Friday 27 September 2013

An Aaaaa and an Ooooooo

Baby seal at Cairnbulg Harbour today.

Elsewhere in Buchan, in the countryside by Rora, we have Rheas.  These birds chase off foxes.

I am now on, "I want to paint.....................Overload."

Thursday 26 September 2013

Kinnaird Head Lighthouse shines again.

The original light at Kinnaird Head Lighthouse was established by Thomas Smith on 1 December 1787.[1] A lantern was set 120 feet (37 m) above the sea on a tower of the old castle. Whale oil lamps produced a fixed light, each backed by a parabolic reflector. Kinnaird Head was the most powerful light of its time, and contained 17 reflectors arranged in 3 horizontal tiers. It was reported to be visible from 12 to 14 miles (10 to 12 nmi; 19 to 23 km) miles.
In 1824, internal alternations were made to incorporate a new lantern and to provide accommodation for the light keepers. In 1906 the light was converted to incandescent operation. In 1929 Kinnaird Head became home to the first radio beacon in Scotland.[1] The Fog Signal was discontinued in 1987, although the horn is still in place. The original lighthouse is no longer operational and is now home to The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses. A new automatic light was established beside the original light in 1991.
In 2012 the old Kinnaird Head Lighthouse was lit for two anniversary celebrations. First, on 2 June 2012 the light was exhibited in celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. This co-incided with the lighting of the NLB's Queen's Diamond Jubilee Beacon at Kinnaird Head Lighthouse. Secondly, the light was exhibited on the 1st December 2012 in celebration of Kinnaird Head's 225th anniversary. The light was lit at 3.31pm, and extinguished at 8.30am the next morning, marking a full 17 hour shift. On that occasion Kinnaird Head was the only manned lighthouse in the British Isles, albeit outwith NLB service. Both events were organised by the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses.

Now I am letting you in on a little secret, just a bit of it, the main part of the secret remains so.  On Tuesday the 24th September the light was lit again.  

As the light comes round it lights up the surrounding area.


Below you have on the left the one that lights up every night and on your right the one we keep for special occasions!

Which one do you prefer?  I prefer the one on the right, but of course it is not automatic.  There is a heck of a lot of work involved in lighting the old light.  Winding up of chains, to make it go round, polishing all the lenses, very old glass.......  In fact it is just a light bulb, same as the 'new one', but the lenses are what makes the light reach out for miles across the sea.

The natives are for ever going on about how they miss the light, how they wish the light would be on, and do you know what?  Nobody noticed it was on!  It was lit for just one hour on Tuesday evening.  This one hour caused a lot of work, not only at the Lighthouse Museum, but at the Maritime Agency who had to alert all shipping that the light they were seeing  was Kinnaird Head and only temporary so the Captains didnt think they had had too much grog.  Every lighthouse has a different timing.  I think Kinnaird Head came round every 5 seconds, so thats how you know where you are.  The coming round is down to physical labour winding up the chains that move the mechanism, if you want to know more come to the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses!  We have quite a few lights and lighthouses too.

The reason why the light was lit is still a secret.  Fear not friends when I am able to reveal all you will be the first to know.

Sunday 22 September 2013

With the Bad comes the Good.

Slowly recovering I did go out this morning.  We recently had a new supermarket opened to rival Tescos.  Everyone very excited.  This morning was my second visit since its launch onto the Fraserburgh natives and surrounds.  Now I apologise for this but certain letters of its title I would like to alter, the two in the middle would give you some idea of how bad it was, using an r and an s.   You could alter the last letter to e too.
I couldnt find anything I wanted.  After queuing, for what seemed like an age, I finally got to the bit where you begin to load your shopping on to the belt.  Before I could lift one of my meagre purchases the "Checkout Closed" sign nearly sliced my fingers off.  When I queried this as there were only three check outs open and there were still queues up the aisles, "Oh I didnt see you there."  No I may be small but I am taller than the conveyor belt.  But I had to then join another queue, which did nothing for my recuperation.  Came home and collapsed.

The DP kindly agreed to take my paintings and his photographs off to New Pitsligo for the Art Exhibition which will be open to the public next weekend. This is an annual event and has been going for a considerable number of years.

 Last year I received a Highly Commended for my Common Tern.

This year I have sent in,

 Bill and Coo.

And 'Shelter'.

The DP has sent in two of his photographs, one I havent a copy of which is of a wind turbine, proliferating fast round here, and this one of the Harbour, which I love.

Now with the bad, being ill and told to take it easy, is the good, I am painting loads and really enjoying it.  I have finished the Alliums.

 And made a start on my tryptic (?) of seals.

So there you go.

Saturday 21 September 2013

Stir Crazy.

There is only so much time one can spend watching dust fall and counting the dead Daddy Long Legs in the corners of rooms.  I cleaned the bathroom I use most, my excuse, getting rid of any germs, while the DP was out shopping.  (I am not allowed to do anything vigorous so I did it very s-l-o-w-l-y.)

He made a detour, well actually he does this every time he shops, calls in at Cairnbulg to try and snap the seal who usually swims off on sight of him.  But today it posed.....

 Needless to say I feel a painting coming on, in fact four paintings, might do a whatever they call  -one more than a tryptic.  Its the facial expression on each picture that is sooooo yummy.

The DP also worried me when he suddenly went down on the ground, ye gods he has collapsed, but no, it was to photograph this

Hmmmm.  I will give it a go. Someday.

So - what else could I do/allowed to do?  Down the shedudio thats what.  Remember me buying and having to plant over a 100 Alliums?  Well no way did over a 100 Alliums come up.  But those that did were magnificent.  As they 'went over' I broke them off and have three vases full of them drying beautifully.


Beginnings of painting.

Now then Autumn is slowly beginning.  The Pink Footed geese are coming back in huge skeins, the starlings are beginning to get together and soon we will witness their murmurings, where they paint pictures in the sky, (another idea for a picture).  

So if my betterment continues I think a bit of retail therapy is in order.

How can s-l-o-w-l-y wandering round a shop become a problem?

Friday 20 September 2013

Laid Low.

Had to happen.  Despite banishing the DP to the spare room, I was flattened by an attack of Pleurisy.  I know immediately it is with me and zoom off to get antibiotics.  Two days in bed in agonising pain, but in the antibiotics kick and I am out of bed.  Down the shedudio.

 Above, a very UnCommon Seal.   Spotted at Rosehearty just up the coast from Fraserburgh.

And a stoat running across the road, nearby.

We had our youngest daughter visiting this week.  So she and the Dawn Patroller were off to view other Open Studios and the beautiful country side.

Pennan, above and below.

New Aberdour, one of the caves.


Now the above is Tarlair, near Macduff.  An open air swimming pool it was.

Tarlair Swimming Pool opened in 1931 at the base of a sea cliff just outside Macduff in Banffshire (now Aberdeenshire) in Scotland. This outdoor swimming complex was built in an Art Deco style with a main building backing onto the cliffs and changing rooms to its left hand side. It was commissioned by Macduff Burgh Council in 1929, with the architect being John C Miller, the Burgh Surveyor of MacDuff. The contractor for the project was Robert Morrison & Son of Macduff.[1] Since 2007 it has been protected as a category A listed building. It is considered by Historic Scotland to be the best example of only three surviving outdoor seaside pools in Scotland, the others being at Stonehaven and Gourock.[2]
The design of the pool was a clever use of pumped sea water to fill the pools, and flooding of the main pool at high tide to flush out the old water. The main pool had a diving board at the deep end and a child’s chute at the shallow end, though both are now missing. The second-largest pool was a boating pool with the two remaining pools being paddling pools.
The complex is now in some disrepair with a mixture of weathering, rock falls and vandalism being the main causes. In 2010, a proposal was put forward for redevelopment of the complex as a lobster hatchery.[3] In 2012 a small group of local residents in the Macduff community created a "Save Tarlair" page on the social networking site Facebook, which drew the attention of over 7000 followers to the plight of pool complex. A community group "Friends of Tarlair " has since been formed and is working with Aberdeenshire Council to try and find a way forward for the site as a community facility. Wikepedia. 

 Apparently funding is now available.


 This how it once was.  Lets hope it is successfully brought back to life.


And finally, Macduff also has its very own Bow Fiddle Rock, not as large as the one at Portknockie, but still awesome.

Hope you enjoyed - and that I too come back to life.


Tuesday 17 September 2013

Still Standing

But only just!

Our Art exhibition with North East Open Studios (NEOS) has been a fantastic success.
We had over 300 people visiting during the eight days the exhibition was on.  The exhibition is still there in the Lighthouse Museum, but we are no longer manning it, so people wanting to view have to either prove they have a Fraserburgh post code or pay the Museum Admission fee, and still they come!

Here are some more images of the exhibition.

 Lighting effects courtesy of the Lighthouse Museum Lights!

The sales have been awesome.  Still not in the black for any of us as once you balance cost of materials, framing, and labour, dont forget the labour. But there is no price to be put on the sheer pleasure of creating and having someone appreciate enough to shell out the cash!!

Sunday was our last day and we had quite a queue of people who were wanting to come in  - and then being barred by the BBC.  (British Broadcasting Company for my overseas visitors.  The main and oldest broadcasting scion of Britain.) (Rules the waves.)

Our art lovers were vociferous in their complaints.  

But at 2p.m. Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond was broadcasting live on t.v. from our exhibition!

Now if that blue framed picture behind his right shoulder was turned round the world would have seen my pair of Gannets doing a mating dance. Bum.  Could have had a bidding war.  (Although he loved our exhibition the public chat was all about independence of Scotland, we are breaking away from the English did you know, so they cant have any of our oil money and we will save Royal Mail from going private, and oh lots of other stuff.) (He's got my vote .) (Theres only Royal Mail where we up here we dont have to pay exorbitant amounts for delivery from morons darn Sarth who think we are a)on an island, or b) only have stage coaches or c) we dont have roads, or d) on top of a very high mountain.)

Lots of other places open showing art, including one close by that we all put stuff into as it was a competition.  I got a highly commended for my Herring Quines, which meant I didnt win anything.  Concrete, like money.

So now I am not standing but sitting beavering away at painting more pictures to replace the ones sold, and to enter another exhibition in ten days time.

Youngest daughter visiting at the moment who has been out and about with the DP visiting some of the other NEOS events.

Bit more way out than us.  But - still standing.


Thursday 5 September 2013


Setting up the exhibition which will run from Saturday 7th through to Sunday 15th September, at the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses.  My Wednesday Art Group.

 Looking Good!

Labels are now up alongside each  work.  That has taken me all day!  Typing, printing, laminating, cutting, then fixing them next to the right one.  Asked to supply work with hanging label was ignored, so almost every one had to come off, check back, and be re-hung.  

But now ready to open.