I've added two galleries of new photos, neither of which are quite as wild as I would normally expect, but both of which I think generate interest. The first was Lindisfarne which became the last-minute and highly successful rendezvous venue to catch up with an old friend. We were blessed with fine weather and as neither had visited the island previously, we had a wonderful day exploring the place and catching up. True to my wild interests, arguably the most memorable feature of the day was observing a male kestrel at increasingly-close range as it feasted on a kill.
The second set of photos also came about slightly by accident. It was only a couple of days ago that I learned that the world-famous "Flying Scotsman" was going to be returning to Edinburgh, a very rare occurrence. One of my brothers had a Hornby train set as a child, and by far the most striking engine was the "Flying Scotsman", so the name has resonated with me almost all my life, but I've never seen her for real. Rather annoyingly, it was mentioned that the times of her visits down to Galashiels and up to Fife were being kept secret to prevent people climbing onto the track, and in fact the whole visit was thrown into jeopardy by last-minute bureaucracy, but at the 11th hour, the trip was back on.
Because I didn't know the schedule, I contacted a friend last night who lives close to the route. He got back to me 30 minutes before she was due to leave Edinburgh, so I hastily headed out from the north side of town to the south and phoned from my car (hands-free) to enquire whether she had already passed. He said that there was a helicopter overhead which I could see some way south of me, so it was clear that I wasn't going to get to where he and his family were in time to catch a glimpse. So I carried on down the A7 with a vague plan to stop at Heriot. However, just south of Eskbank, I was enthralled in that way that you can only half be when driving to see her cross the new bridge right over my head, and then proceed along the Lothianbridge Viaduct. A spectacular sight!
I was still behind her and she had clearly picked up speed, so I pressed on. A little short of Heriot, I spotted a line of vehicles parked on the verge so made a split-second decision to do the same, jumped over a gate and just had time to mention to a few of the spectators that she was about to arrive when there she was. I hope you enjoy the pictures because neither the conditions or the location could have been more perfect, and I was extremely lucky to have made it in time. I had a word with my brother shortly afterwards and we agreed that whilst it would have been a thrilling experience to have been on board, the passengers wouldn't have experienced the fine sights available to those lining the route.