I’m honoured to be taken back into someone else’s past this week. It was a relatively peaceful drive with an overnight in Loch Lomond. The first holiday with any new companion is always a revelation but this one is more. A first visit for me, a first return for her. First introduction. First experience as tour guide and willing tourist on a tiny island off the coast of Scotland.
My ignorance of Scottish geography (beyond train journeys to the capital) demonstrated itself able as the penny slowly dropped in Glencoe. There was a massacre here about which I know little more than the name.
Mull is a beautiful place. It is also very small. With but a few miles (and I mean less than 10) of roads with more than one carriageway and enough cattle grids to stop a stampede you might think that it would be a stressful place to drive but having to take the world at a pace rarely over 20 miles an hour and often well under that you tend to forget the rat race fairly rapidly. So what if it’s drizzling look at Tobermory (Balamory for those of you under five).
They make whisky.
They have a Michellin starred fish and chip van.
They have one of the world’s top ten beaches at Calgary where there is also a stunning sculpture trail among the trees and we were able to take part in a wood carving workshop. When I heard there was a ‘workshop’ going on I groaned inwardly but said OK, it’s a yes blog after all. Small children were observed writing their names on planks then carving them with the aid of the very patient expert.
“Ah”, he said “I was told there were a couple of adults. This project might take two or three hours have you got time?”
We had time. And the result was a joyous afternoon with the smell of the wood, conversation and a gentle strain on body and mind willing the chisel to form a six inch clam shell from a chunk of lime wood. it did take around three hours and we were both grinning like loons and aching to boot as we lugged paperweight sized shells back to the car for the two hour, 20 mile journey back to our lodgings.
We had arrived on one of only three days in the year where the workshop is available. The carver gave his time and tools for free. (Donation for the trees welcomed) Let me recommend unreservedly Calgary Art In Nature come rain or shine. I think I may have discovered a new passion. Comments about me always seeming a bit wooden will be ignored!