Where We Came From – A Nostalgic Retrospective

A little tinkle on my phone alerted me to the fact I now have 100 followers on my blog.  Wow.  Who would have thought?  Certainly not me.  I started this blog as a bit of writing therapy, to help me process my thoughts as I experienced this massive change in our family life, and to record our everyday family experiences in a new country.  I really had no idea anyone else would find it of interest and am deeply flattered that so many people do.  Thank you, one and all, for taking the time to read my mutterings and musings, view my photos and look at my drawings.  I very much appreciate it.

Given that I am at a bit of a landmark moment with this blog, I thought I might create a bit of a retrospective entry.  The reflective nature of this post has also been provoked by the (hopefully imminent) sale of our house in Scotland because, apart from the dear friends we have there, the house was our last tie to Argyll.  Mr Pict and I had lived there since the summer of 2002 and had started our family there, had put down roots there.  So as liberating as it is to be free of the burden of the house and to be able to press forward with establishing a permanent home here in Pennsylvania, it is most definitely a very bittersweet, watershed moment in our lives.  As such, this post is all about Argyll and the favourite places we have left behind.  I thought regular readers might find it interesting to see where we have come from.  The photos are in no particular order – just determined by where I found them on the external hard drive that crossed the Atlantic with me – but were all taken in the last couple of years.

These photos were taken at Arichonan, a ruined crofting village near where we lived.  My boys loved visiting there as it was a wonderful site for imaginative play and for finding bugs and reptiles.  It was a disappointing trip if we didn’t come back having found at least one interesting critter.

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These photos was taken in Kilmartin Glen, an area famed for its neolithic and Bronze Age remains.  We often visited the standing stones, stone circles and burial cairns there.

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We also liked a lovely walk in the hills of Achnabreac that took us past more neolithic cup and ring markings.

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These photos were taken in Kilmory woods and loch, near where my husband worked.

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These were taken in Kilmory Gardens, adjacent to the castle my husband worked in.

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This was the building in which Mr Pict worked.

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These were taken in Oban, from McCaig’s Tower.

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These were taken at our favourite nearby beach, Westport on the Kintyre peninsula.  We only seemed to go there when it was cold, hence the lack of beach wear.  As you will see, one of our favourite activities there was dune jumping. 

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These photos were taken at Saddell Abbey.  Where we lived, we were never far from centuries of history.

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These photos were taken at Crarae Gardens, which are maintained by the National Trust for Scotland and are planted to resemble what would be found in the Himalayas.

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These were taken in Tarbert, a fishing and sailing village and home to yet another ruined castle.

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These were taken at Crinan, a village at one end of the Crinan Canal.

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These were taken at Carnasserie Castle, a medieval ruin that my kids used for lots of knights and Lord of the Rings themed play.  I was often cast as an orc.

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Skipness Castle was another place that sparked wonderful imaginative play.  It also has a ruined chapel and graveyard containing wonderfully carved grave markers and a lovely beach with views over to the island of Arran.

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Another favourite place of ours was the island of Gigha.  We would go over as foot passengers on the ferry and then wander the island, including the gardens of Achamore house and the beautiful beaches.  Then there was Dunaad Hill Fort, once the capital of the kingdom of Dal Riata, which provided great views over the surrounding landscape, including Moine Mhor.  We also enjoyed walks along the Crinan Canal and around the village of Inverary.  However, I think I have trawled my photo archives enough for one post.

Thank you for indulging me in this dose of nostalgia.  Perhaps it will inspire you to visit Scotland and – if and when you do – venture further afield than the major cities.  I hope it has also provided you with some insight into the level of culture shock we have experienced moving not just from Scotland to America but from a remote and rural area to the suburbs of a major city.  You can probably also now understand why my children are as feral as they are.

Thanks again for reading.  I really do appreciate it.

 

 

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10 thoughts on “Where We Came From – A Nostalgic Retrospective

    • Thank you. It really is a beautiful part of the country – of the world even. I doubt I will ever live somewhere that breath taking again. You should definitely visit Argyll some time. I recommend it.

  1. Beautiful photos – I have never been to Scotland but by looking at your photos I would love to go…you captured them perfectly. I can understand what it feels like to move to a new city/state and trying to make it all work. I moved within America but when you are born and raised in one area and culture and now are living someplace completely different it takes time to adjust. It has been four years and I am just now feeling like this is home….in Georgia. I am originally from Minnesota. It may not take you as long as it has me but you will get there and find the beauty too.

    • Minnesota to Georgia is as close to an international move as you can probably get without actually emigrating. I’m sure you’ve been through culture shock too plus familiarizing yourself with the unfamiliar. Thank you for your kind words about my photos. Those are just a small selection and represent just a small area of Scotland. It really is a lovely country, despite it’s weather. Maybe sometime I will share photos of Fife, where I grew up, and of some other areas. Maybe next time I’m feeling homesick.

  2. Brilliant and very nostalgic post – thanks for directing me in its direction Laura. Love the 4 critters too, they look like they are in their element.

    Was also interested to see Saddell Abbey feature. We have a Great Great Uncle who died in the first world war and one of his possessions handed down was a hand written and painted book on Saddell – presented to my GG Uncle as a good friend from those that owned the castle. Yet to visit but it is obviously on my list…..Thanks once more Laura, loved it, MM 🍀

    • Then you absolutely must go to Saddell some time. It’s a charming spot. The loop we did was to go down the Kintyre peninsula on its west coast, via Tarbert, and often with a stop at Westport Beach and then through Campbeltown down to Southend and perhaps the Mull of Kintyre. We would then travel up the peninsula on the east coast with its views across to Arran and stop off at Saddel with maybe a detour to Carradale or Skipness.

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