Saturday 31 December 2016

Bring it on.

I am setting up a shop on my facebook page Buchan Birds and Beasts.

The painting above, without the words !  will be in the shop.  One has to do something different on a new year.

"lang may yer tackits clatter doon the close"   

A wee bit of Doric to wish you all Happy Hogmanay.

Friday 30 December 2016

Another year almost over.

A clean beach as the tide goes back.  

Coming to the end of the year we do tend to think about cleaning the past year out and welcoming the New Year in.

So the pundits tell us.  

Apart from feeling stuffed eating some of the mountains of cheese the DP has purchased before it goes out of date .... I dont feel much different or think Sunday will be any different this week to last.  Does cheese actually go out of date?  The cheeses we like are actually better the older they get.  Bit like me !

The DP joined me on my daily walk today.  Really annoys me his photos are better than mine. But then is variety of lenses cost considerably more.

Amost at the end of the Path of Doom.  Now I am vaping and not a smoker I only stop to enjoy the view,  not to hang over the railings to get my breath.  6 weeks without a fag.  I still struggle with many things, bending to put footwear on is still a lengthy process!

But the Path of Doom does not seem as long as last year.

Wednesday 28 December 2016

Land of the Big Sky.

Tonight's sunset from my shedudio.  Photo taken by the Dawn Patroller.

Tuesday 27 December 2016

Hang on.

The day after yesterday...

The photo shows the Kessock Burn entering the North Sea.  This changes daily.  Sometimes the burn has deep sides or goes in completely different directions.

Usually there are Gulls gathering where the burn meets the sea.  

Not on Sundays tho or holidays as dog walkers abound.  

John Grey, Goinggently blog, would have loved it today as I swear most of the walkers were from a zombie film. The Walking Dead certainly sprang to mind.  But its impossible to photo people walking slowly and aimlessly and my camera battery would run out.

But the weather.  What a difference - absolutely beautiful.  Unlike most of the walkers today I powered up and down the path.  (Note my powering is just faster than a zombie.)

There were quite a few surfers.  But they were not 'getting up' - bit like zombies?  

Now I am leaving you with - I hope - a laugh.  

A very dear friend has given me this to wear when walking the esplanade and its blowing a hooley.  Medical advice is to cover the mouth so that the air is warmed before entering damaged lungs.  How kind.  

Monday 26 December 2016

Boxing Day Traditions.

The weather threatened the traditions.

In fact the weather threatened my sanity.

Big winds today.  So no walk for me.

That is our lifeboat behind the wave.

Every year on Boxing Day, 26th December, Fraserburgh has the Boxing Day swim.  Idiots swim across the harbour to raise money for the RNLI.  Royal National Lifeboat Institution. This is a voluntary organisation.  Each volunteer has a pager.  When it goes off they all go.  Rescue people and boats.  Just amazing.

What is even more amazing that people still do it.
The temperature in the water was 3 degrees.  The wind was at least 60 mph.  23 people did the swim.  The Dawn Patroller was there.  I wasnt.

The other traditions.  

The  annual temperance walk held at the  coastal  villages of Inverallochy Cairnbulg and St Combs where the walkers are led by flute players 

Each year the North East of Scotland Aberdeenshire villagers of Inverallochy, Cairnbulg and St Combs take part in a temperance walk to shake off the winter cobwebs. Each village in the Buchan  Coast takes turns to host the walk which has been happening for over 160 years. 

The history of these walks dates back to an evangelical time in the villages when they were regenerated after a bad period during the 19th Century when there was much village fighting and drunkenness which only ended after an outbreak of cholera in 1847. After this epidemic the communities grew and turned to religion. The tradition of the temperance walks started at this time. 

So there you go.  We are all religious nutters.  Or just nutters.

The wind is still blowing.  Tomorrow is promised to be calmer.  

Sunday 25 December 2016


How one's family sees one.

When it comes to what they give you at Christmas.  

Saturday 24 December 2016

Christmas Eve

It is strange having nothing to do, apart from making comments, not always welcome, on the food preparations for Christmas.

The cake.  As I am from Yorkshire our cake is not iced (I do not like marzipan either.)  Eaten with Wensleydale cheese.

Mince pies.  All food prep is now made by Masterchef the Dawn Patroller.

He enjoys cooking.  I was encouraged (booted out) while chestnuts were being peeled and stuffing prepared this afternoon.

Gusts of 39 m.p.h. and rain.

Looks quite calm out there.  But it wasnt.

I survived.

Hope you and we survive the festivities of this evening and tomorrow.

We are told it will be like a Summer's day tomorrow.  In the North Eaast of Scotland that means just above freezing, wind speeds just into double figures and gentle rain.  Followed by snow.

Happy Christmas.

Thursday 22 December 2016

Winter Solstice.

Due to the short hours of daylight my time spent painting is equally shortened.  From now on the day light lengthens in time - albeit by seconds per day. 

My shedudio is in a Summer House.  (Photo obviously taken in the Summer !)

Some work is displayed in there and there are also 2 browsers crammed with unframed paintings, which have been mounted and wrapped in cellophane.

From my work station I can look left.  The buckets contain bird food.

Looking right is my bird feeding station.

At the rear is the sink, radio, one of my tea trolleys.  The other is alongside me as I work with the tubes of paints on the top.

I often get distracted.

At the moment we are awaiting bad weather.  Whereas I would normally be out for my walk early afternoon my intention is to spend the whole of tomorrow in the shedudio.  Cleaning, sorting, long overdue !

Today I did my usual walk

The bay is filling up with large boats that service the oil rigs to ride out the storm. (Plus they dont want to pay harbour fees.)

The calm before the storm.

Finally.... last night we witnessed another of nature's phenomenen.

The green tree - thats an aurora.

Sunday 18 December 2016

Smelly Christmas and a New Year and

One ritual I almost forgot.


Orange and spices.

Cloves into orange.  Use a skewer or darning needle to make holes.  Mix your spices in a bowl.  Cover the orange with the spices.

Add ribbon.  

Now the recipe says to put into tissue, cardboard box in warm dark cupboard for 3 - 4 weeks.  Well I havent got that long so its on kitchen roll on top of a radiator shelf till the spices dry out and drop off.  It will smell heavenly from the word go.  

The other tradition I forgot is the Christmas Wreath.  I have enough time to do one and all the stuff to do it with.  Watch this space. 

 Each year previously I have organised friends and others into a coffee and mince pie somewhere and go for it. Wreaths and Pomanders.   Due to the health problems I havent organised anything.  Its a lot more fun doing this in a group than solitarily shoving cloves into an orange .  I had 2 to do but gave up on the one although I did listen to a lovely Classic FM prog from Winchester which helped.

Today has been most unseasonal.  It has been as warm as a windy day in Summer

Oystercatchers sunbathing.

Gulls following the fishing boat.

Wondering why I am warm.

My thanks to a new follower BethB who has given me a kick up the proverbial and finally get round to being serious about my art.  Setting up a shop on my facebook page in the New Year.  I frequently get asked about selling my work and do not approach it properly.  So thanks again Beth.

The same photographer gave me permission to do other paintings from his photographs.  One was a harvest mouse on a dandelion head.  Do you have them where you live?  I may give that one a go.  In fact I think I did.... will have a look through my vast pile of unfinished.....

Friday 16 December 2016

It is nearly Christmas.

Not sure how I have managed this but everything appears to be sorted.  

Because of health issues I took the easy way out and to the nearest and dearest they got cash.  I have no idea what toys all the grandchildren have or as they are so small what they would want or what parents would deem acceptable.  

Parents ditto.  

Of course since I did that I have been blasted with adverts and thought oh now I should have got that.....

The more distant relatives our sister and brothers will hopefully receive an unbroken pottery gift.  And I managed stuff for the Dawn Patroller which he doesnt know about so has something to unwrap from under the tree.

The cards are all made and sent

So here is yours.

Ptarmigan in the Aberdeenshire Mountains painted by me.

From now on in my posts will probably be about the things I have totally forgotten about.  But the shops are still open.  And Amazon assures me it still has its slaves on the case.

Unless we get snowed in.

Tuesday 13 December 2016

Aberdeenshire - and cats.

Anyone get to see Countryfile on Sunday?  It was about the area I live in, Aberdeenshire.

Macduff Marine Aquarium we have visited many times.  It is open all year round so somewhere to visit with grand children - or without.

Crovie, pronounced Crivie , has no road to the cottages so everyone has a wheelbarrow. This is used to transport shopping from the car parked at the bottom of the road to the village.  This transport mode was not mentioned at all !

Gardenstown is another village further up the coast from us.  Bryan Angus, fellow artist, lives there .  He and his partner run the Creative Retreat and have courses in Art.

It was a great programme with lots of other interesting stuff. We recorded it but those of you who know how to use catch up things - do it.

Our cat, Cait Sith, really enjoyed it.  Here he is with the Dawn Patroller.  Then he had to get closer.

Cait Sith is possibly a Kellas cat.

His double (stuffed and in a glass case) we saw at Aberdeen University Zoology department.  Very large black cat  Sith was a few centimetres shorter from nose to tail.  The Kellas cat is thought to be a cross from a Scottish wildcat which is currently subject of a lot of hoo ha of protection, and a feral cat.  Feral cats and any loose domestic ones are being neutered.....

Today I walked my .59 of a mile before lunch instead of after.  Daylight is very short now and I really wanted to paint.  Never seen so many Oyster Catchers having fun as the tide came in.

My granddaughter wants a painting of a cheetah.  Sadly not found in Aberdeenshire, except on my drawing board.

Monday 12 December 2016

Today's Walk.

Very cold today after the few days of unseasonal warmth.  Whatever the weather our surfers and kayakers are in the sea.

The low sun sheds its light and does its own art work far better than I can.  This group of Oyster catchers made me smile.

The pools where the Oyster Catchers gathered.

More of Nature's art work with the gull gang.

Christmas here has come rather early.  The Dawn Patroller has had his camera lenses and already been out playing with them.  On the domestic front I finally ditched the bedroom curtains which were teal in colour, and I still dont know what possessed me.  They had a lining which was blackout.  Necessary in the summer when it dont get dark.  But the thickness of the lining led to the curtains forever removing themselves from the curtain pole.  So I received my present early too.  Gold curtains which match the rest of the rooms decor.  (Why did I go for teal mutter mutter.)

All gold.  Rather fitting for the season.

Bring it on.  And more walking weather tomorrow.

Saturday 10 December 2016


I just found my comments.  Well your comments.  THANK YOU.  I was on the point of packing blogging in.  Nobody loved me.......... 

Why oh why do they do this?  If it aint broke dont fix it.


Friday 9 December 2016

Mill of Nethermill.

Today we went to visit our friends at the Mill of Nethermill.

This is 5 star self catering accommodation and as retired b&b providers we were blown away.  5 stars were well deserved.

We actually went to purchase some Pottery for Christmas presents. As  there is also a Pottery. Millshore Pottery and Collectables.

Who wouldnt!  What we actually purchased remains a secret.

Sadly the weather today was gloomy.

We saw very little daylight at all.

Better tomorrow hopefully.