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Visit to Scotland to see Chris the blacksmith, Kit the Teebee smock maker & Haily the earth spirit!

So grateful to Chris, Haily and Kit for my amazing, if a bit rushed, visit to their beautiful home. Kit's food is legendary & it was absolutely gorgeous (Kit is who made me my Teebee woollen smocks!).

As soon as I arrived I met not only Chris, Haily and Kit but also Paul Macdonald a world renowned swordsman! He is restoring Rob Roy MacGregors sword and I was lucky enough to HOLD IT!

My tiny mind is blown
This is Chris and Haily having a squeeze at the faery pools. A gorgeous place that I was glad to be at after a long night enjoying a wee pure malt dram..

Chris and Haily having a squeeze at the faery pools

Chris made me my knife (as well as my bodkins!) that I included in my must have kit list, published in a Geographical article I wrote last month (thanks to Paul Deegan!). It's a Silver Fox Cub knife designed by Sean Mulhall and made by Chris. Its perfect for everything I need it for which is a big ask. Never leaves my side! Chris put a yew handle on it for me so it would be in keeping with my longbow. I am a jammy sod.

I was up in Scotland to visit my Dad's grave and so it was deeply soothing to spend time with Kit, Chris and Haily and go on an adventure around their home. We walked up to the Corrie of Clova. Needless to say I burst into tears when I saw the corrie. I got so overwhelmed by not only the beauty of it but also because we were held in the magic of the scent of damp moss, pine and heather and I was with two new friends that I instantly loved. 

We also visited a couple of forts. It's a perfect time of year to be in Scotland or the English hills as the heather is in full bloom and the blaeberries are fat and juicy. 

Haily atop the White Caterthun hill fort
The first fort we visited, the White Caterthun, had an amazing cup marked stone. Noone knows what these marks were for and they can be found all over the UK, often with ring markings too.

I pinched this pic off Chris of Haily and I connecting with the stone

They then whisked me off to see another fort. A fort that still stops me sleeping. Not because it was freaky in a scary way but because it was freaky in a 'but how did they do that' way. It was the Finavon vitrified fort. Which means the stones in the wall of the fort had been heated to such a high temperature that they had fused together. Noone knows how, in the 6th century, they had the ability to create such stupidly hot temperatures. Here's the wiki page on vitrified forts. I found it hard not to think of the electric universe theory when I saw this and the z-rod symbol that the picts often used in their decorations of stone & metal (see the stone markings below).


But how though?

But how?
Chris striking a catalogue pose, looking quite harmless
This fort brought the pesky pict out..
To cap it all off on the way home we stopped off at some pictish stone carvings. Absolutely breathtaking symbology, that is little understood. I mean just look at these markings!

Big love to Kit, Chris and Haily, THANK YOU, you've always got a warm welcome wherever I am!

hen xx


  1. Lovely, vibrant, thought- provoking post. Am not sure it's necessary to 'understand' the Pictish symbols/writing in the way that we see as 'understanding'. I think it's enough that they're still here to be seen, appreciated and loved. Thankyou for sharing your photos :) xx

    1. Thanks Sarah :)

      I know what you mean about not needing to understand the symbols.. wish I could stop my brain! I admit to loving the puzzle and playing with the different possibilities. Chris was saying that there is very little research on all the pictish history. Which I find astonishing, especially as Kit was saying that over the last few years the sandstone stones have started to wear to the point of losing the ability to see some of the markings. Seems so crazy!

  2. Looks like a most wonder-full trip. I've enjoyed seeing it through your eyes.

    1. Thanks Jane, it was a real treat. Funnily enough it wasn't until I went back through the photos that I realised just how much we fitted in!


  3. Wow! very jealous. It looks amazing. What lovely friends. xx

  4. Freedom!!!! Wow! Looks amazing. Lovely new friends. Lots of love Mum xx


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