Saturday, 24 September 2016

Seen from the Road

Seen from the road near Turriff: Forglen House gatehouse. I walked up the seemingly endless wooded drive to the house on a trip with friends. The main house is an enormous Tudorbethan plie, straight out of Jeeves or Sherlock Holmes. Tatty blinds hang in the enormous, heavy curtained windows and the ground floor is a maze of peeling, cobwebbed corridors. Continuing past the house you roam up a forested valley with streams and ponds below you to an enormous walled garden. Along one side are sagging Victorian greenhouses, overgrown with plants and along the other a rose pergola where thorny branches whip at you as you walk by. A lost place, in a lonely valley in the autumn sun.
A fitting goodbye to the forgotten corners of Aberdeenshire.
You can rent the lodge and various cottages for holidays, especially for fishing trips.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Shopping Soothes

I had to go into town today to do a mail redirection form, get keys cut and meet a friend for lunch. Afterwards we had time for some shopping. It's so much better shopping with a friend for feedback, ideas and moral support. Otherwise I just wander aimlessly. It is also fun if you have slightly different styles. I like retro style stuff and bold prints. Friend likes bohemian stuff and bold prints.
I enjoyed all the 70s style stuff that is in the shops at the moment, quite nostalgic for me. (Born in 1974). Lots of polo necks, floral blouses, corduroy and slightly frumpy, granny dresses. I bought a green victorian style blouse, black jersey dress with colourful flowers and a navy skirt patterned with ropes. The first two are excitingly out of my comfort zone, but it is good to reboot your wardrobe with varied items sometimes. Gives it a shot of new life.
I also find shopping quite relaxing, if I am not looking for anything in particular. For lunch we had bagels and sat in the sunshine. An ideal afternoon. 

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Seen from the Road

Aberdeen has the reputation of being a grey and gloomy city. Maybe, but not for this person's house on St Swithin Street. Alistair walks past it on his way back from work and I walk past it on the way to the hairdressers. The front garden is a blaze of colour on the street, raging out from the bedding plants, geraniums and hanging baskets. There is no holding back and it brightens my day every time I see it.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Copper Beeches

My colleagues at work planted a special going away tree for me today. My favourite tree is the copper beech. Partly because they are so dramatic and partly in reference to my favourite Sherlock Holmes story 'The Copper Beeches'. Here is the feisty heroine of the story in front of those trees.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

About Walking

This post is inspired by a fantastic book my mum Leen got me. It arrived in the post in brown paper which made it even more exciting. Flaneuse: Women Walk the City by Lauren Elkin. Already it has mentioned my favourite haunts in Paris, where walking is a great pleasure. I want to walk and explore in London. To amble the streets where is quieter, looking at buildings, trees, people. A lot of my blog posts are about things and people I see while walking. 
I think walking is quite feminist too, in a world where we are supposed to be always useful or fearful driving from one destination to another, walking only in shopping centres or offices. 
I think this book could be a sort of bible to me in my new adventure.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Fashionistas of the Week

I like to spot people with great outfits or unusual style when I am out and about. These ladies were not together but I have done them as a group. A girl with fuschia pink hair and a cloud patterned dress, yeamed with biker boots. A woman in a red sundress with a leopard pattern and massive sunglasses. An older lady with bright red hair in a hairnet and an orange cardigan over Japanese style wide leg trousers. All sporting bold and individual looks.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

5k Hooray

The day dawned coolish and slightly sunny today for our 5k run. Perfect conditions. Hazlehead park was lovely and sunny, lots of people dressed as superheroes which was the theme of the run. I wore my Harley Quinn tshirt and Alistair wore Batman. 
After an incomprehensible warmup, a meetup with our friend Melody, we were off.
The first 1k was a long agony of tussocky grass followed by a steep hill. I was in agony and felt I could not do this, I was not ready. Also I worked a nine long day on my feet yesterday so was tired. Alistair urged me on and after that it flattened put and we headed off into beautiful, peaceful woodland. Well, peaceful apart from a mass of panting, gasping people in dayglo sportswear. We were passed by two lovely horses and a french bulldog running alongside. 
I was feeling better now and moving gently along, enjoying the trees and flowers and fungi on stumps as we passed. There was a cool breeze which felt great.
By now I was keeping running continuously, I had got in a flow and moved beyond pain and gloom. 
I was also given a jellybaby, which helped.
At last we could see the finish, the sun shone and we completed in 42 minutes. My last was 38 minutes but that was five years ago. Mostly I was happy that my foot had held up and I had stuck in there and got to the end. At the end of the race I was given a banana by a small girl dressed as She Ra. 
I'm going to keep running, try and do 5k without walking and at a slightly faster pace.
I could not have done it without Alistair's support and kind words as I struggled along and he bounded ahead. Always with me, encouraging me.