Borders Country Day 10

'Wood Cabin, (Leithen)'. Acrylic and varnish on 10x10" wood

‘Wood Cabin, (Leithen)’. Acrylic and varnish on 10×10″ wood

Today’s painting – a mysterious hut near Leithen, in the gardens of the equally mysterious Leithen House.

I’m very partial to cabins in the forest. They have a Hansel and Gretel magical-ness to them and there’s always the sense that someone intriguing lives there.

We drove through Leithen a while back, stopped near a river to explore and discovered Leithen House, which had beautiful natural grounds; huge ancient trees, a small river, pond and dense woodlands over a stone bridge.

No one seemd to be around except a small black & white dog who appointed himself as our guide, but eventually we spotted a gardener several hundred yards away, standing still and staring at us in a slightly hostile manner. I plucked up the courage to walk over and say hello and ask him where we were.

‘You’re not supposed to be here’ he answered tensely.

‘Oh? Why’s that?’ I asked, smiling

‘It’s private’ he hissed.

I said I didn’t know, but thanks and we strolled away. Only the black dog seemed to want us to stay so we ordered him ‘home’!, We’d seen no signs marking the place as private. (I’d definitely looked, as I have a mostly irrational fear of some aggressive owner’s rottweiler biting my hand off! ) Anyway, when I returned home I did a quick search online and discovered it was a luxury retreat hotel. I still couldn’t see what the gardener was so up-tight about mind you.

I’d love to say it was owned by a famous recluse or eccentric but the truth was quite ordinary. Nonetheless, the atmosphere inspired me!

Leithen House

Leithen House

My sister Catherine and friend Donald, dad in the background, trespassing at Leithen

My sister Catherine and friend Donald, dad in the background, trespassing at Leithen

Black&white dog and Cousin Kerr

Black&white dog and Cousin Kerr

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