I have found out that the house clinging to the cliffs opposite is Dunbeath Castle, which dates back to the fifteenth century, though was extensively remodelled during the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. On my trip to the post office I caught sight of a little harbour down in the bay beneath it, though there would be no chance of getting Thebus there, but it looked quite charming.
The winds were very high again last night with lashing rain. The next morning dawned windy, and pretty wet and grey, the breakers rolling in with white foamy tops to crash onto the rocks beneath the castle. This is a photo through the misty missle (taken when it wasn’t pouring with rain)
A couple of days ago I caught sight of something moving up by one of the stone walls at the far side of the meadow next to us, though I couldn't make out what it was, so putting the camera on maximum zoom I took a photo and it turned out to be a Highland cow. The first I have seen on my trip. Apparently there is quite a large herd of them but they must creep along beside the stone walling to keep out of the driving wind and rain. She must have been out during a bright spell, though she soon disappeared again, and I haven't seen another since.
The electricty pole behind her looks as though it might have liked to stay out of the wind also, many of them here seem to stand at alarming angles in testament to the strength of the winds here along the coast. The trees by contrast though short do not bend to the prevailing wind, I assume because it seems to come in from any and every direction. The electricty pole is probably like a wind sock - simply showing the way it is blowing at present.
When it dies back the seagulls reappear crying overhead, but they haven't hung around long on most days before heading back inland to the nearest convenient council dump
Late last night another RV turned up and parked next to us There was a tremendous banging of doors, and the same again early this morning as they struggled in the strong winds. It turns out they had difficulty turning in to the actual pitch, drove on the grass and got hopelessly stuck. When I took Phoebe out for a leg stretch I asked if they would like to borrow some 'Rescue Track' which I had bought for that very purpose. He said thanks, though I could tell he thought they would be absolutely no use. Apparently they worked very well and they have escaped and are now back on the hardstanding.
All the slamming as I lay in bed didnt really disturb me as I am getting used to continual changes of sound, plus at that particular time the wind was howling, the rain lashing and Thebus doing his rattle and roll, but I remembered two pieces of poetry I had to learn when I was about eight. Obviously written in an era when rhyme was all important in poetry. I must say it does make them easier to remember, and presumably they served a dual purpose of both training the mind and imparting a useful lesson in behaviour
And just for good measure here is another by Hillaire Belloc -even better I think. When I learnt them as I child I only recognised the moral and missed all the humour
The garage up the road phoned today to say they think its not just a case of a loose wire, but there is some sort of switch which needs replacing and have sent off 'down South' for it and have been told to expect it 'in a day or two' Arrrggghhh!!!! This scooter and rack is getting me down a bit, but once its all going I am convinced it will be great........... See I am remaining positive !!!!
I had even more parcels delivered from Amazon, one, a helping hand, which is something for short people to reach things down from tall cupboards, and which only cost me £5.50 including delivery arrived in a box about three foot by two foot six – the actual thing is only about three inches by twenty four inches! I would imagine the box alone cost nearly £5 - I shall fill the single recyling bin just with cardboard at this rate
I had a nice chat with the folk next door when they returned the Rescue Track. They had travelled seven hundred miles up here from Dorset in hopes of seeing the Northern Lights after an abortive trip to Norway at the end of last year where they saw absolutely nothing. They are having to return home soon and it has been so wet up here there has not been much chance to see anything this time either, I looked out tonight now the wind has dropped and the rain ceased, but I would think that had there been the possiblity of seeing them tonight the amount of street lighting, even in this country area would preclude it. I will have to get as far north in Shetland as I can to have much of an opportunity of seeing anything of the Lights in today's world.
When I was at Croft Ends there was a lovely couple staying next to me for part of the time. He had been in the Royal Navy for twenty five years, having joined up at sixteen and a half, and served on the Arc Royal. He told me how they catapulted the planes off with huge rams, and apparently when they landed they were caught in wires cradles. Why I suddenly remembered our conversation was he also told me that one night on late watch, right out in the northern oceans in the pitch black, he had seen a fantastic display of the Aurora Borealis
He was a tough guy so he didn't wax lyrical or harp on about it, but you could tell by the expression on his face that he had been moved by the experience
Dunbeath Castle above the breakers on the cliffs
Stealth Highland Cow
keeping close to the wall out of the wind
A Trick that everyone abhors
In Little Girls is slamming Doors.
A Wealthy Banker’s little Daughter
Who lived in Palace Green, Bayswater
(By name Rebecca Offendort),
Was given to this Furious Sport.
She would deliberately go
And Slam the door like Billy-Ho!
To make her Uncle Jacob start.
She was not really bad at heart,
But only rather rude and wild:
She was an aggravating child.
It happened that a Marble Bust
Of Abraham was standing just
Above the Door this little Lamb
Had carefully prepared to Slam,
And down it came! It knocked her flat!
It laid her out! She looked like that:
Her funeral Sermon (which was long
And followed by a Sacred Song)
Mentioned her Virtues, it is true,
But dwelt upon her Vices too,
And showed the Dreadful End of One
Who goes and slams the door for Fun.
Godfrey Gordon Gustavus Gore —
No doubt you have heard the name before —
Was a boy who never would shut a door!
The wind might whistle, the wind might roar,
And teeth be aching and throats be sore,
But still he never would shut the door.
His father would beg, his mother implore,
'Godfrey Gordon Gustavus Gore,
We really do wish you would shut the door!'
Their hands they wrung, their hair they tore;
But Godfrey Gordon Gustavus Gore
Was deaf as the buoy out at the Nore.
When he walked forth the folks would roar,
'Godfrey Gordon Gustavus Gore,
Why don't you think to shut the door?'
They rigged up a Shutter with sail and oar,
And threatened to pack off Gustavus Gore
On a voyage of penance to Singapore.
But he begged for mercy and said, 'No more!
Pray do not send me to Singapore
On a Shutter, and then I will shut the door!'
'You will?' said his parents; 'then keep on shore!
But mind you do! For the plague is sore
Of a fellow that never will shut the door,
Godfrey Gordon Gustavus Gore!'
William Brighty Rands
MATILDA told such Dreadful Lies,
It made one Gasp and Stretch one's Eyes;
Her Aunt, who, from her Earliest Youth,
Had kept a Strict Regard for Truth,
Attempted to Believe Matilda:
The effort very nearly killed her,
And would have done so, had not She
Discovered this Infirmity.
For once, towards the Close of Day,
Matilda, growing tired of play,
And finding she was left alone,
Went tiptoe to the Telephone
And summoned the Immediate Aid
Of London's Noble Fire-Brigade.
Within an hour the Gallant Band
Were pouring in on every hand,
From Putney, Hackney Downs, and Bow.
With Courage high and Hearts a-glow,
They galloped, roaring through the Town,
'Matilda's House is Burning Down!'
Inspired by British Cheers and Loud
Proceeding from the Frenzied Crowd,
They ran their ladders through a score
Of windows on the Ball Room Floor;
And took Peculiar Pains to Souse
The Pictures up and down the House,
Until Matilda's Aunt succeeded
In showing them they were not needed;
And even then she had to pay
To get the Men to go away!
It happened that a few Weeks later
Her Aunt was off to the Theatre
To see that Interesting Play
The Second Mrs. Tanqueray.
She had refused to take her Niece
To hear this Entertaining Piece:
A Deprivation Just and Wise
To Punish her for Telling Lies.
That Night a Fire did break out--
You should have heard Matilda Shout!
You should have heard her Scream and Bawl,
And throw the window up and call
To People passing in the Street--
(The rapidly increasing Heat
Encouraging her to obtain
Their confidence) -- but all in vain!
For every time she shouted 'Fire!'
They only answered 'Little Liar!'
And therefore when her Aunt returned,
Matilda, and the House, were Burned.
William Brighty Rands
Isn't this what everyone
might imagine a
to look like?