Saturday, October 06, 2012

Sun dogs, sunshine, and the warm Scottish spirit...

Welcomed by a lovely natural wonder over the North Sea, a "sun dog".
From "door to door" it took just over 24 hours, on three aircraft, one of which circled in a holding pattern, as wild winds blew through Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, another buffeted, at 35,000 feet by the same strong winds en route to Edinburgh International. Driving the last 120 km to Arbroath amidst the gentle Scottish hills was pure bliss, especially when a highway Costa Coffee shop is available to give you exactly what you need after missing a night's sleep! A small "Scottish" Americana restored flagging wakefulness!

The town of Arbroath is one of the many places we fell in love with when we were on exchange here in Scotland last summer, serving at St. Margaret's in nearby Forfar. I felt a connection to the land and to the sea then, and this time that feeling is as deep as my born-in-Glasgow DNA.

Gentle movement in the soft, October breeze.
Arbroath is on the North Sea,  about 26 kilometres ENE of Dundee. An historic fishing port, known widely for its delicious "smokies" (smoked haddock), it is perhaps, most famous for the Declaration of Arbroath signed at the Abbey on April 6th, 1320 - the declaration of Scottish independence, submitted to and accepted by Pope John XXII. The declaration also called for the acknowledgement of the excommunicated Robert the Bruce as the country's lawful king. Translated from the Latin, the document proclaimed, in part:

"As long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours, that we are fighting, but for freedom - for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself".

Arbroath is a spirited community, the warmth of its people and the Friday evening busyness of the fish and chip store just three doors down engaged us as we settled into our self-catering apartment looking over the harbour.

Out the window to Arbroath Harbour..."Good day sunshine".
Low tide, Saturday morning walk.
In retrospect, yesterday's most extraordinary sight over the sea, a sun dog, felt like a "blessing" over this journey of discernment just begun.



  1. Hi Duncan and Joan, Welcome back! Let me know if you're around Aberdeenshire, or if you want to borrow boats & paddling kit

    Kind regards

  2. Ian, thank you for your greetings and for such a thoughtful and generous offer. I know we'll be up your way at some point and will make contact through your blog. Until then, warmest wishes. Duncan.

  3. Hi D,

    Looks very peaceful and what a view to wake up to each morning...almost as beautiful as the view out my window this morning! L

  4. It is indeed, Linda. You have the Salish Sea and we have the North Sea - both such wonderful and inspiring environments! Talk to you soon.