June 2017

Bremen, Germany

Headed off to Bremen, Germany for the weekend as the Grand Prior of Germany was coming to the end of her term of office. The last time I was in Bremen was 1986 so I was expecting some changes here and there! What a lovely little city it is.
Dinner with some members on Friday night in the Rathaus and then Saturday events and dinner later. What a great time. Below is me half-blinged up for the Saturday events.


Rain, rain and more rain

It has rained all week and my lovely garden has lost many of the blooms from the bushes - very sad indeed. It has made everything else grow really quickly though, so not all bad news! Below is a very naughty, dirty Alfie who seems to love the rain and mud by digging holes everywhere much to the annoyance of Jimmy the Gardiner.


I had a day in London this week which was very busy. Doggies have been very naughty this week with digging holes that are driving Jimmy the Gardener mad, but some new plants went in so we wait Mother Nature to do her tricks and see them grow! Last week, I forgot to add that Anthony has passed his first year at University of the Highlands and Islands and is looking forward to starting again at the end of the summer - well done to him!
This week busy as always and a trip to Bremen for GP Germany annual convent and to say farewell to the grand prior whose term of office comes to an end next Saturday. I have not been in Bremen since 1985 so that will be a nice trip indeed!

Jacobite Steam to Mallaig

With Anthony still in London for his aunt's 80th birthday, I took the day off to go to catch up with one of my work colleagues who was touring the British Isles from Hong Kong. We met in Fort William (where Ben Nevis was shrouded in mist) and took the Jacobite Steam train to Mallaig. It was great to catch up with June and to pass through some amazing scenery. The highlight for everyone on the train was passing over the Glenfinnan Viaduct, made internationally famous by the Hogwarts Express scenes in Harry Potter of course. I said farewell to June and her touring party in Mallaig, had a couple of hours there myself before heading back home. Mallaig seemed so big when I was there 45 years ago waiting for the ferry to Castlebay, but it is in reality a tiny fishing village with a big pier!
Clickable image below.


Fort Augustus again

A drive, a LONG drive up to Fort Augustus again. Although I have done that drive lots of times now, it seemed very long this time. I guess it was the slow moving caravans and mobile homes hogging the limelight on the road. This trip was to meet up with one of the OSMTH ANZ members who was doing the John O'Groats-Land's End walk with his wife for various charities in Australia. They have my support all the way. Can you imagine taking eight weeks to walk from the north east to the south west? As someone who thinks that there is nowhere in the UK I need to go to visit that cannot be seen from car/boat/train my admiration is boundless.
Surprisingly the drive back was quick! What is that all about?
Here are Andrew and Danielle.IMG_8526

Sadness in Barra

I cannot imagine what it feels like to be on Barra these days with the death of one and hospitalisation of another young girl after the Manchester bombings. The proportion of the community there that have been affected by this tragedy is startling. I watched Eilidh's coffin coming off the little plane and placed into the hearse on the Traigh Mhor and it was really sad to see.
Decades ago the women of Barra used to wail as the remains of one who died off the island came home to their final rest. That habit may have dropped by the wayside now, but I am sure the people who will line the road from Castlebay to Vatersay will respectfully see this young woman who had a lifetime stretching out before her on her last journey.
My pagan ancestors believed that on death the good went to Tir nan Og, the land of youth. How apt that title is now!
All I can wish for is she has a calm sea and a full sail as her final journey takes place.