Sunday, 31 January 2010

Road signs - the snow collection

Above, a Belisha beacon at Tesco in Aviemore. Below, a snow bank in Keith makes a convenient prop for a traffic control stop/go sign. (My goodness, I sound like National Geographic magazine captions.)

Below, school crossing sign in Cromdale, north of Aviemore. Through a dirty windscreen. At minus 14 C the washer water had frozen, despite copious amounts of anti-freeze. No, I wasn't the driver.

I never noticed before that our school crossing signs have the female child in charge. Stereotype of mothering instinct, or recognition of common sense?

Friday, 29 January 2010

Skywatch Friday - cloud on the Convals

I know, I know, that burning sun at the top right is BAD composition. But it was cold, so much colder than it usually is in Scotland in the winter, and fingers were frozen. I think they may have been my husband's, since I had my gloved hands firmly in my pockets and had given up on photos by this stage in our walk.

Catching up from December for this Skywatch. River Spey, and the Conval Hills. The water used to make Glenfiddich whisky rises from a spring in the Convals. Icy water, fiery spirit. Tho I think when we got back from our walk we had a nice cup of tea.

Other skies around the world are at Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Skywatch Friday - history and cloud

Just an ordinary view from an ordinary kitchen window. Snowy holly and ivy. Just visible above the ivy, the peaked roof of a car repair garage (built c. 1950's). Behind that, snow has slipped off the roof of a semi detached house which was previously council-owned (social housing), now owned privately (built c. 1960's). Behind the left-hand chimney, a wall topped with snow - the last surviving wall of a castle (built c. 1200's).

Strange how you get used to having a bit of a castle outside your kitchen window, so that it's the curly white cloud that you notice.

More skies around the world are at Skywatch Friday.

[Edited to say that we're still busy with family illness, so it will be a while before I can visit other sites to catch up. ]

Saturday, 16 January 2010

First fitting

I'm sorry, I really didn't mean the title of this post to be a pun on first footing. I'm writing about the first fitting session for my son's kilt. But 'first foot' in my dialect of Scots would be pronounced 'first fit'....

Anyway, here's the young man trying on a sample kilt to see how his own kilt is going to be shaped at the waist and over the hips. We learned a lot about how the pleats would be sewn, and how the kilt would be made to sit slightly higher at the waist to allow for any last extra bit of upward growth. And because our son is very slim, any filling out in later years will be catered for by extra hidden pleats that will wrap under the flat front of the kilt.

The tartan of the sample kilt is Nicolson. Our son's been deciding which of our family tartans he wants. Probably the only time in his life that our engineer-to-be will be seen poring over swatches.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

12 kuvaa/photos - my walk to work January

Back to the blog, and just squeezing into January's 12 kuvaa/photos before it closes. Last week I would have shown you snow, and the city caught in a bright ring of frost and sun. This week Britain's Big Freeze is over in many places. Today's walk to work at 8.15 a.m. was in sleet, and darkness that seemed deeper than the December murk just before the winter solstice. The soldiers are up and doing in Edinburgh Castle, however, judging by the topmost lights above the rooftops. Stirring their porridge and frying their bacon, and warming their kilts before the fire.

Below the monuments on Calton Hill are looking decidedly un-monumental.

I was very touched by all the good wishes that people have left. My father had a bad fall and has been very poorly in hospital for 10 days. We went back north to visit and weather-proof the house against the freezing temperatures. Just in the past day Dad has improved and is now out of the high dependency unit. Quite a way to go yet, but things are looking up. Thank you so much for the kind thoughts.




Friday, 8 January 2010

Pausing the blog

Family illness means that I'll be away from blogging for a while.

Monday, 4 January 2010

First footing

Why bother with a lump of dirty coal as the traditional first footing offering at Hogmanay (New Year) when Tesco can supply you with chocolate?

Coal or chocolate, a Happy New Year to all! I'm just back from an internet-less 2 weeks in the north, where the snow has been piling up, and I've discovered how difficult it is to take photos of all that white stuff.


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