My pal, Jim, arrived on Monday afternoon and, apart from eating, from when he arrived until 1.30 am we spent our time catching up with all that's been happening for both of us since we went out for dinner on 11th Feb. I took the easy option and made spaghetti sauce and fresh pasta for dinner, which went down a treat. And I'm very pleased to say my pear sorbet was delicious and much appreciated, though another time I'll take it out of the freezer about an hour before to let it warm up a bit. In the end I had to put it in the microwave just to be able to get a spoon in it!
Tuesday we woke up to amazing weather and decided on a walk in the woods. Jim is Scottish, but lives in Perth, Western Australia and so he just loves green and trees and with the sun out the local Community Woodland is breathtakingly beautiful. We walked for over an hour and then back home for a second breakfast and then both of us settled down for work before lunch.
After lunch was a bit more work followed by an early dinner as we were off out to a Melrose Literary Society talk on John Ruskin, which was fascinating, not only because the speaker, a local artist, Philip Hutton, was incredibly informative, but he used a slide projector that looked like it belonged in the 1950's, which we both found rather hilarious. Actually, Philip Hutton also looked like he belonged in the same era! Then went to the pub in Burt's Hotel, where we booked a table for dinner for Wednesday and then headed home for a bottle of wine and a singsong.
Jim is a very talented musician. He writes songs, sings both classical and contemporary and has 2 bands in Perth. That's alongside his day job of being a businessman who flies all over the world dealing in coins. Though no matter how he's tried to explain to me about coin collectors (of which he's definitely not one, but is part of a company that produces them), I just haven't been able to fathom why people would want to collect something that they can't essentially use, but stay in pretty boxes never to see the light of day but to other coin collectors. But there you are. They do. And apparently it's big business. Anyway, Jim is very busy flying around the world doing his thing and then playing songs in between.
It was a really lovely way to spend a night singing all our old favourites. I even found my old sheet music for House Of The Rising Sun, Catch The Wind and other old faves, each one with a price tag of 2 shillings and 6 pence, which I've had since I was a teen. We didn't actually get to sleep til around 3 am so woke up on Wednesday pretty exhausted.
I made the decision not to go to badminton, but instead we went walking around Kelso, stopping to have a second breakfast at around 11 in the garden centre down by the river. It was another spectacular day weather-wise, so was a joy to be out and about.
We came home and both settled down to work for a bit in the afternoon and then out to dinner to the bar restaurant at Burt's. A really delicious meal, then home, more wine, more chat and yet another late night.
Today, we both went in to Edinburgh. Me to have lunch with my friend Shirley (which was lovely as usual) and Jim to get himself organised for the next few days as he's off on some tour or other northwards. After lunch we met up again and decided on going to The Whisky Experience for the afternoon, which both of us enjoyed. I was really lucky as No. 2 Son works in the tourist industry and had given me his card so I got in free and Jim got in half price, which was great.
|Some of the treasures in The Whisky Experience.|
And after all that we had a final dinner and now we've retired to our respective places to stay as I go back to normal life and he goes off jollying around.
It's been a fun few days having a guest to stay and show around, drink wine with and chat a lot to, but time to get back to some normality. And above all an early night!