We're back from our week in Drummore, five miles from the Mull of Galloway in Scotland: no street lamps, barely any people and the sea metres from the front wall of our tiny fisherman's cottage. Bliss. But there's always coming back; and my goodness don't we do life quickly! It's taken me a week to regain speed after experiencing the pace and easy lilt of conversation that gently soothes you through your day rather than the machine gun chatter that whacks us through our city lives.
Dumfries and Galloway, or more specifically Wigtownshire, is the forgotten part of Scotland. As one local put it as he chatted whilst I bought a bottle of Robinson's Cordial - an act that took some fifteen minutes, not because the shop was busy, just that everyone had something to talk about at the till, and time to do it - he said, "Everyone gets to Carlisle and heads North for the 'real' Scotland; no one turns left. And by not doing so they miss out on this mellow stretch of land that is gently warmed by the Gulf Stream, giving it some of the loveliest gardens in the UK - more of that another day.
What this little finger of land - the Mull - also has, is a variety and richness of birdlife I have never seen before. I must have looked like a yokel: constantly pointing and dribbling as I saw another previously unrecognised bird (that is unrecognised by me - not a brand new species). But they just kept cropping up: Gannets performing their dramatic hunting dives 100metres from our front window, Razorbills bobbing in the bay, Sandwich Terns (which I was delighted to be able to identify - birders will understand), Guillemots (Black and Standard). I could go on, but at the risk of alienating my non anorak wearing readers I will desist, anyway it's not good for a man of my age to have his pulse racing like this.
Anyway, we are back amidst the concrete and steel and right slap bang back into the fray - I won't bore you with the details; suffice to say it is enough to prevent me from having time to write much at present, the long gaps between posts at the moment.