Saturday, May 11, 2013

It isn't easy being green...

 For the past few days, I have been absolutely dying to get at another ruined mediaeval church. I'm not saying which ruined mediaeval church, because I'm hoping to blog about it properly later, but it is one that has a particular allure for me because it has a history of murder and catastrophe attached to it. Unfortunately for me, it is also seven miles from here, and not exactly on the bus route. I do cycle about a bit, and have done a longer ride than the 14 mile round trip required to see the church, but that is strictly a dry weather option, and today the sky is looking ominously grey.

Since 2008, we have been a one car family, and occasionally a no-car family. This was never much of a problem when we lived in Belgium because our village was well served by frequent buses which conveniently ran between the swimming pool in Overijse, the town of Tervuren with its tram line into Brussels, and the airport. We mainly have one car because of the cost of running two, but I have always hoped that even if we suddenly became filthy rich we would stick to our ecological principles and try to manage with one.

Now that we live in rural Scotland, however, it can be a challenge getting about on days when I don't have access to the car. Getting the grocery shopping in is not a big problem because most supermarkets do home delivery. I work at home anyway so I don't have to worry about commuting. What was less ideal was the time the cat had an emergency appointment at the vet and the local taxi company refused to take us home afterwards. Walking back up the hill carrying a cat basket occupied by 5kg of irritable ginger tomcat was not a lot of fun.

Also, there are times when it would be nice to get out and about. At such times I rather mourn the demise of the Crieff railway line, which closed down in 1964, about six weeks before I was born. It might seem daft to mourn something that vanished before I even appeared, but you can still see many traces of the line in the countryside around here - such as the bridges (above and below).

I guess that back in 1964, when more and more families were buying their own cars, and some of the rural railway lines were increasingly unprofitable, it must have seemed sensible to close down the station. All the same, I can't help thinking what wonderful train journeys there must have been, passing through woodland and over rivers towards Comrie or Methven.

Up until 1951 there was actually a station at Innerpeffray too, on the Crieff and Methven Junction Railway line. Imagine that! I could have hopped on a train at Crieff and hopped off near the library. Of course, back then, it would have been a steam locomotive, too...

Anyway, I shall get to see my ruined church, hopefully later today, when I shall have the car for a bit, and then I will report back with full details! 


  1. Another interesting post! You seem to live in a lovely - if transporationally challenging - part of the world.

  2. I'm probably making it sound more thrilling than it is! Not having transport, I'm sort of doing a micro version, exploring every tiny bit of local history and legend. But there is a lot to discover.