Wednesday 22 October 2014

Speedy Gonzales.

Wind speed recorded yesterday from the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses. 113mph.

The man holding on and measuring our very brave Business Manager.

Pretty scary.  What was more scary is that currently and for some weeks now we have had scaffolding around the Museum building while the roof is fixed.  Well the repairers appeared once.....  

Now I do believe we all knew this hurricane, tale end of albeit, was coming, and when.  It would have made sense for a check to be made of said scaffolding prior to this.  But no. 

 So come the Tail of the Hurricane Tuesday morning.

So we shut the cafe as the brave remaining staff, and (expendable) volunteers sipped coffee and watched......

Planks move like matches.
 Planks disappear.

Or make aim to hit anyone foolish enough to be beneath.

Do a jig,
 The cafe was closed.  

Then a plank fell off and shot across the car park.  The whole Museum was closed.

Then Superman appeared.

Or, more likely, an escapee from the lunatic asylum.

No helmet, no safety harness, just a ball of tape (string?)

That shadowy figure outside on the scaffolding in 113mph winds is wrestling with the planks and tying them together.  Scary or what.

After that I had to lie down in a darkened room.  Well, actually, I returned home, rather too quick with the wind behind me, and head for the shedudio.  In between painting I watched the cover over the logs head over the hedge, and branches snapping off, fortunately missing anything important.  Though Sith Cat, walking sideways, was an only just missed.

Do you think I can claim for Post Traumatic Stress?

Monday 20 October 2014

Taking Stock.

It is that time of year again.  Stocktaking in the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses shop.  It did occur to me it might have been a lot easier had we done this a few weeks ago.  Before we restocked for half term and Christmas looming.  Hey ho.

Naturally we have lots of Lighthouses.

 And things with Lighthouses on.

Pocket money and or stocking fillers.

 Leisure clothing by the ton.  All with Lighthouse logo.


 The book section of the shop is my favourite.  Always well stocked.  But today I was not so happy as I had to count all the books.  And guess where all the visitors were heading?  I stood open mouthed as the books flew off the shelf, meaning I had to count them again.  

Any retailer would do a stock check when the shop is shut.  But a poor charity as we are, we never shut.  And no I am not coming in before ten or after five, I am a poor, old woman, who likes her win(e)d down.

More counting tomorrow.  

Stock taking is not all about shops.  It is about what is around and about.  (Or if you live up here, aroond and aboot.)  Well this sailed past us yesterday.

 Part of the thousands of pink footed geese, who spend their winter with us, setting off to feed as dawn breaks.

And for the last few nights we have had this.

 Aurora Borealis. Photo taken by my friend Lesley Jennings,  who always lets me know when its active, even to texting at 2.30a.m. ..........

Taking Stock.  I love living here.

Sunday 19 October 2014

Being Grandparents.

So glad I checked Google to find out if what we were experiencing was normal!  One plea was from someone who was the same age as me, 65, who as she said, "Didnt look it."  I like to think I dont look it, well I do not dress it. But thats probably as far as it goes.

Our eldest daughter and partner came to stay last Wednesday.  With our two grandsons aged 6 and 3.

The Kids loved the Playpark.  All the kids.......

I met them for lunch after they had also hit the Kids Activities at the Lighthouse Museum.

Following which I crashed and chilled in my shedudio.

After an evening of grown up enjoyment including red wine being woken at 5a.m. by 

was not a great experience.  

We then hit Fraserburgh Heritage Centre.  Which is conveniently placed just across the car park to the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses.

It really is an amazing and fascinating place.  Totally run by volunteers.  I learn something every time I go in.

 This is a mock up of driving a rib on the sea, a lifeboat, you press buttons and get the radio speaking to you, engine noises, wowee.

 This train used to tootle up and down the Beach Boulevard.  Moves afoot to return it to there rather than remaining static in the museum.  But hey ho, enjoyed whatever. 

The grandchildren on an old herring fishing boat.  Apparently the hold was smelly.  As it should be.

The three generations found lots of interest.  

The DP and I perused an old map to find the croft our house once was, before being rebuilt, using some of the original granite walls.  But more interesting to us was that it once was within the vast estates belonging to the Frasers late of Cairnbulg CastleAnd there it was on this map dated 1880 something.  

Because of the celebration ? of the first world war there were displays of local heroes.  Including the medals of the grandfather of our butcher.  

I love the fact that they display all these personal mementoes that are important to people you know.....

In the afternoon everyone, but me, went to New Aberdour Beach.  It is a very popular beach with the locals, possibly as it is so sheltered.  In the Summer the Fraserburgh Beach is packed with tourists, golden sands...and clean.  But the locals pile in to New Aberdour with picnics, barbecues.

I have always liked it, but always feel it a tad dour.

The caves are amazing.  Lots of tales around them.

 Rock pools as well as sand.

 Also on the beach, or very near...

 St.Drostans Well.  
  The well is just to the east of the carpark at the base of a hill. St Drostan used the water of this spring to baptise local people and was famed for his miracle cures. St Drostan died at Glenesk in 809AD. His remains were conveyed from Glenesk to Aberdour where they were placed in a stone coffin and long believed to work wondrous cures.

 Despite all this culture, fresh air and fun the grandchildren were still up early next morning.

The DP and I were not.  Well not physically, but the senses surely were.

24 plus hours later just about back to normal.  They have gone home. Bless.

Tuesday 14 October 2014

Tattie Fortnight

Traditionally, here in the North East of Scotland, the next two weeks is where everyone, including children, went out into the fields and picked potatoes.

Nowadays we dont herd the kids and every able bodied unemployed person out there into the wet (usually), windy (definitely) and cold (most definitely) muddy fields.  

There is some sort of machine which extracts them while the driver sits in a warm cab and listens to his i pad or whatever.

So what do the kids do.  Well they have two weeks off school..  And many of the churches, and idiot volunteers, roond and aboot entertain them.

 This is one I made earlier.

As many of you know I organise Kids Activities at the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses, in the school holidays.

This time round the theme is 

Let there be Light.  

Along with Lighthouse making, there are pumpkin lanterns, lanterns, hopefully some reference to Divali, The Festival of Light, sun catchers, glitter, glue,  all great fun.  I hope.

Following my planning, obtaining supplies, I am there for the setting up and at the end the tidying up.  But while snotty nosed kids are in the activity area I am not.

I do miss it tho....... Specially story time at the end.

Apart from it being Tattie Fortnight around here it is also half term for the schools.  We get two weeks of it, but most of the other schools in Scotland it is one week only.  Then the second week we start with the English Tourists Kids.  So very busy at the Museum, shop and cafe.

As we move towards November our days continue to shorten.  At the end of Tattie Fortnight the clocks go back.  Lighter mornings for a while but dark much earlier at the end of the day.  Which means I have to be strictly organised in getting into the shedudio.

Not a potato in sight, unless thats what the hens have found.


Tuesday 7 October 2014

Happy Birthday to the Dawn Patroller.

A very wet and windy day.  61-5 miles per hour winds and increasing.  High tides, lower down the coast Stonehaven flooded - again.

I was esconced in the lighthouse museum, hearing the rain on the roof and the wind whistling.  Just showing my face as the Chartless Rudderless thing was installed.  It took quite a while so I was just being 'available'.  Which meant I was in the cafe getting hyper on coffee and watching the sea from the window.

Well I can't move tons of chairs and cannot even get our sound system to work so - best sit and drink coffee.

 While the two people from Chartless Rudderless battled on the DP and I had a nice lunch for his birthday.  

The DP is now a volunteer guide taking people up the lighthouse.  So we both get staff discount!

He then went off to have fun taking photographs and as usual you couldnt move out there in the wind and rain for all the other photographers doing the same.  Anoraks.

 Now I know where he was stood to get this picture.  He is lucky to see his birthday out, I can tell you.  

The square edifice being bashed by waves is the Wine Tower, wherein he was recently giving the spiel.  And where lo-o-o-ng ago the ghost piper was drowned.  Followed by his lover throwing herself out of a window onto the rocks below and we still throw red paint on the rocks to commemorate this.  Bloody daft aren't we.

The above is one of the oil rig supply boats, sans container, heading off for Aberdeen.  Now here is some interesting information.  You cant just swan in to Aberdeen Harbour, you have to join a queue.  When the weather is like this all the boats hide up and get shelter to the left of the Lighthouse Museum.  So we look out and see masses of them and know the weather is going to be bad.  This boat has been told there is a berth ready so off it goes battling the wind and weather to get there.  Mad.

The oil platform workers get transported to and from the oil rigs  there and back on a helicopter.  But not in this weather.  This is a coast guard helicopter.

Meanwhile back inside the Museum.

Right, theres this perspex box which appears to have dancers inside it.  But also on the wall....

Then they all seem to be everywhere.



 Due to the Council doing stuff in the exhibition area where we normally have our Kids Activities, we will be doing the kids activities in the school holidays, in the same room.

I see many traumatised kids, or at the very least, some very confused volunteer crafters.

But, so far, the DP has had a most enjoyable day taking photographs, which is what he likes.

Saturday 4 October 2014

Chartless and Rudderless - thats me.

Here I go again.  (Please ignore spelling mistakes, I had some 'help' from the DP)  

For some reason Facebook will not upload a document so I have to make it into a jpeg and this is a talent sadly missing from me,  hence the DP's assistance.  

The actual poster is a document and I have also failed to copy and paste it on to here....

When you take something on no-one else is aware of how much effing time you spend doing the simplest task....

Along with the publicity there is also the planning.  Well I wont bore you with all that. Suffice it to say I found the simplest way to create a lighthouse from found stuff 

The volunteer given the task, "I couldnt find the right size cups."  


So muggins takes it back on board.

This week we have coming 'Chartless Rudderless Night' to the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses.  As a trustee another of my responsibilities is to organise all the exhibitions and facilitate.  This has been in the diary for months as to arrive this coming Friday.  I only just noticed in the deluge of emails I was dealing with that they were set to land on Thursday when neither I, nor the Manager would be there.  

 11 o clock last night I managed to get them to agree on Tuesday, when we are both present.

Back to the publicity stuff.  I got random pictures sent.


And a brochure.  From which I had to lift and then create a poster.  And press releases.

 The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses is the perfect setting for Chartless Rudderless Night - a moving image and sound installation inspired by the lighthouses of Orkney.
The work is a collaboration between choreographer Claire Pen├žak, composers Helen Papaioannou and Alessandro Altavilla dancers Merav Israel and Will Thorburn and moving image artist John McGeoch.
Chartless Rudderless Night expresses the collision of wave on rock, ships that pass in the night, the scanning beam of a lighthouse on dark seas and the smallness of us all in the face of the elements
The composers drew on the mapping, individual light characteristics and rhythm of the 11 lighthouses of Orkney when composing the work for saxophone and double bass. The sound work brings a deeply atmospheric sonic environment to the dance film.

Apparently its  a perspex box and a couple of speakers.  Well - Chartless, rudderless.....aye.

In amongst all this as my trustee responsibility is part of the staffing committee.   I never thought in all my born days that I would be hiring and firing at 65.  

And counselling, thought I had done enough of that with mine own.  

Dealing with irate parents, (my child would never do that - oh it did.......)  

What has changed over the years where people dont turn up for interviews , or want to change the time, the day, and just do not think about how this impinges on others?  Then we offer them a job and they shoot off and persuade someone else to offer them  more money and turn us down.  Oh yeah.  So a few weeks of hell to be honest.

Like most things in life all is sorted and hopefully and even keel for a while.

Chartless and rudderless thats me.