Thursday, 30 June 2011


I forgot to say. When we came back from Surrey, there was a very nice email from ju-north saying she had just come back from a wonderful holiday in the north west highlands. They stayed in Lochinver and based on my photos (she said!) they came on a visit to Handa Island, seen here.
They also climbed Stac Pollaidh. I took this in May of last year. Stac Pollaidh is the little pointy mountain to the right of the picture. You can see ju-north's holiday photos over here. I'm so pleased they enjoyed their visit. It certainly is beautiful here, in spite of the weather, which on occasions can be 'soggy'  and the midges which are now out in force I notice, and on still, overcast days can be rather tiresome!  But it seems a small price to pay in return for all  this loveliness.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

A return visit

The other Brookwood in another life! We've been back in the south east of England to celebrate our daughter's 30th birthday. Jo thirty! I can hardly believe it. It makes me feel enormously old. We had a couple of days with friends in ever so gentle leafy and green Surrey, and I'm sorry I didn't get to visit more friends, but we really only had a couple of days
We had a day in London which was like home from home.....almost!
Lots of wild life in St. James' park. Some quite tame,
others less so!
These children were  amazed, worried, curious and amused by the invisible man, attempting to wait quietly by the millennium bridge.I don't know how flummoxed he felt - he's a street entertainer after all, but I imagine he got pretty hot under the collar as class five moved in for the attack - eventually the teacher relented and called them off as they prepared to climb into his suit and investigate.
We don't have one of these in Ullapool.
But I missed this. When we arrived home, I took Jo (who came back with us for a few days)  on a trip to Handa Island. The sand was white and the sea  turquoise
Masses and masses of clean fresh air. It was just as brilliant as the last time
One old daughter!
She's back in London now. It's always lovely when she comes to stay - if somewhat untidy!
Glasses of wine late nights and always lots to talk about. Now all that's left are her hair bobbles!

Friday, 17 June 2011

Victorian Strathpeffer

And now for something completely different! Last weekend Niels was playing in the band at Strathpeffer's Victorian Day
I took two friends and some ear plugs (that was just a joke - I did take two friends but left the ear plugs at home!)
He took a little time to get comfortable - but after some 'faffing' and re-arranging of cymbals, music and pedals they were off
And speaking of pedals...
Edith did a little jig
before clinching a deal on a post card
There were boy's toys
The bus came by
along with scullery maids
Proud grannies displayed their grand children
We had a lovely day and Strathpeffer lends itself perfectly to a bygone era
And now back in the 21st century I'm rushing to get ready for a drive to London. Jo, our daughter was thirty yesterday and we're going to have a party to celebrate her great old age...!
I'll be back soon!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Handa Island

I'm sorry about this, but I simply can't  blog and have visitors at the same time! It's either because I'm  a very slow blogger or I'm paying too much attention to our visitors!
But the great thing about visitors, despite slowing blogging production slightly, is the perfect excuse they provide for showing off  the stunning Scottish highlands!
Handa Island on the way to nowhere is exquisite. It's a site of special scientific interest and is managed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust. Go there! You won't be disappointed. It's home to thousands of sea birds which gather there to breed - and enjoy the views!
Val and Norman provided the reason.
And Robin came too, prepared to spend his day with birds and 'old people!'
Home to guillemots and razorbills
And puffins! They were all over the place but I couldn't get a good photo no matter how hard I tried. They fly like wound up clockwork toys and are so sweet. They have very sorrowful  expressions.
Surround sound with wall to wall views. It was quite simply breathtaking
A boardwalk runs through the middle boggy bit of the island
and it's here the great skuas have their nest sites
A grumpy looking herring gull
and a wheatear sitting a long way off and not very big.
A baby rabbit trying to pretend we weren't there.
Back to the boat and the journey home
We arrive back at the busy mainland
and pull out in to the traffic to begin the drive home!
You would love Handa Island, I can't recommend it highly enough. It doesn't involve climbing mountains, just a short boat journey and an amble around an island taking in bird life in stunning surroundings.
I shall come back and bring Niels who was band playing at the time in Inverness. And I may see you there....?
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