Well, that passed all too quickly, did it not – the best Summer since (recent) records began. Whatever did we find to talk about?
 
Kirkcudbright and indeed South-West Scotland generally were as blessed as other parts of the UK, albeit the statistics show that our very own micro-climate allows Kirkcudbright to escape the worst extremes of climate change. And, unlike the Highlands and Islands, we remain a midge-free zone to this day.
 
Seven days just spent in the delightful Italian lakeside town of Como have led me to compare our respective merits and attractions. Each is, in its own way, a classy and high-quality destination where the visitor is valued and welcomed and, whereas Como wins out for the sun-lovers amongst us, Kirkcudbright will appeal to those preferring more moderate climes: snow and ice are rare visitors indeed and one’s sleep is rarely disturbed by the discomfort of excess humidity.
 
Of course, when talk turns to eating and shopping, our Southern neighbours have a clear-cut advantage in both numbers and range. It was simply impossible to walk down any street there without coming across a trattoria or a ristorante or – now – a pizzeria whilst better-end, innovative Menswear shops were two a Euro. Regional and seasonal specialities such as vitello blanco, porcini funghi and filetti di pesce persico were over-indulged whilst the town’s rich silk-making tradition found its way into both our suitcases! And do not the Italians know how to enjoy all this with effortless style?
 
Which said, Kirkcudbright puts on a good showing in both categories with a wide range of eateries – Polarbites being our favourite – and a vibrant High Street offering distinctive local produce , a wide selection of Art and Crafts goods to reflect our Artists’ Town’s heritage and every knick-knack necessary for a complete holiday with family or friends.
 
And, once away from the table or the fitting-room, our region’s amazing offer of activities and attractions, coastal and inland landscapes and its bulging calendar of festivals and fairs kicks Lombardy firmly into touch. The most recent addition to these is October’s Kirkcudbright’s Festival of Light, celebrating the opening in June of the Kirkcudbright Galleries and bringing together visual art, music, craft and light installations. (See www.kirkcudbrightlight.com for the programme.)
 
Should we call it a draw – or perhaps even consider  twinning our 2 towns?

~ Until next time!
Peter