Saturday, August 18, 2012


Let me start off by introducing "the girlies."

This is Bracken, a sweet and gentle Golden.  Alison calles her "The Walking Stomach" because she loves to eat. 

This is Mollie, a Bearded Collie (we don't see many of this breed in the US.)  She is definitely the "alpha dog" and rules the roost.  She is very intelligent and sweet and loves to be cuddled.  One morning, I was sitting at the kitchen table and, before I knew what was happening, Mollie crawled right up into my lap!  Here she is laying in the "collie corner."

And below is Eilidh (pronounced Ail-lee.)  She is also a beardie but is shaved because her fur gets a bit messy.  She is a hard-wired working girl and loves to play.  She has tons of energy and is very sweet but not in a cuddly way.  Bill tried to tease her but she doesn't have a sense of humor.  At all.

Here are "the girlies" on top of the hill overlooking the steading.  They went with us almost everywhere we went.

On our many walks, we saw many interesting things such as wind farms (this was interesting to Bill...)

The wind turbines are huge!  That's Rod standing at the bottom...

And solar panels everywhere.  For a country that doesn't get that much sun, they certainly have many more of these that I've seen anywhere.

We saw little steps for chickens to get up into their roost.  It wasn't being used for chickens anymore but it was such an interesting feature...

On the morning after we arrived in Scotland, we awoke to the sounds of the next-door neighbors mooing....below is one of the culprits...a highland cow. 

And the troops, taking one of many walks...with Mollie close at Bill's side.  Yup, she could figure out who was the real push-over...

...and another beautiful, renovated stone house complete with it's own wind turbine...

We hiked in a fabulous place called Pressmenan's Woods; it is under the supervision of The Woodland Trust, which is an organization that is restoring the natural wooded habitat that once covered this part of Scotland.  They have done a beautiful job, including special "carvings" in dead trees to make it interesting for the little ones.. 

Here is Rod, Bill and Alison checking out the details.

A day in Dunbar: We went to visit this small fishing village primarily to see the John Muir museum. The town is such a charming and magical place. It is off of the tourist track so it has retained it's authenticity. It has a fort and a castle (in ruins) at the mouth of the harbor.

It was one of the few mornings that we had rain.  It wasn't cold and, I think, it made everything look even more beautiful.  And I love the lobster pots in the foreground...

..and looking back over the harbor back to Dunbar...

Here are pictures of the fort, or maybe this is the castle and we look back at the fort.  Either way, the ruins are absolutely fabulous and we had fun exploring them.

Here we are back in Dunbar visiting the John Muir museum.  They have placed a beautiful statue of him as a little boy; as he would have been when he lived here.

Theyv'e done a fantastic job on the museum.  It was really nice to see all of the places where he went as a child and how nature and the beauty of world inspired him even as a little boy.  He used to play in the ruins in the harbor above and go on walks in the countryside where we also walked. 

We later walked on the shore just west of Dunbar to give the girlies a good we can see Bass Rock.

And, looking the other way, was a beautiful sky and the storm breaking up.

The walkers; and Mollie is right by Bill again.  That little flirt!

And that's all for now...I will post again soon. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Our trip to Scotland

Bill and I made it to Scotland.  Together.  Finally!  It was a much needed get away for both of us. 

We went to visit our dear friends Alison and Rod, who live outside of Edinburgh in a small steading.  A steading is the service buildings on a farm.  Many of these steadings have been converted into homes.  Rod's and Alison's home is gorgeous; solid stone walls of at least 3 feet deep.  A few steps out of their house and you are in beautiful farm country.

We enjoyed many walks through the countryside.  On our first day, we walked from the steading to a small village called Garvald.  On the way, we saw this beautifully restored tower from the 14th century. 

I'm not sure this is readable but it is so interesting!

This was the "potty" for the tower residents.   There are holes that they would sit on and everything would fall through....forget the bows and arrows!  I can't think of a better way to keep people away! 

We were absolutely enthralled with the intricate stonework that was everywhere.  There are stone walls to keep in livestock that are just so amazingly constructed...

The path crossed a little stream that meandered about.

Some of us didn't want to use the bridge...

Garvald is a lovely village in the middle of East Lothian.  There isn't much around it except for large tracts of farmland...

Most of the structures are very old.  You can see by the stonework that this building has been changed.  You can see the windows that have been filled in.

We went to The Garvald Inn, a lovely pub that let's you bring your dogs in and has absolutely fantastic food and atmosphere.

Bill and Rod enjoying the back patio of the pub.

More later....stayed tuned...