Monday, 28 September 2009

TIME FOR A TUNE ON THE PIPES

Iain was away last week at a conference down south. He was asked to bring his pipes along which he did. (He has to be asked; he doesn't just turn up with them!) The organiser of the event took this photo of him as he played for the delegates.


Sunday, 27 September 2009

ROTHESAY-TARBERT RACE

Iain and I, Peter and John G, set off from Bowling on Friday at high tide to join the rest of the Clyde Crusing Club at Rothesay for a weekend of sailing and socializing. We had a good sail down with the last bit being in the dark. This lead to a bit of fun and games as we came upon lights (of a vessel) off Rothesay that we could not identify. See below.

Here we are in the morning at start line. It was a spinnaker start which always adds to the stress of getting to the line after the final gun. (I close my eyes; I simply can't look! It is a good job I am not at the helm; I would be shouting "Out of my way" as I crossed the line ... with my eyes closed, of course!)

Peter helmed, Iain and John pulled the ropes and I took photies and made tea. It was after 4 pm when we reached the Finish Line (well down the fleet) and headed into Tarbert Harbour. This lovely boat was not part of the race but passed us when we were lopping about with no wind in Loch Fyne.

Real sailors get stuck and it is simply a matter of jiggling about till you get off - if you are lucky and the tide is not falling. This fellow who was racing with us ran aground in the Kyles of Bute and tacked too close inshore. He eventually got off.

I have to admit that there is a certain schadenfreude here. We had a similar situation 24 hours earlier when we were in Rothesay Harbour looking for a berth for the night. Ooops.... we stuck in the mud at the end of the outer pontoon. Nothing for it but John and I rocked the boat back and forth as Stewart W. on Oran na Mara hauled on rope ... and off we floated. All part of the rich pattern, as they say...!

I took this shot this afternoon on our way home. It is the Toward Point lighthouse. I did not doctor it with Photoshop. The little bit of sun we got at that point just lit up the white buildings which made a wonderful contrast to the very dark grey sky.

This photo is about the other side of sailing on the Clyde. I only took the photo because it provided the answer to a puzzle from the night before. We had sailed down river to Rothesay where we planned to rendevous with other CCC boats in the harbour at a pontoon. We made a good course across the Clyde from Cloch Point, in the dark, and were approaching Rothesay (with the lights of the town in the background) when we became aware of some weird lights between us and the town. It was like wartime with us straining to figure out that, yes, it seemed to be a boat - bigger than a ferry - and was moving. We veered off sharpish. We eventually identified a bridge and then a sort of cargo boat shape. But what were all those "windows" lit up along the mid-section? Well, in daylight, the next morning, all became clear.

It is a naval supply vessel (and the previous night it had 2 tugs with it). Why? What was it doing off Rothesay in the dark? Moving supplies (things you don't want to know about) to vessels elsewhere. What was I saying about life's rich pattern?

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

THE PEOPLE'S TENOR

It is not often that I am stopped in my tracks but today I was bowled over by this fellow! I decided to go into the city centre and coming out of the train station I could hear someone singing. As I neared Buchanan Street the most wonderful tenor voice filled the alleyway from which I emerged.

And here was this fellow (below) standing on the steps of the Glasgow Concert Hall singing Schubert's Ave Maria. A crowd had gathered and I joined them by sitting on the opposite sidewalk just letting it wash over me! What a voice! Who was he? What was he doing there? (It could have been Italy except that the temperature of the air and the out-of the-picture statue of Donald Dewer reminded me that it most certainly was not!)

His name is John Innes. "For the past ten years, this talented Scottish singer has been bringing opera out of the rarefied atmosphere of the concert hall and into the lives of the people by performing in sports stadiums, shopping centres and high streets all over the UK." [From his website here. ]

Apparently he is known as ‘The People’s Tenor’ and I can see why. He has an extremely pleasant, engaging manner and obviously just loves to get out there and SING!

He was highlighting the fact that he is due to sing in the Concert Hall in a week's time. And I cannot go as I am joining Maggie to attend a charity dinner.

A month later: I received a delightful comment (click on Comments below) which was from a fellow whose mum is the lady in the foreground of this photo. Amazing!

Monday, 21 September 2009

TIME FOR A HURL

Back from holiday and now it is time to enjoy the lovely late summer weather. Iain and I looked after the 2 babes all day on Thursday. We took them to our new place which proved to have several advantages we had not forseen.

The back garden is toddler-proof. By strategically placing the 2 garbage bins the only exit to the street is easily barricaed.

The swing park at the back is easily reached from the street and for that reason we feel it is not necessary to open up the hedge to make a gate for access. Of course, getting wee Alastair to walk from Point A to Point B is a very time-consuming exercise as he stops at every puddle and pile of stones that must be investigated!

Grandpa has bought a new wheel-barrow!
It's black ...
And shiny ...
And gleams in the sun.

It has been sitting in the back yard
For days ...
And days ...
And days.

Oh well ...
It has its uses ...!

Thursday, 17 September 2009

EARLY MORNING IN THE GARDEN

We stayed overnight in our new house, i.e. we are 'camping' in it, as we were both required for Granny & Grandpa Duty all day today.

It has been a glorious day - in fact, it has been lovely all week. For once I had my camera to hand and so managed to take a few early morning photos.

I am proposing to put these cyclamen plants in a low wide planter once I get organised. Meanwhile they sit outside the back door basking in the sunshine.

A spider's web on the lilac bush on the east side of the house.

Nasturtiums in Anne Bennet's jam jar.

Cotoneaster berries. These trees are going to be tidied and lowered. They are a great place for the birds to gather at the moment.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

A DOORING WE WILL GO

Iain is constructing a door for the very dilapidated garage that graces our south facing garden at the back of our new house. We see, from sitting in the garden, that we get the sun all day! But a lot of jobs need to be done, starting with the garage side door.

His door is nearly ready to be hung. (He is away in Englandshire giving a paper at a conference.) In the meantime Hazel sent me this cartoon which made me laugh and laugh!

Saturday, 12 September 2009

THE SANDS OF VANCOUVER

We are back home now! Having been away for 2 weeks in Vancouver enjoying blue skies and sunshine the whole time, it is a Big Shock to get back to gray skies and rather unrelenting rain.

Leaving Glasgow Airport and the wet tarmac.


It is am 8 1/2 hour flight - a long time for little people and Teddy Bears.



The beach at Vancouver. What more does one need for a kiddy-holiday?!


Holiday snap at Jericho Beach pier.


Alastair's introduction to hot dogs, hamburgers, French's mustard and no... the wine is mine! (Supplied by Dawn the whole trip from supplies gathered on trips to California wineries.)