Category Archives: Kirsty

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

Weekendings

A busy and fruitful weekend: Saturday lunch in Cafe Portrait, where we narrowly missed Ali and Les.  Then we strolled along the main streets before heading up to the museum on Chambers Street to view Tim Peake’s landing craft.   Hied off to our café du jour, the Angus Fling, where Paul was able to stave off his hunger with a venison burger, whilst I had a more sedate,  and rather good, scone.  Tripped back down the road to Coda Music, where there was a new CD being launched, by Aidan O’Rourke, of LAU fame.  We enjoyed a short concert, with James Robertson reading his stories and  Kit Downes on the harmonium, plus Aidan on fiddle.  They were all kind enough to sign my CD.

Sunday began with a swim, and a serendipitous trip to Loch Ore meadows, where the cafe was open ridiculously early for a marathon bicycle race. allowing us to sneak a cup of tea and a scrambled egg roll.  A walk round the loch itself was followed by a sail on two fun boats.  “Fun” was maybe not quite the order of the day since there was no wind to propel these sail boats, but we had a good time and the staff at the park could not have been kinder, or more helpful.

We had to wear wetsuits.  No pictures exist of either of us in that garb.  Nor will they.

Tim Peake: Soyuz
Paul with Soyuz
Swans on Loch Ore
Calm
Last of the bluebells
Heron at Loch Ore
Pinkfoot Geese at Loch Ore

Celebrations

To Edinburgh once more, and the Braid Hills Hotel Library,  thence to mark the joint anniversaries of Rosemary and Michaela.  A fine meal ensued, in most convivial surroundings.

My camera technique is rather lacking just now, split as it is between a DSLR, a old Fuji Finepix and the phone, none of which had the flash switched on, so we are grateful to Sarah for her lovely shot of the birthday girls.

Rosemary & Michaela