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Kelso Abbey

The Big Picture

I went to Kelso on the strength of a photo I saw on the Historic Britain group on Flickr. It was a quick glimpse of the fallen abbey through the trees. I wasn't sure what to expect, given the photo.

Kelso is one of the many interesting border towns of Scotland, and I intend to see all of them. The other ones I've been to are Berwick upon Tweed (which I never stay in, but keep meaning to) and Lindisfarne. They all have fascinating histories, being torn between England and Scotland the way they have been, and there are so many ruins and places to dart into because of that.

Kelso Abbey was one of the many religious houses that Henry VIII, in his mad stupidity and lust, had destroyed during his stupid stupid reign. (Oh, wait, I should interject here and say I'm currently reading through many books of history on Henry VIII right now, and I'd probably be less foaming-at-the-mouth anti-Harry if I wasn't.) What's left now is a pale imitation of what must have been a beautiful site at one point. It's free to enter since so little of it survives, and the town of Kelso seems to be a place to hold it, and little more. (Which isn't fair, considering that it also has Floors Castle, but we're talking about the Abbey here. I'll talk about Floors Castle another day.)

What used to be the main part of the abbey has been used as a graveyard for some time, and you can catch glimpses of that in some of the pictures that I took. It gives the whole thing an eerie feeling... this sense that the dead are watching. It's hard to explain. It doesn't have the sense of desolation that I got from Lindisfarne, with its howling winds, but a sense of bleakness, I guess.

The place tries to give you a sense of the history. There is the obligatory writeup at the entrance, going on about the dissolution of the religious houses, but what really intrigued me were the little plaques scattered around the grass, telling what would have been in that area originally.

I spent over an hour just walking through what remains of this place, which is more impressive if you realise how small it is. There really isn't that much to it. Just what's left of the walls, all of which you can see in the above photo.

Of course, I fell in love with the place.

Photos, as always, are here.

The rest of this post has nothing to do with Kelso.

I went to Ikea for the first time yesterday, with the stated goal of finding picture frames. I had heard people raving about how great it was.

I will admit to being terribly disappointed. I didn't want to walk a curving line through a big box behind a bunch of slow moving people. It was tedious, and not the fun poking around for funky frames that I wanted. I made up for it by buying very purple covers for my pillows and popping in and out of antique shops along the High Mile. Please don't ask how I got talked into buying a sword, because I'm certain I will regret the purchase at some distant point in the future, but for now, I just keep giggling when I see it and saying "ooh, pointy!"

As for random things that may be of interest, Mark sadly did not get in on the wildcard entry to the Sonic newscaster. Thanks to the people who voted from my blog - I appreciate it, and I know that Mark does to.

Don may or may not have updated his Ponderings blog. I usually go with "not", but he suprised me.

And much to my disappointment, "Wife Wanted" is now the lowest hitting search term for my blog. Damn it, I need a wife to come over here and darn socks or make phone calls or cook supper once in a while or something! Gah! Cornacopia has been knocked down to the number two spot, and the new number one search term for my blog is "Anna Overseas". I will admit to being surprised.

Also, I have an interview with the bank tomorrow morning. This could be a sweet gig, folks, so wish me luck!


Well I not going to argue with you anymore Miss Pointy.