We were visiting the out-laws this week as a continuation of the birthdays (the hubby and I have our birthdays 6 days apart). It was just a quick visit up and down again due to other commitments, but it's always nice to go away where you don't feel obliged to get on with jobs. With storms hitting Northern Ireland, we had a nice lazy day where it really just rained and rained. Poor Missy fell into a puddle up to her neck and, after that, she was rather indignant about the whole being-out-in-the-rain malarkey and was quite happy roasting herself by the wood burning stove.
|A very old Flash|
Missy and her Uncle Flash get along very well, although it was quite upsetting to realise that, now 12, Flash is really starting to get quite old and isn't able to keep up anymore with her. Whilst he's been slowing down for some time, this is the first visit we've had were he's decided that he won't even try to follow her through the woods.
We had already decided that we may as well take advantage of the more northerly location and get a few of the castles in the Aberdeen area ticked off the list. Bearing in mind that Flash was struggling a bit now, we decided to keep the day simple and avoid anything with too much in the way of spiral staircases.
The first castle we managed was Kildrummy. Despite the rain of the previous day, the weather was glorious, and I suspect one of the last true days of summer we'll have this year. The sun and the warm weather appealed to both dogs as they explored the ruins quite happily. Described as the 'noblest of northern castles', I must confess, I would have loved to have seen this castle standing. As it is, it's a complete ruin - parts of the towers remain, but there's no stairs remaining and it offers only hints of its once grand past. My favourite part of the castle was the tower remains, although watching both dogs peer down the towers latrine was a good comedy moment!
Next on the hit-list was Corgarff Castle which is a bit of a misnomer! This one was a pleasant surprise for us as it is a completely intact medieval tower house and was used by both Jacobites and redcoats. Most of the central belt revolves around Mary Queen of Scots, so it was really refreshing to see a different bit of Scottish history and warfare. We stopped for a terribly British picnic of tea and sandwiches before going inside to explore. Dogs weren't allowed inside this bizarre little building that stood bleakly on its own on the hillside, so we took turns walking them around the star shaped outer wall whilst the others went inside and explored the twisting allegiances this building held. One of the particuarly nice things about this building is that some of the rooms have been recreated, including the guards quarters and you can also choose your allegiance by means of dress up!
As a small hat trick, we managed to bag one last castle on the way back. Glenbuchat is currently closed because of renovation work, but we managed a small walk around the building. By this time both the dogs were tired and the weather had begun to turn, so we called it quits and went back for a well deserved cup of tea with both dogs snoring soundly away.
Just a short post today!