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Daily Journal

June 28 – Maybe I'm A-mazed
Crichton Castle (Continued)

In the dark dank depths of the Old Kitchen, Robin sidles up to me. If you should see a loose stone, she says, and I immediately think of my stone from the River Skell, knowing what's coming next.

This place touches her heart and I so want to find something – a pebble, a shard, something for her to hold at home with her eyes closed – a ticket to transport her back to this moment in her life when a dream became reality. But there is nothing. Crichton is exceptionally well kept; the floors of the many rooms we explore are swept clean.

I am resigned to the fact that her memories will have to suffice and watch breathlessly as she leans out of a window to put her hands on the magnificent diamond-faceted facade of the inner courtyard. We peek down through high windows and call out, waving to Dana who is still engaged in conversation with Alistair.

Into another chamber I wander, stopping to admire the lichens and mosses growing on the walls. The air is thick with mist and I reach out to stroke the soft, fuzzy growths that embellish the red sandstone. "Look at this," I say in wonder to Robin, who arrives at my side.

What happened next (I swear, I did not have a chisel in my hand) plays out in slow motion, exactly like the encounter with the sheep. A piece of the stone I was caressing with my fingertip leaps from the wall. I catch it deftly in the palm of my hand before it hits the ground.

I look at Robin, whose eyes are as big and round as a pair of two-pence pieces. Her hand covers her mouth. Suddenly I'm a child again and I can hear my older brother's voice in my head. "Ooh, you're in trouble." A quick peek through the window overlooking the courtyard shows Alistair and Dana still in conversation.

Hmm ... I have two options: I can give the stone to Alistair, who I know is not going to super-glue this small piece of stone back onto the wall, or I can hand it over to Robin. We huddle over the stone in the palm of my hand like two children inspecting a baby bird. It's so fragile. Grains of sand are already falling from it. I poke at it with a finger, and it breaks in two. Decision made. Into my pocket one piece goes, into Robin's pocket the other piece is gently placed like the treasure it is to her.

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