Sunday, 30 June 2013

Sunday in Scotland

This morning I tagged along to church with Bruce and Juliet. There is one Catholic Church in town and it was packed. As the people queued by for the Eucharist I realised just what an eclectic crowd that was. A young hell's angels looking father complete with head scarf carrying a pink baby girl, a Scotsman wearing a kilt and knife stuck in his sock, a number of people in their jogging clothes, a rather large gentleman with almost no hair except a thin two-feet long braid at the back of his head and - wait for this - a gentleman well over seventy, completely bald with a lawn mower tattooed to the back of his head. Sheer genius.

We had a family lunch with Bruce's sister and her husband and then went for a walk around the estate here. This area is called Letham Grange and back in the day it was all part of one big estate. Now it is two golf courses and a number of houses tucked away small alleyways. Some of the houses - like Bruce and Juliet's - are relatively new, built in the last 20 years or so, while others are the renovated buildings of the former farm, such as the old dairy. It is all very green and quiet. Two years ago we used to walk around a lot, but this time with me being so sick, I was happy enough to make it as far as the garden. Now that I am better, I am definitely planning to spend more time exploring.

The one sore point here is the former estate house that was transformed into a lovely hotel. Unfortunately some time ago it was shut down amid allegations of fraud and since then the owner has been involved in a legal battle. Because of this no one can access the building and it is slowly falling apart as a result. The plants have started forcing their way through the windows, the glass panes on the conservatory are falling out and supposedly the roof has started leaking, threatening the grand oak staircase with destruction. It is eerie to have this piece of "life after humans" right in the middle of the manicured golf course and the well- kept houses all around it. Such a total waste...

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