Last week I bought a goat….

view-from-the-top

View from the top

It’s been a busy week again….so apologies for the very late arrival of last weeks blog. I’ve been trying to get my last few paintings finished and have also been busy socialising….there have been dinner invitations, art events and a meeting with the local press, and I’ve been out walking each of the last two weekends,……oh, and I bought a goat! So then, it’s been quiet hectic but very good fun.

Before telling of the walks I’ve done I feel it only right that I first explain about the goat. On Saturday I was invited to join some friends to see an exhibition of work by a group of young Rwandan artists. This was more than just an exhibition, it was part of fund raising event organised by a charitable organisation working in Rwanda. They were raising money in order to purchase these animals for the communities there. It seemed a simple but effective way of providing help and an interesting way for people to donate something to the charity. The exhibition was good with a number of very striking paintings. There was also an exhibition of photographs, displays of craft-ware and live music and good food …it made for a great evening out.

As I said though, I’ve also been out walking a couple of times …and what a difference a week makes. A week ago I had a phone call from Mike Lauter asking if I’d fancy going for a walk somewhere. It was a beautiful day with clear skies and bright sun.

above-the-forest-late-afternoon

Above the forest, late afternoon

We headed for the hills and after about 40 minutes drive the road we were on started to climb very steeply through the trees, zigzagging its way up hill. At the high point a number of cars were parked and a sign stated we were at a little over 400 m. We headed off along a broad path and as it was quite late in the afternoon, met a lot of people heading back towards their cars. We were then onto a small footpath the gradually climbed through the trees …it was beautiful with the deep shade and bright spots of sunlight. After a while we reached the top of the hill and crowning it was a magnificent ruined castle that gave superb views out over the valley below and across the wooded hills for as far as we could see. Our route back followed another path that went right around the hill, gradually descending to reach the place where we started ….and of course, taking in a small Inn / cafe along the way.

could-be-scotland

Could be Scotland!

Yesterdays walk was to a different place, but was a longer walk ….and the weather …well it could easily have been Scotland on one of its more infamous weather days! Instead of the bright sun and beautiful views, we found ourselves in cloud for much of the walk and rain that fell heavy and torrential for most of the 4 hours we were walking. But as we all said, it was good to get out and stretch the legs and at the outward point of our trip there was conveniently situated another fine inn.

I’m hoping that when I get back to Scotland in a couple of weeks I’ll be able to enjoy a few late summer days walking in the Highlands before the winter rain and gales arrive ….if not, then at least yesterdays walk will have got me back into the swing of cloud and rain and a house full of wet gear!

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