Wednesday, 30 December 2009

christmas day

on my way to spend the day with my 'extra' family, through the Meadows in the snow:

it was a lovely walk. a few people about, walking the dog, building a snowman, trying out a new pressie.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009


snow. well if you didnt know it was snowing you must be living in a cupboard or on another planet.
at least waking up today i found proper snow, properly piled, properly fluffy that you could walk through and leave footprints in.
the close and the back courtyard it leads to:

recently i have been thinking about Kitty - remembering Kitty. those who have known me long enough will remember her. she died in september 1993. i could never get another cat, never replace her. anyway, for some inexplicable reason i have recently been thinking a lot about a cat - another oriental one - and am beginning to obsesse (obssese?) about it to the point of googling them online. Oh Dear. A Bee in My Bonnet.
i imagine a small kitten and training it to have a harness for taking for walks (you couldnt do that with a moggy cat) (i dont think anyway)(orientals are part monkey, part dog and part cat so you can).
Oh Dear oh dear...
i Cant have a cat.
i cant seem to stop thinking about it.
if i got one, i'd have to have two.
how expensive is that, how much of a responsibility is that..
oh gawd
To Cap It All R4 is now broadcasting a morning reading all about someone living somewhere rural who finds a kitten and rescues it against his better nature, and it all just goes to feed into my cat-bee.
the kitten runs up to sit on his shoulder, clawing his clothes and various parts of his skin in the process. i remember that. i remember the hairs - no more black jumpers. in fact jumpers in general go in for a bashing - all that happy cat-knitting.
yes and the cold nose right up on my nose, the paw swipe 'hey pay attention', the greeting when i get home - 'me me me givemeacuddle carryme carryme'  - the furry hug, head nestling into my neck. i could never replace kitty which is why it is such a surprise to find myself suddenly so struck.
so maybe writing it down will help get the bee out. release the bee.
think about other things.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

oh lord it'll soon be christmas. finally managed to get parcels posted to siblings and their families. not big things, just enough.  now need to find small bits and bobs for the gathering on christmas day. my first husband's youngest brother and his wife and daughter, and their mum, and wife's mum, and old family friend, and then my first husband's second wife and her second husband.. we are all pals. unfortunately my first husband died a few years ago. we knew each other as teenagers in Calcutta, their mum looking after me when my mother and father went away on travels. 

one or two coffee shops - a new one on Victoria st - a view out of the window:

taken some time ago but you get the idea.

some weeks ago i went to a 'scratch' performance of an artist friend of mine - his art; video installations in collaboration with a musician who composed music and played it accompanying video.  'scratch' because it was not the final piece - apparently, but a trial.  They performed it at the gallery weeks later, all 'tweaked and synched' and it was a resounding success.
anyway, the original 'scratch' was at Napier uni music department which is at Craighouse - the most beautiful, castle-like, mental hospital ever built (probably).  in keeping with most of the schools in Edinburgh built by philanthropists - they built virtual castles. of course its not a hospital now, but university.  the hospital where Siegfried Sassoon was during WWI is up the road, i think i am right is saying.
great views from the grounds:

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Christmas at Harvey Nics, Edinburgh.
amazingly colourful and lavish windows.  6 huge windows, each a different theme, and the ones above hung and lit a different colour. the stuff of dreams. i can remember when i was manager of a jewellery shop - the cheaper 'fun' sort, not the posh sort - noticing when people were feeling the financial pinch, they tended to splash out on cheap colourful fun jewellery. i wonder whether living in a western affluent society a general need is felt for fantasy, where perhaps those in less afluent societies, who tend to have to rely on their own entertainment, and make do with less, dont need to rely so much on large stores to supply them with imges of fantasy - they can create their own. 
am i talking through a hole in my head? i dont know. i am just wondering about it all.  the harvey nics display caught my attention, and then i began to question what i was attracted to and one thought led to another.
one of my best christmases was when we lived in the borders, no tv, no shops and lots of snow. no central heating, just one open fire, and lots of adventures into the woods and dumps and various places looking for wood to burn and digging up ancient bottles. midnight sliding down a snow covered slopy field on trays, making food and having a few pals in from round about, telling stories in the round, wading thigh deep a couple of miles down the road to the pub while pretending to be intrepid explorers with strange names (i wont go on), playing pool and being given a lift back in a landrover.  and christmas went on for at least a week. we were snowed in for much of the time.
i think most people i knew then tended to make a lot of stuff themselves, more self reliant.

so here is another picture - no fancy ribbons and tinsel - just an old ugly building which is empty, where some bright spark has had the idea to print other people's thoughts about the city.  plain and simple. you notice it or you dont, so it is in a way hidden by the fact that there is no bright colour or flashing light to make sure you see it.
i like that.

my eyes are still attracted to the bright harvey nics windows - reluctantly - i have to admit - they are quite well done.

so just to end, here is one more!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

and suddenly its November - and the time of leaves changing their colours - the Rowans so noticable here in town with their array of gold - rust - deep crimson leaves.

the weather keeps trying to change to very chilly, and you know that very soon it will change to the very cold beginning of winter.

there was a trip to Eyemouth that i havent yet had enough time to put up here.

it was early October, and Morelle and I decided to use our brand new Bus Passes and take a trip to Eyemouth.  it turned out to be where she used to go as a child for family summer holidays, staying in the caravan park up on the cliff!  so it was a bit of a trip down memory lane.  she took me to the cafe where they always went - it is still there

there its ..


 after a much needed coffee we walked beside the esturary, some old fishing boats moored but most boats fishing at sea.  it was not a particularly sunny day - in fact it was downright grey! nevertheless it was good being out of town, and exploring somewhere different.

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its a very sheltered harbour, being an estuary
yes yes c'est moi

Eyemouth has a bit of interesting history - none of which can i now remember! i think it had to do with smuggling.  there was a huge house built right on the side of the river estuary which i seem to remember has stories attached to it regarding hidden caves or underground places for the smugglers' loot.  in fact i think that castellated roof might be the roof of that house. i didnt think to take a photo of it.

walking out of town along the coast - the rock formations are fascinating.  we found an old bench and sat there with sandwiches and juice.  a golf course behind us and the occasional golfer having a shot, and occasional walkers with dogs passing by. 

mistified by the message on the bench - this is the one we sat on for lunch!

rock forms - amazing!

Monday, 21 September 2009

a walk from St Monan's to Pittenweem

St. Monan's sheltered harbour.

(below): just outside St. Monan's is the old swimming pool, you can still see the cobbled pool floor.
this part of the walk, just outside St Monan's, are the remains of the saltpans - an incredible process and amount of work to get the salt. and the old windmill which drove it all is now a museum about it. if you click on images they should enlarge

remains of St Monan's saltpans all grassed over

views along the way to Pittenweem

the old swimming pool for Pittenweem - the notice says its no longer maintained by the council so bathers use it at their own risk there is Pittenweem in the distance
Pittenweem harbour and fishing boats
a fishing boat had just come in attracting a load of gulls

Sunday, 20 September 2009

loch lomond

last weekend, with friends on their boat on Loch Lomond. they ski-ed. i didnt. i had a go a couple of years ago - first time since ski-ing in Thailand aged 11 - 12. anyway, this was northern waters which necessitates wearing a dry suit. it was too big for me, and when i got into the water it ballooned up and i felt like a michelin man, and didnt manage to get up on skis! enough! but good to watch pals ski. beautiful Loch - beautiful September day, we went all the way up to Ardlui at the top of the Loch and stopped off for a pint. This is apparntly Rob Roy's cave: (below)

Pint at Ardlui

wet people in dry suits - one out of water, other jumping in

end of day

on the way back to Edinburgh