Oh, look, it’s raining again…

Do you know when, for breaking the ice with new people, you take the “weather argument” and you feel an immeasurable loser because you haven’t found a better topic?
Well, here in Scotland it will never happen.
Here “weather” is the must, it’s the usual expression between the first greeting and the passage to the conversation’s heart; and that’s because actually about the weather you can say a lot.
Personally I’ve had a lot to tell regarding these days when I had occasion to assist to a sequence of sudden changes, alternating rain, wind, sun, snow, hail stones, sun, wind, rain, sleet, sun… all in eight hours.
I’m glad not to be meteoropathic.

"Summer is coming" they tell me...
“Summer is coming” they tell me… © Marika Davoli

Anyway, apart the quaint weather, my second month has passed through new discoveries, some trips, little personal goals and project for the future.
One thing that I love mostly of this city is its music dimension. Montrose is quite famous in Angus for hosting MoFest: a music festival which for three days will occupy squares, streets and pubs of the entire city, around the end of May. I’m speaking about bands almost purely local and pubs that give their space (and their beers!) to a mass of people who love the sensation of rumbling tympanums, of bass vibrations under shoes, of hearing guitar solos, and who cannot wait to get wild to the rhythms of rock, folk, reggae, and so on.
Then, I will be in that mass too, probably busy running here and there looking for the sound I love and, above all, groups that I’ve had the honour of appreciating and that I’ll gladly hear again.
So if you, between the 27th and the 29th of May, will have nothing to do, here there’s a little town that’s waiting for you with rivers of beer and good music!

Dunnottar Castle view © Marika Davoli
Dunnottar Castle view © Marika Davoli

In these days – aided by the more human temperatures – I’ve had the possibility to find out new sides of this land which reveal itself with delicate discretion day after day.
Our first, lucky excursion was towards Dunnottar Castle: suggesting ruins roost on a coast’s fragment, a little but fundamental fortified village which gave a very important contribution to Scotland’s history. Was there where, in fact, about the 13th century, William Wallace set fire to the chapel full of English soldiers who had taken refuge inside; and where, about three hundred and fifty years after, the Crown Jewels were hidden during the dark ages of Cromwell’s occupation.
Dunnottar Castle is a typical Scottish landscape, of those which you can find on every postcard and recognize effortlessly. North Sea hitting the bluffs, white froth cutting through by gulls, razorbills and guillemots (unfortunately I didn’t see any Puffins, sigh sigh), huge and green meadows… and romantic castle’s ruins.
Oh, moreover Dunnottar Castle has been the scenery chosen by Franco Zeffirelli for his film Hamlet (1990), which won two Oscars and, well, that’s made me feel a bit at home.

Dun Estate's path © Marika Davoli
Dun Estate’s path © Marika Davoli

Another much appreciated trip was at Dun Estate, in Montrose: a lovely building in Georgian style surrounded by an enormous green estate, crossed by lots of little rivers reached through one of many “secret” paths, and where a beautiful series of centuries-old oaks stands out and makes a wonderful impression at the sunset.
Taking advantage of imminent summer, hoping the weather won’t get weird, I wish to explore Angus, this region full of stories, ways and views that make it feel like for each threshold crossed there’s a world to discover.
As my friend told me before I left Italy: “Who knows, perhaps you will get inspired for some of your novels”. Happy to confirm that I’ve got inspired.
Yes, because one of the little personal goals which I’ve just spoken is have finished the writing of my second novel, right here in Montrose. As it may seem irrelevant for the rest of the world, writing has ever been my vocation, and to be able to “blend” it with my adventure here as an integral part of it, represents a great outcome and a big awareness for me.
I concluded my latest post with the hope for a more clement weather, and now seems that it’s gently accepted my request… sometimes.
So I’m going to close this post with the hope to improve my English – pardon, my Scottish – which keeps to be not good (damn me).

Thanks to all of you for encouraging me.

Marika Davoli
European Volunteer

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Do you know when, for breaking the ice with new people, you take the “weather argument” and you feel an immeasurable loser because you haven’t found a better topic? Well, …

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