Hello folks, Susie and I are just back from a ten day trip/writers retreat we helped organise for our good friend Grace Burrowes – a bestselling romantic fiction novelist. We had a wonderful time based near Aberfeldy visiting many of the surrounding attractions, as well as trips to inspirational locations such as Abbotsford (Sir Walter Scotts border home), Culloden, Roslyn Chapel and the Braemar Highland Games(to see the Queen!).
We also visited the Black Watch Museum in Perth where there is currently a travelling display called The Weeping Window – to commemorate the hundreth anniversary of the Great War. we also saw it up in Orkney back in May.
Scotland was looking very bonny…
Had great gig in Portsoy, up on the Banffshire coast – very beautiful fishing village with an ancient harbour. The venue is called the Salmon Bothy, a lovely old building, used as a museum and arts centre. I snapped the stage area to show you the fantastic knitted mural depicting the old harbour. The concert went well and I played my first ever trumpet solo in public. Ive been learning it as a New Year’s resolution! Thanks to Bob and the crew for organising and to all those who attended.
“The land of the golden and the green” a snap of ‘Valley of Strathmore’ on the way home with field of ripe corn waiting to be cut. The journey home from Portsoy was really like driving through the pages of a song book.
Greetings from China…well actually Edinburgh Zoo. This is one of two of our giant pandas in Scotland, making them twice as common as Conservative Members of Parliament (chortle). They are so popular that you have to book in advance to see them which we failed to do. But we stuck around till nearly closing time and managed to sneak in to see them once the throngs had dispersed. They are spectacularly bad at breeding and it’s no surprise that so few of them are left. The males have the libido of a wet cardboard box. We were all very impressed when we got them from China until we discovered that we were only renting them – for a million odd pounds a year! Mind you they do seem to be pulling the crowds. Edinburgh Zoo seems now to be concentrating on helping endangered species these days and is less of a series of cages like the old days. Thanks to Sandy for the picture.
Beth and Sandy you have done well,
Your quest will end where Susie tames the Triffid.
Hello folks, had a wonderful gig on Saturday over on the West Coast. Matthew and Yvonne Anderson put on a house concert at their beautiful place at Kilmelford, a few miles south of Oban (see below). It was very well attended and the local folkies really know their stuff! Many thanks to the Anderson family. Here we are at the ferry terminal in Oban grabbing a few mussels from the handy seafood shack. Oban was the scene of an amusing Guy Fawkes incident back in 2011 when an entire firework display went off in just 30 seconds – see “The Oban Community Fireworks Fiasco” on youtube. On the right is the Corryvreckan restaurant named after the infamous local whirlpool (a song about which is on my latest cd – plugity-plug!) the round structure at the top of the town is McCaigs Folly, built by locals during a slump in the fishing industry back in the nineteenth century. There’s nothing new about work creation schemes.
The lovely Melfort House, an upmarket guest house which looks out across Loch Melford. Serene and close to lots of great places to visit, we recommend it as a base for sightseeing around Oban. Yvonne and Matthew, thanks for being such wonderful hosts!
Sandy took this arty black and white shot of the ‘Bridge across the Atlantic’ between the mainland and the isle of Seil. It crosses a narrow strait that looks in certain tidal conditions like it continues indefinitely in either direction. The first building you come to on the Island of Seil is called ‘Tigh an Truish’ meaning ‘The House of the Trousers’. During the period after the Battle of Culloden when Highland dress was illegal, the islanders defiantly continued to wear their plaids but changed into trousers just before they left the island…