Wednesday 30 October 2013


Hope you enjoy these pictures.  Aurora in the North East of Scotland.

I spent most of this evening trying to warm the house up.  Message came through that there was an Aurora.  Patio doors flung wide..... Then the Dawn Patroller disappeared into the night with camera and tripod.  Returned looking very shaken.  Had a warm furry body wrapped round his legs whilst out in the pitch black.  Our cat Sith had decided to see what was going on too.  So, it wasnt a fox, or  a deer, or a wolf.....Huh.


Sunday 27 October 2013

Apologies and other stuff related.

For most of this week I have been very busy so have been using my tablet rather than lap top, (which doesnt sit on my lap, but on my desk at home.)   
For some reason I have been unable to sign in so as to process my comments on all the blogs I follow.  Most frustrating, Rusty Duck I want to know when to prune my hydrangeas......

 I type away, then when it comes to signing in blogger/google gets the jitters so I cant .  Promise to catch up with you all that are in my column of blogs I follow in the next week.

So what have I been up to?

Kids Activity Mornings.   The last this year, phew.

Reindeer, after drawing round hands and a foot, cut out shapes, apply paint, google eyes.
 Making cards.

 Christmas Crackers.

More reindeers.

 My friend, above,  who usually manages to mess up my story time. (But this time he hadnt read Slinky Malinkey and the Christmas Fairy, hah.) (So I was allowed to read without any of his corrections.) He tends to do his own thing at our Activity Mornings, so I have no idea what he is proudly displaying.

 Yet more reindeer, but made differently, so much so, the kids had to tell me what to do.

Then today not only had I to ensure I was ready for Mums Virtual Tea Party, see previous post, but it was the Art and Craft Fair at the Lighthouse Museum which I had organised.

I will not bore you with what I had to do. Suffice it to say it was a shadow of my former self that did not do battle with the seasoned crafters who totally browbeated me as to where they would display, on which table, how many - despite only having paid for one table, and ended up with my table being unable  to be viewed by any other than a high jumper aiming for the olympics.  

 Thats me, right at the back.  But I did sell the stoat, if you hit on the pic he is below right to the hen.  I was amazed, who on earth wanted a picture of a stoat on their wall.  But the purchaser said it reminded her of her greyhound.  Now stoats have very short legs, my knowledge of greyhounds is that they have much longer legs.......Hey ho.

These were some of the very nice, lovely stall holders.  The one who placed her stall under my chin I have not shown. Huh.

We had a visit from a very nice chap from Trading Standards.  Which appeared to put the fear of god into the stall holder who had beaten me into a corner, who I then strongly suspected of selling stolen goods, money laundering, murder, but then I was being silly. 

 We also had the local paper press photographer who took a photo of every stall, took details of who they were and what they were selling, and promised me every photo would be published.  Do I believe him? On past performance, No.

At the end of the day however I had managed to raise a healthy sum for my beloved Museum.

Slightly marred by me finding the car had a flat battery and I couldnt get home as swiftly as I had wished to finish off the wine from Mums Virtual Tea Party.  However a very dishy Frenchman saved me and pushed me off to jump start and go - tho I was sorely tempted to stop and thank him in the way French people do with lots of kisses.

So apologies to all as stated above and the French man who only got a toot on the horn.


Mums Simply Living Virtual Tea Party.

Welcome.  Hope you are enjoying the other attendees to this Tea Party.

You are most welcome to my Art Gallery.  No tea, only wine, ready?  

I took up drawing and painting on my retirement from running a bed and breakfast in the North East of Scotland two years ago.

This is me painting the outside of my shedudio.  Inside is where I do most of my painting, drawing and some pen and ink.  In there is also the Wall of Infamy, where the ones I consider to be crap are put up to remind me of what not to do.

But here are some for you to wander past with glass in hand ( I will make tea for those who do not imbibe and the Dawn Patroller does ace canapes.)

My business name is Buchan Birds and Beasts.  I will eventually get around to having a web site!  I love to draw and paint the birds and beasts that share my world.  Oyster Catchers are one of my favourite birds.  Gannets are my main favourite.

I have a very soft spot for hens, this one is a French Hen , as she is about to eat a snail!  We no longer have hens as we are now downsized and have not the energy we once had.


I also love the different kinds of seals we have around us.  My partner, the Dawn Patroller, walks a lot (I only use wheels) and returns with the photographs from which I do some of my paintings.

 I struggled with trying to capture this Fox, but eventually was well pleased, and hope you enjoy also.

Just one more and then you can visit the other stalls.

Lovely to meet you, please do come back.

Sunday 20 October 2013

Virtual Tea Party

Will be next Sunday the 27th at don't miss it, and if you want to see who else will be there visit her blog, you will be most welcome.
My art gallery will be open on the day.

So Work in Progress!  Most of my art work will be on sale at the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses Art and Craft Fair on that day.  But my virtual art gallery will also be open just for you.

Cracking on with

 Oyster Catchers.
 And a Fox.

Hopefully by Sunday the obvious mistakes will have been camouflaged!

The Dawn Patroller and I have spent most of the day recovering from two, very active ,grandsons visit, now over.  

Waking at 5 a.m. each morning and hearing In the Night Garden  on the t.v. was not my idea of fun.

And between you and me if I see another lentil or bean........was my cooking so bad half the daughters are vegetarian?


Saturday 19 October 2013


Finally rejoined the land of the living, and a bit of the netherworld too as its all downhill to Halloween.

Kids Activities this week at the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses.  

One of our volunteers turned out to be ace at face painting.

Hence the wee girl with a green face,  (she doesnt normally have a green face. )

We didnt have as many kids as usual as the Mission of God had descended with a coach and whisked off three quarters of the kids from Fraserburgh.  So, next week when we do our other 'Creatures of the Night ', Santa, we are quaking in our boots awaiting the masses.

Then, Thursday,  Grandchildren arrived.

So, what does the North East of Scotland have to offer.  Where do I start?

Macduff Marine Aquarium.  Had a shark week, got lots of baby sharks, nurtured and released into the sea.

 A grandson, nearly released into the sea.

Two grandsons despite, wind, rain, building sand castles, well, digging......

 Hows this for an ace playpark in Fraserburgh with real diggers.


And Mum checking it out.

A super lunch at Duff House.  Better than John Lewis's I was told.

Also on the beach at Fraserburgh.  Oyster Catchers, posing.


 Grandma down the shed immortalising them into a painting.

We also managed, with help from Granddad a pumpkin.

Happy Halloween.  Me -? All pumpkinned out.

Wednesday 9 October 2013

Wind, rain and arts and crafts mish mash.

Today's weather.  100mph winds and snow on the Cairngorms.  (Mountains).  Not quite as bad here, windy yes, just managed to rescue the oil cloth, tastefully decorated with Christmas Baubles, that covers this years wood supply.  Goodness knows what I will use for this years Christmas table festivities.  It was either using it or purchasing some vastly expensive tarpaulin.  And the Christmas table cloth does raise a smile.

Wood burning stove is crackling away and whistling as it would appear there is more wind coming down the flue than otherwise.

But hey ho, toasty and warm, curtains closed. Hatches battened down (havent actually got any hatches.) Listening to the rain lashing across the windows.

The Dawn Patroller has been on one of his jaunts at the weekend and taken some photographs.
Salmon leaping at Black Linn Falls.

Meanwhile I tried to get back to normal and do some painting.

Also creating posters for next Kids Activities.

And if any of you want to ask, "Why Father Christmas?" for goodness sake!  When does he arrive?  IN THE NIGHT.

Crap poster, but I did this when I was ill.

The other poster is for an Art and Craft fair I am organising.

You would not believe the amount of people who want to book a stall with anything but art or craft.  Party planners, factory made stuff not even from this country.....and I know we have a vast untapped source of people beavering away in producing hand made exquisite stuff.   I despair.

Onwards and upwards.  PJs, blanket and switch brain off.


Monday 7 October 2013

Serious stuff.

The Fraserburgh RNLI lifeboat rescue of the steamer SS Glenravel, which saw 14 people saved from the sea on 8 August 1915, is to be featured in an RNLI national touring exhibition commemorating the centenary of World War One (WW1).
The charity’s exhibition, funded by Arts Council England, is called Hope in the Great War and will honour the courage and bravery of the lifeboat crew who risked their lives to save others during WW1.

Lady Countess Rothes was the husband of Norman Evelyn Leslie (19th Earl of Rothes). Best known as a Titanic survivor, 33-year-old Rothes and her cousin boarded lifeboat 8. Thomas William Jones, the seaman in charge of the boat, remarked on Rothes outspoken and take-charge quality, stating, “she had a lot to say, so I put her to steering the  boat.” Rothes headed the tiller for most of the night.

The RNLI Fraserburgh Lifeboat introduced to service in 1915 was named "Lady Rothes" by the Countess herself. The lifeboat was provided out of a gift from Mr Dyer-Edwardes, father of the Countess in gratitude for the saving of lives at sea.

 GLENRAVEL, 1,092/1906, Antrim Iron Ore Co, Belfast-reg, 14 crew, Mr A Cameron, Belfast for Leith with 800t iron ore and general cargo. U.17 approached around 0650 from two miles distant, Glenravel headed for the nearest land at top speed, from 0700 for the next hour several shells fell close until the U-boat came up within a quarter mile, ship stopped, crew took to the boats and Germans went alongside. Explosive scuttling charges placed below decks and Glenravel slowly sank stern first at 1025, 25 miles N of Kinnairds Head, Fraserburgh (L/wi - 12 miles NNE of, in 57.54N, 01.53W); crew headed for shore, met and taken in tow by Fraserburgh lifeboat Lady Rothes, landed at Fraserburgh.

I do appreciate that the Germans on the U boat waited till the crew got off the Glenravel and into lifeboats or similar and then scuttled the main ship.  Then it was up to the brave crew of the lifeboat Lady Rothes to rescue the sailors.  Not knowing if bombs would then be aimed at them.  Pity that sort of humanity does not prevail in todays warfare where everything and everyone is destroyed, children, and all.

I was approached some time ago with the possibility of Fraserburgh's story of the First World War lifeboat rescue and was more than happy to promise the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses would be honoured to hold the exhibition.  And Fraserburgh's story was chosen.  So 2015, if I am spared, we will be hosting the exhibition.  I also hope that all the artists in the Broch will be doing their bit to portray the brave men and women volunteers who risk their lives to rescue anyone at risk in or on the sea.

Thursday 3 October 2013

The older you get.....

Slowly recovering from the last bout of pleurisy.  Which involved me having to stop taking some of my blood pressure tablets, as horrible things could happen had I continued with them and taken the antibiotics.  Dire warnings, "If you get a headache, phone the doctor immediately."  Fortunately I don't have headaches.  Even after the wine, blood poisoning yes, but not headaches.

 So I could ignore taking aspirin, but certainly kept away from children, as they probably gave me the infection that caused the pleurisy in the first place.

Strangely enough my blood pressure was fine which gives one pause for thought as I rattle round with three different tablets a day to control it.

But now I am hit with yet another part of ageing.

No, the above is not from ageing, but from the vampire nurse who took the blood and then phoned to say the Doctor wants me to take Statins.  My cholesterol is high.  Not surprised after having had pleurisy and just eating what I fancied rather than being sensible, but hey ho.

I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has taken statins as people I have talked to leads one to many horror stories.

So I said NO!  I have enough drugs going into my ancient body.  (Again we have this bloody doctor telling me what to do and not even first hand.)  So I said NO.  I am now prepared with Googles help in what to eat and what not to eat and grudgingly been given three months to do it in before another bruising extraction of my life blood (an armful, yes, Tony Hancock.)  And then if its still up it will be Statins.

Google also says I should exercise.  Which brings me to another part of my ageing body, the lungs.  Apparently according to my breathing nurse (!) most people who are diagnosed with COPD take to their arm chair and give up.  Well I continue to stagger around, inhalers at the ready, but I have to admit that exercise is a bit beyond me.  Stairs are a challenge, talking while walking is out!  No!  But I do have plans for the weekend, weather permitting.  Plants out of pots, dig big hole, transplant.  Get rid of brambles and Ground Elder, and it could be this weekend when another 150 Allium bulbs arrive.....

So an hour or more spent in the supermarket this morning scrutinising all the labels.  Good exercise.  Purchased wholewheat pasta, wholegrain bread, lots of tomatoes, blueberries, one of them packs of drinks which reduce your cholesterol, and a bottle of wine, chicken, lots of beans (god knows what that will do to global warming.)

Fortunately one is still allowed red wine.  Not sure about a bottle full but then the older you get who flipping cares.

So do I now give in and bring it on, out with a bang is far preferable to groaning into old age and the inevitable.  I do apologise to any of my friends who are struggling with health problems far serious than mine.

But the older you get, sheesh.


Tuesday 1 October 2013

Ploughing and other farming fun.

Sunday was the annual ploughing competition.  With horses versus tractors.

"Lets see if we can get him to fall over...."

 "On the next turn...."

 Does my bum look big in this?  Well, yes actually.  Just an aside here, but when I was involved with horses a red ribbon on a horse's tail meant it kicked.  Good job he is a ploughshare away from the part that kicks.

Not just the horses working out!

 I often take a break from painting down the shedudio to watch the farmer ploughing in his tractor, or sewing the seed, or riddling, or whatever else they do.  I shut the windows and door when they are spraying, dont want to stunt my growth.

And I often wonder do they end up lop sided or at the least with a very stiff neck?

Am really not sure what this miniature steam engine was for, other than taking the wife and dog out on a Sunday afternoon.  Now there is a Sunday driver that would really get your blood pressure up.

A row of hanging scarecrows.  No idea, no explanation, competition?  Best dressed? Scariest?  No idea.  Other than they have all finished their scarecrowing, everything harvested, so this is where they all hang out afterwards.


Unsure also about the lady in the mauve cardi.  Walking backwards.  Weird.  

What we get up to in the North East of Scotland.