It's pissing rain out today, so I am curled up neatly in the window seat above the front entrance to the bookshop, writing, sipping tea, and watching the bustle of the street below.
I have a perfect view right down the middle of the Main Street of Wigtown. The rooftops are capped with wide chimneys, and each chimney is crowned with miss-matched chimney pots. It's exactly the type of romantic thing I pictured in my head. It's quiet, it's small, it's friendly. It's perfect!
The bookshop only needs to be open a total of 40 hours during the length of our stay. You are allowed to break up those 40 hours however you wish, since it's your shop for the week. Sam opened the shop Monday morning, then closed it up for a bit in the afternoon so she could pick me up at the train station that was quite literally in the middle of nowhere, otherwise known as Barrhill. It was beautiful there, but very remote and the two station attendants looked at me very puzzled when I stepped off the train in my neon waterproof and even more puzzles when I asked how to get to the road, to see if my ride was there. Sam found me a few minutes later, no problem!
Tuesday the shop did not open so we could go exploring. We checked out Cally Garden, a 17th century walled garden that used to be the primary means of providing food for Cally House, but has since been turned into a wild garden and nursery to house the interesting and unusual collection of over 3000 perennials that the current owner goes all over the world to collect.
We visited a lot of other little places in between, but yesterday the real visit of note was to St. Ninian's Cave in the morning (Sam opened shop in the afternoon), named for one of the first Christian Missionaries to Scotland whose name was recorded. It was said he used to go to the cave for quiet contemplation. You have to walk down to it through a farmer's field on a right-of-way footpath, through a gorgeous bit of tall, lush forest, and then through a small rocky valley to get to the cobble beach by the seaside. The cave is not very deep (maybe 10-15 feet high, and 10 feet deep) and is located in a huge rock outcropping to your right. There are crosses made of drift wood that other pilgrims have left there, and a growing pile of stones with names written on them and places there by visitors. I left our names in a shell I found on the beach and added to the pile.
If the rain continues it might be a good day for pub painting and reading. Tomorrow we begin to head back up the coast toward Glasgow to see what we can see.
The bulk of the photos from this trip can be viewed on my Instagram account, which you can see scrolling along to the right of this website if you are viewing it on a laptop or tablet. I haven't posted them on here because the Internet is very slow where I am.