Many, many warm thanks to all my friends and family who have wished me happy birthday in various way. We had lovely Adventure near Kirkcudbright visiting Dundrennnan Abbey, a ruined 12th century Cistercian abbey with wonderful stonework. As is so often the case for us, the high point was our interaction with the Historic Scotland docent/caretaker. Glyn, an enthusiastic retired stone mason from Yorkshire, kept dragging us around the site to show one wonderful piece of stone work or architectural feature after another.
Right before we left, he took us to an iron gate in the south side of the cloister, which he said had been the door to the kitchen at some point: "Do you seen that bottom stone on the right side of the door frame?, " he asked, pointing to a lovely carving of flower that stands out against the straight vertical groove carved through the stack of stones there. "That were just some guy who decided one day to cut t' stone that way. He didn't get paid for it, he just did it to say he were here. And here he still is, you can read him in t' stone, all these hundreds of years later!" The big smile on Glyn's face showed his vicarious pride, empathically resonating with his fellow craftsman across more than 800 years.