An animated crowd of new and old friends came to an Open Afternoon at my new home in Berwick-Upon-Tweed. Artist Kate Philp and her husband Rob presented us with a signed copy of her beautiful book of Borders and coastal paintings and prose entitled 'Mind's Eye: A Journey through Life, landscape and Expression'. Kate is developing a healing vocation and the book contributes in a broad sense to the healing of memories. This is published by Handsel Press at 19.95. Visit www.katephilp.co.uk

Neighbours called in. Jane baked two cakes. She and Derek run Wallace Green Hall B & B two doors down, and have already had one overflow guest from me. I hope other 'overflow' visitors will book in there. There are cheaper places, but they won't provide red carpets that look like those at Buckingham Palace, or the live 'music at breakfast' that Derek provided for guests during the festive season. According to the internet it was once a hotel where writers such as Charles Dickens and Lewis Carroll stayed. Visit http://www.wallacegreenhall.com/

On display was a gift - a painting by Holy Island's John Tierney of its Pilgrim Posts. John and CA&H Voyager Judith Line, a poet, are to publish a book of his paintings and her poems. They have agreed to present these at a future Open House here. On March 23 we hope to have Sammy and Kylie Horner do a gig when they stay overnight as part of a UK tour.

Before my sister Sally departed after her post-Christmas stay here we met two Syrian students who were guests of other neighbours. We are inspired by their positive contribution to the world. Yesterday Adam Hood, of the Duns Presbytery, and minister of St. Andrew's Church opposite, came round for coffee. We noticed that the 'for sale' sign had been removed from the house next to the church where William Wallace was once imprisoned. I hope this will be a place where no one feels imprisoned.

Posted at 23:54pm on 9th January 2017
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