Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The charms of Wemyss Bay

Firstly where is it?    It is a small village just north of Largs on the West Coast of Scotland and even has its own website:
I decided to move back to Scotland and in July 2009 this became a reality when I found a wonderful flat which I'm renting looking over the River Clyde.    I live on the top floor (great for keeping fit – especially on shopping day).   So what catches my eye from the window or balcony:
Rothesay Ferry which takes 30 minutes to transport you to Rothesay and the Isle of Bute.    The Ferry and Rail Station at Wemyss synchronise trains and sailings and I will share later some pictures of the Rail Station which hasn’t changed since the turn of the century.

Waverley Steamer which runs during the summer.   Fund-raising is currently taking place to keep the steamer going next year.   

The incongruity of Sub and Sail.   Submarine heading on its way out to sea and sail boat crossing watery paths.

and beautiful sunsets!

This year the Tall Ships Race came into Greenock and I was transported to a different time as sail boats from different eras gracefully sailed past.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Jellyfish and Bridget Jones

I relaxed last night by watching the 2nd Bridget Jones film – Edge of Reason.   One scene involved Bridget and her three friends trying to avoid an acquaintance who they called “the jellyfish”.
What followed in the film was a barbed exchange between ‘the jellyfish’ and Bridget.
The synchronicity of watching the film after starting this blog urged me to think about how to respond to such people.   Do you?:
A             smile and count to 10
B             bite back!
C             make a joke
D             just be happy that you’re more optimistic than they are
Answers as a comment please.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Welcome to my Mum’s house

Let me take you on a journey back in actual time between mid 1950’s – 1960’s it will in reality be like going back even further.   How much further – I’ll let you decide.
Imagine you are standing in front of a white painted farmhouse / cottage with 2 rooms (a living room and through on to a bedroom).   The living room area is thatched and the bedroom area is tiled.   There are 3 small windows across the front of the house.   I took my children to visit when they were wee and my son kept running in and out through the door which for him was the effect of passing through 2 FT thick walls into a much smaller world.   Certainly not ‘tardis-like’.
Straight ahead from the front door is an old fashioned dresser where the plates and other delftware lie on display.   Next to the dresser is a box bed covered with a thick red curtain which hangs down to the floor and the rings which hold the curtain up rattle when you open and close them.   This is my Grandfather’s bed and one which I remember being in as one summer holiday I was ill with mumps.   It was a treat though getting in the box bed which is side on to a huge fireplace.  
The fireplace is not just for keeping the house cosy it is also the cooker.   The back wall of the fire is painted silver (I now realise it reflected the heat outwards).     Hanging down the chimney is a huge chain onto which various shapes and sizes of black iron heavy pots and kettles are placed over a peat fire. The stewpot was straight out of the witches’ scene in Macbeth.   The pot used for bread making is much flatter and narrower.   I can remember my Aunt Lizzie baking bread and laying hot coals with long tongs on top of the lid at the end of the cooking time to crisp up the bread crust.   Along the outside window wall is a table and chairs and I’m sure some other bits and pieces.
Leading off from the living room through a door and down a couple of steps is the bedroom in which there is a couple of high old fashioned beds and a set of drawers.   Going back into the living room there is a door at the other end which leads into a space where things like scythes; rakes; tin bath and of course the butter churn are kept.
What have I left out – of course the sink where the washing is done?   What sink?   The water is hauled up from a local well every day and my memory fails me as to how far away it was but what I do remember is it being cold and sparkly.   Dishes are washed in a big enamel dish and clothes in the tin bath.   
There is one other amenity which you might be looking for as part of your visit – the toilet.   Ahhhh. Outside the house as you look to the left from the front door is the byre – and I don’t need to say anymore!
In this house my Mum grew up with her 5 sisters and 1 brother.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Why - Avoid the Jellyfish

I have my good friend Annie Taylor to thank for this.
She wrote a memory on her blog ( and this triggered lots of memories which I shared with her. In the list was "avoiding the jellyfish" which was a pastime indulged as a child on holiday in Ireland. My grandparents lived on the West Coast of Ireland in a wee place called Cruit Island. The Atlantic roars in and brings with it lots of jellyfish which would get pushed on to the strand / beach. As children my many cousins and I when we visited for the summer had to be wary and navigate our way around them to avoid being stung.

Annie's suggestion of 'blogging' memories stuck!
So once explored and started what do I call this blog? For no reason that I can explain the phrase 'avoiding the jellyfish' stuck in my head and so for readers out there this will be a blog of memories about running free every day; clambering over rocks; wandering over the hill, thunderstorms, family and neighbours and all this while being encouraged to feedchickens; learn how to milk cows; churn butter; bake soda bread and learn to knit.

This and other more current random musings will I hope amuse and entertain.