Thursday, 19 October 2017


I've been framed!

Even the worst painting looks better mounted/framed.  I have my alter ego in the shedudio if ever I want a laugh.

So today was me totally stressed out.  Last ts crossed and i s dotted.  No more.  

My latest, probably silly bit of stressing is I am advised to keep away from crowded rooms.  Not from some psychopathic  urge to kill everyone, but fear of catching an infection.  Tomorrow night is the preview.  Will see how I feel in the morning as to whether I go or not.  I have gone the longest ever since I was first diagnosed with COPD without a chest infection.

No walk today as it was dark and wet.  Is anyone in the UK getting any nice weather?  Apologies to everyone called Brian but we have him storming his way in next.  

However some stress busting art got done in the afternoon.  Almost got this years Christmas card finished.

Few more twigs and some witty words required.  

Bird watching.  Was convinced - for a while - that this was a Brambling.

But decided it was a boring young male Chaffinch not quite got the colouring?

Our neighbours across the park/field have their pregnant sheep in their field.  Their primary school aged son cares for them - very well I might add.  He comes from a long line of fermers. (Doric) 

The tree felling continues next door.  70 foot high pine trees coming down.  He is waiting for a strong wind in the 'right direction' before he fells the ones closest to his house.  Fortunately the ones which would have hit the shedudio are safely felled.

Roll on Monday when it is all over. The exhibition I mean!

Wednesday, 18 October 2017


The Garage roofers were with us again today - but have finished.  All done and the DP has been up the ladder and approved it all.  We still have one of the team to come next week and sort out the three dormer windows.  Well impressed.  

They shifted their truck to let me out and I escaped to the Esplanade.

Bracing weather .  Quite bracing.

Surfer still loving it.

And the Gull gang gathering.


Lots of blank spaces in the shedudi0 as the paintings are bubble wrapped and put in the granny shopping trolley, browsers I have emptied as they are to go for the exhibition. The browsers that is.  As are the table top stands.  I am exhausted.  

Then there's the labelling. Plus as some people are away - this being tattie fortnight when all the schools are shut for 2 weeks - we have bags full of other peoples art/photographic work for the exhibition to take in.  Both the DP and I are overwhelmed and whacked.

Why do I/we do it?  I ask myself.  Well art and photography are good for the soul.  They are good for retired people, people with mental and physical challenges.  So thats why.

I am still shattered.  My physical and mental challenges have exhausted me.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Not much to report.

Today the roofers arrived.

On the left of the house you can see the attached garage.  The roof leaked.  (This is an old aerial photo by the way.  Just concentrate on the garage.)  The roof was asbestos.  Oh dear.  Anyway plan A was to remove asbestos roof and repair/replace rotting roof trusses then replace roof.

Knock on the door.  "I just found our first problem."  saith the main man roofer.  

Turned out that the roof of the garage was constructed in such a way that plan A meant the whole gable of the house could disintegrate, i.e. fall down. Our house is mainly granite walls but there is the odd bit of breeze block in there too.

 So Plan B - repair the rotting wood trusses.  Then make a frame above existing roof and line then lay new roof.  With me so far?  Well I was lost.  

Anyway we agreed I wanted to stop it leaking so on we go.  And apparently the end price wouldnt be so different.....And big plus the DP would not have to take frequent trips to the tip with the asbestos roofing.

So this is them in.

There is the hole in the roof letting the rain in.

All our electrical bits hanging down or possibly the roofers.  I have now lost the plot.

So - as you and I can see we still view the asbestos, well it might not be asbestos but its corrugated and that leads everyone to believe its asbestos, roof.  Which will remain.

Then things got really exciting.

This is our roofers van.  

Now if you remember I have told you before about our narrow country road.  So the roofers  are coming back after disappearing for their lunch.  They are approaching another white van which is heading straight for them.  So take avoiding action which ends up with them demolishing a stone dyke (wall) and getting stuck in the field.  It took 2 tractors to get them out.  

The driver of the offending vehicle owned up - he was watching his satnav - which was on the passenger seat.  

You have to be kidding. No. 

So his firm is paying for the wall to be put back and the damage to our roofers truck.  No life was lost.  Just a bit of an increase on my stress levels.

Not much to report. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Monday, 16 October 2017

The end is nigh.

Do not panic.  I meant the end of planning for FASE 4.  Our Annual Art exhibition which kicks off Friday, taking in the work to be exhibited.  I t-h-i-n-k I have now got all the paper work done.  

Although the way the weather has been the end could be nigh.

Hurricane Ophelia.  Poor Ireland.  The Hurricane has apparently whipped up sand from the Sahara and the smoke from poor Portugal and Spain who are experiencing Forest Fires.  

So I have had an alert from the British Lung Foundation to stay indoors.

The strange coloured skies, and halos round the sun, the rest of the U.K. have seen, the total dark skies covering the North East of Scotland all this afternoon.  Ah.  

Air pollution.  Breathing difficulties.  And Mr Trump will be blaming something else other than global warming.

So I have stayed inside.  Apart from a brief trip down to the shedudio.

It was quite a while until the birds came to the feeder.  The skies lightened a little after 3 p.m.  But it was still windy so the next picture is blurred!

The rain lashed down.

In the end I went back up to the house.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Pictures at an exhibition.

On Friday morning all exhibits for FASE4 have to be taken in.  Amongst doing all my tasks as secretary to the Fraserburgh Art Group, it suddenly struck me I have to do that also.  None have to have been exhibited before at FASE.

Well these haven't been in as framed.  Which they now are.

 This one above certainly not been shown so he/she is in.  I have 20 cards.  Not gone through the ones for the browsers yet, which are not framed but mounted, but as I am providing 3 browsers I better get on with it.  Somewhere I have to find to empty the 3 browsers onto/into.... 

My fellow volunteers have been stringing the bunting coming in, over 400 so far.  If this exhibition is not a success I give in.  We are all getting pretty stressed.

Bit windy today, just October not the Hurricane yet.  But strangely warm.

Kessock Burn carving its way to the sea.

The Gull gang.

Lots of Great Black Backed Gulls.

And 2 Oystercatchers having a paddle.

Tomorrow I hope to be finalising all my secretarial bits and pieces.  On Tuesday the DP has his flu jab.  Me ?  Well despite having COPD my appointment isnt till the beginning of November.  Make sense of that .

Saturday, 14 October 2017


I am susceptible to stress related illness.  Put down to stress have been dermatitis, in my 20s.  High blood pressure in my 40s.  The latter led to me being retired on ill health grounds!  So I think the malaise I have now is stress related.  Just acknowledging that seems to have helped so I am back up again.  At least I can do some deep breathing.....

FASE 4 is now less than a week away.  What I do for the exhibition is largely unseen as it is all me sitting at the computer and connecting with exhibitors, publicity, et al.  Smoothing paths for invited guest artist and invited guest photographer.  Invitees to the Preview.  And the latest tearing my hair out is the rota for people to actually be there and do things.  The taking in of work, photographs, art work, the labelling, the hanging. etc. etc.  Catering.  Plus those who are doing things equally unseen having a rant.  The rota.  Has very few names on it.  Then one says Ooops double booked cant make it that day.  Hope its ok.  Well no it isnt.  Aaaaargh.

This afternoon I went to the Promenade.

I get out of the car, I have my camera, mobile phone and emergency inhaler in coat pockets.  I haul out the chariot.  Lock the car.  Walk to the railing and begin the deep breathing of the sea air.  Ignoring the car parked with diesel engine running..... Although I have been known to go up and ask them to switch the bloody engine off as I have lung problems.... Depends on my mood.

I then walk.

I so much enjoy seeing the birds perform their ablutions.  Their enjoyment of ducking their heads and flapping their wings in the water from the Kessock Burn.

Then the preening and sorting of feathers.

Then I noticed this.  There was evidence in the car park that there had been a Blackening.

Blackening is a traditional wedding custom performed in the days or weeks prior to marriages in rural areas of Scotland.[1]

The bride and/or groom are 'captured' by friends and family, covered in food, or a variety of other - preferably adhesive - substances, then paraded publicly for the community to see. Frequently, the couple are driven in the back of an open-backed truck, accompanied by the clattering and banging of pots and pans by the couple's 'captors'. There are no strict rules regarding the act of blackening itself, only that the couple must be rendered messy and uncomfortable, and that as many people as possible should witness the occasion.[

Hopefully as the tide comes back in it will remove this.  So as I got back into the car I did the deep breathing again.  The car with the engine running had gone.  Just as well.  

Friday, 13 October 2017

Down days.

Just had a couple.  We all have them.  I feel my bones disintegrating.  Or is that just my imagination?  I used to worry about my lack of breathing .  Stopped smoking.  Breathing improved.  Then it was Osteopenia.  Take these pills for increased C and D.  Which make me  feel sick.  Just get on with it.  But now my ribs hurt....

So did the .59 of a mile today.

Coming home.

Up the Path of Doom and snail spotting.  

Back down the path.  Its just a path with sand dunes on the right and left.  But when I first began walking I never thought I would walk the whole path.  Now I do.  Tho not every day.

Lovely weather.  Forecast was for rain.  No rain, no wind, and unseasonably warm?

The Kittiwake still present.

A lot of feather sorting from the Black Headed Gulls.

Back home.  Our neighbour is removing his very tall pine trees.

Opening up vistas for us, but removing habitat for the local Starlings et al.

Not a lot we can do about it.  Positive are we have some views.  DP hopes to get better photos of the Aurora.

Our neighbour didnt like the pine needles.  No doubt he didnt like the loud chatter from the roosting birds either.  I just worried he knew what he was doing and none of the trees fell on my shed.  So far shedudio still there, though I think the Starlings have gone elsewhere.

Bit of a mixed day.