Monday, 4 December 2017

Life 27 Nov-3 Dec 2017: Two Prince Henry’s, Walks & Christmas Events.

The continuing journal of my everyday life, which hopefully will be there for future generations. 

After last week's rain, we had clear blue skies and wintry sunshine - ideal for walks and taking photographs.   Christmas events are under way  and two Prince Henry's were on TV. 

Monday  27 November 2017 
Big news of the day was Prince Harry announcing his engagement to Megan Markel - not exactly a surprise, but refreshing at least to  have a happy  news story  with so much negative, depressing and disturbing  tales in  our  troubled world  - faltering Brexit negotiations (I fear the worst) terrorist threats, natural  disasters, failing NHS and social care (we are at that age!),   plus daily cases of sexual harassment in the media and politics.

Out  for a walk as the sun was streaming through the house, but of course it went behind the clouds once I was into Cowdenknowes Wood.  The local paths group  do a sterling job  maintaining the paths network around the village.  

It is a Monday holiday for St. Andrew's Day on the 30th, so G and family off to Edinburgh by train. You think ScotRail would get their act together  and realise that a month before  Christmas, people would be heading for the city - but NO.  Only a two coach train was put on, so they had to stand all the way for the hour's journey.   

Tuesday 28th November 2017
Domestics in the morning.  Posted last weeks Journal Jottings.  Another sunny day and not as cold, so I got out early after lunch for a walk to Cowdenknowes and took photographs of Earlston's two hills - White Hill and Black Hill.   Longest walk I have done for sometime.

White Hill
Black Hill

Wednesday  29 November 2017
Mother and daughter morning as we went down to "Born in the Borders" to buy Borders produce as Christmas presents.  Of course we also had to sample the cakes in the cafe.   On the way back, stopped at  Leaderfoot Viewpoint to take some photographs - a brilliant, sunny winter's day.  It is only when you stand underneath the arches,you  realise the scale of the structure - complete in 1865 to carry the Berwickshire Railway over the River Tweed.   The line closed  in 1965 and the viaduct is under the care of Historic Scotland.  (I am very fond of putting in wee bits of historical trivia.) 

 Amazingly I felt like baking (a rare occurrence for me) , so made an apple and cinnabar;n  cake for tea - delicious comfort food in this weather.

Thursday 30 November 2017
Eye wateringly cold - 2C, so a short walk around Mill Meadow with the Walk It group.  Published on my Family History blog, the final post in "Women on the Home Front"  series.  

Watched a BBC Scotland programme on  "The Best King We Never Had" about Price Henry (1593-1612), first-born son of King James 1 and V1.  He was portrayed as talented, skilled, well educated and a paragon prince, set to be a great monarch on the international stage.  Interesting.  But we were not impressed with the programme which was very short on sources - I wanted to know how we knew all this.   Henry set up his own court at an early age, but one aspect we never heard about was any relationship with Parliament - his  brother  Charles 1's failure in this respect led to his downfall.   The presenter followed the current popular trend in historical documentaries in dressing up - this time  in  a suit of armour, as worn by Prince Henry, and he had to be shown swimming in what looked like a very grey cold river.  to illustrate Prince Henry's death from water-born typhoid fever at the young age of 19 - hence he never became king!    Still I did learn something. 

Friday 1 December 2017
Frightening how quickly time goes by  and we are now in December.  Into Galashiels  for odds and ends shopping. 

Saturday  2 December 2017
Christmas Tree Festival at the Church.  Each organization and group in the village  was asked to decorate an artificial tree reflecting their activities.  The ingenuity was impressive, such as the Cycle Club tree with a tyre as the basis and tinsel and fairy lights intertwined with bicycle chains.   They were not easy to photograph because of the windows and the lighting, but here are three o.ut of the 33 trees on show.   I first read about this idea  last year on an American Facebook post and thought then it would make a good project  for Border towns and congregations. So good to see in Earlston.


TV's Strictly Come Dancing great entertainment tonight  with the theme musicals - one of the best in this year's series.  G. up to Edinburgh with Nh. and her friend  for a visit to Pizza Hut for tea and then down to the  Royal Botanical Gardens  for their Christmas Festival of Light.   The verdict - brilliant!  

 The Glass House all lit up.

 Sunday 3 December  2017
Lazy morning - short walk.   On TV  "Coastal Railways of Britain", fronted by actress Julie Walters who I have always liked, because of her versatility.  Tonight's rail route was Newcastle  to Edinburgh, so of special interest - why do we like so much watching our own area on TV?   There are so many of this  type of TV programme on   now, and although I liked Julie Walters wit and rapport with people,  I missed the historic detail that Michael Portillo, the forerunner for the genre,   brings  to the screen. I have often thought I would love to be researcher on his programme unearthing the trivia and lesser know facts about a place. 

And so to bed!

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