Been a while since I had a photo that I felt was worth sharing, this is Cockleroy in West Lothian, not the highest hill in Scotland but one of the best views in eastern Central Scotland, from the Trossachs to the Pentlands, Fife, the islands of North Berwick, and even Arran on an exceptionally clear day. Sharing the view with family for the first time in what feels like forever, and knowing that others were meeting loved ones too, it was a good day.
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.
As the estate agents never tire of telling us, one of the many grand things about 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.
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.
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…..
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.
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….
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.
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.