To the Highlands

It’s nice to get away. We are lucky in that, with a few hours of driving, we can be in the most remote of places one can be. For a few days we did just that, and headed for Strontian; a small, very isolated little village on the west coast of Scotland. It was only for a short while, Saturday to Tuesday, but it would be a family break with work and all the toiling that comes with said work, put firmly away for the time being.

Heading north then north-west, through Perth, Crieff and Lochearnhead, we remarked at just how much tree felling had taken place since we last visited this part of the world. Quite amazing how different the route can feel without those giant Firs looming overhead.

We got as far as Tyndrum before stopping for a quick loo stop. It was at this point that I remembered that I had opted not to remember to bring a jacket, as I wanted to see how long I could last in sub-zero temperatures. Sense, luckily for me, prevailed and I took to the abhorrently expensive Green Welly Stop to source me a new jacket. A large sum later I had myself one of the most expensive, yet one of the nicest jackets I’ve ever owned. I guess that works out as a win? Regardless, I was now able to walk outside without fear of illness. We got back on the road, but not too far as it was lunchtime and picnics were calling. Stopping in a lay-by close to our wallet-lightening interlude, we watched the blue skies soar above us, with a warm sun chilled by the cool breeze. It was lovely.

We soon made it through Glencoe with rain and snow intermittently bashing the window. What views we have thrust upon us at every turn, and what desperate disappointment I feel, as I must keep the car on the road and not look at the beautiful, breathtaking views around us. I opted to stop a few times to take it in and get some pictures, then we headed further on, over the Ballachulish bridge before shortly after turning down to the ferry port to catch the ferry over the bay. We filed on, sat for what must have only been 2 minutes tops, before disembarking without paying; “no change Sir, buy yourself a beer on us.”

Strontian is a nice place, if not quite remote by itself. There’s one local wee shop and a hotel / restaurant bar, and that’s your lot. A small farm shop up the road sells in-house woven garments and cakes, but the rest is just walking territory and relaxation, which is precisely what I wanted.

We spent the following few days chatting and discussing current trends and standpoints. One heated discussion on Saturday evening taking the biscuit, but I won’t repeat the topics here. Needless to say there was some proper disagreement and hopefully some enlightenment to be had. Sunday was absolutely glorious and we walked around Strontian with Missy, taking in the sights, chatting about this and that, visited the wee shop and the local farm shop. Mother’s day was had with cakes and coffee, Missy with ice cream and chats with the locals. We must have stood a mile out, because almost immediately we were accosted by a local and grilled about our history, why we were there, what we thought of the educational system etc.

Missy wanted to swing, so we visited the local park and she swung until my arms ached. Then walked some more back to the house before dinner and an early night. Monday was to be our visit to the Isle of Mull, to release Granny into the wind, or so it was planned anyway. It was to be dreich and cold, so we enjoyed the last pips of sunlight and retired to reading and a restless night with Missy; it’s never a solid sleep in a strange place with wee people.

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