a perfect (scottish) seven, plus one

It has always been a dream to visit Scotland.

My parents loved it enough to name my sister, just 15 months older than me, Heather. I had visited it on two previous occasions. Once to visit a college in Glasgow (for 6 hours); and once, travelling all the way from New Zealand, to interview a possible faculty member in Edinburgh (for 24 hours, and led on to George & Jo Wieland, together with Lindsey, Joanne and Jonathan, coming to NZ).

But visits lasting a few hours hardly constitute visiting a country. And so after Langham meetings in Wales, to which Barby had also been invited, we headed off for a five day holiday in Scotland (during which we enjoyed a total of five hours of sunshine, as we traveled 1106 miles).

Never before have I been in a country where the letters are so familiar to me, but my pronunciation of those letters, as they assemble together in place names, seem so unfamiliar to them. The only words I got right were the rivers - Tay, Don, Esk, Tweed and other such complicated assemblages. Maybe the five years of living in Invercargill, where every street name seems to come from Scotland (we lived on Tweed St), prepared me for this daunting assignment.

I've already posted photos on the staggering views of the Isle of Skye from Elbol and Applecross - but here are eight other places we enjoyed.

new abbey

An unheralded little abbey, known also as Sweetheart Abbey.
We loved the grass carpet and the Mogul-coloured stone that reminded us a bit of Delhi.

glencoe

Everyone raves about this one - and so they should.
My stunt-double, Daniel Craig, helped me out with a few scenes here in a recent movie.

corpach
We stayed overnight in a little B&B and then a still morning led to lots of reflection photos.
This is Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK.

eilean donan
The iconic castle which so often introduces Scotland to the world.

stirling
An historic location, with the Robert the Bruce statue in the foreground and the William Wallace memorial in the distance.
And in the valley between, marked by the Stirling Bridge ... and all kinds of brave-hearted battles.

This William Wallace memorial is nowhere near Stirling - and was announced only by a simple sign
on a tiny lane in the middle of the Borders. It is deserving of far, far more marketing!
east neuk


The sun shone as we moved through this sequence of jigsaw puzzle villages south of St Andrews.

dunkeld
So many of the cathedrals in the UK seem so removed from mission and ministry.
Not this one. All the explanations for the tourist were tinged by the gospel. 
The surrounding area inspired Beatrix Potter
royal mile (edinburgh)

Not usually a big fan of wherever it is that the crowds wander, but this 'mile' is an exception.
Here is John Knox in the courtyard of New College, made famous for me by John 'Diary of Private Prayer' Baillie,
Thomas 'the expulsive power of a new affection' Chalmers, James 'prince of preachers' Stewart ... all very exciting.
It is also where Kiwi Murray Robertson trained.
Then around the corner, presiding over 'the mile', staring down the church
and subverting much of what New College stood for is ... philosopher David Hume.

nice chatting

Paul


PS: ... and England's Lake District ain't too bad either!


Comments

alandbusch said…




Sent from my iPad

Good early mornIng Paul. I too have long wanted to visit Scotland. I think my interest goes back to the time when I first watched the 1955 film Wee Geordie which, as a matter of fact, I referenced in a recent article. I enjoyed much your analysis of MK Black's maiden speech and your remark about the phonetic disconnect between Scottish spelling and what comes out of the mouth.

Alan D. Busch
Alandbusch@gmail.com
Skokie, IL USA

http://www.examiner.com/judaism-in-chicago/alan-busch?no_cache=1439430888
Ben Carswell said…
Well recovered with your final sentence ;) Stunning photos - a great affection for Scotland. As has often been said, one of the greatest advantages in preaching is to have a Scottish accent...glad you enjoyed your time there.
Ben Carswell said…
Well recovered with your final sentence ;) Stunning photos - a great affection for Scotland. As has often been said, one of the greatest advantages in preaching is to have a Scottish accent...glad you enjoyed your time there.
Paul Windsor said…
Thanks, Alan and Ben.
I guess the Lakes area is half way back to Yorkshire...

Paul