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  • Kylie Sprott

A blast from the past

Updated: Sep 18, 2023

This time next week, my two teenagers and I will be en route to the United Kingdom. In exactly 12 sleeps, we will arrive in Rothesay. We are all getting a bit excited about the trip and I can't wait to see my friends in England and Scotland again. Introducing them to Ruby and Hamilton will feel surreal and like the beginning of a new chapter. A wonderful new chapter.

I have been dreaming a lot lately about the first time I went to Scotland back in 1991, at the tender age of 21. At that time in my life, I was very happily working as a nanny in England with the most amazing family - a family I still love dearly.

I also had a wonderful and very accommodating boyfriend. He was (& still is) a good egg. He agreed to take me to Scotland for a mini break. We drove (at a cracking speed, I might add) there and back in the space of 4 days. To say it was a whirlwind introduction would be an understatement. We visited Edinburgh, Inverness, Culloden, LochNess, Cairngorms - and of course, Rothesay. We were excited to have an adventure together and we squeezed as much into that trip as we could.

Here you can see me embracing the Scottish weather in the Cairngorms National Park.

And of course, no trip to Scotland would be complete without the obligatory search for the Loch Ness monster. Here is a snap of me at the ruins of Urquhart Castle on the edge of Loch Ness, with no sign of Nessie.

But it was the visit to Rothesay where we took the most photos and bought the most souvenirs. I remember buying everything that I could to show my Gran. We even rang her from Rothesay to make sure that we had located the right house. A house that is mere metres away from the flat I purchased. A house where William Morris, my great grandfather, lived in well after Margaret left for Australia with his daughter Mary.

It was quite incredible to look at these photos today and realise that we unknowingly wandered the same streets in 1991 as so many of my ancestors. And of course, these are streets that I now recognise very well. Our visit then was incredibly quick and to be honest, we were more busy looking at each other than anything else! Regardless, the walk down memory lane today was quite startling (& not just because of my big mass of curly hair and distinct lack of style!).

Here you can see me in front of the Bute War Memorial, with the Visit Scotland iCentre in the background. You can also see the Rothesay Promenade, with the ferry terminal in the distance. This is not very far from The Green Interiors, Trish's beautiful shop.

And here I am, busily taking photos of the Bute landscape, close to the bed and breakfast that we stayed in.

I was impressed to see that I had taken photos of Castle Street, where you can see Serpentine Road zig zagging up the hill. Castle Street is where Bonnie Bling is now located (fabulous coffee and very cool bling) and where my wonderful solicitor has her offices. That zig zag that you can see leads directly to my flat and I have walked up and down this street many times already. That church spire is the one that you can see in the view from the back of my flat.

Aside from the type of cars parked there, it hasn't really changed that much. The Galatea Bar is still there, going strong!

But one of my favourite photos of our trip to Rothesay is of me on the ferry ride over. I am sure the locals thought we were mad, as we took so many photos of us out on the deck. We were excited to see Rothesay, which is a feeling that I still get today every time I go on that ferry. I hope that it is the same for Ruby and Hamilton. I guess we will soon find out!

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