Valleys to coast, we are naturally blessed

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At least the Ettrick and Yarrow Show on Saturday was blessed with a decent day, before things went rapidly downhill on Sunday, and autumn arrived with a vengeance.

With gales and rain in the morning, I decided the conditions were ideal for a trip to the seaside!

I love the coast when the weather is angry, the sea is rough and the people are few, so I headed in the direction of Eyemouth.

However, by the time I got there, the sun was out and so was the tide, so things were a bit less dramatic than expected. But the wind was still gusting to gale force, coming off the land.

As an example of its strength, I was sitting in the car at the harbour when a sudden gust flipped the lid open on a wheelie bin just in front of the car, sucked out the contents, which was mainly fish and chip boxes and wrappers, and blew them right across the harbour. No doubt the poor seagulls would get the blame for the mess.

Out in the bay, gulls were circling above the Hurkur Rocks, obviously having spotted some fish, and a lone gannet was wheeling above the white-capped surf.

Closer in, a red-breasted merganser was taking advantage of the calmer waters near the shore to dive for fish.

The beach was deserted as the sand was being whipped up like a yellow blizzard.

With few people around, the harbour’s resident pair of grey seals were cruising around with little in the way of food coming their way. The van selling fish to throw to them at £2 for four bits was closed.

Eyemouth has definitely seen better days and is now looking a bit sad compared to its heyday when you couldn’t move on a Sunday for visitors. With peeling paint, hotels up for sale and a general scruffiness, the recession hit the place hard.

Fishing boats in the harbour were much fewer than years ago, which is also a sign of the times. At its peak, most residents were connected to the fishing industry and with that in decline and the tourists going elsewhere, it is hardly surprising that times are hard.

One thing which hasn’t declined is the standard of fish supper.

No trip to Eyemouth is complete without one and although a bit pricey, 
considering the fish are virtually swimming around the back door, there is nothing to beat that fresh flavour.

The trip may not have been as dramatic as expected, but it was good to get a breath of sea air, have the cobwebs blown away and get yoked into a decent fish supper.