Going back to Mull

Let me set the scene….

Autumn is passing into Winter. Which is lovely, we have crisp, cold mornings, gorgeous sunsets, crunchiness underfoot on our morning walk.

Our renovations are progressing, the old kitchen is gone and the framework for our new extension is progressing well.

Back to that wintry weather…..

The temperature falls below freezing for the first time this year.

This is ok, we have a safety device which cuts off the water supply when this happens, to avoid burst pipes.

This device sits in a cupboard, in the kitchen.  The old kitchen.  Which is no longer there. The cupboard is.  But now it’s now outside the house….

Ooops.

Setting the scene a little bit more. MrS is recuperating from a minor op. Until we can thaw out the frost saver device we have no water in the house. The device also needs new batteries.  Strangely enough the outside tap is working so I busy myself filling buckets and kettles. This cold snap is set to last a few days.

Hmmmm…

A flurry of packing, some phone calls. Off we go.

 

 

It’s dark when we arrive. We settle in have supper and bed down for the night.

Next morning we can see where we are. MrS rests and reads. DogStarke and I explore. Over the next few days MrS gets stronger,  we walk, read, go to the beach. DogS makes friends.

 

 

It’s still cold when we get home. But new batteries, a  hot water bottle and some padding restores the water supply.  We can flush, we can shower. MrS feels better every day.

It’s nice to plan.

It’s good to be home.

But sometimes, spur of the moment is just what you need.

Marina x

We stayed at Treshnish Farm

The beach is Calgary bay.

We travelled to Mull with Calmac Ferries

 

Weekends in Perthshire

I love my home here in Argyll, and one of my favourite things is its coastline, rocky inlets, turquoise seas (ok sometimes grey seas ) but sometimes it’s nice to go inland and enjoy a different type of landscape. That’s what we did this weekend, sneaking away to one of Perthshire’s Big Tree areas.

We’ve had unusually dry and calm weather* so the trees are putting on a great show. First we headed to the lovely town of Aberfeldy, with its shops, cafes, riverside walk and lovely ArtDeco cinema.

 

We had lunch at the dog friendly Habitat cafe, DogS was given a nice big bowl of water but I preferred one of their excellent coffees. And maybe a little something solid…

 

Then it was time to stretch our legs properly so we took a walk around the Birks of Aberfeldy and up to the falls of Moness. We had to keep a tight hold onto DogS as she’d have loved to jump in!

 

 

Our home for the night was the gorgeous Fortingall Hotel which could be the Mary Poppins of the hotel world**. A beautiful  Arts and Crafts building outside, warm and welcoming inside, with calm, comfortable rooms, cosy lounges and a lively bar. Dogs are very welcome and we were delighted with the table set for us in the lounge,  so that DogS could stay with us over dinner.

I think this is a style to which she could become accustomed ….

 

Next day the weather changed, the low cloud and mist shrouding the hills turned into heavy rain. We still enjoyed a drive around Loch Rannoch, a quick visit to another dog friendly cafe and a very wet walk around Pitlochry.

 

 

But if it didn’t rain the countryside wouldn’t be so beautiful, and we were toasty and dry inside our waterproofs.

 

Back home for now with the stove lit.

 

Until next time.

 

Marina x

Useful links:

Aberfeldy tourism website

Fortingall Hotel

Dugs’n’Pubs excellent info. for dog owners

 

*not any longer

**practically, perfect in every way (I might be paraphrasing slightly)

 

Sunny Monday mornings

We have had the most gorgeous Autumn so far. I live in Argyll which is in the west of Scotland, it’s a beautiful area but often wet. Our prevailing wind is from the west so it scoops up moisture from the Atlantic Ocean and  releases it as rain over us. Well, that’s what usually happens.  This year we’ve been enjoying north winds, colder but dryer, giving us a fine show of Autumn colour from our trees.

It’s also meant really lovely walks, which is great because  walking is my favourite sort of exercise.

Funnily enough it’s something which can be easier in the city.  I could identify with Carrie Bradshaw* when she claimed  “…shopping is my cardio”. A day trawling around the shops soon ramps up the step count. Although when I lived in the city I had to commute to work, by car, so walks were too often relegated to the weekend. (MrS had retired and was at home, so he could do the honours with Dogstarke). But on a non work day pretty much anything I needed was within walking distance.

It’s not the same here. Our shop is a walkable distance but a round trip is five miles so any urgent visit is made by car. Mind you, the pub is  a lot closer….

Open space is a little different too. We have to respect that it’s not just there for our enjoyment. It’s a working landscape.

cows

But on mornings like today there’s nothing quite like a walk along the hill.

It’s beautiful even when it rains,  but for now I’m enjoying the sun.

Marina x

*from HBO “Sex and the City”

Walking beside Loch Lomond

Today it’s wet and windy so I’m hunkered down at home,  wrapped up in warm woolies with DogS curled up on her bed nearby.

fullsizerender

Yesterday was completely different, it was one those gorgeous, crisp Autumn days.

We travelled south for a family visit and on the way stopped off to stretch our legs. A friend had recommended parking at Firkin Point beside Loch Lomond.

The path goes along the route of the old A82, in places we could see the cats eyes and white lines, in others, more alarmingly,  where the road had collapsed into the water.  The road now runs parallel at a slightly higher level above the loch.

It was a lovely walk, traffic free so DogS could search out the sniffs at her own pace, and the path is good so it didn’t matter that we were wearing our city shoes.

 

DogS sampled the water too.

We’d had our refreshments earlier at our favourite stop off in Inveraray*

looking-hopeful-at-brambles

looking hopeful at her namesake cafe

So everyone was happy.  Well almost! If you’re thinking of making a stop be warned, the lavatories are closed until March 2017; we couldn’t wait that long so made a quick visit to Luss, where thankfully the facilities were open**.

And then it was off into the city.

Until next time.

Marina x

*Brambles  of Inveraray, great breakfasts, lunches and baking. Dog friendly.

** 30p charge, there is a change machine.