Thursday, 30 April 2009


Back to The West coast of Scotland for these Skywatch pics. This in Scotland is what's known as the gloaming. A much better word than sunset I think. This was taken on an evening drive back to Gairloch from Applecross. The island across the sea is either Raasay or Skye, not sure which.

This lighthouse was at the end of a drive along the tightest single track road I've EVER been on. It was unbelievably narrow. One sheep was enough to block it. Some of the clifftop roads were pretty hairy but great to drive on. The lighthouse is a Bed and Breakfast now. Just the place to 'really' get away from it all.

This is somewhere on the West coast. No idea where.... but I liked the sky.

For more Skywatch pics click here
Of A' the Airts
Of a' the airts the wind can blaw, I dearly like the west, For there the bonnie lassie lives, The lassie I lo'e best: There's wild woods grow, and rivers row, And mony a hill between; But day and night my fancy's flight Is ever wi' my Jean.
I see her in the dewy flowers, I see her sweet and fair; I hear her in the tunefu' birds, I hear her charm the air: There's not a bonnie flower that springs By fountain, shaw, or green, There's not a bonie bird that sings, But minds me o' my Jean.
Robert Burns 1759 - 1796

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Cliffs and Cullen Skink

Two more pics of the cliffs from the Arbroath end. Was reading today that they're 350 million years old. That's pretty old. I wanted to include a video of the sport of Arbroath Cliff Jumping, where total nutters jump off into the sea but my technical expertise with video just isn't up to that yet. So if you're interested, go to You Tube and type in Arbroath Cliff Jumping and see what I mean. Awesome man!

The pub/restaurant isn't the closest to the cliffs, but it's the best. They do the finest Cullen Skink on the planet.
For more Watery Wednesday posts click here

Monday, 27 April 2009


From Wikipedia

Arbroath Smokies are a type of lightly smoked small haddock – a speciality of the town of Arbroath in Angus, Scotland.

The Arbroath Smokie originally came from the
small fishing village of Auchmithie, 3 miles North-East of Arbroath. Local legend has it that a store caught fire one night, destroying barrels of Haddock preserved in salt. The following morning, the people of Auchmithie came to clean up the ruin and found some of the barrels had caught fire, cooking the Haddock inside. Further inspections revealed the Haddock was edible and quite tasty.
In reality, it's much more likely that the villagers at Auchmithie are of
Scandinavian descent as the 'Smokie making' process is similar to methods of smoking which are still carried out today in areas of Scandinavia.
Towards the end of the 19th century, the fishing industry in Arbroath was in terminal decline, this prompted Arbroath Town Council to offer the fisherfolk from Auchmithie land in an area of the town known as the fit o' the toon, they also offered the fisherfolk use of the modern harbour, this together with the better prospects on offer in Arbroath saw much of the Auchmithie population relocate to Arbroath, bringing the recipe for the Arbroath Smokie with them. Today, there are around 15 businesses producing Arbroath Smokies in the town, making them widely available through major supermarkets in the UK, and worldwide via the internet.
In 2004 the
European Commission registered the designation "Arbroath Smokies" as a Protected Geographical Indication under the EU's Protected Food Name Scheme, acknowledging its unique status.

Arbroath Smokies are prepared using traditional methods dating back to the late 1800s.
The fish are first
salted overnight to preserve them, they are then tied in pairs using hemp twine and left overnight to dry. Once the Smokies have been tied and dried, they are hung over a triangular shaped length of wood to smoke. This kiln stick fits in the middle of the pair of Smokies, one fish either side. These kiln sticks are then used to hang the dried fish in a special barrel containing a hardwood fire.
When the fish are hung over the fire, the top of the barrel is covered with a lid and sealed around the edges with wet jute sacks (the water prevents the jute sacks catching fire). All of this serves to create a very hot and humid smoky fire which is devoid of flames. The intense heat and presence of thick smoke is essential if the fish are to be cooked, not burned, and to have the strong smoky taste and smell people expect from Arbroath Smokies. It normally takes less than an hour of
smoking, before the fish are ready to eat.

Apologies, I lifted that straight from Wikipedia. Wouldn't normally do that, but I'm still not 100%. I was too late to see the actual smoking process taking place and the guy was a bit busy to be arsed with some eejit asking him dumb questions. So I snapped away and left.

I must confess to not having a very 'fishy' palate. Tastes too much like fish for my liking. But bung these things under a grill smothered with butter and they're pretty damned delicious.

It claims there are about 15 of these businesses in Arbroath in the article. I have my doubts. Can only think of about half that number. None of the fish are caught in Arbroath any more. They're all lorried down from Aberdeen or Peterhead. Shame really.

For more My World posts click here

Sunday, 26 April 2009


Naldo, remember the unidentifiable trees? Are these any help to your pal?
I took this 'panoramic' view from the hill just above Auchmithie today. Weather wasn't the best, but I think it gives an idea of what you see looking north, east, south and west.

Just wish I had the technical know how to merge them into one big shot.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Arbroath to Auchmithie

Started off at Arbroath Cliffs today. Not the safest place on the planet. Many go there to jump and others go to slip and fall. See the face?

There's a two mile or so path between Arbroath and Auchmithie. Needless to day I took the main road in the car. I did it when I was 16 so I can't see any reason for doing it again.

Once in Auchmithie, you see this sign. No indication of what is is other than a but n ben.

In fact it's one of the most popular restaurants around. The seafood is amazing.

A quaint wee place if you got rid of the cars.

I include this poem just because I like it :

Variations On A Theme By William Carlos Williams by Kenneth Koch
1I chopped down the house that you had been saving to live in next summer.I am sorry, but it was morning, and I had nothing to doand its wooden beams were so inviting.2We laughed at the hollyhocks togetherand then I sprayed them with lye.Forgive me. I simply do not know what I am doing.3I gave away the money that you had been saving to live on for thenext ten years.The man who asked for it was shabbyand the firm March wind on the porch was so juicy and cold. 4Last evening we went dancing and I broke your leg.Forgive me. I was clumsy and

I wanted you here in the wards, where I am the doctor!
Email This Poem to a Friend

No idea what this is, but it's unusual. Furnace of some sort.....where they burnt the witches?

These are the cliffs at the other end..... much the same as the one's at the Arbroath get my point?

And one for the ladies.The age old question? What's he wearing under the kilt?........

For more Scenic Sunday posts click here

Friday, 24 April 2009


A wee splash of colour to counteract some of the dreary graveyards recently! The pansies are in bloom outside the Angus Council HQ in Forfar. Couldn't resist thses clouds in the middle pic. 
Bottom pic is of the Angus TV Transmitter, again lovely cloud formation.


Now horses and me don't really get along. I love them, but only from behind a fence, or a wall. Somewhere they can't really cause any physical damage to you. All those hooves and powerful legs and massive heads can cause some serious pain. Not too crazy about being five feet off the ground on their backs either. They have a mind of their own. So a bit of mutual respect is what's called for here.
This guy seemed friendly enough and I was trying to coax him towards me with handfuls of nice fresh grass, which he loved. But the owner came out and gave me it in the neck for feeding him. She said he wasn't the most amiable chap and was likely to take my fingers off in the process.
See? Never trust a horse!

Anyway, he took a major huff following this.......

Thursday, 23 April 2009

The stone I forgot

Fantastic isn't it.

Broughty Ferry pubs

The view from the Ferry

Barometer Cottage. Click to enlarge and you can see why. Sits right next door to the Ship Inn and the views over the River Tay are magic. Not a pub, but couldn't miss it out.

The Ferry is full of good pubs. This is one of the best. The walls are covered in local sporting memorabilia. A bit on the middle class side, but frequented by a good mix.

The Eagle has had a face lift in recent times. Was once a bit shabby on the inside and out. Amazing what a lick of paint can do.

The Fishermans (or Fish) as it's known locally is legendary. A converted old cottage with 'really' low ceilings and again a bit of a middle class clientele. Sort of place where it's not unusual to see two guys sharing a bottle of wine...... not a thing you see often in Scottish pubs!
They do however have the most amazing range of real ales and malt whiskies.

I vaguely recall one evening when four of us participated in a pickled egg eating contest. No drinks were allowed and the winner scoffed four in three minutes. From there we progressed to see who could eat an entire lemon (rind ppis and all) in the shortest time. Needless to say the guy who won the pickled egg contest won hands down. I always wonder how his poor wife coped that night in bed!

The Ship once featured in a Tennants lager advert. Camera shot was of sailors on a ship coming up the Tay and the camera zoomed in to the Ship Inn... one guy turned to the other and said 'Aye, we'll have one in there tonight'.

Great thing about the Ferry is that you never have to walk more than a hundred yards to the next pub.
For more Skywatch Friday posts and probably with a bit more sky click here

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Aberlemno Kirk and Stones

Thursday Challenge
Couldn't resist posting this pic which is just round the corner from the church. A fine range of goods, as you can see. They accept Visa and American Express, and sometimes the queues are round the block!

Aberlemno Church and Pictish Stones. Stopped off here on the way to Rescobie Loch on Sunday. Had to wait until the bloody tourists had disappeared before I took these shots. They can only be viewed in Summer as they box them up in Winter to protect them from the elements. It's a beautiful, peaceful place (when there's no tourists around). And the views all around are just stunning. The churchyard is one of the best kept I've ever seen, with newly mown grass and hundreds of flowers.
If you're interested this site will tell you more

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Saint Bride

For Marnie

Saint Bride by John Duncan (1886 - 1945)

According to the legend of the Irish Saint Bride she was transported miraculously to Bethlehem to attend the nativity of Christ. Here two angels carry the white robed saint across the sea. The seascape reflects Duncan's fascination with the Outer Hebrides and the Isle of Iona. The birds and seal provide an effective naturalistic foil for the supernatural angels overlapping the patterned border. Scenes from the life of Christ decorate the angel's robes, and may include the artist's self-portrait as the tiny clown (a holy fool) accompanying the procession of the magi on the leading angel's gown.

Applecross to Gairloch

Back to the Applecross road. Picturesque in the extreme. I was up and down this road a number of times, principally to get to the Applecross Inn for their marvellous food. It was around a 50 mile trip but well worth it. Between the scenery and the fish n chips at the end of it it was a great day out.
For those of you who remember me going on about a recent TV prog based in Applecross, it was called 'Monty Hall's Great Adventure' . So Google it and you may just see what I meant.
My pics don't really do justice to the area. You have to see it for yourself.
If you're ever in Scotland it's a must do.
If you click to enlarge, you'll see on the bottom pic, mussel farms. They grow the mussels on lines.
For more Watery Wednesday posts click here