dEAr diary ~ bonnie Scotland

We travelled up to Scotland (to our wreck of a cottage by the sea) last Thursday it was a gorgeous Spring day.

We stopped for a picnic lunch close to the start of our journey at a place called Windy Hill just off the M62 not far from where we live rather than pull into the services.  The layby looks over a beautiful expanse of wild untouched moorland which if you kept walking from here into the distance would eventually meet up with the famous Saddleworth moor. Now look behind me – not so quiet and untouched as this is the busy M62 cutting through across the Pennines at its highest point.Now look again – every verge as far as the eye can see littered with rubbish. We drove 250 miles in all, mainly on motorway and a major ‘A’ road, and every verge revealed so much litter – even this lay by near Dumfries in bonnie Scotland!  Not so bonnie at the moment.Dumfries and Galloway Council in their wisdom have removed many of their litter bins from the lay-bys on the A75 down to Stranraer – a decision they may live to regret.

I am saddened – our journey was like driving through a landfill site – just who is it that is leaving this litter and feels the need to throw it out of their cars as they drive along rather than take it home and put it in their bin?

……On a brighter note we had a lovely few days at the cottage (staying in the caravan still).  We had not expected such good weather and we spent all our time in the garden.  It was so peaceful broken only by the sound of birdsong and the waves of the sea.

As usual even though I had rid the borders of every weed possible on our last visit it looked like we had done nothing.

The cottage garden is much further north than our garden at home in West Yorkshire but is much further on due to the milder weather of the Gulf stream.  Most of the daffodils are already out – each year new ones are springing up all over  – I am always surprised at some of the places they choose to grow – these are growing through some beach pebbles in quite a dark spot hidden from the sun but seem happy enough. The catkins on the corkscrew Hazel are just coming into flower.The big surprise was our family Rhododendron growing in the lower wood (named after DH’s grandfather who grew it for the Castle Kennedy estate, he was head gardener).  We grew this from a cutting, it is an early flowering variety but even this is quite early and the one at home in our garden is only just in bud. And some even more unexpected news – coming home late yesterday evening we left the M62 at Milnrow as usual and drove through New Hey, Denshaw and Delph towards Marsden and to our surprise came across about 8 fire engines and a few police cars parked on the verge side with flashing lights.  At first we thought there had been a bad collision on the road but as our view opened up we saw the mass of fire on the moorland (this is looking from the other side of the moor you see in the top photo).  It was quite bizarre as the fire raged in straight lines across the open moorland – some of the burning lines zig zagged across the moors way into the distance.We stopped on the side of the road with many other passers-by to take pictures and spoke to some of the fire beaters who were having a break.  They told us it may have started in the nearby lay-by and could have been just a cigarette.  Although quite spectacular it is sad for all the wildlife that will have been harmed by this.

….Today we have been busy unpacking, washing and shopping as tomorrow we travel up to North Yorkshire to collect my mum again and bring her back to stay with us for a few days – needless to say I will probably not have the energy or time to write very much for a day or two as mum is quite high maintenance now, bless her.  My sister is having her respite – she is feeling a little stressed trying to sort out all my mum’s recent health problems, she seems to have developed a lot of niggly complaints that need my sister’s constant attention.

Any plans we had are now put on hold once again for a few days – I am finding it increasingly hard to pick up where we left off on a project and we are ending up with a load of unfinished jobs.  Every time we turn into our drive I am reminded that we still have to paint the front door, then there is the shed waiting for a coat of weatherproofing paint and we must get in touch with the contractor who does the resurfacing for the driveway – that is just to mention a few but all of them require warmer weather and I think it is about to turn cold again according to the forecasts.

The plans for the pantry are progressing slowly – during the cold spell DH moved the cupboard in the garage housing our household cleaners and ‘stuff’ to a different position to make room for yet another cupboard to house the vac and outdoor gardening coats which are presently kept in what will be the new pantry.  We will have to have another visit to IKEA to get the new cupboard but that is no hardship for me – I love to have a browse around.  Once this is in place we can move the coats and vac out and I think we will be ready to strip the walls of the old wallpaper and put in the new cupboards and shelves.

So I will leave you there and I hope to be back in a day or two – unfortunately my constant coming and going at the moment on my blog is just a reflection of all the coming and going in my life.

Welcome to my new followers and sorry if my posts are a bit erratic at the moment and a bit of a ramble.

Back soon x





14 Replies to “dEAr diary ~ bonnie Scotland”

  1. The rubbish is horrid. Not as horrid as the fire. We are used to frequent bush fires. Not used to in the sense of not being affected but we expect them. So many are lit by people. So much destruction, and death of animals not just by the fire but loss of food and shelter afterwards.

    I love the flowers. Never heard of catkins. Can that term refer to any dangly flowers on a shrub? Yours looks so unusual. Would love curly hazel.


  2. The fires around the UK this week have been bad, and so unexpected for February. I have such respect for the firefighters who worked so hard through the night to deal with the burning heaths. I watched a news report from somewhere which said the terrain was impossible to cross in firetruck, and the crews walked 45minutes (in their heavy uniforms) to get to the flames.


    1. I can vouch for that – the fire engines were all parked up and not able to get onto the moors as it is quite steep hills were the fire was burning – the only way was to beat it out. The men we chatted to had just come back from a beating session and they looked dead beat themselves.


      1. Our firefighters are sometimes taken into the mountains by helicopter. Do their shift of firefighting. then hike down the mountain with all their equipment. Such gratitude and respect for them.

        Sad to see all that plastic litter, and the effect on wildlife in future.


  3. The rubbish and the fires are beyond disheartening.

    As for your schedule these days, I am sure by now you are wondering when you ever had time to hold down a job. Retirement is not for sissies. Hope all goes well with your mother’s visit–not easy times. Make sure to take care of yourself in the midst of the upheaval.


  4. Those pictures of the litter are truly shocking, beyond belief. What sort of society are we now, throwing our rubbish on the side of the road with no thought as to how it’s destroying the view, the wildlife, our environment etc? It really makes my blood boil. Also, do they not clean the verges (I know the rubbish shouldn’t be there in the first place)? I lived in France for awhile and they regularly clean the verges at the side of major roads there. That rubbish is also testament to how much takeaway food, junk food and ‘on the go’ food we eat nowadays!


  5. It’s so sad to see rubbish just dumped by the roadside like that. Bins or not, I don’t understand how people can just leave it there. Whilst out on a run a few weeks ago, I noticed quite a bit of litter along a roadside where I wouldn’t usually expect to see any. The further along I ran, I realised it had actually been someone’s recycling that must have been blown about during the strong winds. Still an eyesore, however.
    I heard about the terrible fires on the news. I hope they’ve managed to get them under control now. X


  6. I have always been confused about what moorland and heath are so I had to look it up! There’s an area of Sussex heath near where Rom’s parents live that had an extensive fire and it does not recover easily. I despise litter. Sadly, our roadways look the same 😦 I am glad to see your Spring is fast advancing.


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