Castle Bagging

You know how some people like to “bag” Munros? Um, you probably don’t, do you? I think it’s a Scottish thing. Basically a Munro is a type of mountain: we have a whole bunch of them here, and people like to try to collect the set by climbing each one of them: a process known as “bagging”. I know, it sounded like it was going to be more interesting than that, didn’t it?

Anyway, some people like to “bag” Munros, Terry and I like to “bag” castles, by visiting as many of them as we can. (Our friends Ewen and Gillian are also castle baggers, but we don’t really talk about that because I think they’ve bagged more than us. Dammit!) On Easter Sunday, we decided to “bag” Glamis Castle in Angus, although as we’ve already visited it before, Glamis has technically been “double-bagged” by us now. I’ll stop with the “bagging” thing now, I promise.

I did blog about our last visit to Glamis, but as most of the photos in that post got eaten in  The Disaster of 2009, and also because I’m trying to get back into the habit of treating this site more like the personal journal it was when I started it, here are some more. You’re welcome!

When I “bag” castles, I like to imagine that I actually own them. I had to kill 17 tourists in order to get this one photo of me standing in front of Glamis all Queen-of-the-Castle-like.

These are some flowers. They look like hearts. That’s the extent of my knowledge here, unfortunately.

Glamis is one of my favourite castles, not just because of the history (it was the childhood home of the Queen Mother, is the fictional setting of MacBeth, etc, etc) but also because of the ghosts. As Terry mentioned in his holiday journal last year, I’m a complete sucker for books and movies about mysterious old houses which have a deep, dark, secret: ideally one which involves a ghost. I can’t get enough of the things. Glamis seems to me like just such a place:

Seriously, tell me this place doesn’t look like it has a deadly secret…

Glamis does have a few quite famous ghosts, but we didn’t see any of them. I expect the throngs of tourists scared them away. This is probably a good thing. (Note: I don’t actually really believe in ghosts, I just like reading about them, and scaring myself silly later that night when the house is dark and silent, and there comes a sudden creak on the stairs…)

Speaking of Terry, which I, er, wasn’t really, quite a few of you have told me you’d like to see MOAR TERRY on this site, so here he is:

And here are the rest of the family, trying to ruin my prechus photo opp:

I got them back for it, though. I forced my dad to carry my emergency flats around all day:

And I didn’t even wear them, either.

And that was our Easter Sunday. How was yours?

P.S. A few weeks ago I realised, but totally forgot to mention, that Forever Amber turned 5 years old this March. The blog, I mean, not me, the person. I’m a bit older than that, although you wouldn’t necessarily know it, would you? Anyway, I have this huge(ish) archive of posts just sitting here doing nothing, so I thought it might be amusing to take a look back at what I was doing on this day (or thereabouts) in…

2006I decided to kill Bryan
2007 I headed off on my honeymoon. Airplanes scared me.
2008Terry created a giant hole in the kitchen ceiling. I was not amused.
2009I had a massive rant about “gingerism”
2010:   I… had another  massive rant about “gingerism”.  I am nothing if not predictable. And ginger.

Wow, time passes fast, doesn’t it? That scares me almost as much as the ghosts..


22 Comments

  • Roisin says:

    You look so beautiful! In one of those photos you look like a red-headed Mary Louise Parker (which I do mean as a compliment because, however annoying I find her character in The West Wing, I think she is adorable) I also love castles – currently Dover castle is my favourite, but the grounds aren’t as picturesque!

    My mother-in-law has those same flowers in her garden – she says they are commonly known as ‘Love Lies Bleeding’ – a name almost as beautiful as the flowers themselves.

    • Amber says:

      Ooh, thank you – I don’t watch much TV, so I don’t know who Mary Louise Parker is, but I shall go and have a Google :)
      And yes, that’s a wonderful name for those flowers – so poetic and full of drama!

  • Panthera says:

    Happy 5 year anniversary! Thank you for being awesome!

  • That sure sounds like a very nice hobby! I’d do it, too, but I’m afraid the part spent getting my boyfriend motivated to drive to a castle more would eat the whole weekend up ^^ But I LOVE castles, ever since I was a teen, and I ALWAYS pretended I’d live there (and that is was 1307, but that’s another matter).
    But reading through your text I thought two things: 1. Yes, I as an avid “internetter” had indeed expected something way more R-rated, but I’m glad it’s not. 2. I really can’t imaginge that building to be anyone’s childhood home O_O

    And totally unrelated: I love that dress color on you! And the whole dress and outfit :-D Seriously, it’s perfect!

  • Siel says:

    You and your blog are so awesome!

    Beautiful castle, why don’t we have those in Belgium? :)

  • Bette says:

    Gorgeous pictures – you do look all too at home pretending to be Queen of all you survey! I heard that another name for those flowers is ‘lady in the bath’ – because if you turn them upside down it looks like a lady sitting in her bath!

  • ilexica says:

    I love the pictures! I have a massive thing for ghosty castles, although a lot of the more popular ones just irritate me (Warwick castle is horrendous…).

    Your hair is looking lovely also – suits you.

  • Call me M says:

    Beautiful pictures! I haven’t visited many castles but I’d like to, they seem very interesting.
    Happy 5 year blog anniversary!

  • Holly says:

    In the states those flowers are just called bleeding hearts. They are usually hung in baskets above your head so the flowers dangle down.

  • Kate says:

    I’m just so jealous of your ability to just pop over and visit a castle. What a wonderful privilege. (I mean, have you seen the “castles” in America? Closest thing we have is the Biltmore estate.)

    LOVE your dress BTW. Who designed it?

    Oh, and what Holly said re: bleeding hearts. Love those flowers :-)

    • BWC says:

      I know! Every time I read one of these posts, I want to teleport to a secret, ancient castle. But who am I kidding? There are no secret, ancient castles where I live. :/
      Also, happy fifth birthday, Blog! Belatedly..

  • Amy says:

    My mom, the florist, says that the flowers you saw are “bleeding-heart” or Lamprocapnos spectabilis. “Love Lies Bleeding” is Amaranthus caudatus, a very different flower that is like a tumble of red tassels. I’ve never seen bleeding-heart in a basket, but they have a similar look to some varieties of the Fuchsia plant, which are commonly used in hanging baskets in the US… but I’m not saying bleeding-heart are never used in baskets.

    Cross one know-it-all with hours of following her mother through flower wholesalers and you get one obnoxious comment full of latin. ;) LOVE your green dress with that cardigan and belt.

  • Stacey says:

    If I had castles around me, I’d spend my spare time trying to “bag” them as well. Are they open to go inside, or can you just walk around outside. I’m afraid if I was allowed inside, I’d find a nice hiding spot and stay!

    Also am jealous of your hair. I’ve been wanting to go red for years, buy my hair guy says I’ll never get it back to blonde, and red’s and expensive color to upkeep. You’re lucky it’s natural!

    • Amber says:

      It depends on the place: some of them only allow you into the grounds, but most of them have an indoor tour as well… With this one we had a guided tour of the castle itself first, and then we just wandered around the grounds. They don’t allow photography inside, though, which is why all of the photos are outdoors!

  • Your man is looking goooooooood! not as good as you, you look amaaaaazing! Love the dress and love that you carry around flats, you don’t know how much I ADORE that!! I thought about starting to do that I was feeling like such a deflated failed shoe dive, you made me feel better hehehhe.

    Great pics.

    PS. Where’s the wolf? ;)

    • Amber says:

      Oh yes, I always take flats, although I don’t often have to use them – they’re handy for saving heels from grass and other nasties, though!

      The wolf had to stay at home for this one, because we did a tour of the inside of the castle too and they don’t allow wolves – probably a good thing: I just know Rubin would’ve viewed it as a very old and expensive toilet for him!

  • Karin says:

    Beautiful castle! We got some of them in Sweden too, but Scotland is really a dream for me to visit.
    We call those flowers Löjtnantshjärta, or Lieutenants Heart. Bleeding heart sounds a lot mot exciting…

  • Leigh says:

    You look like a Disney princess (in a good way, though) in that picture where you’re sitting on the fence.

    Still coveting all those castles. I will swap you one month of warm weather for one castle. Deal?

  • Plami says:

    Lovely! You look stunning wearing green!!! I love your beautiful hair!!!

    XoXo
    Plami

    http://fashion-thrill.blogspot.com/

  • Ros says:

    I love the green dress – where is it from!!??

  • Caroline says:

    Ooooh – nice dress! (I’d forgotten that dress – guess what I’ll be digging out this week!)

    We too like castles, but also, abbeys. And ruins. Traquair and Glamis are on the list for our next visit north. (Also, Threave, and half a dozen towers like Smailholm, and The Hermitage, which is apparently terrifying!)

    And that thing you do trying to take photos that give the impression you own the place – Dapper laughs at me for that. Except when it requires standing still for 20 mins while annoying and oblivious tourist types take their time getting out of shot – then he kinda growls instead…

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