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

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Garden centre

There is so much to catch up on!  I was almost caught up when I posted my last entry and started this one, but time has whizzed by again – I just seem to have been so busy with one thing or another!  No time to blog!  Well, now I’ll get back to the entry I began ages ago! 

I just love Garden Centres – especially if they have a cafe with good food!   I have to say that Paddock Farm, where Colin hangs out, was up there in the top ratings for food,  but locally, well fairly locally, there’s Dobbie’s!  Met Linda there the other day and after a nice salad lunch we went wandering!  She needed plant supports and I wanted wild bird food.  Her plant supports weren’t hard to find but in the meantime I made for the bird feeding section.  Loads of choice of this-mix-of-seeds and that-mix-of-seeds-with-suet, etc, and then I saw the bird tables!  My downstairs neighbour has asked me to move the feeding trays on the balcony that the birds have been using all winter, as she says she is having to wash her windows every day, so I thought I would put a bird table further inside the balcony, and to discourage the pigeons, and crows, put a netting round it so only the small birds could use it!  Well, there was one rather nice bird table on display – probably expensive, I thought – and so it was.  However it was slightly damaged – only in that the roof was missing a length of wood on a corner to cover the edges of adjoining slate tiles.  Well, the assistant offered it to me for below half price!  I couldn’t believe it!  balcony bird table So now it stands on my balcony, well back from the edge, and so far the blackbirds have discovered it!  The pigeons are frustrated at not being able to use it  and the crows are considering what to do next! ---- but back to Dobbie’s. 

I knew I had to restrain myself when it came to buying plants – I have to get my garden in order first!  Changes to be made, then plants to be bought – so I contented myself with taking photos.   The rhododendrons in pots were beautiful – rhoddy I was so sure I would remember the name of this variety, but I haven’t, percy wiseman en masse




but the next two are Percy Wiseman and Albert Schweitzer.albert schweitzer

Then there were the hibiscus plants – in varying shades too - red hibiscus red,  pink,  yellow, ………..




pink hibiscus

yellow hibiscus

bottle brushes

These bottle-brush flowers reminded me of my trips to Australia.  I’d be surprised if they’d survive here in Scotland!  fountain

There is so much to look at at Dobbie’s, not just pots and pots of plants but garden layouts and paths with wisteria dripping pergolas over them.wisteria   Isn’t this just glorious? 

potentilla red robin



Among my favourite shrubs is the potentilla which also comes in so many different varieties and colours,  pink, yellow, tangerine, lemon, white, and my favourite here – Red Robin!yellow shrub   Here’s another couple of  plants I liked.   I’ve forgotten the name of the yellow onemandeville


but the pink one is a Mandeville!  Sounds like it’s going to eat you if you get too close!

I always seem to get garden ideas here.  pot fruits I like the idea of growing my rhubarb in a wooden box cum basket ,with strawberries in a pot, and some herbs in wee pots, all grouped together.  Maybe I could group them on the steps up to my front door.patio planter



Petunias and dianthus look good in this old metal watering can too.  I bet they cost the earth these days, as everyone seems only to use plastic watering cans !

The kids loved the duck pond – and so did some of the adults, who chased around trying to get pictures of the ducklings.  Mother mallard had five youngsters but being in a safe environment she didn’t need to keep them close by her all the time … and they were all over the pond!  And can they move!!!  Some were almost out of shot by the time the shutter clicked!ma and baby duck










From outside we wandered back into the main building for a quick look at the pets, Linda to look at the birds and me to find the wee critturs.  loppylugsNo moosies or hamsters to be seen, only a lovely loppy lugged bunny,  so I moved on, to find the bearded dragon lizards in glass fronted cages.  I think they are absolutely gorgeous.  These were probably youngsters, about 4 or 5 inches long, and they were very curious, coming up to the glass and pawing at it, as if it would let them through it!  bearded dragon Unfortunately none of the  close-up pics were very clear when I saw them on the computer screen, but this cute little guy stood and posed  He’s much the same colour as the sand, but the markings on his back are  so pretty.

Now believe it or not I left Dobbies with only my bargain bird table and some bird food.  Since it has been on the balcony for a while now, the house sparrows have found the hanging things and are as agile as any of their bluetit and great tit companions.  The crows, the pigeons and the rooks are still visitors to the balcony – but I rather think my neighbour won’t have to complain about messy windows as it’s the balcony rail they perch on, and the edge of the balcony that I will have to go and clean up later!

Talk again soon.

Monday, 9 May 2011

West Linton

Where there’s an East Linton, there surely has to be a West Linton, and there is!  I was in East Linton recently, and the other day I had lunch in West Linton, again with Linda.  It’s a very charming old village with a wiggly narrow main street, so you have to take care driving through it as you can’t always see round the bends – wiggles rather than fully fledged bends!   west linton 19th centuryThis is a photo  of a photo of the centre of the village in the 19th century,west linton today



while this is how it looks today - Not a big difference, apart from the cars!


wl bakehouse A favourite eating place is The Old Bakehouse, that has gone through several incarnations since it closed as the village bakery and shop more than 60 years ago.  When I was a kid it was a tearoom, where  my parents, sister and I used to end up sometimes, after a Saturday afternoon “walk in the country”.   High tea was a speciality – something that most tearooms did in those days – consisting generally of a choice of fish and chips, gammon and pineapple and chips – everything with chips – ham and egg and chips……. accompanied by a plate of bread and butter, followed by scones and jam and dainty cakes, all washed down with copious amounts of tea.   High teas went out of fashion when restaurants serving meals in the evenings came into fashion, something that just started when I was in my early twenties  However some tearooms are bringing back the old traditional High tea, though they are nowhere near as generous with the accompaniments these days!!!    I must get some photos inside the Old Bakehouse, which hasn’t changed much over the years, thankfully.  The old bread ovens are still in situ with some of the tools of the trade decorating walls and hanging from the ceiling.  The rough walls are painted terracotta now where I am certain they were white in my young day, but the wooden tables and chairs,  even their layout, are the same.

wl books After our lunch we took a stroll through the village, looking into the bookshop with its shelves of new and second hand tomes, and the fireplace shop  - you can see it in the photo of the centre of the village.  It looks straight down the main street on one of those wiggly bends I was talking about - that sells woodburning stoves, or the gas or electric ones that look like real woodburners.  bunny doorstopMy gas stove in the living room came from here.   As well as stoves they sell lots of nicky nacky things for the home, and  as they had a Sale on I bought a rabbit door stop made of old leather for my doors onto the balcony.  I think he’s rather cute!wl gifford fountain  

You can see this clock tower in the photo up above  It was built above the old Cross Well, and the figure you can see is Lady Gifford, wife of Laird James Gifford, a 17th century stonemason.  This figure is a copy of the well worn original which is now in safekeeping out of the elements.  wl marriage stone Another piece of sculpture by Gifford is the marriage stone that is said to have once been above his fireplace, but is now for some reason built into the gable of a cottage on the main street.

wl church


At the foot of the village is St Andrews Church, dating back to the 18th century, with the village war memorial standing outside its walls.  wl war memorial tollhouseBehind me and in the next pic is the war memorial and the old Tollhouse, now a tearoom.

wl lower green


Going to the right of this picture I crossed the lower Green, to the river Lyne, walked over the bridge and along the opposite bank wl river tyne

wl ford



to reach the ford at the top end of the Green.  In medieval days Lyne Water is said to have flowed along the route the main street now takes, so I suppose houses grew up alongside it, but eventually the river’s course was moved  here and the road took its place, hence a meandering road instead of a meandering river.wl tyne  I took the drier route over the wooden footbridge, and took this picture looking upstream. Pretty!  Back in amongst the houses I realise what a mixture of buildings there are along the little lanes and in the squares.

 wl odd corners Cottages have had roofs raised and bits added on, to make several residences with outside stairs to the upper floors, as in this little corner.  Love the gate!  There used to be a beautiful art nouveau front door into the house immediately on the left inside the gate, but I suspect the owners have moved house and taken their door with them  as it has been replaced with a very ordinary glass paned door.  wl cottages West Linton would be a very nice place to live in, but I think I’d have to have one of the old weavers’ cottages!  This one even has a cat flap!  Perfect!

wl upper green


Following the little lanes I finally came to the upper Green which I never knew existed.  I like the cottage here, but I’d remove the wooden porch and build a stone one instead!  Apparently there was once a brewery and also a tannery along here by the Green.  A bit smelly I wouldn’t wonder!  Not now though.  The medieval village has given the place its unique character and appearance and over the centuries it has developed and changed, but you can still see the essence of the place.  I love it!

Talk again soon.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

One thing leads to another

Catherine contacted me recently.  She had found my blog while searching online for a camera club locally.  I replied to her email telling her about the Tweeddale Photographic group – oh, Stuart, if only you could have called it the Camera Club or something shorter!!  From now on it will be the TPG.  We exchanged a few emails.  Catherine hadn’t been in the area long and was having a housewarming party on Saturday – yesterday – would I like to go along?  Which was how I found myself blethering with some of her friends in her amazing kitchen – one whole wall a glass door open to the garden, where the bbq was alight and cooking burgers, kebabs and things under the tender administrations of her partner Fraser!

Now how on earth did Anthea and I get round to the subject of scrapbooking?  I know she mentioned it first,  saying that she was a scrapbooker, and I replied saying I was too but digitally.   (Yes, we were talking about blogging first of all! )  Anthea does the whole messy thing, with paper and glue, scissors, pattern punches, stamps, bits of ribbon, lace, buttons…… me?  Well I can’t afford to get into a bigger muddle than I already am at home though the scrapbooking thing certainly appealed to me, so when I discovered digital scrapbooking that seemed the perfect way forward for me!   I didn’t need loads of paper, glue, scissors, pattern punches, stamps, bits of ribbon, lace, buttons….. it was all there on the internet, like this kit below.  You can arrange any or all of the items into a layout – LO – adding photos – or not, as you please.  I used this one recently for a birthday card for Eunice in New Zealand.  07_K_RedThreads Slowly I got started and found various websites that sold kits of papers and embellishments quite cheaply, and some were even free!  

Most of the websites had online communities, who posted their pages online for approval and helpful suggestions from other members.  I joined one and started posting. Since then, I have joined another smaller one and  have made friends all over the world.  So basically this entry is for Anthea -  and to show off some of the LOs I have done over the years!  You can find Anthea’s website  here.  She’s into card making too.

'Contrast' 479x479

This is one of my earliest LOs, using the most elementary of graphic software, which I still use with great pleasure.  Chris, Ian and I sang together in the early 70s, and at one regular gig this is how we were introduced!

Eric 479x479


Being a big cat fan, I like to do LOs of the cats I know.  These three actually belong to Chris in the above photo, and his wife Mary.Donald



Ernie 479x479 



G&I 479x479




This is one of my family history series.  The photo is of four generations of my family.  The old fella in the centre, my great great great grandfather, was born in 1784 and lived till he was 92.  My grandfather is one of the two little boys – the older one.  I am lucky to have pictures of most of the direct ancestors back to the great great greats!  Here’s  another LO.  GGgf James Inglis 479x479Great great grandfather Inglis is disrespectfully known as Spike within the family due to a resemblance, we think, to the late great Spike Milligan. Inglis family 1845 479x479




This is my LO of his family, Grace his widow, and six of his eight children.  One went to Australia, one to NZ, and another to India. Three stayed at home, including great grandfather.  The youngest daughter died at 18 years of age. 

 Inglis tree 479x479I put all the ancestral LOs into a family tree and had it printed out and framed for my wall!   I’m quite proud of it!





Then I have done some LOs of friends’s children, including little Conor from Galway and his sister Jessica.Jessica

and Ella their cousin. Ella Bella





plums pending 479x479


I like this one – well,  I like all my LOs - of a  plum blossom photo! 

In my opinion the simpler the page the better it shows off the photo.  I have tried the cluttered effect but I keep coming back to the simple LO – strange, as in life I am a very cluttered person! Copper Harbour1

A last one for now, made for my American friend Peggy, who sent me the photo and some words about what it means to her.

I wish I had time to do a lot more scrapping LOs.  I certainly have enough photos to choose from to embellish!

Talk again soon.