A fishing boat leaves Mallaig harbour in north west Scotland


Our second week in Scotland is over and so, next week, we will continue as we journey through England. Apart from a nasty attack of the lurgy, probably caught in the aircraft on the way north, we have thoroughly enjoyed our time in Scotland. Phenomenal beauty everywhere and some of the most friendly people we have ever met on our travels

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In Rothes, the lurgy struck with a vengeance; we spent the day in our room with Lynne staying in bed, only getting up for a bowl of rich Scottish broth at supper. John felt well enough to enjoy a good, rich beef pie, washed down with a glass of Spey Stout, a rich, dark Scottish beer…
We took the 11am ferry from Mallaig, a 45 minute crossing to Skye, where it was raining, heavily, with the streams rushing downhill in full spate
We were recommended to stop at Oban, if only for the seafood and, especially, to go to the Green Shack at the Ferry Terminal. There are numerous seafood restaurants in the harbour area, but the Green Shack has the best recommendations, a bit like Kalkies on steroids…
John’s grandfather was born in Banff, so we drove there for a look, crossing the River Spey en route with trout (or salmon) fishers in the shallows. We stopped first at the harbour, watching the not at all frenzied activity the fishing boats and the pleasure craft…

The Glen Grant distillery and its gardens are just behind our hotel in Rothes so we made it our first stop of the day, introduced ourselves at the tasting room and were shown to a table on the terrace next to the distillery…

Our flight left Cape Town at 1pm, so we had a quick sandwich at the airport before boarding the Emirates Boeing 777 en route to our first stop at Dubai, where the shopping was still very active at 11.30pm SA time,  which is 1am Dubai time…

At Waverley station in Edinburgh, we picked up the car we have hired and will drive until just before we come home. The car is a Vauxhall (the maker’s plate inside says Opel – badge engineering) a spacious and comfortable mini SUV. Good to drive, if a little underpowered. We drove to Perth…

An invitation to taste a range of current and vintage wines at Kanonkop was rapidly accepted. A rare occurrence; we so enjoyed our last tasting there and we were eager to repeat the experience. This was to be followed by a light lunch and that is always a special tradition at Kanonkop…
Our wine club meeting this month was at Constantia Glen with winemaker Justin van Wyk. Welcomed with a glass of RoseMarie and Funa MCC, we began at 6 pm in the Conservatory and it was still light…

Elgin Winter Festival Wine Fair at the Elgin Railway Market

We were off to the Elgin Market last Friday night to help them celebrate Winter Wine and Words at the Elgin Market. We are only sorry that we could not stay longer to enjoy the rest of the weekend, but work called. We got there at 6 just as things were beginning…
Nicky and Paul Wallace very kindly put us up in one of their beautiful cottages on Wallovale in Elgin for the night after the Winter Wine Festival on Friday. Icy cold outside, warm and comfortable inside. We were given a warm welcome by Benjie the spaniel…

An invitation to attend the guided tasting of some of this year’s Cape Winemakers Guild Auction wines is something we covet each year and are happy to accept. We managed to time our holiday around this. Held in the ballroom at the Westin Grand Hotel it is always well attended…

While Winter prepares to give way to Spring, it always puts up a struggle and we have been blessed with some real Cape wet winter weather – perfect weather for a rich stew. This one has an interesting addition which gives a little added piquancy…

At a tasting at Constantia Glen we tasted winemaker Justin's van Wyk’s own 2018 Syrah from his Van Wyk Family Wines and were so impressed. The grapes come from cool Elgin and have produced a rich Syrah, with beautiful fruit, elegance, power and incense wood on the nose. On the palate, cherry, berry fruit with depth and purity. Soft and juicy, it then shows some umami flavours, with a hint of white river stone minerality on the end; so interesting, so enjoyable. R260

 

We want to use wine barrel staves as the covering of a pergola which we wish to build on our deck, which has no protection from the sun. If any of our wine maker readers have old barrels which have outlived their original purpose, or even loose staves from old barrels, we’d love to have them. Condition is not important, we just need the staves. Please let us know


24th August 2019

All verbal and photographic content used in this site are © John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor and Bacchus, unless otherwise specified

We keep talking about rain and the scarcity of water in our blessed, beautiful province. We are still in trouble. 2018 has seen the lowest rainfall of any year since 2010 and even though 2019 looks as though we're having good rainfall, we still need to be careful; we don't know what the future holds. 

It is not difficult to be careful; just be aware of what you do with water and look after this precious resource. Don't leave the shower running while you soap, use grey water to flush, don't run the dishwasher until it is full..... We're in crisis. Think about it! Your garden may, like ours, become a desert. Sad, but necessary and a minor sacrifice in comparison to queueing at a hose for your daily 25 litre allowance. We are planting succulents and other water-wise plants which will tolerate the conditions and still give us pleasure

So don't think that it's OK if it's raining; the trouble is that it is not raining enough. The dams are only, on average, not sufficiently full. We need to try harder. It is no use hoping that more rain will come. If it does, it will be a blessing, but the long term forecast still does not encourage optimism. Tapping into aquifers and installing desalination plants will help in the long term, but we must face up to the fact that water will always be a scarce, precious commodity in the Western Cape. The world's weather is in trouble. Europe is experiencing temperatures that we are used to here in Africa. Vineyards are being planted in England. It might be normal in Spain, but when we hear stories from chilly Scotland and often icy Norway about temperatures in the 30s.....

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