Saturday, May 21, 2016

The balms of walking

Today we went with the walking group from East Linton to Haddington along the River Tyne. It was warm but not hot, just right for a hike.

The wild flowers were splendid: Sweet Cecily (above), gorse, campion, comfrey, speedwell, garlic and many others. Birds sang and the river plished soothingly.

This is gorse, a zing of yellow.

We passed the gloomy 14th century Hailes Castle with its connections to Harry Hotspur, Oliver Cromwell, Mary Queen of Scots and so on.

As we got nearer to civilisation, we passed this sort of typical East Lothian architecture: rough stone, red roofs.

We came out into farmland after a while.

Our legs were fairly aware that we'd walked six miles by this point.

 We rather liked this blacksmith's sign.

Then after another mile or so, we came to Haddington, where the river broadens out a bit, and we had tea and shortbread at the Riverside.

The rain conveniently held off till we were drinking our tea and it had stopped by the time we emerged again. It was a lovely day: good exercise, stimulating company and a refreshing immersion in the sights and sounds of the countryside.

But the best thing about the day was that while we were walking, Daughter 2 arrived safely back at her London flat from New York via (shudder) Charles De Gaulle and Heathrow, and her aeroplanes did not fall into the sea . Her husband follows tomorrow. I hope she's sleeping now.


  1. What lovely photos! It looks idyllic. I am flying a "baby" flight to Los Angeles Saturday. After my LONG flights to Asia and to Senegal, it seems so easy, but I am always aware that "stuff" happens. Glad your daughter is home. xoxo

  2. Looks like a very interesting part of the country. The Historical bits would have grabbed me. Kind regards, Mark.

  3. What a perfect walk. I wonder if Sweet Cicely is the same as Cow Parsley. So glad daughter is safely back. DIL is back too, son remaining a little while longer. By happy chance and the beauty of blog connections he saw the show and introduced himself!

    1. Wow! No, cow parsley looks very similar but Sweet Cicely smells strongly of aniseed. I think they're related. SC tends to be smaller.

  4. Looks like you had beautiful walking weather and the countryside was so pretty. Glad your daughter made it home safely, flying is getting a bit scary.

  5. Lovely but not sure about all that gorse. ( very invasive here - seeds can last 7 years in the ground) Just as well it is nitrogen fixing.
    Flying is just a bit more scary at the moment. Glad your loved one are safe.

  6. You are very ambitious! I will try to be inspired by you because I love walking but have had medical problems reducing the amount I can walk. But there are indeed balms of many sorts in this....I love Sweet Cicely! I made wedding cakes for my children and several nephews who married at this time of year. I always decorated them with fresh flowers and the sweet leaflets of Sweet Cicely are beautiful for this.

  7. Ohhhh, I am so envious of your walks. Your pictures are beautiful - the shot of the river at Haddington is postcard perfect!

  8. A day to remember. I don`t know that part of the country at all but it looks serenely beautiful.
    There is something sinister about the photo of Hailes Castle. Too many unhappy lives lived out within its walls?