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I’ve been working hard.  Probably too hard since my brain occasionally implodes and I am sent to bed with the sort of migraine that makes me wonder if I might not be developing super telekinetic powers (no luck thus far…).

But the dissertation is growing and gaining shape and argument and thought and I am beginning to think that it actually has a chance of being finished in a month.  Which is good, because I leave Scotland in a month from today.  It’s strange to think about…

One thing I won’t miss about Scotland is how it doesn’t seem to understand the basics of summer.  You know how summer works: blazing sun, cold lemonade and ice cream cones, beaches and picnics, sandals and shorts…

Well on the first day of summer, I went with Hannah and her visiting friend Julie to the beautiful Inchcolme island in the Firth of Forth where an old abbey stands in partial ruin.

 

It was not a summery day.  The sky was dark and heavy with rain and it was windy and cold.

We went bravely forth, nevertheless.  That’s all you can really do in Scotland.

The boat rose and plunged over the waves.  it was better than a theme park ride.  The automated tour guide would say, ‘If you look out to the left you can see thus and such.’  We would dutifully stare into the heavy, rainy fog.  We might as well have been lost at sea because you couldn’t see anything.

We were spit out onto the island by the boat and had an hour and half to tour before it would come back and pick us up.  Gee, thanks!  I felt sorry for the wedding party that was struggling to get from the abbey to the boat.  Some of them tried to use their umbrellas.  It was not a success.

But we were there to see the abbey ruins and so we did.

The thing about ruins is that they are sadly lacking roofs.  The thing about islands is that they are sadly lacking in shelter from the wind.  It was an exciting day. 

Fortunately, there was an interior with walls and a ceiling, which we made use of.  There was a lovely path leading around the island, but even if there hadn’t been a monsoon keeping us from enjoying a walk, the seagulls were nesting right in front of the path and let’s just say that the militant gleam in their eye was not encouraging.

We appreciated the abbey for as long as we could, but finally retreated to the lovely warmth of the gift shop where we spent the next forty five minutes amusing ourselves (and probably the lady in the gift shop) with our wanderings and perusings of the standard issue Scotland tourist gadgets.

It wasn’t exactly how I pictured the first day of summer, but I just figure Scotland hasn’t been taught how to handle a proper summer.

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