the key from the newsagents. Letting oneself in' turning on the power and activating the microphone and awaiting the CALL from London.
Fingers crossed. My experiences of self propagation are not good. Once in Norn Iron I was picked up by a BBC hired taxi in Newcastle, driven to Down Patrick (where is that? asked the driver) to be admitted into the Saint Patrick Centre at 730am. This was for an interview on BBC Radio Ulster. The caretaker took some convincing before he let me in: How do you know we have a BBC studio here? The BBC told me. Oh. Anyhow I was admitted only to find that the key pad controlled lock to the do it yourself studio had jammed-so no studio. And having paid 50p to the caretaker to use his phone to alert the BBC I was interviewed on a standard machine which could have been cheerfully done in the comfort of the drafty Cottage hall.

And radio cars are no more reliable. Again in Newcastle, post the Downpatrick fiasco, BBC Ulster sent a radio car which positioned itself on the sea front. There was a Force 10 gale and the car was continously swept by waves coming over the sea wall knocking the place it yourself aerial off the roof and causing several breaks in transmission. In the end the driver/engineer admitted defeat and the rest of the interview was conducted elsewhere-yes-the Cottage hall. On this occasion the BBC cannot find a Radio car to come to the Old Manse, more likely perhaps, they are not confident that the Radio Car can find Hutton. Hence Duns.

I do hope it all works but if I have to return to Hutton, uninterviewed because of the failings of the Workers Institute operation (can't find the keys, Newsagent refuses to part with them, microphone is away for servicing, kettle won't boil) the BBC and I will have an exchange of views. Free (if they call me) and



Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Fishwick Church-the search continues

Following a bloggee's clue we set off once more down the Fishwick Cul de Sac Blackspot in search of the remains of Fishwick Church. They are remarkably elusive and are presumably in the dense vegetation pictured above. The copse is surrounded by a barbed wired fence-WW2 surplus from Stalag XIV or XV and the nettles are so high that further exploration will have to wait until Autumn. But it was good to see for the first time the (presumably) Tweedhill Fisheries' Tweed side Bothy/Winebar and there were even fishermen in evidence parked beside it having, presumably, found no room in the official car park. A gaggle of geese had found refuge in the shallows and were being noisily provocative to a herd of cows who trying to emigrate from Scotand to England (or vice versa) had found themselves stranded on an island rather nearer to Scotland than England but did not seem too concerned.

Only jarring note to mar a quiet bucolic idyll was provided by English Yuff on the Horncliffe bank with their motor bikes. Presumably banned from the peaceful village streets they were doing their things on the river bank-click on image for the whole sordid spectacle. Try that on this side of the water it would be an ASBO and a forced appearnce in sack cloth and ashes at Fishwick Kirk.

If we could find it

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Huttonian has inadvertently upset a member of RAGES (RAIL ACTION GROUP EAST OF SCOTLAND)by a supporting a correspondent in the Berwickshire who opposed the reopening of Reston Station.

RAGES wish list includes the following objectives:

To improve the rail service between Edinburgh, Dunbar and Berwick upon Tweed.

To have East Linton and Reston stations re-opened for active use
To consider the implications with regard to car parking and bicycle storage at Stations between Waverley and Berwick upon Tweed.

To keep under scrutiny the standards of passenger facilities at stations between Waverley and Berwick, including North Berwick, and to draw the attention of the relevant bodies to shortcomings which arise.

The group, being environmentally minded, will actively strive to encourage rail travel within its geographical area.

I am sure that it would be very convenient for the people of Reston to have their station reopened but beyond that the idea seems to involve a lot of expense with very little return to any one else-just adding further delay to those many people who regularly commute from Berwick to Embra. Indeed a major improvement in time and motion for this intrepid band would be the closure of Dunbar station. Admittedly there are good environmental reasons for getting people out of cars and into trains and on those grounds alone there is a case for opening many more stations and indeed building more branch lines as well. Hutton Think Tank has long been involved with GAT
ATT (AQ) Get A Train Along The Tweed(And Quickly)to serve the Paxton, Fishwick,Hutton conurbation,expanding Horndean, Coldstream (The First Toon in Scotland-or the last) Kelso, and then connecting with the proposed Waverley Line. Just think how many global destructive cars that it would get off the road never mind the fume inducing (and empty) No 32 Bus.

So the time has come to push on two fronts and I suggest that GATTAT (AQ) merge with RAGES-being subsumed into the latter would save a number of Capital Letters. It would only need a tiny tweak to RAGES' objectives. If this happens the full power of the Blog will be thrown behind the organisation and victory is sure.


What about it?

Stopping at Reston, Granthouses, Ayton, Haddington, Dunbar,North Berwick, Museum of Flight, East Linton, Preston Pans, that nice shop at that caravan site on the old A1, etc etc would be a dreadful nuisance for Huttonian commuting to Embra. But with the planet at stake.
What the Hell. Go for it

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