stories and illustration

Crossing the Bridge into Tweedmouth


Berwick upon Tweed from Tweedmouth Docks

I waited from early in the morning for the box office to open for the Edinburgh Book Festival. The phone lines were clogged, so it was suggested I try on-line.  I was put in a queue, to try and get a ticket for Haruki Murakami on August 23rd, and was put in as 3736th in the queue.  Several hours later, when my spot came up, the event was sold out.  Of course. Alas. Day blight.

The mood a tad lifted, went to Berwick on Tweed for the annual attempt to render my hair acceptable.

I knew the hairdressers had changed hands, but nobody had told me it had also changed address, so I was a bitnonplussed when I saw blue and white pottery in the window. Heaven had disappeared. I did not even know the new name, but ascertained the new owners were over the river, so used my nous. Took the route through the Sallyport on to the quay:




Looked back towards the quay from the sundial on the old bridge:


And looked at the swans through the lens of my old camera, so they are but specks on the shallow water with the reflections of the big road bridge


though in the shallows, among the green stones and grit of the estuary at low tide, one could see the swan in its less elegant guise:


Tweedmouth has a very different atmosphere to Berwick, partly because the docks are here, just by the end of the bridge.  I lived for a couple of years in a flat in a place called BreweryLane – I always thought it would be classy to move to the street in Berwick called Temperance Terrace, but never managed this.  I felt the shadows of the past over me, so much has changed. Behind the flat there is a kind of forlorn chaos, waiting, still waiting, for better times:


The docks, however, cheer me up.  The dock gates are open so I go in where I am not supposed to be (just on the edge) and take some photographs of old scenes


and new machinery


and an intriguing white rock:


The hairdresser knows all kinds of people that I know, so it is a pleasant experience. I come back over the Old Bridge, and go off to Caffe Nero, where they have nice frothy cappucinos, to wait for the bus to Coldstream.  Farewell to Berwick, and Tweedmouth too, and the North Sea – but River Tweed, I’ll see you back home:



June 29, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Montage: Shapes of Swans Out of Water


When swans glide down the Tweed, one forgets the other shapes they can twist themselves into when out of the water.  These swans were on the Tweedmouth side of the estuary, where they sit around on the exposed bank with big ducks and the occasional goose. These  birds are tamer in their behaviour than when they are further down the Tweed, being used to people on the bank, and being fed at times.  Children run around squealing amongst the ducks which come up on to the grass by the arches of the big bridge. There used to be a black swan amongst the white swans, but I haven’t seen it for a long time.

June 24, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 3 Comments


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