Sunday, 21 June 2009
Saturday, 20 June 2009
Friday, 19 June 2009
Thursday, 18 June 2009
Here are just a few pictures from the Beltane so far!
Shops decorate their windows in red and white items from their stock - this shop is particularly clever with its window displays at the best of times, so this paper outfit is typical of the work the owners put in - and though I haven't any pictures of them many Peebleans also decorate their houses with bunting - especially if the Beltane Queen or the Cornet live along their street. If you are a main participant in the week's proceedings you may also have crepe paper flowers, and ribbons and anything else the imagination can come up with, and believe me there are some amazing displays. To add to the incentive to decorate your shop or house, competitions are held - the best dressed shop window and the best decorated house. Considering it is only a participant of the festival who goes the whole hog on their house, it is therefore one of them who wins!
Wednesday, 17 June 2009
It's quite a sight to see as they all splash through the river in a seemingly unendless procession.
Following the Fording, the horsemen and women - horsepeople just doesn't sound right - gather on a slope below Hamilton Hill for some horse racing, the coveted big prize being the Beltane Bell.
Later in the evening the crowds gather in the High Street to see the principals of the festival dance an Eightsome Reel, a Scottish circle dance for 8 people, accompanied by the Peebles Pipes and Drums, and thereafter the prizes for the race winners are presented by the Cornet and his Lass. That's usually the end of the night for the watchers, but I am sure the parties go on well into the small hours for the principals! Hope they all have a great night.
Tuesday, 16 June 2009
Monday, 15 June 2009
Sunday, 14 June 2009
Saturday, 13 June 2009
Here's a stall I saw this morning, selling bunting, programmes, badges, and CDs, that include the well known songs of the festival and other Border songs, and generally raising money for the festival itself.
Wednesday, 3 June 2009
Angela's family were Italian, though she herself was born in Scotland, and to hear her speak it was like she had just arrived straight from Italy. In contrast, her sister Jenny was born in Italy but spoke with no trace of an Italian accent whatsoever.
She used to tell how she met Steve while working for her relations in their cafe in Midcalder. ot was it West Calder! He had come in with some friends; Angela had taken one look at him and announced that he was the man she was going to marry - and marry him she did! They had a long and happy marriage, raising their family, and working all the hours God sent at the cafe they bought together in Peebles. It was not unknown for Angela to be doing her housework at 2.00 in the morning, having cooked a meal at the cafe after hours for some poor lost soul, then come home to start all over again with feeding the family and preparing for the following day in the cafe!
Angela would do anything for anybody, and often she would give away a huge bowl of homemade pasta because, she said, she had made too much. She was frequently asked to come along to my B&B to translate for my Italian guests who had no more English than I had Italian, at that stage. I finally went to classes, and was encouraged by her!
As I said, retirement wasn't for Angela and she struggled to find something to take up as a hobby. Eventually she took up tapestry work and completed several beautiful pieces which must be prized by her family today.
Soon it was evident that things weren't quite right. One day I met her in the street outside my house and as usual we chatted, but it was obvious she hadn't a clue who I was, and when I mentioned my friend Vina, next door, she looked puzzled and said she didn't know a Vina! Oh that was a big shock.
Finally the end came in June 5 years ago. Her funeral service in the chapel was a celebration of her life, attended by many of her old friends, and then she was taken to the cemetery to be buried alongside her sister. The other day was the first time I had been back there since then, so it was rather nice to stand there looking at her lovely stone and remember the fun, lively lady she had been.
Tuesday, 2 June 2009
Wikipedia has this to say: "The oldest building in Peebles is the tower of St Andrew's Church. The church was founded in 1195. It was destroyed (along with many other Borders abbeys and priories) by the soldiers of Henry VIII. The stones of the ruins were pilfered for many other local buildings leaving only the tower standing amongst the gravestone of the churchyard."