Tag: Inverness


Highland Main Line Train

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The Highland Main line train siddles out of the cold comfort of Dalwhinnie. In the distance sugar dusted mountains tickled by fluffy low lying cloud, smiled on by the blue eyes of heaven. We trundle by wirey puffs of scrubby heather knitted into the patchwork greens of this bobbly blanket, covering a duvet of bouncy peaty soil. The necklace of pylons and the dinky trucks on the distant roadway wink sparks of winter sun. Scatterlings of light spin off shiny silver bark ruffling the copper mops of autumnal trees. Through the leafy cut, saluted by skinny regiments of pine, ignored by the shawl of afro haired sheep across the fields and the sleepy gaze of one brawny white bull lounger in the soggy bog. Kingussie huddled in a snowy cleavage. We are greeted by the dancing shimmer of white ladies ready to wave us on our way into the Northern light and the call of Inverness.

Travelling the Highland Main Line from Glasgow to Inverness November 2013

YES to Inverness

IMAG3011I stayed in Forres to visit the Findhorn Community which has three centres in the area. Inverness is only a 35 minute train ride away and I had two opporunities to visit.  Juliette, a friend is house sitting in Beauly on the river 15 minutes further west.  A great excuse to be tourists for the day. We started Leakeys second handbook shop, overspilling in a vaulted church with the heart of a gigantic wood burning stove and coffee and cakes in the eaves. Over the Ness river on the Greig Street footbridge and on to some quiet contemplation in the oddly spireless St Andrew’s cathedral. Kicking golden leaves along the bank of the rushing Ness, climbing arches of wrought iron bridges over its burbling, gurgling waters to wander on the delightful Ness Islands replete with cleverly shaped logs and a painted monster in the fallen trees.  Sedate residential houses line the river walk back to the city and muffle the transition from river gurgle to traffic cacophony and the purple seated train ride back to Forres.

My second visit is drawn by my curiosity about the YES Group, an international community inspired by the teachings of Tony Robbins. Despite best intentions over many years I had yet to make it to a meeting in London. Recently I noted that Diane & Andrew Nicholson had launched a satellite group in the Highlands. A Facebook message to Andy and a call out to the YES community assured me of transport to the event and sitting beside a neighbour in Forres meant a lift back to the door. I love the practicality and verve of by Ann Wilson, the Wealth Chef http://thewealthchef.com/ who made her subject engaging, entertaining, interesting and understandable. The Inverness YES group is in its 7 month, about to have its first Christmas celebration and adds a little fizz & vis once a month to the Craigmonie Hotel. Check it out if you are in the area.

Finding Findhorn

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Now is the whole enchilada ~ ABRAHAM HICKS

November 8th 2013: From Glasgow we meander through the snow dusted Caingorms and along the Moray Firth where I can sense the seam where the sky meets the land at the North Pole. I swear I could see a little pom pom on the top of the world knitted by grandmas in the sky.  I change at Inverness to catch the Aberdeen connection to Forres where I am met by Fabien who has the spirit of a magical king.  We rattle off on our 5 mile trip in the first car in the community car pool, a trusty servant, it is about to be replaced by an eco friendly electric upstart.  Along the flat backroad skirting the Findhorn river estuary, we stop off at a local farm and shift through th produce at the unmanned vegetable shop.  It is bright but bitter cold .  The bamboo tea when we arrive in Fabiens cosy Finnish eco home in The Park is very welcome.  The Park, the heart of this interesting community which is celebrating its 51st birthday this month, has been Fabiens home for 25 years.  On the way to dinner we stop off in the community Sanctuary for 20 mins of silence, held in the clasp of the solemn reverberation of a singing bowl. Friday night dinner in the Community Centre and it seems like there are a 100 of us holding hands in a meandering circle to potentise our food with blessings.

The Park in Findhorn is like pixieland. Wood cabins and caravans, eco houses, round houses, houses built out of whiskey barrels, the Trees For Life office (or should that be cabin?), Findhorn Pottery, Craig’s place with his ceramics alcove and honesty box. Freewheeling through the Magic Triangle and The Field of Dreams to arrive at the Moray Art Centre – a hive of exhibition, art classes, creative studios, Steiner schooling. As the days grow shorter it seems we are always chasing the shimmering light as it slides down behind slippery stones of clouds back to Fabiens home, Meadow house; wood wombed, peat and woody fire, and apple straight from the tree.

It is a ten minute walk from The Park into Findhorn Village; sturdy stone cottages scattered tentatively along a sandy bar reaching into the Moray Firth. This village has been swallowed up by sands in the 1600s and was lost again to floods in 1701 but with some strategic help to stabilise the dunes it has found its feet weaving its blend of history to create an appealing haven from the rush of modernity. As the etheral light if the day slips over the horizon one of my favourite places to be is The Bakehouse http://bakehousecafe.co.uk/

The Buddha sits peacefully on the bench, bracketted by regimental red petunias, a splash of colour on this grey day. The rain gently insists its presence trickling and the Tornando jets play tag under the mizzling clouds. Scotland.  There are quiet days cold days holed up in Forres when I do not love being in Scotland, I hate being pushed to face my limitations, admitting that I am not tough enough, finding that I need a hot bath to start my day, needing to do physio to warm my bones and dedicating myself to layers of lycra – any lycra; let me tell you it is a motley look! I am a pussy cat who wants to luxuriate in warmth and heat, to stretch my limbs into the day, to purr in the honeyed sun. The cold tightens my body, twists my mind and strangles my spirit.

And then there is Findhorn, a hive of activity. I cant keep up with the social events and the potential for lovely distractions in the warmth of the Community Centre or the magic of The Universal Hall, the olde world of The Kimberly or the decadence of the aforementined  Bakehouse. There is the scalding of the hot tub or the gentle glow of tea and conversation.  During my visit I was privileged to be involved in serving at the sherry reception for the 51st Birthday of the community; a sibling of mine, an entity of my generation that has to ride the wave of time, face change and build legacy.  What a wonderful inspiration it is moving beyond the half century mark http://www.findhorn.org/