I spent the last few days in Penicuik dog sitting Murphy and exploring the local sites. Murphy is a nearly-2-year-old Golden Retriever. His people are my dear friend’s sister and her partner, which is how I got the gig.
Despite my postcode belonging to Penicuik, this was the first time I’ve ever slept in the town or explored the surrounding area. (I live in an isolated cottage outside of the Village of Roslin.) The house is quite lovely, situated on the edge of town with panoramic views of a tree-covered hillside. The entire setting made for a nice little retreat location for working on my thesis. And the twice-daily walks with Murphy (in addition to my every-other-day runs) was a great way to focus on my thoughts.
Murphy and I took advantage of his walks by using the time to visit some lovely places around Penicuik. One of our daily walks was along an old rail-line-turned-trail next to the River Esk. The area is quite popular with dog walkers and it seems that Murphy is a well-known path user.
Our other walks included an exploration of the ruined “old kirk” (St Kentigern’s) and surrounding kirkyard that houses the crumbling remains of the Clerk family mausoleum, a bit of geocaching around the Penicuik South Kirk, and a visit to the crumbling remains of Uttershill Castle.
The time was also spent working on my PhD thesis – although I acknowledge that I didn’t get as much done as I would have liked. Still, I did get some important “planning” stuff done which will hopefully set me up for a more productive June.
And now that my time with Murphy has come to an end, it’s time to get ready for my next adventure: My 2018 American holidays to The Homeland! So I’d best get some laundry done so that I can start packing.