Welcome to my blog. Thanks for dropping by. Hope you'll stay and enjoy reading about where I've been and what I've been doing!

I don't mean this to be a replacement for personal emails, but it gives me the chance to put up photos and my scrapbook layouts, so I don't block up your in-boxes, or have to send the same photos and stories to everyone separately!
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Thanks also to Mary of Mary's Mixes for doing all the work on the blog's heading. You are great, Mary!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010


November snow 001 It just doesn’t seem to have stopped snowing all day today!  Not that it’s the first day of snow this winter.  It started the other day – far too early in the season!  I mean, it’s not even December!  The weather forecast isn’t too encouraging either.  It says this weather will continue for a time yet – and here was I planning a couple of trips – to Yorkshire and Inverness.  They are saying the temperatures will get down to about minus 20C in some parts of Scotland tonight  There was footage on TV tonight of an avalanche of snow sliding off a roof and then people rescuing a poor woman who had been walking  past the building at the time.  They helped her up off the ground and brushed the snow from her coat.  Thankfully she didn’t seem to have been injured.  In fact, I rather think she was actually laughing!

winter morning I do have to say that the views from my window are very pretty – looking from a warm living room out into the cold whiteness.   I’ve enjoyed watching the dog walkers or rather the dogs themselves today as they cavort in the snow sending up clouds of white around them!  I went out in the afternoon to visit a couple of friends and took a couple of photos just before it got darkcuddy burn .  The first one looks up the Peebles Water – or Cuddy, as it is called locally – while the next is the view to the right of tree-covered Venlaw ( a law is a lowland hill, so you can’t really call it Venlaw Hill or you’d be saying Ven Hill Hill)venlaw from march st.


The snow covered branches looked very ghostly, especially in the dying light.snow and branches


I took this one later, on my walk home.  It was snowing but a street light was illuminating these branches.  I just thought I would take the photo and see what happened!  I rather like it!

Well, it’s still snowing.  We’ve got about 12 inches, but I know it’s far worse in other parts of the country.  Somehow I don’t think any of us will be going very far tomorrow!

Talk again soon.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

More about the consternation

Further to the story of my car on the High Street,  I discovered the police had also been along to the charity shop where I work one morning a week, to see if anyone there knew where I might be, and had also found my downstairs neighbour’s man-friend’s house when they didn’t find her in!  It’s definitely what Linda, my city friend, calls Small-town-itis!  Nice to know they will make this sort of effort!

Anyway, that same day, Tuesday, toothache that had been niggling for a day or so, settled in with a vengeance.  Despite pain killers I didn’t sleep that night, and next day I delayed going up to Edinburgh for the last day of our Gaelic course till I had got a prescription for stronger painkillers.  It wasn’t until Thursday that I got an appointment at the dentist – and after having an xray of the gum which was by this time throbbing and swollen, she decided there was an infection in the tooth that acts as a post for a capped tooth, but thankfully no abcess.  After a couple of shots of anaesthetic Mary proceeded to remove the nerve in what I had thought was a dead tooth.  That was awful as it set off the next tooth, which wasn’t numbed, jangling.  By the time she was done, I felt quite ill.  Coming home, and dosing up with the painkillers I could only think of going to bed, and managed to sleep for a couple of hours. 

By yesterday morning the pain in the other tooth had indeed settled as Mary had said it probably would, but it still niggles enough to continue taking the occasional dose of painkillers.  And I have to go back  on Thursday next week for completion of root canal treatment!

By the way, when I finally got to Edinburgh on Wednesday, the last day of the course went well but now is when we have to get stuck into the hard work .  I don’t know about the others but I rather missed going to the classes on the next couple of days.  However I haven’t felt like getting into the Gaelic since my visit to the dentist!  Haven’t settled to anything really

  Then last night it began to snow!  We had missed it the day 27 11 first snow of 2010before but during the night we got about 3 inches, and after a dry day today, I see it has started to flurry again now.  Oh this is too early for snow.  The forecast warns that this cold spell could continue for a couple of weeks.  November 012

How I wish I could hibernate for a while!

Talk again soon.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Causing consternation!

Who?  Me!   Well, yes actually!

I came home last night from Edinburgh – Gaelic course and then some shopping - to find two of my neighbours and a police woman in the close (passageway that leads between buildings).  Douglas saw me first and made some comment about the police woman looking for me.

Thinking it was his little joke, I laughed, but soon realised he was being serious!  Apparently my car had been parked on the High Street for almost a week – parking  restricted to 45 minutes at a time – and the police had been notified.  They’d found out who the car belonged to and had come to call at my house.  The lobby light was on, but of course no-one was answering the ring of the doorbell or the knock at the door, so they had contacted the neighbours in the close.  Well because I have been leaving at 7.15 in the morning – in the dark – and not returning till 6.00 or 7.00 p.m. when it’s dark again, I have left the lobby light on, and of course the neighbours hadn’t seen me because they aren’t up at 7.15, and have probably been at their evening meals when I’ve returned!

Poor Douglas had been so worried that I might be lying dead at home, that when he saw me walk into the close he was almost overcome with relief, and threw his arms round me,  after first making his comment about the police looking for me!  The police woman too was relieved as she had been on the point of organising a break-in to see if I was indeed lying dead on the floor!  Thank goodness I came home when I did! 

So, it was suggested I move my car or I might get a parking ticket the next day!  The last time I used the car must have been last Tuesday night, but I have no idea why I parked the car on the street on a week night.  Maybe I had intended driving to  Edinburgh on Wednesday morning and had changed my mind, forgetting the car was there.  Anyway, I did forget it, and caught the bus to Edinburgh each day for the course instead.  I didn’t go anywhere at the weekend either because the weather was foul, and because I was too tired to go anywhere anyway!

Funnily enough, I had actually decided to take the car to town today as I had to go on somewhere else this evening, and before I walked, unsuspecting, into the close last night, I had thought that maybe I should fetch it from the street where I normally leave it and park it ready for the morning!  Hmm!  I didn’t have to bother, because it was there already - as I was to find out – and with a parking ticket (notification of the fine I am going to have to pay) stuck to the windscreen!!!    I suppose I was lucky only to have had one ticket!

So, tonight I have parked the car where I usually park it, away from the High Street and its parking restrictions and tomorrow will bus it into Edinburgh again!  …….. Last day of the course tomorrow!  Then I revert to not doing mornings!

Talk again soon!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

6 days in Edinburgh

Why six days in Edinburgh?  Because I’m doing an intensive Gaelic language course!  I told you before about the Gaelic class I was going to at Newbattle Abbey, once a week.  Well, this is the same course but with 4 units a day, rather than one a week!  By the end of the second day, Thursday, we had covered what the Newbattle class covered in the last seven weeks!  

I got the chance to do this through the choir, so decided to take the opportunity, and although it’s hard work, the time goes quickly, teaching interspersed with silly games to help us remember, and tea breaks and lunch break into the bargain.  The tutors are mainly trainees, under the supervision of David, who devised the  Ulpan Gaelic scheme.  He actually attended the Welsh Wlpan course to see how the scheme worked and not only did he learn to speak Welsh fluently, but he was so confident of its achievements that he set to, and created a scheme for Gaelic learners.  There are well over 100 units – maybe 140 plus - to be learned, and by the time we have finished our 6th day we will have done 24 of them!  David himself has given us three classes so far, and is he enthusiastic!  He’s absolutely tremendous, such energy and dedication!  The others are doing their best; some are better than others, and of course there are so many variations in dialect that we are learning bits of each from each tutor!  Our speech is going to be a hybrid affair, gu dearbh – indeed/truly!

Anyway, starting class at 9.00 a.m. means that I have to set my alarm for 6.30, and be ready to catch a bus to Dun Eideann -  Edinburgh - at 7.25 – it’s still dark!  early sun in EDI By the time I get off the Peebles bus an hour later to catch another along Princes Street it is just light, and on a beautiful morning the sun will just be coming up!  On Thursday morning I took a few photos.  This one (above) from Princes Street has just a spot of light in the background, way beyond the castle.early sun st john's

Getting off the second bus at the West End, I could see St John’s church tower bathed in light, early sun on st george's westas was the dome of St. George’s West church on Charlotte Square, now a repository for the Records Offices , early sun over the west end

and the former Binns department store at the end of Princes Street.early sun at west end


The sun was just above the horizon between St John’s Church and the Caley hotel - right.  It was only a short walk from there to the community church centre where our course is held, and. inspired by looking out on the Princes Street buildings from the bus, shandwick place 1 I took time to look up at the buildings above shop level on Shandwick Place.  This is all part of the 18th/19th century New Town, with architecture of varying styles and from different years.  One thing is for sure.  That was a wonderful time for the city.  The buildings are so beautiful, built to be enduring as well as decorative. eh ladybird 022 This probably being a later New Town development there are other buildings like this one, dating from the Art Nouveau period, I should think.

shandwick place 3

On the right, not only two styles but two different  types of stonework, local whinstone to the left and the softer red sandstone to the right.  This and the next pictures were taken through a very dirty window in our meeting room shandwick place reflection but I loved the reflection of the church clock above us in that top right window of the left hand building!  Pity we weren’t that bit higher to get more of the clock face in!

So. having worked hard all day, by the time we finish at 4.30 in the afternoon it is already dark again. Along at the other end of Princes Street the Big Wheel is being set up for the festive season and already the lights are switched on, and playing their sequences of colours and patterns.  I took the next photo without much hope of it being too good – and as expected, it wasn’t !  I should remember to carry a small tripod around with me. 

However, playing with filters on my computer software, Scott Monument I made it look like a painting -   The Scott Monument, and the big wheel against a dark but cloudy sky; the flood lit castle in the distance on its volcanic rock, dominating the city;  the traffic in the foreground embarking on the evening rush hour….

We have another three days of our six to go, so maybe I’ll get some more pictures before we finish.  There is certainly more than one building in Princes Street I would love to photograph.

Talk again soon.

Saturday, 20 November 2010


Last Saturday was the 30th Anniversary of the  Edinburgh Lace Club for which they held a lunch party - and to which I was invited as a past member.  The party took place in the church hall where the group usually hold their annual Lace Days, and was set out with tables and chairs, cafe-style, with a large buffet table across the width of the room, and several display and workshop tables around the edges.  On the walls, along with a few bunches of balloons – oh dear - were pictures of lace made by the members, moderatorgive and a small pictorial display of the making of the lace jabot to be worn by the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, which was a very early club project.  It was interesting that some of these members are still in the group almost 30 years on, and were at the party itself.   eh lace birthday cake In fact the lady in the light coloured dress, presenting the lace to the Moderator, though long retired as a member was invited to cut the celebratory birthday cake.  I think she was the founder of the club.jean at lunch

It was great to meet up with  lacemakers I haven’t seen for a long time, and join them for lunch.  Here’s my sister with her plateful of goodies from the buffet, jean making tiny teds and here she is again later, taking a very popular “workshop” on making pipe-cleaner teddies!


eh lace 30 jean's teds Here’s one she made during a demo!  I had a go,so here are my teds too!  eh lace 30 my teds




The yellowy one was my first – and I think best so far!   wee dog 001The white one has since been turned into a dog – without a tail!

margaret belford

There were several other activities on the go during the afternoon.  Margaret, on the right, demonstrated the technique of making “leaves”  continental style, margaret's petals and urged us all to go home and have a go at making some Christmas decorations using the technique!  Might make a pair of earrings for Christmas!  (Margaret is also in the Moderator’s Lace photo above, on the right)box making

Liz demonstrated how to make little gift boxes from old Christmas cards, something I used to do a lot of.  Here’s someone having a go!   lace remembrance poppy Then she took names of people who wanted to buy the pattern for a lace-made Remembrance poppy, – with permission from the Poppy people of course, and with proceeds going to them as well -  It’s eh lace ena learning to playvery beautiful.  I put my name down!

Lorena who had been quietly playing the clarsach during lunch, later gave Ena a lesson in harp playing.eh30 banner ….

….and the 30th anniversary commemorative banner was shown off.  I took a few pictures of  it and a few of the individual pieces, but they did not come out too well.  Here are a few that weren’t too bad…eh lace 30 jean

The lace is wonderful, it’s just the photos that are sub- standard.

eh lace rhoda

eh lace helen

eh lace betty





Coming away from the hall, I felt inspired to pay a first visit  to the reasonably new branch of Hobbycraft at a big retail park on the edge of the city.  Aladdin’s cave!!!  It is packed with items for arts and crafts ranging from model making to knitting, embroidery, cake decorating, painting and all sorts of other crafts!  Not the kind of place you can visit and not spend money!!!!  So, what with shopping there and later at IKEA on my way home, I came home with considerably less in my bank account than when I left home with in the morning!

Well, when it’s spent, it’s spent!

Talk again soon.


Tuesday, 16 November 2010

CNN Heroes

Got this from Margaret today.  (Voting closes tomorrow Thursday!  Not much time but hope you’ll consider giving Magnus of Mary’s Meals your vote.)

Dear Supporter,

There are only a few days left until the vote for this year's CNN Hero closes. If you have already voted for Magnus, Mary's Meals' chief executive, thank you.

We are getting in touch for the last time before the ballot finishes, to ask if you would consider casting a vote online, or voting one more time if you have already done so, at http://heroes.cnn.com/vote.aspx (voting several times is within the rules).

If Magnus is named the Hero of the Year, his prize of $100,000 will feed 7,055 hungry school children in some of the world's poorest countries through 2011 (we are now feeding 459,600 children worldwide).

We are very grateful for the support we have had already had from our friends, volunteers and fundraisers. This message, from Father Gary Jenkins, who founded Mary's Meals in Liberia, explains better than we can, the impact of Mary's Meals and the significance of Magnus' personal contribution:

I am delighted that Magnus has been nominated as a Top Ten Hero, he is someone I deeply respect, who listens with compassion to other people.

In the late nineties, Magnus and I visited a small school, the walls of which were covered with bullet holes. Of the thirty or so children there, some had returned to their town from refugee camps in Sierra Leone and others had recently emerged from a secret hiding place in the forest.

Magnus asked the children if they had eaten before they came to school. Only a few children raised their hands; most hadn't eaten since the previous day. Magnus was very worried, and said that children had the right to eat in the mornings. We discussed what could be done.

When I telephoned Magnus in 2004 to say that the St Dominic's school in Tubmanburg was to reopen, he immediately agreed that we should start Mary's Meals there. Behind the mission at St Dominics, there is a large cross that marks the site where over three hundred children are buried - they died of starvation in 1996. We never want a repetition of that tragedy.

Lessons, and school feeding, started on October 1, and St Dominics was packed with 750 students. Some had recently arrived from displaced camps, others were disarmed child soldiers who had been forcibly taken from their villages.

Despite their different backgrounds, their common goal was to attend school, and they didn't have to worry anymore about hustling for food to survive. It was a modest beginning which today is helping around 24,000 children in Liberia alone.

Your vote could help us to reach even more children. http://heroes.cnn.com/vote.aspx.

If you have a blog, a website, a Facebook page, or work in the media and would consider covering the story, we would value any help you can give us to spread the word. You can read more about Magnus in this article in yesterday's Daily Record http://bit.ly/aWSE3Y.

The CNN Heroes Tribute show will be broadcast on CNN International (available with Freeview if you have digital TV) on Friday, October 25th at 1am and 10am (UK time). Voting closes on Thursday, November 18th.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

More family history research

If it had been a good day on Friday I would have gone off in the car to Perthshire, for a little tour around the places where one of my families came from.  However, it was pretty dreich in the morning, with a threat of rain, Reg Hse so instead I went to Edinburgh for another day among the records at Register House, aka the Scotland’s People Centre, looking for traces of the same family.  It was a cousin  who years ago, when I was “nobbut a lass”, showed me the very first family tree I had ever seen.  There I was at the bottom of the page and all these folk above were connected to me.  Kathleen pointed out my direct line back to a crofter/shoemaker in Perthshire in the 1700s, and I was hooked – especially as I had the family name as a middle name, named for dad’s favourite aunt.  So that’s how I started my quest to find out more of my family history.

I’ve written about Register House quite recently so forgive me if I repeat myself, but it is a wonderful building, completed in 1822 as Reg Hse archives a purpose built repository for the records and archives of Scotland.  Researching Scottish ancestry is not too difficult generally as all the records are here.  Old Parochial Records of births, marriages and deaths up till 1854, statutory records from then on – these give far more detail and are therefore far more useful to the genealogist – census records, wills, etc…. they are all here in this building, and thanks to the Lord Lyon King of Arms they are all available to research.  reg hse stairs to records Originally, all the records were in books, stored on miles of shelves, as above right.  These are the actual old records accessed by spiral staircases  only available to staff nowadays.  You may notice that each gallery has another inner gallery.  The domes remind me of the Iron Age broch with its double skinned walls with galleries running between them. Reg Hse miles of shelves

Later the records were filmed for microfiches, but gradually over the last couple of decades they have been digitalised and whereas once you would be spending a lot of time searching  on foot for the right drawer where your microfiche was to be found, Reg Hse between the skins now you need not move from your little niche in the research room, under the dome in this case – left -  finding all the indexes and records on the computer screen in front of you.Reg Hse computerised   On the screen  here, is a copy of an old parish record, which my neighbour then had printed out for her own files.  Our desks were in one of the domes,  in the inner gallery.  You can probably see in the long photo above how there are desks behind screens – there to allow a free circulation of air .  Before the big renovations,  completed this year, there would have been a solid wall, separating dome from a gallery of microfiche drawers!Reg Hse dome desks

The main dome, the roof of which you see in the picture at the beginning of this post, is very ornate.  I love the way the space has been used in a decorative, as well as useful fashion.  Those bookshelves are beautiful, Reg Hse dome and gallery as is the dome ceiling, creatively decorated with plaster garlands, lozenges, arches and bosses, and sympathetically painted in pastel tones.   Whereas the other dome was more practical, this one may well have been the reading room once.

Reg Hse KGIIIDoors in and out of the dome face each other, north/  south, with large alcoves facing each other at the east/west positions.   In one stands a full size Carrara marble sculpture of King George III, the one known for his “madness”, the one who reigned at the time this building was being constructed.the archivists garden

At the rear of Register House is a recently created garden known as The Archivist’s Garden, which connects New Register House, behind me, the main Register House, to the right of the photo, and the Office of Sasines, the tower in the centre.  Here are to be found details of transfers of property since the 1500s.  So far I haven’t made any sojourns into this department, but I may do so soon.

Anyway, despite my wonderful surroundings, my day spent here was not quite as profitable as I had hoped this time.  Instead I came home rather confused about little anomalies I had found in the records of way back.  I think I may have to do a bit of communicating with recently found relations, asking questions!  A genealogist’s life is never straightforward!!

Talk again soon.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Short and sweet!

Phil arrived this morning at the back of 9.00 this morning, and was here till about midday, by which time he had fixed my fire – we hope!  The test will be if I don’t smell gas tomorrow morning when I come through to the living room!  He’s still not at all sure what the fault actually was, but has fiddled and tightened and tested and fiddled some more, and everything appears to be fine now!  He reckons he might have just fixed it inadvertently with fiddling, but he was certainly very thorough, and left no avenue unexplored, no stone unturned!  I was impressed!   So!  I have a nice warm house!   It’s lovely!

Then I decided I’d better check the fuse in the plug of the microwave oven.  I replaced it, plugged in, switched on…bingo!  So tonight I might treat myself to a microwaved supper, in front of the fire, watching TV!!!

Talk again soon.


Having big problems with the internet right now.  Can’t get anything to stay still for 10 seconds! Anything  I try to look at jumps and flashes and goes black then white, then parts come back and the rest is black… or white.  Then the page splits into two, and I get this happening all the time!  No idea what's going on.  My AVG says everything on the computer is OK, and this is definitely just internet!

Anyway, do you remember the saga about the fire in my living room?   When I got it moved into the new living room last spring, something seemed to go wrong.  I kept smelling gas after the fire had been on, and the Transco people came along, pronounced it dangerous and turned it off.  The plumber couldn't detect any loss of pressure from the gas meter, so switched it back on, but I still got the gas smell so the Transco lot turned it off again.  The plumber was mystified and said the only thing he could think it might be was the control that you switch the fire off and on with.  If I was to get a new control, he would come and exchange it!  I got the new control - at great and shocking expense - and contacted the plumber.  Yes he would come such and such a day - but he didn't.  I contacted him again.  Many apologies.  He was really busy but he would call when he could come.  He didn't.   Many messages were left on his answerphone, which were ignored.... 

As summer went on and I wasn't needing the fire I kind of forgot about it, so when recently I realised it wasn't summer any more I contacted the plumber again and as before, left messages on his answerphone to phone me, which he didn't.  Finally I did get him on his phone.  Was I THAT cold?  he asked me when I said I needed the fire fixed, like…. now!  Was I what?  That isn't really the point. but yes, I'm cold!  So he agreed to come on Monday a week ago!   On Monday morning I was up early and ready!  The phone rang!  It was the plumber's wife!  The plumber had a flu bug and was off work!  He'd phone me when he got back to work, to rearrange a date.  At that point considerable tacks were spat!   

I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt.  She hadn't said he had full-blown flu, so I reckoned he'd be back to work this week!  If he hadn't phoned by the weekend, I would get someone else - despite the fact that I felt I shouldn't have to pay for the job to be done as it was the move that presumably caused the problem.  By yesterday morning there had been no phone call, so I gave his mobile a call.  The answerphone clicked on. I didn't even bother leaving a message this time.  Instead I phoned a plumber recommended by a friend.  It was his wife who answered, so I told the story.  She'd get him to phone in the evening!  No sooner had I put the phone down when it rang again.  Guess who?  The original plumber!  Must have listened to the last number to call him and phoned it!!!  Well, I told him I had had to get someone else.  I had waited too long - and yes, I was FROZEN.  He was full of apologies, and excuses, but accepted that I was getting someone else.  Should have done it ages ago!

Then of course I started to think, what if the other guy can't do it!  These gas fires that look like wood or coal burners can be a bit of a problem for some fitters.  Oh well.  Hopefully he could do something, and would soon.  I had started writing this story when the phone rang!  The new plumber!  Told him the story - and he's coming at 9.00 tomorrow morning, and you know what?  I think he will!  Watch this space!

Of course I am full of the cold now, coughing and sneezing and snuffling!  I have the heating on, and my fleecy jacket on, zipped up to the neck, and I'm just thinking about having a hot toddy before I go to bed!  

The other problems?  The TV aerial was blown down by the gales in the last few days, and landed on my neighbours' roof.  They were giving me grief about it!  I was supposed to have the aerial men here yesterday morning so when I realised I had a committee meeting to go to I phoned the TV shop and left a message to say I'd be out!  He doesn't listen to his messages when he comes in to work, he told me later.  The guys had been round to my house, and had complained because I wasn't in!  Well, it was arranged that they’d come this morning, and they did!  One of them climbed onto the roof to retrieve the aerial, fixed it back up on its bracket at the side of the chimney pot and then came in to check the reception was OK! 

Well, hadn’t the  TV itself  decided not to work some time ago too.  I thought it might have been a fuse problem, but it wasn’t.  Anyway it didn’t bother me much as I don’t watch much TV at all and I hadn’t missed it!     Well, the TV man pressed a button at the side of the screen that I didn’t even realise was there, and the darned thing burst into life!!!!  Don’t you just feel such an idiot!!!  So I can watch TV again – not that I really want to, but I suppose it’s nice I can watch if I do want to!

Oh and the microwave oven has died, or at least is throwing a sickie!  I'll have to see if it's just a fuse thing.  Just as well I bought all these fuses a little while ago!

OK!  Enough!  One nice thing!  My little ladybird which has been missing since the day she flew-jumped backwards off the table, showed up briefly tonight!  Actually I'm not even convinced it's the same one!   Can you believe that!!!  Different character!  Not as gallus!   Must be a group of them hibernating, and they send out one at a time to scout around!

Yes, I’m mad!  I know, but it’s not contagious!

Talk again soon.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

The Trossachs

If you haven’t much time to tour Scotland, there are three areas I recommend  that give you a pretty good taste of what Scotland is like.  One area is the Cowal peninsula, on the west of the country, the second is The Isle of Arran, and the other is the Trossachs to the east of Loch Lomond!

Linda phoned me last weekend and asked if I fancied a drive up to Callander, and round the Trossachs .  The weather was wonderful so of course I was more than happy to have a run out and to such a glorious area too.  Lochs - those are lakes to non Scots.  Loch is a Gaelic word and it’s what we call pretty much all of our lakes in Scotland, – hills – not that high but the views are amazing -  trees……. oak, beech, birch, to name but three, and at this time of year they would be in spectacular autumn colours!

  peebles foggy morningSo, last Sunday, after a foggy start from Peebles  - you just know the sun will get out when the day starts like this- we drove up to Callander, turned left just past the woollen mill shop where you can find Hamish the big shaggy coated Highland Cow in his field outside, road to vennacherand along

towards Loch Venachar trossachs harbour cafe



where we stopped for lunch at a great cafe that Linda knew,Ben Lomond

with a terrific view of Ben Lomond in the distance.  vennacher trees



The trees along the lochside were stunning  and the reflections pure mirror images!

trossachs 018

Lunch for me was my favourite soup  - Cullen Skink – a meal in itself, with all that smoked fish and chopped potato, not to mention the two pieces of wholemeal bread!  Decidedly filling, and delicious!

loch katrine pier2 Onward then, to turn off eventually to Loch Katrine (Katrin) where it was the last day of the “season”.  Everything would be closing that afternoon till next spring.   However, last Sunday being such a beautiful day, the visitors were out in their hoards, sir walter scott some for a trip in the “Sir Walter Scott” up the loch and back, others to walk or cycle along the road that hugs the side of the loch,  tour guideand for this tour guide in his fancy kilt complete with Saltire on the back – left -there was a coach to be washed down, in readiness for his passengers’ return, probably from the boat trip.  reflections4 Linda and I took to our feet along the road for a short distance, just as far as the first bridge where, upstream, katrine waterfall a little series of waterfalls tumbles over the rocks .   by katrineOn the way we passed beneath some  steep rocks – right -  where, in days of yore, before the road was built, anyone wanting to go further had to swing round them with ropes.  That wasn’t recently, as you can imagine.   


more reflectionsAll the way, the reflections in the water, as you can see above as well as here, were magnificent and the colours superb –

berries,                   oak leaves,              oak and birch trees… rosehips2oak leaveslochside road2



sir walter scot3ta


and we were lucky enough to see the Sir Walter Scott returning from its sail up the loch to moor at the pier beside the “Lucerne Chapel bridge”style walkway.sir walter at the pier

The clocks having changed the night before, and daylight saving no longer applicable, we decided to continue our journey before the light gave out.

ben a'an

Soon stopping again on a hillside looking over Loch Achray towards Ben A’an – left - trossachs hotelwe admired the  turreted Tigh Mòr – the Big House  - standing amidst the  stunning autumn scenery.  Once the beautiful  Trossachs Hotel and now a rather exclusive timeshare – sorry, property bond -  trossachs hotel3 in its hotel days, not only Queen Victoria stayed there as one of the early Scottish tourists, but the Liverpool pop group, the Beatles, also accounted for another four of its famous guests! 

By the time we reached the village of Aberfoyle and had had a cup of tea and piece of cake  - an essential part of our days out – the sun was disappearing, and by nearly 5.00p.m. it was dark.  So much for British Summer time!  It’s over!  We drove home in the pitch black, but what a great day it had been.

Talk again soon.