The Highlands

This week I had a break away in the Highlands. We went to Loch Aline, in Argyll and had a beautiful time. I also returned with a lot of inspirational ideas, which I hope to put in practice soon. The landscape was beautiful, the intense greens, the Lochs on every corner of the road and the imposing peaks are just some of the reasons why you should visit the Highlands (I have the feeling that I may be sounding like a tourism advertiser, but it was really impressive).

The Loch’s magic instantly reminded me of one of my favourite books as a kid, The Monster in The Loch by Ann Hofer. It’s the story of Frank MacDougall, a Scottish who lives on a tower on the top of a hill by Loch Ness and shares his castle with his grandfather’s ghost. He loves to play the harp and when he does his grandfather moves the curtains gently as appreciation. And then one day, two children from the village go out picking myrtles by the lake and they end up being swallowed by the monster in the Lake.

The villagers climb to MacDougall’s tower in search for help, but Frank’s sword is rusty and after seeking counsel with his grandfather he picks his harp and heads to the lake. He ends up enchanting the monster with his music and the children are safely retrieved. The last illustration from this book shows the monster swimming around the lake with a bunch of children on his back.

I tried hard to find some illustration from the book on-line, but I couldn’t find it, and my book is sitting quietly in Portugal, so I couldn’t even capture some images. However, I must say that its illustrations are absolutely lovely, the curtains shaping the smiling grandfather, MacDougall’s long tartan scarf in blues and greens, and all the creatures in the forest, the elves and the green haired fairies eating myrtles, or running with MacDougall on his way to the lake to rescue the children. It’s magical!

Esta semana fomos até às Highlands. Estivemos no Loch Aline em Argyll e foram uns dias fantásticos. Também voltei cheia de inspiração e de ideias que espero concretizar em breve. A paisagem é maravilhosa, os verdes intensos, os “Loch’s” (vulgo lago) em cada curva do caminho e as montanhas imponentes são apenas algumas das razões pelas quais devem visitar as Highlands (tenho a sensação de que posso estar a soar a agência de viagens, mas é mesmo impressionante).

A magia do Loch relembrou-me instantaneamente de um dos meus livros preferidos em criança, O Monstro Cativo da Ann Hofer. É a história de Frank MacDougall, um escocês que vive numa torre no topo de um penhasco junto ao Lago Ness e que partilha o castelo com o seu avô fantasma. Adora tocar harpa e quando toca, o avô agita as cortinas suavemente como sinal de satisfação. Um dia, duas crianças da aldeia vão apanhar mirtilos junto ao lago e acabam por ser engolidas pelo monstro do Lago.

Os aldeões sobem até à torre em busca de ajuda, mas a espada de Frank está enferrujada e depois de este pedir conselho ao seu avô, pega na sua harpa e dirige-se ao lago. A sua música acaba por encantar o monstro e as crianças são “cuspidas” pelo monstro, ilesas. A última ilustração do livro mostra o monstro a nadar à volta do lago num belo fim de tarde, com as crianças da aldeia no seu dorso.

Tentei encontrar ilustrações do livro na internet mas não consegui, e como o meu livro está em Portugal nem sequer tenho a oportunidade de capturar algumas imagens para vos mostrar. No entanto, posso dizer-vos que as ilustrações são absolutamente fantásticas, as cortinas que mostram o rosto do avô, o longo cachecol axadrezado em tons de verde e azul do Frank MacDougall, e todas as criaturas na floresta, as fadas de cabelos verdes e os fogos-fátuos a comer mirtilos, ou a correr com Frank a caminho do lago para salvar as crianças. É mágico!

The Highlands

The Highlands

Horse at Ardtornish

A lovely horse (in the absence of a monster)

One thought on “The Highlands

  1. Pingback: The Monster in the Loch :: O Monstro Cativo | Little Creatures

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