Our days started to follow a pattern. We spent the mornings exploring nearby points of interest, then returned to our digs in the afternoon to work on admin when the offices opened in New York. That synced perfectly with our age-adjusted energy levels, especially after a good lunch.
I pore over the map to find places to visit. Jack wants to see every castle ever built; I want to see graves. Often we just want to appreciate the stunning scenery. Before we came to Dumfries and Galloway I had the impression that the landscape would be flat agricultural land and we’ve both been surprised and entranced by the rolling hills and deep forests of hardwoods, territory not unlike where we both grew up in Pennsylvania. It’s pristine clean, with nary a scrap of trash to be seen, and even when the sun doesn’t shine, the sky is dramatic with cloud patterns that would inspire any artist.
We took off one morning to visit what was bound to be a sad place. On the way we passed a gypsy caravan.
After about an hour’s drive and a few wrong turns we finally arrived at our destination.
For those of you too young to remember, a few days before Christmas in 1988 Pan Am flight 103 was destroyed by an onboard bomb as it flew over Lockerbie, Scotland, en route from London to New York. All 259 passengers and crew died. Parts of the plane landed on a suburban street and 11 residents of three houses also perished.
Thirty-five of the passengers were students at Syracuse University heading home for the holidays after a semester abroad.
The bomb was eventually traced to Libyan nationals and in 2003 Muammar Gaddafi finally accepted responsibility.
Whenever we visit any kind of memorial I read every name, pronouncing it in my mind. I know how quickly even the most horrific events fade into history and I want each person to be remembered and honored, even by a stranger. I was heartened to see that there were other visitors to the memorial garden during the time we were there.
Lunchtime lead us to a farm market and café that was recommended by our Airbnb host. After three years in SE Asia, this kind of shop display is an eyeopener.
Luckily, vegans and vegetarians are also respected here in the UK and there are always options for me too.
We walked off the calories on a pretty little trail around the farm where we met some of the Beltie Beef cows that end up in the butcher case.
Someone on the farm enjoys chainsaw sculpture.
Jack finished off his lunch with his beloved apple crumble, and then it was back to our cottage for more banking fun.