Lockdown Birthday

Last week we should have been on the Isle of Bute, celebrating my birthday with baklava*

Image from a new Syrian cafe in Dumfries: Levantine.

and views of the sea.

But, for obvious reasons, we had to cancel the trip and stay home. So, instead, I baked my own single serving cake (the Husband doesn’t eat cake, and I knew if I baked a big one I’d become a big one too):

Two chocolate brownies cut from a tray of them with a cookie cutter, sandwiched together with rose-water scented butter-cream, and topped with rose-water scented whipped cream. I gave (most of) the remaining brownies to a friend so I couldn’t eat them all.

and we went on a 9.5k hike.

The tangliest hawthorn I’ve ever seen!

Because it was a long walk we took a tub of hummus and some crisps with us, and it was great sitting in the sun dipping and crunching.

Having never seen the point of walking in the hills and woods that surround us here, it’s now become my salvation. Here are some random shots from the walks we’ve taken since my last post:

Cuckoo flower and the Husband (7 April)
Ghostly trees (10 April)
Tree with new but unoccupied crow’s nest (10 April, this was a super long walk!)
Flowering currant absolutely buzzing with bees (12 April)
Nothing to announce: a noticeboard in the middle of nowhere! (12 April).

Header image: a multiplicity of lichens on a young apple tree at the side of a single track road.

*Because Bute has been leaching residents for some time the local council housed several Syrian families who had fled the war. They have now set up cafes, take-aways, barbers, all sorts, and I can’t think of anything better than a Scottish island full of mediterranean food outlets.

7 thoughts on “Lockdown Birthday

  1. We love Bute, always went from Wemyss Bay. Only an hour from Glasgow and your back in Victorian Scotland preparing to embark…That ferry terminal at Wemyss Bay is one of those places where I can time slip in an instant. Craftsmanship at its finest – elaborate wrought iron and glass. I bet it’s been used in a lot of films along with Mount Stewart House. I’ve always preferred more Modern architecture, Arts and Crafts, Art Deco and Brutalist along the lines of the Seminary at Cardross, which is in a sad state of decay. However, Mount Stewart in all its Gothic Revival stole my heart and I swapped the Victorian silk flounces of Wemyss for a Wimple. I need to revisit once this is over.

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    1. I’ve never been, and I’m now glad the trip was cancelled as you have given me even more to look forward to than sea views and baklava: I had no idea the ferry terminal at Wemyss Bay was so marvellous!

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    1. I really do recommend getting out and exploring the countryside that surrounds you. Our first few walks had me feeling I wasn’t going to be able to make the last few steps home, I ached so much. Now I don’t even notice hills. Today we did 7K up through a tangly forest to a hill fort and quarry, over a couple of walls and fences, then down a steep road back into town, and feel like I could have done the same distance again and still feel fine. And, best of all, I can now wear old jeans I could barely get over my knees this time last year. XXX

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    1. Thank you!
      Arran’s the first Scottish island I ever visited. My first husband’s family used to go there every summer for a month, so when I joined the family I joined the holidays too. My current husband (hopefully my last!) learnt to play guitar there when he was a teenager, so we’ve been there together several times and have many friends there, so I love it too. I think my favourite of the islands I’ve visited so far is Lewis, we had our honeymoon there, and were freakishly lucky with the weather. I loved everything about it, the landscape is so diverse. I’m hoping to get to all the islands before I need a zimmer frame!

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