The unsettled weather in October and November 2022 has produced some impressive sunrises and sunsets. here are a few photos taken from around Craig Cottage recently.
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.
On Gabrielle’s birthday, we went for an autumnal stroll around the trails at Kirroughtree Forest, near Newton Stewart. There was a good crop of fungi on show in the shady areas of the forest. We started up the Bruntis Lochs trail then came back along the Kirroughtree Lade trail, following the track of the water supply to the 18th century lead mining operations.
In August, we had a cruise around the islands of the Hebrides. We went with a company called Hebrides Cruises on a boat called the ‘Elizabeth G’. There are just four cabins for 8 guests and a crew of four – captain, bosun, chef and guide so it’s quite a cosy setup. We started from Oban and over 10 days visited Morvern, Rum, Canna, Mingulay, South Uist, Harris, the Shiant Islands, Rona, Knoydart, Eigg and Tobermory on Mull. We were treated to excellent meals from chef Sarah and were guided on our shore trips and while cruising by wildlife guide Lynsey.
The Hostas and the rest of the plants in our shady area by the front door are growing well this year although they did suffer from the attentions of the slugs and snails despite a treatment with nematodes and the new eco-friendly slug pellets.
It’s been a long time since we managed to get out onto the cliffs but a visit from friends Simon and Caroline gave us an opportunity to visit Meikle Ross, just a few miles away from Craig Cottage.
The SongWave Choir is up and running again now and they gave a concert at Dock Park in Dumfries in early June. This will be followed by more concerts around the area later in the month.
We had a good kayaking session down the River Dee past Threave Castle with the Kirkcudbright Canoe Club.
There was a good turnout for the event with around 30 assorted kayaks out on the river. There was a bit of extra excitement at the end of the trip with a short section of rapids where the river passes under the A75 road bridge which I unfortunately failed to capture photographically.
After a couple of years of lockdown we finally organised a trip outside Dumfries & Galloway. We had a 5 day stay on Mull with Mull Wildlife Breaks. Each day, we were taken out by mini-bus to see different areas of Mull and Laura our guide pointed out the variety of birds and other wildlife. We also had a boat trip day when we saw sea eagles nesting on Ulva, puffins and other sea birds around Lunga and lunch at Staffa & Fingal’s Cave.
We had the opportunity to get a skip, sponsored by the Solway Firth Partnership, to collect rubbish that had accumulated over a period of several years along the stretch of coast between Kirkandrews and Carrick. A team of local volunteers set to work over a fine, sunny weekend in March to fill the skip.