There really was nothing in between.
The downhill thing was a lie. It's driver-speak. What drivers say: At the end of the road turn left, go over the bridge and then turn right and follow that all the way down into Melrose. What it means: bridge equals going all the way down to the river, they don't build the bridge from the top of the hill, and, in order to then be going downhill to Melrose, there is going to have to be an uphilll first. I thought I had legionnaires because I had no energy and just couldn't pick up any pace. I have no idea if that is a symptom. I did cough once too. But then I looked behind me and I could see right over the valley. It was a case of silent, but deadly, hills. But I can't complain because I am already housed, redressed, bank-visited and in a coffee shop with a latte and a large slice of lemon-drizzle cake. Oh, and the scales said the same this morning, five kilos now.
I had company today on the road. They were cutting the weeds on the side of the road. There is a tractor with a big extendable arm and a man in a truck who follows it around and makes sure there are signs either side of it. He also whipper-snippers the bits the tractor couldn't get. He stopped all the time and had chats. I hope the tractor is okay. He said he worked all year long to guarantee that he got the grass cutting duty—six weeks of unsupervised ease. Even if it did give him hayfever.
I am staying in the eaves of my B&B. I had to crawl up the stairs to stop the backpack banging into the ceiling. Mmm, how will I get down again. Better go and have a look at the Abbey (right) I suppose (Robert the Bruce's heart is apparently in there somewhere—he boiled people so it is amazing he actually had one, but I suppose boiling was de rigeur at the time), rather than sitting here enjoying myself with writing and reading. This is not about relaxing—although if that were really the case, could I have not got the extra three hundred meters done!
Later that same day: So much for that—it was five pounds fifty to go inside the Abbey (the Abbey has no inside), and six pounds! to go into the gardens (even though it was five minutes before last entry and you would only have half an hour to look around). Call me tight, I don't care. Walked around the single block that is Melrose town centre about three times and now all the shops are shut and so all I can do is either go to the pub and read and drink beer or go to my attic and read and drink tea. I chose the latter.
Good night to Melrose, good night to you.