2021

Day 12 – Melrose? I’d rather be reading poetry

Innerleithen to Melrose, 30Km

The weather is unbelievable. No one can remember a summer like it. There’s been no rain for two months, the Tweed, Scotland‘s most famous salmon river has never been so low and all the boggy bits on the Southern Upland Way are nice and dry. I haven’t seen a single midge. I hope it lasts until I get to Orkney.

Today’s walk across the heather moors was glorious because they are a mass of purple flowers and the bees are going crazy making honey. The highlight was the 6Km walk along a ridge of open hillside leading up to the Three Brethren, a set of three cairns where a group of bikers were launching themselves onto the old Drove Road which also hosts the SUW.

I met a walker who recently lost his job and much else and decided the best thing to do was to go for a walk. He started with The Pennine Way and is making his way up to Cape Wrath, on the top of the north west coast. We had a good chat as the bikes whizzed by.

I then crossed the Tweed but it wasn’t wet enough for a photo. After that, there was a long and slow crawl into Melrose. It’s an interesting place but I would rather be back at The Gordon Arms reading poetry.

The great thing about reading poetry is that nobody else does. If you think that joining a few hundred people in the Wigmore Hall for a Schubert recital is elitist, try visiting Waterstones in Covent Garden and asking their knowledgeable staff to recommend some modern poetry. Every sale is celebrated at Faber & Co and you’ll soon be invited to a reading in nearby Camden Town or perhaps trendy Tufnell Park, part of the golden triangle of my young days.

Point of Resolution, a conservation project and a sculpture, May 2005.
All life up here was happy today
I sat here to drink my Nescafé and eat my slice of fruit cake
The old Drove Road used by drovers herding their beasts to the English markets as well as armies such as Edward I in 1296.
The Three Brethren and some bikers

10 comments on “Day 12 – Melrose? I’d rather be reading poetry

  1. Vicky Williamson

    Kia ora, Tim. It is gorgeous country that you’re moving through – great topography but it’s the heather that is the star. Can you explain the v shaped indentation in the first photo because it doesn’t seem to have a reason. It’s interesting that you’re experiencing very low/non-existent rainfall and other parts of the world, including NZ have had some dreadful floods – climate change no doubt. Kia kaha, Vicky

  2. William Wallace

    Don’t mention that man! FREEDOM!

  3. A glorious day Tim – the heather here on Exmoor is in fine bloom at the moment and the landscape where I walked today not too far distant from that of your Scottish trail. I read a lot of poetry and I am interested to know why you would ask for modern poetry? – enjoy tomorrow – David

    • I noticed you were up near Porlock but I can’t sign on to see the photos. Exmoor is beautiful in the summer and all year. It’s difficult to explain about modern poetry. You can read a decent translation of Verlaine with your mug of cocoa but if you show even a slight interest in modern poetry, the love of that tiny community is showered upon you and you are drawn into their world in a way that doesn’t happen with the classics. Have you read Dante’s Divine Comedy?

  4. Wow the heather is amazing Tim. Hmm… not sure about the sculpture again! Sees a bit unnecessary in such a beautiful spot! So glad the sun is continuing to shine on you.

  5. Regina O'Shea

    Gorgeous countryside Tim, glad the weather is good for someone 😀

    • It’s amazing so far. I hope it lasts but I doubt it will

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