art, Caithness, church, Edinburgh, Thurso, Uncategorized, walk

A Caithness Sunday

Last time I was here, as usual I went to church – but for a change to a church in Thurso, not Wick. And this time, I was welcomed to lead worship there.

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Thurso United Reformed Church

A fascinating ‘coincidence’ is that I’ve discovered it was the church a dear friend attended when she lived in Thurso in the 1970s, and both her sons were christened there. I was thrilled to see their names on the Baptismal Roll this morning! She sent me a pic of a commemorative plate for the church! Only the name has changed!

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In the afternoon, it was walk time with my sister and her friends: this time to Dunnet Forest, somewhere I haven’t been before.

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The wind blew briskly in the car park, straight off the sea, but in the forest itself, all was still and we could enjoy the sunshine as we walked.

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The forest walks crisscross through older coniferous plantings from the 1950s, now being replaced with a rich variety of deciduous and wildlife-friendly trees in an area of over 120 hectares. I was delighted to spot primroses

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and cowslips

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an owl

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a couple of sheep

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a bee, tucked away in the brilliant log cabin

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and the fascinating, tactile Henry Clyne sculpture, Four Seasons:

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Made of local stone, silky smooth, the blocks striated and whorled with millennia-old plants,  the sculpture changes with the weather conditions – rain bringing out unimagined colours, sunshine lighting unexpected brightness…  four seasons indeed. Henry Clyne was born in Caithness in 1930, trained in Edinburgh and taught at Gloucestershire College of Art. His work has been exhibited in New York, Aldeburgh… and here in Caithness.

It’s been a lovely day, but tomorrow I’m off down the road again… Time to pack!

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Books, Cats, Edinburgh, Novel

Day Twenty-five: Home

So here I am, back home. One thousand, five hundred and forty miles all told. The last lap was hard work with heavy traffic and squally rain showers. But the cat is pleased to see me. And I am pleased to be home.

The trip was enormously worthwhile – in so many ways. I met lots of lovely people – new friends and old. I saw some of the most beautiful scenery in Britain.

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I ate some of the best shortbread!

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I sang God’s praises alone in the car, in a beautiful Edinburgh cathedral, a quayside mission hall, two churches of Scotland and one precentor-led Scottish Free church.

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Wick Harbour Mission

And everywhere I spoke about my novel, I was received with warmth and appreciation.

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And the books sold out.

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I’d love to do it again! But not just yet! Now I’m glad to be home…