Days out from Sheiling BnB, Food, History, Tourism

Enjoying a day out

Even though we escaped the worst of the recent storms and wintry weather we haven’t really travelled very far from home recently. So it was nice to have a little day out yesterday.

We headed south down Loch Fyne to the beautiful Kintyre peninsula. We had a quick stop in Tarbert to stretch our (and Bramble’s) legs and then on along the coast towards Campbeltown.

We stopped short of Campbeltown at Glenbarr where Glenbarr Stores has a  cafe serving delicious locally sourced food, garden centre and farmshop (as well as the Post Office)

 

We even got a look at their lovely B&B rooms, it’s nice to see what other B&Bs are like. It would be a great spot to explore what Kintyre has to offer.

We continued south to Campbeltown where you can find the newly restored Picture House ,  one of the oldest surviving cinemas in the country, next to Campbeltown museum which we’d visited on another trip.  We decide not to indulge our inner Paul Mccartney  by continuing down to the Mull of Kintyre but headed over to the east side taking the sometimes switchback B road to Saddell with its ancient stones and beautiful beach*

We all enjoyed a walk there, but Bramble most of all.

Licky b

Kintyre is a fairly long day out from Sheiling BnB but well worth it;  or maybe spend more of your time exploring beautiful Argyll and take a few days there too.  A road trip to rival the North Coast 500?

 

*park in the village and walk down past Saddell Castle.

Food, Uncategorized

Spring

We might not have a Superstore on Seil but we do have a super store. We go there most days, for our newspaper, eggsjam and other essentials. For the past few months we’ve been trying to make the journey on foot which though admittedly challenging on our more humid days is a much more sociable way to travel.

B at the shops

Bramble waiting outside the shop 

 

The weather has been lovely for the past few days  and it’s brought out a wonderful display of flowers, in gardens and growing wild. I can’t name them all, but here are just a few from this morning’s walk.

And then there are also these cute youngsters

ropped cute lamb

Which did give me qualms about some of the contents of my shopping bag, but it’s all part of the cycle of life, here on Seil.

History, Uncategorized

And the Academy Award goes to …*!

I love finding old pictures of Sheiling, so I was really excited to find it had featured in a movie . I came across this site – Reelstreets which not only lists film locations, but has a clever now and then feature so that you  can view a still from the movie and then an up to date photo. The “now” picture of Sheiling was taken a little while ago too. The tree has been felled and the bushes cut back since it was taken, but the gate and posts are still in place.

The film is The Bridal Path a 1959 movie starring Bill Travers and with a cast including  George Cole, Gordon Jackson and Annette Crosbie. Other scenes were filmed at Ellenabeich, Oban and Castle Stalker. I haven’t seen the movie yet but it is still available, so will be joining the dvd library here.

* The Bridal Path rates a respectable 6.9 on IMDb but it didn’t win Best Picture for 1959. That honour went to a slightly better known and bigger budgeted film,  Ben Hur

History, Tourism, Uncategorized

A gap in the clouds

We’ve been lucky to escape the worst of the winter storms so far but Gertrude and Henry gave us a bit of a buffeting. So it was lovely when the sun peeked out yesterday afternoon and we were able to enjoy a walk more or less upright and without one layer of waterproofs.

sunbeam

oops! need to clean the windows 

 

We climbed up the hill behind the house looked down on the Sound bathed in sunshine.

sound

that’s Sheiling peeking out on on the left hand side

 

Although on our return we crunched through this…

hail on path

hailstones on the path

 

Today dawned brightly and as we needed to make a trip into the town we took Bramble to her favourite beach for a run and then walked over the hill (following the cycle path ) to Dunstaffnage Castle.

castle feb 16

inside Dunstaffnage Castle

I spotted some signs of Spring in the ditches,

frogspawn

it’s frogspawn

 

but Winter will be with us a while yet, there was sleet after lunch. Still it’s beautiful here , whatever the weather.

rainbow

if we didn’t have rain there wouldn’t be rainbows

 

 

History

…red sky morning

We’ve had days of rain as successive Winter storms have battered their way across the country. So far we’ve been lucky and spared the floods seen elsewhere but it is good to enjoy a day without rain, though it’s still very windy and strangely mild for December.

It may portend more storms later but a little bit of sunshine always lifts my spirits so I was probably smiling as I set off with Bramble for our morning walk, and well her mouth is just set for smiling….

P1030454

And I got happier as we walked. Because  I learned another snippet of local history. An out building which I’ve previously thought was a byre turns out to be where coal was delivered to the  island. So could that puffer  delivering coal along Loch Feochan have also delivered coal to Seil?  Did George’s grandfather sail past our house all those years ago?

We can’t ever know for sure but it all helps root us here, making new connections and discovering the old.

History

A little dog named Dobhran*

Our dog Bramble has a Blog, lots of dogs do, and there are many thousands of  #dogsofinstagram  These are not new things though. Pets have been communicating their thoughts for years, predating the internet by decades. Last week we found some letters which a little dachshund called Dobhran* sent to his absent owner.

He's not too good at spelling, but then he's a dog!

He’s not too good at spelling, but then he’s a dog!

Dobhran lived in Jura in the 80s and early 90s. He seems to have been a prolific letter writer and liked to keep his owner in touch with events on Jura while she was away visiting friends and family. He wasn’t the first dachsie to live with the family. Here is one of his predecessors.

Dobhran

We don’t know this dog’s name

Why the interest in these dogs? Well were in Jura last week to remove personal items from a holiday house which is to become a permanent home. And Dobhran’s letters were among those things.  George’s family have strong links with Jura,his gran was born there, so packing up was a little sad. It’s the end of an era.  But we  took away momentos to remind ourselves of all the people who  enjoyed the house over the years.And so I have a new addition to my desk. In memory of Dobhran and his pals.

letter opener

dachshund letter opener

*Dobhran – means otter in Gaelic. See his own comments about spelling!

History

What’s in the box?

In the attic of his Aunt’s house, George found a box. It was bit battered about but sound. A good example of a 19th century pine kist.

kist

These chests were very common in Scotland and had a multitude of uses. They could be simply storage vessels or they might be used to transport a family’s worldly goods as they moved from place to place, hired seasonally to work the land or perhaps to seek a new life overseas, whether voluntary or forced.

It was covered in thick layers of varnish and dark paint but obviously had good potential, so George set about stripping it down. But first it had to be opened and emptied. And so we found. This.

inside the kist

What we found..

Pages from a commemorative edition of the Glasgow Weekly Mail of 1871 marking the engagement of HRH Princess Louise with the Marquess of Lorne, later the Duke of Argyll.

princess Louise

HRH Princess Louise

Why had this been pasted inside the kist? We can only make wild guesses. It must have been decorative it can’t have served any function, it’s not lining there’s too little of it. We don’t even know who put it there.  But suddenly the serious sometimes forbidding looking people in old photos become more familiar. Could those newspaper pages pasted inside a chest be the 19th century versions of the posters of Donny Osmond on my childhood walls or Kim and Justin on Instagram?

bessie and robert paterson

Bessie (Hill) Paterson on left and her husband Robert on right, with their children. The little boy in the sailor suit is George’s grandfather (also George). Bessie and Robert married in 1879. Bessie was 16 in 1871.

It’s fun to imagine and make up stories but it would be even better if the real story or even parts of it had been passed down the years. But it’s too far back, even in a family with long memories. So the  mystery stays in the box.