• Britain

    Trotting Around Trotternish

    In Kilmuir, a tranquil village on the Trotternish peninsula where they speak the Scottish Gaelic tongue of their ancestors, we came across a strange sight. A prodigious Highland cow on a pasture staring at the sea. Add a single horn to that profile and we were in the exalted company of a one-horned meditating creature. I walked closer, yet keeping her at arm’s length, since startling cows and earning sharp pokes in the ribs was not on my list of things to do on Skye. The good news is that the Highland cattle do prefer to save their horns for more useful things like foraging during harsh winters than goring…

  • Britain

    Heavens, I Was Wallowing in Whisky

    My former editor insisted one day that I write a story on single malt whisky. Now I have never been one for whisky, let alone pretensions of knowing one single malt from another. Plus I was young and callow. You know how youth will have its way and make you feel like you are all-knowing. I was always ready to take on any subject, learn a bit along the way, dream of new professions as a result, but this was a task I was not equal to. I did not Like whisky. There I have said it. Have my head, you there nursing the tan liquid in your glass. But…

  • Britain

    Ruined Crofts on Sea Lochs

    I was in a faraway land, the rays of the morning sun bathing me oh so softly. I stood by the burn that April day, the sound of the gushing water in my ears, and chirped out ‘howdy munchkins’ to the startled sheep. The whole flock started and stared for a few seconds at the intrusion. If their baa could have been translated into humanspeak, it would surely have run along the lines of, ‘Look ye, a streenger’, the Scottish burr coming through strong. They are Highlanders too, you know. Just a more fleecy variety, but I bet if we had a conversation they would let me know that they are passionate…

  • Britain

    The Road that Led to Skye

    A one-of-a-kind road trip was on the charts that April in 2014. The kinds that throw up views like the one you see above, of the Red Cuillin, streaky cones of lava deposits thrown up by volcanic eruptions roughly 60 millions ago. Easter holidays were around the corner holding the promise of this remote and ancient landscape. I had just returned home that spring, chuffed by a girly vacation at the time, made up of giggles, gelatos, ‘mamma mias‘ and wine by the sea in Sardinia, to a pouty husband and a trip to the upper reaches of Scotland, the day after. Anticipation is a sweet thing. In the wee…

  • Britain,  North America

    Northampton to New York!

    This is a shot from a certain October sunset from 2012 when we had gone on a glamping trip to Cornwall. Who would have known that the signs were there somewhere. Adi has a bit of the blues but I am bloody excited. I am ready to meet the world in New York. See you from the other end of the pond, my lovely readers.

  • Britain

    Barmy Basset Hounds & Martins of Port Isaac

    The thing with eating your ice cream on the sly is that you gotta pay for it later when your wife goes into an artisan fudge confectionery and arms herself with a sizeable waffle cone. Topped up by gigantic dollops studded with moreish caramel bits. We had reached the village of Port Isaac (an easy drive from Padstow, Boscastle or Tintagel in Cornwall) when I needed to use the loo at the carpark facing the sea, the water guzzling cow that I am. FYI Cows can drink up to and over 90 litres of water on hot days. I came out of the loo and why there stood my husband quietly tucking into a mint chocolate chip ice…

  • Britain

    Elvis Legs: Boscastle to Tintagel

    The path of less resistance can lead to Elvis Legs. This is how. My husband was never much of a one for walking-hiking holidays (even though he used to love climbing mountains as a teenager). His idea of holidays were more in the realm of lazing and packing in the good grub. But then I happened to him. The day that took place he had  signed himself up for legs that would shake like The King’s. A shout-out to Bruce who introduced me to the term. Getting back to Adi, he is a hiking convert, and boy he gets attached to things in a pretty solid way. For instance, when he had change to…

  • Britain

    Hardy's Boscastle

    “I found her out there On a slope few see, That falls westwardly To the salt-edged air, Where the ocean breaks On the purple strand, And the hurricane shakes The solid land.” Looking at those mesmerising opal-sapphire hued waters, just like the view that glistened in the midday sun below me, Thomas Hardy would have contemplated upon his chance meeting with the love of his life in the village of Boscastle. Dramatic environs such as these must surely serve as an elixir to seal in young love. Hardy, if you are not acquainted with the man, wrote Tess of the D’urbervilles and challenged the traditional notions of morality in Victorian England. I have always wondered…

  • Britain,  Tagged

    Clutter Books and Clobber

    I acquired that pile of goodness last weekend at a lovely town called Sedburgh which lies within the scenic lushness of Yorkshire Dales National Park. Winding cobbled streets lead you past stalls selling beautiful sheepskin rugs, vicarage lanes and cottages with twee names. Then you trundle down the lane further past book shops called Sleepy Elephant, spectacularly green cricket grounds and shop facades that seem to be peeling away at leisure, till you arrive at the point of why Sedburgh declares itself the book town of the Blighty. You may ask the question of the cheerful lady at the till of a charity shop and she would smile (because she must have answered…

  • Britain

    Ed Has a Little Bottle-Fed Lamb

    If you have been dreaming of Bruges, a guest post by a fellow blogger, dream on, and then may I bring you back to the Cornish climes? This post is about Meg, a border collie, her master Ed, a farmer, and new-born lambs. Now The Byre is an atmospheric barn conversion in Lostwithiel, Cornwall (you can book it through Cornish Cottage Holidays). We had a fantastic bargain. For 8 nights we paid up £385 and Ed threw in a free night. Now no one in all our years of renting cottages in the countryside has been ever so kind as Ed. A free night! Egad. We had one more day of exploring…