Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I’m back from a few days away in Scotland.
I went to a part of the country I hadn’t seen for almost 30 years. Some of the places brought back happy memories. I by-passed Gretna though, I couldn’t go there again, it would have been too much!
I stayed at a couple of decent pubs, the food was excellent and the local company very friendly. Weather was warm and sunny for the most part and no rain.
On the way up to Girvan, I came across a very interesting place in Creetown. It was an archaeological museum with a collection of various precious and semi-precious stones from around the world.. I got a few souvenirs for a couple of friends, one of whom collects stuff like this. I got some samples of haematite ore, tiger-eye, amethyst, jade and amber.
Amber is a fossilized resin that has been secreted from pine trees. In some pieces, there are the preserved remains of insects and tiny leaves thousands of years old.
Amethyst is reputed to have magical properties and can cure homesickness, evil spirits and drunkenness. The crystals are formed within a hollow rock and look very colourful.
I didn’t forget another old friend. He shares with me an all-consuming passion for good single-malt whisky. I brought some back for both of us!

1 comment:

Pete R. said...

Back in 1993, while visiting Eastern Europe with a group of colleagues, I saw the Amber Museum in Konigsberg. Some quite amazing stuff, Konigsberg of course being on the Baltic coast, where amber (fossilised pine tree resin) was found.

The disappearance of the Amber Room in 1945, a priceless treasure presented to Peter the Great in 1716, is one of the great historical mysteries.