Highland Hiatus

As usual I had planned to schedule a few blogposts for when we were away in Fort William and Inverness, but I was so busy beforehand that I never did get around to it, so it has been unnaturally quiet on ‘Pining’ this last week. For good reason though, as you might know Peggy of Peggy Ann’s Post is staying with me this month and we were joined on our Highland sojourn by Evee of Evee’s Blog and of course Jack was with us – he was our driver!

I worried about the weather as Fort William is infamous for being wet and of course it was wet when we got there but the drive up until then had been mainly dry, if a bit grey. We were there just last June and had great weather just a few miles north of Fort William so managed to take some lovely photos of the Spean Bridge area, sadly the weather this time was grey and very windy – when is our summer going to arrive? Anyway if you don’t know what the Spean Bridge area looks like you can see lots of images of it here. So we didn’t hang about there long this time.

When we arrived at Fort William it was chucking it down with rain and we made for the bookshop which Jack and I had been lucky to buy some books in last year. The shop owner was just about ready to close it but within less than 5 minutes – I, Peggy and Evee had managed to find books which we had been looking for. I was chuffed to find the third book in the McFlannel series by Helen W Pryde and I also bought a book about Hugh Lofting the writer of the childrens series, Dr Dolittle. Peggy got a whole load of books by and about O. Douglas (Anna Buchan) and Evee bought a couple of books by Maurice Walsh which she had read back in the year dot and wished to revisit. Now she has me thinking that I should read his books too, as if I don’t have enough books already in my piles!

Anyway, it turned out that it was just as well that we bought books in Fort William as the famous bookshop Leakeys in Inverness turned out to be a big disappointment for us, although Evee did manage to buy a few books. I would say that all of the books there are vastly overpriced, a lot of them aren’t in alphabetical order – come on – pull your socks up, it’s a nightmare if books aren’t in some sort of order, I was tempted to start sorting them out myself.

It’s always the way of it, much longed for trips to ‘special’ bookshops always end up being a damp squib for me, then I find treasures in the most unexpected places. Oh well, it all adds to the spice of life I suppose.

10 thoughts on “Highland Hiatus

  1. That’s the way it often happens – the “official” bookshop has nothing of interest, but the little old second-hand shop has real treasures among its assortment. I, also, would love to sort some shop book-shelves into order! Hope your summer comes and the weather is kind for the rest of Peggy’s stay.

    • Valerie,NZ,

      I’m not even going to bother going to any more so-called great bookshops as they’re always a disappointment and expensive. Today was a lovely day and we went to the Kelpies and Linlithgow, where we both got a load of books!

  2. It sounds as though you all had a good time despite the weather. We’ve been to Fort William a few times – and it rained each time. I haven’t seen the sun there! In a way you’ve cheered me up because when we went to Inverness a couple of years ago I didn’t know about Leakeys, so missed out on going to it! Over priced is not good but not in order is bad! I was disappointed when we went to Hay-on-Wye one year – the books there were over priced too! I didn’t buy any.

    • Margaret,
      We had exactly the same experience at Hay-on-Wye and after travelling all that way bought absolutely nothing. There was a vintage Penguin crime book priced at £700 – crazy. I haven’t seen the sun at Fort William either, or the top of Ben Nevis but it’s usually much drier just a few miles north of there. I recommend the steam train journey from Fort W to Mallaig – if you haven’t already done it.

      • Forget Hay- on -Wye. Go to Wigtown, SCOTLAND. Sounds like you and “the Girls” are having a fun time.

        • Lorraine,
          I have had such bad luck at so called book towns that I suspect the same would happen to me in Wigtown, otherwise I would have gone there before now. I’ll probably go there eventually, it’s so remote though that I think you might get there before I do. We are having fun but it’s tiring!

  3. And what a good time we had! It was a shame the weather was awful in Fort William, but I can assure you that the sun really does shine there sometimes! it’s just that Scotland’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, overlooks the town. Clouds pick up moisture from the sea to the west and as they are forced higher by the bulk of the Ben, the moisture in the clouds turns to rain! I didn’t know about the Fort William bookshop before we got there but I was pleased to find a few Maurice Walshes. I agree Leakeys was expensive and unlike the FW mannie, he didn’t give any discount on bulk buying! They’ve closed the cafe at Leakeys – and the toilets for customers!

    • Evee,
      We were both lucky at the FW bookshop at our previous visit and I’m sure if we had been able to stay there longer we would have found more treasures, and who can resist a bookshop which gives discounts!

    • tracybham,
      One good thing about Scotland and windy weather, it means it’s ever changing and apart from it being colder than usual we’ve only had one rotten day of perpetual heavy rain. Your husband would love it here.

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