Friday, 30 September 2011

Sunrise, Indian Summer and Stars.

A small fishing boat.
St Combs is a small fishing village a few miles away from our house. It is immediately southwest of Inverallochy. Which is our nearest by the sea village. St.Combs has existed since at least the 17th century. It takes its name from a church to St Colm or Columba that used to exist in the area.
The Dawn Patroller went to St Combs this morning. Before dawn.
I should point out that even though the sun is not up it is still light here, later in the evening and earlier in the morning than further south and in England.
It takes a while to get used to being able to trot off to the loo in the middle of the night and not walk into the wall. Or anything else. However, come Winter, it is dark. And I do mean dark. That is when I bounce off the door jamb.
But for now. Here comes the sun. (Hum along with the Beatles.) At St. Combs.

The one below is that - wait for it - moment. Magic.
Another beautiful warm summery day. The seasons seem to be standing on their heads. Even here in the North East of Scotland plants are asking themselves, ey up ?, and flowering, when they have never done before at this time of year.

Last night, I am still not sure why, I went outside - when it was dark - and looked up. After falling down the step with my mouth open I got the Dawn Patroller to take this picture of the heavens above.
Isn't life amazing?

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Summer at last!

What a fantastic day! Not sure what the temperature got to but I very nearly took my vest off. I would have done but the cafe had people in I didn't know.
Today was the biennial jaunt of the Best of Banffshire and Buchan Bed and Breakfasts.
To Pitmedden Gardens and Museum of Farming Life. Run by the National Trust for Scotland.

There is a wee bit of an agricultural museum.

This is a cheese press.
The Garden is a formal one in the main. But has some beautiful sculptures dotted about.

One of my most favourite flowers, Agapanthus. Managed to grow it only once. Intend to have another go next year.

This Versailles Planter had Fennel and other herbs in which I thought a fantastic idea.
Again, plan for next year, is tubs and planters crammed with herbs all around our sitting area.

Possibly a water feature too!
But not this. Although our hedges are neatly trimmed - mainly so as not to upset the traffic on our narrow lane - I do not do formal.
"The elaborate designs were inspired by those reputedly used in the garden of the Palace of Holyrood House in Edinburgh."

Here are some of our group. Enjoying the sunshine and the heat. We had lunch in the tea rooms. The usual loud din and no-one listening to anyone else. The main topic of conversation being the usual discussion which never to where to have our Christmas Lunch.....

Blogging is addictive and I have been without my fix for too long! But, so proud of myself, I have finally sorted it.
We downloaded upgrades for Internet Explorer and everything went haywire. I couldn't read my favourite blogs, couldn't comment and then worst of all after typing and thinking and typing and composing it wouldn't publish.
I went to the help desk on Blogger, and would you believe the 'new' Internet Explorer is the culprit. WHAT is the point of encouraging you to upgrade when it then is worse than what you had before????????????????????? I am now using Google Chrome as opposed to Internet Explorer.
So - back to normal.
Look forward to reading all your blogs - and putting my oar in.
Before Winter arrives and the power cuts.....

Mermaids and Museums.

Where are the legs?
The life size mermaid was presented to children from a local nursery by the Friends of the Lighthouse Museum.
After the friends had had their coffee, tea, piece and a natter.

The cafe at the museum juts out over the sea with these amazing views.
I have been having lots of problems publishing my posts and hope this time I have solved it.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Well hello.

Been trying to draw sheep - not successfully. Neither have I been successful in publishing my blog. After upgrading all sorts of things just so I could speak to family who have all gone from facebook to google plus, I have been unable to view blogs I visit or publish mine own. So yet another go.

This is a house, ruined house called Knowsie. Near no other house, it is surrounded by undergrowth. The Dawn Patroller went off on his bike and found it after a friend who is a local historian told him about it.

Do you think Sleeping Beauty was Scottish?

I have carried on drawing birds.

My view from the summerhouse has changed now the barley is cut and the straw baled.

The view inside remains much the same with Puzzle cat on one side.

And Sith cat on the other.

Minerva was washing her nether regions so I did not take a picture.

Well here goes, about to press the publish button.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

New Pitsligo Visual Arts Exhibition.

Yes! More art! Well - in a bit.
First off, the Dawn Patroller went to our nearest village to buy the Sunday Paper. In the car, so cheating a bit, he wasnt patrolling on foot.
We now buy Scotland on Sunday. Which to be honest is an awful newspaper. They spell things wrong, they get the date wrong, and some articles end halfway through a sentence.
We used to buy the Sunday Times. But with all the kerfuffle over the phone hacking and everything decided enough was enough.
But I am seriously considering something else for a Sunday paper. Any suggestions? Any one that spells things correctly and actually recognises Scotland is part of the World?
More of the Dawn Patrollers viewings.
A Grey Plover on the beach at Cairnbulg.
Shags and Great Black Backed Gull on rocks also at Cairnbulg.
So that was the morning. (I was rolling around with the vac.)
Afternoon was the New Pitsligo Visual Arts Exhibition of 2011. Thirty years this has been going and goes from strength to strength.
Part of the exhibition.
There were 267 pictures in a variety of mediums, watercolours, oil, acrylic, pencil, pen, graphite and wool. There were 100 photographic entries and 67 craft entries, wood, jewellry, knitting, patchwork et al.
Mind blowing. But - the DP and me decided we could do as good if not better than many of the works on display. So we have signed up for next year as exhibitors, gulp.
New Pitsligo is on of the many 'planned' villages around here in the North East of Scotland.
The main street looks like this all along. Created in 1787 by Sir William Forbes. It's main industry was lace making and this still carries on. Not in the industrial sense any more. But there is an active group of lace makers still tatting away here. Their work is displayed in the community run cafe, the Four Cs, and they were also tatting away on the stage at the Exhibition. The DP and I had cappucino for me and tea for him and a cake after the viewing at the Four Cs.
Which stands for Craft, Community, and I cant remember the rest. Who cares? The cake was yummy.
So - on the 31st New Pitsligo Visual Arts Exhibition there will be a new contributor, or may be two if I can

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Rattray Head.

The pink footed geese, that are arriving in their thousands, off to feed at dawn. As the Dawn Patroller got there in time to photograph them at Rattray Head.
Eleven years ago when we were looking at properties in the North East of Scotland this was for sale. This is Rattray Head Lighthouse Keepers accommodation. To get to it from a 'proper' road is on a single track pot holed lane. Fantastic situation. But we decided it was not for us as too much needed doing to the buildings and I refused to live in what I termed as a lego house.
Rattray Head Lighthouse. This is South of where we now live.
The couple who did buy it, Rob and Val Keeble, became friends. They have done a fantastic job. The lego house is now an eco hostel and the cottages, where they live, they have run as a bed and breakfast. There is a web site. Just type in Rattray Head on Google and you will find it and lots of interesting information.
The Lighthouse was one designed by the Stevensons. 1895 it was up and working. Mains electricity and a telephone line were installed in 1977.(Can you believe being without in the 70s!) In 1982 it became automatic so there was no need for anyone to live in the onshore buildings.
Bit cross with the D.P. he could have 'caught' it with the light flashing.
Atmospheric ey?
And the day fulfilled its promise. It has been beautiful. Sunshine, warm, little wind. Grass cutting. Ironing and cleaning, who minds when the sun is shining?
I had a good session down in the summer house drawing and listening to opera. Also listening and watching a boy racer driving the baler in the field at the rear of us. Scattering the pheasant family, who as soon as he had gone were up on top of the bales playing. AND we had some baby partridges in the garden.
A lovely day hope you had the same.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Strange Day...

These are twitchers. Bird Watchers who have to go see any rare bird. They drive through the night, fly by helicopter, just so they can make the 'tick'.

Well now. We had a Sandhill Crane land at Strathbeg. Yesterday. They are American. Been seen twice on Scottish Islands, but this is a first for the Scottish Mainland. Also much easier to get to. So we have been swamped by twitchers.
What is more the crane decided to move itself to a field just up the road from us. When the Dawn Patroller went out as dawn was breaking he was stopped by a car full of twitchers, driven up from Kent, overnight, are they mad? and asked where the bird was. Well he does walk out with binoculars and a camera. So is just asking to be stopped by the odd twitcher.

And this is it. Hiding behind a bale. Actually feeding on the odd bits of grain left around.

What excitement.

And there was more. We wento to collect Mikes car from the garage. It wouldnt have taken much more onto the bill for an MOT and service for us to have bought another car.

Good job I wasnt planning a cruise, or any holiday at all.

So I did what I usually do when in shock - went and did something thereapeutic.
I made a playmat for the granddaughter due December.

And a bag for whatever. Lined in the fuchsia backing material for the playmat. This took some brainwork and swearing to work out how to do it. So I am well pleased I did it.

I have signed up for an art class. starting after 'Tattie week' (October) might finally get to draw a cow that doesnt look anorexic.

And a strange end to yesterday. Jo Brand and her programme on Water. I howled with laughter.

Not so strange when you can end the day with laughter. Is it?

Thursday, 22 September 2011


Yesterday the Dawn Patroller took 'his' car into the garage for an MOT and a service. Now living up here where the pace of life is much slower than elsewhere we had got used to not having which ever car went in to the garage for days. Speaking of this to my friend 'I love Lucy', she said "Accchhh take it to ******* ye'll hae it back in the day and they dont charge yer much."
So we did. We hung around much of yesterday not starting anything that couldnt be stopped waiting for the summons to collect it. I delayed my wined down. Difficult. Nothing. This morning the phone call came,
"Do ye want me to dae yer bearings, theyre needed for the Mot."
Well - yes. Will we have it done for today?"
"Aye." Right.
So another day of waiting for the summons to collect it.
I had planned to go to the Lighthouse Museum at 4p.m. to help set up for the knitted fish auction. Mike wanted to go to his newly joined Photographic Club later on. So at 4p.m. he phoned the garage to see what was happening.
"He's having a wee problem. But they're working till 8 tonight."
Which meant that something had to give. So I went for the wine down so Mike could take my car to the Photographic Club.
So all in all, dear Lucy, this could turn out to be a world record - well in line with previous experiences at the least.
I guess that we are fortunate to have two cars. But come the winter when mine wont drive safely in the snow we need his 4 wheel drive. And living where we do if, as now, one is in the garage, we are marooned.

Also waiting - and watching - for the field behind us to be all cut. The amount of pheasants running willy nilly all over the place was hilarious as the combine slowly made its way. Many of them ended up in our garden.

Our previous viewing of the cutting of the barley has been as the Combine Harvester carries on doing its cutting, a tractor with a large trailer appears alongside and in goes the grain from a pipe that swings out from the harvester. The chap doing the field behind us is doing all of it. He cuts it, and then pulls alongside his parked tractor and trailer and empties the grain. Later , much later he drives the tractor and trailer home and then, presumably empties the grain.

Which is why he and us are waiting for bed time.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Work in Progress.

Rain and wind. So we stayed inside.
The Dawn Patroller had been out - more later - but was then rained off so got stuck in to removing the pink (yeuk) carpet from the stairs, a bit of sanding and this is what we have.

A beautiful wooden staircase. Which will be so easy to keep clean and nowhere for little nastys to hide (cat fleas). Our cats are regularly deflead and wormed, but its far more of a battle if the wee bity bugs can hide down carpet edges and make their nursery there. Urggghhhh.

I drove to Cairnbulg to the library in the morning as I had had an email to say two of the books I had ordered were there. Now either I am a very distinctive person, or they dont have many people going into the library as as I walked in I was met with a beaming smile and handed the two books.

So as it was raining and windy I thought I would start. Especially as the child this is for is due to be born tomorrow.....If he follows his big brother's example it will be a while yet, but I hope not.

Then lo and behold the sun came out and so did the combine harvester. This field is at the back of our house.

It must be one of the last fields of barley to be cut. But manoeuvring around the telegraph poles cannot be easy, so no doubt the driver has to have a lot of encouragement before tackling it. Or he has run out of excuses.

So the Dawn Patroller caught these sunrise pictures. The new blog header being my favourite and the one below taken not long after.

Back to the knitting. Hope you all have a pleasant evening. And tomorrow - another beautiful sun rise and more work in progress.