Thursday, August 28, 2014

Scotland: The Falkirk Wheel

I am continuing to enjoy revisiting my journal as I think about what we did "one year ago". 

I really wanted to make an illustrated journal out of our time in Scotland but it did end up taking a lot of time to keep up. What happened was I traded my hour of reading/relaxing/whatever for an hour of journal upkeep. I don't know if that was a good decision or not, but I knew that I would never regret having the journal in the future. And I did have to give up the watercolors after awhile....

We sent some postcards while we were over -- aren't they lovely?! And you could buy stamps from specific historical sites which was pretty cool.

Some more journal work. Michael kindly spent just as much time downloading photos each evening from all 8 of our cameras as I spent journaling so I suppose we both were recording the trip in our own way.

Back to the subject of this post -- the Falkirk Wheel. Many years ago we had taken the kids there on Michael's birthday as it is the perfect "boy outing". We knew we'd need to go again on this trip since the boys were old enough to really enjoy it. And it was the perfect outing to enjoy with Sam and May since Sam loves the Falkirk Wheel.

The Wheel is an ingenious invention for helping canal boats get from one height down to another. It is engineered so well that it only takes the electricity of an electric kettle or so to turn it. (You can see a boat in the picture below getting a ride down to the lower canal.)

Imagine all the adventures just waiting on a canal like this with a houseboat?!! Swallows and Amazons kinds of adventures.....

Sam and May are very dear friends. They took us under their wings when we first arrived in Scotland 13 years ago and became our family away from family. May taught me how to cook, shop, find bargains, and get along in a different country. Sam made sure we had the chance to visit numerous historical sites, always accompanied by a stop for a cup of tea. One of our goals for returning to Scotland was for the children to spend time with Sam and May.

Since the Falkirk Wheel was more of a boy's outing, May and I left everyone to ride the wheel and we headed into the lovely town of Falkirk to search out all the charity shops -- this is a past-time that we are both passionate about. :)

It was just like old times and after we had exhausted all the shops we stopped for tea and a chat. I love hearing stories from Sam and May's childhoods and their experiences during the war.

My favorite find of the day was the cottage teapot mentioned in my journal. I'll need to take some pictures or find pictures of my charity shop finds and make a post of those!

It was a wonderful afternoon with Sam and May and afterward we all headed to our homes. Anytime I could I headed out for an evening walk. There was too much beauty around not to take advantage of it. All the years in Airdrie I had looked this direction and dreamed of the countryside and this was my chance to be in that countryside.

And there was always the comforting sight of a cozy house to come back to.

And that is the story of the Falkirk Wheel. One of these days I'll tell you about the adventure we did get to have on a houseboat!!!


Reneelynn said...

So very interesting!

Everydaythings said...

so many beautiful memories Heather, and your art work is just stunning!

elizabeth said...

beautiful! the places, the pictures, the art! so glad you had so many wonderful times!

Helen said...

Aw! We were on holiday in Scotland this summer and went on the Falkirk wheel too! I wonder which guide your family had - ours was absolutely hilarious and kept us very entertained - my kids are still repeating some of the funny things she said - in their best Scottish accents too!

Anonymous said...

It does take time to chronicle life, but I think it's so worth it. I've recently been reading over diaries from 20 years ago, and so many happy memories of people and places are there, to be relived again now.

We've never been to the Falkirk Wheel! We should definitely go, now that we are denizens of the Central Belt. I'd also really like to see the Kelpies. I don't think they were finished when you were here, though?

I hope all is going well with your new school year. Xox