Saturday 31 December 2011: A place to rest
Today we drove into the Grampian Mountains on the first good day since we came up to the north east. Tomintoul is apparently Scotland's highest village (at 354m or 1160ft). We felt it was definitely one to visit, and we were not disappointed. We followed a well way marked and maintained path around the village that yielded some great, or even possibly slightly bizarre views of the Cairngorm range. While the walk and the village would undoubtedly be thronging in summer, at this time of year it was very quiet.
I couldn't resist this bench, not least because we were separated from it by a large patch of melting ice. To rest there at this time of year, you would have had to get rather wet and cold. The snow on the ground and the ice around was a reminder that, although the air temperature was purportedly 6 degrees, according to the car, winter weather (and the ski area of Lecht) is not that far away.
The walk was concluded by an excellent bacon and egg butty in the Old Fire Station Tea Rooms.
So, that's the end of 2011. My first complete year of blipping. Now close to 500 consecutive blips. It's been a generally good year on both a personal and a professional level. There have been no exceptional highs or lows. So we'll have to wait and see what 2012 will bring. For sure a month or so of stress at the beginning, and then we'll see.
I'm very pleased we made the decision to get away. We'll probably go and see the Portsoy fireworks, on the Links. They have a good reputation. But we won't brave the local pubs because, according to the landlady in the Shore Inn yesterday where we went for a bevvy and an opportunity to watch some footie, you wouldn't be able to get a cigarette paper between the punters inside there today. Mind you they are open for 24 hours from 10am today to 10am tomorrow so maybe there will be a few lulls amongst the madness. We've seen quite a few locals already who seem determined to stay boozed up from the 30th until probably the 2nd Jan.
See you on the other side, as they say.
PS in an idle moment I created a Blipfolio album of our summer holiday. Reminds me that there is another sort of weather in Scotland!