And the Sheep Were the Least of It!

So I’ve spent all this time telling you about the sheep at Castle Creavie. You’d think they were the biggest part of my experience. In fact, they were a very small part of my time there. Over the two and a half weeks, so much happened. Nothing earth shattering — I didn’t visit any world famous castles ( there are some nearby) or hike or bike the many beautiful trails of the area (also many of those). I happened upon the the ruins of a Cisturcian abbey at Dundrennan because Millie and Charlie had to go cast their Brexit vote across the street from it! My time with the Wannops was like that. Didn’t go anywhere or do anything in particular, yet… wonderfulness!

The abbey at Dundrennan. Stole this picture from because, well… you cant always remember to have your camera with you when you’re just out running errands!

In no particular order, here
are some of​the occurrences:

The Wannop’s good friend, Phil, arrived from Australia to help with and attend the pre-wedding bash. This resulted in me having to get my head around yet another accent and rounded out or meals to a merry four at the table. What a gem. Phil is among the top 10 most mellow folks I’ve ever met. Good natured, a wry sense of humor and an impressive craftsman (He’s a builder and woodworker. Saw some of the guitars he’s made. Wow.) I learned a lot about Western Australia and was also subject to a great deal of beer tasting because of him. Cheers, Phil! He’s still with the Wannops, headed soon to Ireland and then who knows where else before heading back to Oz at the end of the summer.

Phil and me. So not two but THREE lovely folks were my hosts at Castle Creavie. And they all liked marmite. Ick.

One night we decided to head off the farm for a change of scenery. We had an epic evening of fish and chips, a walk on the beach and then a drive all over the green, beautiful countryside of Dumfries and Galloway. I love all the tiny Scottish towns. Just beautiful.

Beautiful evening, the tide waaaaaaaay out.
My very favorite picture of time spent at Castle Creavie. I love all the green fields and stone walls and sheep and flowers. But theres something wistful and wonderful about this picture that puts me right back with those folks.

We had to clean out the barn in preparation for the upcoming party

. It was a BIG project. First Charlie brought the tractor in and scraped out all the straw and muck from the entire barn (about 20′ x 70′, I’m guessing) Then Millie and I mucked it out with water, brooms and a giant squeegee. Then a couple days later, we rolled out and attached some carpet to the whole floor. Charlie and Phil picked up a borrowed stage and set it up at one end. We hung lights, made banners (that was my contribution) and generally spruced the place up like you wouldn’t believe. By the time we were done, what started out looking like the barn pictures you’ve seen looked like a dance hall, ready for festivities! Millie said several times “Right then​. This is the last time we are doing a barn dance! I hope. If I get the idea to do another, please remind me what an insane amount of work it is.” 

Millie and I picked out a Celtic heart for the banners. I made a large version of it and then painted, painted, painted!
Banners drying on the floor. Hmmmm, they are suspiciously the suze and shape of pillow cases.
Starting to hang some banners during set up.
Still setting up, but you can see the lights and the band and the big banner in the back.
Add some flowers…
Roast an entire pig…
Invite a bunch of people over… add a band and VOILA!

I did a little sketching. Very little. But it still counts.

Quick sketch of the cottage just down the road from the main buildings.

I fell in love with this gentleman:

Ted, the border collie. Be still my heart. What a thoroughly excellent dog he was.

One afternoon, when it was very hot, I snuck down to the pond by myself and had a swim. By myself. With nary a stitch of clothing on. It was swell. Someone had left a towel there. That was convenient. I also saw a blu plastic tub next to the deck. “Must be for storage”, I thought. A couple of days later, Millie and I walked over to the pond to have a rest and watch the big, blue sky and the late afternoon clouds drift by. Guess what? That blue tub was storage. For a bunch of alcohol! Wheeee! Gin and tonics by the pond!

I spent a LOT of time being startled and then amazed by the green, rolling landscape all around me.

I kept back a fleece during the manic shearing process at Millie’s invitation. Then I washed and separated it all so I could bring it home for spinning. I even spin some on my very light little spindle. It came out well enough. But I’ve decided to wait and spin it at home. I foresee socks in its future!

And in my many conversations with Millie, Charlie, and Phil – some political, some ridiculous, some exchanging histories and thoughts and experiences – I gradually realized that I am in pretty good spirits again. I have energy again. I feel optimistic. I’m kind of excited about finding a new home. (I say “kind of” because I’m also nervous, Santa Fe real estate being as it is!) I’ve got ideas about things to do. I even want to do them. Wow! That was a revelation.  I. Want. To. Do. Things. 

Luckily, I can sit on that revelation. Still a couple weeks of time in Scotland. Don’t  have to do anything in particular just yet. Except get myself to a remote edge of Scotland to house sit.

But that, my friends, is a tale for another blog post.

Sending you all love.


  1. You have done so much while helping at the ranch! And the bonus of the storage box by the pond … wow. Just gotta say, though, always carry your camera, even when “just” running errands!


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