By: Blonde Two

Well hello Blondees and Blondettes. As you know (because I already told you) this Blonde has landed herself (by accident) in an internet free cottage on the northern edge of the Cairngorms.RainbowI am well and truly settled in now and am enjoying the isolation. We have two people neighbours but they are only just visible across the glen. We do however have a wealth of animal and bird neighbours; a different bunch arrive every evening to entertain us. So far we have seen stoats, pheasants, rabbits (possibly hares), sheep (the lambs are naughty), deer (right up to the garden fence), well manicured cows, bulls with massive … muscles and a myriad of birds that I am ashamed to say that I can’t name. (Note to self – bring a bird book next time).

Because there will definitely be a next time. As well as animals, there are the trees; these I am better at identifying. Pines (baby pine trees are very cute), larches (so graceful) and birches (I have never seen so many birches in one place). The splashes of bright yellow come from broom and gorse and is almost impossible to tell them apart from a distance. Get close up though, and the gorse smells like the best coconut shampoo your hairdresser has ever used (Blonde One – I can finally smell it!)Baby PineI can hear you waiting though, you walkers and climbers; you want me to tell you about the mountains. Well, for a start, the cottage is right underneath an impressive ridge; our peaks are not mountains but at over 700 metres, they qualify as Corbetts (a list designed for Blondes) and I have already conquered two. I have a Munro or two in my sights as well but we will have to see about those; I take actual mountains very seriously and to be honest am a bit nervous about them! No hill around here is less than steep, in the guide books, most walks have climbs that equal the total height of High Willhays. Like Dartmoor, there is peat, there is heather, there are blaeberries (whortleberries on Dartmoor) and there are bogs; but that is where the similarity ends. Despite being well dressed with Landrover tracks, this landscape is hard and fierce, a local informed us that the winter temperature has been as low as minus twenty seven. The heather is very short and in some places, the hills are clad eerily in only in silver grey lichen and moss.Corryhabbie Hill

In short, this Blonde likes it here. As well as walking, I have been doing a bit of writing. Tomorrow’s blog post should arrive in the form of a short story. Indulge me!