With the school summer holiday season behind us, and autumn in the air, today’s been a rare – and well-earned – day out – without pangs of guilt. Even so, with the cost of fuel so high, our itinerary included – inevitably – a number of work-related stops. Here’s some highlights of the non-work stops, all unplanned, though somehow there seems to have developed, during the course of the day, a theme on the subject of memorials.
Here’s some highlights.
Flora MacDonald’s birthplace, Milton, South Uist. It’s a tourist must-see, especially for visitors from abroad. Fifteen years in Uist, and this is our first visit – and could perhaps be our last. Not a lot to see. J seems to have found more interest in a nearby old croft house now used as a store. The countryside is peaceful and interesting, so if there were some circular walks starting here, we might yet return for another visit.
Westford Inn, Claddach Kirkibost, Isle of North Uist. The Inn is a rather strange looking building, with a history to suit. Many of its internal features were fashioned from the wreck of a sailing ship. Our lunch was very good – and excellent value. I’m not very adventurous when eating out, so just had my steadfast favourite, Haddock & Chips. J went for Mackerel & Black Pudding, with roast potatoes, tomatoes and other veg. He says it was wonderful – though still not as good as what we eat at home every day. He means it too – I know!
At Malacleit we just pulled over by the shore and watched the tide turn. Time and Tide might not wait, but we can.
Berneray is a wonderful small island – and and island of two parts. The western half is a huge tract of unspoilt machair, used in the traditional manner as summer arable (on a runrig basis) and winter grazing. The crops growing were mostly oats and barley. The east half of the island is more rocky and hilly, with crofts and house scattered mostly along the shore. It’s a very beautiful and peaceful place. If we lived here, I’d be out walking most days, as there are more possibilities, easier ground, and more inspiring views than where we live. [J> Honestly, some folk are never satisfied with the grass on their side!] Today we pottered along the machair track that leads down to the cemetery, parked the vehicle and walked the grassy machair paths, enjoying the simple pleasures of fresh air, beautiful countryside entirely free of crowds and car parks, the wonderful machair flowers, and the intriguing story of the Berneray Giant.
That’s it. Show’s over. You can go back to work now.