…it seems such a long time since we’ve found a beach-side spot for Vince, cracked open a bottle and toasted the setting sun. And it has been! Record temperatures (for Scotland) at the moment mean we couldn’t have chosen a better time to turn Vince’s crank handle and listen to his engine groan back into action.
It’s been an up-and-down few weeks of late so it’s good to park the problems and just escape. Our building project has finally fallen through. It took a lot of time & expense for us to discover that in this area, where house prices are relatively low, having your own house designed and built would leave you in a position where you might have a lovely house – but you’d have one which you couldn’t sell. At least, one which you couldn’t sell for more than the land and build costs. That’s too big a risk for us so we’re back on the hunt for a place we can make our own.
On the positive side we’ve absolutely fallen in love with south-west Scotland as it seems to have everything we were looking for in retirement. We love exploring Dumfries & Galloway’s beaches, forests and towns. We’re not far from Wigtown – Scotland’s book town, and Kirkcudbright – the artists’ town. We’re counting down the days until Newton Stewart’s traditional music festival in July. We should be able to hear the bagpipes from our garden!
Poor old Vince hasn’t seen much action for a while so yesterday I had to give him a good scrub, pump up his tyres and fill his diesel tank. The amazing weather of late has kept his batteries topped up with lots of free solar power so he started first time – he’s such a reliable old thing. This morning we set sail for Portpatrick – so far west that if you went any further you’d fall in.
Portpatrick is one of those quaint former fishing villages which look almost too good to be true. The little harbour, the rocky bluffs where the waves crash & spray in stormy weather, the seafront bar-restaurants with tables outside. It even has the forbidding Victorian hotel on the cliff, sternly overlooking the village. It’s picture-perfect. In summer. In winter it’s desolate as the bars and cafés all close up after the tourists go home. We’ve been here in both seasons and to be honest, we think can handle the peace and quiet of the winter shutdown, and enjoy the driving rain, the massive waves and cosy pubs full of locals. Yes, Portpatrick is high on our list of possible places to live – you guessed didn’t you! 😀
We spent much of the day peering through the windows and exploring the gardens of two houses which caught our eye. I should respectfully point out that they’re both empty at the mo! One was in need of too much tlc to bring it up to a liveable condition, but the other…has potential let’s say. After the mandatory ice-cream at the harbour we had to open all Vince’s skylights and windows for a while to let the heat escape; he has so many windows it’s like entering a greenhouse sometimes. Once he’d cooled off we took the tiny single track roads to another port – Port Logan.
We didn’t stop off at the Port Logan Botanic Gardens on the way by, but we did make a note to pop back. As you might remember from our French trip a while back we’re real plant experts. Not.
Port Logan Bay has a gently sloping sandy beach, about twelve houses and a tiny harbour where people launch their pleasure boats. There is an old ruined lighthouse still guarding the end of the jetty even though shipping (and the 21st Century it seems) now passes by on the way to somewhere else. So here we are – bang up to date, finding it hard to believe I’m sitting outside at 9.15pm enjoying the sound of the waves and the feel of the slowly setting sun on my face. It’s almost like being abroad. My phone is on Vince’s roof trying to capture what little signal exists so that I can get this drivel to you in timely fashion; I’d better go and grab it before a passing seagull takes a fancy to it. Tomorrow we head in a northerly direction, in search of more free lodgings, some fish and chips, and a better signal!
See you then 😀