Welcome to my blog. Thanks for dropping by. Hope you'll stay and enjoy reading about where I've been and what I've been doing!

I don't mean this to be a replacement for personal emails, but it gives me the chance to put up photos and my scrapbook layouts, so I don't block up your in-boxes, or have to send the same photos and stories to everyone separately!
Thanks, and welcome, to the followers of my blog. I'm very honoured that you enjoy it. Drop me some comments from time to time! It's good to hear what you think about the posts. Come back again soon.

Thanks also to Mary of Mary's Mixes for doing all the work on the blog's heading. You are great, Mary!

Thursday, 30 October 2008


Disaster again!
No, I haven't lost the mobile again, but it's not working! It was OK yesterday when I put it on to charge, and today it's not working! It switches on, then blinks a few times and switches off again! I'm bereft once more!

Jean has sent me another of her Camera Club competition photos! Don't know whose Jag it was! She got best marks for the robin sitting on a twig, but not much less for the jaguar and Bob Scratchit. She did well, I think! Now she's planning her next entries. The theme is of their own choice and she says she will enter some seabird pics she took recently. She says she is giving the collection the title of The Darling Birds of May - as they were taken on the Isle of May out in the Firth of Forth! If that title sounds obscure to you, it is a parody of The Darling Buds of May, a popular TV series of the 1990s, based on novels by H.E. Bates. It was the series that launched Catherine Zeta Jones on the world screen. The title, by the way is a quote from one of William Shakespeare's sonnets.

Well! That external drive I ordered the day before yesterday from Amazon? It arrived this morning - 60Gb. Am I going to fill that up or what? Yes, is the correct answer! I am going to save all my scrapbooking stuff on it At the price it was I should get another one just for my photographs! So that's today's fun element - transferring stuff over to the new drive! It will probably take a while, but I'll enjoy myself doing it! I can't believe the size of it (I'm a technology dinosaur)! It's so small!

Anyway, I think that's it for today! Got to get to work - on those files!
Talk again soon!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Jean's pics, and some of my own

Let me introduce you to Bob Scratchit!

This is another of my sister's photos. He's a wild rabbit she saw in the graveyard at the old church in her town. Wild bunnies are not well-favoured by the folk who take flowers to put on the graves of their loved ones. They think "Food!" - the bunnies do, not the people - and chomp them to bits in no time - the flowers, not the people!

And this is another photo of her garden robin! The first one was in my blog "What now?" He's very tame and pecks around her feet while she's working in the garden. - Put out some dried mealworms for him, Jean. He'll love you forever and you may be able to coax him to your hand! Once he's picked up some that you've dropped for him, sit on your garden bench, and just hold your hand out with just a few mealworms on it, so he can see them, and stay still. Talk to him and gain his confidence! It may take a while but he may eventually use your hand as a springboard, grabbing a mealworm as he lands and takes off in one movement! My garden robin a few years ago became that tame and it was so lovely to be able to have that rapport with a tiny bird! He would twitter away to me as if he was talking to me when he came hopping round my feet - and I didn't even need to be digging the garden!

We've had some really stormy days and nights recently, high winds, rain - came down like stair rods. so it did! On Sunday morning just as it was getting light and just before I headed off to my one early shift at work, I took a photo of the river Tweed, outside my window. The water was so high it had flooded its banks and was washing around the feet of an iron bench normally 10-15 feet from the water's edge. It's not a good picture - too much reflection from behind me - but you get the idea! I was going to say... you get the picture?

The next photo, later in the afternoon, shows the river having gone back in again, leaving a line of debris on the grass to mark its high water level. You can see on the other side of the river how far back from the banks those trees are! It seldom gets much worse than that. In 20 years the floodwater has only twice come right over the Green! The first time I saw it that high, one of the neighbours had his canoe out and was paddling it down past his house, where the road was submerged! The last time, I actually didn't see it, as it happened overnight, but my downstairs neighbour assured me the water came right over the Green and across the road, just stopping at the edge of the pavement outside our building! It was still pretty high in the morning though and only the top of that bench was visible! The whole area looked like a lake (loch, to us!).
It has calmed down now though and the last few early mornings have been frosty - not that I was awake that early to see them - and the days have been sunny and dry, though today it is dull but dry! So much for the old saying Red sky at night, Shepherd's delight! It's supposed to herald a good day to come! Not here, it doesn't! There was a lovely sky last night.
I went to the hospital for the x-ray yesterday afternoon, and will get the results in a week! It's probably a touch of arthritis! Don't order my zimmer frame just yet though! Afterwards Linda and I went to Tesco's and I bought a new flat screen TV, all ready for when we have to go digital in a couple of weeks time! My old telly doesn't owe me anything! It was one I had when I was still doing B&B, and I got it second hand!! I'll need to get the aerial fixed though! It's been dislodged - by the wind? (or a TV aerial guy who did a job for my neighbour downstairs some time ago?) - so I haven't seen any TV since the spring! Haven't missed it! Been too busy blogging!
Talk again soon.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008


No, not the computer!
I've lost my mobile phone!
Whatever did we do without mobile phones? I don't even use mine that much, but I feel lost - cut off -devastated - without it, and of course its phone book has all my numbers in it!

Gladhouse Reservoir
full to overflowing for the first time in ages
I'm sure it was in my jacket pocket when I went out yesterday to meet Linda for lunch! With any luck it will have fallen out of my pocket in the car, but I'm not holding my breath! It was in my right pocket - the one nearest the driver's door.
We met at a favourite cafe just out of town, had lunch, then took a run to look at a local reservoir. We stopped a couple of times so I could take photos so my phone will more than likely be lying among some long grass somewhere - Linda laughed at me. She agrees with Ian - I could take photos for Scotland!!!!!

So, I could do a re-run, I guess! However I have an appoinment with the doctor soon, and the plumber is supposed to be coming sometime to see what's wrong with my central heating boiler, as I can't get it to fire up! Now, heating is one thing we Brits need in winter! Air con would be nice in summer but is not absolutely necessary, but central heating? A definite MUST have! The sun is shining this morning but the temperature is way low! Not freezing, but only by a few degrees (C)! There's more snow in the north but it hasn't reached us - yet - and hoping it doesn't till at least January February, if even then!


Just been out at the doc's, and have come back with a slip of paper to take to the radiography department at the hospital at Melrose - our local General Hospital. I've to get my hips x-rayed!

I also came back with....... my mobile phone! It must have been in the other pocket after all, as it was lying between the front seats of the car.
Thank goodness!
I feel whole again!
Talk again soon!

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Autumn colours

Well, as you can see, I finally got the photo problem licked! I think it was because my PC didn't have enough RAM left. I deleted loads of old files and folders, and lo and behold, it worked!


So, the autumn photos?

Next morning I decided to drive back down Loch Ness-side, turn right at the Drum onto the road to Cannich and Glen Affric, then up along by the river Affric to Beauly and back to Inverness before making my way home to Peebles, to be back before I was due to go into work!

Given time I'd have turned left at Cannich and driven to the end of the road where there's a path that continues alongside Loch Affric then through the hills. I walked it once, a good number of years ago now, staying overnight at the oh so remote and basic - if not primitive - youth hostel in the heart of the mountains, before continuing westwards, emerging from the hills at Kintail on the west coast! It was a beautiful walk, although it rained a lot, and I got blisters through wearing new boots that hadn't been worn in enough!

However on Wednesday, because I kept stopping to leap out of the car to take a photograph, time was something I really couldn't afford, having left Inverness too late in the morning. I turned right and followed the road over the river Affric and alongside it, past a roaring torrent of a waterfall, and scenery magnificent with autumn colour, as you can see.

wild rose hips

The road from Cannich is a quiet country one, wide enough for one car width comfortably, so to allow overtaking, or if you meet another car coming the other way, these passing spaces give you a place to manoeuvre!

From Beauly the route lies alongside the Moray Firth to reach Inverness, and in the distance, the Kessock Bridge that takes the A9 on its continued journey north over the Black Isle and up to the top of Scotland! When I used to visit Moira I would cross the bridge, but not this time. At Inverness it was time to turn south again, soon passing the Cairngorm mountains with their light snow caps, beyond Aviemore, and the other small villages off the main route.

If anything the colours in Perthshire were that little bit better than further north - possibly the type of trees growing! Perthshire has a lot of beech as well as the birch found in Inverness-shire. However driving the A9 there is little opportunity to take photos. Once or twice I just switched the camera on and pointed it in a general direction through the windscreen before clicking, and hoping for the best! Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't! The snowy Cairngorms one wasn't bad!

So I arrived back finally in Peebles, with twenty minutes to spare before I was due at work for the evening! Not bad going!

Talk again soon.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

A small travel

My trip to Inverness on Tuesday took me up the A9, the main route north - not always an easy road as there are only occasional stretches of dual carriageway where you tend to put the foot down to get past the vast amount of lorries, campervans, caravans, and general slow drivers that have been holding you up on the two-way sections. It is a very frustrating road to drive and I think it is little wonder there are so many accidents on it. It's high time they did something about making it dual carriageway the whole way to Inverness. This time, thankfully, I didn't encounter any problems and reached Ralia information centre in good time, stopping to have a drink and a sandwich in the cafe.
The first snows of the winter have fallen on the northern hills providing great opportunities for photos.

As Janet was still at work and my other friends were otherwise engaged I took a drive along the Fort William road once I reached Inverness.

For those of you who didn't know it, the word means the mouth of the river Ness, Inver being a Gaelic word, anglified, for the mouth or estuary of a river. The Ness flows from Loch Ness, probably most famous for - you guessed it -its monster! Nessie has been making periodical appearances since the 600s A.D, though not many people have actually seen her (or her descendants). Despite being ridiculed, I still say that I believe I have seen her! I was probably in my early teens one particular visit I made with my parents to the lochside. Dad and I got out of the car and went to look at the loch, leaving mother and my sister in the car. In those days people believed that Nessie was a huge long worm-like creature, which appeared like a long neck and several loop-like humps, but what dad and I saw that day was exactly as they now believe the monster to look like. What we saw, looking down on the water from a high bit of the old road, was the body like an upturned rowing boat moving through the water leaving a wake behind it. No long neck or head - just a body! Dad asked me did I think that was the monster? Well upturned boats don't move leaving a wake! Whatever, I believe I saw Nessie that day!
Anyway she wasn't to be seen on Tuesday at all, and the only monsters I saw were the models at the smaller of the two Nessie exhibitions at Drumnadrochit.

Now there's a name! It's from the Gaelic language too. Drum is the anglified "back or ridge"; na means "of the", and drochit (Scottish ch as in loch, not as in church) is an anglified "bridge" So the village name came from the back of the bridge!

Not far from the Drum (short for the village's name) is Urquhart Castle, standing very impressively on a promontary in the loch. The QUH is pronounced as K so URkart is about the right pronunciation.

The castle is a ruin today but was once quite a sizeable castle, dating from the 12th century I think, though they say there would have been fortifications there from about the 7th century. Maybe the first sighting of Nessie was from this promontary!!!!!

Having photographed the loch from a tiny beach of eroded banking, and the castle from the visitor centre carpark, I returned to Inverness for a walk around the town.

The sun was shining; the sky was blue and the city skyline ( officially a city these days!) looked quite attractive from the river bank, dominated by the 19th century castle - not old at all - and several church spires.

To be honest it's not the greatest place on earth! There are some attractive old buildings, like the town house....

.....or the even older Abertarff House,

but most are more modern, from the 18th to 21st centuries. I did a bit of window shopping, looking into the Eastgate Centre, a fairly recent addition to the retail sector! Love its Celtic knotwork logo!

I remembered its Noah's Ark clock from a good few years ago when the centre was new.... and smaller...., one of those automated ones that moves characters round and round or up and down, and doors open and close, on the hour and half hour at least!

Then I got lost in one of the mall's many walkways, and found mysel exit-ing at another door! I kind of knew where I was though, so confidently set off in the direction of the river once again. How the centre of Inverness has changed over the last thirty forty years. I liked it better in the old days!!! Is that a sign of age? If so, don't tell me! I don't want to know!

Eventually I crossed the Ness by the bouncy pedestrian suspension bridge - quite a peculiar sensation, as it bounces quite a lot as everyone walks over it - came back to the car and drove the short distance to Janet's, where I got a big welcome from her and hubby Ray..... and yes, Janet, you ARE in the blog!

As I took photos of herself and Pickle, she commented that she'd probably end up on the blog, and of course she was right! I think these are great pics! Pickly Pussycat loves to be brushed - just as well, as she is such a fluffy cat!
Later, I got Janet to have her photo taken with Ray. Hey Ray, two of my work colleagues thought you looked like Clive James!!! There IS a resemblance!

We all went out for a meal in the evening and were joined by one of Ray's workmates from Edinburgh who was working with him for a few days. It was a fun evening. I'm getting worried about my memory! I can't even remember the guy's name, but he said he was often down in Peebles on his bike at weekends so he might drop into the shop to say hello! And before any of you start getting ideas, he's happily married with family and is too young as well!!! Derek! He's called Derek!

I have lots of autumn colour photos from the next day to show you but I think they can wait for the next installment, or I might make a scrapbook page!

Talk again soon.

Ads by Google

Do you know there is an ad - Ads by Google - on this website http://wwp.britishsummertime.co.uk/, that says,

British Summer Time Clock
Thinking of buying?
Check out 100s of retailers' prices
at Shopping.com

It's not even April Fool's Day - now there's a good idea, come next spring!!!! Have you bought your BST clock yet? Advertise BST clocks for sale on a website and you click and the message comes up APRIL FOOL!
Still haven't resolved my problem with the window not opening to allow me to upload my photos. In fact I found out that if I try to open a window within ANY website, it won't open and everything freezes. Can any of you make a suggestion - a sensible one!?
So that's why I am writing this drivel about BST clocks!!!!! Honestly, the ad was for real! Don't know if it changes ads often or not, but at 21:10 BST, which is now, it is definitely there!

More problems!

I've written my blog about my trip to Inverness but am having problems trying to open the window to insert details of the photos I want to upload! It's driving me nuts! I've tried taking more photos off onto CDs, in case there wasn't enough memory to complete the action, but that hasn't worked either! In the meantime please bear with me and I'll get back to that trip and the photos as soon as I can find out what the problem is!!!
Talk again soon.

Monday, 20 October 2008

What now?

Well, I seem to have come to a halt! No more travels to write about for now!

Work is OK. Still enjoying it! Our store is to get a refit sometime next month so we are looking forward to that, though we will need to recruit some new staff. That could be interesting! I should do a few "before" photos, then when we are all new and shiny take some more!

So! I can get back to scrapbooking again now! Last night I played with the photo of the chic Frenchwoman you saw in my last blog - and came up with this layout.

I'm rather pleased with it! I loved the colours she was wearing. The dull orange t-shirt - she was wearing boots the same colour - with khaki tiered cotton skirt, and khaki cardigan wrap. The sunspecs. the newspaper and - I hate to say it - the cigarette, all combined to make her look very French and chic! I'll have to choose some more of my best shots for more French layouts. Any that you think might be good ones to use? Let me know and I'll see what I can do! Or what about the Kiwi and Aussie pics? You can go into COMMENTS at the bottom of this entry and make your suggestions.

It's a stormy old day today! The autumn leaves are flying fast and furious. At the moment the sun is shining but the sky is still grey and horizontal rain will likely follow! A wee while ago there was a group of kids outside on the Green running relay races. Why there, I have no idea as there are plenty of green spaces nearer the schools. Today is their first day back after the autumn week off. Curiouser and curiouser (said Alice!), they were actually out in their lunch hour! How strange is that?

What made me think about school holidays was that an email just came through from my sister who would normally be at work just now. Edinburgh schools get their week's holiday after the Border schools! So this is what Jean sent me! She's quite into her photography and has a far better camera than I have! I just point and shoot, but she has all the buttons and dials to operate!

She says this is her tame robin who dodges around her feet when she's gardening. What a lovely photo. She's entered it in a competition at her camera club, so I hope it does well for her!

So! Tomorrow is my day off and as I don't have to be at work till 6p.m. on Wednesday I have decided to go visiting in Inverness! Janet and I have been friends since schooldays, and she lives in Inverness with hubby Ray, and Pickly Pussycat (Pickles). Haven't seen her for a few months so I am doing an overnighter with them! Hopefully we'll go out and have a nice meal and a glass of vino, and talk the evening away! She'll be at work during the day though, so I also hope to catch up with one or two - hopefully both - of the Doune, Knoydart, lacemaking ladies, Joan and Sheila! Joan lives in nearby Cawdor (do you know your Macbeth?), while Sheila used to live there but now lives in Inverness. If I leave here about 9a.m, I can be in Inverness by 1p.m. - ish! There we are now. I'll blog some more towards the end of the week, so......

...talk again soon.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

An exhibition and an invitation

From Verteuil we headed a few miles further north to meet up with Tony and Eileen, who had sold Ian his house a few years ago. The place was Barro. The event was an annual photographic exhibition with a difference. The venue was the whole of the village - in the main square, (above)

along the lanes,

in the barns,

in the old lavoir.....

even in the church!

Subjects ranged from travel to nature to people to effects but to be honest, there really wasn't much that took my fancy, although there were some good photos. I did like the ones of womens' shadows strategically placed so that flowers on the grass or on a bush for example were viewed as part of the subject - not that I would have bought one to display on my wall at home!!!!!

You might wonder as the exhibition is out of doors, what happens if it rains. I asked Ian, and the reply was, "They get wet!" Obviously they are printed on waterproof material of some kind, but luckily there had been no wet weather up till then.

I don't think Ian was all that impressed with what he saw either, but he is thinking of putting in some pictures himself next year. Some of his motor racing pics would look good enlarged and displayed along with the rest, and I think he should show his series of teddy bear Mulberry pictures, like the one of him climbing into a full sized shower cubicle with his towel over his shoulder. I'm hoping Ian will allow me to make a scrapbook layoutof Mulberry's antics. They are so clever and so cute!! Sorry I can't show them to you right now, but if Ian allows me to put a layout here later, you can see them then!

Eileen kindly invited us over to their house for supper, so after we had seen enough, we headed back to the car park to find Snowy again. I had to take a photo of this house we passed on the edge of the village! It was gorgeous! Nothing flash, just a simple country house! I loved it!

En route to Tony and Eileen's we passed several large wind turbines, that Ian told me had only been built recently. He said they spoiled the view of the countryside but I think aesthetically they are very beautiful! I'm not getting into discussion about the pro's and cons of these modern windmills so don't go there!!! I like this photo I took as we were driving along! It is one of those lucky good shots that I took from the moving car! The road was familiar to Ian as he had stayed with T and E for a time when he first moved over to France and was driving back and forward spending time getting his own house ready for occupation.

They themselves had done up their own place and recently Tony incorporated a pizza oven into the wall of an outhouse in their garden which Ian duly admired!

Having already met Amber the retriever, we now met the cats. Well, you know me and cats! I love them to bits, and aren't these just so gorgeous? This is MAYPOLE!

Here's ginger HARLEY (below)

and the tabby whose name has completely escaped me! Senior moment, I'm afraid!

So, while Eileen began cooking Ian and I took a walk through the village. I was quite taken aback when Ian suddenly launched into a loud, but very presentable Glasgow accent and ducked down to run alongside a five foot high wall. He turned the corner and headed for a gap in the wall through which I could now see what Ian had seen before, a very tall man, by now looking quite perplexed. As he saw Ian his face broke out into a smile. He came over and the two shook hands and hugged.

This was Hamish (from Scotland), who Ian had described as being 6 foot 14 tall! He looked all of that, as you can see from the photo I took as we bade Hamish farewell later. Ian is a good 5ft 9! First though, we were invited inside his renovated house - another I fell for - and treated to a glass of wine.

Supper at Eileen's was delicious and afterwards we chatted and were shown how to play Wii tennis and bowls - their new toy! It was with some regret we finally left for home again. CC was rather pleased to see us though. It must have been a long day for her, as it certainly was for us, but how I had enjoyed it!

Saturday morning came come round far too quickly and in the afternoon I was leaving for home - very reluctantly - a point Ian picked up early on, as we had breakfast. "You don't want to go, do you?" Was it that obvious? but yes, I go very quiet at times when I am sad or fed up. It had been a wonderful few days, and no, I didn't want to go. Wasn't ready! Could have stayed another few days happily. To change my flight would have been too big a hassle and very expensive - I only paid £10 return from Stansted to Poitiers - so leave I had to!
But there was still the morning which we spent in Confolens again, meeting up with some more of Ian's friends at the cafe in the Square, for a cup of delicious 'ot chocolat and un peu de conversation, as well as a bit of people watching.

I guess we didn't ask for the same thing as Harvey! Ours weren't piled up with cream! All too soon though, it was time to go. We ate some lunch at home, and I said my goodbyes to CC, before Snowy - and Ian - conveyed me to the airport. I told Ian just to get going back home as he was going to the bar for Lionel's celebration for getting his post office licence, but as we were early Ian suggested a drink in the cafe, which was nice. Inevitably, at last my flight was called so with big hugs we said farewell, and each began our journey home - in opposite directions.

Talk again soon.