Monday, 29 May 2017

The (not so Grim) Reaper.

The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in Portsoy has been bringing more than 10,000 people to the tiny village for a weekend of activities and a celebration of the region’s heritage.
And this year, the popular event is scheduled to take place between June 24 and June 25.
Portsoy is just up the road from us.  I went for my walk this afternoon.  A sharp breeze.  But I espied this.  The Reaper is a must have at the Portsoy Boat Festival. And today she was heading out of Fraserburgh Harbour and as all the boats do they go right and then left if they are going up the coast.

Reaper is a Fifie Sailing Herring Drifter, the most popular design of fishing boat on the East Coast of Scotland for the greater part of the 19th and early 20th Centuries. 


Built by J & G Forbes at their yard at Sandhaven near Fraserburgh in 1902 for the Buchan family who lived in St. Combs, she began life as a two masted sailing lugger. With a length of 70' she was rigged with a dipping lug foresail and a standing lug mizzen.

There you go.  

This boat would have caught herring.  Thats what the North East thrived on, the herring fishing.  

I did get quite excited.  But that didnt make me walk very far.  It was humid.  I cannot win.  In the battle with COPD.  Struggling to breathe.  Tho the little legs go fast. I had a few stops to gain control of the breathing. If its too hot, if its too cold, if its too windy. B*****r.

But on stopping I get to enjoy the Gull Gang.

And a Jackdaw.

I think I can finally announce we have won the war on the rats.  Not a sign.

The Grim Reaper.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Bleurgh.

What a change in the weather.  Dark, cloudy, rain and 20+ mph winds.  No walk for me today.

The sun finally returned at 5.30p.m. and the wind eased.

Our gardener prefers to create than cut.  So after he had done a bit of strimming the edges he left the cutting of the grass to his sidekick while we had a discuss.

The bed which he is to turn into a raised bed has thriving Ground Elder or Bishops Weed it is called up here.


The only way to get rid of this invasive bstard is to keep at it.  But I cannot do that.  So everything is to be removed.  Then he will dig up as much as he can and then two lots of weed killer will be applied, which is against my religion.  He will then create a raised bed with sleepers to match what he has already done with my sloping path, rather than steps, as my access to the patio he also created. and the shedudio.

While this discussion and decision were going on the plants I want to keep burst forth.....


Oriental Poppy.  Masses of buds too.  



Two Peony plants also smothered in buds.



Now even after looking on Google I am unsure whether these are native bluebells or not. Jessica?  


The gardener will dig the plants up I want to keep and 'heel them in' elsewhere while he gets on with terminating the Bishops Weed.  I doubt we will see any buds bloom this year but have hopes for next year.  As the bed will be raised so I dont have to bend so much I should be able to remove any Bishops Weed which reappears as it surely will.  Despite all previous efforts to eradicate it.

Elsewhere everything is blooming.



I LOVE Alliums.  I planted a load of them all different sizes a few years back, when I could, but only these return each year.  Probably my fault as the larger ones I dried the heads which I still have in the house.


Red Hot Pokers hiding but oranging up nicely.


I planted these.  I think they are Lilies.  Obviously should have been split and put into a larger pot.  And there is an Iris to the right.  Really must get to grips with what I have.....

Bleurgh.  Onward and upward.  Well I can't get down physically or if I did cannot get back up!!

Saturday, 27 May 2017

The DP returns.

He is back.  Got me tea cooked tonight.  Steak and salad and a few chips.

Been hot again today.  Went to Tesco to buy him a celebratory bottle of wine.  And myself some pink trousers, cropped legged, as I continue to shrink in height.  

Went to the beach for my walk.  It was PACKED.  No disabled spaces.  But I managed to get the chariot out and did a short walk.  The heat and the breeze were not conducive for peeps like me.  
Felled by both the breeze and the heat ruled out the path of Doom.  


Chris Elliott the kids on the beach were all pre school during the week,  Although I understand we now are in Bank Holiday mode but the Scottish dont always have the same Holidays.



It was high tide.  The bits of beach not covered by sea water were covered by people.  So the Gull Gang were in the sea.  This lot of Gulls were in the sea by the rocks well away from the people.




I came home.  Threw open the doors and windows in the shedudio and painted.



The leaves now being painted, clingfilm applied, the results you can see on the top leaf.  While waiting for that to dry I began a painting of a baby robin.



Don't think he/she is too impressed.  We shall see.

Can anyone tell me why my text size alters without me doing anything???? 

Friday, 26 May 2017

Hot.

 We used to live in the Midlands.  Due to a promotion for DP.  I hated it.  Miles from the sea, built up housing.  But we survived.  When we moved up here I thought we would never be too hot again.  And now I am.  30 degrees.  Sheesh.  There was a breeze near the sea so it was bearable.  But the advice for COPD peeps is not to go outside.  Me being me I dont go with being told what to do or not to do.  So all we have today is a photo of a very large boat being piloted out of the harbour.  The Pilot boat is alongside.  The pilot will be on the boat steering and then the pilot boat comes along side and the pilot hops back on.  Well I think thats how it goes.


I managed to get as far as the Kessock Burn which is about half way to half way of the full walk.  The beach was packed with families.  Good.  

Back to the car.  For the second time the same couple were next to me and we again had a chat.  Which is nice as apart from the grunts from the check out operator at Asda this had been the only communication I had had with a human being all day.

I went to Asda as they do trousers/jeans in different lengths.  But I discovered that even the short ones were way too long.  What I will do next time is look at kids stuff,  Its cheaper and - well who knows.  I did buy a couple of tops being inspired by the weather, so I will probably never wear them.

Back home, down the shed, windows and doors wide open.  Experimenting with clingfilm on a peony leaf the gardeners arrived.  They are to do me a raised bed to the left of the shedudio. So discussion on what I want to save whilst they eradicate the Bishops Weed/Ground Elder.  I have two Peonys and an Ornamental Poppy.  And a Box.  The Welsh Poppies have not reappeared.  Nor quite a lot of stuff as it is smothered by the Ground Elder.  So they will rescue and then kill.

They then got on with the short back and sides.





Such a difference.  And shush, no sign of a rat.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Just me and the cat.

The DP is off visiting his sister in Oban.  He left at 5 a.m. not that he was in a rush to see his sister, he was up the Cairngorms getting ticks on his bird list.  Sith Cat obviously knows as he is curled up on the DP's side of the bed instead of where my feet would be were I still 5 feet 2 and am now 4 feet 10.😞

I walked more than the .59 as the beach was packed.  Given the weather not surprising. I had to park my car way up so as to still be able to get the chariot out.


The Golden Horn (beacon for entering the harbour when its dark) and the Gulls away from the many people on the beach.


Invasion of nursery children.


Suspicious eye on them?


Lovely to see this young chap just discovering ....


Back home it was down to the shedudio.  Windows flung open (well one had to be hammered open as it had been painted up...)  Both doors too.  Never known it so hot even though there was a breeze.

And I did some more painting to the 'fleer' painting begun yesterday.  Well here you go.  


This is why I love watercolour.  Hope you can tell this is a Peony.  I swear the paint did this all by itself.  Still a bit more to do.  But I have found this so much fun and way out of my comfort zone.  I want to apply this way of painting to the subjects I love, birds and beasts.  

But for now, just me and the cat off to bed.  Well me, he is already there.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Tired.

Woke up tired?  Bad dreams of being scanned and then being eaten by the scanner!

Hope that is just an odd day/night.  

Managed to get up, abluted, dressed and out for my Wednesday Art Group.  When I got in the car and started it up I sounded like a boy racer.  boom boom.

Off to Art Group.


The washing up liquid is to make bubbles you then drop it into your paint and - you get -bubbles.



Most of us were painting fleers. (Flowers.) (Fleers is Doric.) We had books written by Ann Blockley.  

Some of her ideas I found very exciting.  I have borrowed one of the books.  

One of our members is a professional artist and advised me to start with the background so I was flinging salt around and applying clingfilm and really enjoyed the session.  Totally forgot to photo my effort, but this was the beginning.


I am now desperate to get the shedudio finished and get down there and paint.....and experiment.  As a self taught artist I have developed my own style, but feel it has become stale.

But I had the exhaust to sort out first.  The DP followed me to the wonderful garage we go to which sorts out tyres and exhausts.  They are a local family firm.  As you pull in to their car park one off the lads (loons = Doric) is coming out to greet you.  Tells you how long a wait, how long it will take to fix.  You are welcome into their office and provided with coffee.  Now isnt that just wonderful?  As it was we decided the DP would take me down to the beach for me to walk while he shopped.  So I left the keys and off we went.


Weatherwise it was warm.  We are not used to warm up here and no wind we are not used to that either.


The Path of Doom.  I did it.  Hardly any rubbish.  I began to smile.



This Herring Gull made me smile even more, "Still cold in the North Sea." !


And this group including Herring and Lesser Black Backed Gull seemed to be working on a new dance routine.


This young Herring Gull was clearly saying, "This is my rock."  

My walk certainly helped my mental state.  I could forget the bad dreams.  I was smiling again.

The DP came and drove me back to the garage where the car was waiting, all done. £156 for 2 new bits of exhaust including labour.  Well.  

The day definitely got better.  




Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Grumpy Old Woman, well, not always.

The appointment at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary was 11.a.m.  This meant we had to be on the road by 9.30. a.m.  Its over 30 miles from here to Aberdeen, which doesnt sound much, but even without the road works for the new peripheral road or whatever it is called it takes a while.  Mainly single carriageway.  As there are many road works the normal 60 mph limit is down to 50.  Then you hit the reason for all the road works.  The appalling road system in and around Aberdeen, including the infamous Haudagain roundabout.


Which one has to circumnavigate to the road which eventually leads to another roundabout, second left and turn right to the huge hospital complex.  I hated the whole journey.  As you get into the built up area you can taste the car fumes.  Not good for lungs.

The staff from car park attendant, receptionist, radiologist were fantastic.  

None of this Elf and safety as the radiologist said "We aren't supposed to touch you, but once that door is shut, who is to know."  She helped me on - and off the bed.


This pic is from the internet.  My machine came up from the bottom of the bed, was lower but did the same thing.  Having to lay flat on a hard surface was the start of the discomfort.  (Chris Elliot I have had many a time my breasts have been squashed for the breast screening, far prefer that to this with fractured spine and compressed vertebrae!)  Some of the positions I had to put my legs into made it worse.  So this next one - and it was the last - was bliss...


I have lost another inch in height.  As the DP said, "When do you expect to disappear?"

But he did make my day as when I asked "Do I look as old as the other women in the waiting room?"  He replied, "Not at all." 

Should say that when I returned to the waiting room, me being me, announced, " Well that was awful."  

Then swiftly realising not everyone appreciates my sense of humour I said, "Not really!!"

4 weeks for the results to my gp.  Should be 2 but the consultant is on holiday.  And well deserved I am sure.

I had thought we would have lunch at a Macdonalds.  I so love the gherkin.  But was relieved when the DP said "Lets go home."

Such terrible news, every half hour on the radio as opposed to hourly.

So after an hour on the bed trying to relax the discomfort in my back I went, with the aid of the chariot, for a tootle round the garden.



Two Clematis, think they are both Montana?




We have one Laburnam, I know it has bad press, but I love it.  I once saw an avenue of these and wished I could have such an avenue.  But I just have this between the Ornamental Cherries by the Shedudio.

We have two Lilac trees.  Now blooming.  Really in need of some drastic cutting back. 



And look!  The plug plants are thriving.  Not one got by slugs.  Yay.

Becky Carrier
13 hrs
I'll tell you what Muslim's did in Manchester last night, they got in their cabs turned off the meters and drove people home safely out of the goodness of their hearts because muslims are good people, terrorists on the other hand are something else and the 2 should not be confused.
And I leave you with this. 

Monday, 22 May 2017

Ariadne and I.

More of the same today as yesterday.

The DP went to get his hearing aids this morning.  I am hoping he now hears what I say, though I expect his hearing will be more selective.  We met for lunch which was a nice change.  I had a Brie and Bacon toastie with salad instead of my usual 2 Ryvitas.  We went as always, to the Dunes Coffee Shop.


Which was busier than this picture.  A good test for the hearing aids and they passed.

He went off to do the shopping, which he normally does Monday morning.  I went off to do my walk.  Which again was a short one.


Not a bad day (though it is hissing down now - which is good as I dont have to worry about not watering the 60 plug plants.)


This Linnet was having a bath in the burn feeding into the sea.  Lovely.

Home again, home again jiggety jig and more dust busting.  All surfaces now done.  

Ariadne at the Waters Edge has been placed to welcome guests to the shedudio....


She was a purchase we made many years ago from Gardeners World exhibition at Birmingham NEC.  She was an indoor water feature when we had a larger house.  But no longer does she have water coming out of her ears and cascading down her boobies. Which might be better all round really....

Tomorrow we go to Aberdeen.  To the main hospital.  Nightmare.  I am to have a bone density scan so have been frantically looking through my clothes to find a pair of trousers that are not jeans which are disallowed, metal studs and so forth, zips are allowed phew.  Hopefully I will be allowed to keep my clothes on as promised.  I havent worn a bra since my ribs got damaged last year so thats ok.  Ariadne and I have something in common.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

The Spirit is willing

But oh dear the flesh is weak.

Started off ok the day did.  The DP was off all day with the the Herpetologists somewhere North West of us.

I managed a bath rather than washing parts of the body stood up at the sink.  Or is that too much information?  I have to sit on a  shelf over the bath for the full works and that is all the information.  I hate it.  Also washed my hair.  I then had to sit for a while regain breath and hope the back pain would go away.

After lunch I went for the walk.  A beautiful day although a bit too much wind for my liking.





Jet skiers, happy families and Skurries.  

I have come to the conclusion I do not like walking on a Sunday.  Grumpy old woman I guess.  

Its too busy, no solitude for ones transcendental thoughts.  Not that I have that many.  But there is no chance on a Sunday.

I park in the disabled spaces, I have a blue badge, this enables me to get the chariot out of the car which is behind the passenger seat as I need the space so to do.  I also have to put it back.  Which usually causes the pink horn to squeak in protest.  So when I then stagger back round to the drivers seat and the woman in the passenger seat of the car parked alongside winds her window down and says, "Do you mind if I ask you a question?"  I expect the question to be "What is wrong with you?"  Or "How did you get the blue badge?" or  "Why do you have a pink horn and streamers on your walker?" 

Not "Did you used to be a teacher?"

Well, no.  Do I look like a teacher?  I have had many years working with children, but never a teacher.  Still stumped on that one.

Anyway back home and time to attack the dust.  The joiner did say he had vacuumed.  Still havent worked out where.  There was about a three inch square that didnt have dust on.



This and a fine green coating from the mdf is on every surface.


Second coat of undercoat now ready for top coat.  And an electric socket working but I cant put furniture back to hold stuff that needs an electric supply and would reach this socket, as everything has to come out for the new floor to be laid.

The plug sockets were left hanging as the joiner had 'forgotten' to get longer screws to put them back.  The DP has managed to re-affix some.  Having scoured the countryside for longer screws....



So I have the kettle, the radio and the phone into an extension lead effort.  I need the kettle to heat the water to wet the cloth to wipe off the dust.  I have cold water in the shedudio not hot.



My work station now dust free.



As is my storage unit.



And one of the two tea trolleys I use for my art materials.

Still lots to do.  

But on the upside the birds were singing.  Feeding young.  And with no sight of Mr Samuel Whiskers for a few days now I hope to have the bird feeders put up again outside the shedudio.  When I go down there I am followed by the birds, and feel awful that I am not feeding them down there.

Tomorrow is another day.  And as the flesh appears to have survived the physical activities of the day, including a rewarding glass or two of the red stuff, I may be able to provide.  And completely eradicate the green dust.