Saturday 26 June 2010

To stand still

Just before the longest day we climbed Stac Pollaidh
 with our friend Helen, our latest visitor.
We sat ourselves down (out of the wind!) nibbled digestive biscuits, drank hot chocolate
and waited for the setting sun. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances,
ie. low cloud, it did most of its setting out of sight!
Nevertheless, I think it remarkable that these photos were taken just before 11pm (way after my bedtime)  and it was still light. 
 I took this at midnight. We are probably not quite far enough north for the midnight sun,
but despite the cloud cover, it was still light and the pink glow remained in the sky.
I looked up Solstice in the dictionary
It's derived from Latin and means 'to stand still'
And that's exactly what it does. The glow stays in the sky before reappearing a short time later as the sunrise.

Thursday 24 June 2010

About time!

 I've been back just over a week, but haven't managed even a tiny little blog until now because
we'd only been back a day when a visitor arrived
- but that's another blog for another time.
Now it's quiet again
The journey south started first with an overnight stop in Manchester with Robin our oldest son
before driving to Wales to a little place called Rhiwbina (similar to Ribena, but not pronounced like that) Near Cardiff,  to celebrate the wedding of the daughter of some very good friends of ours we met many years ago while living in Denmark.
It was a delightfully simple and pretty affair, that was both formal and casual concealing the enormous attention given to detail ensuring a memorable and enjoyable day was had by all. We had a day to spare before leaving to visit friends in Sussex,
and so came to St. Fagans National History Museum. An incredible place.  We could only touch on some of the many historic buildings there were to see with the limited time available.
When I was a young girl I wanted to have a friend who lived in a prefab, so I could have a look inside. It never happened and when I saw this, nestling in amongst the iron workers cottages, I thought my wish was about to come true. Sadly it was locked and I could only peer in through the windows. It was tiny and furnished with utility tables and chairs and a chest of drawers I could remember from childhood
From  Sussex we came to London and stayed in Hackney with Jo our daughter and her boyfriend Matt.
They live on the 5th floor and we were able to look out over the mountains high rise buildings and enjoy the wonderfully big sunsets in the skies over Hackney.
We noticed much public display about some silly old game of football!
We walked through Victoria Park
and along beside the canal
and thought what fun it might be to live on a canal boat - but only for a short while.
We took in the free available art work on walls
and in galleries
We visited the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green where they do amazing things with chairs
and I found the perfect camera
and Jo found the dressing up box.
We met Ollie our youngest son and ate at Pizza Express.
and while waiting for the bus back to Hackney we took in the sights.
            And finally we came to Norfolk and stayed not far from Acle to celebrate a friends birthday
This is a game that men do. They're good at hanging up lighting and bunting
and organising the barbecue!
  They did a brilliant job. It was just necessary to censor these pictures a little!
And we waited for the party to begin.
I loved being away. I loved seeing family and friends. I took Jo and we spent the day in Harrow with my aunt and uncle. I just haven't got photos of everything we did and I know I haven't mentioned everyone we saw. I didn't 'bang on' as Jo says I do about the Highlands all of the time. I really appreciated the places we went to and I love the bigness and busyness and colour of London with all it has to offer  - but, it wasn't half nice to come back home!

Thursday 3 June 2010

There and back again

 The Ullapool News described the weather we've been having recently as 'Claggy!' While not knowing precisely what this means I feels it sums up the weather perfectly! It's been claggy, muggy and extremely low cloudy. It's also been warm and sunny, a complete mix!
We are traveling south tomorrow for two weeks and while I'm really looking forward to seeing family and friends I don't want to leave here.
The gorse is out, banks of yellow flowers grow by the lochside; it smells of coconut!
 Our overgrown rather chaotic garden without any assistance from us, has thrown up a cacophony of colour.  In amongst the rushes (yes, they're still there!) and bracken and nettles and thistles and dock leaves there is a wealth of buttercups daisies, bluebells, clover, foxgloves, yellow poppies, primroses, speedwell and more I can't identify.
It doesn't get dark here in the evening until around 11pm and will carry on getting lighter and lighter in the evenings until the longest day on 21st June. It's possible to sit and read a book or newspaper late into the night, there is no need to switch a light on. I do love it. I think May and June are perhaps my favourite months here, although autumn is beautiful too and even winter has its good side!
I'm looking forward to coming home again before I've even left!
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