I HAD a good break over midwinter although inevitably found myself occasionally on what some may call a “busman’s holiday”. When I am wandering on paths on holiday I partly tune out of thinking about maintenance or management but enjoy the company I am with and experience the locations as a visitor.

Our holiday days were punctuated by short walks to a sculpture or viewpoint. We went out for only an hour or so or less on any day but got out most days. We enjoyed the fresh air, exploring locally to show our visitor some new places, staying on fairly easy terrain, and keeping moving enough to keep warm.

We strolled around the lower grassy slopes at Thornielee Forest and enjoyed looking at signs showing images of the butterflies we might see there if we returned in the summer.

The two old men with me that day, my relation and my neighbour (they will not mind me saying they are old as they are both over 80) had similar interests. Timber quality and value and the techniques used to carve the “Muckle Moothed Meg” sculpture interested them. My teenage son conversed about the technology of the digital camera he was trying out.

Torwoodlee Tower provided a location via a short walk. Our visitor found the tradition of the collection of “The Sod and the Stone” to be an interesting local tradition and was amazed at how well the avenue up to the tower was maintained.

It was difficult for him to imagine numbers of horses there in Gala Week. Another of our visits was to Scott’s View and Temple of the Muses at Dryburgh Bridge.

On that day it was too windy and the view a bit too wet and foggy for any good photographs but we enjoyed a few minutes at each place, and also enjoyed the drive to and from the viewpoints.

At Wooplaw Woods, on a short walk, our visitor found the cabin of interest and its construction. While I listened to the buzzard, the picnic tables, barbecue stance and fire sites were admired. They provide facilities for people to enjoy the woods through the year.

I enjoyed the sculpture face made from a tree trunk, while the visitor was intrigued by the concept of the community woodland.

On the Green road path at Clovenfords, a friend joined us and we traversed the edge of Meigle Hill on a nice level path. The route taken, provided us with views as we walked above the Caddon Water to near Caddonfoot where we could just see the Tweed. We had timed that walk well as the sun hit the side of the hill early afternoon and we returned just as the shade was covering the land. Four of us were walking that day.

Two who used to work on the land, a photographer and myself. Although we were walking together, just as on the other visits, I am sure we all took away different experiences of the journey.

Our winter visits were short and quick. The cold winter air and different scenery broke up our days and gave us an excuse to sit about on our return, tasting cake and coffee.

For ideas for short or longer visits and walks in the Scottish Borders countryside, look up www.scotborders.gov.uk/walking