My aunty Betty and her husband, Alec, had emigrated to Australia 50 years ago, and although she had been back to the UK a few times since I had never met her. I knew she was coming over for the wedding of my second cousin Christine at the end of this month. Last week I had a phone call from her sister, my aunty Margaret, saying she was currently with her at Livingston and would like to see me. We invited them both to stay for the coming weekend, and it was arranged that Alix and Stevie (Margaret's daughter and her husband) would bring them down on Saturday morning.
We were beginning to worry when they still had not arrived coming up for 1 p.m. on Saturday. We took the dogs out and in those few minutes missed a phone call from my cousin Alix - typical. They were in Duns and didn't know how to get to us - they had forgotten to bring our address with them and although they have been once before couldn't remember the way. Paul phoned Alix's mobile back...
Alix and Stevie stayed for lunch. We told them not to worry about coming back to pick them up after the weekend, we would drive them home.
In the early evening we took Betty and Margaret out for a short drive. When we got to Duns there were a lot of people lining the road so we decided to see what was happening.
We parked the car at the recreation park, and had a short walk up the the town square. We still had no idea what was happening but there were a lot more people in the square. It was Reiver's week, and after about 10 minutes wait there was a very short carnival parade - Duns is only a small town :)
In the evening I got out my granny's case of photographs, and we spent the evening going through them. I have now annotated the back of them with who they are - great grandparents, great aunts/uncles etc. I have obviously got/had a very large family that I do not know...
On Sunday we went out for lunch in Berwick. Afterwards we wandered up to the Cromwellian church and had a look around the graveyard.
The weather was improving, so then we drove on to Eyemouth. There were lots of seals swimming around in the harbour. Some people had bought fish to feed them from a nearby stall. Aunty Betty said they were a lot larger and not as pretty as the seals she was used to...
When we got home we sat outside in the sunshine and had an ice-cream, before wandering back indoors to watch the end of the Wimbledon men's final.
It was almost the first day since Betty arrived in the UK that there had been no rain, but not quite when there was a short shower in the evening. We awoke, however, on Monday to a beautiful morning and we all sat outside with our coffee and breakfast. Margaret and Betty decided to come with us on the morning walk. We had warned Betty that no matter which way we went there was a hill to climb (she has had both hips replaced and finds uphill slopes difficult), but that did not deter her. She absolutely adored the dogs. We went very slowly up the hill towards Edrom - at least at the top there is a beautiful view to the river and the fields and hills beyond. We walked as far as the field of sheep. Paul was worried that I was going to keep going, but I had had a backup plan if we went too far of getting him to walk back with the dogs to get the car...
The plan was for Paul to drive them home after lunch and I would stay here with the dogs. However, Betty had wanted me to come too so we took the dogs for an early afternoon walk and then we all set off. We went back over the Lammermuir hills, which is a beautiful route when the sun is shining. There is a definite wow moment when you reach the top of one of the hills and suddenly see the reservoir at the head of the river Whiteadder.
I think they both thoroughly enjoyed the weekend. They are certainly two amazing ladies for their ages...
The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...
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