Monday 29 September 2014


Mixed feelings!

After going through assessment for the second time..... I was awarded (?) a blue badge.
Instead of a local authority clerical officer, with no medical qualification, using a tick chart I was assessed by an Occupational Health person.  She actually stopped me doing the walking test half way through, unlike the c.o. who looked at me askance when I asked for water as I collapsed into a chair.  I have it, as you can see, for three years.  Should see me out then.

So, its official.  I am disabled.  Hence the mixed feelings.

I used it for the first time today.  I swept into the car park where I was to attend a meeting.  Parked, displayed the card, got out the chariot and headed off for the disabled access, to be confronted by a white van.  Parked not in any parking zone, indeed it was chevroned off, indicating no parking.  And completely blocking the way to the ramp..

I had to ask someone to carry in the chariot, up the steps for able bodied, and breathe heavily after it.

Presumably the white van driver was also disabled. Mentally.

Saturday 27 September 2014

Mainly garden and what happens out there..

Remember the trees, casting gloom on the shedudio?  This was in July.  Unfortunately our tree expert has been poorly but sprang into action today.

Not only do I have no shadows or gloom across the drawing board but I have a view!  You can see that months have passed as the barley is now cut and the stalks baled.  Also a nice pile of wood to burn - in 12 months time.  Takes that long to dry out.  
The trunks are to be removed at a later date, though I might keep the one on the right as it is flat.  We have random statues around the garden so possibly a plinth for one..

Within the shedudio more changes.  I finally bit the bullet and bought a table large enough to have all work in progress laid out.  Previously I had two small tables which didnt match in size and were bugging me.

So here we go one very large drawing board.  Waiting for more green spotty oil cloth....

Now, what do you suppose these are?  Made by a very clever friend of mine who upcycles brilliantly.  Made from a cane, netting = Scottish Thistles.  She has painted the top bits purple.  Another of my friends has a very sheltered garden and she uses them with t light candles.  

I decided to use them as fat ball holders.

Not having a sheltered garden, but with a lot of birds feeding.

These photos were taken within minutes of the thistle being placed.  This one is at the side of the shedudio.  The other has been planted outside the dining room window.  Success.

 My ace lady gardeners have returned and cleared the side border.

Can now see what is in their that is supposed to be there, NOT thistles and brambles.

This took a lot longer than the front garden.   The border by the shedudio will take even longer....... But it is so nice to see what I did plant still managing to flourish. The plants and I heaved a big sigh of relief.

Still lots to be done.  But the calming of my soul makes it all worth while.

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Open Doors Day.

On Saturday there was the annual OPEN DOORS DAY in Aberdeenshire.

As its free entry to places it is always a huge success and this year was no different.  After all who doesnt like anything that is FREEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

At the Lighthouse Museum one still had to pay for the Museum and tour of the Lighthouse (we are a struggling charity ) but our contribution was to open the Wine Tower, 

 and the Kitchen, which I do not have an image for, but basically think dungeon, part of castle within which the Stevensons built a lighthouse.

The Dawn Patroller enjoyed himself doing the tours and talk most of the day.  The regular guides equally busy with the Lighthouse Tours.

Across the car park is the Fraserburgh Heritage Centre.  

Which really is fascinating.  Many facetted (although they do not, as far as I am aware, make any mention of mass murderer Denis Neilson who was born in Fraserburgh.)  

Bill Gibb, fashion designer, Thomas Glover, et al. Many famous people born or have links to Fraserburgh.  Marconi, supporters and devotees have regular Marconi days where they play with radios.

One display I always enjoy is this air raid shelter, you sit in and listen to the sirens, not sure why I enjoy it but I do.  Close eyes and imagine.

Warlds End (or Worlds End) is this house.  

Which, although absolutely no connection with Thomas Glover, houses a collection of memorabilia and stuff.  Thomas Glover ?  oh just google him.  

There are also Jacobean plots being hatched stories which are being looked into with the eventual hope that we encourage more tourists to visit.....particularly the rich Americans who are really into all this History.  Which could have involved their ancestooors.

Fraserburgh is stuffed with history.  So much it all gets a bit too much for one blog post.

The villages aroond are equally stuffed.

This is at Inverallochy, our nearest village with a (wine) shop and a post office, library.
Maggies Hoosie.  
I like this photo as it shows the modern monstrosity, which one wonders how they got planning permission for to build behind this ancient, preserved in all its earth floored, no loo, building.  Maggies Hoosie is a but and ben as it was, no electric, no nothing.

This is another auld hoose in Inverallochy.  Which opened its doors. I think it was to show how incomers can throw a lot of money and architects to gain awards for preserving an auld hoose they can spend weekends in.

(And as an acquaintance of the owners I hope they appreciate this was written to be humourous.)

There were lots and lots more.  

You can now spend the next month googling all of them to find out just how much of our history here is totally fascinating or you can wait for me to get round to doing more posts. 


Saturday 20 September 2014

Nae bother Jill,,,I wid bi ower the meen...

A facebook friend who posted a photo of herring gulls.  As always I ask permission to have a go at a painting.

The heading is his reply.  Now do you get a hint at the Doric?  Just change the vowels!

Friday 19 September 2014

Past,present and future.

Strange weekStrange experiences of there being one topic of conversation wherever you went and whoever you were with.  Independence.  Scottish Independence. Mixed emotions.  

Very interesting debates.  

And despite the press reports - no death threatsNot one person questioning my right to vote, albeit I am English.  

Throughout my faith in human nature was continually renewed.  People cared, cared about each other, their neighbour, their country.

Now the votes have been counted.  The great vote is now history.  In the past. One question remains - will the English politicians keep their promises?  That is in the future.

Back in the present.  Been struggling to find time to paint.  Odd bits here and there.

Skurries (Herring Gulls.)


Pod of Dolphins.

 Sussex Light Hens on a fence.

Love these two, almost finished.

I have been asked to exhibit in November at Archies Art.  To raise funds for Aberdeen Childrens Hospital.  
The list of artists whew.  Proper artists......  I am honoured to be invited.  

The ones I will be putting in are all away being framed.  So thats the future.  I will show you later, when they are done.

On Monday past I went for another assessment.  With mixed feelings I learnt I had been awarded....

So in the future I will be able to go where I want to go.


Monday 15 September 2014

Planning ahead.

As you will have gathered we have taken the house off the market and are staying put.

The rounds of Art exhibitions is at a lull.


NEOS (North East Open Studios) is over for another year.

One decision I have to make.  

Do I go solo?  

My friend, Marie Buchan, at St Combs. She did it this year. I managed to visit and began to think......

Would you visit?

Thursday 11 September 2014

The Time has Come -

- to admit defeat.

 Border at the side of the house.  Completely out of control, although you cannot see the weeds ha!

That is supposed to be a new woodland.  There are baby trees in there.  And wildflowers.  Really.

I could go on.  

The Dawn Patroller now does the cleaning, cooking, washing, hangs it out, brings it in, cleans out the stove, re-sets it, well just about everything.  He also cuts the grass which he reckons he can still fit in.....But the rest of the gardening has always been my job.  Planting, tweaking, weeding, pruning, tying up, training, moving, ,,,,,,,,

My lung disease progresses so I do less and less that involves physical activity.  Watching my garden get like this is not good.  When you get to the stage that you do a bit of weeding and then have to spend some time getting control of your breathing after one dandelion leaf, well, there's no fun in that is there!  And most definitely no fun in watching the weeds grow and strangle the plants I want to be there.

Now look at this.

The lovely Lydia and Aileen , my saviours.  (The tractor drivers are taking a very long time to drive past now as the gardeners wear short shorts and tight t shirts!  )

Yes, I am now employing a firm of gardeners .  For me it is worth it to see my beloved plants allowed to breathe and show off their beauty once more.

The DP also has more time and less worry to do the stuff he enjoys.

Ostensibly taking photos!  


Monday 8 September 2014


Not that good a start for our NEOS week.  Wind and rain.

As I was doing some tweaking and putting up the the other side of these display boards, with my back to them down they came, crashing on to me.  There had not been sufficient angling done to make them stable.

Hey ho.  Slightly bruised legs but not beaten.  Two paintings lost their glass but that was it.  Phew.  

The DP was away to Edinburgh moving a daughter from one flat to another - again.  

Sith decided to have another bust up with the feral cat.

Here he is with four working legs.  Saturday morning front left not working.  Now I can light a fire, cook me tea, but no way can I carry him in a cat box to the car and then to the vets.  After a phone call to the vets to find if I went in with him it had gone up from £60 to £80 before we even started,  the vet and I took a gamble, which then kept me sleepless.... Dosed him with painkillers, he was eating like a pig, purring, and  made an appointment for Monday   Then I phoned the DP.  Daughter moved so he could return in time.  Phew. Phew.

I feared the leg was broken,  turned out to be infected and after first dose of antibiotics already much better.  Phew Phew Phew.

I so wish I could be more laid back......Phew.

Thursday 4 September 2014

North East Open Studios (NEOS)

It is that time of year again.  September 6th to the 14th.  North East Open Studios.  Where artists, crafters, photographers open up their studios.  I am a member of  the Wednesday Group who are holding their second NEOS exhibition.  At the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses.  We had setting up to do..

The group setting up on Wednesday.


Do please note, the MAN standing watching!

Women do just get on and do............


Me, doing the labels.  (Later I spent hours cursing the printer - which did not like card.....)


 It was all done extremely peacefully and no fall outs, all amicable.  (Although I imagine most of us were thinking, I'll be back and tweak that!)

Saturday we are open 11 til 4 every day and close a week Sunday.

Wish us luck.  I am the artist in residence and will be attempting to draw, paint in the worst lit exhibition area ever.  In a Lighthouse Museum!!!!