The day started with a bang. Mel took one look at me first thing and was bent double ~ she said that l looked like Frodo Baggins from the movie Lord of the Rings. Arghh- l looked in the mirror and couldn’t stop laughing myself. That is the last time l go to sleep with wet hair!!!
Great start ☺
Sam and l travelled with G. to Rothesay on the Isle of Bute again today. I have written about the Isle of Bute and Rothesay before, you can read the older posts here if you fancy.
To be able to drive to work in the west of Scotland as we did today is a wonder and delight. Through forest, along twisting glens wrapped in towering peaks, lochs opening out with islets and castles. Waterfalls tumbling down mountains topped in mist. Scenery with real attitude to take your breath away. And not forgetting the local wildlife not difficult to see.
As we rounded the bend before Loch Long a red squirrel looped across the road in front of the car and then scooted straight up the embankment ~ just a wee thing it was. The Red is smaller than the larger and more aggressive Grey squirrel which has driven the Red mostly out of England. So to see this wee guy made me smile. Our local area has large areas of mixed conifer/deciduous forest, which the Red squirrels like. They eat the Pine cones as well as fungi, shoots, fruits etc.
LEFT PAINTING: Autumn Pheasants by Archibald Thorburn (1860 - 1935)
Further along the road, we had our usual ‘run-in’ with the pheasants ~ the most silly birds l know- always timing a run just in front of the car instead of out of the way!
We saw lots of sheep on the roadside before Colintraive and the ferry~ around here sheep are allowed graze on the roadsides! Locals get used to that but G. said the problem in the summer is that the sheep enjoy lying on the warm cosy tarmac. The only hazard apart from the obvious (cars) is the fact that in the hot midday sun the tarmac surface softens as they lie on it. When it later cools and they try to shift - their woolly bums stay stuck to the tar – wriggling sheep stuckdown - LOL.
On the way home a very large bird swooped down from the hills near Glenlean, flew low in front of us- wonderful! G. and l are still debating as to whether it was a Golden Eagle or not.
In Rothesay town Sam and l did some shopping. l always enjoy going around the second hand shops and got a bargain today - two old china tureens with lids and no chips (or fish:). They have a bishop marking underneath but l’m still not sure where they were made.
On the way home G. and l had a giggle at all the waves we could try out on the other motorists as we passed. My theory on waves here.
The day was really enjoyable apart from one incident on the way home. An older gent with a wild eyed expression came flying around one of the bends far too fast- his passengers (ladies) looked terrified and so were we! Luckily we had been taking it easy and so he had a bit more time to break however things could have been a lot worse.
Sam slept most of the way back- lots of fresh air had made him tired- me too. We had done a few hours of shopping first thing and then had gone into the castle for a visit- it had been years since l had been inside Rothesay castle. Sam and l climbed twisting staircases, climbed down vertical ladders into the dungeons (a tight squeeze) and along the ramparts! The great hall was quite grand and l enjoyed the chapel area too. You could see where the floor beams had been, the wonderful shapes of the windows, piscina etc. Rothesay castle is one of the oldest in Scotland and quite unusual with its rounded shape. Lots of fighting between the Scots and Norsemen went on here (early 1200’s). Lots of information on Rothesay castle here if you’re interested. l took so many photos but cannot upload them all so will pick the better ones for today.
After that Sam and l headed up High St. to St. Mary’s Chapel. It was the medieval parish church of Rothesay, that served as a cathedral of the Isles in the 17th century. I will post more on that later - plenty enough for now.
PISCINA: A basin with a drain-hole for washing sacred vessels, usually set in a small niche in the chancel.
Photos of red squirrel, pheasants and sheep on road borrowed from Google.