Sunday, 26 July 2015

Drumelzier Highs. A Glen of Beauty and Mystery.

                                              ALL PHOTOS CLICK FULL SCREEN
On this Borders Weekend we climbed two hills on the one day,(Saturday) as we already knew bad weather and rain was forecast to arrive Sunday morning and we wanted to squeeze all the juice and the pips out of the good day. This hill doesn't even merit a name on the OS Landranger map 72, Upper Clyde Valley. It lies immediately west of Drumelzier, just above the River Tweed, at a spot height of 316 (318) metres, with an ancient fort marked on the summit. A photo taken halfway up looking northwards. It probably has a name but life is too short to spend time looking it up so let's just call it "Merlin's Triangle" for reasons which are obvious on the map. It was on Alex's list of hill ticks.
A Dolores,Dominique,Marjorie,Sereny,Wallace, Mary, Gibbons, Nesbit, Cuthbert, Evelyn or Caleb no doubt. What's really in a name anyway? It's just a convenient label to hang on things.

Somewhat wearily we pulled our boots on again for the second outing of the day. Luckily, there was a path straight up the hillside from the lay-by just where the 7 in B712 resides. (or thereabouts)
Alex had promised good views for this extra effort and they did not disappoint with the larger hills rising up all around. For reasons I have yet to fully understand Edinburgh and this section of the borders boasts many place names and references relating to  Arthur  and Merlin.
Like all things in life that may be hidden or obscured the solution can often be an easy one. Why not try a sweep? :o)
Looking in the direction of Broughton.
 Maybe these simply date from Scott, the good Sir Walter, the Scottish Enlightenment, and all things Romantic, in a deliberate copy of the old legends but the scenery does lend itself to images of a former golden age. It does have a special quality about it. Things are never quite what they seem.

Passing through Peebles on a gala day. (or other special occasion.)
Descending our second hill of the day.
It was turning into a perfect summer evening and we were looking forward to seeing our bothy accommodation, which neither of us had been to yet. A new bothy still holds a little thrill of anticipation.
It did not disappoint. Maybe it was simply the weather combined with a better than expected hut and good company but I thoroughly enjoyed it. A fantastic high sided glen on the way in with an approach road that would not look out of place in the more scenic parts of the Cairngorms was followed by an excellent bothy and a great evening of the basics. The true treasures in life. No mobile phone or cyber distractions for once when out in company,( a rare thing these days) just wildlife all around, a good mellow BBQ and simple conversations, unbroken by irritating gadgets constantly cutting in with beeps and ringtones and a consequent removal of any interest from the person involved taking the call or message. A modern equivalent for casting an instant invisibility spell over anyone else present.
My traditional healthy option BBQ munch sticks, and yes I did eat it all.
Mike was actually staying in a borders hotel with his wife for the weekend but popped in to see us for a couple of hours and brought in a portable BBQ. For a bothy this felt like 5 star luxury with room service included.
Hotels would be wasted on me compared to a 5 star man cave like this one.What more do you need?
Graham, Mike and Alex relaxing at the bothy.
Seating and drinks table. Swallows danced around the bothy all evening catching insects as they had nests with chicks under the eves.Yellow wagtails and dippers bobbed on boulders in the middle of the nearby stream, buzzards mewed in the blue heavens above and fat little lambs "gambled" around the pool/ table/emerald carpet of short grass.

This is living at it's finest.The best things in life are free... or a fiver on this occasion. Cliche sayings evolve that way for a reason. Cos they are usually true and don't date with time.

Inside was just as entertaining. A nostalgia trip in places. We even had our own attendant mouse making a surprise guest appearance. A trip like the old days that took me back 30 years to a time when I bagged new bothies and new people on a regular basis. Over 100 now, including many outside Scotland in other parts of the world. Hello all.
Thanks to Mike and the BBA for a great weekend. It did rain in the morning so we just packed up and headed slowly home under grey skies. When you have travelled in Arcadia, looking down on lowly Paradise then tasted Ambrosia (not the pudding on this occasion) nothing else will do.
Sunset from Tower Hill.
Chimney-pot on rooftops in Arcadia.

Deceptively simple bothy song from yesteryear I've always liked. From the north east farmland around rural Aberdeenshire and Buchan. Bothy ballads were often composed and sung by farm hands working the land as a way of entertaining themselves, documenting their hard existence, or capturing moments in time. This is one of the best. Nicky Tams were two lengths of string or other material tied around trouser legs to keep trouser bottoms free of muck and animal manure and also handy for stopping rats diving for cover, crawling into unwanted places. A very real danger working around farms, and moving materials stored in barns.


Linda W. said...

Wow - two hills in one day! I'll bet you were hungry. Lovely green hillsides where you live!

blueskyscotland said...

Hello Linda,
Yes we were and those smoked sausages, pineapple, onion and cherry tomatoes went down well. Sadly lovely green hillsides are a prominent feature of countries where it's cold and rains a lot :o(

Carol said...

Must have been nice to sit outside! Were there nae midgies? Looks a great trip and a lovely bothy in a lovely location.

What was the coloured highlighting about in your post? I couldn't read the words under some of the darker colours...

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Carol,
That was what was magical about it. Still sitting warm and cosy at 9:00pm, no midges( they seem to be less in certain border glens without bracken) and a cracking bothy.

Many of my posts, like Autohighography, have underlying themes. I'd been inspired by watching the excellent The Imitation Game about the Enigma machine and decided to create a very simple version of my own. The highlighted words relate to certain interesting books or films and the obscured words can be read by sweeping the mouse over the hidden parts, holding it down, to reveal the words that relate to the list of names instead of hills.
Alex emailed me to say I'd ruined the post and no-one would A. get it. B. be interested. C. take the time to work it out... but it amuses me. I often put in stuff like that most folk will not bother with (like the little face inside the raindrop in one of the photos)but this time I made it more obvious so people would notice... and hopefully ask.
Thank you :o)

Stewart M said...

Nice post - this is my first time here.

Having been born in the UK, the obsession with naming every last hill is in stark contrast to Australia - where only the biggest are named. Although I assume that there were aboriginal names for most things when I come to think of it!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Carol said...

I probably wouldn't have the imagination and deductive powers to work it out! I tried hovering over the words...

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Stewart,
Probably because the UK is a small country with a very long history compared to the European time on OZ. Aboriginal names may go back 40,000 years so they have a head start. I have family in South Australia so you may be interested in the 5 archive Aussie posts for Jan 2011 and OCT 2010 if you haven't seen them when I paid a visit and explored the state. A visitor's impressions of Australia. My sister has lived there since the late 1960s as a 10 pound pom.
Thanks for leaving a comment. I'm reading a Peter Temple book at the moment.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Carol,
Sweep woman sweep!!!! :o) Put the mouse over the start of the obscured words, left click and hold as you sweep and the words get revealed in blue ink.
If you like Benedict Cumberbatch you should like the film as he's very good in it.
I wouldn't bother working out the clues as the film is much better.

Carol said...

Do you get all women to sweep up for you? ;-)

I'm not a great fan of Ben Cumberbatch really...

Lux G. said...

Whoa! What an adventure.

Those greens are really so serene to look at. And the colors on the food. Wow! Festive.

Carolyn said...

Lovely green hillsides; took me back to my childhood days reading your blog and looking at your fantastic photos

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Carol,
Sadly no, that's a spell I've failed to master yet as my poor dusty abode and sink full of dishes will testify.

blueskyscotland said...

Cheers Lux G,
It must be green and lush with colourful food where you are as well. That's my usual ready made up BBQ ingredients as the tomatoes and pineapples give it some sweetness and they grill really well.

blueskyscotland said...

Hello Carolyn,
If that's true you should be too young to post adverts on my blog. Very naughty.
Kind regards Methuselah.

Kay G. said...

I would have loved to have been on that walk with you and I would have loved that food too! I know what you mean about the beeping of devices on a walk. It is the same here only worse. In fact, there is a ring tone that sounds like a loud whistle that annoys me so much I have to stop myself from grabbing the dang phone and giving it a mighty toss.
I liked the music video but I must admit, I could only understand a few of the words!

Unknown said...

Hello, Bob! What breathtaking views! We are interested in using a scenic mountain picture (similar to one in this post) as the background for our business website. May I ask if you'd be willing to sell the rights to us? Please contact me at PrideAndPrejudoodles at gmail dot com when you are able. Thank you for your time and keep on blogging! --Kelsey