Friday, 18 October 2013


Back in September, DH and I were off gallivanting again, this time to Scotland for two weeks.  We started off by joining our local coach company for a coach holiday based in Fort William.  The point of that trip was to ride on The Jacobite steam train from Fort William to Mallaig, a famously picturesque journey that I had been hoping to travel on for a long time.  The trip did not disappoint despite some typically Scottish weather (well, typically western side of UK weather really).

This is the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct of Harry Potter fame.  DH had to hang the camera out of a tiny space between the windows and hope that when he pressed the button he would have a photo.  His luck was in!  Sadly it was raining so much that it was impossible to take any photos through the windows so I can't show you the beautiful countryside we passed through.  Sterling work was done with tissues to clear the condensation from the windows so that we could see but photos weren't happening.

The end of the line at Mallaig did allow for some photography and as ever we were alert for creative potential.  

The beautiful Isle of Skye was tantalisingly close but just out of reach for the time being.

The sculpture on the pier was made by Mark Rogers of Airor in Knoydart.  (You need to scroll down to read about the sculpture if you follow the link.  Information is sparse on the 'net).

On our return from Mallaig we visited the Commando Memorial which proved to be very poignant with its recent Area of Remembrance where people have left tributes to friends and family members affected by and lost to conflict.

We had a day to explore Fort William and explored the museum as a way of dodging the showers.  If you are ever in Fort William the museum is free and is well worth a visit.  We had a fascinating time and were glad we'd taken shelter.

This beautiful stained glass door panel is a recent addition to the building which was originally a bank.  We received a very warm welcome the minute we walked through the door and were invited to photograph anything we wished.

On the fourth day of the coach tour we said goodbye to everyone and left at Kyle of Lochalsh to continue our holiday.  I had the madcap idea of using the coach trip as a way of getting to Scotland without having to make the long drive myself and it turned out to be the ideal thing to do as we picked up our hire car and headed for Skye.

First port of call was the Bed & Breakfast run by Emma and Dave of Heaven's Ocean.  You probably knoe Emma better as the author of A Little Bit of Everything blog.  I have been following Emma's blog for such a long time and as with so many blogging friends felt as if I already knew her.  We arrived as Emma was busy with her exhibition which was happening in the beautiful village of Plockton.

Emma had worked very hard for this exhibition and it was wonderful to see her work close too rather than on a digital screen.

Emma's B&B is in the most wonderful, peaceful location and she and Dave made us so welcome.

We had fun negotiating the large puddles on the lane to the cottage but they soon dried up as the rain abated.
How would you fancy waking up to this view every day?  This was the view from our bedroom and from the breakfast room. 

No sooner had we arrived on Skye than the weather fined up.  We counted ourselves very lucky.

Emma is now my bestest friend (not that she wasn't before!) and I can't wait to get back to Skye to visit with her again :-)  It might take a year or two though, god willing. 

This is Emma's very beautiful cat whose name escapes me but who was very affectionate and kept a watchful eye on us at breakfast from her comfy chair.  Tam also made us very welcome in his doggy way but I don't seem to have a picture of him.  Talking of pictures I need to do some resizing so I'll be back soon with more of our wonderful skye holiday, such a beautiful place.

News Flash!!!!  Grantham is finally on the map!  The world's longest embroidery is coming to Grantham tomorrow!  In fact it's already here.  I'm sure I've seen this work in progress at the Sewing For Pleasure show early this year so I am above excited that it will be on show from tomorrow and I will get the chance to add a few stitches (I was too shy to do it at the exhibition).  If you live within reach of Grantham come and see it and all the postcards that were made for the Olympics.   If they let me take photos I'll share it with you.  I've just noticed, I'm going to miss the associated Craft Fayre on 26 October as I will be on a secret mission in Cornwall - and DH isn't coming!  

PS  I must apologise to everyone who commented on my last post and who I didn't reply to.  I do value every comment I receive and normally reply but Yahoo have been messing with their email service and it has got very confusing and frustrating with the comments all arriving in one email which then has to be dissected to enable replies to be sent.  I have manged to delete replies instead of sending them.  Grrrrr!


Emma said...

Oh what a fabulous write up, thank you! It was a great visit & you were wonderful guests, certainly even more best friends now we've met 'in person'! Make your visit longer next time ;)That's Pussy Willow at all of an angle & Tam probably didn't stand still long enough for a pic ;)

Delicious print in your last post.

Corrine at said...

So great Julie. YOu and Emma look so cute together and how nice that you could be at her exhibit! What marvelous textures and elements photos you took from the train. I see art quilts in the making. Love that rusty chain/fence...and the graphic building. xox

Jackie said...

Don't worry about commenting on comments, my friend...I'm just so glad to see that you had a beautiful trip...a fantastic time with your Hubby...and that you shared these spectacular photos with us.
I am so happy that you are able to travel and see this beautiful world.
Hugs and love to you, Julie.

Peneller said...

Lovely photos Julie and thanks for sharing them it was lovely to be reminded of the beautiful setting where Emma lives. We are already planning our next trip!

Heather said...

A secret mission? How exciting! Your photos are brilliant in spite of the weather - what a beautiful part of the British Isles it is. Looking forward to seeing more.

ju-north said...

Loved coming on your journey with you! Must remember Emma's B and B if ever we need one when we are there.

Anna said...

What lovely pictures of your trip, an area I don't know. Great to meet up with a blooging friend!

sweetypie said...

cor, I would love to go on that train and visit the isle of skye...maybe next year

Maggi said...

Where do I start? What a fabulous post Julie. I love Mark Rogers scuplture and also the story behind the Commando Memorial is certainly poignant. How lovely for you to meet up with Emma too. Blogging introduces us to so many new friends and I hope you have a good time in Mev. with another of your blogging friends.

Thanks for the link to the Grantham exhibition. I will definitely be popping over so perhaps we could meet up for coffee.

sharon young said...

As usual a wonderful mix of travel and art, thank you for such a great post. Well done to Granthom for its moment of fame :-)

quilthexle said...

Looks like you had a fantastic trip - I visited Skye a looooooong time ago, and I loved it !

Jackie said...

Oh How fabulous. what a great idea to get the coach as far as you can. We've done that journet 'The road to teh Isles' by car and its just gorgeous, the beaches at Mora are wonderful. I loved going to Plockton via Skye and we had a wonderful week there a few years ago, its a really buzzy place. How fantastic to see Emma too! I really enjoyed this.

Linda said...

How are so lucky to have met Emma. (Brilliant idea for getting there by the way!)
Your photos are fab, especially the view from Emma's house....droool.