The Best Laid Schemes

Robert Burns was right – “The best laid schemes o’ Mice and Men, Gang aft agley…” With the promise of a fantastic forecast, I’d made for Findhorn on the Moray Coast and, after a three hour drive, arrived there just before 7am. What do I find? A pea-soup fog! What made it all the more frustrating was the fact that just a couple miles inland it was a lovely sunny day. Thankfully, though, the morning sun managed to eventually win through and spirits were once again lifted. As it turned out, the mists were an added bonus, providing me with some nice atmospheric shots as they thinned to reveal pockets of the Culbin Forest across the bay.

Findhorn was once a bustling port on the Moray Coast but the shifting silts and sands of the Firth have now given the village a new, more relaxed, outlook on life. Mind you, if any village needs to be on its alert, it’s Findhorn. Earlier villages of Findhorn have not once, but twice, been wiped off the face of the map by the shifting sands. My walk today would take me round by the “Ee” and the pebble Back Shore to explore another altogether unique and special place – the Findhorn Foundation. Established just over 50 years ago, this is one of the world’s leading Eco-villages. The old green caravan of its founders is still there, set within secluded gardens. This isn’t just a village; it’s a way of life that works hand in hand with nature. I doubt if anyone could visit it and leave unmoved by its ethos and its inspiring architecture.

I certainly had my eyes opened and would be taking home with me a few new ideas, but now I must say farewell to the Highlands, as Burns himself said, “Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North. The birthplace of valour, the country of Worth. Wherever I wander, wherever I rove, the hills of the Highlands forever I love.”