The Clootie Well on the Black Isle driving out to Cromarty is one of the most fascinating sights to come upon. The tradition which is thought to have originated in pagan times revolves around taking the waters from the well and hanging fragments of clothing of sick members of the family in the trees in the hope of a cure. This tradition is still taken up with some enthusiasm because there are about fifty yards of textile hung trees.
Our friends, Biddy, Fran and Bill found the experience fascinating and slightly unnerving. On a icy cold winter's morning it was quite surreal to wander amongst the hopes of so many people.
The aim of the day out was a visit to www.helengardinerantiques.com
which proved to be the best experience of all. It was lovely to be with people who had knowledge of some the wonderful things we looked at in Helen's shop. Chinese pottery and robes, old linens and tapestries, treen and intricate copper stamps, paisley shawls and fossils. The list is endless, everywhere is artistically arranged with treasures and curios and a big log fire and tea made by Helen herself which was very welcome. We could have stayed for hours and listened to Helen telling us stories and showing us rarities and desirable objects.
We all came away pleased with our purchases (as usual I had a bag of linens).
The week has gone so quickly and tomorrow John will drive our friends to Inverness Rail for their journey home to Peterborough. It will be very quiet without them and the dog is going to be devastated without all their attention.