Sunday, 30 September 2012

"There is nothing, absolutely nothing half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats" ... Wind in the Willows

They arrive and unpack the car. Take the canoe off the roof and survey the river - mindful of men fishing. This weekend is the last weekend of the fishing season. Luckily, on the River Spey, canoeists and fishermen have mutual respect for each other it seems
"Please take care of Dad"  - when did the roles reverse?!  Father and son head off
I drive to the first meeting point
Just after twenty minutes they confirm the going is good and the rapids are fun - when Dad doesn't worry
Later, at the next bridge I get engrossed in f.stops and special effects...and
almost fail to spot them slipping quickly under the far arch 
I'm given a map marked with crosses and told I can meet them at these spots if I want. What I really want  is a hot drink and a petrol station and actually, by this time - a loo!  I drive to Forres and manage all three before returning to Knockando  - the pick up point.
I wasn't sure whether I'd missed them. It was a glorious afternoon and strong contrasts of light and shade make it almost impossible to see them but then I spot them racing round the bend in the river over on the right
"Is this it?"  they shout. "Is this the end?"
back on dry land
 a chance to reflect
They did sixteen miles and said it was a grand adventure  - when Dad didn't worry!
Time to pack up
Knockando - the end of the line. A disused railway station, perfect for loading, (though I read later, it shouldn't be blocked by people loading and off loading - sorry) Now  it's part of the Speyside Way and if people like us aren't in the way it's perfect for walking and bike riding.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Good Gifts and the rain

Sometimes it rains in Ullapool
and rains and rains
We've been given an enormous helping of top soil which is wonderful for the garden
and we kid ourselves it's wonderful for us too. All the exercise we get, digging, lugging and tipping the soggy soil down the bank by the drive to the house
which is steep
but will, when covered in soil, help shrubs and trees to grow 
Rainbows appear and waterfalls are flowing again
We've been given some fresh Mackerel straight from the loch.
Sometimes we're given  these. Lochbroom prawns (langoustine)
Jo has been staying with us for the last month. She is due to fly home this coming week
She is still getting over glandular fever - but there is light at the end of the tunnel. The best gift of all is that she  is slowly beginning to feel better.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Return to cromarty

Last week we took Jo for a quiet stroll around Cromarty. I love this little village. There is lots of information about it here and here is a trip we did last year.
On the way to Cromarty we pass this church ruin.
I  took these last summer and was sad to read here that since then this amazing little church has fallen into even more disrepair - there soon won't be anything left at all.
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