Who’s Minnie? Well, Minnie is a campervan I just bought! Have you always wanted one? So many of my friends are admitting to, now! Well I’ve often had the notion, but recently, after a summer where I didn’t really go anywhere, except for my week in Doune, I decided to think seriously about the idea! I looked at various websites, looked up Scottish sellers (easier to buy from, as to travel a great distance to collect seemed a bit daft), and eventually found one that I really liked the look of! Good age and mileage, nice layout and a make that friends definitely recommended. Off went my email to the seller to say I was interested and could I have a look at it. Back came the reply with a phone number to call, and that very afternoon I took myself off to Fife to take a look.
The van was great, and on the advice of a campervan owning friend, I decided to offer for it! Offer accepted, we shook hands on the deal. The seller was delightful, and made every effort to make sure everything was perfect for my taking it over, so a couple of weeks later, on Monday there, I returned to Fife – by bus this time – to collect and drive Minnie home to Peebles. It was my idea to call her Minnie! All my cars have had names, from Daisy and Susie, my very first Austins, through the Minis - Dougal, Charlie, Ivy and Bil - yes one L. It’s Swedish for car – to my mother’s Mitsubishi Metal Mickey, and the rest – Peugeots Betty and Belinda, to Smudge then Sukie who I still have for now– just in case Minnie and I don’t make it together!!
So yesterday, after a very busy few days, and in need of some relaxation, I set off with Minnie to collect my friend Morag, for a trip to St Mary’s Loch, not so very far away, where we would have lunch. It was a lovely day with blue sky and puffy white clouds as we drove down the country roads, through bright autumn coloured beech woodland, to reach the loch. The sun was glinting on the white painted historic inn, Tibbie Shiels, named for the 18th century widow who began it, and nearby, yachts and sails shone at the marina. We parked up on a piece of land beside the Loch o’ the Lowes, once part of the glacial St Mary’s loch but separated now by millennia of alluvial debris washed down from the burns flowing from the hills on either side of the valley into the loch, eventually cutting it in two. Tibbie’s is built on the isthmus – wow, there’s a word – but the parking area is alongside the smaller loch – quite choppy yesterday with the blustery wind that had risen as we arrived.
The above three photos are not my own. I thank the photographers for the use of them.
However, inside the van we enjoyed our ham and chicken salad, followed by chocolate brownies and yoghurt, and eventually a cup of tea, once I discovered which knobs to use to turn on the gas bottle and the cooker!
It had certainly been very relaxing just sitting in the van, being rocked by the wind, watching the waves and the weather as it passed over changing from sun to rain and back! Heading home the sun was behind us so better for taking photos. Unfortunately the autumn colours didn’t come out terribly bright. I think I used a wrong setting on my camera!
We are having a wonderful autumn for colour this year. Shame I didn’t capture it this time!
So on the way back, the sun came out again and once again we got the blue sky and puffy clouds. This is looking down the Yarrow valley to the Gordon Arms Inn, where the road turns off towards Peebles again, and further on this is the view from the road called the Paddy Slack to Lee Pen, the hill overlooking Innerleithen in Tweeddale. The Paddy Slack took its name from the French, Pas du lac, the road to the lake (or loch in Scotland,) having been constructed by French prisoners of the Napoleonic war who were billeted in Tweeddale.
Almost at the bottom of the road there’s another lovely view of Lee Pen with Traquair Mill in the foreground, and here today I will end my trip – only a few miles to go to Peebles.
Next time I’ll continue my story of the Knoydart visit which I started last time. Time may be easier to come by in the next wee while, as up till now things have been manic, with an urgent visit to the eye clinic included because my doctor thought the grey curtain I was seeing over half of my left eye, and the flashing lights I had been experiencing could be a retina problem. Glad to say that after examination by the eye consultant I can report there is nothing wrong and that he thinks I just had an ocular migraine! Of course I have been warned that if it happens again I go straight to my doctor! Fingers crossed for no recurrence!
Talk again soon.