Thursday, 30 July 2015

Rainy in Fittie

When my Mum, Leen, was visiting last weekend, she said she wanted to go to the seaside. This is fascinatingly varied in Aberdeen as you go through the industrial working docks, the fairground and cinema complex (and the Ladyboys of Bangkok marquee) and then arrive at the long, open beach overlooking the surging North Sea. If you continue down the beach it is amazing to then find the tiny, quirky village of Fittie. This was built in about 1820 as a planned community for fishing people. It is delightful, with little cottages, courtyards and tarry sheds for fishing gear (seen above). These days lots of arty people seem to live there and the sheds range from the decrepit to the pretentious to the kitsch (gnomes or kissing lip prints). A magical place.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Magical Moon Gate

This is the wonderful Moon Gate in the gardens of Leith Hall. The Hall has amazing gardens including a mountainous rockery, spiral maze, fruit and vegetable garden and woodlands with a lake. The Moon Gate was inspired by Japanese Gardens but also has a rather Hobbit like sensibility to it somehow.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Women Travel Books

Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit. This is an exceptionally interesting book with an unpromising title. She covers how humans evolved to walk, famous walkers, the benefits of walking along with more philosophical considerations like the appreciation of landscape and nature, exploration, and politics. I was especially grabbed by feminist critiques of thoughts on human evolution, why walking puts you in touch with society, the development of the idea of the healthy outdoors and early social commentators walking the country in the C18th. Fascinating book to dip in and out of, full of thought provoking ideas.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Leibster Award a Quiz from Steff

A blogging questions challenge from my friend Steff. Here blog address is below and it is really worth reading. Also thank you for your kind words Steff. I am not very blogliterate so apologies if I missed out all the links and things.
Please feel free to comment or share your own thoughts...

1. My favourite musician....I am not a knowledgeable music person but would have to go with Elvis or Kate Bush. I love a really distinctive voice.
2. I don't believe in love at first sight, it is the person's character that makes you love them. Lust at first sight maybe!
3. My happiest childhood memory is a long walk in West Bridgeford with my family, finding frogspawn along the old railway track in the summer. Generally I tend not to remember things though, I have a terrible memory.
4. Something I'm proud of is still getting a First in my degree, it took everything I had. (See below). 
5. My favourite ice cream flavour is salted caramel, especially from the restaurant Montparnasse 1900 in Paris.
6. And my fantasy place to live is a flat on the left bank in Paris, near an outdoor market.
7. My book for a desert island would be Alice in Wonderland. I always return to it, it is almost like a religious text for me. I like the weirdness, it is also obsessive which appeals to my aspergery tendencies.
8. But I don't believe in God.
9. I am an Aries and find astrology entertaining but am not a believer.
10. I started blogging in 2010. The paintings were a challenge from my husband Alistair as I had been in a massive creative block since I finished my design degree in 1996. I haven't done a big painting yet though, they are just little sketches.
11. I don't have any really unusual hobbies now but I can do Lancashire Clog Dancing which I learned at school. Sadly it is all ceilidh up here which I am very bad at. 

Fairy Tale

Yesterday I was at Craigievar Castle for the day. I used to work here a few years ago when the castle was being restored. Craigievar is a frankly unbelievable confection in sugar pink which looks like a giant marshmallow. Inside, it is a maze of tiny quirky rooms. The building dates from the early 1600s and was the home of the Forbes family. It was lived in into the C20th and yet has no lighting or heating. A time capsule.