Monday, 30 June 2008


Another discovery! I walked out the front door and headed up the hill to where there is a resevoir. It was early evening with long shadows. Up high on the bank was this lovely honeysuckle which is out everywhere at the moment. What I did not see until I looked through the camera lens were the midges which were, at that moment, not on me but on the honeysuckle flowers!

All along the road were foxgloves and this white one caught my eye.

I came upon the resevoir to find half a dozen camoflaged fishermen quietly fly-fishing on the bank. No dog walkers or anyone else about. The sun kept coming and going as I tried to take a photo of the sun on the loch. I gave up and started to walk around the perimeter.

Just as I approached a very tall fisherman with a very long, light (carbon-fibre?) fishing rod, he yanked at something. I stood there and watched as he pulled in this 2 pound rainbow trout!

As the light was going I took this photo of these Canada geese on the water. It turned out very dark. However, with Photoshop Highlight Adjustment it is now much brighter giving enough light to see more than just their characteristic white marking. Would they be residents, I wonder?

Sunday, 29 June 2008


A discovery! Ardardan Farm which lies between Helensburgh and Cardross had a sign up "Pick Your Own Strawberries"!

Being basically just a big kid, I had to pay my £1 per punnet and head off to the strawberry patch. Fine, if it is a novelty; not so fine if you do it for a summer job in the hot, dusty orchard! Well, strawberry patch, actually but it comes to the same thing!

Having found this windfall, in a manner of speaking, I scrounged jars off Mairi and managed to fill the lot. Hot work, this jam-making.

Happiness, for me, are rows of filled jam jars!

Saturday, 28 June 2008


This is the last of the series of 7 posts which relate to the Fife Regatta on the Clyde the third week of June, 2008. There are many superior, official photos here .

Left-over photos can have their uses. Here are some arty images. (The original photos taken at 300 res are on the dull side as the weather was overcast. Amazing what doctoring can be done with Photoshop!)

Altair and Adix anchored off Clynder.

Altair's courtesy flag for Scotland

Three burgees on Adix (the meanings of which are unknown to me).

Friday, 27 June 2008


We all gathered the night before for a ceilidh aboard Seol na Mara. Aboard were Brian and Maggie who left Arctica in Stornoway for a week, Iain and I.

However there is no show without Punch! Two skippers in their respective boats make their welcome appearance!

Bob sailed over from Blairvaddich in Goosenader, a Waarschip 24, and tied on to the stern. He had Angus aboard who, new to this circus-on-the-water, was in for a real treat!

Peter arrived in his wooden Hiyard 27' - one of his fleet of about 7 which are in various stages of repair and restoration. Lots of meeting and greeting!



Adix, the the 3 masted 64.9 metres yacht in the far distance, is a visitor (flying red ensign). She is not a Fife boat but was present during the event. This is the start line and was crowded with RIBs doing what RIBs do.

Adix was built in Spain in 1984 and originally named Jessica. When new, she was square rigged on her foremast, and was also shorter. In 1991 she was given a major refit. Her masts are made of an aluminium alloy, while her booms and gaffs are timber-clad carbon fibre.

Iain gave them all a skirl on the pipes. Mariquita is out of focus in the background.

Rescue boat and passenger

Thursday, 26 June 2008


Hoisting sails on 96' Mariquita.

Moonbeam III, 105', with a dragon on her spinnaker

The start line.


This lovely 24' boat with her cream sails was built by Wm. Fife II in 1887 and is probably the oldest one in the fleet for this 3rd Fife Regatta taking place this week. While on the mooring Tuesday night, I took this photo of her, not knowing her history, as she sailed by us just as the sun was going down.

It turns out that her owner Lizzie Todrick, aged 94 years, was reunited with her, hopped aboard and went out for a sail! She is a local resident of Clynder and had been a boat-builder on the Clyde. The photo below is early morning off Clynder.

Geoff Charnley in Classic Yachts (here) states:

Paul Goss bought her for restoring in 2004 when she was lying in McGruer's yard on the Clyde. He intends to have her ready for the Fife Regatta in 2008.

"My Aunt remembers this gaff cutter..... In my mid teens (c 1962) I was invited on board Ayrshire Lass by her owner Miss Todrick who was a carpenter / boatbuilder with McGruers. We had towed her through the Crinan Canal! Miss Todrick was a member of the Clyde Cruising Club and they may have records? She maintained the boat in superb condition which is why it has probably survived to today."

Indeed, I note that she is still listed as a Life Member of Clyde Cruising Club.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008


Iain took the first 3 photos of the Fife yacht Fyne, a 60' LOA (30' LOW) Gaff Rig Cutter built in 1889. Yesterday he and Brian brought Seol na Mara down to the Royal Northern YC mooring at Rhu from Bowling in order to follow the fleet on the Rhu to Rothesay Race the following day.

They had good weather and also were able to try out the new Nikon lens. Nothing is changed in these photos - as is!

The next day: the start of the Rhu to Rothesay Race brought out all the visiting yachts. With Peter at the helm and Iain on the bow with the pipes we gilled about leeward of the start line. These photos show a few of the 21 boats as they arrive at the start.

The Truant, is the 8 m Fife yacht, H12, in the background, far left; Mariquita (19 m Fife, C1) is the large yacht the centre and Rosemary, a Fife Bermudan Sloop, 731, is in the foreground.

A wonderful sight of big, beautiful boats with all sails flying. A great photo-opportunity! That's the good news. The bad news was that there were wee RIBs running about everywhere with guys in wet suits holding huge cameras with huge zoom lenses. This group of photos was taken by me and then, with the (liberal) help of Photoshop, I 'drowned' the photographers, RIBs and all! Your job is to try and see where the 'drownings' took place!

Mariquita (C1, left) and Moonbeam III (Gaff Cutter, 88) pass the Sugar Boat wreck lying in the middle of the Clyde off Helensburgh.

The yacht on the left is Solway Maid, a 52' Bermuda Cutter, 44C, and Sail No. 88, Moonbeam III is on the right. The yacht behind Moonbeam III has to remain a mystery!

Monday, 23 June 2008


Time to head off doon the watter .... second day of Fife Regatta on the Clyde. We're on a mooring overnight at the Royal Northern YC with our pals and then we will follow the fleet tomorrow as they are due to race from Rhu to Rothesay. Hooray! The sun is shinging today!

and join the other spectators.....

Oooops ... these aren't gulls; they're eider ducks. (Well, they're eider a duck or a drake!)

Sunday, 22 June 2008


This week there is a gathering of 20 strong fleet of 'fast and bonnie' wooden sailing yachts. They were built by Fife boat builders of Fairlie, on the River Clyde, for the people who became wealthy from Britain's industrial revolution at the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. It was third generation, William Fife, who built these and other larger elegant yachts, for example, Sir Thomas Lipton's Shamrock I and Shamrock III.

Today they raced up the Clyde from Largs to Rhu. I went down to Rhu Marina to see them arrive where they will be laying over in Rhu Marina tomorrow.

The weather is definitely of the damp variety; the photos show the misty, mosity atmosphere. Hopefully tomorrow I will learn the names of the yachts. (Even when up close the names are on the under side of the counter stern.) Then on Tuesday we are going out in Seol na Mara to follow the fleet on their race from Rhu to Rothesay.

This lovely yacht, Mariquita, built in 1911, arrived along with the rain. She is 19 metres (96 feet) long and the length over the water line is 66 feet. Beam is 17 feet. Draft 11.8 feet.

No life lines along the deck. Phew! I sure wouldn't want to cross the Atlantic in this type of boat!

Saturday, 21 June 2008


It's Highland Games season again. Many villages and communities are out braving the rain and the midges to watch the dancing, tug-of-war, kids' races and general merry-making.

No doubt it is not dissimilar to the old days when competitors, musicians, and other various 'artistes' did the rounds of the rural fêtes.


Earghghghghghghghghghghghghghgh - uhuhuh!

Tossing the caber ....


Ooops! Off at a tangent!

I have had to change my email address with the house move. Not really a problem one would think especially when it is with the same provider, i.e. 'in-house'. Not so. I moved from NTL email address to VIRGIN (who took over NTL) and it has been doing my head in.

So ... think positively! This fisherman's box for nets says "Get a grip and, if nothing else, make a note for other hapless folk on the net trying to sort this one out."

So here is the feedback: (this is all VERY specific. If you are not a Mac user, nor a Mail user on a Mac, this isn't for you.)

Changing an NTL email account to a Virgin email account using the Mail email program on a Mac OS 10.5.3 computer as at today's date, June 21, 2008.

For what it is worth:

[1] Go into Mail - Preferences. Below the Accounts column on the left click on the plus sign. That starts the setup process. Fill in the boxes.

[2] Type in for incoming mail server

[3 Type in for outgoing mail

[4] Various ports will work but I finally settled with 110 and the SSL off.

Finally, I had to disenable my old, original email account (ending in Do this by highlighting the old account (Preferences - Advanced) in the Accounts column then uncheck the top enable field. That eliminated (big) problems when settling up the new account.

It is possible to re-enable (and thereby see ALL your old emails) by simply clicking on the box again. However, I had such trouble when the old account was accessible, I dared not open it again!


John's many photographs include all the colours of the spectrum. Yellow has many associations in nature, in behaviour, etc. Here it's all about light, sunlight.

Cape Wrath Lighthouse right out on the point of the northwest corner of the British Isles.

Sunrise - morning midst the bog cotton

Sunset in winter central Scotland

Friday, 20 June 2008


A place for leprechauns? Or MacBeth's 3 witches?

Or fairies?

Or water sprites?

Tuesday, 17 June 2008


John and his mates had fabulous weather while on a mountaineering holiday in the North West Highlands. Some photos below (and his total collection here) show that turquoise is a colour that can be found in the northern latitudes and not just in the Caribbean!

Fantastic sea-stack, Cló Mor at Kearvaig Bay, Sutherland

Rocks, Kearvaig, Sutherland

View back across the Kyle of Durness, Sutherland

Monday, 16 June 2008


It's Welcome and Farewell Time. The youngsters move in and the oldsters move out. Upsizing from their flat in the west end, Mairi and John and the 2 babes are now settled in to 13CVD. We are now settled in to our (temporary) new home in Helensburgh.

Saturday was party time to say Hello and Goodbye. Here we all are in the garden.

Wee Alastair, now nearly 5 months. A contented, happy little person with a charming smile. He likes peace and quiet. Sometimes I see a comic strip bubble above his head when Ishie and I are larking about being far too noisy for his liking "Cut the cackle, Grandma!"

Ishie, now nearly 1 1/2 years old. A bubbly, fiesty, fun-loving wee person! She is very sociable and always busy, busy, busy. A head-mistress or a hospital matron in the making?

Grandma on the deck. I lost my other hat last year when I stood in Hillhead Underground station waiting for a train. A big blast of air came through the tunnel and - whoooosh - lifted my hat straight up and off into the tunnel. Never to been seen again. I got this new one at Dobbie's Garden Centre up the road but I really miss my old one which was so nicely molded into shape.

Ishie and Bill. Who's having more fun?

Ishie loves Peek-a-Boo and throws her head back with gales of laughter as only a little person can do!