North of the Border

Stables Cottage

Just back from ten days at Melrose in the Scottish Borders. Here is our cottage.

Dryburgh Hotel

We wandered around, leaving ‘Tom Fleck’ leaflets in likely places. Some were left at this posh hotel for salmon fishers at Dryburgh.

We had a good lunch, then walked the grounds.

Earl Haig

Next to the hotel is Dryburgh Abbey. Earl Haig of WW1 fame is buried here – he asked for a gravestone of the design that marks the British fallen on the Western Front.

Sir Walter Scott

Sir Walter Scott also sleeps here.

The abbey is a bit of a ruin but, being north of the Border, was not knocked about by Henry VIII.

aconites and snowdrops

Sweeps of aconites – they like to grow where blood has been spilled, some say.

The Rhymer Stone

At this spot, beneath the Eildon Tree, back in the 13thC, a man fell asleep for seven days – he thought. He spent the time having a tryst with the Queen of the Faeries. He woke up seven years later with the gifts of rhyming and prophesy.

Eildon Hill

Eildon Hill looks down on the stone. My novel, ‘Tom Fleck’ will be reviewed in the Autumn edition of ‘The Eildon Tree’ – an arts magazine.


The Roman legions had a camp beneath the Eildon hills. Trimontium, they called it (Three Hills).


The site of their ampitheatre for games and entertainment. It overlooks the River Tweed.

disused rail viaduct

Nearby is a railway viaduct that impressed Queen Victoria.

after dinner at Susanne's

One evening, Susanne Lockie cooked us a splendid dinner at her home in Howick. Susanne was one of those who helped ‘Tom Fleck’ come to life. Here is her husband Paul, Susanne, and my good lady Beryl.


At Coldstream there is a memorial, a sword that points to Flodden Field.

the place of shelter

Flodden Field and the little valley where I imagined Tom Fleck and his fellows took shelter from the Scottish artillery.

Flodden Field

The Flodden memorial. On 9th September 1513 Tom Fleck stood to the right of this with hundreds of other archers. Further to the right, the contingents from Cheshire and Lancashire were overwhelmed. A farmer’s plough uncovered their burial pits.


About Harry Nicholson

I'm an enameller who works with a kiln, fusing pictures in glass onto copper. I write a few poems and short stories. There is an eBook anthology of them, 'Green Linnet' on Amazon. Also a novel, 'Tom Fleck', set in the North of England of 1513 - the year of Flodden. A sequel to 'Tom Fleck' is 'The Black Caravel' published in 2016. My anthology of poems came out in 2015: 'Wandering About.' I've a blog of poems, stories and art at:
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12 Responses to North of the Border

  1. 1sojournal says:

    Love the photos and thank you for taking us along. Congratulations and best wishes on the book. I’m a history buff and found your photos intriguing,


  2. I’ll try to. Thanks for calling in. I’ll come to Parking Lot and see what you are writing.

  3. ebbtide says:

    wonderful pictures! thanks for taking us along with you

  4. Tilly Bud says:

    Lovely journey you toom us on, Harry. Glad to hear you’re getting a mention in a magazine.

  5. earlybird says:

    Thanks for the visit. I’m glad I got to see the snowdrops and aconites. (I thought it was just poppies that liked to grow where blood had spilled. Or not!) Amazon delivered a copy of Tom Fleck but I’ve a couple of other books to get through first. I’m happy to see the places though.

  6. Lovely photographs, Harry.

    It’s great to see the actual places that are settings in your novel.

    What a lovely part of the world to visit.

  7. vivinfrance says:

    Great pictures – glad you had a good time. It was nice to see a picture of Susanne, another of my good ‘virtual’ friends.

  8. Susannah says:

    Wonderful photos as usual Harry, it looks a lovely part of the world. I am glad you had a good trip. I read the wonderful review of your book earlier last week over at Pauls blog, it sounds great. I wish you every success with it. 🙂

    Thanks for linking to I Saw Sunday, it is good to have you back with us!

  9. Deborah says:

    Wonderful as always and congratulations on your novel Tom Fleck, it sounds fascinating!

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