Merry Christmas from the Rudland family

Rowan and Tony’s Wedding

September 7th, 2010

On 14th August Rowan and Tony were married in an impressive Humanist ceremony in the Auchter House grounds.
There probably won’t be many of you who have been to a Humanist wedding before, so I hope you will be happy to know that Humanism is simply about what unites us, rather than separates us and this kind of ceremony gives our couple the opportunity to choose their own vows and readings and what the ceremony will say about their relationship.
The weather was perfect, there was a huge marquee on the lawn and folk gathered there. The next move was down to the bank of the Auchter Burn and, once we were all in position, Rowan and her entourage made a dramatic entrance escorted by Stuart. Son Alan sang Rowan’s choice of “Bonnie Gallowa” in his powerful voice and the musical group sang “The Rowan Tree”. There was also a Scots poem delivered by Kevin “Wi Thur Twa Rings”.
After the binding ceremony we all made our way back up to the marquee for chapagne and canapes. At 6pm we had a buffet dinner.
Soon all was tidied away and the floor cleared for dancing. The Ceilidh Band was great, in that before each Scottish dance, they walked and talked everyone through the moves so that the visitors had as much fun as the locals. At the end the band reverted to a disco format with mood lighting and dry ice vapour.
What a great day we all had.

East Coast Holiday 2010

July 11th, 2010

On 26 June Mum and I hitched up the caravan and set off for a break on the East coast having chosen a CL about five miles inland from Berwick. Journey passed just great and we got settled in.

There was lots to do in the area and it was ages since we had been there. Sunday we went to Berwick and explored the ramparts. Monday was a trip to Eyemouth and on to St Abbs Head with all the sea-birds and of course the lighthouse, now totally automatic.

All this time the weather was superb and we noticed the Lindisfarne castle was open to visitors. Watching the tide times, we crossed the causway and paid a visit with our magic passes. Picnic on the shore under the old lime kilns.

Wednesday, down to the wonderful gardens at Alnwick Castle. This time we had a snack lunch in the visitor centre.

Thursday, down to Heatherslaw Mill for a trip on the steam train between there and Etal. Etal Castle was worth a visit for the Flodden Exhibition. Flodden battlefield was only about four miles away when the Scots suffered a massive defeat by the English.

Mum had noticed that there was a honey farm advertised not far away - Wow ! ! they had an exhibition centre with all sorts of info about bees and beekeeping and a great coffee shop in a converted double-deck bus ( part of a vintage vehicle collection ). From there we walked the short distance to the Union Chain Bridge crossing the Tweed between England and Scotland. We also had time to visit Spital on the coast. Dad used to go there with Sunday School trips on a special train from Hawick in the thirties ! !

Saturday was time to pack up after a magic week of glorious weather. So home via Earlston, Innerleithen, Peebles and Moffat.

Really something to remember

Dad’s BIG birthday

May 23rd, 2010

My birthday was really in the winter, but Mum and Rowan planned a celebration for the better weather. The treat was to have the use of a classic car for a day - a Triumph ‘Stag’. Bright red in colour, a convertible and with a 3 litre V8 engine.

The trip started on Wednesday, 5 May when we went up to Bonkle and left our car there. When Tony got home, we all got into the yellow Meganne and went up to a B & B in Blairgowrie for the night. In the morning we reached the place where we picked up the car. WOW ! ! With me driving the road led up past the ski slopes at the Lecht and so to Braemar. Tony then had a shot in the hot seat and took us through Ballater and up to Alford. After that we turned up to Craigievar Castle, in the care of the National Trust, but it was closed. Nothing daunted, we parked in the roadway and got some pics with the car and the castle in the background. So back to the starting point and, with regret, returned the car to its owner.

From there, a short journey to Forfar, to a ‘Boutique Hotel’ for a couple of days. The idea was to visit Glamis Castle and that was wonderful. Toured the castle, had lunch and then a walk in the grounds. We even had time for a walk beside Forfar Loch before dinner.

A night spent at Bonkle and then Mum and I travelled up to Pitlochry for a few days in Alan’s caravan. Weather was not all that warm, but it did not keep us in and we had a great time - we visited the cotton mill complex at Stanley in the care of the National Trust, very similar to New Lanark. Of course the chocolatier at Grandtully and also St Mary’s church which had a fantastic painted ceiling dating from 1636

Sunday, 16th saw us back home to Dalbeattie, with a lunch stop at Bonkle. Altogether, a memorable time. My thanks to all for the planning and booking.