23 May 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Rowan Tree in full flower

Rose 4.15 + left at 5.13 cycling to Duns1. Lovely morning but pretty sharp. Slight E. wind. There was some fog between Earlston + Greenlaw but it cleared off + there was continuous sunshine after. My [illegible] were [illegible] most of the way. Got to Duns at 8.40. Had a good breakfast at [left blank] + left at 9.47. Went to Abbey St Bathans. Campbell2 passed me in a motor + offered me a lift! Whin3 magnificent at Oatley Cleuch4 + everywhere. Myosotis at Langton a sight5. Had to walk a bit from the foot bridge + found the road near Moorhouse6. Went on by Ecclawhill7 (where I came in sight of the sea) to Oldhamstocks (a very tiny hamlet of a dozen houses), Innerwick, Spott + Stenton8 Gifford near which I tried to eat some lunch but had no appetite + gave the most of it to some hogs. At Gifford tried to get a drink as I was feeling very fagged but could only get lemonade. I felt better however + got to Stow where I had a W + S [whisky and soda] but the depressing effect seized me just before I got home + I believe I would have been better without it. Got home about 10 + decidedly tired but enjoyed my ride of about 102.5 miles. It was a very trying one as regards hills9.

1 Dr Muir was setting out on an enormous anti-clockwise loop heading to Earlston before turning east and north into East Lothian, before cutting back to Gifford, after which his route to Stow is unclear but presumably took him to the A7 via either Fala Moor and Gilston or Lauder Common

2 Campbell is (as yet) unidentified

3 Whin, Common Gorse, Furze or ulex europaeus, subfamily Faboideae of the pea family Fabaceae

4 Oatley Cleugh, grid reference NT753,587

5 Myosotis is a genus of flowering plants of the family Boraginaceae – Langton is near Gavinton and though Dr Muir does not give enough detail to identify the location precisely he must have seen the Myosotis before reaching Duns

6 Moorhouse, grid reference NT777,626

7 Assume Ecclaw Hill, NT760,672

8 Spott NT671,754 and Stenton NT622,743

9 It should be remembered that at this date Dr Muir was 75

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]

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Archivist, interests include Dr John Stewart Muir 1845-1938) of Selkirk, general practitioner, and Seton Paul Gordon (1886–1977), naturalist, author and photographer

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