I always provide a workshop on the tour. Since many of the travelers are makers, it allows us to take a break from traveling and enjoy a day of creativity. Elaine Lindsey is a local artist who has worked for the past 27 years reviving the Scottish forms of straw work. Today we soaked in the history and learned some technique of Scottish straw work from Elaine. http://www.somethingcorny.co.uk/
|Jere L. finishing up her projects|
Corn Dollie doesn't necessary mean a doll made out of straw. A corn dollie just means that it is straw work that still has the "ears" or heads of the grain incorporated in the piece. "Dollie" comes from the word "idol". There are many different stories about the significance of the last sheaf of corn (corn is the word used for grain in the UK) harvested from the field. In Scotland the last sheaf, the "cliach", hung in the farm kitchen. The seeds of this were the first planted the next year. It was good luck to have a dollie in the house.
You don't need fancy tools to work with straw, just your hands, scissors, straw and cotton string.
Nearly everywhere you travel in Scotland, stone ruins are found. Near our lodgings in Insch, stands Dunnideer Fort. The remnants of the fortifications at the site date back to the Iron Age. There are 99 stone sites and circles in this area of Aberdeenshire. A small group of us went to gaze at the stars during the dark of the moon tonight at the recumbant stone circle of Easter Aquhaorthies. Our tour astronomer Dan K, pointed out all the visible constellations.
|Dunnideer Hill Fort from a distance|
|View over Aberdeenshire from atop Dunnideer|
|At the fort|
|Trish on the left, Gaye on the right|