Today we had planned to spend an afternoon painting on Clashnessie beach but the weather was quite dull and, what was more, the tide was in so Peter wouldn’t be able to clamber over the rocks and take  photos, so…

We went past anyway…


Now for a very strange photo…


Is it just me or does it look like that rock is being hurled into the sea?  It wasn’t us!  In fact, of course it is partly submerged and I only took the photo to show how clear the water was!

We were on our way to Drumbeg where there is the “best village shop in Scotland”. That sign has been there for three years so whether it’s still the best we don’t know.


It is quite odd in fact and very unusual in the things it sells.  The chap who runs it looks like he should be an art critic – very hesitant and highly intellectual.  It’s as if he’s saying to himself, “what am I doing here running a shop?”.  We asked about Orkney ice creams (board outside) and he went into a long ramble about the delivery not turning up or some such.  “But have you got any?” I ask again.  “I might have a few” he says. “Well can you look?”.  “Err, yes” comes the answer.  The freezer, which was about four feet away, proved that he ad about six.  That was hard work!

However, I am jumping the gun somewhat.  We decided not to have coffee there (he has tables outside) but to try the Candle Shop and Secret Tea Garden which is about a third of a mile from the village shop. We eventually found it down a pebbly path…


It looked like a garden shed!  Inside, however, it smelled delicious with all the candle stuff on display and was a little larger than it had appeared.  We ordered some coffee, tea and two pieces of cake from a display and the young man told us that we could sit where we liked in the garden and he would call us when our order was ready and that we should then come and collect it!

The garden was tiny and planted out to a high degree. There were a few tables tucked into the vegetation, with just one other couple having tea, and I wondered how this would work as we were  only a a couple of feet away from the ‘shed’. True to his word, he called out our order was ready from inside and Peter walked the few feet to fetch the tray!  I would assume this might be necessary if the shop were busy but somehow I doubted whether this ever happened. The tables clearly said “No table service” but it was a trifle bizarre.  This sign says it all as regards the ethos of this strange little place… I’m not keen on being told what to do though!  We certainly talked – mainly about the rules!


The cakes were quite nice although rather small in size (where are you, Barra Airport Cafe?).  We took a couple of pics of us both anyway for the record.

We finished our refreshments and wonder if there is something about this tiny village that breeds these odd characters.

We had parked at the viewpoint and walked down, passing these flowers which look familiar but which we can’t find in our plant book.  Once more, Dorothy?


It’s wonderful view – over the sea and scattered islands.


To Lochinver to pubish the day before’s blog as usual.  Peter took this of one of the two  lifeboats coming back in to harbour.


I settled down to paint the extraordinary light that had enveloped  the Clachtoll headland.  photographed the night before.


We hope you like the header picture as much as we do. They looked so quaint and very human in their attitudes.  Two old friends sitting down for a good old natter with their babies and one of the lambs licking his mother’s fur with such a dreamy look on his face. Likewise, Mum!