A Gift…….


Allestree Lake, Derbyshire

I heard various folk on the radio describing their approach to our periods of allowed exercise.  The one that most resonated with me was hearing it described as a Gift.

Indeed it is a gift and a gift we may well not be allowed for much longer.  So each day out in the fresh air with Buster, stretching out our legs is a real bonus.

Today it was cold…. very cold.  A wind straight from the Arctic made it feel much colder than any other day this year. For the first day of British Sumer Time you had to have a chuckle.

It was though still a privilege to wander round the Lake and through the woods.  It also still looks very much like winter, bare stark trees only a few buds swelling. As for that wind…well it did a great job sweeping clean the woodland floor. If we are to be subject to more restrictions then it makes each of these days even more precious….



Still strange to feel so alone

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

29th March

(C) David Oakes 2020



Taking advantage….. of tough times



A Cup of Coffee and a Book……  

Not my original thought but inspired by Sue ( https://suejudd.com/ ).

In these strange times, however we try to manage the time with all our activities, activities that are severely restricted, I guess many of us will have time turn to a book.

But what book ?   I guess we all have a favourite genre to go for, a good detective mystery or historical biography, what ever. I certainly have my go to books, but in these times I find I have space at ‘different’ times of day to read, so seek out books that are rather different from my everyday read.

So after my morning exercise with Buster, it most definitely is a time for a cup of coffee and to temporarily loose myself in a book.  This one takes me to remote, wild places….places not easy to explore even when young and fit… and at my time of life I would need it to be done in comfort, something most certainly not possible in my current read.

The Book is OUTPOST by Dan Richards.  It is described as a Journey to the wild ends of the earth.  Escapism at its extreme and all in the comfort of my armchair.

The only change I would make to Sue’s topic/caption would be to add a couple of Chocolate Biscuits – and to pinch a line from a famous retailers advert….  ” These are not any Chocolate Biscuit but Dark Chocolate coated Ginger Nut Biscuits “ ….   I would mention that they are not available at that famous retailer. 🙂

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

29th March

(C) David Oakes 2020

Silent Sunday…… So Off to Church


St Dubhthach’s Church, Kintail, Scottish Highlands

This lonely ruin is located in the most lovely of Highland settings.  At the foot of Glen Shiel above Loch Duich were the Strath Croe flows down from Kintail into the Loch.

I am told the original church was dedicated to a little know Saint…. St. Duthae of Dubbthach thought to have died circa 1065ad.

Today this looks a tranquil place, but in the early 1700’s it was right in the middle of the Jacobite fighting in the area, notably the Battle of Glen Shiel of 1719.  The church was then used as a makeshift Field Hospital to treat the wounded. Following these hostilities the church was burnt down.  Later repaired in 1836 and rebuilt 1856. but soon fell again into disrepair.

It has through the centuries been the Clan Burial Ground for the Chiefs of the Clan Macrae.  

St Dubhthach’s Church may well be a ruin but still a place to explore and enjoy some peace from the world around.  It is also little known, yet sits on a small hill just above the busy A87, a road  travelled by thousands each year as they trundle along on ‘The Road to the Isles’.…. Isle of Skye of course. There isn’t a better place to pause on their journey.

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

29th March

(C) David Oakes 2020