May I introduce Wendy ( I have several friends called Wendy, so it gets a bit confusing) and her wonderful dog Jeeves who is a Gordon Setter. They are pictured here, talking to Mike outside Sorbie Castle, Wendy's ancestral home.
Last summer we went to Garlieston , which is in Dumfries and Galloway, a delightful part of Scotland. One morning we were walking along the seashore and we met Wendy and Jeeves. Actually the dogs met first, you know what it's like, lots of racing around and sniffing. We got talking while we waited for the dogs to return.
What a fascinating conversation it was! Among the many things I learned was that Wendy's family had lived in this area and worked the land for many, many generations.
Our old dog, Theo, couldn't manage the long walk, so I went to meet Wendy on my own. We walked for miles, stopping here and there to look at a view or for Wendy to introduce me to a cow or six (she knew all their names.)
As we walked, climbing walls and slipping down banks, I learnt that this lady truly knew and loved her land. I felt honoured to be given this wonderful opportunity to spend time with her.
She showed me where the Corncrakes nest; she named the fields and pastures as we went through them and she told me how, one day,as she was feeding the cattle, one of them slipped on the wet turf. Wendy noticed that the turf was torn back and there were strange markings on the bedrock, beneath.
This is Wendy's photo of the markings, chalk added to make the lines clear. A pictish deer. I can't begin to describe how I felt.
Below is my photo, (taken after Wendy had pulled back the turf ) you can see the two round holes. When we'd finished the turf was carefully replaced to protect the carving.
This is what he saw,... a pony! It's about 6 inches wide and the people who came from Edinburgh university said that it was made about 1000 years B.C.
To sit in that place and imagine someone carving that dear little pony, 2000 years ago, was an experience that I will always treasure.
That's about it for now. Mike and I are going to Cornwall for a week. I'm going to investigate the Tristram and Isolde legend , in and around the lovely church of St. Sampson in Golant, near Fowey. See you soon.x