Thursday, 31 January 2013

Buzzing! Flapping and Pillaging.

Thank you to all who made such lovely supportive comments on the damage caused by - ? at the Lighthouse Museum.

Far worse things at sea as they say.  See below.*

But the other well known phrase is "Dont let the b#######get you down."  (And in my case, sometimes, the female version one is up against.)

I am back to wearing my many hats.  Kids activity Mornings at the Lighthouse Museum  in the Easter School Holidays.  March/April.  Yes, it is only the end of January but one has to be prepared.  And, oh boy, have I got plans and preparations in hand.

Won't this be fun!!!!  

Before the lighthouse was built there were many wrecks at Kinnaird Head, Fraserburgh and some looked on with glee and benefited greatly from those wrecks.  

"the Edward Bonaventure, containing the Russian ambassador, arrived with difficulty, after a four months' voyage, on the east coast of Aberdeenshire, in Scotland, along with a smaller vessel. There they were driven ashore by a violent storm, near Kinnaird Head, when a boat containing the grand pilot, with the ambassador and seven other Russian gentlemen, making for land in the dark, was overwhelmed and beaten on the rocks: thus the pilot and several of the Russians and mariners were drowned, and only the ambassador himself and two or three others were saved. The ship became a total wreck, and such of her valuable goods as came on shore, including the gifts to the English monarchs, were pillaged by the rude people of the coast."

rude people of the coast!  The language of the day indicates they were illiterate and uneducated, not constantly using the F word, (tho our vandals of today are probably all three.)

So a few bullets into the lighthouse museum windows, huh.

For the Summer School holidays I will be incorporating my other head gear, artist, and yet another cap, bird lover.  We will be setting a challenge to all artists and crafters to exhibit 1000 Sea birds in the Lighthouse Museum.

So the Kids Activity Mornings will be centred on - yes, Sea Birds.  I am aiming to link with the Royal Society for Protection of Birds (RSPB) who I hope will help us with our crafting and also encourage more children to become interested in birds, and all related.

The Lighthouse Cafe will be offering pirate based grub for the Easter sessions and Birdy themed nosh in the Summer.

I sometimes wonder where I get these sudden flashes of inspiration.  Sometimes I feel totally flat and boring and why do I bother, blah blah, then after a flipping awful happening like windows being smashed there is something like a bolt of lightning.  If I were a philosopher (no....) being an optimist (YES) the brain goes berserk and I get really excited and buzz and flap, but no, I dont do pillaging.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses.

Moi, in the cafe.

Monday night my beautiful lighthouse was attacked by morons/idiots/run out of words.  But they had a gun.

Despite this  - we are still open for business, as you will see someone enjoying a fly cup and a piece. (The DP official photographer for a most unhappy occasion.)

Tuesday, 29 January 2013


Looking around the studio/shed/drinking den/opera theatre/bird hide it suddenly struck me that I am a stalker.

Of blogs.

I do try and always ask permission, but there might be the odd one that slips through due to my artistic excitement......

And such amazing photographs all bloggers share with us to illustrate their lives.

I do have a soft spot for feathered species.

But then there are the four legged beauties.....

And such lovely homes (the ones above do not go together, just the work in progress group.)

There are a few more, but by this time I was becoming extremely embarrassed.

So here is one of mine own.  Whose expression is sufficiently disapproving for me to shrink and cower at my audacity.

Thank you to all who feed my 'habit'.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Sunny Sunday.

My second favourite lighthouse, Rattray.
This photograph and the following were taken by my friend John Watt.  Who is also an artist.  A very good artist.

The reason for the pictures is that, in the above, you can just make out a wee bird on the right.

And the above is the bird, a Desert Wheatear.  As its name indicates there is no way it should be sitting on a snowy beach in the North East of Scotland.  

It came before Christmas blown by the winds.  It really should have gone back to the desert now.  But..... one of our extremely keen bird watchers is feeding it!  I think they are on first name terms now.  Presumably when the sap starts to rise there may be some hormonal tug and off it will go!

Our other migrant visitors are still with us for a few more months.  Pink footed geese descend in their thousands every year.  Their calls, when going off to feed and then returning to the roost at the Loch of Strathbeg bird reserve, are magical.  

In amongst them we get Whooper Swans.

The ones below are mute swans.

And this hazy chap, excitement too much for the DP, is a Bittern.  

Bittern are appearing more and more now the bird reserve has stabilised the reed beds.

Today in Britain it was the Great British Garden Bird Watch.

As always the birds seem to be fully aware of this and the hour set aside to watch and ones count ends up with a pathetic number and variety.  As soon as the hour is up ...... you cant move for 'em.

Saturday, 26 January 2013


Like most people I became fed up of the weather.  You cant keep on blogging about it can you?  

At the beginning of the week we had second daughter for one night.  Which was nice, nice to see her I mean, not just for one night!  

Did you know I taught my children sign language?  Something for you all to consider doing.

Wednesday we did colour wheels in our art group.  My mixture of colours then went into mud.

Next week we have to use the three primary colours and paint a picture.  I am going to cheat, i.e. use the three primary colours, and not mix them!

I did my usual afternoon stint at the Lighthouse and slowly transformed into an icicle.

Thursday, yet another art group and I did another chook, practising my pen and ink, made a bit of a mess with the brush and ink.

Toing and frowing was spent in turning into an icicle and then defrosting.

Friday I finally got round to visiting Cafe Connect and exchanging the elephant painting

for the Redshanks.

I also took in some mounted paintings to put in the browser.

And was then attacked by a lady with a stick.  She demanded to buy my Robin!

I started to cheer up somewhat.  When I got home I became ecstatic as the parcel I had been waiting for all week finally arrived!

So today!  The sun shone, we didnt need the heating on, I cleaned the house to within an inch of its next emulsion job , down the shed, and painted.............

Hey Dudes.

All work in progress.  But oh what fun, no longer pensive!  Trust you are all having a great weekend.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Warning, Jenny Joseph.

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other peoples gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practise a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

So how many items in the above poem are you practising?!

For some time I have wanted to paint or draw this old woman, so tomorrow I wear purple and buy a red hat.

Sunday, 20 January 2013


I am a wimp.  The Dawn Patroller goes out in all weathers and returns with photographs.

Our nearest sea shore.

Then I go down the shed, hat, gloves, wrap old gardening coat round knees, opera on, and paint.

Hope you are all warm, cosy and dry.  Well, you dont have to get your food paddling in the North Sea now do you.  Brrrr.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Panic - Not now dear....

Wednesday evening I noticed there was something sliding down the flue of our wood burning stove.

Not now - please - I need your warmth.  I went into panic mode.  Is it going to kill me?  My eyes were watering.  But the Carbon Monoxide Alarm remained silent.  We let the fire go out.

Fortunately our supplier was totally laid back, recognised it as being, "You have not ensured your wood is dry."  and handed over a pot of stuff to throw on the fire, when lit, which would sort it.

We then got pyrotechnics.

Which nearly set me off again.  But on reading label of pot this was forecast.

We are now burning peat for a while (the DP being sensible he says - I prefer to see my fire with roaring flames not just sulkily smouldering.)

We have to throw this stuff on every day for so long, then have a gap, I assume at some stage we have to hunt down the only chimney sweep in the North East (hopefully not lambing yet) to come and sweep the flue.  Which will mean no fire to let it cool down..... Ah well the sweep is from Yorkshire and so am I so we usually manage to get him to come. (Barring lambing or calving)

Speaking of lambs, well our new neighbours are not lambs anymore.

Can you see that the transporter is a Three Decker?!

Hope he presses the right button or they are all going to get very squashed.


The sheep are feeding on Neeps.  (Swedes in English or big turnips if you aint)  Which apparently are costing the farmer fortunes, doesnt everything cost Farmers fortunes?  If he hadnt had the sheep, which he grew the neeps for to eat , then he could have sold the neeps for vast fortunes down in England as their weather has meant they havent got any.  Follow that?  Also he bought the lambs at £60 each, and after feeding them up for months they are selling at £65, oh dear, but he thinks the price might increase as no-one else has neeps - or whatever, I lost the plot after that.  

Cannot remember which blog I was reading recently complaining about being woken up by the Woodpecker bashing hell out  of their soil pipe.  I thought about the Tawny owls at night, the geese at dawn and sunset honking over, not to mention Whooper Swans whooping, oh and yes we do have Woodpeckers, but they stick to battering the electric pole which says quite clearly, "Danger of Death", but then they cant read, and now we are to have baaa-ing.

This is taken from our bedroom window.

Robins have lovely singing voices.  Remember our garage robin?  I have attempted to immortalise him, without sound, apart from the swearing of the artist of course.  

There are currently four Robins in our garden.  Unusual as Robins are very territorial.  But given the weather they are all being very tolerant to each other.

So, no panic there, and none here now.  Stove simmering away, lovely smell of peat.  More snow forecast, one of four daughters arriving Monday, now should I start to panic...........

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Here, there and everywhere.

May I introduce you to the 'garage robin.'  

Whenever either of us goes out to the garage, to the bins, to the cars, this little chappie, or possibly chapess, is under your feet.  Literally.

Note the fixed stare from those beady eyes.

He/she has us well trained as - we open the garage door, take a handful of bird seed and -serve up.

So doing I then managed to enter the car, using a kettle of hot water to release the door, and was on my way,  the road was a challenge.

So, first stop was the shop where I had finally found a bra to fit.  I bought two in all the excitement of having one that fitted, especially as it was buy one and get a second half price.  Unfortunately the second one, that I didnt try on in the shop, turned out to have one of the shoulder straps sewed on so there was no way you could untwist it.  So much for quality control.  Why is it when you return something everything becomes complicated?  My debit card went back and forth and I am now convinced my bank account has been emptied.  And I was handed a credit note for - wait for it - 25p.  I did ask if they couldnt put 25p in the Seamens Mission Collection box, but no.

Across the road to the hairdressers.  I lost the fight about the fringe, and now have one, so cannot see any more.

Then on to collect the Redshanks framed.

And the prize winning cockerel mounted.  This has to be posted, so will have to be framed (or put in the bin) by the recipient.

The framer and I then went to Dalrymple Hall to collect some spotlights for me to use up at the Lighthouse Museum for future exhibitions.

After braving a very cross caretaker for walking salt and muck (put down in the car park to stop us all sliding into injury) into his newly mopped floors, we achieved retrieval of said lights.

I dropped the framer off back at his work shop and then took the box of lights to the lighthouse museum.  By which time it was past my lunchtime, but I managed.  Fear not.

Then in the afternoon twas my Art Group.  I had decided to experiment with my Christmas Gift of Inks and Nibs.

Look closely, above the tail and above the eye, see the smudge?  This was done by one of the so called experts within the group who thumbed it in and said, 

"Oh how exciting!  Your inks dont dry immediately!  You will have fun!"  

Well, yes, I will .  How many Oyster Catchers do you know with a smudge above their tail and eye.  That nothing will now remove, or cover......

At this point I felt I had been here, there and everywhere - and it was time to go home.