Thursday, 28 July 2011

This is where Mary Queen of Scots surrendered

On Sunday we went to the spot where Mary Queen of Scots surrendered to the English to show the views to our friends Sarah and Andrew who are over from Boston that I met at Review Santa Fe.
The views here are fantastic and I am so grateful to our fantastic friend Bill who lives very close to this spot.

The views here are just so amazing, and when you add this to the historical importance to Scotland of this place it makes it even more incredible.  The irony is, this place is not well known at all, so actually not a lot of people know where it is!

Above is my Anders talking to Sarah, Dexter and Bill
Here is Bill admiring the view, Anders looking at me for this photo I took and Sarah capturing me capturing them!
I love this picture of Sarah's Andrew admiring the view.
Dexter and Tanji, sitting on the very spot where the Battle of Pinkie was fought.
There are some big old trees there, redwoods, yews which live a long long time.  Maybe some of them witnessed this event actually happening, that is quite a thought!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Meeting up with friends

On Saturday I met with a lovely couple of photographers when I was at Review Santa Fe earlier this year. Sarah Malakoff was also one of the Photographers who like me was having her work reviewed and her husband, Andrew Warren came down too as he too is a photographer and both of them teach this subject in Boston.
When we were in Santa Fe, they mentioned that they had been planning to come to Scotland this year in July, and so I said when they were here to give me a call and we would show them around, so they did, and we had a lovely time taking them to places in the evenings this weekend, some more of which I will share in another post. On this evening, we went to dinner in a spot that overlooks the famous Forth Bridges, and whilst we were there, Dexter drew one of Andrew's tattoos which was really cool.
 My Anders with Sarah photographed below.
 Andrew Warren,
 Sarah with the back of Dexter's head!
 Dexter and Andrew.......
....and Andrew standing at Arthur Seat, where I drove him and Sarah to before taking them back to their hotel.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Hammy Houdini

Meet Hammy Houdini!  He is the greatest hamster I have ever met, and we have been looking after him all of July for our friends who have been on holiday all of this month!
He is really called Trevor, but he is so clever (hence why we chose our pet name for him) because he has worked out how to escape from his ball which we now have to tape the lid down securely to make sure he didn't open it again! Both times he managed to open it, it was next to the bathroom and we found him in the cat litter, clearly disguising his scent so as to make friends with our cat!  Luckily, both times he did this the cat was outside (we made sure of that), but we still don't know how he did it! The irony is, he only did this when he saw our cat who spotted him and then went over to see if he could play with his cage, at that point he must have thought I need to find a way to blend in! As soon as Hammy had done this, our cat was no longer interested in him! In addition to the fact I told our cat to stop and he is obedient and clever too you see!!!!
Anyway, he is the most beautiful hamster, his fur is red and it matches our Vizsla dogs. His face is so full of expression and I look at him fully expecting him to start talking like a cartoon character because he is just so fantastic. Marvin and Carly (our dogs), just love him too and when we have him in our hand they look at him and shake wanting to make friends. Carly looks at him, sniffs him, looks at him, sniffs him and seems to want to be his Mummy and Trevor seems quite happy with the whole thing as he does the same back to her! Anders and I have never seen a hamster like him, but he belonged to the nursery Dexter attended for two years before our friends son got him last month which is probably why he is so fearless and confident. I suppose living in a place with a lot of toddlers who all want to play with you will do that! Our friends youngest son now attends the nursery Dexter did and he was lucky enough to get him to take home forever when they decided after 2 years that perhaps it was time to let him have a new home (think health and safety has become even stricter now to not allow small pets with children for whatever reasons). Andrew and I never thought hamsters could be so incredibly entertaining and well just fantastic. This one is so special, and we have had such a great time with him and will be sad to give him back, but he has two young children desperate to see him again!
So Trevor, to us will always be Hammy Houdini to us, fast as lightening with a hugely magnetic personality and very welcome back anytime.


Monday, 25 July 2011

I cannot help but feel saddened when I hear of people dying so very young and generally before their time. The poor people of Norway who have experienced this through extremist views, and of course the talent that was Amy Winehouse to just cease to continue to glow and bring joy and pleasure to others is so sad.  
We should however remember that although Amy, like other talented artists who have died by the age of 30 (Jeff Buckley and his father Tim Buckley, Janis Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, River Pheonix, James Dean to name but a few) in dying so young is just so incredibly tragic, we still have something to remember them by and that is something we should be thankful for.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Glass, lines, colour

I think the world is full of interesting things to see and you don't need to look through coloured glass to appreciate it, but it can make you see things differently sometimes!
 Our lives are not set in straight lines.
There will often be cracks in the pavement to slow us down
Just one of the little examples of me musing over things that I find interesting and pleasing, nothing more, nothing less....
I suppose this is what this beautiful French Bulldog puppy will do as it find's it's own space in the world.  I thought he was just so cute and like it, I too love to seen new things as I take a walk, don't you?

Wednesday, 20 July 2011


My beautiful god-daughter Helene had her birthday on Friday, she is now 15! 
I am so glad that she found the time to stop by to say hello before heading back to France where she lives. She has been over visiting her Grandparents in Inverness with her Mum and friend, and popped down to Edinburgh before heading home which meant I could give her her birthday present in person.
I found her what I thought was a really cool red fluffy jacket which I would have loved when I was her age right up until I was in my 20's. Yep, I would have died for it and I would still love it but the term mutton and lamb would then go in the same sentence followed by shrieks of laughter and that is not just from Anders!!! I just hoped she would be as enthusiastic about it when she saw it, and at that point I though "I never thought I would be wondering if I was old fashioned in my choice of presents before", but there you go, fashions change and these thoughts come to us all!
Along with the memories of saying "I remember her as a little girl, so cute and cuddly, very loving and affectionate and I was so honoured to be asked if I would be her god-mother". See, it comes to us all and I cannot begin to think what I will be saying when Dexter gets what in reality is only a little bit older!!!
Happy Birthday beautiful Helene, you are just so lovely and get lovelier and lovelier each time I see you.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Hide and Seek .....

It is so nice to see both Marvin and Carly explore places where they can run about freely and just be the dogs they should be. Their tails wag, they run around continuously alert, sniffing out new things and by the time they get back to the car they are both exhausted from all the exploring and mental stimulation.
 It is a bit like that for Anders, Dexter and I, as we look around for things too with our cameras wondering what is going to capture our imagination and interest!
I often wonder about all the other people and animals that walked these old forests and whether little pieces of them stay there in some form or other, and every so often (for me it is a lot!), I see little traces of something which makes me think, yes and I smile and think "found you" as though I had been playing hide and seek with them and my camera!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Our weather....

This is one strange summer here in Scotland weather wise. We have had so much rain, I mean really heavy downfalls and when it starts you feel like you are in a monsoon. 
Now whilst I do like having fair weather, the rain does add drama with clouds and thunder rolling in. We have seen lightening flashes too, but they have not yet been close enough to maybe capture. 
We went to the East Neuk of Fife yesterday and spent a day in beautiful sunlight and on the way back we saw how bright blue skies turned to white fluffy clouds and then got more and more grey as we crossed the Forth Road Bridges with rain coming down.  Then the skies turned clearer again!  Strange that's all I can say!
Today it has been on and off rain again and according to my i-phone it is going to be like this tomorrow and Wednesday and again on Saturday.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

The weekend so far!

Friday, seems to be the last of the sun for a while as forecast is for heavy rain for the next week! So I went to see the new Harry Potter film with Dexter and Anders and we all really enjoyed it, especially as we watched part one earlier in the week at home on DVD!
Knowing what the weather forecast we decided to go on a car trip to Aberfeldy to see David Peat's photography exhibition
Loved the photographs, and the exhibition was in The Watermill which is a award winning independent bookshop that also had a lovely cafe so it was well worth the trip.... addition to the fact that before getting to it, we went on a wonderful woodland walk with Marvin & Carly and there are way too many photographs to show on this post.
 I mean look at it, you just feel so insignificant in it
I just get dizzy with excitement and want to get lost in all this beauty, it is amazing, especially when you hear thunder clouds rolling in. 
There is just so much visual stimulation out there for me to see, and looking back on images I often feel like I am taking double takes!  I know that is a lame entry to a seeing double prompt.