Monday, 28 July 2014

bike, run, swim, bike

AGF Day.

Far too long since I had spent some quality time with Amanda and Scott. Unfortunately Scott was working on Saturday so he didn't join in till after 5. Before that Amanda showed me around Dalkeith Country Park and we met up with Lucy for a swim. However first up I got a tour of the garden which is fantastic and mostly down to Farmer Scott's handywork. And a look at the new summerhouse before the official opening later in the day.

Alpines in troughs

homemade cucumber


an onion tree


a trough panorama
 you can see some indecision and fan-dancing in the grass background and the trough is normally more rectangular

to mark the occasion of the new summerhouse the red arrows (and a goose) did a fly past

Then we went for a run.

there's always one

technically I (nearly) didn't break any rules

I'm still not sure the best way to honour some of the oldest oaks in Scotland is to screw a plaque to them.

This is my proudest moment with the new camera. 
The confluence of the North and South River Esks. Left Amanda sits in front of the North, the whole Esk is in the middle travelling away from us and twin Amanda over on the right is standing in front of S River Esk. 

Until this run I had only ever done Dalkeith Country Park with Bert on a Sunday. (And that Tri Trail race in the dark which for obvious reasons didn't shine any light on the place.) I assumed that was all the runnable places in DCP however Amanda has spent a few years becoming familiar with all of the trails and they are fab. Lots of very pleasant running, a few undulations and lots of good things to see and photograph. Like these chaps.....!

bacon sandwich

the orangery

a ginkgo biloba tree with distinctive fan shaped leaves.
(I am reliably informed.)

So, after about 2hrs and 10 miles we drove to Yellowcraigs 
and wondered how we would find Lucy.
Hang on, who's that knocking on the rear windscreen?
I did wonder what the brown bag near Lucy's feet in this pic was. The panorama mode has missed Harris's head. Oops.

I went for a swim with Lucy (not to the Bass Rock!) but when AGF went in Harris tried to rescue her, so she stayed on the beach with the doggies while we swam over to some rocks then back. Then Lucy looked after Harris while Amanda then had a swim and I took some photos. I had the camera in an aquapac which is not really for a compact with such a long nose which distorted the window and made the underwater shots artistic.

"But I have to save her!"

I spent a long time taking many photos trying to get this shot - with some above water and some below water action. This was the first one I took.

With the long lens you could zoom in to see the lighthouse keepers having their tea.
(Fish again.)

It was a beautifully calm evening (and the occasional shower discouraged the last of the daytrippers) which inspired more deeper water swimming than I have ever done. Also I had better kit and ear plugs to keep the water from filling up my empty head and causing an imbalance in my swim bladder. And I nearly totally blanked out the word SHAAAAAARK! from the front of my head where it normally flashes blue and red neon when I am out swimming. Even in a place where it is geographically unlikely I'll be savaged by one. Spielberg has a lot to answer for. There is something about swimming outside under the sky that makes me very relaxed and hungry afterwards. Luckily we were booked in for the official opening of the summerhouse and a Steak and Freekeh (out-trending Quinoa) salad. Perfect ending to a perfect day although technically that was cycling home in the drizzle but we'll skip over that.

Summerhouse: officially open for business!

If you find yourself in DCP I highly recommend the route in red.


  1. great day out with you Peter! I can't believe we fitted so much into one afternoon. But then it wouldn't be the weekend if you didn't squeeze in 120%