Touring round bonny Borders

Each year I take my life in my hands (to do with my brother, Tony, at the wheel of a caravanette) to tour the communities of my constituency, which runs from the Eildon to the Pentland hills.

This year, as per usual, we stopped, among other places, at Oxton, Lauder, Earlston, Newstead, Melrose, Tweedbank, Clovenfords, Walkerburn and Innerleithen.

The weather was, to say the least, variable, but as usual we had constituents at nigh on every stop, and so there is a deal of work to do in the coming weeks.

What always strikes me is how bonny our towns and villages are, and usually on account of the effort the communities make. Some of our city dwellers could learn a thing or two from them about pride in your community.

This year, by way of trial and error, I made a video diary which I shall have put onto my Facebook pages – but bear with me, I’m no technocrat, so it’ll take a wee bit whiley.

Border Union Show

Mair rain. Where is it all coming from?

Anyway, I spent Saturday at the show and not being au fait with tractors, admired the livestock, especially the horse and carriages.

I had a chat at the Alzheimer’s stand. It is a horrid and sad affliction. I have a friend who has fallen foul of this and no longer recognises that she is the creator of the lovely water colours I have.

I then had a chat with Borders Pet Rescue, having a soft spot for our furry companions. I chair the parliament’s cross-party group on animal welfare and have my own wee rescue pal, Mr Smokey. Anyway, I hope to visit its rescue centre at Earlston soon.

Then there was the constabulary. I chair not only the parliament’s justice committee, but the policing committee and so was keen to chat about local issues.

There appears to be little crime at the show – a wee bit boisterousness later once the drink had taken effect. But nothing too bad.

Traffic control was the main issue.


What is that, you ask? Well, it’s the Royal Highland Education Trust and I bought a wee book of recipes from them, including such delights as Granny McCallum’s Potato Scones.

All recipes are provided by individuals. The book is £6 and proceeds go towards the RHET teaching our children the goodness of Scottish produce and even basics, such as where eggs and tatties come from!