Somehow my yen to eat in the New Town more often turned into a longing for the Highlands. Benedict Ambrose is not one for long journeys, however, so he found a very elegant, yet cozy, AirBnB in the Scottish Borders. So to the Borders we went on Saturday
to fritter our mornings away with books in the sunroom and spend our afternoons hiking for miles.
On Sunday afternoon we hiked about 4 miles past fields and cows to Little Sparta, a locally famous garden-kingdom created by the poet/artist Ian Hamilton Findlay. I'm not allowed to publish my photos, alas! We wandered through the amazing gardens, reading the inscriptions, translating the Latin, and being surprised by this pyramid or that joke. Then we hiked 4 miles back to our elegant holiday home (the restored and refurbished annex of an old manse). Our one regret was that there was no pub along our route.
This is was not a problem on Monday when we hiked 5 miles along a Roman road towards the Allan Ramsay Hotel in Carlops. However, our plans hit a minor snag when we discovered, thanks to my phone, that the pub was shut until Thursday noon. This was easily solved, though, by turning around and walking a mile back towards The Gordon Arms in West Linton. We drank refreshing pints of ale, and then we caught the bus.
The walk to West Linton (off the Roman road and onto a tree-lined country loan [lane]) had interesting and desirable houses at which to gawk. I've posted one (above). It inspired me to throw money to the winds and buy a lottery ticket, which we still have not checked.
P.S. I fritted away one of my mornings--and frittered away some of an evening--by reading a chic-lit novel called Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman. The middle-aged woman, having suffered a heartbreak, is summoned to Paris by her Parisian pal and made to undergo a day of beauty treatments and shopping. The heartbroken woman has lost weight from her heartbreak (which I would not do: chocolate and peanut butter all the way) and looked like a million euros after buying expensive, properly fitted lingerie, being poured into a chic French suit, and undergoing waxing, massaging, and various kinds of polishing. It's a classic scene in such films as Pretty Woman and other lying trash, as well as "Cinderella" (which might tell lies but is not trash).
My question is, is this self-renovation stuff actually true? Does expensive lingerie and clothing and treatments really make a serious difference to the way you look, or just a little difference? After 40, I mean. We all know (from films) that a sloppy teenager can look like a princess with just an eyebrow tweeze and a pretty dress. But what about her Gen X auntie, eh?