Bernie Bell: Bernie & Mike’s Road Trip – Spring 2017

Bernie Bell (small bear) and Mike go on a road trip

The road goes ever on and on…………………..


Duncaan (B Bell)

Wednesday 26th April – After a very good breakfast at the Craigmonie,  Tommy tells us about the surrounding landscape – points out Duncaan, a prominent, flat-topped mountain on Raasay Island, next to Skye.  Tommy says it’s a   ‘blow-hole’ which is filled with water (volcanic caldera?). The sun sets over it at certain times of the year. (Bernie Bit – I wonder what the ancient folk in the area made of this?)

As we had to abandon our plan to explore Skye, Tommy suggests that we drive down to Elgol, thereby giving us a good ‘taste’ of Skye, but staying within our time limit, and we will also get the chance to see some spectacular mountains along the way. This we do .

Wouldn’t want to do this in the high season – v. narrow, winding roads with many sharp corners.

We also found a charity shop!  Bought ‘Skye pants’ and soap.

Lunch at Beth’s Coffee Shop in Balmacara – v. busy, v. good.

Then South through the glens to Oban – sense of achievement using self-service check-out in Lidl.  (Bernie Bit – we are very much ‘country mice’).

Arrive v. tired about 8 pm in Kilmartin .  Greeted by Janet ( B.B. – Janet is from Ermston!  Remember the woman from Ermston in ‘Dinnerladies?), who talks us through the ways of doing things a very pleasant, but ….quirky… chalet.

Kilmartin Glen

The Chalet Kilmartin Glen (B Bell)

The chalet, is the small brown building in the middle of the picture.

After upset in the night, Bernie is visited by Kilmartin Kin – clasping hands.

(And now – a very big Bernie Bit

The Golden People

Written on 27th April 2017

It started some months ago.  I had a dream, in which I was given an image.  Next day, I tried to describe it to Mike, but found it difficult to do so.  I tried to picture drawing it, but found that hard to do, as well.  I got a pencil and paper, and the drawing came  – not quite right – but I’m not good at drawing.  Near enough.  I didn’t know what to make of it, except that it was very difficult to work out where the lines should go, until I put pencil to paper.

[Here’s the dream –

 Sent: Monday, December 26, 2016 1:26 PM

Subject: I had a dream

 I had a dream last night – there’s not a lot of point in telling all of it – it was mostly a discussion between a small group of people, concerning  portals.  People had brought images, and some were making images, of portals.  Howie  had brought an image of a rock carving.

I’ve tried to draw it – I’m not good at drawing! – it does  give an idea of it. And – it looks different when it’s carved into rock. 

The outcome of the discussion was – that there are portals, here, which a person can go through if seeking change or progression. You can go through water, through fire, through earth, through air ( make a portal, by making a doorway – then, in your mind, it becomes a portal – you go through the empty space in the doorway – as a portal – so, the air in the doorway becomes a portal).  Our realization at the end of the dream was that………..

THE portal, is life.

Going  through life, is THE portal.

 This image doesn’t look like what I’d normally think of as a portal – something with an opening in it – which puzzled me, but, you can imagine it opening.

I think it does exist, and I’d recognize it if I saw it.

 And why am I sending it to you folks? I think it’s significant, and you’ve never asked me not to send you my …………..thoughts, ramblings, dreams.

You never know, it might turn up at the Ness. I doot it, but you never know, stranger things happen.

 Mid-winter magic.


That was that.

For then.

We’ve come on holiday to Kilmartin Glen, taking 4 days to get here, travelling slowly along the North and down the West coast of Scotland.  When we go here I was very tired.  We went to bed – not getting to sleep – back hurting – brain whirring.  Then it hit me – the wave of hurt that hits me sometimes.  I felt like death would be welcome. I tried to fight it, but was crying and crying. I tried to think of recently helping people as a reason to continue with my life, but I was just crying and crying.  Mike was soothing me, talking me through it.

I settled.

Then, in the half-sleep, it came to me.  The carved stones of Kilmartin were time-pieces.  Like a clock would be today.  Time-pieces – like sun-dials.  I don’t see how – but – why should I?  I’m not them.  I was aware of them, an awareness of them in the room.  Someone grasped my hand, briefly. Not so much held my hand, as grasped it – as those of a group do to acknowledge each other.

I could see them, not in the room, but in the glens between the hard places.  They were golden people.  Not tall – by today’s standards, quite short.  Stocky, solid, muscular – but without being heavy with it.  In fact, the opposite – there is a lightness about them, a lightness of movement.

They are golden peoples. Hairy, with short, tight, body hair and main hair of red or golden.  Not blonde – golden. Golden and freckled.

They had squarish faces, again, not heavy, but with a solidity about them.

I went to sleep, and the next thing I was aware of was a bird singing in the early morning.

We got up and Mike went to have a shower, so I had a look at the section in ‘In the Footsteps of Kings’ about the main walk from Kilmartin village to various cairns and stones.

And there it is, page 67, a picture of a stone on which a carving goes ’round the edge’ of the stone. The carving on the left-hand side, is the image I received in my dream, except sideways on.  It flows round to a spiral on the right-hand side – taking the mind with it.

This shook me – I should be used to these things happening by now, but I never do get used to it – how can you?

Golden people caught the sun in their carvings, especially if there was water in them, like the gold in Lotte Glob’s ‘well’ by her book broch.

Then, I was sitting, and my hands didn’t look like my hands – they were more ‘chunky’ than mine are ( mine are knobbly, boney and veiny).  And, the skin was in odd folds.  I then felt that I was in a cairn – dead.  I felt like death was with me.  It was OK though – I wasn’t distressed or worried.  I was just in a cairn – dead.  Then I was back in the room again.

I told Mike about it all, and we both felt that I’d had to go through those emotional extremes, to be in a condition whereby my Kilmartin Kin could connect with me again.

And they are my kin – The Irish Connection.

Today we rest after the journey, and tomorrow, God Willing, we go to meet the Golden People – again.)

Bernie and Mike continue their road trip.  Follow the Orkney News to keep apace with them …….

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