The Edinburgh grandchildren are away visiting their other grandparents down south, so we've been having a few little jaunts of our own. One day we went on a train to Galashiels, in the Border country. The new "Avengers" film is being shot in Edinburgh at the moment and there seemed to be green screens and a spoof coffee shop in a fenced-off bit of the station, which we think must have something to do with it.
Once we arrived at Galashiels, we walked round the hills above the town, admiring the daffodils and the new lambs and other signs of spring.
We returned along the River Tweed, where the wild garlic bloomed in profusion.
The next day it was very sunny and we had a walk along the prom,
followed by coffee and cake at The Beach House.
Look, beach volleyball.
Then we went to a local flower show and admired the impossibly perfect blooms.
I bought, for 50 pence, this bunch of rejects from the competition. They were utterly immaculate and all different. I've never had so much pleasure for so little outlay.
Then yesterday we went out to East Lothian, lunching at Cockenzie House, where these battle re-enactment people suddenly appeared in the garden, shooting at each other with alarming smoke and bangs (but no ill-effects).
And we proceeded to Winton House, which was open for charity. More splendid daffodils, more cake, and then we were shown round the house by Lady Dorothy herself, who was extremely nice (and just introduced herself as "Dorothy Ogilvy - I live here with my husband and children"). She was very informative about the house and its history and architecture and very trusting, as she led us through rooms crammed with antiques, and pictures by people like Van Dyke and Canaletto ("well, let's call them 'school of Canaletto'," Lady D said modestly) and Raeburn. I was very tempted to pop the odd pretty little carved box into my handbag. (But didn't.)
They dug out the lake, she told us, in memory of her husband's father. As you do.
Winton House was originally built in the 1400s but then the wicked English came and burnt down all of it apart from the cellars. The parts you can see in the photo were added on top in the 1600s. You can hire the house for a wedding - which would be lovely, if not exactly cheap. Lady Dorothy even showed us round the bedrooms available for wedding guests, which are all wonderful, with beautiful ornate plaster ceilings and huge beds but also every modern comfort. However, I think we're done with weddings for a while.
So we've had a very restful and interesting few days, but now it's about time I did some dusting.