|Corvis et bubonibus ereptus
||[May. 19th, 2014|10:55 pm]
On our first visit to Fife, durham_rambler and I managed to walk within a few miles of Kellie Castle without knowing it existed; a medieval castle renovated in the Arts &Crafts style in the 1870s, and again in the 1940s by sculptor Huw Lorimer, and only a few miles from Pittenweem (via the recycling centre): the perfect Sunday excursion. We arrived before the castle itself was open, which gave us time to follow a walk through the grounds, starting in the woods where the wild garlic grew thick among the trees, and emerging into the meadow which opened out onto a view of the Firth of Forth. Then into the walled garden, where the apple trees were in bloom - yet somehow my best picture seems to be of one of the twenty-odd varieties of rhubarb growing there (still, look on the bright side: a runner-up is a picture of the wild garlic and potato soup I had for lunch).
After lunch we toured the castle itself, where they ask you not to take pictures. The volunteers were all extremely friendly, and very keen to show us everything and find the right notes to answer our questions. There were also a couple in eighteenth century dress who introduced themselves as the fifth Earl of Kellie and his wife Janet, and told us how he had participated in the '45 uprising, and about their son Thomas,the sixth earl and a noted composer (widely known as 'Fiddler Tam'). This was all interesting in itself, but also a useful counterweight to the material we had seen so far, which placed all the emphasis on the artistic Lorimer family who had rescued the castle from decay - from the rooks and owls who nested in its chimneys - and decorated it with a large and not entirely successful Phoebe Anna Traquair (I preferred John Henry Lorimer's Sunlight in the South Room, Kellie).
This morning was brighter, and we took the coast path to Saint Monans: it's only a mile or so, past the windmill and the salt pans, along the harbour to the far end of the village. We'd have lunched there if we could find anywhere to eat, but we couldn't, so we came back to Pittenweem and ate soup at the Cocoa Tree.
The rest of the afternoon was sitting around reading the papers, going shopping, down to the beach at the far end of Lower Largo (delighted to see that the area is twinned with Robinson Crusoe Island, Juan Fernandez, Chile) and watching the waves for a bit - the tide was so high and there was very little beach visible, and the wind was fresh, so we came home.
Have a bonus picture from St. Monans - I'm quite happy with this one: