I was really pleased to hear from you, Julie and Mary Lou. We enjoy exploring new areas, and they are almost always nooks and corners unlikely to feature on whistle stop tours where you are visiting the major sights of the country. We find our pleasure where we can.
We spent three nights in Kirkcudbright, surprised to find that there was lots to do here. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries it gained a reputation as an artists' colony, a legacy which contributes to a great deal of civic pride. It carries its head pretty high.
Right in the centre of the town is a harbour on a tidal river. Fishing vessels off-load here, and it's very much a working port still.
Also right in the centre is this huge ruined fortified town-house: McClellan's Castle.
On then to the Stewartry - even now I am not clear what that means, but it is now a kind of local museum. Outside were some of the cup and ring marked stones which abound in the area, evidence of ancient settlement. Inside, one item which took my eye was a kind of silver stirrup designed to be hung from a belt, to hold a ball of wool as it was being knitted.
Does this suggest that the knitter would have been multi-tasking, or was it more likely about keeping the drawing-room tidy?
The big exhibition on while we were there was of the work of the Glasgow Girls, and a fairly eclectic group of work it was too, spanning a period of about fifty years.
The afternoon saw us looking around the house of E. A. Hornell, whose very busy pictures of pretty young girls set against blizzards of blossom could hardly be less palatable to the modern eye. The garden, though, was a different matter: beautiful and varied spaces.