Saturday, September 1, 2012

Harestane to Morebattle

We decided not to walk to Morebattle due to Marlene's knee and also the prospect of more woodland mud. We were in Jedburgh, so we decided to explore the abbey there,  and then take a bus to Kelso and explore that abbey, too. This is a pilgrimage after all! We were so glad we did. The Jedburgh Abbey and museum were fantastic. We learned so much about abbeys and the monastic life. We now know what the difference between an abbot and a prior is, and what a canon does (no, not the gun, silly, the monastic canon.) And why some monks were called black monks and some white monks. And how they only had one room with a fire where they could go to get warm. We know what they did in the chapter room, and the difference between a larder and a pantry. All sorts of neat stuff.

We also went to the Mary Queen of Scots House where we learned all about that ill-starred queen. She really was the Marilyn Monroe of her day--beautiful, famous, popular, and a lass who made extremely bad choices in men.

Morebattle High Street
with Templehall Inn
On to Kelso which was having their local festival day. It was in honor of St. James, the patron saint of pilgrims, so we thought it very appropriate to go. We enjoyed the craft booths, and the local dignitaries dressed in medieval costumes, as well as a group of young children playing Scottish jigs and reels and strathspeys on their wee violins. They were really very good, too. There was not much left of the Kelso Abbey ruin, thanks to Mr. Cromwell, but we did go and pay it homage as well.

Then we caught a bus to the little town of Morebattle.The name of this town does not actually have anything to do with war. It comes from "mere botle" which means "the settlement by the lake." We found it to be a delightful little village and we stayed at the Templehall Inn which happened to be the local village hangout. Jovial men-and a few women-lingered, along with a couple of dogs, at the ancient bar, discussing local gossip over a few pints of ale. A couple of the patrons eventually moved to a table where a lively game of dominos served as a background to our supper.


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