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    November 30. Susan, Christine and I saw two of three new Italian plays at the Cherry Lane theatre. I actually thought I had booked the third offer which was a Pirandello revival but we were all glad that we did not miss “The Journey I Never made” and “Story of Love and Soccer”. Both excellently translated and powerfully acted. The first is a thought provoking and somewhat unsettling portrayal of the current social turmoil and the second is modern thriller about corrupt sport and the triumph of evil over good. We were able to chat with one of the actors about the plays after the show. Before the show we ate lobster and oysters at the  “Fish” restaurant which was only two blocks from the theatre!

     

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Earlston – Border town of hidden contrasts

Earlston is a border town about 35 miles south of Edinburgh.  The Border towns are steeped in the Lowland history and myth of Scotland going back to Roman times and earlier. While visiting, for Kim and Tom’s wedding, we stayed at ‘The Harbour’ guest house run by Gwen and George Hardie. Two more gracious hosts you will never find anywhere.

Apart from the serene countryside setting, the thing that struck me most  about the  area around Earlston was the state-of-the-art decor, plumbing and electronic equipment that was hidden behind the unassuming exteriors! My image of tough Scotsmen striding over the snow-covered hills with their kilts and weather beaten knees faded–It seems that they have opted for extreme comfort like we city dwellers.

Main Street

Side Street

We spent a very convivial evening in this old pub

Charming side of the town square

The edge of the town

The town pond. The abandoned venue for the wedding ceremony

Earlston Kirk

A local artist carved this work from a tree trunk. The theme is the 13th century myth of  Thomas of Ercildoune who is said to have spent some time with the Queen of  the Fairies. Tom is leaning on it and clearly showing his disgust that someone had painted over the carved wood.

Chisel strokes lost under the paint

Gwen, our hostess extraordinaire, is also a talented poet. Here is a picture of the lady herself and one of her poems expressing her love of Earlston. She writes with a flavour of Robbie Burns.

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