Sunday 30 December 2012

Visitors and visiting.

Long Tailed Duck, visiting from Norway.  Looks to me as if he has already celebrated New Year, is that the make up or the camera darling?

This is a whole host of Red Shanks perched on Cairnbulg Harbour wall.  Usually you see the odd one pootling about by the shore line, so to see this lot has inspired me and got the artitistic juices flowing, I feel a 'wet' redshank painting coming on.  That mass of orange legs and beaks and all that soft feathering in between, Oooooo.

 Sandhaven Harbour.

A lot of the smaller boats are pulled up onto the shore, or the sides of the harbour, or however they remove them from the sea.  Obviously bigger boats need a crane, I do know that much.  They need to come out for safety, once the wind gets up, they bash about quite a lot. Presumably also to paint their bottoms and scrape the limpets off, you can tell I know little of the housekeeping here.

This one does look very smart does it not.

As does this duck.  This is no ordinary duck.  The Dawn Patroller has been shooting off out, camera and binoculars and telescope at the ready at the mention of this duck being seen and had, until now, failed to spot it in amongst all the others.  The others being Eider Ducks.

This is a KING Eider duck.  

 Also from Norway.

The one below is just a common Eider Duck, common as we have loads of them here, but the above does cause a buzz amongst the twitchers.

Though I think they are both beautiful, and the latter always reminds me of a Matador.

So what or who have you been visiting?  Cos I dot know about you, but I am totally bored, with this huge gap between the big C and New Year, stir crazy!

Saturday 29 December 2012

New Year - lets have a laugh.

Mark Twain.
New Year's is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls and humbug resolutions.

Bill Vaughan
Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you're forced to.

Mark Twain
New Year's Day now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.

I think I would have got on very well with Mark Twain.

Bear the last one in mind and we will all be fine.

Friday 28 December 2012

History in more ways than one.

Fraserburgh has had a local lifeboat on service since 1806 which was run privately by the local Harbour Board until the first RNLI operated station opened in 1858. This was the first official RNLI station opened in Scotland. Throughout the 20th century, Fraserburgh suffered three lifeboat disasters. First, in 1918, the 'Lady Rothes' capsized while assisting H.M. Drifter Eminent. Coxswain Andrew Noble and Acting Second Coxswain Andrew Faquhar drowned. Second, on the 9th February 1953, six crew members lost their lives when the lifeboat capsized while escorting fishing vessels to the harbour. On this occasion Coxswain Andrew Ritchie, Mechanic George Duthie, Bowman Charles Tait, Assistant Mechanic James Noble and Crew Members John Crawford and John Buchan all lost their lives - the only survivor was Charles Tait. Lastly, on 21 January 1970 while on service to the Danish fishing vessel Opal, the lifeboat The Duchess of Kent capsized with the loss of five of her crew of six. Those killed were Coxswain John Stephen, Mechanic Frederick Kirkness and Crew Members William Hadden, James RS Buchan and James Buchan.[6] In 2009, a local campaign was started to raise £40,000 to erect an official monument to the 14 men who lost their lives whilst serving on the Fraserburgh Lifeboat. Coxswain Victor Sutherland announced in June 2010 that the total had been achieved. The monument was unveiled by Flora Fraser, 21st Lady Saltoun, in August 2010.

Heres the monument.

Jane Whyte - Our own local Grace Darling

Jane Whyte lived in a cottage at Waulkmill, on the shore of New Aberdour bay with her husband and 9 children. On the morning of the 28th of October 1884, she spotted the wreck of the steamer "William Hope" of Dundee. Its engines had failed during a storm and it had been driven aground on the rocks during the night. It was now mostly submerged, sitting on the rocks.
Jane could see 15 sailors were clinging to the rigging. A rope was thrown by the sailors towards the shore. Jane waded out through the raging surf to reach the rope and bring it ashore. All 15 survivors then pulled themselves to the shore and safety.
She was awarded the silver medal by the RLNI and £10. ( equivelent to 3 months pay for a top rate labourer ).
Not much now remains of her cottage. A plaque there commemorates this daring feat of heroism.

Nine children?  She was probably escaping.  I frequently did and I only had four.


Aberdour Beach. Twenty minutes away.Spooky caves.
Severe weather warnings, I hear on the radio that lorries are blown over and the road bridges are either restricted or closed. We have blue skies, gentle breeze, and its 4 degrees. So a bit chilly out there, definitely a hibernating day, but beautiful to look out on!
Hundreds of geese going over the house to their feeding fields.
Our garden feeders are emptying rapidly with greenfinches, tree sparrows, blue and great tits, chaffinches, a robin, starlings, crows. Feeding them costs more than the t.v. licence, but they are far more interesting to watch than the rubbish on the 'box.'

Now heres a turn up!  Googling Aberdour Beach so as to appear very knowledgeable I came across my first ever blog!  Greenbrae Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast.  

Theres chunks of my life on Google!!!!  Really must be more careful.

Back to today.  Calm down.  

I have been asked to paint a friends house.  No not the big bucket, and big brush, in this weather?

The outside of the house has harl on it (like pebbledash) and I had the idea of using salt in the paint to give the effect.  When I read up on this it did warn about the salt exploding.  Exploding?  What damage could exploding salt do?

Well it makes it look mouldy!

Some people think history is mouldy, but I dont.  Away off to read what I got up to in 2008.

Thursday 27 December 2012

Thinking big.

I have managed to get down to the shed/art studio/opera theatre/drinking den most days.  Even though some days I had about half an hour of daylight.  Which I need for my art work as I do not like electric light.  But then, you do not need daylight to enjoy the rest of the uses I put the shed to!

I have managed to do quite a bit of painting including the one I framed for the DP using a frame recycled from a charity shop.

This has to be the biggest painting I have ever done.  They may look like patchwork elephants to you, (they do to me too.)  I really enjoyed painting them, slapping it on and more and more.  I have to thank Jake Winkle who is the artist who has inspired me.

Today I finished ,

I finally got the flock together.  Problem is I broke the only large frame I had left.  Is it worth having it done properly?

Not sure what Minerva thinks.

Big mice.

Wednesday 26 December 2012

Boxing Day Madness.

Even the weather went mad.  It was not raining.  It was not windy.  Bright sunshine, but very, very cold.

To raise money for our wonderful lightboat, the"Willie and May Gall",  some foolhardy, nay brave, souls leapt off said lifeboat and swam across the harbour.

Here goes FC.  I should point out that if the surf is right, no matter the temperature, the surfers are out in force on the beach, but they have wet suits.....

The Christmas Fairy?

A cold Christmas Fairy.  70 years old.  Same age as our Christmas Fairy!

This is the 15th life boat from Fraserburgh since 1806 when the first lifeboat in the country was launched at Fraserburgh.

There have been many tragedies over the years.  Some boats were self righting, some were not.  Until 1915 oars and sail powered the boats. 13 lifeboatmen have lost their lives over the years.
Even today the lifeboat is crewed by volunteers.  And not just men.

Thats it folks, Happy Boxing Day.

Tuesday 25 December 2012


There being a short interlude in between the Queens Speech and the next attack on my digestive system, whats a girl/Mum/Grandma to do?  So here I am, listening to one of my presents, "We'll Meet Again." ( No I was not born til after the war, but I have a Mother who has never moved on from then,  but  what is a tad worrying is that I know all the words) and blogging.

Christmas Eve.

The DP excelled himself.  The above are the canapes he made.  Arent those penguins too cute to eat?  Black olives, cream cheese, and carrots.

I was allowed to set the table.  In the bowl garlic bread to go with the Salmon Rillette starter.  (If you want to know what this looks like, you will have to internet it, as it lasted about 5 seconds)

Glasses for the champagne, to go with the canapes, (reminder to self to check the bank account.)

Main course was venison en croute.  (get back to the internet, I was holding a knife and fork not a camera.)

Pudding ( are you serious?)   Chocolate cake, mince pies, and below, remainder of the Christmas Cheesecake.

No more, no, no, no.

Breaking with tradition, and because there's just the two of us today, (and to digest what has gone before), we are eating this evening not lunchtime.  I just might be ever so slightly hungry by then.

On a more sombre note.  I hope and pray that all those people who were flooded out managed to sit down to a Christmas Feast somewhere, and that everyone, everywhere, was safe and warm and fed.  

I am the sort of person who chucks money into buckets, those that meet and greet you in the supermarket, and there's been a different one every day this week. And as I rarely have cash I end up asking for cash back - in coins, I'm not that generous or rich.  Having stood there with a bucket, and packed bags, a thankless task, particularly when on the other side of the check out - ex Morrisons checkout operator I just loved that job.  

So when I got an email from a dog today .........................

  I dont do dogs. 

Then I remembered .....Way back in the Summer I went to throw money in a bucket and got a bit more than I bargained for.

Tilly, who is currently in training to become a guide dog for a blind person.  So she can join the child I also sponsor (tho she must have children of her own by now, I have been sponsoring her for years. Probably grandchildren.)

So It aint just Christmas thats about giving is it.

Have a good one.

Monday 24 December 2012

Seasonal Best Wishes.

To all my friends in blogland.

                                            Have a Wonderful Time.


Sunday 23 December 2012

Last Minute....

Tomorrow the Dawn Patroller will be locked in the kitchen preparing, 
Champagne and canapes, Salmon Rillette, Venison and Wild Mushroom Wellington, Christmas Cheesecake, Tabasco Chocolate Cake, oh, and mince pies. 

aka a mid life crisis.  

I shall be hovering car keys in hand waiting for the, "I've forgotten the bloody........." whatever.

So today he braved the flooded roads and went out patrolling with his camera

Very misty, and wild.  And this is low tide.

Shall I?

The harbour still getting a battering.

More shags staying firmly on dry land, above on top of the wine tower, below at the Four Corners.

Meanwhile I finished the gift wrapping.  Including the following, my answer to crackers.  I hate the silly hats, I never get mine to bang, and the thing inside is usually rubbish.

You will need, loo roll inners, fancy paper and prit stik.

Cut paper so that it fits round the loo roll, with a bit extra at each end.

Tuck the ends in.

Then squash in the end.  


(You could forget about Christmas and make an owl.)

Before closing the other end place a small but tasteful gift (and, if you must, a silly joke DP...) inside.  You could make a silly hat out of tissue paper but no.

Then tie with ribbon.

I think my gift boxes are more successful than the filo pastry from the sounds coming from the kitchen.

Happy day before Christmas Eve everyone.

Saturday 22 December 2012

You Shall go to the Ball.....

In 1952 the Fraserburgh Photographic Society staged a pantomime, "Humpty Dumpty", to raise funds for equipment. The pantomime was so successful that the following year some of the members came together and formed the Fraserburgh Junior Arts Society. The object of the society being to encourage young persons in the Arts.

For nearly 60 years FJAS has been delighting audiences with pantomimes, plays, musicals and variety theatre, and has also been involved in all the major community events in Fraserburgh. Back in 1957 our society organised the formation of the Swimming Pool Fund after several fatalities at the beach, the project was subsequently adopted by Aberdeenshire Council resulting in Fraserburgh swimming pool's completion in 1969.  

Every year we produce a pantomime, a summer show, and run workshops for youngsters from primary 1 upwards, sometimes there is an extra production slotted in also. 

From the FJAS website.

2009 - Dick Whittington and his Cat (that is one scary cat - all you cat lovers,  do not look now.)

Last night was the 'works outing' for the Lighthouse Museum.  

We had a very exotic Staff Christmas Meal, take away Chinese or Fish and Chips in the cafe !  Accompanied by some fizzy red stuff and crackers.  

Then it was on to Dalrymple Hall for

The annual Pantomime!  Oh yes it was!

Sorry, not allowed to take photographs during the performance. 

But it was truly amazing, superb, dancing and singing way better than most of the X Factor rubbish.  

Buttons is the Lighthouse Museum's trainee chef, must remember NOT to tell him how good he was (Oh no he wasnt) otherwise he will be in the queue for the X Factor rather than delighting visitors to the Lighthouse Cafe with his latest twist on mince and tatties (with added chilli being the latest.)

Ditto our Cafe Assistant at the weekend who was Cinderella.  I did wonder why she had been flouncing about the last few weekends, flounce, very descriptive word dont you think?  Bounce with frills on!  Flinging her arms around its a wonder she didnt throw the teapot she was serving.  

Now I know she was rehearsing her role.

This pantomime started Monday evening, two performances, and continued throughout the week with two performances every day, and finishes today, Saturday, with two performances.  Tickets are sold out within hours of them going on sale.  This is 300 tickets each show.  Fraserburgh has a population of 10,000.  Nae bad going.  

Some years back, ok many years back we took our kids to a similar set up of a pantomime in the Midlands, where we then lived.  This morphed into totally not pantomime anymore but a parody of what was on the tele.  

However what we saw last night was a proper pantomime, traditional, and the bangs and flashes and crashes of light!  

Apparently it took three performances before they managed to sort it so the fire alarms didnt go off and the show was not invaded by firemen wielding water hoses. 

 As it was I was seriously considering digging to the depths of my bag for the inhaler which I havent had to use for many months.

Fortunately the interval came after the biggest bang and quite a few of us left the auditorium blue skinned and gasping, trying to find the exit door through a pall of green smoke was a challenge though.

Today I find from Facebook I should have been listening to the traditional panto phrase, "Look behind you."

In the row behind us was a real life celebrity.  Who I had to google as I had never heard of him.

We came home after 11p.m.   I really felt like Cinderella, I am normally tucked up in bed by that time!  So I had to rush into jimjams, cleanse face, before I turned into a pumpkin or had to clean out the ashes or , lets be honest, froze to death as the heating had gone off and the stove gone out.