We have a saying in Germany “Wer lesen kann ist klar im Vorteil”, meaning “Who can read has the advantage”. This phrase needs to be uttered with a condescending tone to, for example, a person who stands in front of the library and who after pushing the door several times complains about the unscheduled closure of the building, blatantly ignoring the gigantic “Pull” sign plastered onto the entrance door. In short, to people like me. I just proved again that I can be a bit of an illiterate daftie sometimes when I made my hubby promise to take me to Carlyle’s birthplace today, thinking that it was a lucky coincidence that he had a forced day off on a Thursday as this particular National Trust property seemed to have the weirdest opening times.
Luckily, I realised that it said Fri-Mon and not Mon-Fri before we drove the 2 hours down to Dumfries and Galloway. We decided to go for something a lot more local instead and drove to the Royal Burgh of Peebles, one of the prettiest Border towns if you asked me. In Peebles we or rather I decided to visit a wee museum dedicated to the life and works of the 1st Baron of Tweedsmuir, better known to my Canadian readers as the 15th Govenor General John Buchan.
Although John Buchan wasn’t born in Peebles, his family came from Broughton (just outside Peebles) and they later settled in Peebles. The Borders inspired him in so many ways, some of his works are set here or characters named after landmarks/features like the Leithen Water that gives Innerleithen its name. Even the landscape he describes in the 39 Steps (which I just started reading yesterday) and which is supposed to be Galloway very much reminds the knowledgable reader of the Borders.
The John Buchan Story is a nice wee museum which in spite of its size gives you a good overview of John Buchan’s achievements and it is run by highly dedicated volunteers. Entrance fee is just 2 GBP.
Afterwards we visited the ruins of the Cross Kirk as it was just on our way to Tesco. The Cross Kirk and monastery were founded in the 13th century after the apparent finding of a fine cross and some relics of St. Nicholas (and no he is not Santa Claus but the Bishop of Myra). Time and reformation have taken their toll on the building but it is still worth a visit. The site is maintained by Historic (Environment) Scotland and the entry is free.
As it is my time of the month, this rather short day trip (just 2,5 hours really) made me extremely tired and I spent the rest of the day in bed watching Erin Brockovich while eating half a cake of Co-op’s Truly Irresistible Salted Caramel cake and no I don’t give a f*** how many calories it has. I needed it – only girls can understand that once a month hormones dictate your diet and you have to succumb to their demands – or at least I have to. And yes, I ate it before I could take a picture of it!