Posts Tagged ‘scotland’
Last time on “Amber Over-Dresses in a Slightly Different Location”, Terry and I had checked into Dunkeld House Hotel and were all ready to start relaxing. The hotel gives you lots of different ways in which to do this: there’s a pool and spa, there are bars and a restaurant, you can go quad biking or off-road driving… that kind of thing.
For us, though, the main attraction of a country house hotel is, well, the country, and Dunkeld House has a LOT of that to offer. The hotel sits on the banks of the River Tay, and is surrounded by the famous Birnam Wood, which Shakespeare aficionados will know from its role in MacBeth. The estate is spread over 280 acres, and we wanted to explore at least a little bit of it while we had the chance, so I did a quick change, and we headed out.
My best advice to anyone planning on visiting Scotland: assume that it will be cold and wet, and pack accordingly. And, you know, it might NOT be cold and wet. We have a saying here that if you don’t like the weather, you just need to wait 15 minutes and it’ll change, so you never know, it might even be warm and dry. Let’s face it, though: the most likely scenario is that it’ll be cold and wet, which is why I may have forgotten to pack my toothbrush, but I DID remember to throw my Hunter boots in the car before we left. It was a rare moment of sense for me, and I have to admit, I felt quite smug as we left the hotel and even more smug when we ended up walking much further than we’d anticipated, reaching the nearby village of Dunkeld, turning back towards the hotel when we realised neither of us had brought any cash with us, and then getting almost halfway back when Terry all of a sudden discovered that his wallet had been in his jacket pocket the whole time. D’oh!
We still had some time to kill before dinner, and we were both feeling hungry by that point, so we headed back to the village AGAIN and had some lunch in a little beer garden with a gorgeous view, which I obviously didn’t bother to photograph, because did I mention we were in a beer garden? (I actually had coffee rather than beer, but still…)
By the time we got back to the hotel we’d done a LOT of walking in those woods, but we’d still only managed to see a tiny part of the estate. What we did see, however, we really loved: the woods at Dunkeld are seriously scenic (we walked by the river most of the time, which was nice and relaxing), and also seriously old. You get a real sense of history walking underneath the branches of the ancient trees, and, the grounds of the hotel are dotted with lots of cool little touches, like the fairytale glade and face-like grotto in the photos above. It was definitely one of the nicest woodland walks we’ve done, and, as an added bonus, all that walking helped us work up a good appetite for dinner, too. Which, coincidentally, will be the subject of tomorrow’s post…
[Trousers: H&M// Jacket: New Look (2011) // Sweater: H&M // Boots: Hunter c/o Sarenza]
[Disclosure: We stayed at Dunkeld House compliments of Hilton Hotels. All opinions are my own.]
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[Skirt: Tibi*// Shirt: George Kids // Scarf: Primark // Sunglasses: eBay // Shoes: Studio TMLS c/o Sarenza // Backdrop: Dunkeld House Hotel c/o Hilton Hotels]
This past weekend, Terry and I were lucky enough to be the guests of Hilton Hotels, at their beautiful Dunkeld House, in Perthshire. Which, OK, isn’t quite the “Highland Fling” of my title, but meh, close enough.
Perthshire is an area we’ve visited a few times in the last couple of years, and it’s a particularly beautiful part of the country, which is only about a 90 minute drive from home, so we were more than happy to be able to see a little bit more of the area. We’ve previously visited Glamis Castle and Blair Castle, but we’d never been to Dunkeld, and we were both instantly charmed by it: it’s one of those picture perfect little villages, from which you could remove the cars and other modern touches and feel like you were on the set of a period drama or something.
I could say the same of Dunkeld House itself, actually. It’s one of those old country houses, set on its own rambling estate, and the giant stone archway you drive under to get to it provides a good clue as to what you’re in for, which is basically a Downton Abbey-meets-Monarch of the Glen” kind of experience. Awesome, right?
Unfortunately, our visit was a fleeting one, so we didn’t have time to check out the pool and spa (This was probably just as well, because Terry couldn’t find his swimming trunks before we left, and it wasn’t exactly a “swim in your underwear” kind of joint…), but we did take full advantage of the opportunity to just relax and switch our heads off for a while. Well, Terry did. My head is almost ALWAYS switched off, as you know, but the fact is, we’ve had a kind of rough start to the year, for one reason and another, and the past few weeks have been particularly stressful, so the chance to just relax and not worry about anything for a while couldn’t have come at a better time. It took me around an hour to get used to the fact that I was actually allowed to use the towels in the bathroom, and to ruffle up the bedsheets if I wanted to (I was joking about the “basket of kittens” thing in my last post – well, sort of – but our house is currently being kept in a constant state of readiness for viewers, which means our bathroom towels are of the “just for show” variety, and when we want to actually dry ourselves, we just use an old rag or something…) (I’m joking, we don’t use the bathroom at all, for fear of messing it up. And we sleep in the car now.), but after that it was all good.
As soon as we checked in, I unpacked my overnight bag, so I could find out which essential items I’d forgotten THIS TIME. There were three missing items on this trip, namely:
1. My toothbrush
2. Its close friend and partner, the toothpaste
3. That top that was a pivotal part of the outfit I’d planned for Sunday, and the absence of which is the reason you will only be subjected to three sets of outfit photos rather than four from this trip. Because yes, I managed to change three times in less than 24 hours. You didn’t really expect any less from me, did you?
Once I’d established what I’d forgotten I called down to reception. “Hi!” I said, “It’s the over-dressed redhead who just checked in. You couldn’t send me up a couple of toothbrushes [Terry had forgotten his, too. We suck at packing, seriously.], some toothpaste, and also a black bardot style top, kinda 50s-inspired, would look great with a kicky little silk scarf? You know the kind of thing? Thanks!”
And you know, not five minutes later, someone was at the door with the two toothbrushes and toothpaste. They couldn’t help with the top, but that’s because I didn’t actually say that last bit, obviously. In fact, I didn’t say anything at all: I made Terry phone them instead. I don’t DO phones.
With that little bit of business out of the way, then, we were ready to start with the relaxin’. But that, my friends, is another story for another day, so you’re going to have to tune in later this week for the next thrilling instalment of What Amber Did That One Time She Went to Dunkeld. Assuming you can stand the suspense, obviously…
P.S. If you CAN stand the suspense and stick with me through another couple of posts, I promise to make it worth your while, by giving away a £100 Hilton Hotels voucher on Friday. Deal?
[Disclosure: We stayed at Dunkeld House compliments of Hilton Hotels. All opinions and random acts of stupidity are my own.]
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As I mentioned in my last post, Terry and I decided to take a couple of days off last week to try and take advantage of the drier-than-usual weather (That turned out to be a wise decision, too: I’m typing this on Sunday morning, and I’m fairly sure that’s a Biblical-style rainstorm I can hear drumming against the windows…), and on Thursday we headed to Jupiter Artland, near Edinburgh, which, to lazily quote their own website, is “a contemporary sculpture garden”.
Actually, though, that doesn’t quite sum up what Jupiter Artland is. It’s in the grounds of an old mansion house (the owners live in it, so you can’t just rock up for tea and cakes, unfortunately…), and once you’ve parked up and paid (It was about £8 each, but totally worth it), you begin walking along a woodland path, which leads you past various installations, which seemed to me to be right out of one of the horror movies I love so much:
There’s a cage with a giant hole, leading to who knows where. A gun leaning against a tree. A cemetery entered through a narrow door, and with all the names removed from the gravestones. A gang of creepy girls weeping in the woods, their hair obscuring their faces, horror-movie style.
It was absolutely amazing.
Once you’ve strolled through this sinister/beautiful woodland path, however, you emerge into a different kind of dream, this time one filled with the most amazing mounds of earth:
That white thing I’m sitting on in the second-from-top photo? It’s supposed to be a sperm. I was sitting on a sperm. And I only realised after I’d smiled for the camera. Ah, well!
Oh, there are also donkeys:
And a cute little retro caravan/snack bar:
(Yes, we had three cakes. Because we had our invisible friend, Brian, with us, obviously.)
(No, it was because you had to spend more than £10 to be able to pay by card, so we were “forced” to buy another one. Oh, noes!)
There’s a whole more more, too, including a cave in the ground, made entirely out of amethyst:
Unfortunately, it was really hard to do justice to the place on film, which is why I’ve shown you more photos of the snack bar than of the actual artworks. You’ll just have to take my word for how awesome it is, though: or, better still, pay a visit yourself if you’re ever in the area.
Trust me, it’s worth it.
[Capri pants: ASOS // tank top: River Island // shoes: gift from my parents // glasses: eBay // cardigan: shop in Orlando about 8 years ago // Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs c/o Shopbop]
Back in the days when I used to dream about one day being self-employed, I thought the best thing about it would be having the flexibility to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I imagined there would be lots of spontaneous day trips, for instance: times when I woke up and thought, “Hmm, don’t really feel like working today: I think I’ll have the day off!” I also thought that my house would always be immaculate because of all of the extra time I’d have to clean, and that I would spend rainy days curled up by the open fire with a book, rather than chained to my desk, working.
I was pretty stupid, huh? Especially given that we don’t even have an open fire.
The fact is that in the five (!) years I’ve officially been “my own boss”, I’ve hardly ever taken an inpromptu day off just because I felt like it. (And the house is never ”immaculate”, because, well, we’re in it all the time, making a mess. Also: Rubin.) As my fellow self-employed people will testify, working for yourself is one long guilt-trip, in which you’re scared to take any time off AT ALL, because you know that if you do, your business will instantly fail, and you will be sent to the workhouse to eat gruel and wear rags. Or something like that, anyway.
This summer, though, the non-stop rain (hey, did I mention that we’ve had non-stop rain?) and generally gloomy weather has prompted us to change the way we work a little: to be more flexible, so that when the sun does decide to peek out from behind the clouds for a few minutes, we can just drop everything and run outside to bask in it. And I mean that literally: we’ve had so little sun over the past month that the few times it HAS come out, Terry and I have both downed tools and run outside, to sit at our little picnic bench (HA!) and gaze up at the sky, like a couple of country bumpkins seeing our first ever horseless carriage.
With all of this in mind, then, when the weather forecast informed us that this Wednesday would probably be the only dry day this week, and might even be sunny, we knew we had to take full advantage of it. Otherwise we would probably get rickets and die.
We looked forward to Wednesday the way most of you look forward to Christmas. We worked extra hard on Monday and Tuesday, so we could take the day off, and we talked excitedly about what it might be like, this “sun” we had heard so much about. I barely slept on Tuesday night, I was so excited.
Finally, the blessed day came. We woke up on Wednesday morning and… it wasn’t actually that sunny. Oh.
Undeterred, we got ready, and headed off on our planned adventure to Cramond Island, which is an island (the name kinda gives it away, doesn’t it?) in the Firth of Forth, near Edinburgh. It’s one of those islands you can reach via a causeway during low tide, so you get that slightly eerie feeling off walking along the sea bed, and knowing that in a few hours time the path you’re walking on will be under several feet of water, and you’ll possibly be stranded on an island which has nothing on it but an old ruined cottage and some World War 2 fortifications (also ruined).
And actually, that would’ve made for a much more exciting blog post, so let me just quickly lower your expectations by telling you that no, it didn’t happen. Instead we had a little picnic, and enjoyed the amazing views of Edinburgh and the Forth, while wandering around the island, which is possibly the most “Famous Five” kind of place I’ve ever been. Seriously, they would have LOVED it there. They would have camped out overnight, and had a “ripping” adventure, featuring smugglers and circus folk, and at least one unnaturally intelligent animal. And then they would’ve gone home to a huge cream tea, with potted meat sandwiches. It would’ve been ace.
As for us, we finished our sandwiches, packed up, and headed back across the causeway and into Edinburgh, where we engaged in the not particularly adventurous, but still very enjoyable, activities of “drooling at the shoes in Harvey Nichols” and “having dinner at Jamie’s Italian“. It was a good day. It was a day we will no doubt look back on and describe as “summer 2012″. And not a single dot was worn that day…
(P.S. Yes, I wore low wedges and stood briefly on sand and OMGROCKS. And the world did not end, and nothing bad happened, because they’re really comfortable and easy to walk in…)
[Dress: River Island (old) // Cardigan: H&M (new, but couldn't find it on the website) // brooch: New Look (old) // Shoes: Carvela 'Australia' c/o Sarenza]
Over the weekend, Terry and I noticed that we were starting to get some breaks in the non-stop downpour we’ve been experiencing for the past few
weeks months. At first we were afraid. What did it mean, this end to the rain? What was that bright light in the sky that would appear for a few, fleeting seconds, and then be switched off, plunging us once again into miserable darkness?
Well, we waited it out for a while, not trusting the dry spell to continue, but after a few hours without any sign of rain, we decided to chance our luck, and attempt one of our favourite summertime activities: exploring old houses and, well, drinking champagne. So off we went to Hopetoun House, which is an old mansion house which also serves high tea: score!
Unfortunately for me, although the weather was dry and warm(ish), it was also very, very windy. What’s the LAST thing you should wear on a windy day, folks? That’s right: a big-skirted dress with lots and lots of fabric, which will fly up at the slightest breeze.
So, naturally, that’s what I wore.
The dress in question is from River Island, and had actually been on my “to be eBayed” pile up until last week, when I decided to go through said pile and try a few of the things on before selling them/donating them. So I did that, and then… I put all of them back in my wardrobe again. Whoops.
It was only as I stepped out of the car, and immediately flashed two innocent bystanders, that I remembered WHY I had decided to part ways with this dress. Remember this post? The one where I flashed a bunch of people while wearing a big-skirted dress? THIS was that dress. And now it has struck again.
Obviously the dress has a plan. And obviously it’s a plan which mostly revolves around forcing me to flash my underwear as many times as possible. Actually, scratch that: the plan doesn’t revolve around that. That IS the plan. It’s simple, yet powerful in its ability to cause the maximum amount of humiliation in the shortest amount of time. The two people I flashed in the car park, for instance? Got to see my underwear twice. Because first the dress flew up at the front, then, as soon as I grabbed it and pulled it down, it instantly – INSTANTLY – flew up at the back. Mortified.
At least the house was pretty, though.
(Yes, we took too many photos. The place was just too picturesque not to. “It must be nice in the summer,” I said to Terry at one point. He had to remind me that this actually IS “summer”, and not Autumn, which is what it felt like…)
(New Look dress (with belt worn as headband), Charlotte Russe shoes, Gucci sunglasses)
Yup, I’m STILL talking about last weekend, and how sunny it was, and how awesome it was that it was sunny, and hey, did I ever mention that I like the sun? I did? OK, let’s talk about the clothes, instead…
I got this dress in New Look a few years ago now. It has the distinction of being what I’m pretty sure is the only dress New Look have ever made which isn’t approximately butt-length. It’s certainly the only dress I’ve ever bought from them, because all the rest are either a) so short I couldn’t even sneeze in them without worrying about flashing my knickers, or b) so high waisted that the waistline hits somewhere just under my armpits: not a good look.
(OK, that last point isn’t actually their fault: it’s because of my freakishly long torso, which means that almost all dresses are empire line on me. God, I HATE empire lines.)
What’s interesting about this dress, though (and by “interesting”, I mean, “not really, but it’s not like I have anything else to talk about right now”) is that when I bought it, I was still right at the very start of my dress obsession, and basically wearing a uniform of jeans and a top every single day in life. So each time I wore this dress (which actually wasn’t all that often, on account of how scared I was of being “different”), I felt like I was doing something really brave and revolutionary: wearing a DRESS, while all around me, people were wearing JEANS, by God. I felt a bit like Che Guevara or something. I expect one day people will sing songs about me around campfires and stuff, only not really, because seriously, when I look back now and think that just a few years ago a simple sundress was a huge departure for me, it just makes me laugh. If only my (slightly) younger self could see the inside of her closet now…
In other news: swans!
(This photo makes me laugh so hard. Not because my mum and I ARE laughing in it -as is Rubin, actually – but because my dad is so resolutely NOT. LAUGHING. He’s all, “GOD, lookit them! Why are they laughing? Why am I with these lunatics? Humbug!”)
Anyway, my closet may have changed since this dress was purchased, but the dress itself is still going strong, and for its latest adventure, I wore it on a day out to Lanark Loch with Terry and my parents. And Rubin, of course, who’d had a haircut by that point. (I feel I should point out that he DOES still have a tail, even although you can’t see it in the photo above…) Luckily, Terry had thought to check the weather report the night before, and we’d discovered that it was to be about 10 degrees warmer there than it would be on the east coast, and that was good enough for us, so off we went. Honestly, I’d have gone to Mordor if I thought it would have slightly better weather, I’m not even joking.
Aaaaand I think I’m finally done re-capping my weekend. Just in time for the NEXT one. Don’t worry, though: today is officially my last day of work before my holiday, but it turns out we’re actually leaving a day earlier than I thought (I just found this out last week. My parents and Terry all read my blog post in which I mentioned spending next Friday packing, and not one of them thought to tell me that if I did that, I’d be left behind. Which makes me wonder if they were trying to intentionally leave me behind, hmmm?) and we also have our friends’ wedding to go to next week, so I’ll probably have limited time for blogging. Then again, I might just procrastinate to the point where I spend ALL my time blogging, and have to pack my suitcase at the last possible second again. You’ll just have to wait and see…
This weekend, I caught two separate people doing a McNaughty.
I also had a really lovely day out with my family, so I’m going to show you the photos from that first, and then those of you who feel like listening to me rant for a few thousand words can come back a bit later in the week for that one: sound fair?
So, when Terry and I were on our honeymoon, we were driving around aimlessly one day, when we discovered a stretch of beach which was right next to the airport runway, and I mean RIGHT NEXT TO IT. As in, the planes would fly over your head, and then two seconds later, they’d have landed. As in, you could see the whites of the pilot’s eyes as they flew overhead. It. Was. Terrifying.
Well, Terry and I have always wanted to scare the crap out of ourselves in the same way again, so on Sunday we drove to our local airport to try to recreate the experience, and we took my parents with us so they could be scared silly by giant aircraft flying over their heads, too.
Yes, I am wearing a crop top. I’ve actually had this top for about ten years now, and have considered getting rid of it numerous times, but something held me back: something that perhaps knew that one day I would buy this red skirt in the River Island sale and suddenly want to wear a crop top with it.
We actually couldn’t quite recreate the experience we’d had on holiday. Where we were standing was probably a good half mile from the end of the runway, so although the planes were pretty low, they weren’t quite as close as they had been in Spain. It was still pretty amazing, though. If you like really loud noises and feeling like you’re about to die, I recommend it.
Once we’d had our fill of scary aircraft, we headed into the countryside nearby for a walk:
We, er, took quite a few photos. Also, Terry wore a red shirt to match my skirt. We’re very matchy-matchy that way*.
(*He didn’t. My dad did, though.)
Then we made the short drive to Crammond, and had lunch sitting outside in the sun, next to the river.
We had lashings and lashings of ginger beer. OK, we had one can of ginger beer between four of us. And my dad drunk most of it. The Famous Five would have totally approved, though. Just before we started eating, my mum reached into her bag and produced a bottle of handwash and some wipes. “I brought these,” she said, “Because I knew Amber would try to touch any furry animal that happened to cross her path.”
And she was right:
(The furry animal in the second picture is mine, of course.) It’s funny: over the course of the day, we must’ve seen a few dozen dogs, at least. Rubin didn’t show the slightest interest in any of them… until we met these two Bichons at Crammond. And it’s almost like they KNEW they’d met one of their own. We actually had to drag Rubin away from them, and the other two dogs stood looking longingly after him as we went. Maybe we should get him a friend?
(No! We are NOT getting Rubin a “friend”. No matter how much I might secretly want one. Every time that thought comes into my head I will just think about that one time Rubin ate my favourite pair of shoes when he was a puppy. And that other time he ate my SECOND favourite pair of shoes. Also that time he dug up a shrub and brought it into the house. Oh, and let’s not forget the time he escaped from the car IN A PETROL STATION, and had to be rounded up by a team of truckers. NO. PUPPIES.)
Anyway. I was sad to come home at the end of the day. I really love these summer days we occasionally (very occasionally) get here. It makes me feel like I’m on holiday again, and I don’t want it to end.
Roll on next weekend. And please, please be sunny…
This weekend, Terry and I decided to take up “swinging”. Well, you know, we’d been hearing a lot about it, we thought we might as well give it a go…
And honestly, now that we’ve tried it, I just don’t get what the fuss was about. I mean, people act like swinging is all controversial, but it’s brilliant!
Terry is particularly good at it:
We did our swinging at Traquair House, in the Borders:
We look like we’re about to move in here, no? We didn’t, though: it was built in the 12th century and, you know, I require better heating than that. Imagine what it must be like when it snows!
Rubin DID get a bit “King of the Castle” about it, though:
This was another double-bagging for Terry and I, and because we’ve seen round the house before, we just stuck to the grounds this time, so the wolf could come too.
Here I am in the maze:
I was dancing like Lady Gaga. As you do.
And here I am in front of Rosslyn Castle, which webagged on the way to Traquair (or double-bagged, I should say. We really need to widen our net here and stop repeating castles…):
Yes, it is next to the famous chapel of the same name. No, we didn’t go in, because we’ve bagged the chapel before, and there were eleventy-one people all queuing outside it. Also, the castle is better, even although it’s ruined. On the way there, Terry discovered an American woman lying in front of one of the walls, as if dead. He started to move towards her to make sure she was OK, whereupon she jumped up, introduced herself, and explained that she HAD intended to go to the chapel, but the particular wall she was lying in front of had “called to her”, and she had been drawn to it by its energy.
“Can you feel its energy?” she asked Terry.
Terry could not feel its energy.
I could, though:
Terry’s new friend then went on to tell him that she could also feel HIS energy, and that it was a GOOD energy. So he was happy. It’s nice when strangers are nice, isn’t it?
I, meanwhile, was told by two separate people who passed me that my shoes were RONG and I shouldn’t be wearing them to walk in because they are OMGHIGH. Because that’s the kind of thing that happens to me. Terry has good energy, I just have RONG SHOOZ.
(They are one of the most comfortable pairs of shoes I own, by the way. I walked for miles in them completely comfortably. AND I WILL WEAR THEM AGAIN TO CASTLE BAG, JUST YOU WAIT AND SEE.)
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…
2006: I decided to kill Bryan
2007: I headed off on my honeymoon. Airplanes scared me.
2008: Terry created a giant hole in the kitchen ceiling. I was not amused.
2009: I 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..
So, Autumn hasn’t been as bad as I’d feared. Not so far, anyway. I realise I’ve just cursed it by saying that, and I’ll wake up tomorrow to ten feet of snow, but for now: not so bad. It’s been sunny. It hasn’t been too cold. And so we’ve been taking advantage of the (relatively) nice weather, to do some more touristy stuff. I actually think Autumn is the best time to visit Scotland: the colours are beautiful, the light is kind of dreamy and other-worldly, and you get to wander around the grounds of all of these beautiful old castles and stately homes more or less by yourself. Sometimes we actually feel like it’s OUR HOUSE we’re strolling around, and thank God it isn’t because can you imagine having to cut all that grass?
You don’t get to wander around the inside of the castles by yourself, though. This weekend we went to Blair Castle, which, fact fans, is Scotland’s most visited stately home, and also known as “That Big White One With the Turrets”. It’s a self-guided tour so, in theory, you’re on your own. In reality, though, you will find that The Others are hiding around every corner. When we arrived there appeared to be no one else there, but we’d walk into these totally empty rooms, and the next thing we knew there would be 50 other people all crowding in beside us and wanting to look at the EXACT thing I was looking at, while standing on the EXACT same spot. Bizarre.
Anyway, Blair Castle is wonderful. It’s probably the prettiest castle I’ve been to, and it has beautiful grounds, with ponies and Highland cattle and red squirrels and stuff. Like last weekend, and our trip to Glamis, it was just really good to get away for the day, get some sunshine while we still can, and have ourselves a little mini holiday. It’s exactly what we’ve needed after the stress of the week, basically.
Now we just have to decide where to go NEXT Sunday…