Curiosity #3

Dumfries and Galloway: “secret Scotland”. Where we just spent a relaxing week. Walking Forestry Commission trails, watching midnight skies gradually darken (was that the I.S.S. we saw?), visiting gardens, beaches, driving woodland trails, dipping shoeless feet into the cool waters of Kirroughtree’s Otter Pool and a hot day spent on a trip to Belfast.

 Image result for portpatrick


Impressive agricultural landscapes, bracken heathlands, valleys, burns, pine plantations and bays. Drinking tea, watching hares and roe deer and being surprised by evening barn owls and bats on strolls from our idyllic cottage near Stairhaven. Friendly people at every turn, although at most turns there were very few people at all. Remote tranquillity and the sound of the sea: I heartily recommend the region.

Image result for kirroughtree otter pool Image result for stairhaven

Of course my eyes always peeled for plants, tips, and swaggage. Once a scrounger, always a scrounger I guess*:

Thalictrum something-or-other growing outside a house in Wigtown (book capital of Scotland), bracken used as mulch, crushed seashells as pathways, sea-smoothed rocks from the beach at Portpatrick.

Image result for wigtown scotland

And two sealed bags of coffee grounds from Clattershaw’s Visitor Centre, where the manager refused to serve us jacket potatoes because of the inferior standard of the potatoes delivered. Only courtesy stopped me going back and taking all seven because I could imagine emptying them out into the wormery at home.


It was a long, gruelling drive home, made worse by traffic jams unimaginable during the week in “splendid isolation”. So it wasn’t until the day after that I eventually dumped the rich smelling coffee grounds (and a couple of tea bags) from the sellotaped-closed bags.

Slugs and snails are, apparently, deterred by coffee grounds, while worms, it is said, enjoy the texture (and, who knows, smell maybe?).

So, once back and unpacked and after a night’s restless sleep I add the grounds to the wormery. The smell instantly surrounds me; rich and evocative. That advertising hook instantly comes to mind, but revised as:

“Smell the coffee and wake up!”

(Far more likely don’t you think?)

The wormery has survived, the little critters doing their wriggling decomposing thing in that timeless, magical way. Any time soon I suppose I should be adding the third “floor” and using the contents of the starter tray, saving the worms and putting them back to carry on munching.

A couple of days after adding the coffee grounds, which include a couple of tea bags, this is what I saw.



Not sure how to describe it: pretty, unexpected; a pink bloom maybe. Some kind of fungus/ decay.

But is it usual?


* and plenty of room in the car, if you’re wondering because we aren’t loaded down with boxes of food and consummables (how many toilet rolls?)


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