Monday, 13 June 2011

A little local wandering

One fine day, early on in May I happened to be passing the church in a small village very close to Kirkcudbright called Borgue. Having a little time on my hands, I popped in for a look – it was locked.


Wandering round the back I noticed a spiral staircase leading up to the bell tower and in that spirit of curiosity that can very easily get a fellow in trouble, I went up for a look. The little red door was secured with nothing more than a bolt and directly behind it was another door (I have never seen two doors so close together), which wasn’t locked either.

Up a rather rickety set of ladders you could just about make out the bell in the gloom. You see it far better here because of the camera flash than I did at the time. Prudence prevailed at this point and I didn’t go any further – that floor didn’t look like it was up to supporting even a modestly weighted person like myself and the outside door having swung closed, I suspected it would be quite some time before an old church bell tower 4 miles from my home would be included in the list of places to look for me if I did come a cropper.

It was on the evening of the same day that I was visiting my sister, Edie, who lives only a few miles from the town. She suggested we go for a wee walk to see a folly which is hidden in the Barrhill woods – she knew the way. A pleasant walk in the woods it was too, for it was bluebell time, which is one of the main delights of British woodlands in the spring and there were deer leaping around in the bushes which we frequently saw (they didn’t stand still long enough to get themselves photographed.)

There it is now, The folly known as The Temple.

It was built as a decoration in the grounds of Cally House (now the Cally Palace Hotel) in the late 18th century, and for all it’s main intention was to look like a ruined castle, it was used to house an estate worker.

The windows and doors here might looked as if they’re bricked up but from the inside there is no sign of them ever having existed.

We continued our walk for a while through the woods, under the main road and round about the Cally Palace itself. I’m afraid with this picture you’re only getting half the effect. It’s a bank of wild garlic and smelt wonderful.

Now for all Edie may have known the way there, it turns out that she didn’t know the way back, so there was now a good deal of wondering where we were and backtracking to try and find our way back. We were also very concerned for the fate of two boxes of Tunnocks teacakes which had been left in a visible spot in the kitchen at Edie’s house.

By the time we eventually spotted The Temple again it was getting quite dark and there were bats flying about. Getting to it meant that we were only a short walk from the car. It looks much creepier in the dark as you can imagine – you’ll just have to imagine I’m afraid as we couldn’t get close enough because of a stream set in a fairly deep ravine.

When we did work our way round the stream, and the car came into sight we were somewhat worried to see that the headlights had been left on.

Fortunately the car started and the Tunnocks teacakes were unmolested.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Tunnocks teacakes, they are a popular Scottish nibble. Here’s one I’ve taken a bite out off, so you can judge for yourself what it tastes like. They do of course need to be accompanied by a large mug of tea.

Here is a picture of our local variety of cow, the Belted Galloway. They’re quite distinctive.

Now for all I cannot condone the deliberate interference of road signage, I will make an exception for this particularly inspired act of vandalism.

In a bit of a first for me,I met a fellow blogger (I make an exception of course for Kim Ayres who I knew preblog). Ruthie Redden is a local artist, who, with her mother, another local artist, share a little shop attached to a cottage in the country. Do visit her blog and have a look at her work and the blog for the shop here. Thank you very much for the cup of tea and here’s an endearing wee Moon Hare, made by Ruthie and now resident on my dressing table.


Poppy said...

Sounds like a really good day out Sandy, one I would enjoy too!I would certainly have had to go and take a look at the tower, love the photos! The folly looks great too, and I am sure you were very relieved that the car started! We have cakes like those, but with a different name, I used to love them (can't eat stuff like that any more, I am diabetic now) I just love the little Moon Hare, glad it found a good home. I am going to check out Ruthie's blog straight away :) Looking forward to further adventures from you :)

Crafty Green Poet said...

You seem to have two types of Tunnocks teacakes there, I've only ever had the red packaged ones

Shundo said...

Love that first picture of the church. And I have to say, the juxtaposition of the Tunnocks and the Belted Galloways brought home how similar they look - albeit they taste a little different. I'll take the Tunnocks any day.

The Glebe Blog said...

Great post Sandy and you've beaten me to meeting Ruthie.I will call in one of these days.
With regards to the Tunnocks Teacakes,while they have a good standing in Scotland of course it's the Tunnocks Caramel Wafer that has the proud boast 'more than 5,000,000 of these biscuits made and sold every week'

Sandi said...

What an adventurous spirit you have, sandy...or is it just curiosity? Whatever, it certainly leads you to some very interesting palces!

It's a bit scarey when it starts getting dark and you're trying to find your way back...try it along a cliff path in N Yorkshire!!

Yep! Love Tunnock's teacakes too...and the caramel wafers!

Great photos as usual...looking forward to your next adventure...X

Randy said...

These are amazing photographs. The first one is just so beautiful.

Technogran said...

I love your posts Sandy as you take us on these journeys around and about. I don't have to even leave my computer chair either! Wonderful.

Light-In-A-Box said...

Sandy, I don't think I could have resisted the temptation to explore the church myself. Incredible stone structures you have out there! We too have similar cakes like yours but I'm afraid to say that ours are probably made with pure nasty chemical & not individually wrapped!

ruthie said...

Thank you Sandy, you are very welcome, it was lovely to meet u too, and my first real live fellow blogger! The kettle is always on if you give us a shout first. Borgue church is a lovely wee place, Dad has worked up on that roof many a time. I am intrigued now as i have done much walking in those woods and didn't even know the folly existed! i feel a hunt coming on. Also intirguing is the print behind moon hare, feel i ought to know it, is it a Holman Hunt? (I am so nosy lol.
ps: Jim, see you soon!

Sandy's witterings said...

I all of a sudden find myself behind on the blog world for replying and reading - it's becomeing quite common these days as I seem curiously busy. I also find myself unexpectedly back at sea.

Poppy, much relief that the car started. I'm not sure how good a home the moon hare has but I'm glad to have him.

Juliet - the teacakes in the blue foil are plain chocolate - nowadays you can easily get plain chocolate of 70% and up so the plain chocolate in a teacake isn't all that plain - I couldn't tell the difference (it is a good excuse to eat two though - as if I need an excuse)

Shundo, I hadn't noticed the comparison between a belted galloway and a tunnocks teacake. I commend your awareness. I've never knowingly eaten belted galloway but assume they taste much the same as any other cow - I suspect if they tasted like a tunnocks teacake they'd be breeding them a lot faster and have razor wire round about their fields.

Jim, I have only good things to say about Tunnocks caramel wafers too.

Sandi, I once camped on the edge of a cliff in North Yorkshire (actually, now I come to think of it, it might not have been that north but it was certainly Yorkshire). The cliff was dissappearing into the sea - also a strong likelyhood for the nighttime wanderer.

Thank you Randy and Technogran

Micheal - I'm not sure how many chemicals are involved in a Scottish teacake but at least they are covered in British chocolate. I'm afraid my experience of North American chocolate leaves a poor impression.

Ruthie - that folly is really quite close to you. The picture is Una and the Lion by William Bell Scott. It's in the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh - usually downstairs where they keep the Scottish pictures. It's lovely. There's a better view at

Janet at New Moon Glass said...

Well, as usual Sandy, Everything in your post is new to me...and wonderful! You snap great photos, and I always enjoy your narrative...thanks

Sandy's witterings said...

Thank you Janet.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Just to say I enjoyed your description of the fulmar on your other blog, but Blogger isn't letting me comment in that blog...

Sandy's witterings said...

Thanks Juliet, it's always nice to be appreciated. Not sure what's wrong with the other site though, I though it was set up the same as here??