Tuesday, November 11, 2008

yes i am mostly happy, yes i am mostly content, but leaving scotland broke this lassie's heart

so about a year ago we were in scotland. i had never been and always, always wanted to go. yeah, edinburgh was nice, a beautiful city, rah rah.
but the country-side. och, the country-side.
we drove up from edinburgh to loch ness, and stayed in a little bed and breakfast right on the lake. we did a boat trip, and it snowed while we were out there. they had this piped music on the boat, and it was all scottish reels and the like. i loved it, and my heart was bursting and even though it was so fucking freezing and everyone else went inside, i had to stay on deck and watch the dark waters, and the clouds and really, my heart was bursting with happiness.
princess gave her teddy, oscar, a surname. we became clan mc donald and got him a beer-can kilt. we ate haggis, we ate fish and chips. we drove to the isle of skye and i saw a sign that took me back to childhood, with my dad insisting i stay up late, at about the age of 8, and watch the best movie of all time - brigadoon.
as we drove, i played a cd of bagpipes that i had found in a shop in edinburgh. i wore my tartan scarf which had cost about 200 fucking dollars. cashmere. and i sang oh you take the high road, and i'll take the low road, and i'll be in scotland afore ye! and never will i see my true love's face again on the bonny bonny banks of loch lomond! over and over and i was driving everyone mental.
but i didn't care, because my heart was bursting with happiness.
we got to loch lomond, i pulled over, and said i'd just be a minute. i scrabbled down the banks, sat beside the lake, hearing the water lapping and just amazed that i was there. after about 3 minutes, voices, and next thing i knew, there were the three kids, plus oscar the teddy, joining me and ruining my moment. but i'd had it. i'd had my moment.

loch lomond

memorial to the mcdonald massacre, or was it the campbell massacre. anyway, it was really significant to oscar.

sign on isle of skye.

eilean donan

breakfast at our b&b - loch ness

look at the scotch. can you see the nessie-shaped ice block? look more carefully.

the heart-bursting boat trip.

the boat.
there are lots of good things in my life, particularly a readerly-affair with hemingway at this moment.
but there's no scotland.


Another Outspoken Female said...

But you didn't mention the best bit - the Scots themselves. I hitched through Scotland (in my younger, sillier and more optimistic days) and only met one foul person (the old bat who ran the youth hostel in beautiful Tobermory). Everyone else was a wonder.

I lost my camera while walking around lake lomond. Not expecting much, I popped by the local police station the next day, only to find it was handed in to the main station in Glasgow. When I arrived to pick it up, the policeman was so concerned that I had hitched into the city, I was given the train fare back to the town I was staying in.

Melba said...

what a lovely story aof and hi. truth be told, apart from shopkeepers and wait staff we didn't meet any scots. how bad is that? i guess that's the difference between backpacking and being younger and out there, and travelling as a family.

even the lady running the b&b on loch ness was english!

squib said...

MrSquib and I have a lot of fights about a tartan scarf which he claims is his but which in point of fact he said I could have only he can't remember saying that

Anyway, the lines for you are: 'my heart's in the highlands, my heart is not here, my heart's in the highlands a-chasing the deer' (shame Burns was such jerk)

When I finished school I went from 'the outback' to Glasgow. It was beautiful (not so much Glasgow, more the rest, esp the country) and I really want a castle there (with central heating)

Pepsi said...

A melancholy post there Ms Melba?

The pictures are gorgeous, I have similar photos of some of those places but the sun was shining as it was the whole time I was there during my last visit - Edb during the festival in August can be so much fun. The highlands are an especially beautiful part of the world in summer time, that I can agree with you whole heartedly on.

You didn’t mention the coffee, no matter where I went on any trip outside of E or G, the coffee was so thick the spoon could stand up on its own.

The Campbell’s slaughtered the MacDonald’s in a nasty piece of 'traitors aligning themselves with the English' or so the MacDonald’s say. Either way, Glencoe is still a lovely place to tramp about.

Last time I was there I was fancy free and I can tell you - there was no complaints about any of the Scots I met ;-)

Melba said...

thanks squib for those lovely lines. i need to read some burns i think and feed my soul.

since i was a child, with my father saying he would take us to scotland, ancestral lands and all that, best highland fling trophy cup on display in grandparents' house, loving the bagpipes innately when everyone else hates them, i have known about scotland and wanted to go.

it was the highlight of the whole trip for me and there's something about it that reaches very very deep for me.

Melba said...

hey pepsi, your comment came through while i was writing my reply to squib so it looks like i've snubbed you. BUT I HAVEN'T.

glencoe was magical for me, i just loved driving through the mountains. it was overcast and cold and i loved it.

i don't remember the coffee though? i think we'd given up by then, because after turkey and italy the coffee was truly shite everywhere else. was possibly onto the tea by the time we got to scotland.

but yes, a very melancholy post.

i did once meet a most attractive scot, here in melbourne, i couldn't understand a word he said, he was glasweigian (sp?) and he cooked a mean seafood chowder and i was married and he had a girlfriend so i just had to admire from afar that one time i met him.

Pepsi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pepsi said...

Thanks Ms Melba, I am used to being ignored when I post comments on blogs so its always a nice touch to get a personalised response.

(except for the MCL but she's off doing the Augie March groupie thing)