Author Archives: Kate Cowie Riley

About Kate Cowie Riley

Kate writes two blogs currently: "Weaving the Magic Thread ~ the texture of my life", a collection of auto-biographical essays; and "Scottish Heart", where she shares her love of Scotland and the trips through Scotland that she both plans and guides. She is also Copy Editor and Lead Contributor Emerita for "Celtic Family Magazine". Kate retired in 2013 from nearly 40 years in Private Practice as a Somatic Psychotherapist & Bodyworker, Massage Therapy Instructor, Sivananda Yoga Teacher, Spa Director, and Consultant, who also wrote & taught about Eco-sustainability and WellBalance. Her professional blog, "The Riley School of Integrated Somatic Bodywork" is also retired. All of Kate's blogs are copyright by Kate Cowie Riley; all photos are copyright Kate Cowie Riley, unless otherwise stated. All photos and text or part thereof are not to be used for commercial purposes or without written permission from the author. All photos must be used in their original form, no addition or alteration are allowed. Any advertisements that are seen on the Wordpress sites are in no way supported by Kate Riley.

To Ullapool, Almost

Our little sunrise excursion to the cliffs of Duncansby left us a bit chilled; we returned to Bencorragh House for a warm shower and a good breakfast and then headed south along the coast of Caithness. The A99 runs from … Continue reading

Posted in Ancestry, Dornach Castle Hotel, Eco-travel, Hill O'Many Stanes, Scotland, Scottish ancestry, Scottish Dialect, Sutherland, Travel, Uncategorized, Whisky, Whisky tasting, Women Writers | Leave a comment

Sunrise

Sunrise was a 6:47 AM. At 6:00, we quickly dressed and quietly left the Bencorragh House, heading in to the pre-dawn mists and driving the narrow country roads out past John O’Groats to the single track road that crosses the … Continue reading

Posted in Ancestry, Duncansby Head, Duncansby Stacks, Eco-travel, John O'Groats, Orkneyinga Saga, Scotland, Scottish ancestry, Self drive Scotland tours, Travel, Uncategorized, Women Writers | Leave a comment

Circles, Rings & Stones

Sunday morning was bright and sunny; after we left Lana & Billy’s Orcadian Crafts shop in Kirkwall, we drove around the Mainland to continue our tour. The objective for the day was to avoid the tour buses which were out … Continue reading

Posted in Maeshowe, Orkney, Ring of Brodgar, Scotland, Scottish ancestry, Self drive Scotland tours, Skara Brae, Stromness, Travel, Uncategorized, Winter Solstice, Women Writers | Leave a comment

Knitting Yarns & Weaving Tales

And so the long awaited evening at Lana’s arrived. After a little bit of confusion in finding her house, we were welcomed warmly by her husband, Billy. I immediately recognized him from my visit to their shop in Kirkwall nearly … Continue reading

Posted in Ancestry, Eco-travel, Kirwall Ba', Orkney, Orkneyinga Saga, Scotland, Scottish ancestry, Self drive Scotland tours, Travel, Uncategorized, Women Writers | Leave a comment

The Mainland, Orkney

Orkney is a special place filled with ancient sites and the peacefulness that island life creates. Orkney gets its name from the Old Norse name Orkneyjar (Orc-nee-yahr), “Seal Islands”. When they arrived in the ninth century, the Norsemen heard the … Continue reading

Posted in Eco-travel, Maes Howe, Orkney, Orkneyinga Saga, Scotland, Scottish ancestry, Self drive Scotland tours, Travel, Uncategorized, Winter Solstice, Women Writers | Leave a comment

At Bencorragh House

We arrived at the front door of Bencorragh House in Upper Gills, near John O’Groats, and it was opened by Sandy Barton with a cheerful welcome that was quickly followed by the news that our luggage had not been delivered … Continue reading

Posted in Eco-travel, Orkney, Scotland, Scottish ancestry, Self drive Scotland tours, Uncategorized, Women Writers | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

From Oban to Upper Gills

I had been looking forward to another meal at Cuan Mor (Gàidhlig: “Big Ocean”)  in Oban (An t-Òban, “The Little Bay”) even though the new menu there no longer includes vegetarian haggis in Oban whisky cream sauce that I had enjoyed … Continue reading

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Kelpies, Part 2

The memories page on Facebook has reminded me that I wrote about the Kelpies at Falkirk a year ago today. Back then, I had not yet seen them and my notes on them were a postscript to the information on … Continue reading

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Freeing the Trees

We arrived at the airport in Edinburgh mid-afternoon, but with all the time spent with the lost luggage situation, we did not get on the road until a few hours after we had planned to do so. This meant that … Continue reading

Posted in Ancestry, Eco-travel, Ecology, Land trust, Scotland, Scottish ancestry, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Mishaps Do Not A Total Disaster Make

We flew in to Heathrow and then on to Edinburgh. Our luggage did not. It took the British Airways baggage claim people an hour to let us know that, due to a scanner failure at Heathrow, there were somewhere around … Continue reading

Posted in Ancestry, Eco-travel, Ecology, Land trust, Scotland, Scottish ancestry, Travel | Tagged , | 2 Comments