Friday, 28 August 2015


Wind turnbines are popping up everywhere now.  

Looking from the Isle of Cumbrae over to the mainland here are 2 that are now opposite Millport.  A third is planned.

The butcher in his shop told me that the turbine on the right is the biggest in Europe.

Monday, 24 August 2015


I was in Marks and Spencer's today.  They had gloriously sunny buckets full of sunflowers on display.

The French think we are absolutely pathetic in the way that we plant sunflower seeds in the garden while they grow row upon row of them in fields as far as they eye can see!

Here is a variety I had never seen before, again in Marks and Spencer's. Quite lovely!

And then there is my effort for this season!  Of the few seeds that manage to germinate, these 3 reached a height of about 18 inches and the only flower appearing is a miserable green knob! As the French would say Pathétique!

Friday, 21 August 2015


Banksy is at it again.  This Graffiti Artist is about to take us out of our comfort zone with is art. It appears that in Weston-super-Mere [England] a building site under construction was not actually for a film set but was the preparation for an art exhibition in the form of an amusement park called

It is designed to be dismal so that we can all have the experience of those family holidays where we trailed or were trailed around wet amusement parks, spending money at stalls where you were never going to win while being treated to the unhelpfulness of fairground staff.

Inside, however, 50 or so artists are having their work shown.  It appears from reading the website that Banksy, ever the anti-corporate and anti-consumer artist, has put a lot of effort into bad design, satire and painting images that make us squirm (e.g. boatloads of immigrants).

Sigh ....  I have waited years for him to spray paint this fellow below on the garage door ... 

...  I guess I will simply have to go to the derelict seaside site to see his work

except that there are queues and also the website has crashed.  

All part of the Banksy experience?!

Thursday, 20 August 2015


I have been to Edinburgh to enjoy various bits and pieces to do with the Edinburgh Festival.

The city is really looking lovely especially as the weather was warm and sunny! 

Walking along Princes Street looking up to the castle over Princes Street Gardens I took this photo of the castle skyline. It must be on every chocolate box since the time of Sir Walter Scott but here is my take on it.


 Photoshop altered using cutout filter

Photoshop altered using 'glowing edges' stylize filter

Sunday, 16 August 2015


We headed down to Glasgow Green at mid-day to take in the final day of the pipe band championships.

It was a lovely day and Ma, Pa and all the Wains were out in force. This band from Sydney Australia (The Pipe Band Club, I think) looked very smart as they marched into the Area 2 ring to be judged.

The Glasgow Skye Pipe Band followed them into the judging ring.  As they waited they tuned up and did some last minute practice.

Very sharp outfits!  And yes, they can play! The gold coloured sporran clasp and metal belt were something new to me. (Drummers wear their sporrran turned to the back.)

The pipe bands came from far and wide. These chaps from the Malaysia Sikh Band looked very smart in their white garb and headwear which was finished off with a long length of tartan worn over the left shoulder.

Some banners in the Area 1  playing area.  We spent some time watching juvenile bands - impressive!  

The World Champion Band (i.e. Grade 1 which is the top grade) ended up being the Shotts and Dykehead, Scotland;  P/M Ryan Canning.

Friday, 14 August 2015


While in Edinburgh this week I gathered a few photo of flowers as I walked from the train station to visit Inger.  'Flowers of Edinburgh' is also the title of one of my favourite fiddle tunes.

The city was looking very smart and tidy especially after the prolonged period of construction relating to the laying of the tram lines (and all the other street facilities that were required).

A Nursery window below street level - very eye catching!

The water of Leith in Dean Village

Dean Village

 The North British Hotel at the entrance to Waverley Station.  I so enjoyed seeing the blue sky all day in Edinburgh!

 Waverley Station entrance

Saturday, 8 August 2015


Ishie has been learning to sail at Bardowie Loch near our home in Milngavie. She has got the hang of it now as these photos show:

 Rudder in place, dagger board in place ...

She's off ... daggerboard up ... but....

 with daggerboard down.

Time to catch the fleet! Everyone is roughly the same age as Ishie. That is them off for their first sail all on their own.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015


Ishie, 8 years old, is learning to sail at Bardowie Loch.  Optimist boats are used to teach the children the ropes.  

There are about 24 youngsters who are in 3 groups of 8. Shore drill first, then it's on the water with 'mother boats' in attendance.

 A slate grey sky with fields turning golden in the distance.

Ishie capsized on her first day and sustained a bang on her lip from the boom swinging back on her.  Having been dunked she was given a spare wet-suit to use and finds she quite likes the whole rig-out.  She also like the sailing knowing that the idea is to point the pointy end forward without banging into anyone.  (Actually, as she pointed out to me, Oppies have a square pointy bit at the front.)

Grandpa came out to see how she was getting on.  I think the fact that this loch is a short drive from our house might lead to some serious 'training sessions' some evening or at the weekend (until things finish in September).

Bardowie is owned by Clyde Cruising Club of which we are members (40 plus years) so it's a resource which, while our children learned some 30 years ago, we might find we are going to start using again with the next generation.

Sunday, 2 August 2015


In our house, growing up, there was always ... and I do mean ALWAYS ... a bowl of applesauce on the counter or in the fridge as it was my father's 'daily bread' so to speak. 

And so this week ... 

Nothing beats wet weather better than turning on the oven and baking a cake.  I was telling my neighbour that this Applesauce Cake that I decided to make was a real standby of my mother's; nothing reminded me more of her kitchen than the smell of cinnamon and other spices as the cake was baking.

I had a little 2 year old helper.  Harriet just loves to be busy and nothing kept as busy as playing with a cloth and a squeezy bottle of washing up liquid!                              

The sun came out for a few hours at mid-day and for most of the afternoon.

And the finished product, that is, what was left of it. Tonight it was cold; we had the fire on as it feels more like October than July!