Sunday, August 05, 2012

2012 - HD2

On the way here, yesterday, the wife was the first person to notice the fluctuating temperatures. All the way up it ranged between 18 and 21.5 degrees, depending on the rain; but when we got into Scotland it went all over the place. At one point about 10 miles from Dumfries, the temperature reached 22.5, but looking at the huge black mass in front of us I didn't expect it to last that long and it didn't. At the heart of the storm it was down to 13.5 degrees and was horrible.

This morning - after a long lie in - we decided to have a nothing day. We thought we'd drive down to Garlieston - on Jenny, our host's, recommendation; but there were far too many cows roaming around unfenced, so we got the OS map out and saw this place called Monreith with its Black Rock Beach. By the time we got there, the clouds were all to our left and blue sky and sea to our right. On the way down to it, I was the person to notice how utterly dead the whole place is; this isn't a traditional family holiday destination, therefore there's no one really here, at all, even the locals are few and far between. No wonder The Wicker Man was filmed here.

The beach was much like the roads; a handful of people and not much else, not even sand, but hey, we're on holiday. Actually, if you could have a beach like this on a glorious day with bugger all else, you'd bite someone's hand off. The dogs loved it and there's a bunch of photos that I may or may bot upload before the end of the week. The temperature on the car's thermometer said 23 degrees and for an hour or so we just chilled and it was really nice.

However, the lovely nothing day got very un-lovely as we were heading back from the beach. The blue skies were soon replaced by dark threatening bags of water soaked angriness and as we got into Wigtown the heavens opened and do I mean opened. It was like a cloudburst in the centre of the town; you could barely see 50 feet in front of you, the temperature was 14 degrees and we were laughing like idiots, because? We're on holiday!

It is now 3.30; the torrential rain has slowed to a steady cross between a drizzle and general rain; the BBC website reckons it'll be gone by 4 and the sun will be out by 6pm. Yeah and if my aunt had balls she'd be my uncle, I've cooked the dinner and watched a bit of the Olympics, specifically Ben Ainslie's win in the sailing thingy. There was a moment towards the end of the final race where the commentator, whoever he is, was focused on the French boat - which stood zero chance of winning, but was leading this final race. The camera stayed on the French boat for a good three minutes and finally the commentator almost shouted, "IT DOESN'T GET MUCH MORE EXCITING THAN THIS!" Really? Okay, I'll take that under advisement.

The rain, which looked like it was relenting about twenty minutes ago, has pepped up a bit, so the intended dog walk is being postponed. I should be doing something like working on one of my ideas, but, I've yet to find somewhere in this cottage that I feel really comfortable working from. I think I need to settle. Maybe if we had a couple of hours of sun? I think I'm going to read my book...

It's now 8.45 and the dogs are knackered, I'm on my second beer and the only thing going on has been some serious chilling; the sun even came out around 6pm and the (current) forecast isn't bad. I have this to finish up, I shall read some of my book and just take in the utter silence that is outside. if the skies clear, the wife said she might let me get her telescope out tonight and believe me as much as I'd like it to be that isn't a euphemism, missus.

Highlights of the day:
  • The Forest - that's it, not something forest or oojamaflip woods, just The Forest. It will get some serious attention later in the week.
  • Black Rock beach - you could film a period drama there and it would be authentic (if you could disguise the tarmac road).
  • Frogs!
  • Finding a pub that might have some potential.
Disappointment of the day:
  • The Martyrs' Walk down at Wigtown 'Harbour'. I expected, you know, a walk, something substantial, but not in the league of, you know, the Pennine Way or St Cuthbert's Way, but something that took you deep into the winding estuary river of the Cree. If you look at the two pictures above you will see Wigtown and the Cree, which is a tidal estuary, which wends its way through a load of marshlands until it gets wider and falls into the sea. I expected the walk to take us a couple of miles into the depths of the estuary; but no, it doesn't take you that far, it takes you about 100 yards (if that) and then ends (with a bench). You can go further on, it just isn't recommended. Hopefully the Martyrs did something honourable and went and jumped in the river and drowned for some cause, otherwise I can't see what they sacrificed or for that matter how they did it. Oh, I think we'll make them walk 100 yards as punishment, but let them have a sit down at the end. But sire, you will be making martyrs of them. Really? How's that work then? We're not killing them. Perhaps we should have them grazed to death by sheep at the end of it, or maybe thrown into the iron ore rich waters of the Cree where they can develop a lovely colour before rusting to death; maybe even tie them to floor and be eaten by slugs, god knows there's enough of those buggers here and some as big as a baby's arm. All in a Scottish accent.
    Apparently, the martyrs were two women who conducted open air church services during the takeover by the Episcopalian church, who were then tied to stakes and left to drown as the waters rose, which is actually quite nasty compared to my feeble attempt at Pythonesque humour...
Tomorrow, more beaches, Port William, Wigtown sans monsoon (hopefully) and a curry. Stay tuned you spunky buggers things might actually happen!

If there are any mistakes in this or any subseqnute globs it's because of various reasons ranging from alcohol, an assortment of drugs and the fact that I am on my netbook, I haven't got the luxury of saving it onto a memory stick and taking it upstairs to the main PC where I can spell check it and read the tiny scribble on the page without squinting even with my reading glasses and yes, before you ask, I do wear reading glasses.


  1. You could always go to Bladnoch Distillery. That's what I'd do if I was in Wigtown.

  2. It's just down the road, with the lovely looking Bladnoch Inn next to it, which is the pub I saw with potential.