Thursday 31 May 2012

Another busy day - but wearing a different hat.

First thing I was back at the Lighthouse Museum.  Taking down our art works from the walls of the cafe, and then displaying the art work of Isobel Gregory.  A free cup of coffee and testing out some home bakes meant I stayed longer than I should!  (and I was the only artist who had sold a painting).  Yay.

Then it was a change of hats and I metamorphosed into the secretary of the Best Of Banffshire and Buchan Bed and Breakfasts.  (As explained previously although I have retired from being a b&b provider I am still kept on as Hon Sec.) (cos no-one else wants to do it.)

I had arranged for us to visit....Aden Country Park, have lunch in the cafe , then have the Book of Deer Exhibition opened up for us (usually open only at weekends.)

Aden, often referred to as “the jewel in the Buchan crown” has been recognised as one of the country’s best green spaces with a prestigious Green Flag Award. The awards recognise and reward the best parks in the country and Aden impressed the judges with its excellent use of green space, well-maintained facilities and high standard of safety and security.  Late August it also hosts the Pipe Band Competition.  That is when I have my annual spine melt down.  Massed Pipe Bands.  Better than s*x.

Situated in the heart of the park lies a semi-circular farmstead building built around 1800 and a coach house built in 1832. This now houses the award winning Aberdeenshire Farming Museum, containing a Recognised Collection of National Significance awarded by the Scottish Museums Council (SMC).

There is also a Working Farm Musem, everything as done in the 1950s.

It also houses the Book of Deer Project, and exhibition, which was opened up for us today.

The Book of Deer is a tenth century illuminated manuscript from North East Scotland. As the only pre-Norman manuscript from this area known as “former Pictland” it provides us with a unique insight into the early church, culture and society of this period. Amid the Latin text and the Celtic illuminations there can be found the oldest pieces of Gaelic writing to have survived from early Medieval Scotland.

Dont you just love the last one!  Could this be a happy woman!  Or one like me - too much of the mead.

The original manuscript has a chequered history ( lots of kings and archbishops) (werent they always the baddies) of who owned it down the ages, it is currently in Cambridge University.  If you want to know why a Scottish manuscript is in Cambridge University, I suggest you go on to the website,

What I wasnt expecting, (its good to have friends!) was Derek, a local historian, giving us a tour, explaining the archaeologistic work going on, previous, current and future to establish where the monks that produced the Book of Deer lived.  Derek was dressed as a monk.  I hadnt realised this and when he moved I screamed as I thought he was a carboard cut out, which does actually stand in the doorway.

Derek then walked those who could (some of us drove there, it wasn't  far, but we have hip replacements, knee replacements and me with shot lungs). to the village of Old Deer, this is one amazing ancient village.  And to the Church of Scotland there where there the really interesting bits of buildings which indicate the church is far older than once thought.  In fact pre dating the existence of the Church of Scotland.

So many spooky memorials and grave stones.  Note the skull here, and as someone said , "Is that Yorick?"  and there was only me who said, "I knew him well."  Did they do Shakespeare in Scotland?

And this is a finger sun dial.

Now is not that just awesome?  Stick your finger in the hole and it will tell you what time it is.  Three minutes past your thumb.

Sometimes, dear bloggers, what you have organised for others comes right.  Big sigh of relief and go get a glass of....

Wednesday 30 May 2012

Finishing off Tuesday - and me!

Yesterday lunchtime some of us adjourned to the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses for lunch.
This enabled us to catch up with the ones who were in schools in the morning.

Also under discussion was our Discover Art exhibition which will be in the cafe, August - September.  I am doing the publicity along with the manager of the Museum.

This will be a variety of art and craft fitted into a cd case.

In July the volunteers will be providing activity mornings (Scotland's schools are closed in July.)  We have done these before and the new manager is keen to do them again.  Fortunately the tons of craft material are still there, and are stored in one of the ex -lighthouse keepers cottages.

(On Monday 4th June the main lighthouse will be lit from 10p.m. to midnight.  And a beacon will be lit.  All to do with the Diamond Jubilee.  )

Later in the afternoon with a few additions we met again at Cafe Connect.  This time to discuss the Broch Artists Exhibition at the end of June.  Again, I am doing publicity and labels and explanatory notes.

By the end of the day I was pooped.

This morning, my art class, this afternoon collapsed down the shed.

Even more tomorrow.

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Doric- I learnt a new word!

Een.  = One.  That een is a deer.

You eens is you ones.  As in "Ye eens can choose."  The vowels are completely altered.

Here  is a tale I heard today.

A loon (young man) gets on a bus and asks the driver, "Is your wifie's eye okay?"
The driver replies, "I dinna ken."  (I don't know.)

An English woman on the bus hears this exchange and is horrified that the driver does not know if his wife's eye is okay.

What the young man was actually asking was 

"Is the Wi fi okay."  

(Most of our buses up here in the North East of Scotland have free Wi fi connection.)  

So eye = aye (good).  Really confusing!

Imagine this dear friends.  Tuesday is my really busy day when I have coffee in the Cafe Connect in the morning.  This is when we catch up on the Fraserburgh School Cluster Enterprise in Education.  (There is a facebook page I set up for this.)

Just look at the kids concentration.

Our Knitting Nancies go into the schools and share their skills with the children.

The enterprise is to design flooring, benches, waste bins, art, et al for the new Swimming Pool hopefully fully constructed later this year.

Artists impression of.

A 'real' artist has designed a work of art to hang in the entrance hall.

Carn Standing working on his Angel which will hang in the Entrance, he designed this after much research and feed back from the 'Passionate, generous and caring people of the Broch.'

We do, actually, all speak the same language.

Sunday 27 May 2012

Banff and Macduff Coast Festival.

This morning the DP and I set off to Banff for the Coast Festival.  Run totally by volunteers this is an amazing success story which can only get better in that more people will visit this North East Corner and enjoy what we have to offer.

This Georgian mansion was built on the site of an ancient castle.  If you want to know more google it.  Not here today for a history lesson, tho I may do it in the future as it is interesting.

The flags are all made by local voluntary groups, such as Brownies and Scouts etc.

The view from the grassy bit you can see above, over the bay looking towards Macduff.

Now where other than the Med would you see beaches like that and seas that colour?

This is a paper kiln.  Inside which are various pottery bits and pieces.  We saw one opened up earlier with some beautiful pots and bits.  So it works.

The sheeps skull is to appease the Pagan Gods who have to be appeased when one tries to make pots from clay/sand - and paper as it turns out.

The massed flags.

A wee Pagan.

My main reason for being there was to see the Art work.  The one below is by my art teacher Louise M Hewitt.

Unfortunately she hasnt updated her web site.  

Her exhibition today was from work done on prisms from the lights in the Scottish Lighthouse Museum and just blew me away.  So the picture above is not quite the spectrum of light she has now achieved, but gives you an inkling.  Although it is sunrise and sunsets.

We went upstairs and viewed the Banff Art Club exhibition and I was very pleased when the DP muttered "Well yours are better than any of them."  (and they were priced at £60 upwards.)

We came home via Macduff,( in fact there isn't any other way), and stopped off at the Town Hall.  Now this was art.  I had to be dragged out kicking and screaming to stop me spending money we dont have on the most fantastic bowl.

This is by the same artist.  Maralyn Reed-Wood.

But the one I wanted to buy was a wicker sort of edging with greeny fish , oh how I wish I had taken a picture.

And bought it.

There was lots more happening - for children, for singers, for well you name it.  

But the DP and I came home and he cut some grass and I did some drawing.

But we will be back next year.

Saturday 26 May 2012

Sunshine again! No shorts!

Loch Muick again folks.  Amazing all these empty properties.

But then, they all belong to the Queen, so perhaps they get filled up when she is visiting, or Charles and Camilla and all the Security Service.  And then there is always William and Kate.

Meanwhile back in my 'second home' the DP decided to trim the hedges, I thought for a panic stricken minute it was going to be my neck or my hair.  But he was just collecting his gardening gloves.

I spent the morning - 9a.m. it was in the seventies - painting more chairs, and the bits of table and chair I missed previously.  Only three chairs to go now.  Hope to finish before the rain forecast for Wednesday, tho I have a busy week in front of me.

Also managed a bit of weeding, apologies for no picture, do you want to watch paint dry or Ground Elder be removed, I think not.

Then came the fun part of the day.  Common Tern.  Just waiting for a bit of gouache on his beak.

Halfway through the day I got the scissors and chopped off the legs of my jeans.  What a relief.  I now have shorts and its still sunny.

Friday 25 May 2012

Sunset. And who knows about tomorrow?!

Last night's sunset.   From our Dining Room Window.  Wowee.

At sunrise, the Dawn Patroller went off to .....

Loch Muick is a 2-mile long freshwater loch in AberdeenshireScotland. It is fed from the west by the Allt an dubh Loch, which flows down from Dubh Loch. The outflow is the source of the River Muick. A hiking path around the loch exists and is accessible from a carpark at Spittal of Glen Muick, at the northeastern end of the loch. Many old beech trees can be found around the edge of the loch - remnants of a beech forest that once covered the area.
A wide variety of bird and animal life can be found around the Loch including red squirrelred deer and oyster catchers.
The Loch sits within the boundary of the Balmoral estate and the royal bothy Glas-allt Shiel which was built by Queen Victoria sits on its banks. The house sits in a small pine plantation and can be accessed via the footpath that runs around the Lochs perimeter.

Black Grouse having a set to.

Red Deer having a bath.

A Yellow Wagtail.

What a wonderful place we live in.  

I cannot walk very far, so the DP brings me back these pictures.  
But sitting in my very own garden I have seen as many wild birds, including today, a Merlin snatching a bit of lunch off the top of the honeysuckle arch.  

Listened to the songs of the Blackbird, and Greenfinch.  (I didnt know Greenfinch could sing so beautifully,as they usually make daft whistling noises.)  

Then I noticed the Rowan baby tree was flowering.  Underneath is our Puzzle Cat, so he has done some good then hasnt he?!

'Work' today was painting more of the outdoor table and chairs.  But I did do a bit more of the more finer painting on this Common Tern I am attempting.    

Enough now.

A pleasant, warm and sunny weekend to all.  

Wednesday 23 May 2012

I took my vest off.

Yes - it is finally Summer. How long it lasts - well.

The DP was out on patrol at 6a.m. and saw this wee Bunny in its hole, so cute.  Well, yes, I can say that as it is not in my garden, but up the defunct railway line.  Formartine and Buchan Railway line.  

He had been told to watch out for large holes along the railway line which would have indicated Badgers, but this is what he saw.  The only Badgers we have seen so far have been dead ones at the side of the road.  Bad.

And a Roe Buck.

Back at the ranch, we both spent most of the day in the garden.  

Here, in the North East of Scotland, you take no notice of any weather report/forecast.  If its sunny, little wind, and warm you get out there.  And stay out there.

Like a whirling dervish I sorted out all me pots, re-potted, replanted, watered, (now how often do you need to do that up here!)

Sith watched on in amazement.

Not very clear but there is a Buddha below, at the base of the tree.  And a weeded bed.  Now cleared and seeded with bee loving annuals.

Our new spinney of silver beeches are all planted, staked and watered.  (and approved by neighbours over the road).  We just do not really want to see their house.  

Crops!  Lilac cut and into the house.  Scent heavenly.

So, even if we just had the one day, I took my vest off in 2012.  But I still have me socks on.