Chicken Burger and Cheese Burger – 14 July 2021

Chicken Burger (No barbecue sauce). Cheese Burger (No mayo). Foodies are fastidious.

Today we drove to The Fort to spend one of our M&S vouchers on ourselves. Sometimes it’s nice to spend money you don’t really feel you’ve earned on something. Today it was mainly alcohol. For some reason you can’t spend Tesco vouchers on alcohol, petrol or tobacco products. I fail to see the common factor there, but I presume Tesco see the hidden logic.

After our splurge, we went for a walk around this emporium of retail therapy. I went to Waterstones and found a few interesting books I might try on Audible or Kindle. Probably Audible because I’ve just finished my last book and my next credit has just appeared, also because I’ve got an interesting ‘Real’ book that I can read and it’s got illustrations which obviously you don’t get with Audible. Scamp knew she’d find me browsing in Waterstones, so after she dragged me away from the books we went for lunch.

We walked over to Ben & Jerry’s. Not really B&J, but that’s what we always call it. It’s really Frankie & Benny’s. It used to be our go-to place for breakfast when we were flying off to go on a cruise or to have a late deal week in the sun. In the days before quarantine, face masks and Covid. Now it’s just a fairly cheap place for lunch. The burgers are usually good and the chips are such a temptation! Today’s choice, as you can see from the title was Chicken Burger for Scamp and Cheese Burger for me with the usual alterations. Both were delicious, but the overpriced lemonade was stale tasting. Nothing is perfect.
Stopped off at The Shops on the way home to get pineapple in M&S plus a bottle of gin and four pineapple cakes in Aldi.

I took the Dewdrop out for its second run this year and went to my usual quiet place alongside the railway. Today’s PoD came from there. Originally there were the overhead wires cutting right across the sky in the photo, but about an hour’s work put paid to them and left a much better picture. While I was walking around looking for more photos I felt wee nip on my front and brushed away what I think must have been a cleg. It had bit me right through my tee shirt. I couldn’t see a hole, so it must have been using a syringe to draw off some blood. Another nip on my shoulder a few minutes later meant that it was time to get back on the bike before my tee shirt was ruined. Luckily I had some Piriton tablets and an old tube of Anthisan cream in my saddle bag. They got to work immediately and got the swelling down. No mark to be seen now.
Took another few shots on the way home, but the Beech trees were the clear winner of PoD.

It was a lot cooler but the time I got home and the sky had clouded over quite a lot. It’s supposed to reach 27º tomorrow. We’ll believe it when we see it.

Canal, Canoes and Cygnets – 7 July 2021

We went for a walk.

It was a lovely morning and after Scamp had hung out the washing we got our boots on and went for a walk. We stepped out the door and the rain came on!

By the time we’d gone half a mile, the rain had stopped. For the first time in what seemed like ages, we drove down to Auchinstarry, parked and went for a walk along the canal towards Twechar. I’d been a bit sensible with the camera gear and only carried the Sony, the kit lens and the 18mm. I thought a change of subject to landscape would be good, but really it was the walk that was interesting me more and I knew Scamp would enjoy a walk in the countryside, especially on a day like today.

For once we weren’t bothered too much by cyclists. Maybe that was because it was midweek and some unlucky folk would be working. Some folk have to! We did see a few people out in Canadian style canoes, a few in kayaks and one person on a paddle board. That must the the most uncomfortable way to travel on water. Kneeling and paddling. Even for the experts, standing up and paddling doesn’t make sense to me. All the discomfort of windsurfing without the feeling of speed. Not my idea of fun at all.

Despite my desire for some landscape photography and despite actively shunning the macro lens today, I did succumb to taking a few shots of hoverflies, but only a few. With a blue sky above and lush green fields below, thanks to the recent rain, it was landscapes that won the day, especially with the activity on the canal giving an extra interest. I did think though, watching those Canadian canoes nearing Twechar, that I could almost hear the banjos playing the theme from Deliverance!

When we were almost back at the car Scamp spotted a large flotilla of cygnets following their mother down under the Auchinstarry bridge. Nine cygnets in all. Laying all those eggs must have been an experience Mrs Swan wouldn’t want to repeat again.

Back home Scamp started making another Swiss Roll. This is the second one and she seems much happier with it than last time. This time she opted not to include the ganache. On a taste test she thought it was a little dry. I just ate mine.

The swan and its nine cygnets made PoD.

No real plans for tomorrow, although we may go somewhere we haven’t been in a long time, but it’s not Venice!

Up Hill and Down Dale – 22 June 2021

It was a beautiful morning and we were off early to Chatelherault in Hamilton.

I usually take one camera with two or three lenses. Today I took two cameras and two lenses. That meant I didn’t have to change lenses out in the wild, windy, dusty woods. It sounded like a good plan.

We started off going over the Duke’s Bridge, then turned left. Then … They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are one thousand words:

Actually the walk started at the chequered flag, but I forgot to start the OS app when we left the car and we walked the route anti-clockwise.  Oops.

After a gentle, but constant climb we reached the first of the Down Dale stage, immediately followed by an Up Hill part. That was the first of many, but generally it was just a walk. We found some newts in a pond. I couldn’t see if they were of the Great Crested variety, but they were definitely newts. Found some damselflies there too. Found a mountain bike partly disassembled and lying in the trees just off the path. Thrown there in disgust it appeared. After an hour or so of walking we started the descent to the Avon Water and the Green Bridge. As I’m sure I’ve said before, the Green Bridge is not green. It’s just that silvery grey of weathered wood. The original bridge on that spot was made of steel and it was painted green. It was one of my mum’s favourite places to take us in the summer holidays, with a bag full of pieces and a vacuum flask of tea. Great days.

We stopped at the bridge to rest a while then crossed it knowing that this was the halfway point and one of the biggest ‘Up Hills’ was ahead of us. After walking on an elevated path through the trees, usually between two pools of water which today were bone dry, the path turned and started climbing in a series of awkwardly long steps. Up and up and up until we found the seat at the top, thankfully, vacant. Scamp had come prepared for this with a plastic tub of apple slices liberally doused with lemon juice. I had a bottle of water in my rucksack too. After we’d caught our breath, we vacated the seat to two ladies who had just finished the climb. They were as thankful as us for the rest.

I found the walk from the top of the steps to the Visitor Centre a bit boring compared with the outward leg, but Scamp wasn’t concerned. I usually hate golf courses, but I was glad to see one appearing on our right side, because that meant we were nearly at the Visitor Centre. When we got there, we had a coffee with an apple pie for Scamp and a scone for me. After that it was a case of changing boots for something more comfortable and driving home.

Back home we stopped off at M&S for beef burgers for me and some fruit for both of us. Back at the house we sat in the sun in the garden with a beer and a Pimms. I’ll let you guess who got what. Dinner was the remaining Trout fillet for Scamp and an M&S burger for me. Later we watched Bakeoff the Professionals while most of Scotland watched the Scotland team be ousted from the Euros.

PoD turned out to be landscape view through the trees to another group of trees on the horizon.

Tomorrow the weather looks a bit wet for a change and we’re looking for something less strenuous to fill our day.

Just out for a stroll – 17 June 2021

Today we were going for a pleasant walk along the Fife coastal path.

We were out a bit later than normal today, but it wasn’t far to the coastal path. It runs along the cliffs, about 100m from the caravan. The path is fairly wide and solid underfoot. It climbs steadily inland for a stretch, skirting the side of the travelling caravan section of the park. After that the path becomes a bit narrower, but still a good walking surface. Further on it’s yet another golf course that’s on one side and the sea on the other. Soon after that the path drops away after a few steep climbs on hand laid steps and then an equal number of steps down the other side, finally settling on level with the rough beaches and boulders.

The biggest of the boulders stands next to the Rock and Spindle which is a sea stack, part of a volcano which erupted about 295 million years ago and punched through the pre-existing rocks. So says Mr Google anyway. The Rock is an impressive towering chunk of basalt. The Spindle is about 4m diameter, roughly wheel shaped and with a radiating pattern of something far too difficult to explain here (in other words, I don’t know).  As you can see,  The Rock and Spindle made PoD for today. We walked a bit further on, but the path became very vague after crossing a rock fall and we decided that although a coffee in the clubhouse of the golf club might be very nice, we couldn’t see an obvious way to get to it from the shore, so we headed back towards civilisation. Rather than climb all those steps up and over a bit of headland, I suggested we walk round it on the beach and meet the path on the far side. That seemed to be the sensible solution and, strangely for one of my brainwaves, it actually worked. We though we were doing well on this trek and were congratulating ourselves on our achievement. Then we were passed by a couple of runners, one going one way and the other going the other. How crazy do you have to be to run on an undulating path with stepping stones on a blisteringly hot day? As is usual with long walks in unfamiliar territory, our return seemed a lot quicker than the outward journey and we were soon back in the caravan.

Tonight’s dinner was to be a salad with a cooked chicken. To that end, we drove to Morrisons and bought the essentials for dinner, plus a bottle of beer for me and a couple of cans of Pimms for Scamp. Drove back and sat on the decking with a Pimms for Scamp and a beer for me. You could see how these static caravans worked, or to be clearer, how the people worked with these caravans. Mostly they seemed to be empty during the week, but at the extended weekends that seem to be the way things are now, they got busier. Today is Thursday and already there is more activity around caravans that have been empty since we arrived. Also the age of the people seems to be tending to the younger groups. Maybe the retired community live here all week, possibly for weeks at a time while those condemned to work for a living 😏 make use of the facilities at weekends.

I haven’t mentioned the weather much.  Perhaps that’s because I didn’t want to spook things.  The weather in Fife has been extraordinary.  Blue skies, light clouds for most of the time.  Just the very occasional light shower, the edge of a cloud.  Quite breezy, but oh how a caravan creaks an clicks as the aluminium panels heat up and expand it the sun. Then in the evening you have the same acoustics as the same panels contract again.  Also, as Annette is quick to tell you, you’re living in a tin can with little insulation, so the heat can be oppressive and the cold, severe.  Luckily we only had to suffer the heat.

Dinner was just as we’d intended Chicken and salad leaves with some crusty bread. We relaxed for a while on the decking with a ‘thin’ G&T each. A long day ahead tomorrow and a drive home. It had been a great few days and we must thank Annette for her offer!

Early bed tonight for an early(ish) rise tomorrow.

Exploring – 16 June 2021

Today we were off exploring the East Neuk of Fife.

We drove south from St Andrews on the coast road, like real tourists. We were just passing through Kingsbarns which is really a posh hotel and a golf course with some houses attached, when I noticed a sign for Cambo House. We’d been there many years ago to see the snowdrops that it’s famous for, great swathes of them as I remember it. No snowdrops today, but at least there was a decent amount of parking.

We walked from the carpark to what I thought must be the House and paid our entrance fee that was really the entrance to the walled garden. If I’d been more observant, I might have decided not to shell out a few quid just to see a walled garden. There’s one in Colzium that’s really well laid out and free. But, Scamp likes gardens of all descriptions and also we’d paid our money so we went to see the gardens.

What a garden this was, not the manicured garden like Colzium. No neat borders with carefully labeled plants. This was a real garden with plants of all descriptions everywhere. Herbs, roses, herbaceous, veg patches, fruit trees, in fact everything that we’ve got in our garden, including a knowledgeable gardener which we also have in Scamp! We wandered round and I took loads of photos. Glad I’d brought the macro lens today. We found a strange plant with pink fluffy flowers and aquilegia-like leaves. We asked the gardener what it was and I showed her a photo of it, but she dismissed it as “not a very good photo”! Cheek! However, she laughed, so I didn’t take too much offence. She knew what the plant was, but couldn’t quite remember the name of it. She was a volunteer gardener and said the head gardener would know. We stood talking to her for a while comparing this garden with its dry, light soil with our builders rubble that’s covered by a thin layer of topsoil that turns into a swamp every time it rains. After that we left to see what else we could find.

We walked out of the garden and down the path to the beach. That’s when we saw Cambo House. It’s an impressive Big House set in acres of lawns. Private, of course, but if you’ve got a house like that, you want to keep it good and not let the proles in. It was Scamp who saw the robot lawnmower trundling around the garden in what seemed like random directions. We stood watching it for a while before we continued our walk down beside a wee burn on a path that reminded me for the second time of Colzium with the winding path beside the Colzium Burn. I saw a beautiful spread of bright red poppies as we neared the beach and managed to make a panorama of it back at the caravan. The poppies reminded me of summer holidays in East Lothian where they seemed to grow in all the barley fields around Ormiston.

The beach itself was a bit like any other with a path between it and the Kingsbarns golf course. There seems to be a never-ending succession of golf courses along this part of the Fife coast. After a walk along the beach, we turned and walked back on the path, then found an easier path back past the Big House to what must have been farm buildings that housed the shop and the cafe. We had intended having a coffee and a bite to eat, but there were no tables, all socially distanced around the courtyard. We decided we’d continue our exploration and see if Crail or Anstruther had anything better to offer. At least we’d be able to get something to eat there.

Crail was a disaster for parking. We did find a place down by the harbour, but all the narrow streets were clogged with cars parked on both sides of the road so we headed off to Anstruther. It turned out to be even more disappointing. No places in the carparks and a similar congestion. Why don’t we go back to Cambo and see if there are any tables free now. We did and there were. We had a slice of excellent Tortilla each and a cup of coffee to go with it, plus a Portuguese custard tart to share. Even better, we wandered round the shop and found the pink fluffy plant we’d seen, so we bought it. It’s a Thalictrum Aquilegiifolium. Feeling much happier than the last time we exited Cambo a couple of hours before, we drove back to the caravan.

Tonight we thought we’d walk in to town and have dinner in Little Italy which came recommended. Yesterday we had thought to have lunch there. The sign said open 12.30 until Late and it was about 4pm, so it should be fine. Unfortunately when we asked for a table we were told they were closed. There were people still sitting at tables, but they were closed. Maybe 4pm is late in St Andrews. Today we were refused entry again. This time, allegedly, the restaurant was fully booked. Have you ever had the feeling that your face doesn’t fit? Instead we found ourselves standing outside a pizza restaurant when a Canadian drawl behind us said “You won’t be disappointed”. As I turned round I honestly thought it was Shannon from salsa. It wasn’t, but she was right, we weren’t disappointed. The restaurant looked very like Paesano. The menu was in a similar style and even the pizzas were familiar looking. I’m glad we didn’t get in to LI. This was much better all round. It was called Mozza. If your ever in St Andrews, try it out. You won’t be disappointed.

Walked back to the caravan via the harbour. Walked along the harbour wall and watched some teenagers jumping into the water. Posh english teenagers probably from one of the private schools.

Sat and watched the sun go down with a couple of G&Ts out on the decking of the caravan.

Driving – 29 May 2021

Another beautiful day dawned and we were going out.

The plan was to go to Perth. That was the focal point of the run, but there were lots of other places we could visit along the way, or afterwards. As Driver, I chose Amulree as a place to visit along the way. I’d been looking at some old photos on Flickr of the church at Amulree and fancied taking some photos of it with the newer technology I now had. We plumbed Amulree into the sat nav and off we went.

The sat nav took us by a strange route, away from the very busy motorway and up into the hills. Then a twisty turny series of direction changes through Crieff before exiting into the hills again. By then I was completely lost and was just following the route blindly. However, about half an hour after we left the motorway, we drove down into Amulree with the church looking resplendent in the sunshine.

Scamp chose to stay in the car while I plodded off with a camera and a tripod to see if the church looked the same. It did. It had been painted since the last time we’d been which had been a few years ago. Other than that, not much had changed in the church or the graveyard. I don’t like taking photos in a graveyard, even if the headstones are not my prime interest, but for some reason I don’t have a problem at Amulree. I took about forty pictures and two of my favourites are in Flickr. Hopefully I’ll get more posted in the next few days. My PoD was the landscape shot you see here. I had just finished when another four visitors arrived, not photogs, just tourists. They didn’t give me any bother and were just looking around. Saw a wee painted stone on the entrance to the Kirk. I think it was one of the painted stones that people left lying around to be found when Covid was at its peak last year. It was neatly tucked away waiting to be found.

We drove on and found that we were only about 20 minutes away from Perth. Ah! This was the road I remembered. This was the way we came the last times. Back on to the A9 and heading for Perth we joined the queue dragging its heels along at 40mph through five or six miles of roadworks. It felt like a lot longer than that! I eventually got fed up and took a slip road off the wagon trail and followed my nose until we arrived in Perth. Finally found that half the car park had been turned into a Covid-19 testing place. Not only that, the attendant’s box had been removed and replaced with four parking meters. Paid our money and went for a walk in the town. For many years the old church in the the town has been falling into rack and ruin. Only pigeons seemed to live in it. Then scaffolding was put in place and chain link fences closed it off. Now it’s been gutted, really gutted and is in the process of being turned into an open air market. Great idea. Although part of it seems to have been removed, the remainder has been consolidated and even the clock in the tower is at the right time. Got some coffee and some tea and also a loaf from the Italian bakery. Scamp got a tee shirt.

Next stop was Glendoick garden centre on the Dundee road. We got some Calendula plants, a Prima Ballerina rose, a Gypsophila plant and planter to put them in. Then we were on the way home again.

It was a beautiful day with really high temperatures. The thermometer in the car was reading 27c on the way home.

Dinner tonight was a slice of yesterday’s frittata with chips I got from the chip shop in Condorrat.

Today’s sketch was a stapler. I drew my staple gun. A heavy duty metal one that has served me well for years.

Tomorrow is forecast to be the same as today, if not hotter. We’ll believe it when we see it.

Out for a spin – 27 May 2021

We spun our way over to Fife and parked ourselves in Kirkcaldy.

Walked out towards the old Seafield Tower. A ruined tower that dates from the 16th century. It’s in a poor state these days with notices telling all and sundry that it’s a dangerous site and you must keep out. We kept out today. We’ve wandered round it in the past, but it looks as if we won’t be walking round its ancient walls again. It looks precarious. From there we wandered on to look for the seals that loll about the rocks not far from the shoreline. It took us a while to see them, but they were there looking for all the world like big fat slugs. They may be beautiful creatures in the water, but out of it they look pretty ugly to me.

We climbed a bit further until we reached the part where the path drops down at some steps to run alongside the railway line. We’ve walked along this part of the path before and it’s not very scenic, so I had to be satisfied with taking a few shots of the view across the Forth to Edinburgh and East Lothian.

On the way back to the car, and just before we reached the Tower, I saw a patch of Teasels growing wild in the grass. I used them to frame a view of the tower, then decided that, actually they made a more interesting subject than the tower, so reframed, refocused and produced what was to become PoD.

Back at the car, Scamp had been thoughtful enough to pack a flask of hot water and some picnic food. We sat for half an hour taking in the views of the beach and the remains of the breakwater from when there was a coal mine where an estate of new houses now stand. I wonder if half of those folk knew what was under their foundations when they bought their sparkling new dream house. The seams of coal that was mined at Seafield reputedly ran for miles under the Forth.

After a beautiful day in Fife with wall to wall blue skies, we drove back to dull grey skies over Cumbersheugh. It was a good decision to get up and go early for a change and an even better idea to go east rather than west.

Topic to draw today was An Extension Cable. It may not be the most exciting subject, but it was what was asked for and I’ve drawn one of our four gang, three pin, switched UK extension cables. A must for any house built before about 2000. Modern houses have more wall sockets, even then, there are never enough of them. The drawing was good fun to produce, once I’d worked out the perspective.

Tomorrow there are no plans as far as I’m concerned. As usual, it’s weather dependent.

A dull day – 21 May 2021

It rained. Nice weather for ducks and also swans.

Spoke to Hazy in the morning and got a low down on weather in Epsom, which sounded exactly the same as it was here. Wild and wet. Found about their trip to Wales and pleased that Neil D is expecting to return to work on Monday. A nice rambling conversation that brightened our day.

We drove to Stirling after the phone call mainly to visit Lakeland, but also to get out of the house for a while. No point in attempting a walk the rain stopped that idea. We went to the mini shopping centre that holds Lakeland and Dobbies, one of the last Dobbies after the business was chopped up and sold off. It still holds the Dobbies name, but who knows which conglomerate owns it now. The big “D” was once a garden centre, but now it’s become more of a department store with various different enterprises under its roof. Strangely, it’s possible to walk through from Lakeland to Dobbies although they are separate businesses and don’t share the tills. Scamp wanted a new cling film dispenser in Lakeland and I wanted some proofing wax or cream for my new boots. We got both, but also an assortment of other useful things, plus tonight’s dinner and a couple of plants. I took some photos of the Wallace Monument while we were there. It was a bit distant, but it was sitting under a glowering, but interesting sky. It made PoD. We drove home with a pizza for lunch from Sainsburys and tonight’s dinner from Cook. All from under that same Dobbies umbrella.

When we got home and after lunch, Scamp started the ironing and, as the rain had stopped and the clouds had lifted a bit, I went for a walk in St Mo’s, sticking strictly to the paths. Not much to photograph or to challenge the Wallace Monument for PoD, although I did laugh at the two resident swans out swimming with their seven, yes, SEVEN cygnets. Initially Mrs Swan was trailing three of them and Mr Swan escorted the other four. Then after some unseen signal the two groups of cygnets merged and created a convoy with mum at the front and dad at the back. Then off they paddled to the nest on the island. A photo is on Flickr.

We had a curry from Cook for dinner. Scamp had Chickpea Curry and I had Chicken Jalfrezi. Scamp complained that her’s wasn’t spicy enough. I had to add some yogurt to mine to cool it down. Maybe we should have mixed them for a medium hot curry. Still, it was as good as an M&S curry, but with a bit more flavour. I think we’d try it again.

I bit the bullet today and signed up for the subscription deal with Adobe. So far it’s working really well. It runs faultlessly on both machines and although it’s more expensive than other photo processors, it’s the one I know best. Some of it is pretty useless to me, but that’s always going to be the case. I’ll check it for the fourteen days I’m allowed before I need to buy it and then I’ll decide.

No sketch done today. Too much nonsense to get cleared away. I’ll do a catch up tomorrow.

No real plans for Saturday, but we might go out somewhere for a walk. It’s forecast to be a brighter, but colder day than today.

 

And the answer was …! – 15 May 2021

Beecraigs Park

Scamp was in agreement and off we drove to Linlithgow where we climbed (in the car) up a never-ending hill with speed bumps every 50m or less for an astounding 1,030m. If you do the division, you will discover that’s a helluva lot of speed bumps. Probably quite useful for boy racers coming down that hill, especially at night. However for me going up it was literally a pain in the bum. Eventually we drove into a mono-blocked and grassed parking place. Neither of us remembered this. We walked through and down to the Information Centre which I thought I remembered, but then realised it was much newer that it looked at first glance. Great panorama from the viewing gallery down to Linlithgow itself and across the Forth to Fife. This wasn’t the Beecraigs we remembered.

We walked down the road past the new caravan park and found the entrance to the park proper. This was more like it. What looked like a pedestrian bridge reminiscent of the old walkways over the lines at railway stations took us over the deer fence and on to the wide paths between the fields. The bridge, too, gave great views over the Forth, but where were the deer. There were cattle in the park where the deer used to roam. We found the deer further down the path, just hind, although the sign said there were stags in the field. If there were any the were cunningly disguised as hinds. We walked on.

Further along the path we came to the Loch. At least that hadn’t changed significantly, although because of Covid restrictions the two man rowing boats for fishing the loch were securely locked up in a pound. I suppose it’s hard to keep a two metre distance in a wee rowing boat. The geese and their goslings didn’t seem too bothered with the two meter rule.  They were too busy teaching the youngsters to swim and to feed properly.  It was good walking the paths through the enormous pine trees round the loch. They do say the air blowing through pines is good for your respiration. Our biggest disappointment in this new, ecologically friendly and Health & Safety conscious park was the children’s adventure playground. What had been an enormous pyramid constructed from ropes and bungee cords was now a shadow of its former self. I don’t know if you remember it JIC, but I don’t think you’d have felt a daredevil climbing that. With that said, lots of weans were screaming and shouting as they found their own adventures in this playground.

We eventually found our way back to the car and drove home down that steep hill with its uncountable speed bumps. We agreed we’d go back again. PoD turned out to be a goose standing proud in the loch. It seemed almost prehistoric to me.  I can’t explain why.  It was a close run thing between that and a monochrome shot across the Forth with the bridges on the right. It’ll be on Flickr as soon as I can get it loaded.

Dinner tonight came courtesy of Golden Bowl. Scamp had her usual Chicken Chop Suey and Fried Rice. I had Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls. Maybe my last one because the sweetness was just too much for me and I felt a bit ill afterwards. Chicken Chow Mein in future.

Short practise of the Cha-Cha tonight, mainly because we got the video of it today. Sketch topic was Medicines and my two bottles and a tube are here for your perusal. Glad you liked yesterday’s socks Hazy and recognised both your handiwork and also your repair!

Tomorrow, if the weather allows, we may go for a walk.

Out to lunch – 7 May 2021

We managed to grab one of the last remaining slots for lunch today at The Cotton House in Longcroft.

Since we were late in booking this busy Cantonese restaurant we were given a one hour slot at 12noon. We’ve been there many times and we know that a one hour slot is quite sufficient for a starter, main course and a coffee or China tea (never any room for a pudding!). So it was today. Starter for Scamp was Prawn Cocktail and Chicken Satay for me. Then Chicken Chow Mein for two. We were finished by 12.45 and on our way back to Cumbersheugh.

I needed to replace the cutter on my electric razor and Scamp was looking for prezzies for two children. We got the prezzies, but no razor spares in Boots. Maybe we’ll be more successful at The Fort during the week. If not, then its Amazon to the rescue again.

Back home a parcel had arrived for me. It was a 6 stop Neutral Density filter which would allow me to slow down the shutter speed of the camera to give water that strange dreamlike look. I’ve had a hankering for one for quite a while and finally gave in to myself and bought one. That settled it, I was going out for a walk along the Luggie to test it out. I took the Benbo tripod with me. For this type of photography you really need a tripod and the Benbo is so good at getting into awkward positions. It’s also a lot lighter than my big Manfrotto tripod.

Once I got to my chosen site and set up, I took a few shots, but knew they weren’t going to make the cut. Wandered down the water and found a place I’d used before with the old railway bridge in the background and the shots from there were much better. There would have been more of them, but I hadn’t noticed the splashes of water on the filter. That didn’t damage the filter, but it did mean a few more than normal ended in the bin during the cull. Today’s PoD is one of the best.

While I was out, Scamp had been on a cleaning spree, mainly the bathroom, but also anything that didn’t move was fair game I think. I’m glad I was out or I might just have fallen foul of the scrubbing brush too.

We swithered about having a seat in the garden and were almost ready to get the chairs out when a very big black cloud made its way between us and the sun and that scuppered our chances of an afternoon alfresco glass of wine. Later we shared an pizza and it seemed a shame to open the bottle of wine and not sample it, so that’s what we did. It was Friday after all.

Today’s prompt was Weeds. I chose a Dandelion. The scourge of all gardeners, it seems. Actually I like them. From a photographer’s point of view they are a source of interest in the summer when the butterflies are about. In the late summer and early autumn they produce those photogenic ‘dandelion clocks’. What’s not to like? As my mum used to say, “A weed is just a plant in the wrong place.” So, it was a painting of a dandelion that made today’s EDiM offering.

Tomorrow looks miserable from a weather perspective. I really don’t see us doing very much, although there might be a dry hour in the morning when we might get out for a walk.