"Like leaves changing colour then falling from trees over a span of autumn days, you only see the ones in front of you that make the most impression; either in vibrancy of colour, special mood you were in, or the magical place in which they fell. Taken as a whole they blur together and this often holds true for memory. Our club over the years had many trips together, some good, some indifferent, some bad. The ones in this book are selected highlights, that for one reason or another, stand out vividly and neither time nor old age will erase them from my soul. " Extract from The Borderers. A.
An invitation to go to a very special bothy in a beautiful area was not one to be turned down. So it was that a group of us, led by custodian Mike and his friend Paul, agreed to visit what is easily my favourite part of the Scottish Borders. The wide lands between Dalself then the river gorge to Lanark... The Pentlands down through Black Barony... Cairn Table... Tinto... Peebles down to Melrose- take in some of the finest rolling landscapes in Britain but it is often not that easy to capture this area's unique and varied charm. The light, the shifting air, and the shadows over the mountains continually change and sometimes it's pure luck if you capture it properly. This time I hope I have done the landscape here justice.
When it came to writing a full chapter about it in a book- describing a border October and walking into a bothy in full autumn colours it was a challenge I really enjoyed to see if I could project vivid pictures from my own memory into someone's else's imagination. This time the photographs will have to take the place of descriptive writing however.
Scenery near Peebles. John Buchan Way.On the way down to bothy X on the Saturday morning Alex had his usual hill tick planned. Even he admitted this might be a boring one for me to tag along so he offered to drop me off near Peebles instead where I could walk a section of the John Buchan Way from The Glack and the Black Dwarf's Cottage then over Cademuir Hill and round to Manor Sware where I could pick up the riverside path along the River Tweed back into Peebles. This walk, although modest, has magnificent views and you are following in the footsteps of Richard Hanney, Buchan's most recognised spy story to the general public. "The 39 Steps" Much of the book is set in the landscape Buchan was very familiar with and he spent many childhood holidays in Broughton, another lovely village. OS Land Ranger maps. Sheet 72 and 73.