At the start of October, I spent a happy Saturday on a photo-walk organized by a friend around Inverary in Argyll, the group numbering nearly 20 folks.
It was quite a day – over 7 miles walked, folks socialized with, the town and surrounding landscapes investigated.
We started with a trip up the bell-tower and the adjacent All Saints’ Scottish Episcopal Church in the middle of town:
After that, we visited Inverary Jail – quite interesting to get a glimpse of the conditions folks lived in. A friendly guard posed for us:
As we were walking around to the castle for lunch, there was a burst of sunlight over the landscape. A few days prior to the excursion I had discovered an old Pentax film camera in a storage box, and loaded it with film and acquired an extra 50mm prime lens for it, along with an adapter to the Sony NEX-7. So this is Strone Point and the top of Glen Kinglas, on an old 50mm f/1.7 “nifty fifty” Pentax PK-fit lens:
We had lunch in the Inverary Castle tearooms:
The afternoon was spent climbing up Dun na Cuaiche. I was impressed to see what an effect the geology has on the area, as (igneous) felsite hills to the north of the town give way to psammite (partially metamorphosed sedimentary) bedrock along the shore of Loch Fyne. The watchtower is a folly – the only thing it looks out over is the castle itself, affording no real protection from anyone else feeling like invading!
One of those small vignette-style scenes that occasionally goes through my mind has resurfaced of late.
A few years ago I was sitting in church when the preacher related a story. Apparently he’d recently met his friend, who’d said that, while he wasn’t a Christian, sometimes when he was out walking his dog, he felt close to God.
“Ah, but is there salvation in it?”, the preacher asked us.
Had it not been only a rhetorical question, my answer would have been an enthusiastic “Yes (smartass)”. Because isn’t that the definition and purpose of salvation?
When the destination is the same, at the other end of the motorway, insisting on travelling a given trunk road to join it is particularly futile and partisan.
We’d do a lot better to recognize the grace behind Gandhi’s quote: So we can only pray, if we are Hindus, not that a Christian should become a Hindu … But our innermost prayer should be a Hindu should be a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, a Christian a better Christian.
It appears to be summer – too hot for me, and even Dog doesn’t seem to like it that much, taking to lying in the hall in the middle of the house to stay cool. Walkies is best done in the woodland where it stays pleasantly cool and the light is beautifully dappled.
One of the first things we did on buying this house was to fix-up the kennels. These consisted of a set of 4 thin hutches, each with concrete floor and a rear wooden compartment behind a wooden door with cat-flap so we could put his bed, water and toys in out of the rain.
We knocked two of the thin kennels together and patched-up one of the hutches, adding polystyrene foam insulation and wooden board for extra comfort.
So this morning, I put Dog in his shiny house and wandered off to church. Came back a couple of hours later to find herself(TM) complaining that I’d put him on the wrong side of the door before shutting it… animal found wandering around the garden. At least we now know he won’t willingly leave the garden altogether, but that was pretty scary.
On investigation, it transpires he left his nice comfy house, went into the neighbouring kennel and chewed and dug his way right through the rotten wood of the back wall. It’s amazing how much damage one dog can cause!