Category Archives: Kirsty

Ironmoulder

Neither my father nor my aunt recalled the name of any foundry in which their father worked.  I have found this detail via Scotland’s People.  See record no. 1920, employee 54.

ScotlandsPeople  (think you have to click twice to see it).

The foundry,  Forth and Clyde and Sunnyside, has an information page here.  It closed the year my Grandpa died, 1963.

As mentioned previously on BTW, he worked in munitions during the Second World War, and did not speak of it. How he coped with the stress of doing that while his son was on active service for six years, I simply do not know.  I think I have mentioned elsewhere that the badge below was given to him, as an essential worker during the First War,  to stop him being challenged by the sort of people who today hide behind a keyboard.

Brass badge worn by people performing essentail non military work inthe first World War
AM munitions worker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other items he made include the boot scraper, now curated by my sister, and a peever*, which sadly we never found.

 

*Peever – small block of iron, used to play Beds, or hopscotch as the the Southerners would have it.  A gird was chalked on the pavement or school playground, and the players had to hop around the grid, kicking the peever forwards in a prescribed manner.

Less fortunate children made do with a tobacco tin filled with earth.  It fills me with delight to see that the kids in our street are still playing this.  Who’s to say an OAP doesn’t have a wee hop herself if it’s early doors?

Play well

The word “lego” is derived from the Danish words “leg godt”, meaning “play well”.  Really enjoyed seeing these Lego sculptures at Edinburgh Zoo, on a rather close and muggy summer’s day.

All the models were of sea creatures, which brought this tune to mind.  Stick with it for the chorus harmonies.

Eye of Squid
Ray

 

Kenning Yew

Up in Kenmore with the folk club, A8M, celebrations, music and jaunts.  For some reflection we visited the Fortingall Yew; debate rages, quietly, about its age but it’s definitely very old*. It felt pretty humbling and impressive to be in its company.  I note from Wiki that part of it has changed gender.  Mum always said there is nothing new under the sun.  She would have enjoyed the pre-dinner-drinks drinks  in our posh verandah room.

When I’ve done my work of day,

And I row my boat away,
Doon the waters of Loch Tay,
As the evening light is fading
And I look upon Ben Lawers
Where the after glory glows;
And I think on two bright eyes
And the melting mouth below.

She’s my beauteous nighean ruadh,
My joy and sorrow too;
And although she is untrue,
Well I cannot live without her,
For my heart’s a boat in tow,
And I’d give the world to know
Why she means to let me go,
As I sing horee horo.

Nighean ruadh, your lovely hair
Has more glamour I declare
Than all the tresses rare
‘tween Killin and Aberfeldy.
Be they lint white, brown or gold,
Be they blacker than the sloe,
They are worth no more to me
Than the melting flake of snow.

Her eyes are like the gleam
O’ the sunlight on the stream;
And the songs the fairies sing
Seem like songs she sings at milking.
But my heart is full of woe,
For last night she bade me go
And the tears begin to flow,
As I sing horee, horo.

She’s my beauteous nighean ruadh,
My joy and sorrow too
And although she is untrue,
Well I cannot live without her.
For my heart’s a boat in tow
And I’d give the world to know,
Why she means to let me go
As I sing horee horo.

*3 – 5000 years.

Fortingall Yew tree
A8M, Kenmore
Room and terrace
Kenmore Bridge
Some cards

 

Going coastal

Aberdour Silver Sands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evening walk on the sands.  Recent storm activity has eroded the beach,  but it will return.

This picture came out as if it had been painted, no rendering by me, I think I was moving too fast and the phone has done its best.   There is actually a redshank in this picture but it’s way too well camouflaged to see.

Aberdour Silver Sands 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some music to listen to, no prizes for guessing….

Upmanship

Should time weigh heavy on your hands, I can recommend looking up the word “up” in a dictionary.  Hithered there on a quest for the etymology of upholster, I was reminded of swan upping – driving the swans upstream so that they may be coralled and identified.  Given that these avian grandes dâmes might be a bit uppity, one might give up easily.  Uptear and upthrow are actual words,  whilst upmaking is the practice of filling a ship’s bilges before is launched.

Upholster is a back formation (it says here) from uphold.  As ever, I am uplifted by this increase in my lexicography.

Just in case that leaves you in an uppish frame of mind, here’s a tear jerker. 

Land o’ the Peh

To Dundee, thence to meet up with Philip and Jacqui,  and to assess at first hand the V&A museum which opened its doors recently, after the usual amount of controversy associated with any groundbreaking arts-led enterprise.

It’s a bold building, with excellent views along the Tay and over to Fife.  The Scottish design gallery had some very interesting exhibits and I would like to go back early on in the day, mid week, so that I could see more.

We hope that the hundreds more who will visit, venture out to enjoy what else is on offer in this unique and interesting city.    We also made a sideways jump to the McManus Galleries, and again I would like to go back and spend more time there.

I have looked up the deal for the Birds of Africa picture below, the ship Uganda is indeed the same one as I sailed on in 1970.   It was an educational cruise and the schoolchildren lived in dormitories.  We were not allowed anywhere near the grandeur of the grown ups’ dining rooms and we drank nothing but apple juice for 10 days, which explains why I have been ambivalent about that drink ever since.  Had great fun though, even if I was sick as a dog going through the Bay of Biscay.

Tay Bridge through the V&A
BIrds of Africa, from the Uganda
Dancer with Three Seagulls, Marcello Mascherini, bronze panel 1959.
Reflections
V&A entrance
Exterior, V&A
Salon, from the Cruise liners exhibition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oak panel, Titanic

 

November 2018

So. Just home from an all too brief trip to Slaley Hall, for the last time.  Nothing lasts forever and we, as a group, have decided it’s time to move on.  Journeying there for the first time by electric car, we called in at various chargers in the Borders towns.  I was struck by the commemorative work in evidence for the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, the official cessation of hostilities for World War 1, although God knows the seeds of World War 2 were being sown, even then.  Anyway, in particular, Coldstream, a town with significant  connections to the armed forces, had poppies everywhere, knitted, sewn, crocheted, fashioned out of metal, and in gardens.  It was significant and notable.

Tonight, listening to a special edition of Antiques Roadshow being broadcast from Etaples, I noted a speech from an unnamed participant,which seemed, to me, to sum up so much of what is happening just now.  Whatever you think of the BBC, they did broadcast this.

“Well, looking back in time, I think these people went through hell with the lid off, and I stand in awe of what they endured, and the price they paid, so that we could live in freedom.  But looking forward, I would wish that every politician would come and visit a place like this so that they can learn what happens when politics fails.”

When politics fails.

Transcription my own.

Today is the 100th anniversary of the death of Wilfred Owen.

Road trip

Home from Namibia, an unforgettable trip,  now faced with the near-impossible task of selecting some photos from the 5000+ taken.  Digital cameras, eh?

In good time.  In the interim, here is our list of new-to-us birds.

Huge thanks to the Birds of Namibia book, by Ian Sinclair and Joris Kamen, published by Struik Nature, 2017.

Great White Pelican
Greater Flamingo
White-Breasted Cormorant
Cape Cormorant
Grey Heron
Western Cattle Egret
Marabou Stork
South African Shelduck
Red-billed Teal
White-backed Vulture
White-headed Vulture
Bateleur
Verreaux’s Eagle
Martial Eagle
Black-Shouldered Kite
Pale Chanting Goshawk
Secretarybird
Helmeted Guineafowl
Common Ostrich
Kori Bustard
Northern Black Korhaan (female)
Black-winged Stilt
Pied Avocet
African (Black) Oystercatcher
Blacksmith Plover
Crowned Plover
Marsh Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper
Kelp Gull
Grey-headed Gull
Hartlaub’s Gull
Namaqua Sandgrouse
Speckled Pigeon
Cape Turtle Dove
Grey Go-away Bird
African Palm Swift
African Grey Hornbill
Southern Yellow-Billed Hornbill (Flying Banana)
Damara Red-billed Hornbill
Rock Martin
Fork-tailed Drongo
African Golden Oriole (female or juvenile)
Pied Crow
Black-faced Babbler
Groundscraper Thrush
Capped Wheatear
Willow Warbler
Cape Wagtail
Southern White-crowned Shrike
Crimson-breasted Shrike
Cape Glossy Starling
Pale-winged Starling
Marico Sunbird (female)
Great Sparrow
Southern Grey-headed Sparrow
White-Browed Sparrow Weaver
Sociable Weaver
Red-billed Buffalo Weaver
Lesser Masked Weaver
Red-headed Weaver
Violet-eared Waxbill

Quite a few which were just too quick for us, and an honorary mention for the Lilac Breasted Roller captured on film by one of our companions.

Walvis Bay, August 2018