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Showing posts from April, 2014


This Easter my “Journey to Scotland” began in hazy early morning sun and ended later in Kintyre in the full blazing beauty of the day. The miles sped lightly by on the start of a soft spring sigh; a gentle inhalation which took with it the ends of winter, then released slowly, waking the iris shoots and tiny white-stemmed flowers along the waysides.
Work on Shemaron was in full swing by the time I arrived in Campbeltown, she had been on the slip for two days, weed and muscles had been scraped from her keel, anti-foul applied round her bow, anodes replaced and the white waterline freshly painted; it was good to see a couple of new faces helping out, things were progressing well. When I thought back to last year the wintry conditions, icy winds and the painful onset of aching muscles at the end of the day, I thought the warmer sunny days of this years Easter would be welcome to the workers.
By Saturday afternoon Shemaron was ready to move back into her usual place on the quay. Campbeltown…


I am living and breathing herring, my daughter even brought some in for lunch  the other day. They rise at night to feed on my dreams swimming through my thoughts on a never-ending blink. When I close my eyes they are there weaving across my lids, I am sure I know how they think, (or is it they who know how I think)? When I wake I swear I brush scales from my brow. This last observation is a little worrying do I turn into a herring at night?  Help! I would like to think I have more deportment and indeed rather more style, though sometimes my brain seems to get stuck in “mono mode” for which I totally blame the fish. 
We are back in Campbeltown this weekend, just as well I need a dose of  reality. It was February the last time I was up, at the tail end of the storms that reeked havoc around the coast. The roads were strewn with stones and weed, which had been tossed around by the sea. The wind was forecast to die away and by morning it was much calmer. The sun rose steadfast in the agg…


It is always frustrating at this time of year when we are waiting for summer, probably because we are never quite sure if it is actually going to arrive and if it actually does arrive how long it will last. This is certainly how I always feel around April.

Last summer we were fortunate to have someone to look out for Shemaron, it left us with a little more time to enjoy Northumberland. We still had the Harley at the time, we chose a day when the sun was bright and white mountains of cloud were sailing in the sky, and took a ride to the borderlands. Norham Castle to be precise, which lies just on the English side of the border and is one of Northumberland’s beautiful treasures. There is no charge for entry and visitors can amble for free around the crumbling castle walls while the River Tweed gushes its timeless rush below. The colours were bright and vivid and we sat on portions of the old stonewalls while the ghosts of the castle hid in the shadows.
“In a corner of the ground where the…