Posted by: chptr37 | 05/02/2009

Pg. 32: Veal and Lamb and Pork, Oh My


The switchback where today’s trail began. “Easy hike, good for beginners,” my butt.


  • Weather: Sun, oh glorious sun! I put sunscreen on!
  • Mileage: The longest 2.8 miles ever, along the Skipper Wood trail. It was gorgeous though.
  • Discovery: An early morning event filled with umbrellas and children and trombones, which I think marked the opening of the Jazz Fest.
  • Media: His Mouth Will Taste of Wormwood, Poppy Z. Brite. Might be the best thing I’ve ever read of hers.
  • Worst Thing: Library’s closed for the bank holiday.
  • Best Thing: I got mail from my postie mum! Which means, hopefully, as soon as the library opens, I can get a library card. Hurrah, hurrah!
  • Quote of the Day: “Who in their right mind would take one and a half hours to walk two miles?”
  • Word of the Day: Nackered. Exhausted. As in, “I walked almost three rather steep and hilly miles today and I was so nackered, I could barely make it up the stairs.”


Today was the opening of the Farmers’ Market, and it was glorious and sunny and I am a total dork because I woke up all excited about it. Back in Portland, I was the volunteer coordinator for one of the local farmers’ markets for a couple of years, and I loved it. I rode my bike to work every morning before the sun rose, gathering the early morning volunteers to assist with raising tents and organizing the musicians and what-not, and then I would walk around the market all day, helping out before it was time to take everything down and go home again. I loved the community feel of it, the families and dogs and farmers. The local produce and meats and flowers. There was a man who sold the most beautiful callah lillies, and a woman who grew peaches so amazing, I thought I could cut them up every meal, bite them open so the juice ran down my chin, live on nothing but their skin and fruit.

But then I moved on to a job that took up my Saturdays, and I moved to the other side of town, and I slipped away from the market. I was sorry to see it go, but couldn’t seem to make it there more than once a year.

So, yes, I was rather geeked to learn that the market was just down the street from the flat, and away I went to see what offerings there were this early in the season. First, glory of glories, there was a whole stall of books. Six for a pound! So, of course, I went to town and now have six new books to my name. The rest of the stalls were mostly meat — venison, lamb, beef, pork. Anything and everything. Rows and rows of fresh herbs: basil, thyme, lavender, oregano, rosemary. Cheeses from the island. Fresh-baked breads and cookies and pastries. Sandwiches of all sorts. And behind it all, somewhere off toward the shore, the low call of bagpipes, followed by a tuba and a drum.

Determined to take advantage of the sun, I headed home, dropped off my stuff, and went out for what the trail map calls a “short circular walk through mature woodland, returning to town along a quiet country road with panoramic views over the Firth of Clyde.” Sounded easy enough. I did notice in small print that the book also estimated that it would take a walker 1.5 hours to cover the 2.5 miles. Which should have been a clue.



My friend A., guide to all things Bute, told me what these flowers are called at least four times, but I still can’t remember. Either way, I do remember what they smell like: a combination of suntan lotion and pina coladas. It’s the oddest, unexpected and most wonderful scent.


The walk was gorgeous, and the weather stayed mostly fair. I hiked up a city switchback,then through a mostly flat wooded trail, then up and up along a road with a golf course on one side and cows and sheep on the other (the top of which offered an amazing view of the island, as well as the harbor and ocean), and then wandered down and down the road before finding myself at the very top of the switchback where I’d started. All in all, a great first hike — no midgies, no rain, no sheep ticks and now the back of my legs no longer feel so much like rubber chickens that had been beat with hammers.

Plus, now I can eat all the food I bought at the Saturday Market without remorse. After all, I deserve it.

Far and fast, s.



The view from the almost-top, which actually was well worth the burn in my thighs.


“Few people know how to take a walk. The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humor, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence and nothing too much.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson



  1. Wow, what a view!

    (Do you think if I stare at it long enough, it will chase the “Pina Colada Song” out of my head?)

  2. That looks like gorse. Spikey as helll. It was imported to Bandon, Oregon by someone from Scotland ages ago and took over – it’s gorgeous, but it also burns like a …

    they’ve been trying to eradicate it for years. I know this because my parents lived in Bandon during their last years.

  3. Yep, Erobintica’s spot on. It’s gorse! (The not-prickly one that looks similar is broom or whin.)

    – Oh, and ‘knackered’ with a k ; ) – I expect from ‘knacker’s yard’ which means slaughterhouse.

    glad the sun’s shining for you! x

  4. Oh, I’m such a pedant I had to check!:


  5. Damn urban dictionary led me wrong 😦

    I swear. You can’t trust anyone anymore.

    Thanks for setting me straight, A. As always. Now, show my yours and I’ll show you mine — story, that is 🙂

  6. That is a gorgeous pic-mind if I steal it? Jk Ill credit you really!

    Ive heard the term knackered before or nackered even though Ive never been across ”The Pond.”

  7. Oh, please, go for it, Stacy! I’d be honored and flattered 🙂

    Hm. Wonder if there’s a Scottish term for that?

    Best, s.

  8. If you mean ‘steal’ I think the British term is ‘knicked’ or at least I heard it in a novel somewhere.

  9. Agreeing with the people who say your prickly yellow flower is gorse, but here in Ireland we call it “whin” and I think that’s also what they call it in some parts of Scotland as well.

    If it’s similar without the prickles, it could be “broom”.

  10. I’ve always seen it as “knackered”…

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