It’s official. I cannot stop Alex talking “Invernesian” or his version of it! He’s relentless. I suppose at least when we go to the Isles there will be a change of accent.
As Alex got his gear ready to go and play golf at Brahan Course today all I could think was, “The heavy stuff won’t come down for a while yet”. We decided to go and buy a nice warm top for me but when we were inside we realized we’d gone to the Garden Centre instead of Pringles. That meant we needed to have scones etc before we headed out into the cold again. The extremely polite, ultra calm GPS cyborg who is supposed to guide us effortlessly to any destination is on a different wavelength and we spend more time trying to ignore her than actually following her directions. Today she took us to a road that ended abruptly at a paddock/field and politely told us we’d arrived at our destination. She loves U Turns but hasn’t yet mastered re-cal-cu-la-ting.
On the way to the Golf Course we stumbled across the Red Kite bird hide, didn’t see any Red Kites but lots of little birds. In a field on the way in we saw a glorious pheasant and in a house yard on the way out we saw another but neither of them cooperated in my photo shoot. I guess they’ve had too many people taking pot shots at them to risk hanging around.
We didn’t find the Golf Course which is just as well considering the foul weather, maybe tomorrow we’ll try again.
One small section of the Garden Centre.
Chaffinch & Green Finch, I think.
If you are at or below the limit you get a smiley face, otherwise a sad face.
Another shaggy pony, this one was very friendly.
Sorry to those of you who have added comments and they haven’t appeared. I’m still trying to work out why they’re not being displayed.
Today we went almost as far north as you can go in Scotland to Mark & Lena’s croft (small farm), the closest village is called Betty Hill and the closest town is Thurso. You can find them on http://maps.google.com/
The weather was changeable, sleet & wind, rain & wind, snow & wind, sun & wind & just wind! The good thing about the weather, apart from the fact it gave us breaks when we could enjoy the fabulous views, take photos and go for a short walk, is that it made me realize I need to buy another, warmer jumper! My four layers just didn’t cut it & we are heading for the Islands which are notorious for their winds and cold weather. Lena keeps trying to convince herself, and us, that it will be beautiful Spring weather when we go but I’m not going to risk freezing.
The view from the croft over Armadale Bay was stunning with big breakers coming in. Walking down towards the beach was very hard going with the wind making our eyes stream and giving Alex an “Ice-cream Headache” but coming back up was “a breeze???”. There are ruins all about the area some where families left during “the clearances” but others where the old people died and the young ones had moved away to an easier lifestyle leaving the house to fall into ruin. I can’t help but think that the wind must play a big part in the destruction. The perfectly painted white houses are a sure sign that the owners are now “White Settlers” ie English who use them for a short time in Summer or have retired and moved to a seemingly idyllic, peaceful home.
Although there were signs all along the roads warning of Deer we only saw one herd and they were far away from the road. The roads around the area are single track with marked passing places, most people take care and pull into a passing place when they see another car coming but we did have one scare when we had nowhere to pull in and an approaching car raced right up to us. A small red car and everyone knows drivers of those are mad!
Now snug back “home” Alex is now scrubbing and polishing his old Golf Clubs which have lived in Lena & Mark’s loft for 18 years. Tomorrow he plans to play a round at Brahan Golf Course, an ecologically sustainable one which is just outside Dingwall. I’ll check the weather before I make any plans.
Monument commemorates the people who left for a better life.
Detail from “the Emigrants”
Everyone needs a warm coat in this area.
Being blasted by the wind.
Bay below the croft.
Animals were kept in the central section, behind the house ruins.
Norwegian style Boat House.
Our jaunt today was to Aviemore. We went past our old house which looks quite different now with a wall out the front and you can’t see any garden. It was new when we moved in but it certainly looks tired now. We then spent some time with our nephew, Colin & his family. Lovely to see him grown into a happy family man. We left Colin in charge of the choccies etc so the kids wouldn’t go overboard.
When we left Colin’s we went for a walk down the quiet little road on the other side of the railway line where there has been much less development. The Steam train which runs between Boat of Garten and Aviemore went through too quickly for me to get a decent photo and I couldn’t find out when it came back again so I missed that opportunity. There were lots of Hoodie Crows and black headed Seagulls about. We saw three Roe Deer when we went to have a look at the Spey Valley Golf Course at what was Dalfaber Farm when we lived in Aviemore .
Tonight we tried out a new Indian Takeaway, called “Chilli Chak” the food was delicious.
If you click on a photo it will take you to a slideshow and the captions will be clearer.
Spey Valley Golf Club
Fluffy, white butts.
It looked like a throne so I sat on it.
A black headed Seagull.
A Hoodie Crow.
Where Alex & I worked. Rabbits were running where we used to sledge down on bin sacks and serving trays.
Fresh snow last night added to what was still lying.
Down near the “Butcher’s Burn”.