Half Term #2

Landfall in Arran

Landfall in Arran

This post has nothing to do with gardening as I am away.  When I get back I will have more to say on the horticultural front and other family issues.  This is simply my “what I did over the holidays” composition for when I get back to school.  In the meantime I agree with the thoughts on this other blog which gives some idea of why people grow their own veg..been there dug that.

I’m in Arran for half term with the essentials in life for a good stay: my black labrador (to give me company as I trek over the hills) and a set of golf clubs (to accompany me on my walks across one of the seven golf courses on the island).   Only Mrs B is lacking for the perfect scenario but she will join me at the end of the week:  one always needs something to look forward to.

Columnar basalt

Columnar basalt

The weather for days one and two was perfect: clear blue skies and little or no wind. So the emphasis was on outdoor activities.  We arrived at lunchtime on Sunday and went down to the beach at Blackwaterfoot. Ella was reticent at first, being spooked by wagtails amongst the rocks but, once she had paid her nervous respects to a dead seal, she was soon galloping across the sandy beach, chasing oystercatchers (into the water and over her head) and generally checking out all the olfactory diversions that the beach and headland offered.

Yesterday continued bright so we went to Lochranza in the north of the island to walk up the valley behind the distillery. I was planning to get up to Loch na Davie – reputedly the source of the purest water in Scotland – but having got about 2/3 of the way there, I decided it was time to head back and see what the distillery did with all that pure water.  On the way up it was still frozen so I could skip across many of the more boggy parts although Ella managed to find the deep end of an increasing number of squelchy areas on the way back down.

The afternoon was spent in splendid isolation on the golf course at Blackwaterfoot. Ella was sound asleep in the house and there was no one else on the course when I started. Bliss.

Not that it is all entirely easy-going. Today, the weather has turned vile: windy and wet and even the sheltered woodland walk we took was damp and still occasionally very blowy. But it gives me the excuse to stay in and write up my diary (this blog) and get other stuff done.

5th green at Shiskine

5th green at Shiskine

And speaking of writing, I woke up so cold on the first night I was tempted to write a letter to Mrs B along the lines of Robert Falcon Scott (what a middle name that was) “make the boy interested in natural history if you can; it is better than video games”.  But I survived that urge and managed to see some interesting fauna on my walks: a hen harrier that drifted over the car when we driving back from the beach and another pair as we rested near Loch na Davie. And as we neared the distillery on our way back, I turned to see a pair of Golden Eagles just taking flight above where we had walked. It is an image lodged in my mind and – uncoincidentally – embossed on every bottle of Arran whisky.  I had to buy a bottle just to sample what they do with that lovely pure water.

About midlifegardener

Being a PE teacher in an Independent School is increasingly pressurised with collleagues and parents alike offering opinions on how you should be doing your job. So time spent in the garden is essential in maintaining one's persepctive on life, as other skew theirs.
This entry was posted in Gardening Times and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Half Term #2

  1. HUGH BROOKER says:

    Loving the pictures James, glad you and Ella are having a good time! Hughx

  2. What a fabulous half term adventure. A great way to escape the ‘rat race’! Your photograhs of the scenery are stunning! Oh and big thanks for the ‘ping back’.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s