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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

An afternoon ramble


As promised, a virtual walk on the Hawthornden demesne. (Gosh, I love that word. Don’t get the opportunity to use it too often!)

This doorknocker is so old, it might fall off if you actually tried to use it!


“As we wend our way on the Hawthornden side of the bridge, always ascending, we gain some exquisite glimpses of Hawthornden Castle, perched on the edge of a steep cliff on our left. Advantage is taken of projecting rocks to get the best views possible of the river, flowing a hundred feet below us, and of the steep, well-wooded banks and rocks by which it is hemmed in, both above and below the castle. And there are some most charming spots among the grounds of Hawthornden. We feel that we are on classic ground. No wonder that the Poet Drummond loved it! No wonder that Sir Walter Scott went into ecstasies over it!”

–from The Illustrated Guide to
Rosslyn Chapel and Castle,
Hawthornden, &c., by the
Rev. John Thompson (1897)

When you come downhill towards the river there’s a beautiful wood of birch trees, and the ground is carpeted with moss and these soft spiky green things. (Anyone know what they’re called?)


We hope he loves her still.

(The castle is built on a little sandstone cliff, so when you are walking on the path beneath it there are plenty of rock formations to be seen.)

Drummond’s Seat, overlooking woods and river. (I wonder if Drummond actually had it carved, or if the name is purely romantic.)


There is a very old tree downed in the path, the trunk cut so that there’s still a narrow space to walk through. One day when it snowed I made the handprint on the right, and the next time I walked the loop I found someone had replied with the handprint on the left. (It took me like two weeks to remember to ask at the dinner table. It was Colin.)


One time I was sitting at the window up there (in the “summer library”) and Melanie was walking down below, and we saw each other and waved. Another time I was walking and she was at her desk, and we waved. Little things like that gave me such pleasure.

The well-head outside the castle gate.

Back in the boot room (this is the view from the window), taking off coat and muddy footwear, shaking the cold out and looking forward to a nice hot cup of tea.

1 Comment to An afternoon ramble

  1. crazyliberalkate's Gravatar crazyliberalkate
    April 2, 2013 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    How have you even heard of the word demesne?
    This sounds so magical! I especially love the hand prints 🙂

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.