Travelling Along Back Country Roads is the theme of this week’s Lens-Artists Challenge #158. Thank you to Beth for her post. You can visit her site here
Now here’s a story for you –
One cloudy Sunday afternoon I followed this single track road to get closer to Loch Tay (Tay in the Gaelic means “House”). Further down the road. I could see ruins down in the trees along the shore. Surely this had to be the old village of Lawers I’d heard about.
It was a fair slope down to the water. In the fields beside the track, there were a few cattle and on the other more sheep … who ran off as I approached … all except one. The dry-stane dyke has been waiting a while to be restored.
The loch is beautiful in a lovely part of Perthshire. Once part of the Breadalbane estates – the family that once held the largest landholdings in all of Scotland.
When I reached the shore, there was not a soul around. I soaked up the views, the cool air on my face and the stony earth at my feet. I couldn’t see any sign of a jetty. I’d been told steamships used to do day trips along the loch in the 1800s. Further east along the bank, I explored the ruins of the 1000-year-old village of Lawers.
Few walls stood amidst the hummocks of fallen stones and tangle of trees. The gable-end of a home still stood out. After the village church roof collapsed two hundred years ago, services were held within its walls. It’s said about a thousand people from the area would attend communion, many rowing across the loch.
It was so still, here. No birds sang. There was not a breath of wind. An occasional bleat from sheep reassured me a bit.
Just the day before, I’d heard that the village is haunted by a certain Lady of Lawers.
She lived in the late 17th century, was said to be gifted with Second Sight and when she died was buried under an Ash tree beside the kirk.
Soothsayer, Mary Campbell married and lived here in the late 17th Century, in this township on her husband’s farm. She became known as the ‘Lady of Lawyers,’ because of her wise sayings. Many of her predictions came true in time. Some caught my attention!
The feather of the goose will drive the memory from man.
Storytelling gatherings in people’s homes kept the community together. People knew their family history and the tales of their ancestors. Learning to read and write (education) meant that people lost the need to sit telling stories to others. They no longer felt that strong sense of belonging.
The mouth of the sheep will strip the land pf its people.
During the Highland Clearances of 1750 to 1860 many poor families here were evicted from their homes and the thatch roof burnt so they could not return.
The last person left this village in 1939. The land has been for sale since 2016. A real estate agent commented that they’ve had a lot of interest lately, especially from other European countries, perhaps because of CoVid…
Oh No! This reminds me of another of her prophecies!
Spend as you get, get as you spend. Save and for whom? Remember death!
Lady of Lawers
As the clouds began to darken, I had one last look at the loch. Saw the remnants of the pier for steamships in the distance and left … vowing to learn more of Mary Campbell’s times and story.
CAMPSIE, Alison in The Scotsman, September 7, 2020. The Village that stood for 1000 years and slowly slipped away.
Thank you, Rusha & Bert for this challenge which reminded me of the feeling of a lovely holiday.
There are some timeless places, where we can escape the often harsh reality of the world. Fine weather can help. To get to the island of Mull, we caught the ferry across Loch Linnhe from Corran to Ardgour one autumn Saturday.
I could give all to Time except – except What I myself have held. But why declare The things forbidden that while the Customs slept I have crossed to Safety with? For I am There, And what I would not part with I have kept. (Robert Frost)
The moving novel Wallace Stegner wrote, aged 78, his last – Crossing to Safety, reviewed on the ABC’s ‘Tuesday Bookclub.’ (Click the blue link for the 11 min segment)
A.B. Facey’s unforgettable autobiography, ‘A Fortunate Life‘ is a much-loved, Australian classic about hardship and loss, friendship and love. Published in 1981, when he was 87, it shows his extraordinary fortitude, despite terrible times.
Sea and sky help remind me that I lead a fortunate life, in a world where so many, millions?, cannot cross to safety.
It’s good to have time to relax and read and think about life … but of course, it’s actually what I do that makes a difference … so I better get on with it.
Presented here is a retelling of an Anansi tale found in West African Folktales by William H. Barker and Cecilia Sinclair. Anansi the spider is a trickster who has many roles in the folklore and traditions of West Africa, Jamaica and throughout the African diaspora. He features in many roles in many tales sometimes as a hero bringing knowledge and benefits to humans or as a villain. Anansi tales explore human nature and very often by contrasting his behaviour with that of other characters or situations in the story important lessons are found as is the case in the following story.
ANANSI AND NOTHING
Anansi lived in a rundown shack and his nearest neighbor was someone called Nothing who was exceedingly rich and lived in a grand and luxurious palace. One day Anansi and Nothing decided to go into town with the purpose of both…
If only I’d known in Year 8 that Geometry was all about beauty in shape, line, angle and space!
Thanks to Patti P.A. Moed for this week’s photo challenge. It’s been good fun – another Treasure Hunt.
I’ve always liked looking up for possible photos.
Staircases in all buildings are constructed at a 90 degree angle to a wall! Some are fancier than others.
To get boats up to the level where two old canals meet, engineers created the Falkirk Wheel. Tourists love it.
Stairs get you to the second floor to a great, elegant Tea Shop. This Brisbane Arcade is full of angles and only one mistake (mine).
The Helm ofDiscovery – Robert Falcon’s Scott’s ship was specially designed and built in Dundee for his first Antarctic expedition (to reach the South Pole )1901- 4. The new V&A Design Museum Dundee is in the background.
Something new – These flowers show the geometric pattern called “Six around one.”
A neighbourhood find. There’s geometry in all sorts of ordinary places.
And now for an almost unbelievable story –
Walking past the TV one day, I spied three men in wigs, elegant coats, stockings and buckled, high heels struggling through a tropical jungle. And that wasn’t the half of it! I sat down and watched.
The three met up again there and began the task of taking triangulation measurements in the high mountains, in thin air, unpredictable weather, in the wrong clothes for over a year. All in all, the expedition took them eight years to complete – but they had their triangulation measurements which confirmed Newton’s theory that the earth bulged near the Equator. The other two swiftly caught a ship back to France. Condamine got on a raft, to explore a great river instead …
Local guides abandoned them. Where were they? They carried on. There were fierce arguments in French. One contracted a fever, the others left him in the night. He recovered days later and wandered around. He had no idea where in South America he was. (It was Brazil) Charles-Marie de la Condamine walked on alone, discovered rubber, as well as which particular tree bark made the right kind of quinine to cure malaria and managed to reach Quito in Equador.
The TV program I happened upon was a re-enactment of a 1735 – 1743 French Scientific expedition to determine the shape of the earth. If you’re in the UK you might be able to see this episode here.
Nothing succeeds like persistence … and accuracy. Thanks to Geometry.