The Friday evening Wine o’ Clock sessions are still going strong and in the summer months we often go ‘on tour’ to visit other locations for our refreshments. Cathy hosted a late summer Swim o’ Clock event at her house, ‘Lazy Days’ on the beach at Sandgreen.
The Kirkcudbright Summer Festivities events end with the Tattoo and Fireworks Display at the end of August. We had a beautiful evening and enjoyed the events with lots of music, motorcycle stunt displays, a spectacular sunset and the famous Kirkcudbright Tug o War team as seen in Sam Kelly’s video below.
Gabrielle was a member of the SongWave choir that gave three concerts at the end of June. They performed in Kirkpatrick Durham, St. John’s Town of Dalry and in Gatehouse of Fleet Parish Church. Here they are, performing in Gatehouse.
Gabrielle is back in her kayak again after her operation back in January. We went out for an evening session on Loch Ken with the Kirkcudbright Canoe Club. There were a few ominous clouds but we had a beautiful, calm sunny evening out on the water, followed by picking up some fish and chips on the way home.
We had a beautiful sunny day for a trip up to Glen Trool. This was Gabrielle’s first walk in years without the use of sticks or crutches. The visitor centre at the half-way point was a good place to stop for some coffee and cake to keep us going on the return trip along the Water of Trool.
One of our favourite short walks is a loop into the Galloway Forest from the Queen’s Road between Newton Stewart and New Galloway. The route starts with a steep pull up to Murray’s Monument. The impressive monument was erected in 1835 in memory of Alexander Murray, a local shepherd boy who later became Professor of Oriental Languages at Edinburgh University. The path goes off behind the monument then continues steeply up to join a forestry track leading to the Black Loch. On the edge of the loch is an 8 metre high conical sculpture called ‘The Eye’ made from fragments of terracotta tile fragments. It was created by Colin Rose in 1997 as part of an art project in Galloway Forest Park.
On the return part of the loop there is another sculpture installation built into the stone walls of an old sheepfold. This one, called ‘Quora’ was created by Matt Baker as part of the same art project as ‘The Eye’ and consists of several carved granite heads set into the walls.
A short but steep walk up and over a ridge then leads back down to the car park on the Queen’s Road.
The frogs have started early this year. We have frogspawn in the water that collects in our cattle grid.
This was on 21st February which is about two weeks earlier than last year. The water in the cattle grid can sometimes dry up if there isn’t much rain so we have relocated most of this frogspawn to ponds in our garden.
After a two year break due to COVID, the Brecon Baroque Festival was back in business again this year. We made the trek down there, via a wet afternoon at the new RHS garden at Bridgewater, and enjoyed five excellent concerts over the four days of the festival. The first two concerts were in Brecon Cathedral and the others were in the Theatr Brycheiniog. We stayed at Camden Lodge, a very comfortable bed & breakfast and also enjoyed some good local food at the restaurants and pubs around Brecon.