All posts by admin

Straight Up

Another happy trawl through the dictionary, occasioned by the news of a new orthopaedic wing for Kirkcaldy’s hospital.  Orthos is straight, genuine or right angles, leading to orthodox, orthotics and new to me, orthoepy, the study of correct pronunciation.  It is also much used in chemistry and by association, geology.

On the same page, ortanique, which sounds as if it should derive from old French, but is actually a portmanteau word: orange  tangerine unique.  People get away with just making this stuff up!

The concept of portmanteau words was of course brought into being by Lewis Carroll, where he used two words to make one, the most famous being slithy, from lithe and slimy.  Porter is to carry and manteau is a cloak.

Abu Dhabi

As the estate agents never tire of telling us, one of the many grand things abut Fife is its coastline.  We have several beautiful beaches within easy reach of our home, a fact which has made the last 9 months just that bit more bearable.  In anticipation of yesterday’s Level 4 announcement we tootled off to Aberdour, for a chilly, bracing march along the sands and back.  The light changes constantly, which will be news to no-one, but it continues to fascinate.

Other than that, chef made his own pasta and we won the Saturday Quiz.  And one of my chums typed Aviemore as Aviemoron on FB, that made me laugh more than it should have.

Edinburgh sur Mer
Moon
Silver Sands looking east
Grey

Plantastic

For anyone with an interest in plants, art or indeed both, below is a link to the degree show at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh.  They offer training in botanical drawing, a uniquely special method of documenting the life story of a plant.  I have long been in awe of this, and its practitioners.  There is a short film at the bottom of the page, and with all that’s continuing to happen in the world I can think of worse ways to spend 9 minutes, while waiting for the solstice and the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn.

Thanks to Fife Contemporary for the nod.

Whilst we’re on the subject of links, it will come as no surprise to anyone if I point you, gently, in the  direction of the Christmas shows on line from the Lyceum theatre.  Well, who knew, Karine Polwart has made one…..

 

 

 

 

Against the Dying of the Light

So it rumbles on. Mid November, return to lockdown for some areas here,  and all over the world.  Tantalising glimpses of vaccines, stories of very bad behaviour in the corridors of power, and meanwhile the winter avian visitors have arrived.

Fieldfare, Auchteralyth
Wild geese, Perthshire
Swamp,. Loch of Kinnordy
Autumn colours
Goosanders, Townhill Loch
Last of autumn colours

Beadnell’s About

Pictures from our week in Northumberland.

Sequoia Chillingham
Beadnell bay
Honeysuckle
Beadnell Bay 2
Sand blowing
Ice cream
Dahlia Chillingham
Chillingham
Craster
Chillingham crest
Flowers and insects
Chillingham dining table
Chillingham corner
Lobster pots. Craster
Dunstanburgh Castle
Yacht, Beadnell

Lost and Found

For some years now some of our family have been discussing  the mystery of The Sicilian, a female ancestor about whom very little was known.  Thanks to some new research, she has been identified as Elizabetta Calabro.  She and her spouse, Andrew Walker, had a daughter named Mary, in 1815.  Mary was born in Gosport, and was referred to as English. Mary is our direct ancestor.

Andrew Walker was “of this parish” in Towie, Aberdeenshire, so the birth was recorded at his church.  Family legend has it that Elizabetta was a contessina, and eloped with Andrew when he was en route home.  Maybe they were on their way north when the baby was born?

Andrew was recorded a a wine merchant, which could explain why he visited Sicily in the first place.

Ban the Wasp was originally set up to share family history; it’s good to know that there is still an interest.  For anyone brave enough to ask, I now have a family tree printout – it’s three metres wide….

Birth of Mary Walker

 

Mine of information

Tiny frog

Loch Ore on Sunday, this superb local amenity features a circular walk through a variety of ecosystems, including a beach, reed beds, meadow, fields of geese and woodlands.  Built on the land reclaimed from coal mining, it’s used for water sports and is the meeting place for the Newfoundland dog group.  Wee frog here the size of a thumbnail.  The children’s playpark acknowledges the industrial heritage.

Mute swans, pen and cob with cygnets
Loch Ore
Channel from the lochan

July kit

Bay flowers 

From my walk today, some wild, some planted.  The poppies are at the end of the Dunfermline Road out of Limekins, an infamous junction where there is no place to linger.

Today I was listening to my current podcast of choice, The Moth,  thank you Fiona for the shout, walking along, when I became aware of a moth in my specs.  Of course I behaved like a grown up and made sure it was settled safely in a nearby hedge, but I must confess that my first thoughts involved ocular ingestion.

Apolgies for the numbering, WordPress and iPad do not make easy bedfellows.

Bay flowers 5
Bay flowers 2
Bay flowers 1
Poppies at 50 mph

Fig for a jig

Finding myself on the Lakeland page and seriously considering an egg coddler,  I remembered that it is possible to use this interweb thingy to post as well as to shop.

I’m surprised that I haven’t been keeping a lockdown diary.  To be fair, 100+ entries of “got up, didn’t go out, tried to sort my hair,  went to bed” would eventually pall, but it might have been an interesting experiment to document the change of attitude as the days stretch on.  But, as I have no refreshingly cool or mordantly witty statement to make on the whole pandemic and the various reactions of countries to this,  I haven’t really thought of much to write.  If best selling authors are only raising their heads above the parapet to show their latest jigsaws,  then I don’t feel too guilty.

 

 

 

Toothsome

I think most of us are experiencing sleep issues during lockdown.  For me, it’s a mix of wakefulness, wild dreams, dozing instead of non REM, sensitivity to the early dawn, and so on.  One aspect is that I wake up, frequently, singing. Many tunes wash through my cerebral cortex, I would love to say that each one is a celestial aria, worthy of the greats, but in fact they are usually monotonous three note riffs which would not occasion any loss of sleep for a Novello nominee. You may experience something similar.

However, I defy anyone to tell me that they also sprang  to wakefulness today at 03:15, singing “Hey, hey!  I’m a bicuspid!” * Takes that dream about all your teeth falling out to a whole new level.

I was laughing so hard I had to decant to the spare room.

*tune available on request.