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The Bluebells of Scotland [May. 17th, 2014|06:13 pm]

durham_rambler very kindly dropped me and the Bears in Cellardyke, so we could walk up the coastal path to Crail, then drove on to Crail, left the car then and walked back to meet us - it's a stretch of the path on which we seem doomed to reverse polarity.

Bluebells of ScotlandInteresting to be retracing the same route, passing the same landmarks, but in May instead of October. It's too early to say whether the weather is better: last time we had more sunshine but also some heavy rain; today the skies were the softest gray, the air was warm and slightly sticky, and I thought it would rain before we reached Crail - but it didn't, and the haze resolved into clouds, and the sky was still not blue, but brighter at least.

What I hadn't been expecting were the spring flowers: as we followed quite a narrow strip of green along the rocky shore, there were riots of red campion, the occasional spike of purple orchids, green pillows dotted with little white flowers (this might be sea sandwort), buttercups everywhere - though the daisies didn't have their eyes open yet. "Have you seen any bluebells?" asked durham_rambler when we met him. Just a few, in the hedges as we left Cellardyke. "Ah," he said, and when I rounded a corner and saw the hillside lapped in blue, I saw why.

The image I didn't capture in pixels was the narrow inlet, the silver water running up between the dark rocks on either side, and the heron silhouetted just at the edge of the sea - I barely saw it before he took off.

After lunch in Crail, we visited the Museum (because it was open). It's tiny, and quite limited, but I liked the set of weights and measures, much like those in Durham's guildhall, gleaming metal engraved in elegant copperplate script. There was a helpful attendant who shared our enthusiasm, and pointed out the standard yard, lying on the floor. Later I heard him telling a family that there was a typewriter upstairs - and was amused when I went upstairs to the dislay of farming implements to find two small boys competing to type on a perfectly ordinary (though admittedly not electric) Olympia typewriter from - what? the 1970s? On the staircase were a number of rather unremarkable oil paintings with a notice explaining that they had been left to the museum by the sister of the artist: the words "They were a present, what could we do?" were not actually used, but could easily be inferred.

By now we were running out of steam. A little light shopping (the wholefood shop is new since I was last in Crail, though the bookshop has closed, and is for sale), and the walk back to the car were enough for us - we didn't visit the Pottery or the Gallery.

So that's what we did today. Which of tomorrow's many possibilities will we choose?