Thursday 25th June (Day 105 of 236)
I was spoilt for choice when I was trying to think of an appropriate song title for these ramblings, but I settled on an American Billboard No. 14 chart hit from 1968, “The Summer Rain” written by ‘Jimmy Hendricks‘ and sung by ‘Johnny Rivers‘. I know that we are not alone in this part of the Country, experiencing a rather wet Summer this year, but what makes it harder to bear is that we have dry, sunny and warm interludes when we are working, yet for several weeks now, on almost every day off, it has rained !!
Days off are good, whether it rain or shine, we can wake up and know that we do not have to rush to get out of bed, we can stay under the duvet with a nice hot mug of coffee and think about what we want to do with this valuable period of ‘off duty’ time. There was another reason why we didn’t need to rush to get out today, at 10:00am, I had arranged to Skype Video Chat with my daughter in Australia, with the time difference it meant that it would be 7pm ‘her’ time so no early morning or late night calls which suited us both. There are lots of things about modern technology that I wonder whether they are good or not, however, this Skype business is brilliant, not only can I see and speak to people across the other side of the world, but even better, it’s ‘free’ !! It’s amazing what you can find to woffle on about, and for 51 minutes that’s exactly what we did !!
The ‘Works of Fiction’ had again forecasted another wet day, surprise, surprise, in fact a wet few days ahead, but at that moment it was dry, it was pretty cloudy but it was warm, and just in case I forget how to spell the word I will repeat it again, it was ‘Dry‘. We thought about walking part of the Coastal Route, well it is literally on our doorstep, however, if the ‘Work of Fiction’ was correct, did we really want to get caught in a downpour ? I looked on the road map to see where else we could go, somewhere we could drive to and I saw a place just up the Coast, ‘Burnmouth‘, funny sort of name for a place, perhaps they have a lot of ‘Hot Food’ takeaways !! As usual for such little jaunts, picnic and beverage were prepared and off we went, to………………………. ‘North Berwick‘ …… !!
We are located in a funny sort of geographical position, if we headed due West from ‘Berwick-upon-Tweed‘ then, in less than ten miles, we would cross the border into Scotland, but we were headed North, so it would be nearly thirty miles before we crossed the border, ‘Berwick-upon-Tweed’ is in Northumberland, which is in England, but ‘North Berwick‘ which is in East Lothian is in Scotland !!
It was a pleasant enough drive, thick cloud accompanying us most of the way making it impossible for the suns rays to permeate through, but it was warm and still dry. We entered the town and quickly found a ‘free’ car park. We had envisaged having to eat our picnic lunch sat in the car but with no signs of rain we risked taking our feast down to the seafront, we found an empty bench seat on the small promenade overlooking the sandy beach and through a misty haze, called a ‘Sea Fret‘ in these parts, we had a view of ‘Bass Rock‘.
Lunch didn’t last very long and it had nothing to do with the Sea air, we were both hungry and once again the growing audience of Seagulls totally lucked out !! We wandered along the short promenade to the ‘Seabird Centre’, we looked in the windows briefly, saw that the shelves were crammed full of the usual ‘Tourist Tat’, so continued walking down to what was a very small harbour.
North Berwick is a very nice Coastal Town, it hasn’t been spoilt by modernisation, no pedestrianised shopping precincts here just one quite long Main Street but many little nooks and crannies to explore, many of which lead back to the sweeping beach that runs on the opposite side of the harbour, a town with two beaches eh ! We followed one of the short nooks and found ourselves back at the beach, but then our good fortune ran out and the light drizzle soon turned to larger and more frequent raindrops which thwarted any further attempts to get any decent photographs, however, I saw someone out, a fair distance I may add, on a paddle board, which is basically a surf board which you stand on and paddle, with an elongated paddle. Why I wanted this photograph was because the ‘Sea Fret’ was getting thicker and he, or she, kept disappearing from view, they were not paddling in the direction of the shore so I was intrigued as to where they were going !!
We were more than a little damp when we reached ‘Wuxly’ but neither of us wanted to return to the campsite just yet. A quick check of the map showed that we were not far from another Caravan Club Site (Yellowcraig). We were not intending calling in, that would have more than likely entailed any conversation being about ‘Work‘ and we were on our day off, so that was the last thing we wanted to be discussing. However, we knew that the campsite was within walking distance of another beach, so, if we were lucky enough, the rain may have abated enough for another short walk. The campsite and beach were only three miles West of the town and we were soon parked up on another ‘free’ public car park. It was still raining but by the time we had poured, and drank, another coffee from our flask it had stopped and so we took the risk. There was a footpath through a small wooded area that took us directly to the beach, no more than a five-minute walk so we walked down to the water’s edge.
Whilst we were there, looking out to sea, you wouldn’t believe what we saw, it was too much of a coincidence to have been a different person and we agreed that this was the same paddle boarder we had seen whilst we were in North Berwick !!
I wondered if this was a real person or a ghostly apparition as each time we have seen him, he was surrounded by a strange ‘mist’, we had also decided, on looking at the photograph, that it was definitely a ‘he’, spooky or what !! And, the last time we had seen him it had started to rain, guess what happened next ?…………
We again returned to ‘Wuxly’ a little damp and decided that enough was enough, it was time to head for home.
We knew that there would be no ‘Great Escape’ for ‘Big Momma’ on our next extended period of time off, as I had two appointments on Monday. The first with the practice Nurse at the local doctors surgery, this was a follow-up on my previous recent health checks, apparently, after checking my blood results, and some other bodily fluids !! someone had concluded that I had a twenty-nine percent risk of suffering a heart attack !! I couldn’t help but smile, my last job, compared to this, was pretty ‘sedentary’ and I did little exercise. Now I am physically active almost every day and my daily diet has improved dramatically, God knows what my risk level would have been just a couple of years ago !! My second appointment, straight after the one with the Nurse, that is if I make it and don’t drop dead on the way, is with a Doctor to get a ‘Steroid’ injection in my elbow. The anaesthetic gel they prescribed several weeks ago has helped but not enough, so the next stage is the injection. I am a little concerned as I have heard stories about their being side effects with ‘Steroids’, such as Men growing breasts !! If that be the case, can I have a 36DD please !!