Showing posts from September, 2012

Inverness and Beyond

We picked up our guests from their castle night.  There were no reported ghost sightings, but a piper played them into dinner, which was grand.  

Jack was taken by the wee ruined church that used to serve the castle.  A chief that fell at Culloden is buried there.

This afternoon, as I write, the Squirrels are nibbling their way through Inverness (shopping, I believe).

This evening will be a special event - we're going to the Blas festival to see the specially commissioned piece by Mairead Stewart - Highland Wedding through the ages.

Karen: Haiku generally do not have titles, but the one the other day would have been called "Whither Claire?" and this one, inspired by yesterday's visit to Culloden, would be called "A Fatal Day":

Blue flags face the red
Empty stomachs, driving rain
The daffodils weep

Excitement at the Castle --- The laird has an autographed copy of An Echo in the Bone!

Kristin: The weather has been extremely cooperative for all of our adventures - as w…

"We come to a castle" or two

Today's entry will be without the first hand words of our Outlandish Squirrels as there hasna been time to blog. 
Tonight they are in a castle. Yup, a real castle, with armour and guns and a piper and towers. Kathy: "Ooh! I wanna see a ghost". Scot: "No you don't." Kathy is quite good for copy. She's been doing well with her gaidhlig for "good morning". Her version: "Madainn mhath y'all". After showing the troupe around another castle this morning, the castle most like Leoch, we went on to Culloden. That's never a jolly experience. Sallie and Jack's words "Futility, incompetence, waste." Seems a common sentiment.

It's the human stories that get me, like 16 year old Donald Mollach who was the 9th Livingstone that hour to carry the banner of the Appin regiment in the one hour of carnage. All the others had fallen holding it. By the time he grasped it from the mud, the battle was lost. He tore it from its po…

Outlandish Squirrel Tour days 3-4

Days 3-4
Karen: Visiting the cottar's village was fascinating.  The peat smoke was "quite refreshing" and ensured none of us came down with the plague  (historically speaking).  Later, watching Jack and Sal become handfasted was inspiring while Scot read the gaidhlig blessing [from Claire and Jamie's wedding].

Day 4

Karen: Haiku written a few days before departure inspired by the incident at Cranesmuir:

Purple heather mist
Donas' hoofbeats, clash of words
Heading for the stones

 . . . On today's hike near a beautiful loch, we finally came up close to the mounds of heather and the light mist drifting cross distant hillsides in the Scotland of my imagination. . . . Reality included clouds of midges that interrupted a reading of the passage about Jamie and Claire watching the pack of wolves . . . We moved on to the midge-free top of the hill and enjoyed the view and a picnic.

Scot:  This evening we dined with Jon in his place-where-whisky-goes-when-it-dies.  Kathy f…

JandC Sept 2012 - Red Squirrel Tour

The Red Squirrel Tour Days 1-2
Finally, we have a blog machine on tour, after our death of the previous holder of the post.
So, to the important stuff. As usual we will have each of the tour guests, under pain of torture by whisky, contribute some words of THEIR experiences of the tour.
Speaking of the amber nectar, we visited a distillery, en passant, yesterday as the group expressed an interest and we were in the right place with time.

Let us introduce the Outlandish Squirrels.

This is Corinne:

And her friend Karen:

Kathy: What incredible scenery.  The people are all so very friendly.  Seen pheasants, partridges (not in a pear tree).. still waiting to see the red squirrels all the signs post about...

Rebecca: Had a great hike yesterday, we made it to see a standing stone on some land with an incredible view. Feels like we have been here for a week instead of just a few days. So much more to see - ready to head to Loch Ness.

Kris:  Can't believe we're actually here.  The weather has …