10th of October

by on October 10th, 2014

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Out on the river Tay today. In the distance is the bridge that I want my ashes scattered from. When I told my brother in law this he stated that he wanted his ashes thrown into the eyes of his enemies…outstanding one-liner that has a ring of truth to it knowing him..
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Interesting incident across the river. Two salmon anglers had just very strenuously and hazardously dragged a boat over a mile upstream back to the fishing station. Seemingly because the outboard engine had failed. I overheard them saying to the effect that the engine had fallen off into the water because they had not properly secured it. They were composing an ‘alternative account’ for the owner who was about to show up. Sound travels well across a river, and into my flappy ears..
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Downstream where they had dragged the boat up some rapids…
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Caught a few fish – nothing special, lost the biggest one as usual- not just an angling figure of speech I can assure you. This one refused to have its picture taken. A lovely afternoon out in stunning autumnal Perthshire.

8th of October

by on October 8th, 2014

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I’ve been mooching about indoors for the last few days as the weather has been iffy. But this morning was beautiful so I sallied forth on my rusty bike. Here is a field of potatoes being harvested or ‘lifted’. When I was a kid potatoes were all picked off the ground by hand mostly by schoolchildren. Infact we had a special ‘tattie holiday’ in October for two weeks to allow our children to be fully exploited. It was backbreaking work but seemed to be well payed and was very social as so many pickers were required. These machines have completely replaced the pickers but the holiday still exists which I’ve christened the ‘couch potato holidays’ as kids are unlikely these days to strain much more than their thumbs on what ever gismo is in fashion – Harrummph! In the distance is Methven Castle, close to the site of The Battle of Methven in 1306 where the followers of Robert the Bruce were routed by an English army shortly after he had seized the Scottish Throne. But he tried and tried again as we will surely have to…
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Huntingtower Castle those of you familiar with the cover of “Bard Hair Day’ will recognise this edifice.  James the Sixth and First was once ‘held’ here as a youth during his minority. It also features in a well known song in which a suitor jumps from one tower to another in the middle of of the night in order to press his attentions on the lairds lovely daughter..
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The Old Bridge at Perth, as busy as ever, we live across the river and up the hill abit.

5th of October

by on October 5th, 2014

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Played last night at a splendid birthday party for Ian Light, seen here talking to Susie outside the beautifully appointed and situated venue Taymount House. He is resplendent in tartan trews on a very Scottish occasion that featured bagpipes and wonderful venison. I was greatly honoured to sing at his Daughter Helen’s wedding in Aberdeenshire (see blog from Dec’12). She and her husband John are now expecting their second child. I also do bar mitzvas though have yet to be asked…..
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The view at dusk of the river Tay from Taymount House near Stanley Perthshire. The river here is a complex medley of pools, raids, falls and islands and is a very famous fishing destination.  A magical spot and an excellent evening among Ian’s very welcoming family and friends.

2nd of October

by on October 2nd, 2014

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Dreadful photo of me out foraging for hazelnuts, my broken phone camera will only take selfies. This year was looking good for wild hazelnuts (a very variable crop), but I was afraid that I would be too late back from tour to get any. Well I did have to root around like a pig looking for acorns but I did manage to get quite a few. One of the joys of fishing is that you stumble across edible stuff that no-one even knows is there…I could tell you where this is but then I’d have to kill you….
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A bag of nutty swag. The wild ones are really sweet. Might make some Perthshire Praline..

1st of October

by on October 1st, 2014

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Hello folks, another gratuitous Scottish image from my personal collection this time of Dunnottar Castle near Stonehaven. We will be visiting this national treasure next June on our way to Orkney. During Cromwell’s invasion in the 1650s it held out for almost a year. The Scottish crown jewels were held there and successfully smuggled out and hidden before the castle was eventually surrendered.
The camera on my phone really let me down towards the end of my tour. I’m safely home now and would like to thank everyone of the many people who helped me along the way. I look forward to getting back later this year..