We had it all arranged - sheep were all gathered in, the Contractors were coming in to put lambs through the fank, the plumber had arrived and the sun was shining.
But for reasons (strong but dull in the telling!) I won't go into, instead of going to London we ended up in Cromarty, and very nice (eventually) it was too. We found a cheap deal on a cottage attached to a hotel outside Inverness and that evening as I crawled exhausted, into a comfy bed, I thanked my lucky stars that I was not on a train.
By next afternoon, sufficiently recovered to make a day trip, we headed across the green and leafy Black Isle to Cromarty so we could visit Hugh Miller's Cottage. Run by the National Trust for Scotland it is a delightful museum, and we enjoyed looking at the fossils and his birthplace, under the thatch. Cromarty charmed us, so we wandered and looked over garden walls at beautiful sandstone houses with lovely gardens, and walked in between rows of fishermen's cottages in warm sun, and exploring the difference in east to west coastal villages.
While we were wandering in Cromarty that sunny afternoon, the Green Tourism Week Awards were being announced in London, and as we did not hear anything from GTBS, we realised that to have been selected by GTBS as a Finalist for the Goldstar and on the shortlist for the Carbon Footprint Award was enough of a 'win' for us!
We ate at Rocpool in Inverness on Thursday night which was delicious, and the evening sun on Loch Ness was golden and summer seemed to be in the air at last. Refreshed we headed for home early Friday morning for School Sports day at Garmony.
Imagine our intense surprise when we got home to an email from Andrea at GTBS (Green Tourism Business Scheme) telling us that we had won not only a Goldstar but a Carbon Footprint Award as well! Back down to earth with a bang though, as the Haunn water supply had airlocked and Farmer spent the next 24 hours on and off digging holes and sorting it out.
The fragrant orchids are beginning to flower. I am surprised every time by the strength of their scent. So exotic for Mull.
The sea pinks are nearly over now, but still en masse this beach near Ulva Ferry is softly pink, on a bright and sunny day.
View from the airlocked water supply.
Shieling Cottage, in evening sun.