Saturday 14th. June, 2014 A Long lie followed by a long walk – a perfect Saturday 

A picture of Mix looking up at me after we had been walking for the best part of two hours – ‘I really don’t understand today. First you don’t get up and then you walk the hind legs off me, can I not sit down and have a rest, please?’

Today I slept in – I really slept in. In fact it was after half-past ten when I finally got out of bed. But once I was up I collected Mix and we set off for a really long walk. We walked along to Bogend Farm at which point we left the main road and set off for Fogo. Having explored the River Blackadder at Fogo we walked on past Caldra Farm and made our way back to Mount Pleasant by way of Nisbet Hill. It was a splendid walk, cleared away all of the cobwebs and I came home feeling really good.

On the walk I took some pictures:

The first part of our walk was dominated by sheep. The fields around Bogend are full of sheep and the noise of their conversation with each other is almost deafening – but they all look happy and well. I loved this little gathering of sheep who were clearly anxious to give us the once-over

The road to Fogo is a little country lane. It is about a three-mile walk to Fogo and we didn’t see any vehicle or anyone during our wander. It could not have been more peaceful. I contemplated on the fact that Saturday mornings are now so different. In the past I was probably preparing for a wedding or two and thinking about the services I was to conduct the next day. Now I am thinking about my little dog and about all of our plans for the rest of the summer

As we walked through Fogo my eye caught the church yard and I thought how well cared-for it looked. Notice all of the flowers at the graves. Village churches are important not just because of the services which are conducted there but because they really are the centre of village memory, aspiration and hope

Once past the church at Fogo we turned down along a little path which led to the River Blackadder. Mix enjoyed the canopy of trees which shut out the sun – there wasn’t really much sun until later in the day, but it was warm and humid – the kind of day in which in other parts of the country we would have been eaten alive by midges, but not here

Here was are at the bridge over the River Blackadder. There is a little plaque on the bridge which announces that the bridge was opened on the 31st. July, 2004 in memory of the Reverend John Hunter who had been minister of Fogo Kirk from 1926 to 1965

This is the view which greeted Mix and me from the bridge over the River Blackadder. I knew what to look for because by the side of the bridge there was an interpretative chart which told me:

“The name Blackadder Water is more about colour than snakes. The Blackadder is also known as Black water due to the dark tinge to the water from the peaty soil. It joins the Whiteadder Water to the east at Allanton before flowing into the famous Tweed not far from Berwick. The ‘adder’ part of the name probably dates back to the time of the first people to settle in the Borders after the Ice Age -- about 12,000 years ago. In those days adder was the word for a fast flowing river.

The Blackadder Water in front of you is important for conservation as part of the River Tweed catchment area. Salmon have joined Sea Trout in returning to this river after a 200 year absence.
People in Fogo have always needed to cross the river on this old right of way. Have a look under the bridge where stepping-stones are still visible, and they may be the first signs of access across the river.

Many woodland plants can be seen on the banks here such as Flowering rush, Flag iris, and Mollyglobs (Kingcups). If you are lucky you might also catch a glimpse of Otters, Red Squirrels, or Daubenton’s bats skimming the water catching insects. Herons, Dippers ... and sometimes Kingfishers are often seen dipping into the water, perhaps trying to catch eels and brown trout.

Please enjoy this peaceful place, but always take away what you have brought with you.”

Mix and I enjoyed this peaceful place where we paused before continuing our walk

As we walked on I was struck by how now all the fields around us, stretching as far as the eye can see, are green and growing. I expect that soon they will turn to gold and I will try to catch that on my camera as well. What a wonderfully fertile and quiet place this is

This last picture looks up towards the farm at Nisbet Hill – rolling fields and wonderful crops; glorious scenery for a summer walk

Back home it was time for lunch – rolls with cheese and egg mayonnaise, washed down with ginger beer. Afterwards we started on cutting the grass – the noise drove Mix wild and he did his best to run away. We are going to have to put him in the car when we cut the grass in future, certainly round in the summer house the noise is too loud when we are cutting the lawns behind the Granary and around the summer house. I watched a bit of the Test Match and read some of my book and I was lost to the world when Rachel came and chased me up for being late for dinner.

Rachel, Olive, Digger and I had a pleasant meal – Mum was absent as she was away with her friend Annie attending the film show in Gavinton Village Hall. The film was Sunshine on Leith (which we had all watched on our big television a few weeks ago) but Mum fancied seeing it again on an even bigger screen.

Watched a bit of television (a thriller about an ex-policeman in Ireland) in preparation for the England Italy football match. Going into the World Cup, these are the two teams that I would have supported, (We lived in Italy for six years back in the 1970s), so I suppose that whoever wins I can be happy. I would have preferred them to meet in the final however!

I’ll post my diary before then, walk Mix and catch up with the football in my diary entry for tomorrow.


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