Ah, July! High summer in Caithness, so one less layer to put on when dressing in the morning. Actually that’s rather unfair because I have been able to wear a summer skirt on at least three occasions already. Normally you just change the colours, not the weight of the garments. That said, we are, for the moment, having wonderful sunny days and the cows that are lying down are, in my view, just pessimists. What am I saying? Here’s the rain coming on – just a shower, but enough to soak the drying washing. On St. Swithin’s day it was hot and then wet, so the Saint can’t make up his mind, obviously. You know the old adage? St. Swithin’s Day if it be fair, for forty days t’will rain nae mair. We shall see.
The blossom on the apple trees is turning into lusty looking little apples, so here’s hoping for a bumper crop – pies, crumbles and purees for the freezer; spiced jelly for the cold meats and sweet geranium flavour for putting on toast. I always think it is very sad that we have the most marvellous natural bounty now and absolutely nothing in the winter. Except what is imported – and we need to keep the airmiles down, don’t we?
We are just preparing for the Mini Gathering. A few stalwarts will gather at Swiney House for a buffet supper on Friday next, then we make a brave show at the Halkirk Games and enjoy a dinner by the river at Forss, just outside Thurso. We end with a church service in Kildonan Kirk to give thanks for and celebrate the people of the Strath, so we shall be thinking about absent friends in every sense of the word.
Then everyone goes home and we continue our preparations for the International Gathering in 2015. All very exciting – including a joint event with Clan Sinclair at the Assembly Rooms in Wick. I am already scouring the countryside to see what wild flowers will be at their best at the time of year, having press-ganged a series of relatives into helping decorate the hall for the event.
Iain and I are off to Loon Mountain in New Hampshire USA for a Games where the Gunns are the honoured Clan. This is in September. Our good friends Rich and Linda will meet us and drive us. We are very honoured to be treated so well by them!
We send our best wishes to everyone and hope to see lots of you next year.
P.S. Cows now standing up – fingers crossed!