Author Archives: pjkirk

Coo’abungah

Ayrshire cattle /ˈɛərʃər/ are a breed of dairy cattle originating from Ayrshire in south west Scotland. The average mature Ayrshire cow weighs 450 to 600 kilograms (990–1,320 lb). Ayrshires typically have red and white markings, although the red can range from a shade of orange to a dark brown. This heardy bread is known for […]

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Kelpie – Scottish Water Spirit

A Kelpie is a Scottish water spirit with the ability to shape-shift and is often depicted with a horse head and dragon body. The myths say that Kelpie  preyed on and devoured humans. A folk tale from Barra, the Hebrides island where my mom’s family is from, there is a story about a lonely kelpie […]

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Week one in review

Today marks the beginning of week two in Scotland. So far I stayed in Edinburgh, Perth, Aberdeen and last night in Keith. If I had to pick a favorite city so far I would say my time in Edinburgh was the most memorable, but it’s the Scottish people and the countryside I find the most endearing. […]

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Fiona

Fiona is a hairdresser in Keith Scotland. Her husband Gaff is a farmer. They have two children, Sean and Megan. “I dun know why me children both have Irish names,” she laughs. She was born in Keith and has never been to the US and didn’t seem interested in going although, she said she wants […]

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A Place that Felt Like Home

After the distillery tour we went to dinner at the Craigolicky Hotel and then I checked in to the Ugie House in Keith for the night. It was a modest room but clean and had a nice view and a working window. Of all the towns I’ve visited so far this was the first one […]

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Upland Magic Carpet

When I stepped out of my car to take a picture of an old shed on the side of the road, I landed on what I though was grass. Instantly I felt my muscles tighten to keep my ankles straight. I couldn’t feel the ground below the thick grass. It was as though I was […]

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Here’s Mud in Your Eye

There are six whisky regions in Scotland and I’m currently in the North East region knows as Speyside. Speyside whisky is characterized by less smokey taste. Yesterday I toured Balvenie Distillery in Dufftown. Balvenie is owned by Glenfiddich and is on the property next door but is considered a superior whisky. Our tour started in the Malt room […]

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The Grass Really is Greener on the Other Side

Why is the grass so much greener than it is at home? Probably because it rains nearly every day at some point. Like now, there is a gentle shower blowing past my window at Newbold House. All this water must force the blades of grass closer together and with 20 hours of day light to grow […]

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Balmoral Castel

It was sprinkling when I got to Balmoral Castle, outside Ballaster, so I took the shuttle instead of the ten minute walk. My feet were thankful for the rest and after the drive up the mountain I was happy to turn the wheel over to a more experienced driver and relax. Sorry to see this […]

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A Night in Perth

Everyone I’ve asked about what I should see while I’m in Scotland has recommended Perthshire. It’s been a beautiful drive so far. I’ve already posted picture from along the River Tay. Today I crossed the River Dee on my way to Perth and spend one night here at a Dalvey B&B. This is the front […]

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The Terror Tour

It’s after midnight and I just got back to the hotel after a one and a half walking tour, underground! Edinburgh was originally the land spanning out from the castle for about half a mile. Around it were six other hills. As the old town grew, and they ran short on space, five bridges were […]

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Road Trip Through Dee Valley

Friday night when I got home for the PostBox Jane was waiting up. She and I sat in the kitchen discussing my route to Aberdeen. It was suppose to rain so maybe the Highland Games in St Andrews wouldn’t be so much fun. She suggested I go to Balaster an see Balmoral Castle. A man […]

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Leaving Edinburgh and the Heat Behind

After three days exploring Edinburgh I picked up my rental car and took a seat behind my apple red of-Corsa. This is my first time in the UK and the first time driving on the left. I headed out on the road and immediately landed in a turn only lane when I needed to go […]

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Robby Burns Resting Place and more…

My climb up Jacob’s Ladder landed me at a monument to Robert Burns. These two characters were hanging out in the shade of a sycamore. I walked around the monument to see if I could get a shot with more light and stumbled into a small garden and then down to a cemetery. This is […]

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New and Old Friends

Five years ago I had the pleasure to meet Gus at my friends Sam and Kelli Peacock’s BBQ. Gus was visiting from Edinburgh and we had a great chat out on the deck. I had the pleasure of his and his girlfriend’s company while I was in Edinburgh one night. We met at Joseph Pearce […]

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Up Close and Down Wynd

The Old Town of Edinburgh, Scotland, is known as the Royal Mile or High Street. Small alleyways and courtyards connect the surrounding streets. Allies are after memorable occupants or a trade of one the residents. A gated Alley was called a Close, derived from ˈkloʊs/, a Scots term for alleyway. Closes tend to be narrow with tall buildings on either side which […]

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