Despite all the upheaval with the move we have still managed to be out and about. One highlight was to Mellerstain House for an evening recital by a string Quartet. Amongst the pieces they played was the Shostakovich eighth and also the Ravel Quartet, both were excellent and it was good to see young musicians playing live, the volume was staggering, particularly for the Shostakovich. The setting was just right being in a Robert Adam drawing room. Mellerstain is about 7 miles from Kelso so it wasn’t far at all and we shall definitely go again.
We have also been to hear the Town Yetholm Sinfonia wind soloists in Kirk Yetholm ( not so far) and they were really excellent. A number of the instrumentalists are local but they also came from Newcastle and Edinburgh and I believe, Peebles and Berwick. Geoffrey Emerson is the conductor and the arranger of the pieces we heard, his wife Pippa plays one of the French Horns. We have been to supper and for lunch at their house and through them have met quite a few people.
A visit to Ikea was necessary as for one thing I no longer have a work table, so that was my number one priority. Of course we bought more than that but the main reason for going was to check out bookcases ‘in the flesh’. We didn’t buy any as there was no way we could get them in the car so we will have some delivered once Hywel has reduced the number somewhat!
Country pursuits have become a recent focus for us as there have been a number of ‘Ride Outs’ in Kelso and Town Yetholm which attract quite a crowd of followers. They are certainly impressive for the number of riders, over 200, and for the importance that they give to them.
Having lived in Devon for 31 years and only one of us ever made it to the County Show (Hyw) we decided to rectify matters and took ourselves off to the Border Union Show in Kelso. It was a fine day and there was plenty of livestock to see. There was a free bus from the car parking and because we had bought our tickets on line, no queues to get in. We were immediately struck by the heavy horses which were very splendid and a very elegant young woman who was riding sidesaddle. There were huge numbers of sheep, a poultry and goat section and a few bulls, most of the cattle classes having been the day before.
We are looking forward to the next live broadcast from the National Theatre in the village. Apparently there are only two villages in the whole of the uk who have this live link up and Yetholm is one of them!
I have started digging the garden and have immediately struck what must have been a cinder and stone pathway, not only that, but I have unearthed what appears to be a disused drain but there is no way I can dig it up and anyway it might not be disused! We have been clearing the ivy off the cottage and are about ready to start painting the woodwork and the render to the front of the cottage. We await Phil Stewart to start work on the down pipes on the main house.