Monday, 12 April 2010

A.W.L in the Sunshine

I've been away for a while and you've all been so busy blogging, I've much to catch up on. We had to delay our trip to Scotland for a day because of the dreadful blizzards, but when we got there, there was very little sign of the snow:

Although actually, when we tried to do a bit of hill walking, what we thought was a dusting of snow, were in reality drifts that were knee-to-thigh height:

The other half fell into one that had a stream cleverly disguised underneath and I was reliably informed by my eldest that he said a naughty word - tsk tsk!
It was really hard work walking throught the drifts, but spectacular views and good clean mountain air. The call of the coast was too much for me, and although we were inland and some family members protested greatly (you know who you are!), Good Friday saw us beachcombing in glorious sunshine, albeit with a biting wind. ( Child labour saw my stocks of sea glass replenished) :
We were staying overlooking a river. One of the few times I've cursed double glazing as it blocked out the river's incessant chatter which was so meditative. It even moved me to go running along its banks with my eldest- don't worry, I had the emergency services on standby. On one of my sorties, I discovered a fabulous disused water-powered mill (sorry, no photo; hauling my huge mass was enough without the weight of extra equipment) which I will buy and restore if I ever come into a load of money. There was info about how they used the river to power so many mills within a mile of where I stood - producing flax products such as rope. Apparently this particular mill was the first to convert flax into linen production - all powered by the river - how green was that. I just can't figure out why it's not used in production now. I'm sure fossil fuel does it quicker, but speed at what cost to our planet...shame!
The river called me out for more than just my morning run, youngest pixie face enjoyed looking for merrymaids, fairies and trolls in the river:

Along with hide and seek

I'd read about a small museum in a place called Meigle housing  a collection of Pictish stones that I just had to visit. They were so good I'm tenpted to blog them all ( but I won't, don't worry). Some of them were well over 7ft tall and had been ripped out of the cemetery and used as foundation for the local church. here's a sample:

One huge stone had been taken from in front of a mound in the church cemetery, believed to be the grave of Guinevere, who having apparently been abducted and raped by Mordred, was killed by Arthur. The guy at the museum was explaining that the previous year, some expert dowser had come to the graveyard and the mound had sent his rods "haywire" indicating that something undesirable lay there - spooky! (Although the very nice curator's name was Blair Kerr & I couldn't wait to get outside & point this out to other half in a very childish fashion)
The only wet day we had ( I know, Scotland as well, better weather than we've had on our summer hols for the last few years), we went to Dunkeld and visited the ruined cathedral. In the not-yet-ruined part was this fabulous celtic cross made out of driftwood. It looks like part of the fabric of the builing, but is only a few years old

Sadly, we had to return home, but what fabulous weather - I've managed to get all of the holiday washing dry, host an-almost-teenage, end of easter holiday barbeque which turned into a water fight (I should've known).
Also had little preschoolers around who made a magical ladybird house- look closely, you can see them giving the place the once-over


maggie said...

What lovely photos Tammy, and such an interesting and informative commentry.
Yeh, Scotland is indeed beautiful.

So, you got to visit it, and I got the hebredean fleece !...some more of which was washed today and put out in the sun to dry.

Glad that you enjoyed yourselves

Felted House said...

I've only just sat down tonight long enough to read this properly - what lovely photos of the hills and those stones too. Glad to know you have got plenty of sea glass again! xx

Cathy said...

What a wonderful visit to Scotland. Those pictish stones are mouthwatering and I would love to have a look at the spooky mound. Very impressed with the amount of snow they have had too. Sounds like you all had a great time and the ladybirds too. Reminds me of the holiday I had on the west coast of Ireland when it didn't rain once.