By Bus with the Wrinklies

First published MyT  13/11/09

Well, now that I’ve got the free bus pass, it would be a pity to waste it, wouldn’t it?

But we did not think we could take it both ways just yet. So, paid to get the train to points South at 9 am this morning intending to bus it back to Embra. We thought we would start with Berwick on Tweed, given its chequered history. Changed hands between England and Scotland quite a few times if this plaque is to be believed:-

We could see that the past has left its legacy on the town – neither Scotch nor Sassenach but British which can’t be bad so far as I am concerned.

Great breakfast in a café with a fine name.:-

Said breakfast was again British (tattie scone and black pudding).  Café full of wrinklies just like us and eminently collectable. One of the tables held three tricoteuses and one tricoteur. The waitress told us that, up until six weeks ago, they had frequented another café but had been thrown out for needling each other. As we left, the male knitter was getting a bit assertive about the pattern so I reckon it is only a matter a time before they are cast off from their present base.

Continental and cosmopolitan sort of place, Berwick. Street market going on with fellow EU citizens offering their wares. I particularly enjoyed the stall offering genuine Spanish paella containing no seafood:-

Just a joy to watch a small town going about its business. Haven’t googled yet but they must have a guide dog training school there. Spent a pleasant half hour watching the same girl working down the main street with two different dogs.

Eventually, I knew that I had to confront the shame of my previous visit to Berwick. In 1968, I went there during Charities week. After a few pints in a pub beside the bridges over the Tweed, I had  this really good idea.

So, dressed in my Uncle Bill’s old police uniform and wearing a German coal scuttle helmet, I marched onto the lower bridge and set up a road block, stopping every car and demanding money. Bloody students!

Came the time today and we caught the Perryman bus from Chapel Street. Went through all the back roads and wee towns between Berwick and Embra, taking about 3 hours for a journey that takes 40 minutes by train and just over an hour by car.

Pure bloody magic except for one thing. In deference to where we were, I had a bottle of the local wine, Newkie Brown, before we left Berwick. It was chilled. What’s that all about?

2 responses to “By Bus with the Wrinklies

  1. A joy as usual John.
    Have you thought of trying to get yourself some commissions for your travel writing? You have a nice angle now that may hook an editor; travel with a freedom pass.

    • Hi. Isobel

      Not really. I hope that it might be something that I can find time to do when I retire.

      In truth and at the moment, I just write and blog for the love of writing, which I have had for as long as I can remember, and to have the chance of interacting with interesting people such as yourself.

      I did have a couple of years when I was paid a cheque for producing a ‘humorous’ article once a month. Over and above my day job and a nice wee earner
      at the time. The editor changed and my ephemeral ramblings no longer suited the house style.

      A joy to chat with you as well. As you can see, I dragged this post across from MyT to set the context for my latest CW entry on Boa’s site.

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