A day at the seaside – 17 January 2022

What better place to be on a bright and not too cold January day, than on a Scottish beach?

Scamp wanted to go to the seaside today, to the seaside on the east coast. That’s why we packed up the car with photo gear and drove across the country to Aberdour and down a road that led to the Silver Sands.

The Silver Sands are well named, because the smooth greyish sand does sparkle in a silvery way when the sun shines on it, and the sun was shining today. We drove down a narrow road with monumental potholes, unavoidable in places. If you missed one with the left tyre, the right tyre found its neighbour. Luckily it wasn’t a long drive and we got parked easily in an enormous carpark, one of about four as far as we could see. From there we walked down to the beach and those sands. I don’t know if they sweep that beach every morning, but it was perfectly smooth and not a lot of litter showing either.

We walked along the beach in one direction, and then in the opposite direction. We saw one girl wearing tee shirt and shorts paddling almost knee deep in the sea … in January (??) I thought at first she was just a child, but as we got closer to the family group, it became obvious that she was a bit older than that, and possibly crazy. Who in their right mind would go wading into the water at this time of year? Well, the answer came when we walked back in the other direction. Two girls waded out of the water, but they were dressed for it in wet suits and with those fluorescent buoyancy aids wild water swimmers trail behind themselves.

We left them to their exercise and headed for the cafe for a coffee and a bite to eat. Panini for me and a tub of chips for Scamp with two coffees to wash them down. The cafe was remarkably busy given the fact that it was a weekday and mid January, but I suppose it’s only the second decent day we’ve had for a long while. I imagine this place will be mobbed in the summer. We both agreed that we’ll come back and find out.

We drove back and got completely lost following the sat nav that was supposed to be taking us in the direction of Stirling. Instead it was determined to take us via Kincardine, so we eventually agreed to go with it. I thought we might stop for a photo opportunity at Torryburn, but the low sun was shining right in our faces and a low mist was obscuring what scenic view there might have been. We drove home.

Well, we drove home via B&Q to get some fixings to make that pedestal I spoke about. Our B&Q is a bit run down. It’s in a retail park where the only store that anyone goes to is Halfords. All the rest are carpet shops or cheaply made furniture sold at about twice what they’re worth. We are getting a new retail park with a cinema, a bowling alley, a hotel, restaurants and, well, anything you could want. It’ll be ready in early …. That’s the problem. It’s just a pipe dream and I’m not sure what they’re smoking in that pipe, but the story is convincing nobody. So, our B&Q had the corner connectors, but no screws to fit them. A do it yourself store that can’t do anything itself. We drove home.

That was about it for the day. I had a look at the photos I’d taken today and they looked pretty good. The new toy does take very nice photos. A view from Aberdour looking over to Edinburgh got PoD. I think Scamp really enjoyed that walk along the beach today. It certainly seemed to lift her spirits. It was a lovely beach and great views across the estuary to Edinburgh. I think it’s on our list of places to go back to.

Tomorrow looks like a return to dull, cloudy weather with the chance of rain for a while. I’ve got some woodwork to do, so that might keep me busy and we might get out for a walk later. We got a message from the couple who run our dance class to test the water for a return to class soon. Let’s hope things are opening up again. We’ll know more when Nick the Chick gives her proclamation tomorrow.

Listening to my own advice – 24 November 2021

Always a good recommendation, but rarely operated on.

Today Scamp was entertaining Annette to tea at our house in the morning. I waited until she arrived then I went out for a walk in the morning sunshine, just like I’d told myself to do. I took the Sony A7 and drove up to Fannyside Moor where I parked beside the Scots Pines that sound so good with the wind whistling through them. It was a lovely morning and the sun was shining, but the west wind was cold. I knew the wind would be colder and stronger later in the week when it swung to the north. They do say that “The west wind doth blow and we shall have snow”. It appears that may be true before the weekend, but I get ahead of myself.

Today I was looking for some decent landscapes and Fannyside is great with its view to the south and east. I started out walking in that direction with a bit of shelter from that west wind because of the trees on my right. I couldn’t find very much to photograph until I reached a stand of trees silhouetted against a wild looking sky. That might be PoD, I thought. As I turned to head back up the hill I could hear a motorbike engine behind me. It turned out to be a quad bike. The farmer out to feed his sheep. Soon the sound of the engine was drowned out by the barking of two sheepdogs trying to run me down. A couple of shouts from the farmer brought them to heel and I continued on unharmed.

I didn’t get much else there and drove to Greenfaulds station car park where I left the car and walked along the Luggie Water for a bit. Although it is only November, the snowdrops are pushing their green shoots up under the trees. Some good lighting encouraged me to shoot some more frames and one of those shots almost made PoD. Also saw some good graffiti under the road bridge. Hardly met anyone along the path.

Back home, Annette was just leaving and after saying goodbye, we made instant pizza our lunch. The weather was still bright, so Scamp and I went for a walk over to St Mo’s. Just one circuit of the pond today because it was getting colder than in the middle of the day. Scamp got a surprise delivery of neoprene elasticated specs holders from Mr Amazon today. She says they work well, but seem to put extra stress on the already flimsy legs of the glasses. They survived the trip to St Mo’s.

Dinner tonight was Giant Fish Fingers and Spaghetti (the tinned variety). It’s quick to make and it tastes good. Plus it fulfils the rule of Fish on a Wednesday. That’s been a tradition in our family for years.

Watched the final episode of Shetland tonight. It did answer all the questions, but then started a new story that won’t resolve itself until the new series, NEXT YEAR! What will we watch until then??

In the end, neither of my initial shots made PoD, it was a landscape from Fannyside that won, looking down the road the disappears into the distance. No sign of sheepdogs or quad bikes!

Tomorrow looks cold and windy with the chance of Wintry Showers. Turn the heating up, I say.

A day at the gee gees – 21 November 2021

It was a beautiful morning. Too good to sit in the house.

I enticed Scamp out, telling her we’d go for a walk. Well, were going for a walk, but we’d to drive to the Kelpies first. I felt sure they’d bring a smile to her face and they did. Helix Park, where the Kelpies live was busy and with half the car park cordoned off for resurfacing I wondered if we’d get parked, but we were there early enough for that not to be a problem. Paid our £2 for our right to park there all day if we wanted, then we went for that walk I’d promised.

One of the first things we saw apart from the gigantic horses heads was a bloke on a paddle board posing on the water and being photographed. He even did a headstand on the board. Poor bloke was wearing a wetsuit top, a life jacket and a pair of shorts. No leggings and no trainers. The temperature was around 7ºc, he must have been freezing. Luckily he didn’t fall in.

We walked round the massive statues and found new angles to view them from. Lots of other folk were doing the same. Some with their hands out pretending to feed the beasts, others just getting family groups set up to record the visit. We even saw a wedding photog taking the opportunity for an interesting backdrop for an Indian couple. The groom in a dark suit and the bride in the most glorious ivory coloured wedding dress I’ve ever seen. So much heavy brocade, it must have weighed a ton! They had a great day for it.

It was cold, but Scamp wanted to have a coffee outside where the view was better than in the cafe. Yes the view was good and the ‘millionaire’s shortbread’ was good too, but cappuccino really should have coffee in it, somewhere. I think I got hot milk. After a while we headed home. It really was getting a bit cool as the sun disappeared behind a big cloud, but we’d had a walk in the sun and visited the Kelpies again.

Back home and after lunch I declared the photos good enough to exempt me from a walk in the cold wintry air, so I started a backup of the iMac before I upgrade it to Catalina tomorrow, hopefully.

Dinner was Cauliflower Cheese with potatoes for Scamp and Mince ’n’ Tatties for me with a bit of the cauliflower cheese added in. Scamp had made a Bruschetta for a starter and it was very nice indeed. We had our first Tesco delivery of the autumn/winter season. The first since the late spring. It made sense with all that’s going on in the house to get someone to pick it and someone else to deliver it.

We watched the Quatar F1 GP and saw more of the politics rearing its ugly head in the sport. Too many egos in F1 now. But I’m just going over old ground the same old ground I ploughed through yesterday.

I had a great day today and I hope Scamp had a good time too, apart from the coffee. PoD was a backlit Kelpie throwing shapes on the walkway.

No plans for tomorrow. Weather looks not as good as today.

Out for a walk – 22 August 2021

Or two, in my case.

It was a warm sunny morning, but we didn’t really get going until the afternoon. We finally decided to walk round Broadwood again, but the opposite way round, just to be different. There wasn’t a lot to see, but when we came out at the wee pond near the Irn Bru factory, I did see a dragonfly sunning itself on the top of one of the NLC signs telling you what to look for. It could have been a living advert for the woodland walk, but it got its photo taken anyway. A few steps further on, there was another dragonfly, also sunning itself on a wooden fence. I tried for its photo, but couldn’t get through the grass that was shielding it. I gave up and eventually it did too and flew away. Still, I had one in the bag.

Back home I had a look through the afternoon’s shots and, yes, there was at least one shot of the dragonfly that would pass muster. However, there were more things out there, I was sure. So I left Scamp to read and went for a short walk in St Mo’s. Found more small dragonflies sitting on the upstand of the boardwalk and included them in my photos. Even better I found a Leaf-hopper, a bright green leaf-hopper (Cicadella viridis) and took its picture too. I tried a Wolf spider, but couldn’t get it all in focus. There was a Garden Cross spider but it was too far away and there was no way I was wading into the murky waters of St Mo’s pond. It’s bad enough when you don’t know what you’re walking in, but it’s worse if you do!  The leaf-hopper got PoD, just beating the posing dragonfly from earlier in the day.

Decided that I had enough and came home to make dinner which tonight was Naked Fish and Carrot Chips. I thought we had everything to make the dish, but then found we had no garlic. I added garlic granules but they didn’t quite cut it. Also, the carrot chips weren’t very chip-like. Discussion later with the chef himself, disclosed that he thinks there should be more cornflour than the recipe says. I agree with Jamie, that would probably work. We were discussing this when he phoned after the dinner was made and eaten. We also found out about how things are down Cambridge way. You forget that England has different rules and timings than up here. Schools are still on holiday there while they are back at work here. House buying seems to work on mystery and black magic there whereas it might be archaic here, but it’s much more clear cut.

Scamp had been working hard trying to learn some of the figures and their link steps form the second half of the Foxtrot routine. My versions were different, but between us we managed to get everything sorted out and it now looks doable again. It just needs a few more practise sessions and we’ll have a full foxtrot.

Tomorrow seems to be even better than today and today was good. Not too bright and sunny, but warm. Tomorrow we are governed by high pressure, so we should be dry at least. No plans.

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!

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.

Off to Fife – 15 June 2021

St Andrews to be more precise, where we were hoping that yesterdays keys (Remember them?) would open a door to a new experience.

After a tedious drive through a thousand little villages, each with their own 30mph signs, behind one of the slowest Sainsbury’s artics in the western world, we found a motorway. We were only on it for about 10 miles, if that, but that was enough to leave the Sainsbury’s leviathan in our dust. Then it was back to the grind of another thousand even smaller villages and roadworks before the sat nav took us away at 90º to our expected trajectory, only to bring us back almost to that same road we’d left. Later I worked out that it was indeed a smart little piece of technology that had avoided making us drive through the tortuous streets and alleys of St Andrews itself and dropped us at the front door of the caravan park. Sometimes you just have to follow the sat nav blindly and hope it know where it’s going. Other times it helps to swear at it for a while. Today I did the latter, but agreed that the former would have been better.

We found the caravan and after a bit of a panic, worked out how to open the gate that led to the fenced off decking area and from there to the door. We were just discussing caravans this morning, before we left home and agreed that the last time we’d been to a caravan was probably back in the summer of 1984 when Scamp had organised a holiday in a caravan at Saltcoats. I’d just graduated as a teacher from Jordanhill and we all needed a holiday. I can’t remember much about the caravan, but I do recall it being a bit rudimentary. That’s not a criticism you could honestly level at this caravan. This is really quite luxurious. We’re not buying it, just borrowing it for a few day from one of Scamp’s friends.

The caravan site is perched on a hill above one of the beaches and right next to one of the lesser golf courses. Oh, how Charlie would have loved it! After we had settled down, found everything and made the bed, we walked in to town. Scamp had been here last summer and knew how to get into town. I just remembered driving here many years ago and trying to find a parking place and then, later, trying to remember where that parking place was! It’s so much easier on foot when you know where you’ve left the car. After wandering round the streets for a while we eventually went to a BrewDog bar for a late lunch. Scamp had a rather spicy Cajun chicken burger and I had a beef burger with bacon and cheese. Both were delicious and washed down with a Schooner of Elvis Juice each. The bar had been almost empty when we arrived, but by the time we left, two different Hen Parties had arrived and the quiet bar became a noisy, good natured rabble.

We walked back past the harbour and along the edge of the beach. We sat watching folk learning to paddle kayaks in the sea. Further along we found a group of ladies and one man going wild swimming in the sea. Back at the caravan we sat for a while in the sun on the decking a gin and tonic … or two!

PoD was a wee line of flowers on the wall of St Andrews harbour.

Yes, it was very kind of Annette lending us this caravan for a few days. Tomorrow we may go exploring.

Roses, Keys and Stitchery – 14 June 2021

A dull, cold day the temperature didn’t rise much above 14º.

What a difference a day makes. Yesterday was a beautiful sunny, but windy day. Today was cold, windy and a bit dull, but you can’t win them all which might be the Scotland team’s motto having failed to win their first game in the Euros.

Annette visited today and keys changed hands. I’ll say no more than that. While Scamp and her were deep in conversation I cut two fading roses, took them upstairs and set up a small tabletop studio to photograph them before they completely fell apart. For the first time ever, I think, I used the MBP as a monitor and shot the pictures tethered to the Sony. Once you get past the restrictions of using the poor Sony software, the results were really good. The whole process could have been a lot easier if a bit of thought and some better programming had been put in place by Sony, but at least it worked and was an improvement over the phone app I’d used before. One of the rose photos got PoD. Annette was leaving just as I was finishing. It was strange to see her red Juke sitting just up the hill from our blue Micra. I still miss the Juke a bit, but I prefer the better mpg of the Micra.

Lunch was another quiche with the same ingredients, smoked salmon and broccoli, as last time, but this time we used a tortilla wrap for the base. So much simpler. It was voted a success. Worth doing again but with an extra egg next time.

I’d bought myself a pair of walking trousers last week and like the previous pair I got last year, they were too long. Tonight I got the sewing machine out tonight and folded up the hem on the legs and sewed it. I thought the poor machine was going to have a heart attack as it hammered away at the heavy cotton which was triple thickness and even thicker at the seams. However it seemed come through it unscathed. Just to be sure I did a wee test piece after I was finished both legs and it sounded fine again.

I’m still thinking about formatting the disk on the iMac and re-installing the OS. Too many little quirks are appearing. I think there is a lot of junk on the OS and also in the unused programs that is just taking up space. Tonight I think I’ve discovered how to copy off the Keychain and then re-install it. That would be very useful.
The foregoing is really just for my benefit.

Tomorrow we’re waiting for the post. We may go out for a spin.

Irvine No More – 1 May 2021

Driving down to Irvine, but not to the seaside, well not right away.

In the morning Scamp was off to the hairdresser. I was just messing about, checking the fennel seeds I’d planted last week and they were shooting up! Then I gave the rosemary in the garden a feed of Miracle Grow. I’d to make up a gallon and I finished off the can by feeding the kale and peas in the raised bed, then sprinkled the rest on random flower pots in the garden.

By the time Scamp returned with her hair carefully coiffed it was time to get ready for Peter’s party. The party was in Irvine and it would take us the best part of an hour to get there. Of course, that would only happen if I stuck to the route the sat nav gave me and didn’t find myself on a slip road leading to a traffic jam caused by road repairs on a bank holiday weekend. After a lengthy delay and failing to avoid potholes, we finally got back on the right road and arrived at Peter and Gillian’s earlier than the other couple who were also in our slot.

The party was a relaxed affair with copious amounts of food, some of which we took home with us as did the other couple. She was fine. She (can’t remember her name) was a cancer nurse who explained what the real truths are about numbers of patients during the pandemic. The number of patients seeking and getting treatment had increased which is in direct contrast to the story the BBC are putting about. But as always with news, good news doesn’t sell newspapers. Or increase ratings, it would seem. He was a bit of a pain. An architect, which set my teeth on edge right away. Architects are always known to the draughtsmen as “… that fuc*ing architect …”. Apparently he was a comic too with lots of really funny stories, well, he thought they were funny anyway. Oh yes and they were always accompanied with funny noises. Oh what fun he was.

Actually the time passed quite quickly and although there was a cold wind blowing, it wasn’t really too bad sitting in the garden under a gazebo. Peter’s story of their night of Prosecco at a hotel on the Royal Mile WAS funny. A hotel with a Prosecco button you could press and a waiter appeared with two glasses of fizz! Now that sounds like fun. Fred gave me a Beer Button for my birthday once, but it didn’t work as well as Peter’s!

I could see Scamp wanting to go for a walk in their garden which was, shall we say, extensive. Gillian didn’t quite explain how far it extended, but they have a sit-on Husqvarna lawnmower to cut the grass. That should give you an idea of the size we’re talking about.

When we left, Stewart and Jane were arriving for the second session of the day. More food, more cakes and more Prosecco would be brought for them too.

When we left, we drove to Irvine harbour for a walk. It was cold and we could see the rain clouds blowing in from the direction of Arran. It was a short walk and Scamp wasn’t shod for the rough paths, so after a few photos, we headed home following directions this time. PoD went to a picture of the harbour with a bloke hurrying home ahead of the coming rain.

I do have a painting done for EDiM it’s two apples. I’ll post it tomorrow. Too late tonight to do that.

Tomorrow we may go for a walk. Day two’s painting will hopefully be Bananas. Do you see a pattern forming? ‘E’ is the hard one!