Friday, July 06, 2007

Fingal's Cave

The Isle of Staffa
The climb from the boat
Some Puffins came to meet me

Difficult to believe that these strange shaped rocks have occured naturally

Our Boat

Monday, 18th June

My favourite day: I met the puffins. Met really applying here as they settled very close - just a couple of feet from me. Apparently they like it when humans arrive because we keep the Black Back Gulls away, enabling the puffins to come in to land for a while. We also saw some wild dolphins, which I found very moving. Lovely to see them swimming around like this (so much better than seeing them held captive at The Animal Kingdom in Florida, whic was where I last saw them). We also saw a mother seal and her pup on the way.
The cave was pretty spectacular also - we got to walk right inside it. Even more spectacular when you think that this and the Devil's Causeway in Ireland are the only two places in the world where rock formations like this can be seen.
I enjoyed the actual boat ride. We sat right at the back up near the edge. I had to hold on to the side with one hand and Marcus on the other as we rocked from side to side - great fun!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Torosay Castle & Moy Stone Circle

Torosay Castle & Gardens

Stone circle at Moy
Tormore Beach

Monday, 18th June

Not such a good day as my head was worse. Main problem is that we under estimating how long driving will take owing to single-track roads and having to stop every few minutes at passing places. So travelling onto Moy from Torosay perhaps wasn't a good idea; it is making Marcus very tired.

Gardens at Torosay very pretty and there was a friendly atmosphere throughout the castle. We had tea and cake on the terrace where a number of chaffinches came along to share. They are more assertive than the ones at Watendlath.

We liked the stones - again, there is a friendly atmosphere here that we are noticing more and more; it starts with the people but seems to leak out into the landscape.

Moy Castle a bit of a disappointment as it was covered in scaffolding but the bay was nice - I think we were a bit too tired to appreciate it fully at that point.
Went a walk over the headland in the evening and discovered Tormore Beach, a beautiful, quiet, secluded place.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Nunnery Ruins

Abbey Cloisters
The North Beach

Sunday, 17th June

Caravan wonderful, tucked away in the back of Seaview's garden. There is a beach just outside the house and a lovely view of Iona, which is only five minutes away by a small ferry. We have a shop one side of us and a pub the other, so there is everything we need.

Have headache but it hasn't stopped me enjoying seeing this truly magical isle for the first time.

I was impressed with the modern artwork in the cloisters in the Abbey and how the old arcitecture lends itself to twentieth century living. But there was a service going on when we arrived and I'm afraid as soon as the praying started my stomach turned over. Preferred the ruins of the old Nunnery where a garden had been planted

Up Dun I next and then onto the Northern Beach, with it's white, white sand and blue sea. There were about six couples on the beach and we were told that this is crowded for summer!

On the way back I bumped into Phillip Macloud Coupe, head of the Lakes Artists' Society. A wonderful gentleman that I had the privilege of modelling for some years ago.

Off To Mull

Loch Lomand
The Ferry arriving at Oban
Saturday, 16th June
Off to the Isle of Mull for a quiet week away. Hoping to see white beaches, wild flowers and some puffins.
Am very excited, especially as the ferry came in. Marcus kept saying that the island looked just like the one in, 'Lost', with the masts on a hill in the middle.
Stopped off at Loch Lomand for a few minutes.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The not so Great Mell Fell walk

A Red Squirrel says hello
Spooky Trees on Great Mell

Monday, 11th June
Which was entirely my fault because I did all the things I always tell anyone who is going walking on the fells not to do; I took no waterproofs, no food, no compass and no map. Why would I need these things I thought as I was only going a wee walk up an extremely wee hill?
Actually Great Mell was an enchanting place (once I reached the top and found myself on a half decent path. A quiet, magical place where one got the distinct impression that the spirit of the place was one that was not used to being disturbed. Dark, spooky; a place where sorcery has once been practiced.
I think I would have appreciated it more had I not turned onto the side path which circumvates the hill and, as a result, been forced to climb up the steep North face, instead of the gentler - and drier - Western flant. Will know better for next time.


Ricky outside his dance studio
(Compare this with the one of him arriving last September)

Sunday, 10th June
After having spent two days in bed with a migraine, finally getting to visit my son in York was truly wonderful. We had originally planned to go on Friday but I was too ill. I was so pleased Ricky was not working today.
Had lunch by ourselves as Ricky overslept! Found our way to where he lived and then walked round the shops/market. I think his University is much more inspirational than the concrete slabs of Lancaster (sorry, but it has to be said).
Leaving my son and bringing home someone else's seemed - odd. (We picked up Ross for Jane).

Friday, June 08, 2007

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Appreciating one of Andy's Sheepfolds
Inside the Sky Space
Posing in a Henry Moore. By Bittern Lake
An amazing field of poppies backs a Henry Moore
(I called it Alien Girraffes)!
Monday, 4th June - My Surprise day out
Marcus wanted to take me on a suprise day out and we ended up at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. In particular he wanted to take me to the Andy Goldsworthy exhibition that was featured.
Can't say I was too impressed with his early work: Sheep shit on Snow, for instance did nothing for me at all. I could see the point of the Cow dung window however but it was the installations in the underground gallery that I appreciated the most - liked the Stone Room in particular.
Have to admit I still like his outdoor art; the leaves pinned together and the temporary dams that self-destruct after just a short while. I like the idea of nature taking back what belongs to Her, as if She is merely lending herself to the artist for the moment only. Long enough for us to appreciate her finer qualities before she becomes Herself again. Yes, I love that.

Marcus liked the Sky Space by James Turrell. The building reminded me of an Egyptian temple: Abu Simbell or Edfu, I thought: a Temple to the Sky, now there's a thought.

Keswick Beer Festival

Saturday, 2nd June

Busy one this as we were also invited to Henri's (stable manager at Calvert Trust) party as well. Had to sort of jostle between the two although to be fair, I'm not much into alcohol, especially during the afternoon when I've got a headache. It was o.k. though; very much helped by the weather, which was warm.

On the other hand, Henri had my favourite wine, home-made burgers made by Kay and a chocolate fountain - now if Ihad to be honest. . .

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Wastwater Screes

Yewbarrow, Kirk Fell and Great Gable from the top of Whin Rigg
Looking down into Wasdale Head
Burnmoor Tarn - Bothy on the far right bank

Saturday, 26th June
Didn't see much of the Screes actually on this walk as I was walking on top of them. Started from Eskdale, walking through Miterdale forest onto Irton Fell and then across the summits of Whin Rigg and Illgill Head. Walked past Burnmoor Tarn, which I have never seen before. And ooh I would like to stay at the Bothy on the edge of it. I think it is probably more remote than Skiddaw House - just sitting there on the edge of the tarn with the flank of Scafell at its side.
The walk back down the valley was - long. So was the drive - thought I would fall asleep, especiall in the forty-mile-an-hour zone going through Whitehaven.
Lovely walk though and wonderful weather. I am enjoying exploring parts of the Lake District I haven't seen before.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Calvert Trust Training Day

A very nervous-looking me at the beginning of the ride.

Wednesday, 23rd May
Today we learnt how to drive a horse-drawn trap. Great fun. Makes the ordinary tacking-up of the horses appear so much more simpler now!