Saturday 12th. July, 2014 – A day for cutting the grass 

I took this picture this evening in the square at Duns. Today is the final day of the week of Duns celebrations, Reivers Week or Duns Summer Festival 2014. Tonight it was the turn of the children who paraded through the town centre on their floats (and on foot). Crowds of people came to support and there was a fairly substantial fun fair as an added attraction

Slept in a bit and then walked Mix before getting started on cutting the grass around the summer house (again). It was another really glorious day but the forecast was for rain and I just knew that as soon as I started on the grass it would rain. Well, it didn’t and I made good progress until an emergency shout from Rachel to say that Mix had escaped and was running on the road. I dropped everything and rushed out to the front of the farmhouse. A passing car offered me a lift but no sooner had I got into the car than I saw Mix running back towards Olive who had set off even quicker than I had. He saw me and ran to me and we bundled him into Rachel’s car.

It all happened just as quickly as that but it gave me quite a fright. Normally Mix would never run away if I am there but he had taken offence at the lawnmower and when Mum was speaking to Rachel at the Granary door he was out, in through Mum’s door to the farmhouse, out the farmhouse front door and away. It really was a chapter of accidents and we have taken steps to ensure that it can’t happen again.

I was so out of breath that instead of returning to the grass-cutting I went into the summer house and turned on the cricket which meant I saw Jimmy Anderson get his fifty and with Joe Root gain the record for the highest ever last wicket partnership in a Test Match (198 of which Jimmy Anderson scored 81). It was magnificent and it is no response to lament the slow nature of the wicket, most of the batmen had failed.

When the game allowed, I completed the cutting of the grass, the collecting of all of the cuttings and then I took Mix for a walk. On our return Rachel and I went into Duns to see the children’s (and some adult’s) floats in a procession through the town led by the Wynsome Mayde and her many attendants. The Wynsome Mayde is eleven years old and most of her school classmates become her court. She holds office for a year.

In fact the procession was led by a police car, followed by the pipe band, followed by the horses and flags of the Reiver and his Lass and then the Wynsome Mayde. Following this huge float came a succession of other floats all filled with children and adults in fancy costumes.

I took a picture or two over the heads of the crowd:

I love this picture of the Pipe Major leading the Pipe Band. There he is in his full uniform surrounded by crowds in their summer clothes with the fun fair behind

The Pipe Band was excellent and filled with young folk, both boys and girls

Behind the band came the flags. Again I was struck by the contrasts -- the horses who are really the stars of this week of celebrations, and behind the massive lorry -- the modern work horses of our roads. Then there are the traditional costumes of the riders and behind the massive and modern fun fair. I also remember that in pictures I have seen of events in times past the riders were wearing border bonnets, here they are in riding helmets -- a sign, I'm sure, that health and safety has infiltrated even this traditional event

On this float the Wynsome Mayde sits enthroned, with all of her court in front of her

Of course, there was a Pearson's lorry with children in all kinds of wonderfully home-made costumes. Fantastic

We returned home for supper in the farmhouse – a lovely smoked haddock flan – and then retired to the summer house. I intended to brush the grass but by now it was, eventually, raining. Instead I settled down and watched the third place play-off from Brazil between Brazil and the Netherlands. I suppose that I was supporting the Netherlands because I had supported them against Argentina but I was heartfelt sorry for Brazil for whom nothing seems to be going right in recent days. The Netherlands won by three goals to nil. Ah well. It was time to walk Mix and retire to bed.


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