You ready to get serious folks?
Then let’s talk bridges.
The 5 brigs o’ Peebles
Well done for getting this far. You’ve had to wade through eight (8) blogs before you are finally rewarded with a proper bridge. But lo, your bridgey cup overfloweth. This blog promises not one, not two, not even three or four, but five (5) of the bad boys!
As I outlined in last Tuesday’s blog (“Come for the grief, stay for the bridges”), we are starting our quest close to home. There are 17 bridges within easy bike range of my lockdown location. Closer still to home, there are five bridges in (or very near) my hometown of Peebles. So, on Friday, I set out from my back door in my highly-functional, yet super-stylish running kit. #stayseenstaysafe
I’m not much of a runner. I’m not really built for it (I realise this is a classic fatboy excuse). I’ve been through periods in my life where I’ve forced myself to run reasonably frequently and each time I have done that, both my fitness and enjoyment have increased over time. But I’ve never been able to keep up the habit for more than a few months.
Running is such good value exercise. You don’t really need any special equipment, it takes no time to get ready and you can go out for as little as half an hour and still get some benefit. Some people talk about the ‘runner’s high’, but I don’t think I’ve ever felt that. I have accepted that the effort is always going to outweigh any joy that I might feel whilst running, although I could just about buy into the notion that effort < joy + health benefits.
So I go running every now and then. And running felt like as good a way as any to cover the five-mile loop from my house via the five bridges of Peebles.
Heading West from the Southern edge of Peebles via the Manor Sware, you are presented with this view of the River Tweed and our first quarry – Manor Bridge.
I’m really grateful that I live in such a beautiful part of the world. Peebles is a really nice wee town and is surrounded by gorgeous hills and valleys, fields and forests. My gratitude has only increased during the lockdown period. If you are reading this from your flat in a city, I feel for you. You’ll get your own back when the restaurants, bars, museums and cinemas open up in a few months and I’m eating reheated scampi in The County.
So here is where the stitches start to fray. One of the reasons that it has taken me the best part of nine blogs to show you the first bridge is that I am in two (or more like three or four) minds as to what to tell you about the bridges. I want you to learn something about the structures, but also about the experience of walking / running / cycling / riding a train over them.
And I don’t want to do a half-arsed job of it. You are important to me and you deserve better than that.
Take Manor Bridge. If I was to do some proper research, I could tell you about the bridge design, who built it and when, as well as posting some old photos from days of yore. If I put (the right-hand side of) my mind to it, I could give you the ideal song to listen to while you cross the bridge, upload a child-like sketch or personify the bridge by comparing it to a figure from history or current celebrity.
I’ve already got the “BRIDGES” section of the website for this purpose. It’s currently sitting empty, so why don’t I start populating it with some miscellany and ephemera about the 55 crossings?
OK, that’s what I’ll do. You have come this far, so you deserve nothing less. On that basis, I am going to put this blog post out of its misery and fast-forward to the end of my run via the medium of the selfie.
I’ll get to work on researching the first five bridges and putting some juicy bridge content on the BRIDGES page of this site.
You are an amazing human being and are worthy of nothing less.