Holiday hopes

On Saturday morning I’m trotting off for a week’s holiday in Galloway, Scotland.

The delightful assistants have rented a house, one of the lovely Culmore Bridge Cottages, for two weeks, and I’m sneaking into the spare room during their first week, while my brother joins them later on.

In preparation for my holiday, I bought a new camera via Amazon. Sadly, the camera appears to have a fault and I don’t have time to replace it, so alas I will be without my own camera for the trip.

On the up side, delightful assistant no.1 has generously offered me the use of hers, and I do have my mobile phone camera.

On another up side I have a new gadget that works, and that I’m very pleased with. It’s a voice recorder and I have a feeling it’s going to be a great boon. No more switching on the light in the middle of the night to write down things that enter my head just as I’m dropping off to sleep, no more scribbling quickly in cafes when I’m trying to record the amusing things people say, no more sending myself texts when I’m on the hoof and think of something I don’t want to forget.

I also have 3 ‘new’ books (3 for £2 in a charity shop), which will keep me occupied if the weather encourages staying indoors:

In my opinion, one of the best things about going somewhere else is the opportunity to partake of small treats in different tearooms. One of my favourite tearooms in the whole world is located in Galloway, although I believe it may now be up for sale. I hope I get to sample it one more time in its present state:

The cakes at this tearoom have very tempting names, e.g. Vicar’s Vice, Naughty Nell, Luscious Lucy, Sophie’s Sin and, the one I opted for on my last visit, Femme Fatale (coffee and chocolate cake filled with espresso cream):

I am also hoping to revisit a small group of donkeys I took a shine to when I was down that way in April:

They took quite a shine to delightful assistant no.2, but I suspect it was a case of ‘cupboard love’, i.e. they were lured by the grass he was offering them, rather than by his considerable personal charms:

I’ve noticed a definite change in the weather here recently, a coolness that signals the start of autumn. I like a nice autumn day when you can wrap up warmly and have a brisk walk without overheating. The only season I don’t particularly care for in the UK is winter, but hopefully that’s still some way off.

The hedgerows are beginning to sprout blackberries here now, and I suspect there will be some blackberry harvesting during this little holiday. Bags of berries will be brought home and frozen, ready to add to apple crumbles over the winter. I suppose if there’s one thing I do like about winter it’s the chance to enjoy stodgy comfort food in a warm house while the cold winds blow outside.

However, in the meantime I plan to enjoy the late summer/early autumn and make the most of a little change of scene. One place I’m particularly looking forward to is Glenwhan, a spectacular privately owned garden near Stranraer that’s open to the public. Every time I visit there’s something new to see, and it’s a real haven of peace and calm:


55 thoughts on “Holiday hopes

  1. Another totally delightful post. I love how you write and I love how you let me tag along with you to unknown places. I have taken a shine to Donkey #1 (tractor shot). Love that face – a great mixture of sleepy contentment and silly shyness. I like his roundy knees and his friend in the pink coat. Have fun on your holiday. Sounds awesome. I’ve run into a small glitch with my blog: re posting. Working it out. Meanwhile tons of Scottish tea lovers are writing me. Yesterday I heard from a guy in Dumbarton. Land of Cutty Sark, which I did not know was the first tea tippler! Cheers!

    • Thank you Shona, I’m delighted to have your company! I’m glad you liked the donkeys, donkey #1 is very appealing, as you say. I was very pleased with the little pink coated one, it had a lovely face when it came up to the gate for grass. I’m really hoping they’re still in that same field.

      How strange and distressing about your posting problems, I do hope you manage to work out what’s wrong and fix it without too much stress. What’s with all the Scottish tea lovers writing to you? The Cutty Sark has quite a history – old ships and tea, a wonderful combination!

  2. Have a great holiday and give the donkeys a little hug for me, they are so cute! Enjoy your books too. I’m familiar with Catherine Cookson but the other two look good as well!

  3. I think you’re going to have a wonderful holiday in such a lovely place (and with the delightful assistants)! And I wanted to let you know I just got your book yesterday and I’m really enjoying it! Thank you 🙂

    • Funnily enough Finn, it did cross my mind! It’s a bit beyond my pocket (it comes with a 4 bedroom apartment upstairs, so for the money it’s actually a very good buy) but it’s a nice idea! 🙂 Thank you for the kind wishes.

  4. so beautiful! I’m afraid I’m missing out on Autumn being in Los Angeles but I’ll soon be back on the East Coast for a visit:) The donkeys are gorgeous! I promise to have a mini donkey farm when I get my very own tearoom:)

  5. That’s a real shame about your camera – I hope you get a replacement. The donkeys are the cutest I’ve seen! And the coffee and chocolate cake… that looks divine. Hope you all have a great time and a well-deserved break!

    • Thank you Jo, I must admit I was a bit miffed about the camera as I’d been looking forward to breaking in a new one on holiday, but hey ho. I really hope the donkeys are still there, I also thought they were the cutest I’d seen. One thing’s for almost certain, somewhere or other there will be cakes, and that’s worth looking forward to!

  6. Hope you have a great holiday. What a disappointment that your new camera had a fault. I hope you get a replacement quickly without fuss.
    I have read A Spot of Bother and the author’s previous book, the title escapes me at the moment, and enjoyed both of them. I hope you enjoy it too.

    • Thanks Heather, it is a bit tiresome about the camera, but at least I have a stand-in meantime. Is the other book you’re thinking of ‘The curious incident of the dog in the night-time’? I read that one and enjoyed it, which was what made me pick this one up. I’ve just started ‘A Spot of Bother’ and I think I’m going to like it.

    • Thank you Jo – peaceful, that’s Dumfries and Galloway all right. I’ve been going there all my life and I don’t think it’s changed much. It always has a sleepy, restful air about it that I find very relaxing.

  7. A very beautiful and thoughtful post! Very glad to hear you get to enjoy a little break and some R & R. I love revisiting favourite places and I can see by the charming window display (why you’d be keen) to visit that tea shop again! Fingers crossed both they and the delightful donkeys are still around!
    Regarding those gardens I love that large stone sculpture of the woman’s head. Truly stunning. I friend of mine who manages parks and the rehabilitation of native plants (here in Aus) is always suggesting we get out and see the open gardens in those big homes (similar to this,) I think next time I need to take her up on the offer!

    • Thank you Alice, it is wonderful to be able to relax into a holiday straight away because everything’s so familiar. The older I get the less enthusiastic I feel about visiting completely new places, just because of the effort involved!

      That stone head is part of a whole statue, but the detailing is great, isn’t it? Wandering round gardens like this is one of my favourite ways to spend some time. I don’t have to get my hands dirty and I can admire and appreciate all the hard work that’s gone into making other people’s gardens so beautiful.

  8. Have a great time in Galloway, I look forward to the pictures. Enjoy teh Catherine Cookson book. I have read everything she has written and enjoyed them all. The other books look good to. Loved the pictures of the gardens at Glenwhan. I am hoping for another month of summery weather as I will be in Europe in September (Spain, Germany, Austria and Hungary) Hope to find some nice tea shops. (My that piece of cake made my mouth water)

  9. I just love these posts so much, Lorna! It’s not just the photos (which are lovely), but the way you talk about your visits that makes me wish so much I were there with you!

    • Thank you Madame Weebles, most kind of you. I like to think you are here with me, in spirit at least. Incidentally, I was talking about weebles just the other day as I’d like to buy some for my niece. I don’t know if you can still get them but I used to like them when I was wee. They don’t fall down, you know.

      • They really don’t! The only place I’ve been able to find the original Weebles (they still make them but they’re very different now, I don’t like them nearly as much) is on eBay. You can buy them for fairly cheap, although you have to hunt a bit to find ones that are in good condition.

  10. I hope you have a lovely time away in Galloway. I admit I haven’t spent a lot of time in that region but am hoping to get there someday soon to check out the textile mills. If you come across somewhere that I should visit, please let me know. I too love the autumn … the beginning of autumn, as in right now, is probably my favorite time of year. I enjoyed your conversation above about weebles … they wobble but they don’t fall down. that is a flash from the past! have fun relaxing and reading!

    • Thank you Alison, I’m sure I’ll be bringing back some recommendations. It’s one of my favourite bits of the country so I’m happy to rave about it! My ideal scenario would be a lovely long crisp autumn followed by a very short winter and then straight into spring. Wishful thinking!

  11. Jealous, jealous, jealous! I have always wanted to go to Galloway and the femme fatale cake and the gardens make me want to go ever more now. I hope you have a wonderful week.

    Oh and you made me laugh out loud with the phrase “cupboard love”! Is that your own invention? :0

    • Thank you Christine, I do hope you manage to get to Galloway one day, it’s a lovely area, very relaxing.

      ‘Cupboard love’ is a phrase of my mum’s. I remember often coming home from school to a wonderful baking smell in the kitchen and cooling racks spread with buns, little pancakes and other treats. On seeing said delights I would enthusiastically embrace my dear mama, who would accuse me of cupboard love.

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