We went round one of Dracula’s houses.

There’s a pattern with the weather at the moment around here, it’s lovely and bright in the morning and by lunchtime it’s darker and often, rainier. I have decided this is mother nature’s way of getting teenagers out of their beds during these summer holidays, by employing me and my shrill voice to screech up the stairs that the best of the day is nearly over and my day off will not be wasted indoors so get dressed now we’re going out!

The first place we went to was the Bullers of Buchan, some rather scary-steep crags crowded with very loud, and very fishy-poo producing kittiwakes. I love all gulls, but I like them in particular as they are cute, and less likely to steal your ice cream. There is a sea cauldron, where waves crash in through an archway into an open area of roofless cave and beach. People die falling off the edge, accidentally (and sadly on purpose), but the views are amazing. Below are some pictures my daughter took of the birds and the cauldron, as her camera is better than mine, although none of them are daring or of the bottom, as it’s a long way down and neither of us was about to slip from a crumbling bank. Luckily, her zoom picked up the birds that line both sides of the cliff.



Young kittiwakes, and grown up kittisleeps.


Then we went a little down the coast to Slains Castle. It’s not one of the old, old castles, being only 16th century, and was a baronial home and had bits added to it in later years. It stands high above the village of Cruden Bay, somewhere Bram Stoker liked to holiday. The bay has a beautiful sandy beach, and it has been said that Stoker stayed at Slains itself, but there is no proof of that. It is also said Slains castle was one of his inspirations for Dracula’s, standing there alone, high on a cliff, but again,  there’s no proof of that. And Whitby also makes those claims, as I think anywhere with a castle or imposing buildings Stoker stayed, would. However, Byron’s doctor, Polidori seems to be the first person to write a vampire tale (during the famous summer on Lake Geneva when Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein), starring a Byronic figure as the first non-monstrous blood sucker, and so Polidori’s ghost should really station itself outside Slains and in Whitby letting tourists know his work is the true inspiration. Just like somewhere there is a clown saying ‘Me! Stephen King based it all on me!’, and a Glaswegian junkie who thinks Irvine Welsh was writing all about him.

The below pictures were taken on my phone, as the day already began to turn grey inland.


With quite a drop on the other side, in days when there was glass in that window looking out to sea, I’d have wanted danger money to clean it.