3 July 2018

Monday

Window in Whithorn
The outside world may have its problems but we are on The Machars of south west Scotland having a spiffing time. Did I just dream Donald Trump? Does Brexit really exist? Is Yemen really dying?

I don't care any more because the sun has come up in another cobalt blue sky. Gulls and fourteen swans are in the bay waiting for the next high tide. Where shall we go today? Perhaps to The Isle of Whithorn which isn't really an island at all. Perhaps to Wigtown - Scotland's book town and once the county town of Wigtownshire - now absorbed into the administrative region of Dumfries and Galloway.
Shirley heading tone of the beaches at Monreith
Yesterday your hardy correspondent donned his swimming shorts and ventured into Luce Bay from Monreith beach. The Rhins of Galloway lay stretched out mistily across the aquatic horizon - twelve sea miles away. I swam for no more than ten minutes. In spite of The Gulf Stream it was chilly man. One's nether regions were shrunken. This wasn't Corfu.

We had spent three hours in Whithorn where the mysterious St Ninian built Scotland's first Christian community in the fifth century. Later he became a medieval cult figure and for many God-fearing Britons, a pilgrimage to his shrine was vital. By visiting it you gained credit on the path to the afterlife and besides - St Ninian was reputed to be a healer - bringing relief to the infirm. Thousands arrived at his shrine from all over Scotland,  Northumbria and beyond. 

It is easy to forget how it was.
Gavin Maxwell Memorial at Monreith
We met Mick at the wickerwork gate that leads along a path to the reconstruction of an Iron Age round house. Its design is based entirely upon archaeological evidence drawn from the site of an actual round house found in a former lake in swampy ground but three miles from Whithorn. Mick was very passionate about Iron Age history. It was as if it had all happened just yesterday.
We also met lovely Rory in the museum which houses several ancient crosses and other carved stones from the early Christian era. Rory clearly suffered from mild cerebral palsy but he had been to The University of Dundee - acquiring a degree in history and politics. He was slightly disconnected from the so-called real world. He thought The Lincolnshire Wife would qualify for a senior's ticket and was extremely apologetic and embarrassed when he realised his error. No problem Rory.
It's almost eight o'clock now. In a moment I shall put the TV news on to see what is happening in the strange world beyond this summer reality. They say that the heatwave will continue for another fortnight. What a wonderful time to be here on The Machars.
This unremarkable crypt once housed the lavish shrine of  St Ninian

20 comments:

  1. Oh to be in Whithorn now that Summer's there....

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  2. Wonderful photos and a most interesting post.
    I feel your wife's pain. I took my 85year old dad to see a consultant at the local hospital. She asked if I was his wife.........
    Enjoy the rest of your hols.

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  3. It sounds like the first line of a poem Alphie...

    Oh to be in Whithorn now that summer's here
    Sitting by The Harbour Inn cradling a beer

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  4. Glad that you are having a lovely time. Best not put the news on methinks, might spoil things.
    Briony
    x

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  5. The round house looks fascinating. Hard to fit my furniture in though.

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  6. What wonderful weather you are having, so blue there...green with envy here :)
    I like to take pictures of windows with flowers so I particularly love your first photo!
    Greetings Maria x

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  7. Such treasures. I might take a wee trip when I'm in Ayr some time. When I was in Hong Kong the young lady (from a Chinese rather than a European culture) was almost offended when I offered proof of my age. She said that in her culture it would have been unthinkable to doubt a senior person (I was about 60 and a 'senior' was 55 for the purposes of the Oyster Card). Despite what I have said in previous posts about 'honesty' I think I might just have accepted Rory's assumption and saved him the embarrassment.

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  8. I could have told you what would happen to you by swimming in water that far north! sounds like a very interesting place from a historical perspective. Now I'll have to google the round house.

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  9. What unbelievable weather you are having!!!
    When I worked in our little community theatre selling tickets between shows, I had a sign on the back wall listing how much per ticket per someone's age. When I didn't want to embarrass myself, I would point to the sign and ask the patron, "Which one are you?"

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  10. Wow - and that beach is as good as empty, in spite of the blue sky and sunshine!
    I was about to make a witty comment about St. Ninian and his followers calling themselves Ninias, until I remembered that Ninja and Ninia are not pronounced the same in English (it is in German).

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    Replies
    1. Forgot to say I LOVE the otter!

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  11. I would definitely want to go to any place called Wigtown. I admire your courage in swimming -- I think I'd have taken a pass on that! Relish your time away from the (dreadful) news!

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    1. Wigtown has re-styled itself as Scotland's book town. I didn't see any wig shops.

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  12. I do love that first shot. It could be a painting.

    "In memory of his Fanney"!! Did you frame that photo like that on purpose? :)

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    Replies
    1. No. I did not frame the picture like that on purpose! What on earth are you implying madam?

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  13. Replies
    1. Or in my case - Love the beaver!

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  14. The seal is on the look-out for stalking cows and roaming Brits.

    Drink lots of water, Yorkie...keep cool.

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    Replies
    1. Oh! It's an otter! I otter have known that!

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