Easter Highlights


So – that was week three of lockdown…how was it for you? Thanks to all of you who commented on last week’s ramblings. It’s lovely to hear from you all.

Highlights for us this week: lots more lambs born and brought to the field, I’ve lost count now but I’m watching them from my window running around amongst the chickens and there are a lot! Hares….what a lot of hares there are at the moment. I went for an early walk one morning and saw six in one field, the cat found one hiding amongst the daffodils in the garden – luckily it was too quick for her and escaped unharmed, and as you’ll see in a minute we watched a couple on our walk yesterday.  A few days ago a deer appeared in the field opposite us. It looked a bit bewildered, the field has recently been ploughed and planted and I think it had lost the way out, we watched it for quite a while before it finally made its way across the burn and up the hill back to the woods.

We haven’t had the sunshine that many of you have had recently, although its not so cold at the moment – just a bit grey. Yesterday morning we repeated last week’s walk, but backwards….makes a change and the views are different!  You can see Hume Castle nearly all the way from different angles.


We started out in bright sun but by the time we got to the garden gate grey clouds had arrived again! There were a few exciting moments – I managed to get my first photo of a yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella)!


I’m very pleased about this one, they’re quite flighty and difficult to capture but we spotted this one alone in a tree as we walked towards the farm. Lovely bright yellow head – although I’ve seen brighter ones than this one – my RSPB book says that in winter the yellow is obscured by greenish-brown streaks so I suspect this one is still changing its plumage or it’s a juvenile. They are found throughout Britain but are red listed due to a recent decline in numbers mirroring that of other farmland species – loss of wide field margins, autumn planting and use of herbicides impacting breeding. We have a flock of yellowhammers just along the road from us, and the other day after the field opposite was planted I spotted one in our hedge which then flew down to help itself to the new seed, but apart from that one I haven’t seen them venture this far along the road before.

A little further along the road we saw this pair of hares sitting in a field, we watched them for a little while – as long as you’re quiet they don’t notice you.


Apparently their eyesight is not good but their hearing is. Which explains why out walking in the early mornings they often lollop towards you getting quite close before noticing you’re there.

Remember the Swiss sheep with the curly horns? – they’ve taken their coats off:

and the pony with laminitis has moved back in with his mates:


It’s a lovely walk along this track, there’s a woodland on one side and views of Sweethope Hill on the other, I love woods like this with gnarled old trees and mossy logs,

although I do think my companions are taking social distancing a bit far!

Wait for me!

We spotted a kestrel near the end of the track, hovering and diving, obviously after its lunch, but I couldn’t manage to get a photo.

Walking this way round means we have to go up a long steep hill, my feet were really painful by this point so we took a rest on a mossy boulder and ate chocolate flapjacks – another highlight – the young Ms RR makes delicious flapjacks from an adapted Nigel Slater recipe, they have quickly become my favourite snack!

Perfect for taking a quick break to rest the sore feet.  A flock of sheep watched jealously:


As we got to the top of the hill more ploughing in progress plus the spreading of some very pungent fertiliser! Earlier we’d seen a deer hoof print in the mud and as we walked by all the activity we saw a pair of deer, panicked by the machinery trying to find their way to the woods. They made several false starts before suddenly making a run for it and escaping.


Turning the corner to head downhill towards home, we could see lovely views of the Eildon Hills….


…..and a beautifully mown field – I love a pattern!


There were more highlights to come: A virtual Easter Egg hunt via Zoom with our grandson – we stuck paper eggs up around the room:


and he got a real ‘chocolate ball’ when he answered the clue and found the eggs; he seemed to enjoy it anyway! Also a surprise Easter Egg hunt of our own devised by Ms RR;


and a half eaten mouse left specially for us by Mojo! I decided not to take a picture of it….but here’s the culprit in hiding:


Makes of the week – not so much knitting and sewing this week although I did start a rainbow which needs sewing together. Managed to produce some hot-cross buns although they don’t look much like the real thing, they taste alright. Plus a chocolate sponge cake as I didn’t buy any Easter Eggs – which I made before remembering that Ms RR does not like sponge cake!!  More for me then 😁!

Maybe see you next week! Let me know what you’re reading at the moment…I need a good book!  I hate choosing books online, it’s just not the same as picking it up and flicking through.

Have a good week.

J x

Abbotsford circular via Cauldshiels Loch


A nearly 5 mile circular from Sir Walter Scotts House visiting Cauldshiels Loch on the way.  You can read about the walk which we’ve done before, here: Two Lochs and some views .  It was May last time we walked here and there were lots of wild flowers about.  It was too early for those this time, we saw some hawthorn just coming into flower and the wild garlic is budding up now but that was about it. Continue reading

I’m not doing that again!


8th January 2017


I’m not sure this was the best walk so early in the #walk 1000 mile year – especially uphill, especially 300 metres (that’s 984 feet in case you were wondering) uphill and most definitely not 984 muddy, claggy, slippy sloppy feet back down again – some of it in a very undignified position.  My knees are sore, my hips are sore, my feet are sore (we won’t talk about other sore parts of me!).  It’s ok though….I’ve had a hot bath……and wine!  I can smile about it now….. Continue reading

Waterloo Monument on Peniel Heugh


5th January 2017


It’s been a good first week of the year for walking – a bit on the chilly side but very little wind and clear skies.  I’ve managed several local walks since I last wrote and today Mr RR and I took ourselves off to see the Waterloo Monument which is at the top of Peniel Heugh, and at 48 metres high can be seen from quite a distance.  We’ve often driven past commenting  that we must go and see what it is one day – and now we have! Continue reading

Smailholm and the Tower

Sunday, 14th August 2016


A visit to The Gallery in the hamlet of Smailholm to preview their latest exhibition – Hive of Creativity ( http://www.kinsman-blakeceramics.co.uk ), gave us a chance to follow up with a walk to Smailholm Tower.  Both are well worth the effort! DSCN3601.JPG

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The Eildon Hills and Mrs Buller’s Explosive Views….

Thursday 21st July 2016


The walk to Mrs Buller’s Seat which is in the Cicerone Walker’s Guide to The Border Country begins with the following phrase: “A wistful linear stroll from Sir Walter Scott’s favoured viewpoint……”.  Now, if this is ringing bells with you – you get top marks, because we started this walk once before (read about it here: In Scott’s Footsteps ) and cut it short exactly because, along the way, we discovered it was ‘linear’!  So what happened this time?   Continue reading

Two Lochs and some views

22nd May 2016


Lovely day today…..’spiffing’ – the middle son said and he was right.

We ventured out on the second of the paths around Abbotsford from the Scottish Borders Council booklet (which you can download for free from their website, or pick up for £2 at Abbotsford House).  This, just over 4 mile circular route, included a  linear detour to Cauldshiels Loch, a path alongside Faldonside Loch and some truly stunning views.

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Meandering around Melrose


Sorry it’s quiet again around the Ricketyrambler blog – life in The Borders has become a little topsy turvy lately, but hopefully things will soon be back to normal and there will be time for some rambling. Continue reading