Water defines Scotland. The clouds are enriched with it as they shroud the mountain tops, or linger majestically in the valleys. Water fills the bogs and charges the burns. It descends down the mountain with gathering pace, cutting through rock and carving the character of the landscape as it goes. With great force it plunges over rocks and falls before reaching the broader rivers. Here, it slows to a meander through alder and birch woodland with an impossible stillness. The rivers flow seemlessly into the vast expanses of the lochs: great valleys cut by huge glaciers of a previous era, are now filled with an eerie tranquillity.
Our first family holiday was to the Trossachs. As you can probably guess, we had a bit of rain, but overall it was a good break. Henry saw lots of new things, places and sights and we tried to relax in these peaceful surroundings to unburden ourselves from the cummulative effects of our busy lives at home. The passing moods of the clouds, the rush of the mountain burn, the stillness of the river, the raw power of the waterfalls and the morning mists rising from the loch are a reminder of how water defines our environment and enriches our lives.
The water brings with it the character of the country. The mountain waters, tinted brown from the peat, flavours the beer and the whisky. The whisky especially. We toured the Glengoyne whisky distillery, sampling many of the excellent single malts with the unique taste of their unpeated malted barley. A bottle of Glengoyne 21 year old single malt rests in the cupboard, a nice compliment to the peaty tones of the bottle of Ardbeg next to it.