It has been a busy couple of days, with visitors, Assynt Games Day and the opportunity to revisit old haunts.

Friday was Assynt Games Day.  I've not been able to go for a few years as I've either been working in the Tourist Office or I've been away at shows.  So it was delightful to be here this year for the event.  Besides all the usual events which take place at Highland Games, such as hammer throwing, and highland dancing, there is also the opportunity to see folk who live in Assynt who we haven't seen for some time.  Although there are only about 1000 people living in Assynt, they are spread out over a huge area, and it is community occasions such as Games Day which brings everyone out and gives you the chance to catch up on news from others.  And of course having a glorious, sunny day helps make the event even better.  We very quickly made our way to the Craft tent, where there were a number of different categories of crafts, baking and flower arranging which had all been marked.  I didn't enter anything this year, but I was extremely excited to see that 3 of the entries in the "Sock" category had been made using Ripples Crafts Yarn:

There were the most beautifully iced fairy cakes - far too pretty to eat!

Also on Friday, I finally got to meet a lady with whom I have been communicating via Twitter, Ravelry and email for some time now.  We have tried, on a couple of occasions, to meet up, but it never quite worked out.   But finally, thanks to the efforts of both Lydia and another mutual friend, Alison from further south in Scotland, we finally got to meet on Friday morning.  Alison, her husband Rod, and Lydia and her husband, Bill, had driven up to Assynt to spend a few days.  We spent a wonderful few hours on Friday morning making our acquaintance, and I had fun showing Alison and Lydia the dye shed (or the opium den as Bill calls it - he added he wasn't sure if he should let Lydia meet her "dealer"), while Bill and Rod spent a while admiring Stevan's shed (i.e. a shed with batteries in - no contest!).   They then went off to the games so that Lydia and Bill could see a Highland Games event, although the Assynt Games are certainly not on the scale of some of the larger events which take place throughout Scotland in the summer months.

Our visitors certainly bought the weather with them, and Saturday dawned sunny and warm again, so we all set off for a walk through Glen Leireag, a place Stevan and I have visited before to see the souterrains.  Bill, Lydia, Alison and Rod were all keen to learn a little about the history of the area, so Glen Leireag is ideal as within a relatively small area there are the souterrains, a water mill (sadly now a ruin), and a squarish round house whose history remains a bit of a mystery.   The area is full of history, but it is also a stunning glen to walk through.  First stop was at the souterrains:

where everyone took turn to shine the torch into the dark underground, man-made caverns, the true purpose of which remains a bit of a mystery.

Then it was on to the now ruined mill, where Stevan elaborated on its history a little more.

By then, we were all getting peckish, so it was on to the rather square round house where we sat and ate in glorious sunshine,

Glen LeireaGlen Leireag is dominated by Quinag, a mountain which dominates Assynt, although it is usually Suilven which grabs the mountain headlines.

After a lovely few hours in Glen Leireag it was on to Kylesku for tea at the Kylesku hotel where we whiled away an hour or so watching small children fishing from the pier into the clear, clear waters of Kylesku.

Then it was  back home via Loch Assynt where we had to stop and look at the iconic view of Loch Assynt with its Scots Pine trees on the little islands in the loch:

Alison and Lydia just had time for another short visit to the dye shed where we discussed our colour options for knitting Lightspeed, a beautiful new pattern recently released, and Rod and Bill took Stevan up on his offer of showing them the Broch for which Stoer and Clachtoll are famous.

All too soon it was time to say goodbye.  I'll be seeing Alison again soon but it was hard to say goodbye to all of them after such a busy, fun weekend, especially Lydia.   It is amazing how far ripples go, and it is only through setting up Ripples Crafts that I have met people as lovely as these 4.  I look forward to our paths crossing again - soon I hope.