Thursday, 29 October 2009

Skywatch photo.

Rain clouds gather above a stormy sea at the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. This photo was taken by my son in law when he and my daughter and their young son emigrated to Australia at the end of March 2008. They landed in Melbourne and drove up to Adelaide via The Great Ocean Road during a storm with gale force winds....not exactly the Australia they had imagined. It did change!
To see more skies from around the world click here.
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Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Eyes and ears!

What big eyes you've got!
....and what big ears YOU'VE got!
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Tuesday, 27 October 2009

I remember the Sunday School Trip.

This old photo taken by me in the early '50s shows my mother on the right, my friend Isabel at the back with her mother wearing the light coloured coat and another woman with her two daughters and we were on the Sunday School summer trip, (or picnic) to the beach! From the outfits, it appears to have been pretty cold, with overcoats and scarf in evidence. Notice how, then, every self respecting woman wore a hat, even to the beach! They are huddled in the dunes between those big concrete blocks, put there to prevent the enemy landing on our beaches during the 2nd World War. There was probably a biting easterly wind blowing in from the North Sea as this was Leven beach in Fife, on the east coast of Scotland.
We used to look forward to the trip as we travelled by private hired double decker bus and we children would rush to bag an upstairs seat so that we could hang our streamers out of the windows and sing songs at the top of our voices.
When I think back, it was not that well organised as we were left to our own devices for the afternoon so I don't think there would have been much in the way of swimming or beach games on this particular trip. How did we put in the time? I do not remember!
For more memories click here.
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Sunday, 25 October 2009


At the weekend show, Midland Counties Championship Show, held at Stafford, the Dog Challenge Certificate and Best of Breed was won by Adnamashan Time After Time, aka Joseph, who happens to be the sire of Tina's pups. Unfortunately, his owner, Mrs. Angela Skelton, was taken ill before the group judging so he did not take part in that. I have since heard that she was not kept in hospital overnight so we all hope she is now feeling much better.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

4 week old pups.

Here they are metamorphosing from what I call "the guinea pig" stage to something more like a little dog!
They now hear and see well and play around outside the box and are also starting to eat small amounts of solid food.Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

My World---Abernethy from the top of the Tower.

What better place to view our village than from the top of the Celtic Tower, dating from Pictish times, which stands in the centre of the village. The key for the entrance door, bottom left, can be obtained from the little coffee shop opposite. It can hardly be described as "handy handbag size" but I think this one in the photo is a reproduction. Also the top of the tower is accessed via a very sturdy spiral steel stairway. I was dizzy by the time I reached the top. My aching legs took hours to recover as well.
You can just make out that the old houses, in the centre of the village, have no front gardens but have fairly long, narrow back gardens. The old school has been turned into flats, as has the old Free Church farther to the edge of the village.
To see other parts of the world click here.

Monday, 19 October 2009

The Prodigal Son.

This is Charlie, one of Holly's pups born in June and so now 4 months old. He blotted his copybook with his new owners, whose neighbours complained about his barking. They brought him back to me but when I saw him I thought I would keep him. He is certainly a lively little chap who likes to play and annoy the older dogs but we have been quite firm about the barking and it has certainly not been excessive. Swallow would have nothing to do with him...until tonight when I caught the pair of them playing under the kitchen table..... there has been a breakthrough!
I'm hoping to start his ring training on Wednesday night.
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Friday, 16 October 2009

My SkyWatch Photo.

This week's photo shows a cloudy sky above the head of the River Tay estuary, taken from the south bank. It must be low tide, the effect of which can be felt as high up as the city of Perth. At this time the mud flats, frequented by flocks of geese at this time of year and the reed beds, formerly supplying material for roof thatching, can be clearly seen. Believe it or not, smallish cargo boats can still navigate a channel through all of this up to Perth harbour.
For more sky pictures look at the Skywatch Friday site.
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Wednesday, 14 October 2009

October Garden Flowers.

...but for how much longer?
They are Hydrangea, Rose of Sharon, Salvia (Hot Lips) Dahlia, Fuschia, Begonia, Delphinium, another Dahlia and Crocosma.
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Tuesday, 13 October 2009

I remember--The triplet calves.

Whilst raking around in the box of photographs which had come to me after my mother died I found this one. elder brother, Ross with one of his dairy cows which had just calved triplets, a fairly rare occurrence for cows.
Now most grandmothers have hanging on their walls wedding photos and photographs of grandchildren. Well my mother had these, but she also had this one plus several of a grandson, who was into showing, with prize dairy cows and sheep!
For more snippets of memories with photos look here.
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Monday, 12 October 2009

My World--Strathearn, Crieff...and the Hairy Coo.

This first set of photographs show the town of Crieff and its surrounding countryside in the wide valley, known as Strathearn, through which the River Earn flows from Loch Earn. Crieff was, in the 17th century, like the crossroads of Scotland as cattle drovers brought their herds here from north, east and west to sell to the buyers from the south. Some years there would be as many as 30,000 cattle grazing in and around the town at the fair, held in the second week of October. To commemorate all this some local people have organised a week of activities, called the Drovers Tryst, one of which is a mountain bike race called "The Hairy Coo".

A few miles farther up Strathearn we reached Loch Earn and the picturesque village of St Fillans, which is a popular holiday spot with sailing on the loch a favourite pastime.

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Highland Cattle.(=Hairy Coos)

..and one in close-up.
For more pictures and stories from other corners of the world visit this site.

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The day after the show.

Yesterday the Scottish Toydog Society held an Open show at Bonnybridge, near Falkirk. My veterans, (over 7 years), Spencer and Tass did well with Spencer winning Veteran Dog and Tass coming 2nd in Veteran Bitch. Swallow won the Open class and Mo came 2nd in Limit in the breed classes and, although they always enjoy accompanying me to shows, today's outing up the glen must count as one of their favourites, with plenty of exercise and interesting paths to explore.
The above collection of photos shows them on the steps, sniffing, chewing "something" and waiting for me to climb the stairs.
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Saturday, 10 October 2009

The age of innocence.

Tina's little dog pup, at 2 weeks old.
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Thursday, 8 October 2009

SkyWatch Friday

Blue skies over Abernethy today.
I took this photo over the rooftops of the eastern side of Abernethy from the top of the ancient celtic round tower in the centre of the village.
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First frosts.

Brrrr.... this was the first morning we had noticed frost on the cars. Last night was very clear and it eventually turned into a beautiful day, after the chilly start, with hardly a cloud in the sky. The sort of weather that I enjoy, warm enough to sit with a coffee in the garden but not too hot to be fairly energetic (at times!)We'll have to get our more fragile container plants under cover soon. This was always the potato "picking" time and there were many frosted fingers as a result. Some years, however, it has still been fairly mild and the squad would work away in shirt sleeves. All farms with potatoes now lift them with machines so it is much less labour intensive. School children had "potato holidays" to help with this harvest.
Long may this weather continue!

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

I remember our New Zealand trip.

Thirteen years ago we paid a month's visit to friends in New Zealand. The friends were penpals, whose address I had come across in a newspaper on which I was preparing onions for the stew when I was in my early teens. New Zealand had fascinated me since childhood and now I had a connection. We corresponded for a good few years but eventually it dwindled to about 2 letter exchanges a year. In the late '70s the couple, Roma and Eric, came over and stayed for a month in our cottage at Nethybridge , then again they visited when we were in Glenfarg village, not far from where we now live. Now it was our turn to visit them.
We lived with them for a fortnight, visiting all over the lovely North Island then we set off on our own, travelling by train and bus ..and ferry! South Island and hired a car in Christchurch to tour the south and west of that island.
In the photograph above Chic and I are at the bus station in Whangerei, in North Island, ready to leave for the south. You'll notice our perfectly matched, co-ordinated set of luggage!!!! Four holdalls that we could easily carry were all Chic would allow..."You don't need a lot of clothes!" Good job I'm no sophisticate!
We had a wonderful holiday in a most beautiful part of the world, looked after, for the first half, by a very generous couple. Sadly Eric passed away a few years ago but Roma, now almost 90, seems as spry as ever, judging by the writing on her Christmas 2009 card.
Other people share their memories on this site.
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Monday, 5 October 2009

My World Tuesday--Balmerino Abbey.

This meme, My World Tuesday, where anyone, worldwide, can post an article and photographs of places of interest in their "world" has certainly made me look more closely at my particular area. Too often we tend to visit places of interest which are farther afield and overlook those on our doorstep. Such was the case with Balmerino Abbey, lying on the south side of the Tay estuary just a few miles east of my village of Abernethy. Driving there this afternoon I stopped to take some photos of the river and there was a plaque on the wall in the parking area at the side of the road telling me that William Wallace, one of our Scottish heroes,in 1298 had fought off the English marauders with the help of local men armed with farm tools, pitchforks and the like(!) at this spot, called learn something new everyday!

The village of Balmerino lies at the foot of the hill overlooking Dundee, over the river, and the ruins of the abbey are just at this entrance to the village. Not much is left now and what still stands is in a very fragile state with props and stays to support it and these parts are fenced off for safety. It was built in the 13th century on the instructions of Queen Emengarde, wife of William The Lion and mother of Alexander II, the site being chosen because of religious connections there and also the benign climate of the area.....(must have changed!). if you would like to read more of this interesting place look at this site.

Top photo shows location of Balmerino on south side of River Tay and bottom photo shows remains of the abbey.

Middle photo is the remains of the cellar of the abbots house: middle left the cross standing on the site of the high alter, and burial place of Queen Emengarde at the end of what was the nave: and right is the massive Spanish chestnut tree aged about 400 years.

Top left in this collage is the wooden cross marking the spot of the high alter and the desecrated grave of the founding Queen. The others are of various parts of the standing ruins showing their supports.
These ruins are now owned by The National Trust for Scotland.
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Sunday, 4 October 2009

My last outside show of the year.

I have just got round to downloading these photographs from my camera. They were taken at the very picturesque new venue for Perth Open Show, the racecourse next to Scone Palace, once the crowning place of the Scottish monarchs and resting place of the Stone of Scone.
Luckily, the weather turned out fine, in fact, hot, during the afternoon and we were able to watch the remainder of the judging, from our vantage point at the back of the grandstand, in comfort.

The view of the outside rings, with the white building, to the right in the background, where the Toy breeds were judged, before judging began.

The set-up inside our building was quite novel--the bar, unopened(!) ran along one side.

We were a bit concerned when we saw the "weighing in" room--was this to be a new feature of dog shows? ..for the dog, or, worse still, the exhibitors!!!

A view down the racecourse.

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Some of the class of junior handlers, all vying for a place in the Richmond Finals next year.

This young handler can barely be seen above her Tibetan Terrier.

After judging was finished we lapped up the glorious sunshine as we watched the outside judging.

We had an uninterrupted view of these rings.

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Friday, 2 October 2009

SkyWatch Scene.

A peaceful rural scene in Midlothian, Scotland, before the leaves started to change colour.
Many more SkyWatch photos can be seen here.