Thursday, 6 December 2012

Where have I been???????

GOSH!! - I've just noticed that the last time I blogged was in October.  
What happened?   Well work got in the way.  
I know excuses - excuses and I had promised myself that I wouldn't let this happen.  

Note to self - must try harder!

I have almost completed the Christmas shopping so that must go in my favour a little bit and on that note here is a Christmas card to all and any of my readers.


Sunday, 14 October 2012

Sexism and double standards challenged


I watched the youtube video of her challenge to the opposition and this was a 'tour de force'.

It is an education of the highest standard delivered with great use of timing; clarity and effect.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

A Turner like sunset

Yesterday was one of those glorious end of summer turning to autumn days that are lovely and crisp.   Often days like that have spectacular endings and I was fortunate to catch the sunset.

I took this photo not quite sure how it would turn out as sometimes the image captured doesn't do justice to what you're seeing.

Just sometimes I catch my breath...................

Rock Choir - autumn term has started

Another term has started with Rock Choir and the numbers have fairly grown since last summer.   Quite a number of new faces and a few have joined the altos section where I sit - I'm really a lower alto so do try to sit close to the bass section.   If I sit too close to the sopranos I try to sing higher than I ought or indeed can.

Songs this term - How deep is your love -  a Gibbs classic and Rolling in the Deep - Adele.   Looking forward to that one!   Something inside so strong - Labi Siffre; Anytime you need a friend - Mariah Carey; All over the world - Jeff Lynne.

Roll on Monday evenings!!

Saturday, 25 August 2012

An anniversary of blogging

This month marks a year of blogging for me.   How time flies in anyway;  however when I started I wasn't sure if I could sustain an interest.

As it has turned out blogging has become an excellent way of keeping touch with friends; making new ones and gaining insights into others lives; loves; dislikes and just general doings.

What a world has opened up - I've also learned that sharing the odd rambling thought or opinion is rewarded in friends and other readers commenting and sharing theirs.

In a way blogging reminds me of one of those pictures where you look through into mirror upon mirror upon mirror.   The reflection slightly changing as you get deeper allowing you to notice something not seen before.

I hope to notice and share more as this year unfolds.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

How to connect sewing to natural history....

Last weekend I spent time with my granddaughter and helped out with the summer childcare arrangements.   

Here are a few pictures of our play results:

after the bike ride I always treat Rebecca and we go to Costa - I had a coffee and she enjoyed a fruit cooler.  Rebecca then cycles back and enjoys counting the other cyclists she sees on her journey.   On this day it was very busy and we counted 32.

Rebecca painted my toes - and a week later they are still painted so not a bad job.

Jigsaws all completed by Rebecca with no help.

There is lots of lavendar in Rebeccas garden so we, well I really thought, it would be a good idea to make lavendar bags.   Rebecca's mum doesn't do much sewing so the next day we went into town on the bus to find a haberdashers.

We purchased some cotton, thread and sewing needles and made three lavendar bags which Rebbecca filled with lots of lavendar that we picked dodging bees who were collecting nectar to make honey.   Rebecca didn't mind them one bit and insisted on getting really close to see how they drank the nectar from the flower heads.  

Who would have thought sewing could connect to natural history - now you know!

Sorry no pictures as face painting was next on the play agenda.

Roll on the next visit.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

I'd like to intorduce you to Jim.....

Some time last year I wrote about Cloch Road huts in Gourock likening them to the seaside version of the garden shed.   This is the link to that original post:

Yesterday I walked from Wemyss Bay to Gourock and determined that if I saw anyone at the huts I would say hello.   How fortunate was I to meet Jim who was using his hut alongwith some friends who were busy preparing mackerel which they had caught earlier in the morning.

Keen to know some of the history of the huts it transpires that approval was given to local people to build these huts as a way of helping to improve peoples diets after the 1914-1918 Great War and into the 1920's.     The huts gave people access to fishing in the waters of the Clyde and if anything like todays catch was to go by it sounded like a good plan to me.

The huts are passed down between families and speaking to Jim this hut as been passed through his family since the 1920's.

Eager to catch a glimpse inside Jim invited me in and allowed me to take some photos which I share with you.

Let me give you my impressions before the photos.    From the outside there is a ramshackle look about all the huts and as I entered my first surprise was that it had electricity evidenced by the wiring and plug points - for some reason I didn't think there would be any and Jim pointed out the generator outside.

To the left of the entrance is a storage area for all the bits and pieces needed for fishing and what looked to me a whole host of other odd and ends which might come in useful some time.   Moving on into the hut I entered the living area which was done out with bench seating down each side of a lovely wood burning fire.   A real home from home.

On turning round towards the entrance I could see a small cooker; microwave and TV - all the comforts of home.

The bench seating with shoes warming by the heater.

All the comforts of home

The outside - now I must say on Jim's behalf that he is in the middle of removing this old red paint before sprucing the hut up again.

Thank you Jim for letting me browse round your escape from the hurly burly and long may you enjoy it.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Fishing boat harried by seagulls

I was struck by the seagulls 'mooching' around this fishing boat early morning.   I'm not overly fond of seagulls as I find them a bit intimidating.

However I was taken by the way that the early morning sunshine seemed to capture the white of their wings in such a way that it seemed to sparkle.

Not captured in the photo I'm afraid but I hope you get my drift.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Rock Choir - wins another Guiness World Record

Some earlier posts talked about my experience as a newbie in Rock Choir and the world record attempt well - ITS OFFICIAL!

On Saturday June 23 2012, on the stroke of 12 noon precisely, 7914 Rock Choir members, family and friends from across the UK broke the Guinness World Record for 'The Largest Song and Dance Routine Across Multiple Venues'.
Here is a link to the Rock Choir home page:

The choir reconvenes after the summer break in September and here in Inverclyde our new theatre is due to open in the autumn which is where we will be carrying on with our rehearsals.  

I wonder what new co-ordination challenges awaits me.   I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Largs to Portencross

Not wanting to waste this sunny and dry weather I embarked on another section of the Ayrshire Coastal Path from Largs to Portencross a distance just over 7 miles.   

Passing Largs Marina a sea of masts (sorry about pun!)

...and then an interesting piece of art which I'm sure has been painted by the children of the house.   It made me smile.

Once out of Largs this walk takes you through the village of Fairlie and then on past Hunterston Power station so its not the best section of the path in my view.   However once past the power station Portencross Castle comes into view.

On getting closer to the castle it was obvious that something was happening as I could see a piper on the battlements and just at that moment a cloud passed which made this quite atmospheric.

Now I quite like hearing the pipes and I do know that its not everyone's favourite instrument but what is a piper if you can't hear him.   

The Waverley - the last sea-going paddle steamer in the world

I've mentioned The Waverley before and shared photos in this blog - yesterday I embarked on a 5 island cruise around the west coast which took me up to Arran.  It was a glorious day for a trip 'doon the watter' as they say.

The Waverley berthed and waiting for her passengers.   Please join me on this tour of the boat.

On board looking towards the stern

The captain on the bridge

The engine - not that I'm an officianado but it was fascinating watching the moving parts.

Now this I didn't know - that the original Waverley was involved in the Great War and also saw action in WW2 at Dunkirk.

Internal corridors again with seating of which there is plenty.

and of course the funnel.   I just had to look up

One of the lounge bars where I enjoyed a pint of Bellhaven Beer.

The outside areas where benches run round the full length of the boat.

....and a final shot of the funnels

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

A fox - putting me in a frenzy

This morning I awoke at my usual 7am and lay in bed thinking about things on the agenda for today such as - visiting the sales at Braehead Shopping Centre and then meeting Geraldine for lunch to catch up.

Since my flat is on the 4th floor and at the top of the apartment block I don't tend to close my curtains and it is nice at this time of year to see the bright day ahead.   Anyway I usually head to the window to look out over the Clyde estuary and greet whatever weather comes my way.  

Today the low clouds of yesterday have lifted and it feels a bit fresher than of late.   My thoughts are interrupted when I spy a fox so rushing for my camera from the next room I return in time to grab this shot of him jumping the wall.   It is a bit blurry but I was so excited and wanted to capture the moment.

This is the same fox I'm sure who has wakened me in the middle of the night with his calling - still don't know if there is a name for the sound a fox makes.   If anyone out there knows??????

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Reflection on my first 'Saturday job'.

There's lots in the news at the moment about young people and their fitness for the workplace.   Fitness as in understanding how it works as opposed to physical fitness.  

Anyway the discussion has taken off about the benefits of a 'Saturday job' and this of course brought back memories of mine.

In Scotland when I was looking for one you had to be 14 and you couldn't just go and get one. although I'm sure there were many that did working for 'cash in hand.  I had to get permission from school and take this letter to what is now the job centre.   I was then issued with a card which allowed me to work on a Saturday.   From my memory the reason for this was to make sure that working on a Saturday wouldn't interfere with schoolwork.

Once I had this I went off in search going from shop to shop in my local town centre and found a job with a shoe shop.

Of course my reasons for working were to earn some money for myself for clothes and going out with friends and I had the grand total of 17shillings and 6pence (old money) which equates to 75p (new money).   This was a lot back then which was in 1968.

So what did this experience inspire - a love of shoes and bags which I still posses today.

Did you have a Saturday job and what legacy did it leave you with?

Friday, 6 July 2012

Time for lunch.......a story in pictures

Coming ashore

I've been looking forward to this sandwich

Fancy meeting you here....

Needed that rest

Shall we swop?

Just row out far enough to get motor running

Where's the start button?

...and I'm in

onward ho!

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Rock Choir Guiness Record Attempt

Here is a you tube link of the Glasgow choirs doing their bit for the record.

Hope you enjoy it.    I'm in the middle and I think you'll struggle to see me - let me know if you do.

I'll post more pictures later.


Friday, 22 June 2012

Rock Choir - Guiness World Record Attempt

Well - its the day before and I'm practising the singing and moves like mad.   Much thanks to a Rock Choir leader who agreed to video said moves for those of us who are challenged in the co-ordination stakes.

Will it beat the record?  - after checking Google and I hope this is right the current holders are Sweet Adelines International  who are an organisation of female barbershop music singers based in Tulsa, Oklahoma who in 2009 achieved the record with 6,651 participants - so we need to beat that number.

Our choirs will be heading to the Jimmy Ireland Rugby Stand - High School of Glasgow in Anniesland so I've worked out travel and train times to get there in time for an 11am start.

This is to get us in the right place; to be counted in and have one/two rehearsals in readiness for the UK world record attempt to start at 12.00pm.

I'll let you know how it goes - and now back to practising!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

The Waverley

Officially summer is here.   Not by virtue of the weather as I fear the week at the end of May might well have been it.  No  - I know that summer has arrived when I see the Waverley Steamer making its way up and down the Firth of Clyde.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Getting to know you...............

Hello everyone,

Blogging for the blogger is a number of things:
  • thoughts written down
  • sharing memories
  • sharing experiences - in my case travels; walks; photographs etc
  • having a rant - always good for the soul
  • setting and sharing goals
  • all manner of communication really
Anyway it got me thinking what do I know about the people who pass through this blog; or come upon it through a search; who read a page and move on.........................

I'm interested in you; why not say something about who you are?

I know - you're thinking what can I say; how much do I say - well to get you started why not tell me:

  • where you're going or have been on holiday
  • if you have children in your life - share the funniest/oddest thing they said to you - you know what that is
  • if you could go back in time - where would that be
  • when did you last shout at the TV/Radio and why
  • something of your choosing.............................
and so a conversation is born.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

The meaning of jubilee

Today I'm at home (well my son's home as I'm house sitting while they are on holiday).   Although the weather is rather poor today I have been struck by the garlands of bunting around celebrating the Queens Jubilee.   It started me thinking about what does jubilee mean?  
Searching google it describes it:

In religious terms

Jubilee a joyful shout or clangour of trumpets, the name of the great semi-centennial festival of the Hebrews. It lasted for a year. During this year the land was to be fallow, and the Israelites were only permitted to gather the spontaneous produce of the fields (Lev. 25:11, 12). All landed property during that year reverted to its original owner (13-34; 27:16-24), and all who were slaves were set free (25:39-54), and all debts were remitted. The return of the jubilee year was proclaimed by a blast of trumpets which sounded throughout the land. There is no record in Scripture of the actual observance of this festival, but there are numerous allusions (Isa. 5:7, 8, 9, 10; 61:1, 2; Ezek. 7:12, 13; Neh. 5:1-19; 2 Chr. 36:21) which place it beyond a doubt that it was observed.

and then a more modern reference which I take to be based on the themes above of property; slavery and debt.

1. It would prevent the accumulation of land on the part of a few to the detriment of the community at large. 2. It would render it impossible for any one to be born to absolute poverty, since every one had his hereditary land. 3. It would preclude those inequalities which are produced by extremes of riches and poverty, and which make one man domineer over another. 4. It would utterly do away with slavery. 5. It would afford a fresh opportunity to those who were reduced by adverse circumstances to begin again their career of industry in the patrimony which they had temporarily forfeited. 6. It would periodically rectify the disorders which crept into the state in the course of time, preclude the division of the people into nobles and plebeians, and preserve the theocracy inviolate.

I've not heard much of the above in all the coverage which is a focus on the celebration of hereditary and birthright.

Monday, 14 May 2012

The meaning of Loch Drunkie

What is Google for if you cannot search for meanings of this and that.  

In the case of Loch Drunkie I had to check out if it derived from Scots Gaelic and sure enough Drunkie is a corruption of the Gaelic Loch Drongaidh which means "loch between the ridges".   One of the ridges happens to be the line of the Menteith Hills.

Mystery solved!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

The Lendrick Loop

No - its not a new game - its the name of a walk.   My last venture took in lochs Venacher and Drunkie (still trying to find out why it got this name) and yesterdays meander is in the same area but from the opposite side and higher up the hill.

I took a slight detour from this walk to add in a hill climb to Stuc Odhar which was steep and a bit slippery.   Not sure of the incline but really had to balance forward to avoid risk of falling back and it certainly stretched the thigh muscles - as today testifies! but it's always worth it getting to the top.

Anyway here are some photos:

Path through the trees

Troll stone

Butterfly finding some nectar

Two lochs - Venacher and Drunkie from the other side and half way up the hill route to Stuc Odhar

Finglas reservoir island

(Scottish) boardwalk as the ground had been well churned up by cattle

Yurt in someone's garden

The Shoe box

Being a Granny is Great!   I spend special time with my granddaughter Rebecca:

and every now and then I send a shoebox of clothes goodies down and Rebecca has by now grown to recognise that this shoebox is for her and is from me.   When it arrives Rebecca does a full fashion show for her Mum and Dad missing nothing out.

There is something very pleasureable in giving and she certainly gives me lots in return.

This latest shoebox is being sent in time for her going on holiday and if you notice I've sneeked in some smarties!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

View of Loch Venachar and Loch Drunkie

On with the walking shoes today and a trip to Callendar to get in a forest walk which takes in some lovely views of Ben Venue as well as getting close to the waters of a couple of lochs.   A good solid 8 miler.

I'd never heard of Loch Drunkie I must say and I'm curious to find out how it got its name - some research is needed I think.   Needless to say I was sober as I meandered round lochs and through forest trails.

The sun keeked out occassionally and there was an ever present threat of some wet stuff but came to nothing.

This picture is looking over Loch Venacher towards Ben Venue.

Boathouse on Loch Venacher

Came across this clearing after following an ancient track.   I thought I'd followed the wrong road when hidden to the right in amongst the trees was the way onward. Phew!

Finally Loch Drunkie and as you can see the clouds came over just as I got there and makes for a dramatic shot I think.