Coat? Don’t just bring your coat, bring a boat! That’s what my Scottish friends said when they found out that I was heading north of the border, for a few days, over the bank holiday weekend. The Scottish bench I was sitting on to take that photo from was as dry as a bone. In fact, over that weekend I walked around in just a t-shirt most of the time (and yes, I’m just talking about above the waist). Turns out that Scottish weather is just as unpredictable as English.
In front of the bench is a field (well, duh!) and I can’t really tell you much more about it than you can tell from the goalposts. It’s in Ettrickbridge, which is in the Scottish Borders and is seven miles from the nearest shop. There are lots of fields around here. In fact, Ettrickbridge is like a very tiny rash on a hugely obese man’s face. But for all its tinyness, it’s spreading. The houses (and their outsize gardens) are encroaching onto the fields at what looks to be a rapid pace. In the middle of it all is the Crosskeys Inn (where we stayed), which was been there since the 17th century, but most of the rest if the village looks fairly new(ish).
Behind me, as I sat, I could hear the river that the town had been named after: the Ettrick, as it roared its way whitely over its bed of huge boulders.
In fact, I think I can still hear that river now, from this very English road I’m walking down here in York. Oh, sorry, my mistake. It’s just the rain pounding against my umbrella. Welcome home, Robert.