I was visiting a pal who is having Radiotherapy in Raigmore Hospital in Inverness and as her daily appointment is in the mid afternoon we had an early start to make the best of the day. She is staying in Kyle Court a transit hostel run by the NHS as her appointments are every day and it is a great facility in the Hospital, we had a good bleather with others there. This facilty serves the Highland so well and is much needed as many travel from the Islands to the Hospital it as is the NHS a thing we must never take for granted. We had some time for a short wander after a stop via Beauly for a tea and a scone one of the best one ever at the Old School café and shop, well worth a visit. I even bought a couple of Guide books of the local area in the shop which were ideal for local walks. Beauly is a lovely town and in the sunshine it was looking great It is a place missed by many and a lovely wee town.
We did not have much time left so a visit to Rogie Falls was planned. The waterfalls are situated just outside the village of Contin. It has a popular car park and a much-needed toilet, one of the few in the Highlands! It is about 30 minutes from Inverness. It is a place I used to visit a lot with the kids and is a short walk about 1.5 miles on good paths and you can make it a bit longer by wandering off the path. The trees are in full bloom and giving some great shade and the river away from the falls is so peaceful apart from the birds enjoying the good weather and in fine voice. The river dominates and in heavy rain is a wild place to be.
This short but very popular walk descends through varied forestry down to the Blackwater River to visit the impressive Rogie Falls. The falls are well seen from a new dramatic suspension bridge, whilst across the far side an artificial channel allows salmon to bypass the main cascade. It always reminded me of an Himalayan bridge in the past and the kids loved it and the river was not in full flow today due to the drysunny weather.
Another interesting aside is the noticeboards, information and near the Falls explaining that there is an artificial salmon ladder which allows salmon, returning upriver to spawn, to negotiate the falls in times of low flow. There was no action from the salmon today I must revisit when the salmon start coming up the falls.
This was a lovely short walk and a dramatic spot, and it’s clear that the local / regional council has put in a lot of recent effort and money to make it accessible. As is often the case though, the quickest, most direct path misses out on part of the overall experience, so head off into the forest to make it more worthwhile. We sat by the river enjoying the sun away from the people but it was not busy today. We had time for a light lunch and the traffic was heavy in Inverness and followed some black clouds all the way back to Inverness it was very busy indeed,
The Broom is in full bloom and the smell of flowers and the birds made this a lovely short walk and in the sun a place to be. I picked up a few sheep ticks today though so be aware. It was then back to Raigmore and treatment then I went to see the Maggie Centre a wonderful building and facility at the hospital and stunningly designed. We were made so welcome and it is a place of peaceful beauty, light and caring people. I was impressed and will have to raise some money for this charity, there are still so many good things and kind people in the world.
The Maggie Centre Inverness – The building and gardens
The building and its surrounding garden were designed simultaneously as a collaboration between David Page, who took the lead on the building, and our co-founder Charles Jencks, who led the garden. Their inspiration was the mitosis or division of cells, and the evocation of life that they represent.
As Charles explains, “the cell is the unit of life: dynamic, really exciting, a factory of life itself, and I thought it was time to celebrate the cell.” Space and form flow through the spiral of both building and garden, the synergy between the two breaking down barriers and creating an embrace of warmth and safety.
This feeling continues in the interior design, which manages to be warm and nurturing, while simultaneously offering openness and a great deal of light.
Spiral shapes dominate the garden, with the grassy mounds and gravel shapes mirroring and complementing the shape of the building. The barriers between landscape and architecture are blurred and broken, as the spirals of time and of cell mitosis merge and mirror one another throughout. The overall effect is one of tranquillity, peace, and a sense of life at its very core.
It was a busy drive home pick up my old /new bike from my pal Yeni a fair price and then a quick cycle to Cummingston in the sun and a bit of time to think over a busy day. As I sat watching the waves and the sea it had been a day of many things, the beauty of nature and the care given for others by so many as life goes on. There is a lot wrong in the world but also so much good you just have to see it and enjoy what we have?
Treasure those you love and care about and those who help them in times of need, thank God we have an NHS and pray we keep it and treasure it!