Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Recycling (3) - the solution

And the winner is Gennasus, who guessed correctly that the red mystery object in this post was a telephone box. When the iconic red design was taken out of service, many people bought them as curiosity pieces, or just out of love for a bit of British life that was no more. Well done, Gennasus - but of course Moray is noted for the intelligence of its inhabitants!

I actually took the shot above a few months ago, but didn't post it at the time because I felt that it wasn't complete. When I went past the other week and saw the campanula in full flower it seemed to come together as a story. Sometimes I fret mildly about my backlog of photos that I'm not using, and how to keep up with posting photos - a discussion Mountain Mamma at Many Rivers to Cross has been having. But then I realise that there's absolutely no need to fret.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Basement colour

A garden-in-the-city basement area, bright with annuals. The white paint on the walls is used to reflect as much light as possible.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Recycling (3)

Not ours this time, but spotted in the 'area' (the front courtyard) of a New Town basement flat. Any guesses as to what it is? The curve of the red roof line maybe gives a clue? I'll post the answer in due course, but I'm sure it's not that hard.

Edited to say that I should have been more specific - I meant the red thing! The blue flower is a campanula that is something of a weed in Edinburgh, and particularly in nooks and crannies in the New Town.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Skywatch Friday - molecule sky

A chain reaction of an Edinburgh sunset, taken a couple of weeks ago before our monsoon season set in.

For hundreds of other skies, visit the Skywatch Friday site.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Recycling (2)

The epic 'redd oot' (clearing out) in our household has coincided with a strike of the city's refuse collectors. It's not cause and effect, I hasten to add. The solution was a visit to one of Edinburgh's recycling centres (known locally and less politically correctly as 'the dump'). We had already taken furniture to the Bethany Christian Trust the previous weekend, so for this trip we were left with the normal household recycling that isn't being collected just now, and rather too many bags for landfill.

I'd never been to the dump before, and it was a revelation. I loved it! There are stations for offloading still-working electrical goods, and furniture. There's a station for chemical disposal, and since the European Union has banned many commonly used UK garden pesticides this should be well used. I'm sure it's not. Then there's a series of bays for different categories of waste: solid wood, laminates, cardboard, garden waste and of course landfill. Containers for different colours of glass are further along, together with bins for paper, plastic, aluminium, clothes and shoes. (You can tell I'm enthralled by all of this). I didn't see anything for battery recycling - we're not very good at this in the UK. It was one of the happiest moments of the summer for me - a guilty pleasure, as I flung black bags into containers destined for landfill. Now that I know the array of possibilities, I'll do more pre-sorting next time, so that less goes into landfill. And there will be a next time - we haven't even started on the loft yet.

Along one edge of the 'facility' is this carefully tended garden. Bright annuals, hanging baskets, tomato plants, various ornaments and statues, topped off by tiki torches. I would love to visit at dusk when the torches are lit. Perhaps the bistro tables will come out then, and a barbecue. I'll have to time my next visit carefully.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Recycling (1)

Big clearings out going on in our house just now. With our son about to go away to university in the autumn we have finally got round to updating his bedroom. Our daughter has sussed our glacial rate of progress on the home improvement front, and has decided that she's not going to wait until she's about to leave home for improvements to her room, thank you. The upshot has been bags and boxes full of outgrown/no emotional attachment/why do I have this anyway books and just 'stuff'. And my husband and I have also entered the fray, sorting through books that we'd forgotten we had.

Until now I've always been a hoarder of books. I would get rid of anything else, but not a book. But with the exception of the true favourites that I read and re-read, I have little stomach for fiction any more. Two university degrees spent dissecting novels have given me my fill of fictional worlds. Now I'm hungry for facts: history, current affairs, the natural world, anything that fills the huge gaps in my scientific knowledge.

The result of all this physical and mental creation of space was Saturday's mammoth trip to the Oxfam bookshop in Stockbridge to donate a dozen bags of books. Donating to charity shops is now a slick business, especially with Oxfam. You sign up to Gift Aid your donations if you're a tax payer, enabling the charity to reclaim the tax and so increase the value of the donation. You get a donor card, and a sheet of sticky labels with your unique donor number to put on each bag you bring to the shop.

While I didn't give the fiction section a second glance, I did have to steel myself not to browse the gardening shelves on my way out. Immediately starting to replace what I'd just donated wasn't the purpose of the exercise.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Skywatch Friday - flying saucer and moon over Craigellachie

It's definitely the moon, pale in the nine o'clock sunshine on an early July evening. And it's definitely Craigellachie, nestled at the head of the valley. And it looked like a flying saucer to me, especially since it changed shape, as flying saucers are meant to do (tho to what end I'm not sure).

That annoying golden eagle is back in my shots again, or perhaps it's never gone away. I thought I'd cleaned the sensor. Perhaps it was one of my many 'must dos' that if repeated often enough trick you into thinking you've done it.

More skies in glorious diversity at the Skywatch Friday site.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Cloud watching

Real holiday stuff, lying under an apple tree on a hot afternoon, watching the clouds. For the week that I was there, Speyside was in the throes of a heatwave. A north of Scotland heatwave, that is, with temperatures around 26C. I found it blissful, but my elderly father and his friends were, as the local expression goes, 'come-at' (afflicted). In between preparing light and what I hoped were tempting meals, turning fans up and down, moving them from room to room, supplying plentiful cool drinks, I walked in the early morning, watered plants, watched very little of Wimbledon, and watched the clouds.


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