Inside the Bottle: Togetherness

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Today is World Mental Health Day.

We are all fully aware that this year has been a fraught one, a hard one, a test. And it’s only October. 

This got me thinking when I was lying in bed last night (hoping I’d sleep & therefore dream…and writing this) that sometimes this year has felt like togetherness has somehow fallen by the wayside. It has happened through circumstances beyond our control. I like having control.

The world has become so bitter, so bloody angry… and it’s sad. Really it is. 

Believe me, I’m not at all interested in politics, I guess that’s my upbringing, but I see that there is blame not only within different political parties, but also country against country too…and let’s face it we ain’t that big an island!! We should get along. 

I hasten to add, I don’t agree with what any “leader” has offered by way of “dealing” with these unprecedented times either. Almost daily I see complete and utter (I’ll be polite) muppets making their own rules…selfishly too, and perhaps at the possible cost of other’s lives. That’s what some people have come to…so I steer clear of the news. 

We need to avoid the misery and look for the good. Be calm in our thoughts. Look forward to better times once again…

But I digress.

There’s going to be whisky in here…

Well it’s Saturday now. It’s absolutely bloody chucking it down… But I’m sat in my car at a place I like to call my “thinking spot”, and I’m listening to music. I do think music soothes the soul… It can nourish the heart too. However daft that might sound. It does that for me. Some tunes are making me smile as I listen to them, others give me a strength, they spur me on. Give me faith in things… (NOT in a religious sense…) They are on my “thinking tunes” list for good reason. That’s all I’ll say.

It’s lovely and still out there. Staring into the distance, imagining the view zonder a city, sprawling hills replacing them. That would be nice. I guess that’s why I took some time out and headed to Dufftown again the other day. 

My first stop was the Mortlach Distillery, which is tucked down on the left hand side as I drive in. The sky was stunningly blue so I stopped to take a few pics. I do like snapping pics of the pagodas. When turning to leave I spotted the worm tubs at the back…didn’t manage to get a pic this time. I have just poured a little sample of the 20 year old Mortlach that I was kindly given by Colin (Dunn) in Stoke last year. The only other bottle I have is the Murray McDavid 1994 21 year old (Mission Gold) but it’s still not open yet.

Next an opportune visit to Glenfiddich and thankfully they had a space so I could enjoy a coffee (and a comfort break, lol) in their newly opened whisky lounge. I think it’s the right time of year to be inside…even with a mask. A roaring fire in the room with the bar. I think that had I stopped for a dram, they probably would have had to grab me a blanket and let me cuddle up on a chair and just soak it all in. Turn the lights off when you go… Bliss!!

Leaving the visitor centre and heading to the car, the heavens opened… and I had another distillery in my sights. This was the Glenrothes Distillery on Rothes. Despite the rain I jumped out to take some photos. The brave little ducks in a row were lovely to see as were the “distillertrees”… the beautiful colours of the leaves against the striking colour of the trunk and branches covered with Baudoinia Compniacensis aka distillery fungus. Not forgetting the distillery itself. If you’ve enjoyed any Glenrothes releases from That Boutique-y Whisky Company, then you’ll see the graveyard on the label and this is across the road from the distillery.

Hoping the weather would improve I took to the road again, passing a few more distilleries on the way, the last one I saw was BenRiach. I headed for the coast, and way (way) in the distance across the Cromarty Firth, far beyond what my eyes could see was the Invergordon Distillery.

It was then time to head home, en route stopping at the lovely picturesque Strathisla Distillery. I do love it from the back… and that’s where I headed. A little too early for the lights on the bridge to be one, but still lovely to see. I love seeing the back of it and have taken a few pics of this view over the years. 

I know others enjoy seeing these photos too, a lady on Twitter said “Just saying hi and thanks for the “postcards” while we stay put for now”, and if my visits and photos give some joy, then my work is done. 

So, I’ll finish with this thought, that while we cannot be together physically at this time, perhaps we can share moments through images & memories of a journey which will continue…one day. 


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