This autumn has been ridiculously beautiful: warm, windless and glowing with colour. I was thinking yesterday, slightly morbidly, that if this were my very last year - or indeed my very last day - I couldn't really complain. I doubt if I'll ever experience a lovelier autumn. It's impossible not to wonder how many more I will see... .
Yesterday we got the new Borders train line to Tweedbank and walked from there to Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott. He was tremendously famous in his day but now very few people read him: his plots are exciting enough but he's extremely longwinded.
There were photo opportunities wherever we looked.
Scott built this beturreted mansion and people still visit it, so... what does that tell us about the power of literature versus the power of architecture? There are also pleasant gardens and lovely walks through the woods.
There's something magical about that slanting light, isn't there? It was early afternoon but already the sun was sinking in the sky. It makes you feel that you have to go out and enjoy it before it's too late. (Like life... .)
We crunched through the russet leaves.
On the return journey, the path ran alongside the River Tweed. I don't know whether Sir Walter did a spot of fishing, but if so, this would be a good place.
The way back to the station runs past Gunknowe Loch, which is actually man-made;
but the swans didn't seem to mind and neither did we.
Winter's going to come as a bit of a shock.