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Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Summer Solstice

It’s the Summer Solstice…..

…… and it hasn’t been truly dark here for weeks. It hasn’t rained for weeks either up at this end of the island, and the golf course greens are more like yellows. It’s been warm enough to tempt us for a swim at Laggan whilst kayaking along the coast from Sannox back to Lochranza. Laggan Cottage (only accessible by sea) now has a resident, a writer called Paul Story. You can find copies of his novel on the hillside by the cottage for you to pick up when you’re walking past.

Red Deer News! We now have two little red deer calves on site.

I’m not keen on very tidy, formal gardens but I do love Brodick Castle Gardens with their sense of teetering on the edge of wildness; lush, colourful and full of surprises. I went to a guided tour there last week. Amongst many fascinating facts I learnt about the plant shown on the photo (forgotten its name though) which grows for five years, flowers, explodes and dies and, as it dies, it shoots out seeds which sprout up and begin the cycle again.

Arran has some brilliant community gatherings and festivals. We’ve had the Wildlife Festival in May and the Folk Festival in June. Coming up on July 3rd is the Whisky Festival, across the road at the Distillery. There is going to be a ceilidh in the evening with Skerryvore and I, for one, can’t wait. Nigel and I saw the band playing in Achiltibuie Village hall two summers ago. The stirring sound of their bagpipes went soaring over the sea to the Summer Isles. They’re very talented and very energetic.

If you’re a mountain lover, it’s going to be the Arran Mountain Festival from the 17th to the 20th September. Find out more about the walks and talks on the website: www.arranmountainfestival.co.uk

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