Halloween and The Wicker Man
We arrived in Kirkcudbright on the 31st October just as the Tolbooth Art Centre was about to open at 11 O' Clock. It is 40 miles from home as the crow flies across the Solway but 100 by road.
My husband, James helped me unload and stayed around to help with the hanging of 16 framed paintings of buildings and streets of Kirkcudbright.
We grabbed a bite to eat from the bakery before he set off on his bike to explore the area and I set off around the town with a handful of posters to display in shops.
First stop was the Stewartry museum, they already had a poster up but the Kirkcudbright Galleries took one for their noticeboard. Wandering down the main street my senses were aroused by a rather lovely aroma coming out from the Station House Cookery School. Inside I met Nick and his sister preparing vegetables. He was happy to display a poster on his noticeboard and after a short tour of his cookery school I went on my way promising to return sometime and take one of his courses.
Lots of other businesses were happy to take my posters. Eventually, with tired feet I retired to the Selkirk Arms to check in. They also placed my poster in a display stand on their check in counter.
It wasn't too long before James was back. His bike safely stowed in the hotel's bike storage, we showered and dressed for dinner.
The hotel has recently won awards both for its young chef and for the hotel hospitality.
I decided to have the steak and haggis pie with neeps and tatties, when in Scotland and all that, followed by the cider and apple tart.
Our after dinner stroll took us around the town on Halloween night where many public buildings had been illuminated with witches, ghosts and other ghoulish creatures projected onto their walls.
Wednesday morning was the official opening of my exhibition so after a rather delicious breakfast, in a room with a large wooden plaque of John Paul Jones, I headed over to the Gallery. I was planning to paint and meet and greet visitors. On the way I met Jonathan Wheeler in the Feast cafe. Jonathan is a travel writer and vlogger with two channels. His travel obscurer channel vlogs about the more obscure places around the globe. But he was here to film me for his other channel eye Scotland.
James went off on his bike again as Jonathan and I wandered around the streets, filming and talking.
We filmed in the Gallery and in the Selkirk Arms before he left promising to complete the film in a couple of days.
Another welcome visitor was Zoe Dawes, the Quirky Traveller. It was on her travel writing course that I had met Jonathan, a few years before Covid.
I had some lovely conversations with visitors on holiday and met locals Fiona, of Kirkcudbright Art tours and Colin Saul, who had been responsible for the Halloween lights.
When James arrived back from his ride we chatted with Zoe before tea and cake in Feast cafe where the proprietor had put my poster in the window.
We ate steak and chips for tea and then I had some of my favourite ice cream from the Galloway Creamery.
Another after dinner walk took us around the Wicker Man town trail exploring the sites used in the filming of the original 70s film before retiring to our hotel room.
After another delicious breakfast, this time I had the full Scottish, we checked out and drove west to Wigtown.
Called Scotland's book town, we had a mooch around the streets and bookshops before the rain, that we had spotted coming across the Solway, hit the coastline. Another compact little town of coloured buildings arranged around a central park dedicated to a recipient of the Victoria Cross, I managed to find some lake district maps, that I use to make mapscapes, in the many secondhand bookshops.
We stopped for a late lunch in Castle Douglas on the way home and put up a poster in the Tescos as we grabbed pasta and garlic bread for our tea.
It was wet and windy as we drove home. After tea we decided to watch The Wicker Man to enjoy spotting all those places we had just visited. I put together a reel for Instagram before flopping into bed.