Tuesday, 21 November 2017

I am British therefore I will speak of the weather..

There are other things to talk about.  I wonder what it is that makes us Brits talk about the weather?

Sith is much better.  We have noticed that after having one of these jabs makes his appetite increase.  It is not that long ago, well some years, when the vet considered him overweight.  He is now normal.  And spoilt.  He goes so long with a particular brand of cat food then refuses it, so we buy something else, he woofs that down and then turns his nose up and so it goes on.  I am sure fellow cat owners have been there.

Sith being naughty.  And normal.  This pic also gives you a better idea as to how large he actually is.

Right lets get the weather over with.  It has rained.  All day.  Everywhere is soggy.  Our neighbour across the park (field) has been using his 4x4 to dig ditches down the side of his drive, down to the road and then let that be flooded, but it is on a slope there and presumably slopes off to the burn (stream.)

Soggy ground and birds.

This drip, drip, drip always makes me think of Dickens Bleak House. (Just read the first few words.)

As it got gloomier and gloomier I switched on the daylight lamp.  So glad I got this.  

I am using pen and ink here which is my second love to watercolour.  But you do need to be able to see what you are doing.  Quite pleased with the drawing, you cant rub out pen.

When I had got as far as I could or wanted to I looked up and out.  Bum.  Our lights that come on as you move i.e. wave your arms around, bulbs had not been replaced.  It was dark.

And it was quite dark.  Think I need to get one of these......

Monday, 20 November 2017


Sith.  Or to give him is full name Cait Sith.  Gaelic for Fairy Cat.  Which when we got him from Cat Protection he was a wee fairy flying around.  As he grew and grew we forgot the fairy bit and he became Sith cat.

Some years ago the DP and I were at Aberdeen Uni Zoology department for a talk from the RSPB and saw there a stuffed cat in a glass box.

We both said "Thats Sith!"

The Kellas cat is a small black feline found in Scotland, and is an intraspecific hybrid between the Scottish wildcat (Felis silvestris grampia) and the Domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus). Once thought to be a mythological wild cat, with its few sightings dismissed as hoaxes, a specimen was killed by being caught in a snare in 1984 by a gamekeeper named Ronnie Douglas[1][2] and found to be a hybrid between wild and domestic subspecies of Felis silvestris.  Wikepedia.

Sith will probably be our last cat.  He is 15 now.  We have had cats that have lived longer than that.  Every so often he has sneezing and coughing sessions.  Usually in the middle of the night on the bottom of our bed.... We now take him to the vet as soon as we hear that as leaving it it only gets worse.  He gets a jab of antibiotics and is fine for a couple of months.  He always gets a full check up and obviously if he were younger there would be more tests, today they found touching his throat caused him to cough, so there could be something else.  But he eats, drinks and the other and apart from being totally neurotic and an old man set in his ways and not liking changes in the normal household routine he is fine.  He indicates his displeasure at the upset in routine by being particularly whiny which is most annoying but we forgive him.  The vet and us have agreed to leave him be.

Tonight the DP is out and I had to persuade him to sit on the DPs chair in the sitting room on top of the blanket that the DP normally puts on his knee to prevent the pain from the needling from Sith's claws and he SHUT UP and settled.

Well today I had intended to walk.  I drove down to the Prom.  The wind had dropped and the rain was forecast to lessen.  The latter did not.

So I came home.  And then the rain did stop. Ha. 

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Sundays may have to be cancelled.

I thought I had solved the nausea engendered by the weekly Alendronic Acid Tablet.  This is to stop my bones crumbling. The tablet has to be taken before eating anything - with lots of water - and remaining upright.  I had re read the instructions and the other one to stop bones crumbling which I take twice a day had to be taken after 4 hours of the other one, so after lunch, within 1 and a half hours of food, rather than breakfast.  With me so far.  So last week I followed the instructions implicitly.  And was fine.  This week I did the same and have felt nauseous the whole day.  Which is a listed side effect.  I give up.  Will have a word with pharmacist.

I did not therefore go for a walk.  

Slumped down the shedudio and watched the garden birds.  And a wee bit of painting.

Jackdaws are not usually alone.  This one has a diseased foot.  He stays in our garden.  On his own.  He has now taken to joining in with the masses of sparrows who ground feed outside the shedudio.  Who are not too happy about it.  

It is important to keep your bird feeders clean as such disease can be picked up from them.  In this case the DP thinks he needs to clear up and somehow clean what does drop to the ground from the hanging feeders.

It is feeding.  And can fly.

Very blurred, its a pinkish growth.  

It has taken up residence on one of our fence hanging trough planters.  Looks bright enough.  Not sure what the prognosis is.

Our other larger bird visiting is the Great Spotted Woodpeckers, this is a smart young male now with his adult plumage.  The red on the nape indicates he is male.

The weather was much improved today the wind lessened, the sun was out but now bitterly cold.  I hope to be nausea free tomorrow and get down to the Prom.  

I finally succumbed to Facebooks pleas for me to pay £4 to 'boost your post'.  I await the vast amount of people viewing and desperate to buy my paintings but not holding my breath.

I also missed my first meeting of the local Labour Party which I have rejoined now I know Blair is gone and we have a crew who are not pseudo Tories. 

It's exciting int it!

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Ah - the Weather.

I check the weather forecast a number of times during the day.  Its Met check.  I do look as it changes.  And it is not always right.  But today with the forecast for 30 mph plus winds it was right.  Although it neglected to mention the rain.  It didnt matter to me as no way was I going out for a walk at anything over 20 mph, let alone 30 ++

The DP went out to buy the paper at Cairnbulg this morning.    The wreck of the Sovereign,
and the wee harbour were being swamped.

Down the shedudio in the afternoon.

Bird watching.

Masses of birds on the ground, the wind was moving the feeders around so the seed was

Inside was cosy, but that meant the windows began to steam up!

I gave up and came back into the house and opened the wine.

Better tomorrow.

Friday, 17 November 2017


We were all geared up for a visitation today.  Our eldest daughter , the Doctor of Sociology, publisher of book, global conference speaker, and her tribe of boys and her partner to arrive for the weekend.

Sadly the youngest has a snotty nose.

He is fine.  But if he came here with a snotty nose I would not be.  Ah the down sides of having COPD.  Bum.

So we had a very large joint of beef this evening and there is a mountain of cheese in the fridge, lots of wine, not a problem, and swathes of vegetarian meals...... So we will survive a  famine.

Our Joiner came this morning and altho not yet sent in his quote for replacing the fence said it wouldnt be much.  Whether his much is the same as my much remains to be seen.  He can also do it fairly soon as he hasnt got much on at the moment.  So all good.  So far....

After lunch I went to the Prom.

Masses of Oystercatchers.  And others, Skurries, Blackheaded, juvenile Great Black Backed.

These photos were taken after 1 p.m.  just see how low the sun was from the shadows.


Surfers, of course, waiting for surf...

Sun warming, snoozing.

Then along comes one man and his dog.

Disappointed why one man and his dog cannot leave well alone.

Back home.

Down to the shedudio and more on the Gannet preening.  Realising that right eye is really in need of cataract operation.  Waiting list - thanks to government forget it.


Thursday, 16 November 2017

Be positive.

A better day.  You just have to gird up yer loins.  

Joiner coming tomorrow to quote for fence replacement.  Either our savings account or insurance will pay for it.   But it has to be done.  We will then have reflective painted chevrons (or scary faces) painted onto the fence.  Then wait and see.  No idea how much cctv costs which has been suggested.  But what if you can't see the number plate or the vehicle has no identifiable features?? Hmmm.

Domestic matters.  Some time ago we were gifted a wine rack. So we had the t.v removed from the kitchen, on your right. And the wine rack then hung where the t.v. had been.  Now this house has a built in wine rack in the kitchen.

To the left of the fridge freezer by the door.

It also has two wine fridge efforts either side of the unit in the dining room.  Silvery coloured glass fronted efforts.

And to be honest wine doesnt stay long in any of the wine racks.

So we removed the state of the art wine rack and replaced it with this.

One of the DPs photos put on canvas.  Which covered the hole where the plug had been and the holes left when the t.v. was removed from the wall.

Which goes with other painting and photo in the kitchen depicting food of some sort. This is a kitchen = food prep.

Oil still life by my framer Doug Irvine.

The DP'S photo of a lobster, ready for cooking, we were once given.

May need to readjust the heights of hanging!

I didnt walk today as the wind was so strong.  Plus at 3 p.m. I had the Mobile Foot Health Care .  Always been averse to anyone touching my feet.  But this was a breeze.

Very professional, hygienic, thorough.  Amazing.  Far better than the DP worrying he was about to amputate a toe.  Apart from the diagnosis as to athletes foot and fungal nail treatment required - fine.

So I am now feeling really positive. Yay.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Struggle day .

But then one tries to be positive.  Awful feeling that one of my ribs may have crumbled. Or cracked.

Mental state not helped by the DP having gone to feed birds, checked rat poison, been to shedudio moving my paintings down there and never noticed the fence damage, therefore it had to have happened mid  morning in broad daylight.  When I was in the house, with the radio on and not in the kitchen where I might have witnessed who did it....

To bring you all back up to speed.  We had a Leylandii hedge there which was there for 20 years without any damage.  It was then damaged on a number of occasions which eventually killed this part of it.  So an insurance claim went in and we got a replacement fence.

This was then ploughed into and we removed the damaged bits, and strung up fairy lights.  Our plight was even in the local paper.

Some of the latest damaged bits are flung into the garden.

We have decided we have to replace the fence.  Otherwise we will have a vehicle in the garden damaging the lawn, the trees, killing the cat or me on my way to the shedudio.  I am soooooooooo upset by this.

Hey ho.  Apart from that - beautiful weather again today.  Although the 20 plus mph winds return tomorrow.

Kessock Burn going into the sea, thats where the Gulls gather for wash and brush up, feather sorting etc.

Great Black Backed Gull.


Great Black Backed having a stretch.

Back home.

Shedudio is now housing most of my paintings.  Hung or displayed - safely.

And - tada - I now have my daylight bulb lamp so I do not have to pack in drawing or painting at 3 p.m.

So the end of a struggle day.  Half the solar lights are still working on the perimeter fence.  So taking my cue from them I will battle on.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017


A real change in the weather.  Sun, no wind, well not a lot, and a tad warmer.

My walk. On the Prom is quite a lot shorter than I would wish for.  The cold air restricts my breathing.  So I tire quickly.  Today I went a bit further as it was so pleasant.  Tomorrow promises the same so I would like to do the .59.  

However today I had the pleasant experience of engaging in conversation with a woman I see almost every day.  She plods to a bench on the esplanade and gazes out onto the sea.  Today she called me over and asked me why I had the chariot so I explained.  She then went on to say how much she had enjoyed last nights 80s thing put on by Children in Need. Had I seen it?  No.  And how she liked  Aha a Norwegian group who were on last night from Norway.  She had attended concerts in the 8os including two trips to Norway.  This woman and I have passed each other every day almost for a long time then suddenly today she stops me and asks questions which I answer.  And then chats away.  Amazing.  To connect.  I have always respected her fixed gaze out to sea.  If she looked at me, rarely, I beamed.  Must have registered.

On my way back to the car this Rook flew up onto the railing.  I got very close and he carried on posing.

May well be immortalised in a painting!

And these three Redshanks dont you just love 'em, well I do.

Back home and down the shedudio still reorganising and hanging paintings. 

I had intended to group all the sea birds but then thought just get them up.  Then tweak.

So a bit of a mis match, but they are up and far safer than strewn around.  And there are more on the drawing board.