Monday 26 May 2014

When the mist clears.

We have had quite a lot of this.  We call it the Haar up here.  Doric for mist.  That is Rattray Head lighthouse, photo by Joy Marshall.

Well, nearly June alreadyThe onset of Art Exhibitions.  And of course like the Clapham Omnibus they all come at once.

 Sunday, appropriately, saw me visiting Strichen Episcopalian Church.  This weekend they are holding an Art exhibition in aid of the Church roof.  So I gathered up three paintings and took them in.  A beautiful wee church with a dwindling congregation.  What you cannot see clearly is above the altar, the furthest bit of roof has a painted ceiling, damaged by the rain that has come in.  I promised to ask around for someone to repair that when the rain has been stopped.

Next is 

This is an exciting new venture.  Our town, Fraserburgh, is on the regeneration list.  Despite full employment the town itself consists of may charity shops in amongst lots of boarded up ones.  Super Saturdays began last year where we all encourage folks to visit and have stalls and fun.  It has been a success so this is an extension.  Many of the existing shops are welcoming in artists to showcase their stuff.  Me - no change, I am in the Lighthouse Museum.  We did try to contact the owners of the boarded up shops to let us use their windows to no avail.  Presumably they would then have to pay business rates or whatever and its better for them to leave the shop empty and with gutters that drown everyone passing......

Also in June is this.

Which I am even more heavily involved in.  It is the three art groups, who meet at Dalrymple Hall, together with the Fraserburgh Photographic Society putting on a joint exhibition.

SO.......In between everything else I am painting like a woman possessed.

 House Martins, appropriately clinging on to a house wall.

 Black headed gull.

 Common Terns flirting.

The DP has come up trumps with his photographs for me to paint from.  Though I have to say this one has been my biggest challenge.

First sketch.

Once they are brought out of the mist they will be fine.

Friday 23 May 2014

Why I look Chinese.

This is the second photograph I have had taken recently where I look distinctly oriental.

And I dont rike it.

The reason is down to old age - as with most things - nothing to do with the wine.  As I am in my 60s I get an eye test every year, which is perhaps just as well as about 6 months after getting new glasses I can no longer see.  Road signs, whether its a ship - or a whale -out at sea.  So although the glasses still work for things near to me, like the level in the wine bottle, I may as well not have glasses for anything else so they tend to be halfway down my nose.  
Hence the oriental image.

  My new optician (should have/would have gone back to Specsavers had I been able to get an appointment before August) looked at me in disbelief when I announced I was driving round without glasses.  But on examining me had to agree that for some reason my long sight had improved.  So another £300.

Fortunately my hearing is, well not 100%, but I so enjoy a good blast of opera.  My car radio is now permanently tuned into Classic FM.  But this grumpy old woman gets totally p****d off with getting into the car, hearing a piece finish and then getting an annoying advert, so I treated myself to -

Down the shedudio, player full blast, and my painting mojo is well and truly back!

Common Terns.

 Baby rabbit washing itself.  Not finished.

 Lapwings to be finished.

 A Black Headed Gull which will have its reflection beneath ....

A herd of nosy coos.  

Good thing nothing on this weekend.

Ha so.

Monday 19 May 2014

The Bucket List.

Seems to be the order of the day these days.  Having a bucket list.  Although I have not actually sat down and done one as I have no intention of shufflin off this mortal coil just yet, it did occur to me that had I done so I would, very recently, been able to cross some off.

My first sight of a real live hare, and not one of the DP's photos.

 Ok.  This is one of the DP's photographs.  It was so far away by the time I had screeched to a halt and screamed "Is that a hare?"  He got his camera out, I wound the window down, well I pressed the button that does it, and he then focussed, it was so far away he has had to 'enhance it' so it looks like one of my paintings now!

But today......  today was MAGIC.

The DP and I had an art groups meeting in the morning so had gone for lunch to the Lighthouse Museum where he got a text from a bird watching friend to say he had seen Killer Whales at Rattray Head.  Then at St Combs.  So they were heading our way.....

I drove everyone mad leaping up to peer out of the cafe windows.  The DP left me to it.  Most of the customers in the cafe were also considering leaving this mad old woman to it when I saw them.


 Sadly my camera is crap.  So I have permission to borrow ones taken by our bird watching friend, Tim Marshall and his wife Joy for their amazing captures.

(I doubt I could have taken a picture with the best camera in the world as I was SOOOOOOO excited. )

For information. On the first photograph, at the bottom right of, you can see two seals.  We have an abundance of seals in the North East of Scotland and that's what Orcas eat.  They also eat fish.  Where I first saw them there were lots of fish as the Gannets were many and diving into the sea to catch them right where the whales first surfaced. 

Perhaps I should now be considering a Bucket List after all.  Any suggestions?

Thursday 15 May 2014

Mixed Bag.

More a catch up.  I may have been quiet on the blog front but have been busy elsewhere.

Back on the physiotherapy with a new group.

Though there are not this many of us and we still only have one exercise bike.

Back to Art Group.

My confidence has had quite a knock from the illness and subsequent break in creativity but it is coming back.  

The three art groups I am involved with which meet at Dalrymple Hall have been planning and organising a joint exhibition with Fraserburgh Photographic Society.

My job is to do the advertising including social media.  You can see' Fraserburgh Art Summer Exhibition' on face book

As Museum trustee I have been wading through appraisals, job interviews, disciplinaries, and doing battle with our local college on Modern Apprentice schemes.  Too confidential to blog about, although there have been some very amusing interchanges.

And having my eyes tested.


 See me peering over the glasses.  That is because I can no longer see anything through the glasses.  When I phoned the opticians we have gone to for over twenty years to tell them this they said I was not due an appointment and the earliest was July anyway.  And couldnt give a sod about me driving, not being able to read road signs, or even see there was a road sign, so I decided to shop more local.  

And indeed my vision has drastically altered.  My long sight has improved.....But I am old.  It was explained to me in a manner I could understand, though dont expect me to repeat it, I understood at the time of telling, ok?  I think its to do with a cataract I have lurking.

Now during this eye examination I had drops put in. So was not to drive.  I had been warned and the DP took me in and then went to a meeting.  I then had a choice of phoning for a taxi or walking up to the Lighthouse.  Wearing sunglasses as my pupils were the size of dinner plates.

So where to do any warm up exercises before the marathon trek?  

I need a bench to hang on to do some of the stretches but  I could give this gentleman a heart attack.

So I set off.  Despite 3 stops where I did my breathing exercises (hung on to a wall and made noises and groaned) I made it!

Though the day after, today, my legs feel like a mixed bag - of aching muscles. 

Saturday 3 May 2014

Selling houses.

Advice from Penny at 
to stay calm.  Well, I am at the moment.  APART FROM when you try to view our particulars they do not come how a prospective purchaser finds us aaargh. Plus its the bank holiday weekend so I am unable to rectify.

We had another viewing today.


Quite a  difference from our current home.  Village life as opposed to

But round the corner is this.

Rosehearty is on the Moray Coast.  Left a bit from Fraserburgh.  Fishing village.  It has a proper butcher, a shop, a hairdresser, a post office, a library, a school, two pubs.  (Whooooo I could take up darts again.)

The Dawn Patroller is cramming as much in as possible here.

Our bird count consists of the above plus  blue tit, great tit, coal tit, chaffinch, robin, blackbird, goldfinch,  dunnock, crow, starling, jackdaw, greenfinch, rook, et al.

However at Rosehearty there are 

Sea Otters.  

Right - back to selling houses.   The house we viewed today, as we were leaving I turned and saw this

Ye Gods, tis one of mine.  Thats how you sell a house.  Have a painting on display done by the potential purchaser.  Now how weird is that!.

Thursday 1 May 2014

Here we go again..

More house viewing.  The one we viewed last week was fine.  Lovely sea view from a decking balcony.  We watched Dolphins playing.  Sadly there was no where to park a car, it was on a t junction, ok not the M6, but we have a car each and there really was nowhere to park within (my) spitting distance.

And, despite one of our reasons for moving is to have a smaller garden, which it had, the next one we viewed,  it was the garden I fell in love with.  But that too had its downsides.  

I am sure everyone has been there and one decided one is a fool to leave the lovely house one has!  Then the brain kicks in and kicks out the heart.  So back to it today.  Three more, all still no - one too big, one too small, and one that just didnt tick any boxes.  One more on Saturday that both of us have thoroughly examined from the outside, including the WALLED GARDEN.  Always wanted one of those.  So, here we go again.

Now our house is on the market, though we await the signs.  Which is something of a necessity.  I have begun to freegle stuff and no-one can find us.  (Yes, that was one reason for moving, neither would an ambulance.)

Charming whitewashed cottage nestling in beautifully maintained and mature gardens. Seldom does the opportunity arise to purchase a property of such immediate appeal situated in a peaceful country location.

The interior photographs are equally amazing.  What you can do with a wide angle lens.

Though I have to say our bedroom looks a bit weird.

(Everything is under the bed, including the cats.)

Here we go again.................