Jane's Travel Blog

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Scotland. Summer, 2019

Ah, Peebles, Scotland…  We are now in what we have come to call our summer home. We arrived June 11th and are here until Sept. 12th. We have five wonderful housesits. I thought I’d feel a bit unsettled with all the moves, but my love of Scotland has kept me balanced.

When we first arrived, the poppies, yes… I’m going to say it… The poppies were popping in Peebles. They grow wild along the pathways and in the groomed gardens. The paper-thin red petals wave in the soft wind. This fairy tale town offers many small surprises and I always look forward to discovering more.

As it’s our 4th year in Peebles, I’m likely to run into someone I know. One of the first mornings, camera in hand, I’m walking through the magical Eishels Woods and I hear voices and I think how delightful, a family enjoying a picnic in nature. To my surprise, it’s Hannah (our very first housesit host) and her boys sitting by a small campfire having lunch. They’d biked to the River Tweed for a bit of Sunday fun. Another simple surprise. We chatted for a bit and I was on my way. One day, I ran into Julie (another housesit) at the grocery, and Sharon, the taxi driver who has moved us to our housesits many times, often beeps as she drives by.

We had a week between housesits, so we went on a five-day tour to the Highlands of Scotland. It’s hands down one of the most beautiful areas we have visited. The mountains, the valleys, and lochs come together causing you to stop, breathe, and let it flow over you. The van drove through the countryside, my hands rested quietly in my lap as I took in the beauty.

The shades of green dominate, making me feel this odd combination of giddiness and calm. Yes, it rains some here, but it’s the “Scottish mist” that creates such shades of green beauty.

Our tour’s clan consisted of 14 people from all over the world: Aussies, Taiwanese, Americans, Chinese, and our leader, a Scot. As the five days passed, we learned a “wee bit” about each other’s story and shared a few laughs. 

We are now in Peebles enjoying the serene morning hikes with Misty, one of the pups we care for. My new friend Sharon (the taxi driver) invited me to her uncle’s farm. I saw new lambs, her daughter practice jumping her horse, new pups and many dogs and horses. I had flashbacks to my childhood with all the visits to the Kelley and Wilson farms in central Wisconsin. There’s nothing better than the sweet smell of a farm. I even got to have a “wee bit” of a walk around on Tonto the horse.

We have just over a month left in Peebles and plan to take total advantage of its magic.