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
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
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?
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!
Sunday, 26 October 2008
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.
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!
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
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.
Talk again soon.
Monday, 20 October 2008
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
along the lanes,
in the barns,
in the old lavoir.....
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)
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.