Thursday, 20 May 2010

Another country

We've had so fleeting a glimpse of Scotland, where Spring, after the hardest winter in a 100 years, is late, sprouting eagerly from the bruised surfaces of meadows, braes and trees rent by the weight of prolonged snow - trees not hardened like those of the greater northern land masses. Now, in kinder weather, the terrain is emerging - green and fresh. We strolled with the romping dogs where I'd waded through thigh deep snow a few months back. Snow still lies on higher ground, but we could walk over rich grass sprinkled with violets, speedwell, campion and daffodil.
We were at Brin Croft with my son and Liz and her fiancé, Matt. After tea Matt suggested "Shall we go to Loch Ness?" With the dogs in the back, he drove us via Dunlichity, past Loch Duntelchaig, to Dores where we strolled along the eastern shore of the Great Glen. Mirror calm. "Do you remember the film you and Amy edited about seven years ago when you were here in the winter? You paddling in the loch stripey stockings," "oh yeah, when I said I'd 'batter' that woman at an Inverness club who wouldn't let us in 'cos we were from Birmingham!" "That tree you swung on has gone now."
Loch Ness: Jess and Lulu
We wandered along a track towards Inverness, then turned for home, Matt taking us back via the outskirts of Inverness. Amid suburban sprawl that now reaches to Essich I missed our way to the Culdulthel Road. Matt turned on his Satnav to get us to Inverarnie. Richard cooked us a supper and later showed his pictures of the wedding to Poppet.
Richard and his grandmother looking at his pictures of the wedding
* * *
Abstracts from this week's Seminar on the History and Culture of the Ionian Islands at the Durrell School of Corfu. And an e-mail to Lin from Corfu:
Alan says we get more strikes and holidays here in Corfu than rainy days in England. This was after he found out that everything would be closed from Thursday through to Tuesday due to strikes and holidays. Luckily, a friend forewarned us so I got our shopping done before everything shut down. Look for pictures of the door tomorrow. Love, Honey

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