Tuesday Travels. . . Inverness

I was reliving memories of my childhood visits to Inverness when we came across Inverness station.  My elder sister was in charge of me when we both traveled by train to our uncle’s croft at Boultach in Caithness.  Dad would drop us at Perth where we caught the train to Inverness.  We had to change trains at Inverness and a vivid memory of mine is that we couldn’t find our tickets for the ongoing journey.  A bit of a panic but we did find them thank goodness.

You can see from the announcement boards that there are four pages for the 17.54 journey from Inverness to Wick.  We would get off the train at Helmsdale and then on the bus to Latheronwheel.  Our uncle would be waiting with the tractor at the End of the Smerral Road and my sister and I would sit on the tractor wheel guards for the trip up the road to the croft at Boultach.

You can stay in the station building at Helmsdale as the property was completely refurbished after being out of use for 20 years.

Inverness is a beautiful city and my husband and I spent a couple of nights there before we were to continue on our journey south.  We spent some time exploring the city centre and visited the castle where there were some beautiful views of the river Ness.

We stopped at the Castle Tavern for lunch and the meal we had was absolutely delicious.

Neeps, potato, haggis and Drambuie cream sauce accompanied by oatcakes.  Yum!

Old shirt recycled as dress lining.

It is a while since I have done any sewing.  I had cut out this dress last summer but hadn’t got around to doing anything with the cut out pieces.  I have finally got my act together and completed it.  The lining and pockets are made from shirt fabric that is being recycled.

I wasn’t sure if my granddaughter would wear it but I think the pockets were what convinced her.  She loves having pockets to put things in.  Although it is still winter here she wore it on her way back home to Canberra.

Tuesday travels. . . Tomnahurich, Hill of the Fairies, Inverness

Yes it is cemetery gates and you may be asking what this has to do with our travels.  Tomnahurich, Hill of the Fairies, is a place I visited as a child when I was on a caravaning holiday with my father and brother and sisters.  I remember enjoying wandering around the hillside reading the inscriptions on the gravestones and being surprised at how many were memorials for young people.  The cemetery is very old and so the gravestones go back many years to when infant death was common.  The cemetery had a lasting impression on me and that is why I wanted to revisit it.

We were staying in Inverness and I convinced my husband that it would be a good idea to see if we could locate the cemetery and we started off by walking along the banks of the river Ness.

We then visited the Botanical Gardens.

We followed along the banks of the Caledonian Canal and came across a swing bridge just as it was being opened.

after which we caught a glimpse of the cemetery.The view from the top of the cemetery is lovely, you wouldn’t think you were in a city.There is a wonderful website that tells you all about the Fairy Hill and I encourage you to read it.  It will help you understand why I wanted to make the trip back to the cemetery.

 

Strips of colour or chevrons

A while ago I crocheted a chevron rug for my daughter.  I used wool that I had frogged from a jumper and then bought the contrasting wool.

I was delighted when my son said he would be happy if I made him a lap rug using up scraps of wool.  He normally doesn’t ask for me to knit anything for him so I jumped at this idea.  I decided I would crochet a chevron rug as it is easy to do, no thinking required while I watch the cricket.

As soon as I arrived home I checked out the pile of left-over wool and pulled out a few colours that I thought would go together ok.

I was sorting through my 8ply box but when I finished the rug I found that I had inadvertently put in some wool that was not 8ply.  I don’t think it makes too much of a difference and the finished rug looks ok.

The pale grey is the non 8ply. You can see that the chevron is narrower.

I am happy with the result.

Tuesday Travels. . .Whaligoe Steps, Caithness

On the map the Whaligoe Steps can be found at  “The Haven”.

When we returned to mainland Scotland after our trip to Shetland we stayed with my cousins at Burrigle, Forse.  We were fortunate to have our cousins show us around the lesser known parts of the countryside and the Whaligoe Steps were something I wanted to see.  I had not visited them when I used to go as a child on holiday to Burrigle so was happy to get the opportunity to visit them and learn a bit about their history.The steep steps down to the harbour are daunting at first sight but it is not too difficult a climb and well worth the effort. You can click on each photo to see more detail.

It is hard to believe that the women used to carry the baskets of herring back up the 300 steps to the top of the cliff.

The history of the Whaligoe Steps is fully described on this site at Undiscovered Scotland.

This is part of undiscovered Scotland that you definitely should see.

An Australian icon leaves us.

One of Australia’s icons, the beloved Margaret Fulton, food writer and cook, passed away yesterday at the age of 94.

I think I probably came across her recipes for the first time in either of the magazines, Womans Weekly or New Idea.  She was the first female Australian cook to introduce us to the flavours of other nations.

I used many of her recipes when our children were young as the recipes were simple and easy for a working mother to follow.  Both of our daughters cooked from the Margaret Fulton Encyclopaedia of Food and Cookery when they were still school students.  Vegetable pie, first cooked in 1992 by my elder daughter, and  cinnamon teacake by my younger daughter, were both family favourites.

Back in 2017 I read her memoir, I Sang for my Supper – memories of a food writer, and I felt I knew her after reading it.  If you get the opportunity borrow the book from your library to learn more about this amazing Australian treasure, who incidentally was born in Scotland.

I have also reposted a post I wrote a few years ago when I was using one of the recipes from the encyclopaedia.