03-May-2009 -- We are going up to my native Scotland for a weeks family holiday, myself, my wife Lynn and eldest daughter Rachel. The purpose of the holiday is two-fold.
It is a welcome break after a hectic last 18 months, mainly filled with coming to terms with the effects of a severe stroke on a family member. It is also to collect on the way home our newest family member.
We have decided to go back to the cottage we stayed in before just outside Stonehaven. This has four claims to fame. The inventor of the pneumatic tyre was born here, it has Britain's only art deco outdoors Olympic sized pool, the deep fried Mars bar was invented here (very tasty by the way!) and from here I made my first visit to 57N-03W.
When the quickest route is entered into the SatNav unit, the road taken passes within 3 miles of this point! Sometimes you get lucky, so a repeat visit opportunity couldn't be passed up. After all what's a 6 mile detour in a 450 mile journey?
Rachel was driving this leg of the journey, after we had stopped at the Gretna services for lunch. Yes, it's that Gretna.
We drove up the hill through Banton, and on up the lane to High Banton. To questions of "are you sure this is right?", we continued and parked where I indicated, by the cottage of the land owner.
Having spoken with the owner on two previous occasions and mindful of the warning about livestock, we didn't bother her this time and just set off down the track.
The stile by the gate has seen better days, it is broken. While I tried to place it back in place, Rachel just opened the gate and walked through. Too simple.
Now bearing in mind that our last visit to our "home" point on my birthday involved livestock, I started to explain to Rachel about the owner's warnings about "bulls in the field". Funnily enough this made Rachel a bit nervous.
We duly came across a herd with some calves who took an interest in us. Knowing that a cow can be protective, we went to the edge of the field, up a little bank and bypassed them. Watching them just as much as they watched us. I assured Rachel they were cows and not bulls.
Over the dry stone wall into the field with the CP in and there is a flock of sheep, who proceeded to ignore us. Take the required photographs.
On the way out I notice that some of the "cows" don't have the required "dangly bits" and were actually of the male persuasion instead. I saved that snippet of info for when we had left the field and were on our way back to the car. On the way back we saw some burning of "stuff", set into the side of the bank, guess it's safe when you know what you are doing.
One last note, barbed wire and hands don't go together very well.