maandag 24 september 2012

Koningin Victoria -- 25 september 1867

Wednesday, September 25

Slept soundly till half-past seven, and heard that the luggage had only arrived at half-past four in the morning. Breakfasted with Louise, who made my coffee beautifully with Brown, who waited at breakfast, Ross coming in and out with what had to be carried. It rained soon after I got up, and continued raining till near eleven. I read and wrote, etc. At half-past eleven, it having cleared, I rode up the small narrow glen, down which flows a 'burnie' (called the Garden Burn), the banks covered with fern and juniper, heather and birch, etc., past the kitchen-garden. Louise walked with me. Went up nearly to the top and walked down it again, then on to the stables, which are at a small distance from the house, where I saw an old underkeeper, P. Stewart by name, seventy-four years old, with a Peninsular and Waterloo medal, who had been in the 92nd Highlanders, and was a great favourite of the late Duke's. Home by twenty minutes to one. The day became very fine and warm. Lunched in my own room with Louise at the same small table at which we had breakfasted, Ross and the Duke's piper playing outside the window.

After luncheon rode (on Sultan, as this morn- ing) with Louise and Jane Churchill, the Duke walking (and Jane also part of the way), down to the end of Glenfiddich ; turning then to the left for Bridgehaugh (a ford), and going on round the hill of Ben Main. We first went along the road and then on the heather 'squinting' the hill — hard and good ground, but disagreeable from the heather being so deep that you did not see where you were going — the Duke's forester leading the way, and so fast that Brown led me on at his full speed, and we distanced the others entirely. At five we got to the edge of a small ravine, from whence we had a fine view of the old ruined castle of Achendoivn, which formerly belonged to the old Lords Huntly. Here we took our tea, and then rode home by another and a shorter way — not a bad road, but on the steeper side of the hill, and quite on the slant, which is not agreeable. We came down at the ford, and rode back as we went out, getting home at seven. A very fine evening. It was very nearly dark when we reached home. I was very tired ; I am no longer equal to much fatigue.

Koningin Victoria (1819-1901): More leaves from the journal of a life in the Highlands, from 1862 to 1882.

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