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.
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.
We might not have a Superstore on Seil but we do have a super store. We go there most days, for our newspaper, eggs, jam 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.
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.
the first bluebell
and the last of the
and in gardens
And then there are also these cute youngsters
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.
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
I can’t promise weather like this……
Or the prince/princess of your dreams….
But I can promise……..
A comfortable bed….
……..a delicious breakfast
….. a movie to share..
And perhaps a little extra.
So don’t be shy, give it a try (As I might have “sung” last week )
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.
oops! need to clean the windows
We climbed up the hill behind the house looked down on the Sound bathed in sunshine.
that’s Sheiling peeking out on on the left hand side
Although on our return we crunched through this…
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.
inside Dunstaffnage Castle
I spotted some signs of Spring in the ditches,
but Winter will be with us a while yet, there was sleet after lunch. Still it’s beautiful here , whatever the weather.
if we didn’t have rain there wouldn’t be rainbows
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….
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.
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!
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.
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.
dachshund letter opener
*Dobhran – means otter in Gaelic. See his own comments about spelling!
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.
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.
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.
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 (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.