This weekend has been very unusual for us! We had some unexpected company arrive on Friday evening, refugees from a snowstorm that closed the roads they were hoping to take. This was a blessing, because our company included a dear friend of the Dafter’s from Aberdeen. They stayed for two nights, and although the Dafter needed to rest quite a bit (due to her ME/CFS), there was much laughter and even some face-painting.
Our friends left after lunch this afternoon, and – unprecedented event number two – Michael and I left the Dafter (resting in bed and surrounded by glasses of water, snacks and supplies) for over three hours. We drove out of the city and into the countryside. We ended up in the tiny village of Balmaha (pron. BALmaHA), on the shores of Loch Lomond. It was a cracking day!
We climbed up a hill called “Craigie Fort,” where we had beautiful views to the East (above) and to the West (below).
Although I have been peering at the map, I’m not entirely sure the names of the mountains that we were looking at. Can anyone elucidate?
Balmaha is part of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. The large car park in front of the visitor centre was packed! It was a beautiful day – clear and crisp. There were lots of families with young children, and not a few European tourists. (I was amused to hear French teenagers in the bathroom say “Attention à la dame!” – “Let that lady past!”)
The trees are starting to show signs of spring. I love seeing the pink blush on the birch trees, a sign that their sap is rising. There are a lot of larch trees in the forests in Scotland. They look as if they have been afflicted by some terrible disease, but they’re just having a winter nap before they put out new shoots in the spring. I was amazed by how many cones were on the tall fir (?I think?) tree.
It was just wonderful to get out into the countryside, breathe some fresh air, and see the snow-covered hills. The tearoom was chock-a-block with a long waiting list for a table, so we went to the post office instead, and ate our snacks outside on a bench. Such a lovely afternoon!
I hope you’re all well, and not too afflicted by the very strange weather we’re having this winter. My heart goes out to the poor people in England and Wales, some of whom have been flooded for nearly two months now. It seems to be a winter of extremes everywhere. When you get out to the hills, you’re reminded that our delusion of control over our environment is just that. Our family has been so grateful for our many blessings, including clean water, heat and electricity. Take care!