Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Marvellous Mausoleum

A few weeks ago, I went with some friends from work to view the Fraser Mausoleum. This small classical gem graces a quiet, sunlit graveyard near the pretty church of Cluny. The mausoleum was built for Elyza Fraser of Castle Fraser by her lifelong friend James Byers, antiquary and little known architect. It is a very beautiful and moving site, the last resting place of the now extinct Frasers of Castle Fraser. A group is raising money to restore this rare and special building.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Fantastical Fruits

When I had broken (ok, ligament damaged) my foot, I went through a few weeks feeling really rubbish...feeble, pasty and bloated. Cue a serious healthy eating bender. Part of this involves replacing snacks with fruit, and buying as many weird fruits as possible. Stopping off in Tesco, I managed this haul of lychees, kiwis, flat peaches and granadillas. I can report that lychees are odd but delicious but that the granadilla is full of grey frogspawny stuff. My kiwi drawing resembles some enraged hairy potato...

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Travel Reading

Just an update on my travel reading...I have gone through a few women travellers books since I last posted. 
My favourites were Travels with Myself and Another by Martha Gellhorn. Martha is a famous American journalist and writes very sarcastically and entertainingly about the worst places she has ever been,mostly in the 40s and 50s. China during the Civil War in the 1940s was the worst. Worst companion prize went to her African safari driver who couldn't drive and hated the countryside.
Transwonderland by Noo Saro Wira was my other favourite, about her home country of Nigeria. Noo's father was the murdered democracy campaigner Ken Saro Wira. She writes very movingly about her love for her country, but her frustrations with it's corrupt politics and endemic poverty.
I like travel books that discuss the politics and history of places, looking beneath the surface rather than many which seem to be about 'aren't they funny here' or 'my dream cottage in Provence'. I am also annoyed by priveliged people going out to discover themselves or partake in a spiritual journey, grossly self indulgent.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Go for Baroque

On Saturday we had a lovely day in the local market town of Inverurie, buying model tanks, local strawberries and cheeses. The small country town is dominated by the spire of the town hall which is bizarre in the extreme. Looking like something from a wedding cake, or from the Taj Mahal, it was designed by J Russell Mackenzie in 1862, inspired by the baroque churches of Vanburgh and Hawksmoor in London.  
Also one for my clock towers series!