Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Dawyck & Destruction

Hi All,
We are now half-way through our holiday in the Border town of Peebles, and after spending the previous day walking around Melrose and its wonderful abbey, a trip to a garden was now in order.

And so it was that my wife and I set off for Dawyck Botanical Gardens. The gardens are situated near the village of Stobo, in Upper Tweeddale, and although it is only about six miles from Peebles, a nicer six miles would be hard to find. I'm pleased to report that the gardens were extremely peaceful, which suits us down to the ground because I've found that noisy places are rarely beautiful. Dawyck gardens can be described as a series of pathways that climb and descend through a magnificent landscape of trees and bushes. There are flowers, in fact, there are lots of them spread throughout the garden for visitors to enjoy. However, those expecting to find sweeping herbaceous borders full of delphiniums and agapanthus will be disappointed.

This is a garden to wander about slowly; to take one's time and appreciate the variety of trees and bushes. Some of the trees were planted a long while ago, so are now of specimen proportions. By the time we'd walked every path in the garden it was mid-afternoon, so we decided that we'd used up enough energy for one day and went back to our caravan and recuperate.

As soon as we got into the caravan Terry Anne put the kettle on while I went into the lounge and switched on the tv. Now, it is very seldom that I have the urge to watch any daytime telly , but I thought I'd just take a look to see what was on offer whilst I drank my tea.

Now then, have you ever had one of those moments when your brain can't understand what your eyes are seeing? Well, this was when I had such a moment. The television screen showed a jet airliner flying straight into a skyscraper. At first I thought it must be a film, but the sound track that came with the images told me that I was witnessing something terrible. I called my wife to come and look and we slowly began to understand that terrorists had hijacked some planes and flown them into various buildings in the USA. It was a real shock to the senses, how human beings can do such terrible things to one another is totally beyond my comprehension.

People say that they can remember where they were when certain things happened in their lives. Many can recall where they were, for instance, when they heard about the murders of JF Kennedy or John Lennon. As it happens I can't recall where I was when either of those two people died, but I can recall two others in great detail. I was in my lounge at home when I saw the news about the death of Elvis Presley on the telly and I was in the same room when my sister told me of the death of the great Harry Chapin.

And so the lovely day spent at Dawyck Gardens will, for me, always be associated with murder and mayhem.

On a brighter note, we spent the next day taking in some more of the Border's famous abbeys and I will tell you more about that in my next Scottish post.

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