Well I'm back from a pretty much idyllic week north of the border. Scotland seems to have been enjoying marginally better weather than we've had in the Midlands, only bank holiday Monday and the trip back down were wet and one of those was inevitable... As predicted there wasn't much time for reading and I only bought one book (Christina Stead's 'The Puzzelheaded Girl' which makes a nice addition to my Virago collection) which I found in the Oxfam bookshop on Byres road during the hour and a half we had in Glasgow.
I've visited Glasgow a few times over the years but somehow have never seen it in the rain which must make me almost unique because that's hardly it's reputation, the sunny afternoon we arrived on was earmarked for McGruer yachts regatta (the Scottish ones choice) so despite a hotel room that overlooked Glasgow's botanic gardens - which were hosting a book fair - and seemed to be within easy walking distance of everything I could possibly want to do in a city, we set off again for Helensburgh. Sitting in the sun admiring classic yachts wasn't the worst way to spend an afternoon and the fish and chip were amazing so I don't really regret the book fair...
Taking one book turned into two - I was halfway through Nicholas Blake's 'A Question of Proof' which is now finished and will be written about soon, 'Can You Forgive Her' was the chosen tome from the big pile of big books and I have at least made a good start on it, if I keep up the momentum over the weekend I'll be doing okay.
There were distillery visits which I'll probably write about at length later, but meantime will say were most enjoyable and informative. There was also a great deal of very Scottish scenery and variations on the fish and chip theme but if there's one thing that will really stick in my memory it's the bluebells. May is my favourite month of the year, spring is in full flow with all the promise of summer ahead, everything grows on a daily basis, it's rarely too hot or too cold, and the light is really stretching out the days. It's all good. Bluebells aren't unknown in England but they were everywhere in Argyll and came in a much deeper blue than I see here. None of the pictures I took really captured their colour but the trip would have been worth it for that alone, never mind the acrobatic seals we saw, or all the newly returned swallows who were even more acrobatic than the seals.