Blazin’ Fiddles, Borders cycle and sunlight on rocks and bridge

On Sunday, we went to Haddington (11 miles/18K from Dunbar) to see the final act of the Trad on the Tyne Festival – the very lively Blazin’ Fiddles. This is a 6 member group, led by Bruce MacGregor, who hosts the excellent Travelling Folk radio show (available worldwide, so check it out). In the group, there are 4 fiddle players, one guitarist and one keyboard player. The show is a mix of fast and furious group fiddle playing and individual cameos by the fiddle players. One of the outstanding individual sets was a a very melodic slow air played by Jenna Reid. The band have a well rehearsed set of often humorous introduction to their sets of tunes and they do appear to enjoy playing with such gusto, especially at the end of the show, with a few rousing tunes to send the audience home happy. It was very enjoyable to sit in the tent on a warm summer evening and be entertained by a set of lively and highly talented musicians.

Yesterday, Val and I ventured down to the borders with my cycling pal Alistair and his wife Di. We drove to the tiny village of Heriot, unloaded the bikes from the rack and set off on a very pleasant, quiet, rural route to Innerleithen, down a long 4 mile descent, following the Leithen Water. This attractive wee town is most famous for Robert Smail’s Printing Works which is a National Trust property now but was once a prosperous business in the town. The Smail Archive  contains many examples of the variety of publications produced at the works and much of the machinery survives and is well maintained. This is well worth a visit if you are in the area. We had coffee/tea and scones at the excellent Whistle Stop Café (good photo). We were given a friendly welcome and were even given locks for our bikes. The café has attached rings to the outside wall on to which cyclists can lock their bikes – what a service!. From there, the route took us to Clovenfords where we had lunch, having cycled 22 miles (36K). Thereafter, there was a 15.5 mile (25K) cycle which took in some stiffish hills but also exhilarating downhill freewheeling. At one point, we passed through the extensive Bowland Estate and to our right, for about 10 miles, we could see the construction of the new Borders Railway which will go from Edinburgh to Tweedbank.  So, a great day out and a lovely part of the country – must go back and take my camera with me.

Two recent walks with my camera were on sunlit evenings and I captured some different effects of the late sunlight. Firstly, a walk along the promenade at the back of our house. When the tide recedes, there is revealed a series of rocks of different shapes and some appear to be landscapes in miniature e.g. ragged mountain ranges. If you can catch the sun on these rocks at the right time, there are some wonderful colours, as in the 3 photos below (click to enlarge).

Sunlight on the rocks off Dunbar's east promenade

Sunlight on the rocks off Dunbar’s east promenade

Sunlight on the rocks off Dunbar's east promenade

Sunlight on the rocks off Dunbar’s east promenade

Sunlight on the rocks off Dunbar's east promenade

Sunlight on the rocks off Dunbar’s east promenade

The second walk went past Belhaven Bridge – featured before on this blog. There was a biggish sun on the horizon which brought out the bridge’s structure well and the sun reddened the shallow water under the bridge.

Belhaven Bridge at sunset

Belhaven Bridge at sunset

Belhaven Bridge at sunset

Belhaven Bridge at sunset

 

 

 

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