Crossing the Forth – 8 September 2021

It was a lovely morning and we weren’t going to waste it.

We had a few places in mind for today. Culross (just look away and roll your eyes, Hazy), Dunfermline and Kincardine were three of them. We settled on Kincardine and drove over to Fife and parked in the free car park beside a ‘new’ Coop building. The parentheses are because I still don’t think it’s a new building. I’m pretty sure there was a residential home on that spot a few years ago, probably the last time we were there. If you looked closely you could see the outline of windows that had been bricked up, given a new coat of render then painted. Fancy wood facing to the building completed the transformation. A quick look on Google Street View when we got home confirmed the makeover. It was a nursing home that used to be on that site. You can’t kid us!

We walked down through the old part of Kincardine where all the houses seem to be dropped into place and then roads are added as an afterthought. We found or way down to the path that runs along the side of the Forth, noting on our way the big bramble bushes with a healthy number of fat berries. We’d collect some of them on our way back.

Walked along past the, now redundant, piers that originally carried in coal to the Kincardine power station, now razed to the ground. An electrical substation now occupies part of the site. Not the most scenic of views past on the right, but great views across the Forth to Airth on the south of the estuary. The Forth is tidal at this point and the tide was out this morning exposing the mudbanks on both sides.

We walked under the Clackmannanshire Bridge, an elegant structure with a really clumsy name. Some bright spark renamed it the Clacks Bridge which trips off the tongue much more easily than its sixteen letter official name. We sat for a while on a seat kindly provided by the council with a plaque to tell people how thoughtful they are. NLC, there’s things you could learn here. From the seat we could look over to some buildings that looked like a farm and a ruin that turned out to be Kennetpans Distillery, allegedly the first commercial distillery in the world.

We sat soaking up the sun for a while before we headed back the same way to the car, stopping on the way to make good our promise to pick some of those black brambles. Unfortunately we didn’t have any poly bags with us, so Scamp used one of her shopping bags which got squashed later in the boot of the car, spreading bramble juice over everything. Back at the car we were heading for that terrible place that Hazy hates, may its name never be spoken in her presence. It was mobbed. We trundled through it with two cyclists who insisted on travelling so slowly they were in danger of losing their balance (it’s the gyroscopic effect of the spinning wheels that allows bikes to stay upright). Eventually we found a parking place off the road with a vacant picnic table where we could have coffee and crisps (and a chocolate biscuit) and christen our new flask. Then it was time to drive home.

I had intended going out on Dewdrop to get more brambles but the warm weather and the chance of a midweek beer put paid to that idea. Instead I finished a pastel painting I’ve been struggling with and then joined Scamp in the garden.

Dinner tonight was Neil’s Pulled Roast Chicken with Rice. Very summery and a fitting end to a good day out. Such a pity the good weather is forecast to end tomorrow, but we enjoyed it while it lasted.

PoD went to a picture of the Clacks Bridge taken from below to make the most of its curves.

Tomorrow we may go out to lunch.

Rain at last! – 6 September 2021

It rained all day.

This was the day we’d planned to go somewhere scenic where I’d get a chance to shoot some landscapes, instead of macros around St Mo’s. Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with macros and St Mo’s has been a life saver for us these last two years, but I just wanted to get out and take some photos in a wider landscape. However, it would have to be another day.

It was a dismal drizzle that was the main feature of the weather today. All the spiderwebs in the bushes across from the house were holding more than their fair share of moisture and, while very photogenic, I knew I’d be soaked to the skin if I even tried to get near them. I’ve done it before and I wasn’t going to be tricked into it again.

What I did notice when I was making my morning coffee was the little blue tit sitting on my pea frame. I stood there for a while watching it feeding on something invisible to me. I guess it was finding insects and maybe spiders in the nooks and crannies of the frame. When I’d finished my coffee and returned to the kitchen there were two blue tits this time on the pea frame. Both busy acrobatically feeding on the canes and wooden slats that make up the frame. This time I grabbed my camera and took a few shots through the window. I knew that although they seemed totally engrossed in their search, as soon as I put the key in to unlock the door they’d fly off, so I just had to be satisfied with a few shots through the window (thankfully recently cleaned). At least that would be two or three shots in the bag for today.

We drove up to the town centre as the drizzle turned to real rain. Scamp was going to Tesco and I was going looking for a decent pair of trainers in JB Sports. Not surprisingly, I didn’t find any. It would be a miracle if I was to find a Pair, far less a pair that I’d spend money on. Most of the boxes were empty or only had one shoe in them. It must be a shoplifter’s paradise. I came away empty handed, but still wearing my battered and torn Merrell Moabs. Comfortable now, but leaky as a sieve. Scamp was waiting for me in the car and we drove home through the drizzle to Bubble & Squeak and an egg for lunch.

I browsed the internet looking for trainers that I’d actually pay money for, but found little. Eventually gave up and when Jackie phoned Scamp I went upstairs to get a painting out of my head and on to paper. It was a pastel painting I was attempting. It’s part finished, but I don’t see it getting much further than tomorrow before it heads for the bin. Checked out the blue tit photos from the morning and they really weren’t all that bad. One of them made PoD. A little blue tit sitting on the cane at the top of the pea frame, looking as if it’s singing its wee heart out. It entitled “Singing in the Rain”.

Dinner tonight we shared a Giovanni Rana meal for one of Gnocchi with a Tomato, and Basil Sauce as a starter. Main course was another Giovanna Rana, this time Mushroom Tortellini. Giovanni is a clever man. The gnocchi starter was nuked for four and a half minutes and the tortellini was boiled for two minutes. That’s fast food, but not fast-food if you understand me. That hyphen does a fair bit of damage!

A gentle practise of the Foxtrot, Waltz and Saunter Together tonight worked well. No great mistakes by either party.

I think the rain may have stopped now and we’re hoping we might get out somewhere scenic tomorrow.

A lazy day – 30 May 2021

A day to enjoy the sunshine.

Today we didn’t go anywhere, we gave the car a rest day, we didn’t even have a dance class. What we did do was a bit of planting and rearranging in the garden. We also did a fair bit of sitting around, occasionally moving the seats to catch some more rays.

In the afternoon I took the Sony with the macro lens for a walk in St Mo’s and found a red damselfly fresh out of its exoskeleton, hanging on to a reed while unfurling its wings and pumping the blood into them before trying them out for the first time. It must have enjoyed the attention I was giving it, because its first flight ended with it hanging on to my arm. Then it flew back to its perch to dry out those delicate wings. I said my goodbyes and walked home, pretty sure I had a PoD. I did, although I hadn’t managed to get as close as I’d wanted. Maybe there will be other chances tomorrow.

We decided that, as it was a holiday weekend, we’d pass on the dance class tonight. We’re still not sure if the class went ahead without their star pupils, but I’m sure we’ll find out next week.

Spoke to JIC and found out about Vixen’s dentist’s visit to repair a damaged canine. A canine with a damaged canine? How strange. I wonder what she thought when she came out of the anaesthetic.

Sketch tonight was A Pack of Playing Cards. I chose UNO because it’s the only game Scamp can trounce me at. I must have won maybe one or two games in all the games we’ve played which must number about fifty now. I just don’t seem to be able to break that jinx!

Tomorrow we’re hoping for similar glorious weather to today’s offering. We’ve seen the promises, but we’ve had promises before that didn’t live up to the hype. Maybe it will this time!

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.

The man who worked in the garden – 28 May 2021

We couldn’t decide whether to trust the weather or not. NOT won.

It wasn’t a terrible day, but it wasn’t looking like it would stay dry all day, so we chose to work in the garden instead. Lots of things needed fixing, moving, cutting and filling, so there were plenty of jobs to fill our time. I started by strimming the back grass. There wasn’t much grass to strim, but just like a bad haircut, it’s the little areas with the long strands that make the place look untidy. I’d done most of the grass and weeds when the plastic cable on the strimmer broke. When I thought I’d reassemble the cutter again the drum flew off and the plastic strands became tangled into a birds nest. Ten minutes and a bit of swearing later it was working again … properly!

Scamp meantime was rearranging the flower pots. Because of tree roots in the back garden, many of the pots sit at odd angles and today it was the pieris that was causing problems. I thought it might benefit from some bark underneath it as a cushion and levelling agent. The problem was that the pieris itself is really heavy and fairly bushy, so it takes two people to manoeuvre it into place again after it’s been moved. I think it looks better now that it’s on an even keel, but I’m not sure Scamp agrees. Only time will tell once it’s settled in its place. I dug out some compost from our compost bin and used it to cover the sprouting potatoes in their bags, after I’d filtered it for slugs which were promptly despatched to the brown compost bin to go to the council recycling facility. Scamp was also adding a load of trimmings and rubbish into the same brown bin for recycling. All in all an hour and a bit’s work made the whole back garden look so much better and gave us an appetite for lunch.

After lunch we went for a walk round St Mo’s, but again, no damselflies, although the cygnets were out with mum and dad. Last night after posting the blog I was reading last year’s blog and found that a year ago yesterday I’d photographed the first damselfly of the year. So, rather than being a bit behind this year, we are actually ahead of last year’s hatch. The walk brought today’s PoD which is a snail sheltering under a leaf. I wondered, as I was taking the shot, if that snail knew more than me and perhaps rain was on the way.

Dinner tonight was Frittata. Fry up a couple of leeks with any veg or meat you fancy in an oven proof pan. Beat up eight eggs and half a cup of milk and pour over the leeks/veg/meat mixture. Cook for about 5 minutes then bake in the oven at 180c for 15 mins(ish). Done. Serves four or serves two for two days. Sorry Hazy, obviously not for you!

Today’s prompt was for “Your Car, Any Car, A Matchbox Car …”. I chose Scamp’s Wee Red Car. I took some photos of it today and tonight I attempted to draw the car from those reference photos. Trying to get realistic curves in perspective is much harder than drawing an extension cable, even a four gang, switched, three pin UK one. Believe me. However, it’s done!

So, although the majority of Scotland is now in Level 2 or below, Glasgow has to remain in Level 3 until next week at least. I feel sorry for all the restaurant owners and publicans who can’t open their doors because a fairly small section of the community can’t obey the rules. Another case of ‘one bad apple’, or so it seems.

Tomorrow we may go on the road again, somewhere, whatever the weather. That will mean filling the Blue car’s tank again. That will be the fourth time in five months! I’m not sure we can afford this luxury!

Another dull day – 26 May 2021

However, brighter days are on the horizon, we’re told.

Scamp was off to Calder’s for lunch with Annette and I was left to my own devices. Always a dangerous thing to do. As it happened I didn’t really do much damage today. I hoovered the painting room because there was a lot of those sticky covers from the buds on the trees. They stick to you shoes and then transfer to the carpet later to be ground in. Luckily the Dyson knows how to deal with them. Didn’t do much else with my freedom, other than try to find a way to partition an NTFS drive on a Mac. Apparently it can’t be done without a lot of work and I wasn’t going to waste more time on trying.

Just before Scamp returned, I gave up and took the car out for a run with two cameras in the boot. I was hoping to give the Sony with the Sigma macro a chance to show what it could do with the new damselflies, except there didn’t seem to be any of the flying creatures around today. There were lots of Wolf Spiders wandering along the boardwalk. I chose to annoy them instead. Saw a spider on spider fight that was as good as anything Hollywood has to offer and probably more violent than is allowed on the BBC. These guys, and it was guys, were throwing everything into this battle. They actually rolled across the upstand of the boardwalk and fell off into the water of the pond. Can spiders swim? I hope so, or at least I hope they are quick learners. Soon more arrived to fill their place. It was mating time again I think. One lateral shot of a female wolf got PoD. Not the prettiest face I’ve seen, but beauty they say is in the eye of the spider who won the fight and learned to swim.

After the photo session I drove to Kilsyth, more exactly I drove to Lidl. Bought a lemon to replace the mouldy one at home. Then a host of more fattening things that took my eye. The lemon along with its other three yellow buddies is going to make Limoncello. Sugar, Vodka and the best lemons you can find. That’s all there is to it, that and a fair bit of work. Maybe tomorrow I’ll start the manufacturing process. It worked the last time and I’ve just finished the last bottle, so it’s time to start again.

Today’s prompt was Something You Collected Outside. I couldn’t think what to draw, but then I remembered I used to pick up old empty snail shells, especially small ones. They are so fine and delicate and to think that some creature creates this shelter for itself. What does it create it from? How does it form it? Probably, like so many things these days, the answer is but a click away. I’m talking here about land based snails, not cockles or winkles or any of the sea snails. Their heavy thick walled shells didn’t interest me.

Tomorrow we may go out for a run. Tesco are delivering tomorrow night, so we can’t be away too long. Of course, all of this is dependent on the weather fairies getting things right!

Towel Day and a Damsel – 25 May 2021

Today was the 25th May which is Towel Day to the knowledgeable few!

Today we were going shopping, not to be confused with yesterday when I was doing some ‘shopping. The apostrophe is important because it shows the hidden word “Photo”. Let’s say that today we were going for the messages. Scamp wanted to go to Morrisons, so the options were The Fort or Falkirk. The Fort offered the chance to go for a walk in nearby Drumpellier Park, but the weather didn’t look like walking weather. Great heavy rain clouds were gathering all the time and so we decided to go to Falkirk instead.

I must admit, I wanted to go to Falkirk to get my wedding ring resized. A few years ago I had to have my ring cut off when I staved my ring finger and it swelled up. Ever since I got it welded or brazed (whatever it is the call the fusing of the ring) I’ve felt it was just too slack. It was my own fault. I asked the jeweller to make it slacker than she suggested, but she was right and I was wrong. I said this to Scamp and then she said she wanted to have her original wedding ring resized too because of the opposite problem, hers is too small. It was agreed, we’d go to Falkirk, speak to the jeweller and then go for the messages. We would also have lunch at Morrisons because they do great chips (Scamp) and a wonderful roll ’n’ sausage (me). Chips, Roll ’n’ Sausage plus two coffees for less than a tenner? That’s a bargain in anybody’s books.

We drove through a bit of rain to get there, but we drove back through much heavier rain on the way back home. I kept watching out the window, hoping for a break in the weather and maybe just a chance of some sun. The temperature was mid teens, but the rain seemed unrelenting. Then the sun shone, the birds were singing and I was lacing up my boots. I walked to St Mo’s and took a few shots that weren’t all that inspiring, but on my second circuit of the pond I thought I saw a Jenny Long Legs (Crane Fly) landing on the upstand of the boardwalk. It wasn’t a Jenny, it was a Large Red damselfly. The first one I’d seen this year. I was just about to get a photo when a bloke spoke to me. He was complaining about the weather. I could have ignored him and got the shot, but I’d have felt bad about it for the rest of the day. So we discussed the changing seasons and how cold it had been then we bid each other goodbye. Now where was the damselfly. Had if flown away. No, it was still in the same place. Oh Joy of Joys! I got two shots, then a third of an empty upstand. I think it was freshly hatched and now it was off looking for dinner on those new wings. Still, I’d got two shots of the first damsel of the year.

Back home, Dinner was Butter Tofu Curry. Like Butter Chicken Curry, but vegan. You were supposed to use vegan butter too, but that wasn’t going to happen. The tofu was supposed to be coated in cornflour and deep fried, but either the temperature was wrong of I used too much oil, but it was rock hard and chewy to boot. However, on the up side, the curry sauce was very tasty. Spicy flavours without the heat. I’ll try it again with chicken next time. Vegan chicken, because the hens all ate good vegan seeds!

Today’s prompt asked for A Towel. This is 25th May which, to those in the know, is “Towel Day”. It commemorates the work of Douglas Adams who wrote The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
If the foregoing means nothing to you, search out the book and read it. In it you will find that Arthur Dent is told to carry a towel with him at all times, just before the Earth is destroyed, hence “Towel Day”
The book was published 42 years ago this year. Also, to those in the know, that is a magical fact and a magical number. I’ve painted a towel before for a previous EDiM, but this time I wanted to use pastel. I only had three different blue pastel chalks plus a black and a white, and had to be careful where I used them to get the impression of a hung up towel. I was happy with the result although I was absolutely manky with the pastel dust.

Watched the first of the Bakeoff – The Professionals on C4 tonight. Amazing lengths these people go to to make cakes, 32 of them, all identical. They must be mad.

Tomorrow Scamp is bolstering Calders funds again by taking Annette to lunch. I’m staying home hoping to have a ‘piece’ with Brie, sliced Apple and Honey. Totally, totally recommended. Best on brown bread.

Entertaining lunch – 24 May 2021

We were picking Isobel up and taking her for coffee today.

Always an entertainment, Isobel. She just speaks her mind and if you don’t like it, then … tough. For some reason I actually enjoyed my coffee in Costa. Maybe it was the company or maybe it was the Bosh Chocolate Slice which I hadn’t noticed was vegan, but you couldn’t tell! It could also have been because I told the barista not to add any water to the already almost full cup. This may be the first and last time I say this, but the coffee tasted like … coffee! A first for Costa. After a couple of hours we were talked out, although I’m sure Isobel would have kept going for another hour at least. However we had to get home for 3pm. She was going to Tesco which is at the opposite end of the great cavern that is the Antonine Centre. We walked along with her and after she’d bought the plants she came for, I walked back to get the car and bring it round for Scamp and Isobel. On the way I took two photos of one of the architectural monsterpieces of Cumbersheugh. I had plans for it.

Drove round and picked up the two of them, drove to the Village and deposited Isobel at her house. Back home we had time for lunch before a man phoned and asked us a few personal questions before knocking on the door and giving both of us each a cotton bud to stick down our throat and up our nose. We gave it back to him and off he went. That was our Covid survey completed for June, even though it’s still May. I’d say that we’re getting used to it, but that would be a lie. It’s still a really uncomfortable thing to do and we still have another six or so to look forward to. Oh what fun we have.

I forgot to mention that the rain started around 11.30am and it didn’t stop until about 5pm. I know the plants need the rain, but the back garden is going to feel like a paddy field if this goes on much longer. With that in mind, I decided that the two photos I took in the afternoon would make PoD with a little bit of Photoshop magic. The new ‘shop is a far more complex, yet at the same time simpler app than the old version CS3 that I’ve been using for the last 10 or so years. What you see here took an hour or so to do. The last time I tried it, it took four or five hours and it was nowhere near as convincing a result as today’s. I approve of it, even if most of the heavy work is done for you. It’s the result that counts.

Sketch tonight was Your Sketchbooks. There’s no way I was going to draw all my sketchbooks. If I had attempted it I’d probably finish around 4am. A fair selection was all I did. You will note, I’m sure that there are three items in the sketch. An odd number yet again. Makes for a more dynamic composition I’m told.

Don’t know what we’re doing tomorrow. It looks wet, but hopefully not as wet as today.

Off on our travels again – 19 May 2021

Another beautiful morning. Scamp suggested we do the ascent of Barr Hill or drive to Dunfermline for lunch. I thought if we went to Dunfermline I might get a chance to play with try out my 6 stop ND filter at Torryburn on the way home. That seemed to meet with her approval, so I bundled two cameras in the car (the tripod was already there) and off we went.

Parked at Pittencrieff Park and with the Oly in its old brown bag slung over my shoulder and the tripod left to look after the Sony in the car, we walked over the park. Trees were beautiful carrying a full head of blossom. We walked down past the big glasshouse which was locked as expected due to Covid restrictions and round the formal garden which looked well maintained although hardly any of the flowers were blooming. Just too early in the year for that. Lots of primary kids on activities week running races and having shouting matches in the big empty spaces of the park. Two folk were doing a meditation under a bit tree. I don’t know what kind of tree it was, we weren’t close enough to do an ID, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a Bo tree!

We walked over to the aviary and found one shy peacock that would strut along the outside of the fenced enclosure, take a look at us and hurry back. It did this three or four times. All the peacocks and peahens had names and identity rings on their legs. Two old guys were discussing them as if they were family members or friends they met at the pub. Today’s PoD came from there and was just a lucky shot, catching the bird with that “What you think you’re looking at?” look on its face. We said goodbye to the peacocks and the peahens and headed into town. We went in to Nero and I had the best coffee I’ve tasted (except my own) for about a year or more. After the first wave of the pandemic, Nero started selling coffee in takeaway cardboard cups and seemed determined to fill the cups to the brim, diluting the coffee so much it was undrinkable. Today’s coffee, while not up to my or JIC’s standards was certainly a much more palatable drink than those watery waste of taste cups from last year. Even better, the coffees were served in real cups. Surely a sign that things are returning to normal.

We both wanted to get a cheap Hoodie, just to keep in the car for emergencies. Right next door to Nero was Primark. Less than £20 for two hoodies seemed like a bargain. They’re not top quality, but they will serve the purpose they were bought for. We walked back to the car, not stopping to count the boarded up shops that won’t open again for some time. Some shops that have been in the town for years have now disappeared. That’s sad. Dunfermline was a bit of a ghost town before Covid hit, but not even the ghosts have gone, it seems. Maybe it will rise from the ashes, but it might take some time.

Drove back via Torryburn where I was hoping for high tide, some heavy clouds and a bit wave movement. Unfortunately, the tide was right out, the sun was shining and you couldn’t even see any waves. We didn’t even get out of the car, we just drove home.

Stopped at Tesco to get yet another birthday card (count back 9 months from mid May and that might give a clue to the reason for those births 😉). Scamp got herself a pair of leisure trousers.

Scamp had bought me a tray of Calabrese yesterday, so when we got back I planted a row of them in the raised bed and watered them in. I don’t really think they will need watered, because we’re due some heavy rain tomorrow. I also completed today’s prompt which is “The View From Your Window” That was tough. I’m not totally happy with the result, but it’s finished and it’s uploaded now, so I’ve completed today’s challenge.

Tomorrow, because of the weather forecast, I think we might go for a drive if we’re going out at all. I don’t think a walk will be on the cards.

Another beautiful day – 18 May 2021

It was another beautiful morning. Too good to stay in bed and even too good for a morning coffee. That kind of good!

Scamp had booked a table for her and Margie for early afternoon, so a walk, not local, but not too far was the request. I thought maybe the walk along the canal to Twechar would probably be too long for today and the short version with the shortcut across the plantation would be too short. Maybe Colzium. It’s a week or so since we’d been there and there were a couple of little waterfalls I wanted to investigate in the park, so there was another bonus. So it was that we drove out through Kilsyth to the once private estate that is now open to the public.

We have worked out a decent route around the park with some short hill climbs and interesting scenery past rushy streams and walks through the woods. Just to make it a bit different I chose a path we hadn’t walked before, not knowing it had a long climb in it. It took us to a bridge over the Colzium Burn. I thought we’d crossed this particular bridge before, but Scamp disagreed and she was right. When we walked down the other side of the burn we came to the bridge I was thinking about. That’s where I got today’s PoD. Again it was Scamp’s observation that brought the heart shape hanging from the tree branch to my attention. I was quite pleased with the composition, positioning the heart against the white of the falls. We walked on down.

We walked down the wide avenue from the ‘Big House’ to the old curling pond. Some of the rhododendrons were in full flower, but most were like our own and just coming into flower. The trees, though, were glowing with colour. Strangely it was autumn colour, but it seemed to work with the green around it. We drove home.

While Scamp went off for lunch with Margie, I started today’s sketch. As usual, some of the prompts are slightly random. Today’s was An Interdental Brush. I decided to be generous and sketched both of mine, one with its holder. It’s amazing how useful these little wire brushes are. My friend, Fred, describes them as miniature toilet brushes. I’ll leave that thought with you!

Next task was a bit of technology (That’s your five minute warning JIC). Lightroom is having problems with the new Mojave OS and it simply won’t run on the new laptop. With that in mind I’m thinking about moving to the new Lightroom/Photoshop package from Adobe that is a subscription system. To do that I need to create a new Adobe account. Now many years ago Adobe was hacked and my email address was one of the ones that was sold off by the hackers. Despite changing my password as soon as I knew, I eventually had to shut down that address. Just in case the same thing happens again, I created a new email address for the new account. For some reason it was simplicity itself to set up on both machines. Maybe Apple are making improvements with these new operating systems. Now that the email works and has been checked, tomorrow I’m ready to sell my soul to Adobe for a Lightroom for the 21st century. (OK, JIC it’s safe to come back.)

When Scamp returned I was putting the finishing touches to the Interdental Brush still life and she pronounced it good enough to post.

Spoke to Fred tonight and we discussed politics, Rangers supporters and how boring life is these days. Then the conversation turned to cars before touching down for a while on painting.

That was about it for today. Tomorrow we’re hoping to get out for another walk, because it may be the last dry day for a while.