Thursday, 27 May 2010

Ponies, Rape and Primark

Yeah.....I know, strange title for a blogpost, but......

All will become clear dear blogfriend.....

These were taken last Saturday during the 48 hours that was Scotland's summer......

I took pics of these fellas in the bleak midwinter....... some of you may remember.
They were freezing their little nuts off back then. Saturday saw them in happier mood.

And in response to demand...... my three quid t shirt from Primark. Extremely natty dontcha think?
Although Molly, my wee girl's dog steals the show somewhat.......

Much prettier than my belly....

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Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Fire In The Fields

Driving home from work this afternoon, I was struck by this blaze in the distance.

I've no idea what was burning.....

It wasn't a house or building.....I'm pretty sure of that.

But it looked pretty amazing whatever it was.

Slightly farther to the east it was raining.......

Monday, 24 May 2010

Swans and Castles and Big Guns

The weather this weekend has been pretty amazing for Scotland in May. Absolutely glorious.
On Saturday I headed down to Broughty Ferry. Always a nice destination on a sunny day...

One for the boys...... ye cannae whack a big gun.

Can't make up my mind whether the Saltire (Scottish Flag) was flying at half mast or not.....

Mebbe some toff tosser was just seriously ill......

The swans were out in force......This one was giving me the evil eye I think.

....Ah the crystal clear waters of the Silvery Tay..... click this to get a better view all the way up to the Tay Road Bridge.

The queue at Vissochi's was too long for ice cream, so I settled for Gregg's sausage rolls and a freezing cold bottle of Lucozade and wandered back to the stony beach and the swans.....

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Friday, 21 May 2010

Arbroath Abbey Bowling Club

When I become a grumpy old tosser..... and no comments please......

.....this is the kind of place I want to be.......

Playing bowls here when you're 70 is probably the equivalant of being off your face in a nightclub with a beautiful girl in your 20's.....

......well mebbe not.....but you get my drift.

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Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Desperate Dan and Fiona

My beautiful wee girl Fiona and I went on a shopping spree in Dundee on Saturday. It was a lovely day and we had a great time together. Jimmy Chung's got a visit.... Fiona got a new outfit and ruby slippers.....I got a 3 quid T shirt from Primark.....that's the way it should be, right?
Desperate Dan is the one on the left......

Just kidding Fee!

How cool are those shoes?

Monday, 17 May 2010

A Bridge Over The River Annan

I was driving home last night from the very South of Scotland (Annan area) after dropping my wee girl Fiona off.......long story...

.....she doesn't live with me for reasons which I can't understand and won't go into here......

......but I stopped on the way home to take some pics of this beautiful bridge over the River Annan

All the way home I played Biffy Clyro's 'Many Of Horror'. on repeat from Dumfries to Forfar.....4 hours non stop of the same song......I haven't had that for a long time.

Why do some songs do that to you?........I'll sicken myself of it eventually, but it hasn't happened yet.....I blared it in the car on the way to work this morning again.

This is another song that did this to me......I make no apologies......I'm no Abba fan. But this song breaks my heart...... and the beauty of it is that it's a happy song. To me, that's real genius.....writing a song which has the ability to conflict emotions. If you know the song...great, but I doubt you've heard this version......if not, either way you're in for a treat...
There's also a personal message here.....

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Thursday, 13 May 2010

St Clements Church, Rodel, Harris

This is St Clements Church in Rodel on Harris........there was a wedding going on when I took these pics. It's hard to imagine a more beautiful setting for getting married.

And being Harris....the obligatory sheep had to get their arses in the pic.....

Cruciform in shape, the church was built around 1500 by the Macleods of Dunvegan and Harris. In 1784 the church was rebuilt by Captain Alexander MacLeod. Three years later there was a fire and he had to repair his work. In 1873 it was restored under the orders of the Countess of Dunmore. Today it is in the care of Historic Scotland. It is thought that the sandstone used inside and around the windows might have been imported from Carsaig on Mull.

In days gone by the key used to be held at the local hotel where visitors had to go and fetch it. Nowadays, with so many visitors coming here, the key is kept attached to the door. Inside to the right of the entrance is a marble plaque noting the restoration by the Countess of Dunmore.

It's hard to convey what these pics mean to me.....

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Wednesday, 12 May 2010

The Ruined Cottage

Slightly better mood tonight...... took these on the way home this evening from work. I pass that ruined old cottage every day and always think of Wordsworth's poem.

From The Ruined Cottage

TWAS summer, and the sun had mounted high:
Southward the landscape indistinctly glared
Through a pale steam; but all the northern downs,
In clearest air ascending, showed far off
A surface dappled o'er with shadows flung
From brooding clouds; shadows that lay in spots
Determined and unmoved, with steady beams
Of bright and pleasant sunshine interposed;
To him most pleasant who on soft cool moss
Extends his careless limbs along the front
Of some huge cave, whose rocky ceiling casts
A twilight of its own, an ample shade,
Where the wren warbles, while the dreaming man,
Half conscious of the soothing melody,
With side-long eye looks out upon the scene,
By power of that impending covert, thrown
To finer distance. Mine was at that hour
Far other lot, yet with good hope that soon
Under a shade as grateful I should find
Rest, and be welcomed there to livelier joy.
Across a bare wide Common I was toiling
With languid steps that by the slippery turf
Were baffled; nor could my weak arm disperse
The host of insects gathering round my face,
And ever with me as I paced along.

Upon that open moorland stood a grove,
The wished-for port to which my course was bound.
Thither I came, and there, amid the gloom
Spread by a brotherhood of lofty elms,
Appeared a roofless Hut; four naked walls
That stared upon each other! - I looked round,
And to my wish and to my hope espied
The Friend I sought; a Man of reverend age,
But stout and hale, for travel unimpaired.
There was he seen upon the cottage-bench,
Recumbent in the shade, as if asleep;
An iron-pointed staff lay at his side.

William Wordsworth 1770-1850

Tuesday, 11 May 2010


What a f*****g disaster for this country.......and by this country, I mean Scotland. I could go on and on and on about why this is so........ but I'm so depressed about the whole shambolic situation I really don't want to depress myself any further....

In fact I'd rather discuss England's World Cup Squad.......

As a good friend of mine texted me tonight and said.....'They don't like Brown, so let's see how well 3.5 million unemployed, riots in the streets and interest rates at 15 % goes down. Ah those were the days'

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Aberlemno Stones and Dry Stane Dykes

I took these yesterday on the road back from Brechin to Forfar....the ol Aberlemno road. I've posted about these stones before, but it was such a gorgeous day I couldn't resist stopping and snapping. When I see walls like this I can't help feel that I should make some attempt to learn the art of 'dry stane dyking' as it's known in these parts. It's a work of art this wall. The 'dry' aspect comes from the fact that no mortar is used in the construction and the stones are fitted together by shape and size alone.

From Wikipedia:

A dry-stone wall, also known as a dry-stone dyke, drystane dyke, dry-stone hedge, or rock fence is a wall that i constructed from stones without any mortar to bind them together. As with other dry stone structures, the wall is held up by the interlocking of the stones. Such walls are used in building construction, as field boundaries, and on steep slopes as retaining walls for terracing.

Location and terminology

Terminology varies regionally. When used as field boundaries, dry stone structures often are known as dykes, particularly in Scotland. Dry stone walls are characteristic of upland areas of Britain and Ireland where rock outcrops naturally or large stones exist in quantity in the soil. They are especially abundant in the West of Ireland, particularly Connemara. They also may be found throughout the Mediterranean, as in Majorca, Catalonia, Languedoc, Provence, Liguria, the Apulia region of Italy, Cyprus, and in the Canary Islands, including retaining walls used for terracing. Such constructions are common where large stones are plentiful (for example, in The Burren) or conditions are too harsh for hedges capable of retaining livestock to be grown as reliable field boundaries. Many thousands of miles of such walls exist, most of them centuries old.

The story of the stone is described in the bottom pic. They cover it up with a big wooden box over winter to protect it from the elements and remove it about now.

Aberlemno itself is just a tiny village.... a few houses, a nice wee primary school and not much else really. Well apart from the beautiful little church just down the road, which contains some more fantastic Pictish stones.....more of which later.

I'll get a pic of the other side of the stone when the sun is shining on it, it's not so well defined as the I may need to haul my ass out of bed early one morning just for you lot...... the things I do eh?

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Friday, 7 May 2010

Pitmuies Gardens 2

Further to my previous post about this beautiful garden. The above pic is of the 18th century house.

This is an enlarged pic of the detail I showed in the last post. Gorgeous or what?

Now when it comes to sammich and near beer spots.....this takes the proverbial biscuit....

Now I'm sure some of my green fingered gang out there can enlighten me on these beauties.

And for those of you who know of my passion for sundials....... Hallelujah!...and all mossy and licheny too!

There are lots of lovely woodland walks alongside the little burns.

I was sooo lucky to have the place to myself.

Bearing in mind these pics were taken at the beginning of May.......

..... Can you imagine just how beautiful it all is in mid summer when everything is in full bloom?

And once again.....I need some help from you horticulturalists here......I like to know the names of beautiful things.

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