scotland notebook b&w

It’s been a while, I know. Here’s some recent high points …. Glasgow, the West End. Such a place. Family and first time introductions, some reminiscing, then exploring the archive of a great talent and our favourite artist and illustrator. Shared meals and a couple of days. Feels like only a few drams before we are on our way. Plans to go back. Missing our daughter a lot. Keep moving.

Oban. A train ride with many unexplored but promising stops. Chat with Irish livestock farmer opposite who relocated outside Oban. Note to self. Dozens of interesting places to visit along the Glasgow Oban line. The Turkish Lira crisis haunts our journey. Relief when markets close. Drinks and then a meal at the Manor House Hotel. Garden and outlook is something to behold. Could gaze at the harbour endlessly from such a vantage. Scotland has no shortage of dramatic skies. Early-ish morning rise to catch the ferry over black waters to Mull. try not to think about missing our daughter.

What is it about boats? Even scruffy ones possess a charm. Perhaps it’s the proximity to water. Perhaps the fact that here’s no better way to witness the land when you’re not on it.

Farewell Iona, return to Oban and then on to Edinburgh. Festival time. One and a half really good performances. Top marks to The Big Shop. But the real charmer is our host, Ali who tirelessly shows us all the insider tips and haunts. Five stars, sir! Thinking more and more of how much we miss someone.

Scotland, it’s official, you offer the welcome of the great motherland (aside from one bearded hipster bartender  — find a new job, sir). But then the sunshine bliss of another place awaits …

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