I've had a cracking few days recently - the October holiday week is always good: it lacks the pressure of the summer holidays, where good weather and "plans" are paramount, and it prefaces the pressure of the Christmas holiday with its family driven agenda and financial aftermath. The tattie holiday is a real holiday, where autumn's colours and the early bite of a cold wind only serve to make Scotland a nicer place to be when you have nothing to do.
And where nicer in Scotland than Speyside? I was lucky that there was a coincidental coming together of the holiday, my birthday and the Aviemore Half Marathon, my second after premiering in Glasgow last month. We headed north after school on Friday and stayed with Dad in Carrbridge, steadfastly refusing all but the skimpiest of curries in preparation for my run on Sunday. It turned out to be a lovely day, until lunchtime anyway, and the run was a picturesque, friendly and fun affair. 109th out of 996 and no lasting injuries sounds like a good day out to me.
So Monday saw poor Lorna heading south to go back to work on the train. Meanwhile Kit and I continued north to Tain for a couple of nights. This is another opportunity for him to be a spoiled brat but for me not to mind because I get some quiet time - and today, my quiet time took me to Croick Church, an exceptionally special place to me. Special for a number of reasons - it has big history. Follow the link to learn more, but suffice to say the church is linked forever to the Highland Clearances in a way that enters your blood and gives you The Shivers every time you visit. I'm not sure why, but inside the curch manages to be many degrees colder than outside, whether summer or winter. The people of Glen Calvie were mustered there before being thrown / chased / burned out of their houses and homes in 1845, and famously the church has scratches on the windows where they testified to the sadness and loss they were being put through.
All in all I spent a good few hours there with my camera trying to get some nice in and outside shots of the church and its grounds. I didn't feel spooked at all, it's a very peacful place to be, just so cold. Until, that is, a conker got blown from a tree and banged against one of the windows: then I shat myself. More pics to follow once I get them edited and Flickr'd.
Back home tomorrow - rehearsals tomorrow night then possibly an Edinburgh photography day on Thursday.