The last few months have involved a few more adventures.
At the start of June Paul and Amber Toms (friends from Urban Seed networks) arrived in Edinburgh to stay with us. It was wonderful to see people from home.
A few days later we hired a car and headed off on a road trip together. We drove up through the spectacular Highlands (via Glen Coe) and then way out to an area on the West Coast called Ardnamurchan. It’s the westernmost part of mainland Scotland.
Here we visited a gorgeous beach called Sanna Bay, with turquoise-blue water and white sand. Apart from the freezing water, it could have been a tropical island.
From Ardnamurchan we caught a ferry across to the Island of Mull, where we stayed in a small self-catering cottage for four nights. On the first day we went for a walk on the hills around the small fishing village of Bunessan. The other two days we went across to the Holy Island of Iona.
Iona is quite a remarkable place, and it was amazing to be on one of the key sites of the Christian faith in the UK. You can learn more about Iona by clicking here.
While on Iona we took part in a six-hour pilgrimage around the island run by the Iona Community, which was also a wonderful experience. You can learn more about the Iona Community by clicking here.
After a few days back at home, we headed off on a 10-day journey through Wales, Cornwall and Dorset, while Paul and Amber went to Spain for a pilgrimage walk and then some more time in southern England. They’re coming back to Edinburgh for a few months – it’ll be great to have them around for a bit.
While down south we did a lot of exploring our family history. Some of Cathy’s ancestors were from Wales, and the ancestors of my mum’s parents were all from Cornwall. It was quite moving to find ancient churches where our ancestors had worshiped, been married and baptised, and to learn more about my Celtic Cornish heritage.
I’d never given too much thought to family history before, but I found that it has quite an impact on your sense of self and identity to understand better where you’re from.
After a few days in Cornwall we travelled to Bradford Abbas in Dorset where we stayed with Mark and Jenny Beckwith. Mark spent a year with Urban Seed a few years back. While with them we made the obligatory trip to Stonehenge – more big rocks.
Now we’re counting down to Cathy finishing her thesis and heading back to Australia in early September for a family wedding, so we’re staying pretty close to Edinburgh for now, but I’ll try to put some more reflections up here periodically.