A Quick Recap

Feet on fantastic paving patterns once again.

Good morning, all. (Or evening, or … ) I’m up early. It’s well before breakfast here at Bank Ground Farm, so perhaps a bit of a catch up is in order.

My flight over to Edinburgh was highly uneventful. I watched movies, watched people and marveled at how my faculties diminished in their power with a lack of sleep. By the time I got to Edinburgh I was in a fog – figuratively, though literal fog did come into the picture a few days down the road. I was able to navigate my way into Edinburgh’s center via tram, then trudged myself up Princes Street to the hotel. As I think I mentioned before, everything was the same here. There was the big train station, the Walter Scott memorial, the line of buildings that marks the Royal Mile. The same, yes, but it felt newly unfamiliar at the same time. I had to go find some food before my room was ready. That and a pint and a quick walk up to the top of nearby Calton Hill was all I could do before my desire for BED took over.

Here I am at the top of Calton Hill in Edinburgh. Fresh air, ahhhhh! Okay, that’s enough of that. Where’s my BED?!?!
The gorse, normally an evil and prickly plant, is in bloom everywhere. Its cheerful yellow covers roadsides and is dotted along the hills. Spectacular.

The next morning, with a day all to myself, I ventured out into the city. First, some time at the National Gallery to view their collection of impressionist painters. It was lovely to see works by Pisarro, Gaugin, Monet, Seurat and even one small, homely Van Gogh. (NOT a painting you would want to experience in an immersive extravaganza.) Then I was off to the botanical garden. Early spring isn’t the best time for that kind of visit, but here’s some of what I enjoyed.

A walk through Edinburgh’s New Town, the Georgian era part of the city, built when the rich decided they no longer need put up with the living conditions in the city center (constructed in medieval days).
Pretty swanky for a four hundred year old neighborhood.

Goodness, this was just the walk to the gardens. I’d better get to the gardens themselves!

Oh, I could go on and on… A visit at the Edinburgh Botanical Gardens was the perfect antidote to a day spent in airplanes, airports and then exhausted sleep. Monty would be proud! A quick dinner on the way home and a bit of knitting in the lobby with a wee dram (Talisker, I think. From the western islands but not to my liking) and my day was done.

By the next morning, I was up at 7 and out the door to meet my first tour group at the airport. Bleary-eyed and dragging luggage, they arrived. I counted my chicks to make sure all had arrived, allowed time for getting coffee, pounds from the ATM machine and any necessary snacks and potty stops and we were off! The Wool & Whisky tour is jam-packed with amazing stuff, so just a few highlights to share…

We went down into the underground vaults in Edinburgh. Spooky but incredibly interesting to explore.
Enjoyed some lovely workshops.
Visited the seashore on the Firth of Forth.
Enjoyed the shores of Loch Tay. One person went swimming IN Loch Tay. Wild swimming is a thing these days. It was a first for our tour groups though.
There was, of course, a lot of wool, fiber, yarn and making stuff.
William Morris wallpapers at the Dovecot Studios exhibition.
Highland cows.
Sheep everywhere.
Even a boat ride.
With good eats.
And drop-dead gorgeous landscape, perched between winter and spring.
We opened a set of directions for how to see the monster at Loch Ness, thoughtfully provided by Lauren’s children.
Attempted to enter the Ministry of Magic via the usual method. Didn’t work. But we are muggles, after all. (A Harry Potter reference, for those who are wondering.)
And generally had a pretty swell time. Here we are making chocolate truffles. This has nothing to do with yarn, knitting or textiles in general. It was just good fun.

It’s been a long, long, long and stressful two years in Pandemia. I really didn’t know what it would be like to lead a group tour. I’m out of practice, things in general continue to be uncertain and changed (companies out of business, staffing levels uncertain, restrictions changing all the time). This group of ladies and the magic of Scotland’s beauty put my mind at rest. There were a few bumps, yes. But the camaraderie was so wonderful, landscape so renewing and I so enjoyed facilitating this experience for people. It’s almost as if the pandemic had never happened. Or perhaps that it happened, but our lives can bridge the gap between the present and The Before Times well enough. We go on. I can go on. And I’m happy to do so.

Once I waived goodbye to this fantastic group of ladies, it was just me and Heather left. We set out in our car (dubbed Jett, in the tradition of naming them — remember Trixie and then Herbie? Well this is a Juke. So… juke box… put another dime in the… by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, etc)

Humidity means big hair…

And there you have it. I believe I might be all caught up! I leave you with my very favorite Scottish road sign. I’m collecting silly signage photos. Someday soon I’ll devote an entire post to them. But it’s early days in this spring travel-o-rama. Who knows what silly Danish road signs might be out there? Or Faroese? And will write when I’m able. Cheers!

11 comments

  1. Conjures up memories of two tours my wife and I took in Scotland a decade ago. Botanic gardens and national museum also, and knitting. Thank you Consuelo for connecting us with Susie.

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  2. Oh my, so much yarny goodness, beautiful photos, amazing landscapes and chocolate!!! Thanks for sharing your adventures.

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  3. That was just wonderful.

    Great text and pix.

    Thanks for taking us along.

    I collapsed at dog park and fractured bones in left foot and ankle. In a boot or up in the air with ice on a week I planned to be in Washington walking a lot with grandsons.

    Thanks for the vicarious trip. Keep these coming please

    Happy Easter or Passover

    linda w dillman

    >

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  4. I like how you “waived” goodbye. Yes, better as in, Auf wiedersehen, until I see you again.
    I’ve done two RTT Wool & Whisky and am doing another this fall – Orkney!
    Goodbye, until I see you in Wales.

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  5. Suzie – as always such a joy to see your genius at work and your obvious love of what you’re doing. Still trying to figure out why you’re going to Copenhagen, but I guess iI have to wait for the next installment. Love you, be safe – Auntie TsiTzi

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  6. I believe you muggles found the magic. And you got your groove back Stella. Reassuring that the world really is still out there waiting for us. You captured it beautifully!

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