28 May 2010

Crail: A different pace of life

Oh, it has been a long week, hasn’t it?

What we need now is Fife, and more specifically the area known as East Neuk. Whittling it down even further, we need to go to Crail. For now we need to resist the impulse to head to beautiful but busy St. Andrews, which is just 10 miles away. Crail is where we need to be. Crail will fix everything.

We can park near the high street and pick up some ice cream before following the line of gleaming white cottages towards the harbour.

Crail harbour is one of those precious tucked-away places that introverts like me adore because it makes us feel blanketed and sheltered. The stone-walled nook of a marina keeps the boats shielded from the rocking of the waves, and tourists can walk along the higher outer wall that drops down to the sea. On a warm day the clear water gleams like an emerald all the way to the shore of the small sandy beach.
When we’ve had enough of watching the water stir the sunlight, we can move along to another beach where the waves talk over smooth stones while limp seaweed clings dramatically like a Turner Prize hopeful.
Scrambling over boulders as fast as their short legs will carry them is a pair of Scottish terriers, their long noses sniffing wildly at the breeze that skims off the sea. They aren’t thinking about what happened before right now and or what might happen later. They understand the big picture. They are on Crail time.
If only the wee seafood shack was open and selling fresh crab, then the afternoon would be complete. As it is, let’s just stay here awhile and comb the shoreline for perfect stones, until the waves hiss at our shoes and make us jump and laugh.

If we can, let’s resolve to come back for a longer stay, like during the festival or just to spend three days binging on seafood up and down the East Neuk coast. I would like that. I want to learn to live on Crail time.
Contest news:

For those living in the UK, consider going in for the following contests:

-Win a holiday break for four to the Isle of Arran, courtesy of Mackies of Scotland
-Win a five star break in the Hebrides with Hebridean Luxury Holidays
-Win a 2-night retreat at Meldrum Country Hotel & Golf Course in Aberdeenshire, and get a VIP tour of Johnstons Cashmere flagship mill in beautiful Elgin.
-Pop onto Mackies of Scotland's Web site and try your luck at winning a year's supply of their fabulous ice cream and crisps.

For Scotland-lovers living in the USA and Canada, there is a new contest to win a trip to the home of whisky, including 2 tickets to WhiskyLive 2010 in Glasgow. Return flights with Iceland Air. Hurry for this one! Deadline is May 31.(Check terms and conditions for any state or province exclusions).

Deadline to enter my own wee Scottish tea giveaway is end of day tomorrow and I shall draw the names on Sunday.

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