Flowering Cherry

There’s an old flowering cherry tree in our garden, now grown far too big to be ornamental and situated far too close to both the house and the garden wall to be a good idea with all those searching roots, so potentially this may be the last year we have it – once lock-down is over we’re intending taking professional advice on all the old trees in the back garden, and acting on whatever advice we are given ๐Ÿ™‚

Flower of the Day


Remember this tree stump? I first took a picture of it on New Year’s Day, floating in the sea not too far away from where it’s landed – or is it stranded? Either way it definitely looks like it’s here to stay ๐Ÿ™‚

Autumn Leaves

We’ve had such a lot of miserable grey clouds and heavy rain this wet and windy autumn, but recently I caught this tree all golden against a blue sky in a rare moment of sunshine walking home from the supermarket – camera phones are just great for capturing impromptu moments like this ๐Ÿ™‚

Weekly Smile

April A-Z: Y is for Years Ago

Years agoโ€ฆ or rather centuries agoโ€ฆ actually a couple of millennia ago (around 300 BC or thereabouts), Iron Age people built a hill fort on the crown of what is now Craig Phadrig hill (literally Patrickโ€™s Rock) on the western outskirts of Inverness, and then at some point apparently burned it when it went out of use, effectively fusing the rocky ramparts together.

According to history (or maybe just heresay, who knows) the site was used again as a stronghold much later in the 6th Century by the Pictish King Brude, at around the same time he was supposedly converted to Christianity by St Columba.

All thatโ€™s left of it today is an oval perimeter earthwork of vitrified rocks lying solid underneath the grassy soil, but the flat top of the hill is still an impressive vantage point for miles around โ€“ or at least it would be if there werenโ€™t so many tall trees blocking the view! There is a well-maintained forest path all the way up to the hill fort, but it gets a bit steep at times towards the top โ€“ I really enjoyed my walk, though, and it certainly got my heart-rate going for some proper aerobic exercise.

I see the tree-covered hillside of Craig Phadrig every morning when I open my bedroom curtains, so after wracking my brains all month to work out what to do for a โ€˜Yโ€™ post this year I finally decided some photographs of what remains of the old half-hidden hill fort at the top would perhaps make a good โ€˜Y is for Years Agoโ€™ piece of ancient history from before there was even an Inverness!

For this year’s A-Z I’m going to take you on a photographic tour of My Inverness, Past and Present. I grew up in the local area, I went to school here and brought up my three children here, but I moved away to London for 18 years before returning home for good at the end of last summer.

P.S. My initial plan for my A-Z posts has necessarily been curtailed somewhat due to the current coronavirus pandemic, but we’ll get through the alphabet one way or another, however creative my use of subjects may have to be – so thank you for visiting Inverness with me, and I hope you enjoy our trip!

Lockdown Meltdown Averted

This morning I had a bit of a lockdown meltdown threatening – it’s been five weeks today – so I took myself off for a walk in the woods nearby. Yes, I know I live in a town but it’s close to home so I walked there first (uphill all the way), then had my walk in the woods, then walked home again (downhill all the way) and felt so much better afterwards.

Walking in nature always makes me feel rejuvenated somehow, so the earthy forest smells and the everyday woodland sounds and the dusty feel of well-trodden hard-packed ground beneath my feet today worked wonders, releasing the tension in my body and amazingly even putting the slightest hint of a relaxed smile on my face ๐Ÿ™‚

Weekly Smile

Plum Blossom

This is our first spring in our new house, so it’s such fun seeing what appears next in the garden.

There are two very old plum trees that seriously look like they need to be cut down – there are clear signs of disease quite low down and several large branches have broken off completely over the winter, leaving sharp jagged edges of rotten wood pointing accusingly like bony fingers peeking out from ragged-edged sleeves. And yet… look at the beautiful blossom these gnarled old plum trees have produced, delicate and new, offering the promise of a bumper crop of fruit this autumn regardless of age.

So perhaps instead I’ll try simply pruning the deadwood and diseased branches away, and let the rest flourish on into the future after all… ๐Ÿ™‚

Flower of the Day