Today we journeyed back through history: we visited Abbotsford (the lovely house of Sir Walter Scott), a ruined abbey from a couple of hundred years before that, and then the ruins of a Roman fort along Hadrian’s wall.

Abbotsford was a wonderful house, full of fascinating stories, thousands of books, and all sorts of little items Scott had collected over the years — items Napoleon or Rob Roy or other notables had owned, or which had played a role in some historic event. The gardens were amazing, as well, aided by an ingenious hollow garden wall through which warm air used to be sent in the cold weather, keeping plants which otherwise could not have tolerated the Scottish winter warm and happy. I wonder how much heat you’d need to do that effectively in Vermont?