This weekend was another holiday here, so there was the opportunity to head north with Young Lady of the House, and Daughter, to the Inverness area and beyond. Our first stop was at Spean Bridge, north of Tyndrum, where there is a beautiful viewpoint and a memorial to Commandos who had trained here service during the war. No matter how many times we see it, it still has the power to produce an emotion about events, just before our lifetime.
We have long-established friends who have the good fortune to live in the Inverness section of the Highlands……and we shared a couple of good meals with them. The City of Inverness straddles the River Ness (obviously) which is picturesque, although just now it is low with the lack of rain!
Sunday was so hot that we went to the head of Loch Ness (no sign of Nessie!), and watched the tourist boats going through the canal between the Loch and the river going to the sea.
But most of all we wanted to call again at Foulis Castle, our ancestral home, in Evanton near Dingwall. The photo here shows how well-preserved and beautiful it is. (You can ‘Google’ it and get a large amount of information about life in the time of the Scottish clan system) We have been here many times before, including one of the Clan gatherings a few years back. I had written the ‘calling poem’ for the last Gathering in 2007, and it was published in the Clan magazine. We had to cancel our attendance, unfortunately, at the last minute, and so it was time to get the ‘Clan-Family fix’.
It is still a lived-in home, and we met-up again with the mother of the Clan Chief. She is a very gracious Lady and has an in-depth knowledge of the Clan, and the Castle. We were particularly keen to see how her garden, in the large courtyard of the castle, was getting-on, as she has tirelessly worked on it over the decades since we were there first in 1969!
We weren’t disappointed in any way. At 83, her brain is still sharp, and knowledge of the clan is now even more detailed. She has reconstructed the old kitchen in the basement, and two wonderful self-contained apartments have been built, with a respect for the existing building and incorporating many of the old artifacts. The garden in the courtyard has developed immensely, again with the eye for detail.
The weather was beautiful, in contrast to south of the country, and so we returned tired, (special thanks to Daughter who did the long periods of driving in her new car), and very pleased with the visit to our ‘Home from Home’.