Saturday, 30 January 2010

The Late Bird Catches The Goose

At around 3pm this afternoon I decided I'd go and catch the last couple of hours of daylight to take some pics. Picking up my camera, I thought it might be an idea to check the battery.....


So I had to charge it for an hour.

Eventually I made it down to Forfar Loch at around 4.15pm....

I think I hit it at just the right time. The setting sun was creating some beautiful colours both across the loch and in the sky.

The reflections of the sky on the partially frozen loch created a scene of calming beauty.

This would've been quite a good pic if I hadn't managed to catch the grass in the foreground and the arse of the duck disappearing bottom left...... I should've cropped it but hey....It's the weekend and I'm allowed to be lazy.

By the time I got around to taking these, I could no longer feel my hands.... It was seriously cold.

It got to the point where I was sticking both thumbs in my mouth to try to warm them up!

I just hope nobody saw me.

As I was kneeling down to get this pic, a wee girl approached me. She must have been around nine or ten. Her Dad was a bit behind her. She looked out over the ice and the ducks and geese, took it all in and said to me, 'Ooh that's soooo nice. Look at the way they're all standing on the ice'..... Not in your usual ten year old excitable way, but more thoughtful and restrained.

I had to swallow hard...... a little thing like that can make your day.

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Thursday, 28 January 2010

$1 million prize

I took the top three pics early yesterday morning in Arbroath, whilst waiting to go in to a course on how to sit in a chair and look at a computer 'correctly'...... How I've survived till now I just don't know.
The silhouette of Arbroath Abbey against the morning sky caught my eye.....

......But just to the right of the Abbey, I was struck by something in this scene. At first I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. Perhaps it was the glint of the sun?.....

I'm not sure how noticeable it is in the two pics.....but there's a prize of $1 million for the first person who spots it and leaves a comment...... well, mebbe not.
Clicking to enlarge will help........ the pics were taken approximately 60 seconds apart.

What is it about this telegraph that fascinates me?

A slightly warmer feel to take us into evening.

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Monday, 25 January 2010

Crombie Country Park

Winter refuses to give up her grip on the park. But the muted colours are still to be found everywhere...

The trunk of this small birch.....

The moss on this little bridge.....

Up close and personal....

...and I particularly like the contrast of these russety leaves with the green woodland floor.

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Saturday, 23 January 2010

Winter Trees

Wandering aimlessly through Crombie Country Park, I was struck by the beauty of the winter trees silhouetted against the grey skies. There's undoubtedly a sense of desolation about them.

And yet their veinous form reminds you that soon enough the lifeblood will flow through them again.

Hurry up Spring...

Winter Trees

The wet dawn inks are doing their blue dissolve.
On their blotter of fog the trees
Seem a botanical drawing --
Memories growing, ring on ring,
A series of weddings.

Knowing neither abortions nor bitchery,
Truer than women,
They seed so effortlessly!
Tasting the winds, that are footless,
Waist-deep in history --

Full of wings, otherworldliness.
In this, they are Ledas.
O mother of leaves and sweetness
Who are these pietàs?
The shadows of ringdoves chanting, but easing nothing.

Sylvia Plath 1932-1963

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I had the radio on this morning whilst going about my housewifery duties....well, in a manly kinda way.
I was loading up the washing machine when I gradually became aware of this song playing. I abandoned the loading procedure, cranked up the volume and allowed this song to wash over me. There's just something about it that makes me smile. Even the Kenny G style sax towards the end sounds good.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Elizabeth Bishop

Pic : Getty Images

I came upon this lovely poem tonight for the first time. In fact this was my first encounter with Elizabeth Bishop's poetry. She has such an easy style.
The moment of self awareness she encounters as a child is beautifully poignant.
I have a feeling that reading this would spark a memory or two for most people.

In the Waiting Room

In Worcester, Massachusetts,
I went with Aunt Consuelo
to keep her dentist's appointment
and sat and waited for her
in the dentist's waiting room.
It was winter. It got dark
early. The waiting room
was full of grown-up people,
arctics and overcoats,
lamps and magazines.
My aunt was inside
what seemed like a long time
and while I waited and read
the National Geographic
(I could read) and carefully
studied the photographs:
the inside of a volcano,
black, and full of ashes;
then it was spilling over
in rivulets of fire.
Osa and Martin Johnson
dressed in riding breeches,
laced boots, and pith helmets.
A dead man slung on a pole
"Long Pig," the caption said.
Babies with pointed heads
wound round and round with string;
black, naked women with necks
wound round and round with wire
like the necks of light bulbs.
Their breasts were horrifying.
I read it right straight through.
I was too shy to stop.
And then I looked at the cover:
the yellow margins, the date.

Suddenly, from inside,
came an oh! of pain
--Aunt Consuelo's voice--
not very loud or long.
I wasn't at all surprised;
even then I knew she was
a foolish, timid woman.
I might have been embarrassed,
but wasn't. What took me
completely by surprise
was that it was me:
my voice, in my mouth.
Without thinking at all
I was my foolish aunt,
I--we--were falling, falling,
our eyes glued to the cover
of the National Geographic,
February, 1918.

I said to myself: three days
and you'll be seven years old.
I was saying it to stop
the sensation of falling off
the round, turning world.
into cold, blue-black space.
But I felt: you are an I,
you are an Elizabeth,
you are one of them.
Why should you be one, too?
I scarcely dared to look
to see what it was I was.
I gave a sidelong glance
--I couldn't look any higher--
at shadowy gray knees,
trousers and skirts and boots
and different pairs of hands
lying under the lamps.
I knew that nothing stranger
had ever happened, that nothing
stranger could ever happen
Why should I be my aunt,
or me, or anyone?
What similarities
boots, hands, the family voice
I felt in my throat, or even
the National Geographic
and those awful hanging breasts
held us all together
or made us all just one?
How I didn't know any
word for it how "unlikely". . .
How had I come to be here,
like them, and overhear
a cry of pain that could have
got loud and worse but hadn't?

The waiting room was bright
and too hot. It was sliding
beneath a big black wave,
another, and another.

Then I was back in it.
The War was on. Outside,
in Worcester, Massachusetts,
were night and slush and cold,
and it was still the fifth
of February, 1918.

Elizabeth Bishop 1911-1979

Monday, 18 January 2010


It poured with rain and sleet on Saturday, so I did what any weather coward would....

But Sunday was a different kettle of fish.

Driving down one of Dundee's BUSY roads (actually, this street has always mystified me.... it must be one of the widest thoroughfares in the city....and it's always empty) I noticed the imposing sight of an oil rig, in for whatever it is oil rigs come in for...... repairs?... lick of paint?... oil rig MOT?

So I carried on driving down to Broughty Ferry where I knew I'd get a better view of this North Sea giant at sleep. I think I chose just the right time of day as the sun was sinking and the rosy glow contributed nicely to the vista which presented itself.

Turning 180 degrees and looking down river, the last of the sun was just catching the windows of the riverside houses along Douglas Terrace. Nice views from them, if you can afford it.

I wanted a close up of the rig but didn't have my zoom with me......

So I walked...... and walked.......and walked........

.....and walked.....

Just so's I could get this pic especially for you.......

The things I do for you bloggers...

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Saturday, 16 January 2010

Theodore Roethke

In A Dark Time

In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;
I hear my echo in the echoing wood--
A lord of nature weeping to a tree.
I live between the heron and the wren,
Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den.

What's madness but nobility of soul
At odds with circumstance? The day's on fire!
I know the purity of pure despair,
My shadow pinned against a sweating wall.
That place among the rocks--is it a cave,
Or a winding path? The edge is what I have.

A steady storm of correspondences!
A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon,
And in broad day the midnight come again!
A man goes far to find out what he is--
Death of the self in a long, tearless night,
All natural shapes blazing unnatural light.

Dark, dark my light, and darker my desire.
My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,
Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?
A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.
The mind enters itself, and God the mind,
And one is One, free in the tearing wind.

Theodore Roethke 1908-1963

Photo by Danny Wilcox Frazier / Redux for TIME

Hmm.... Came across this for the first time tonight and can't quite make up my mind about it.
Yes.....this IS what I do with my Saturday nights!
Deep insight gained through suffering?...... or petulant superiority complex?
Answers on a postcard please.....

Monday, 11 January 2010

Saturday Snow

A selection of pics from Saturday evening. The light was fading fast, but it created a very atmospheric mood..... or was that just me!

Looking towards Dunnichen Hill from Letham. I wonder if it snowed the day they fought the Battle of Nechtansmere......
There's something very comforting about that peculiar glow you get in the evenings during a snowfall as the light is going...... together with the silence the blanket of snow creates, it never fails to thrill.

Don't think too hard about how you pronounce Dunnichen...... I've lived around here for a looooong time and I still have no idea!

I liked the red of the lamp post against the evening sky.

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Monday, 4 January 2010

Jack's Bench

A return from the blogwilderness......

Now I know there's a bit of a theme going on here, but bear with me and let me get it out of my system......

I've always loved this song since I first heard it years ago, but recent events have given it an added poignancy.

These pics were taken yesterday at a frozen and snowy Rescobie Loch just outside Forfar.

It was one of those beautiful winter's days, bright blue skies, crunchy snow, freezing temperatures......

The sun was very low and was casting lovely long shadows across the snow.

I love this little bench and often wonder who Jack was......

I like the simplicity of the message his friends left.