Just as John was battling an over eight hour nightmare journey to Newcastle-upon-Tyne during Storm Emma, I set out for a nice snow walk around some Robert Burns Dumfries locations. Because our town is sheltered by Galloway hills, local winters are normally quite mild and snow storms are a rare sight indeed. That’s why I thought that combining a bit of Burns with a bit of snow will make an interesting and unusual entry in my Dumfries Diaries.
John’s taxi dropped me outside St Michaels Churchyard where I revisited the poet’s Mausoleum. I was surprised that the alleyway to the tomb was cleared of snow and the walkways around the church itself were freshly gritted. Clearly Doonhamers are very proud of their Burns legacy!
Across the road, the statue of Burns’ long-suffering wife Jean Armour was lightly sprinkled with snow. Further along the side road Burns House Museum was still open to visitors and even sported a bunch of fresh carnations near the entrance. Burns only lived in this house for three years, but he died here and lots of his relics, letters and manuscripts are on display here making it an important literary tourist location.
It was strange to see the rose garden bare with only sticks peaking from the snow around the pedestal with Burn’s Ode to Red Rose, but the murals by local artist Josephine McSkimming provided vivid spots of colour in the snow covered scene.
I was already safely back home when poor John messaged me that his taxi reached Carlisle (Scottish Rail closed down so it was the nearest working railway station). There were four hours of wait left for him – for a Newcastle-bound train that hadn’t been cancelled…