Okay, maybe that is pushing your credulity to the limit, but some years ago on this day, I had my first birthday party, surrounded by my sisters and my Mum, with my Dad behind the camera:


Today's birthday was also spent outdoors, but in a slightly different environment.  We headed up to The Bone Caves near Inchnadamph.  The walk starts off gently enough, and the landscape starts out green with a lovely stream:


But quite soon the landscape changes, and becomes more rugged.


And eventually you can't ignore the fact that to reach the bone caves themselves you have to climb!


and climb:


The steep sides were pretty nerve racking for me today as I'd forgotten my hiking stick in the car.  I don't mind if I have something to support myself with while looking over edges, so I had to swallow hard and keep going, although I was last to arrive at the caves themselves:


You can see from looking at the river bed just how high we climbed.  Peggy and Lexie had fun and Lexie coped really well, although she refused point blank to go into one of the caves.  She really just dug her heels in - it was quite unnerving.

The views were fantastic, even though the weather had given us the usual 4 seasons in one day:


When we got back down to the bottom, we saw we had been joined by the Assynt Mountain Rescue team who were doing some practice work on the hill.  It is always comforting to know they are never too far away.


This afternoon it was back to work.  With Yarndale less than a week away I've reached the stage of slight panic at what I still have left to do.

And of course I couldn't end this entry without mentioning the Scottish Referendum which took place this week.  What an emotional few days it has been, especially for those of us on the Yes side of the campaign, where the hope was to create something new out of what is, in my view, a stagnant and broken political environment in the UK.   It was good to see true and peaceful democracy at work, despite what the media tried to portray.  While the vote was for "No", I think one thing that is irrefutable is that Scotland will never be the same again, and, more importantly, Scottish politics will never be the same.  We've lived in some fairly turbulent political times over the years, and never have I seen such a groundswell of political engagement as we've witnessed over the last few months.  Strangers, as well as neighbours, talking to each other, discussing the pro's and con's of independence.  If nothing else changes for Scotland, I hope that this continues and remains the legacy of this referendum.  To a large extent career politicians were sidelined during the lead up to the referendum.  It was people, talking to people, that helped individuals decide which way they wanted to vote.