"...we soon turned our eyes to the Buller, or Bouilloir of Buchan, which no man can see with indifference, who has either a sense of danger or delight in rarity."

Johnson - Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland

Totally frazzled and frustrated this evening - I got into the swing of work this weekend but the evenings are just not long enough to cover everything we want to do each day. There are lots of general site things we've now been wanting to change for ages.

On the flip side had an amazing day in terms of seeing things - left Aberdeen around 11.30, and headed for lunch at Ellon in a wonderful old fashion sweetie/tea shop. After this we drove off in search of Slains Castle - over shot by a few miles but did see a very nice power station on the route.

Eventually we came to the Buller of Buchan that Boswell and Johnson both described. I didn't really find it scary - more peaceful after being in the city, it was an incredibly still day though and the sea must be really noisy here when it's rough. Had my first rush here with the 'walking in their footsteps' feeling - quite literally in this case as the edge of the rock formation that you walk around is only wide enough for one person. As the Buller is really an isolated natural feature you also felt that it can hardly have changed since they were here.

This provided a sharp contrast to Slains Castle when we eventually found it - I find it very hard to judge distances and direction sometimes when out in very open landscape now. Anyway, the castle is now a ruin - although it was very different to say the Abbey and Cathedral we've seen which were ruined even when they saw them. This still had a sense of being lived in - most of the walls remained and it seemed amazing that it could have been transformed to this since 1773. Now it seems that it's renown for being the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula! Didn't seem particularly spooky today - more stagey, especially from a distance it's very 'cut out'.

Experienced another sad decline today in Ellon where we tried to see what had formerly been a great Landscape Garden - from what we could make out it's now privately owned by more than one person. From the drive up to the new house you can see out to what must have once been a beautiful terrace, this over looks a series of exploding yew topiary bushes which have expanded out from any recognisable shapes but still retain a rather sad charm. Part of one of the lawns seemed to have been dug over for vegetables, and the stepped wood to the other side of the driveway now spills down on to the road, covered in snow drops.