Wednesday 9th. April, 2014 – Olive’s last day at work 

This morning over breakfast we were discussing Edrom. None of us knew where is was but its name had come up twice in recent weeks. Once we were told that we lived in the parish of Edrom and on a second occasion we were told that we came under the catchment area of the Edrom Community Council. So on our way for wood this morning Tom and I drove to Edrom which turns out to be a tiny village almost three miles from Duns along the Chirnside road and then off to the left. We saw the old Manse and visited the Church where we learned that the parish of Edrom was established in the early twelfth century and granted to St. Cuthbert’s monks based in Lindisfarne or Durham. This was confirmed by King David I in 1139 and the original church was built shortly afterwards.

By the end of the fourteenth century the church was controlled by Coldinham Priory. A new chapel (which still remains) was added in 1499 by Archbishop Blackadder.

Most of the present church was rebuilt in 1732 and in 1886. It was good to see it from the outside – sometime soon we hope to visit its interior.

Up early and drove Olive to Berwick to catch her train to Dundee for the last time (for her present employment at any rate). Back home, Mix and I went straight to the summer house where I completed the music for Arrochar and sent it off by email to Jamie. Then I finally completed captioning the photographs which I put on this blog on 2nd. April. They are the pictures which document my visit to Bede’s World last week – a visit which made a big impression me and have led to me spending quite a bit of time since then reading about the life and times of Bede.

These tasks completed there was still time for Mix and I to go for a long walk before breakfast in the farmhouse at nine.

Tom arrived and we completed our assessment of what required to be done to make the barns swallow-proof. (I like swallows but the damage they will do to our possessions if they are allowed to nest alongside them is unbelievable. I said to Tom that I was feeling guilty about it and he remarked that why didn’t I make a nice little nest in the house for the farmyard rats to set up home? I have ordered ten swallow-nesting-boxes which we will fit up under the eaves to make the swallows feel welcome after their long journey from southern climes.)

We went off to Pearsons to buy wood and screws (visiting Edrom on the way) and then we boxed in all of the barn ventilators to ensure their security. Finally we went around filling in any holes with plastic bubble-wrap which we will then cover over with cement when we have the cement mixer in operation in the next few days.

Everything was completed by around four at which point Tom went home to get ready for his bee keeper’s meeting this evening. I got washed and settled down in the summer house to get ready for the meeting I am attending tomorrow in Stirling -- it is a meeting of the executive of the Scottish Pilgrim Routes Forum.

Soon it was time to drive to Berwick and collect Olive who is now officially retired. We had a lovely meal in the farmhouse (preceded by Champaign in honour of the retirement) and then retired to the Granary. We will celebrate Olive’s retirement more fully at the weekend but this evening she is tired and anxious to catch up on her lost sleep!

Back in the Granary we watched an episode of Inspector Gently followed by the News. There is becoming more and more discussion about the Referendum – that’s good – but so much of it seems to be predicated on the assumption that were there to be a yes vote then somehow Scotland and the rest of the UK would become almost enemies. The thing which has struck me when I have visited Scandinavia, for example, is how countries work in partnership together. Whatever the result of the referendum I would hope that Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom continue to work in partnership and regard each other as the friends we undoubtedly are. Wishing to work in partnership and wishing to have control of one’s own country to adopt one’s own policies on, for example, social provision and equality, do not seem to me to be mutually exclusive. We need to continue to have the debate but without the threats from either side – not least because such threats always seem to backfire against the party, whichever it is, that makes them.

I walked Mix and went to bed. I have really enjoyed today.


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