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Many a cross word [May. 20th, 2014|10:14 pm]
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One section of our coastal walk that particularly stuck in my mind was the stretch from Kirkaldy to Dysart: after the long slog up from Kirkaldy you enter a park, and descend, looking back towards the massive ruins of Ravenscraig Castle, to a pleasant path which follows each zig and zag of the coast (the local laird was apparently determined to thwart any miner who might think to walk to work along the shore) until it vanishes into a tunnel through a spur of rock and emerges into Dysart harbour. Today we revisited that walk, and both was and was not as I had remembered.

We took the opportunity to visit the castle: it didn't delay us long, but it was a very splendid ruin, and provided fine views of the path ahead. I don't know why we didn't take the time to visit last time, except that we had a long way to go and I had the impression it was more of a detour than it was. On the other hand, the path to Dysart was as agreeable as I had remembered (this time with the bonus of a piper playing what we eventually identified as the Freedom Come All Ye) but much shorter. Emerging onto the harbour was still good, though the blue skies and high tide had made for a prettier picture.

After lunch at the Harbourmaster's House we walked Dysart's town trail in reverse order. I remember reading the boards about the Dysart Artworks, four pieces of contemorary art recently installed: but how could I not have seen Donald Urquhart's 'Sea Beams', a set of upright timbers painted a selection of tasteful shades of blue? On this visit, they struck my eye as son as we entered the town, yet I had no memory of them at all.


It's less surprising that - as we pursued our journey along the coast - we didn't see some of Dysart's splendid buildings (like all these Fife towns, it has an impressive tollbooth), or realise that the park where we had started our walk continues, and becomes a beautiful - and beautifully maintained - arboretum. This is the setting for another of the artworks, Alec Finlay's 'Nest Boxes', a dozen nesting boxes each bearing a crossword clue. What I liked about this was that it gave us a focus to walk around the arboretum looking at the trees. By the time we had had enough, we had round half a dozen of the clues, and solved three of them (sample: 'Bird on board' = 'rook'; no wonder they didn't have the cheek to attach one to the monkey puzzle!).

And home via the Co-op, cups of tea, dinner, the internet - where does the evening go?

I would like to record that last night's strawberries, bought from the farm shop as 'Pittenweem Strawberries' were among the best I have ever tasted, despite also being among the biggest.