Mrs Nelson and I have had a busy few weeks recently, and I've found it difficult to find the time and energy to blog anything of note since we got married in April.  Well, having bought myself a copy of Get Everything Done - and still have time to play by Mark Forster (not bad, some interesting insights), I learn that blogging / journal writing is a "depth activity" for which I should apparently make time.  So, here I am blogging again, helping to lower the signal/noise ratio a little further.

At the late May bank holiday weekend we took a brief honeymoon (or, as I irritatingly insisted on calling it, "hooneymon"), in the highlands (quelle surprise!).  I've been up to Skye and Braemar (for those were our destinations) many times with my munro-bagging (and drinking) buddies, but spending time there with my mountain-averse wifey was a different kettle of fish altogether.  Despite the lack of peaks bagged, I really enjoyed myself relaxing and seeing all the touristy things that I've never noticed before due to spending all my time in the bars or finding elaborate excuses to avoid tackling the Cuillin ridge.  Some of the highlights that spring to mind:

  • Visiting the Talisker distillery - yum!  OK, perhaps it's not surprising that I enjoyed this, especially as I picked up some limited edition cask-strength bottles of Talisker and Caol Ila.  It seems a very long time since Lexy first persuaded me to try a wee dram of Talisker whilst on a bagging trip to Killin - back then my uneducated palate tended to favour Jack Daniel's - sheesh!
  • Driving round the Trotternish peninsula amid some awful squally showers.  Turning one corner we came across two drenched female walkers (who, it transpired, hailed from York) - as I opened the car door to offer them a lift back to civilisation the whole dashboard was instantly saturated by near-horizontal rain!  Skye sure can provide some wild weather, and I became glad that I'd opted for a dry weekend away from the hills.
  • Looking round Dunvegan Castle - not something I'd ever have done whilst a single man, but it was pretty interesting and good value.  They also had a fair bit of information on display about St Kilda, a remote archipelago with a fascinating environment and history.  Memo to self - must buy a book and learn more about the place - this one looks good.  Was the St Kilda in Melbourne named after the Scottish islands I wonder?
  • The Glendale Isle of Skye Toy Museum have a ghastly web site, but don't let that put you off as the museum itself is well worth a visit.  Lots of nostalgic memories for young and old alike, and it's very hands-on, fun and relaxed.  Joce was utterly baffled by the snapper toy so I had to buy one to prolong her agony for the remainder of the day until she bribed me with half a glass of merlot to reveal the secret.
  • Skye Skyns, an exhibition tannery was another good tourist attraction off the beaten track, offering demonstrations of leather making and offering a huge range of natural sheepskin products.
  • Relaxing in Braemar - whiling away an afternoon with the Sunday papers in the Fife Arms before having a slap-up dinner at the Gathering Place bistro.
  • And of course, no tourist-oriented travels around the highlands would be complete without visiting the Loch Ness exhibition in Drumnadrochit!  We didn't see Nessie though...  maybe next time.