2014 - the ones that got away



My blogging rate declined sharply in 2014.  I took many more photos than I posted.  A combination of factors was to blame - family commitments and illness, pace of work, blogging fatigue.  To say goodbye to 2014, here are few of the photos that didn't make it into print.

First, three of my Christmas presents from 2013.  Two Nigel Slater recipe collections and the long-awaited third, posthumous volume of Patrick Leigh Fermor's 1930s journey on foot from the Hook of Holland to Istanbul.  I read Nigel Slater's recipe books for pleasure in the same way as novels.
 



Back in Edinburgh after the holiday, January started with lunch with my daughter at La Barantine in Bruntsfield Place.  A gloriously French cafe in every aspect, including the galette des rois and crown (traditional French Twelfth Night cake).




It can seem a long haul until the winter darkness gives way to lighter evenings, and this poster outside an Edinburgh church seemed well-suited to the time of year.  'Sair' in Scots means painful or hurting.
 

 Being lucky enough to live on an island, we have a good supply of fresh fish all year round.  We buy our fish from a traditional fishmonger in the Edinburgh 'village' of Stockbridge.  In recent years the winter traditional accompaniment to fish of samphire has been growing in popularity, and my eye was caught by the bright green strands on the fishmonger's slab.




There's a big market in tourist day trips from Edinburgh to the Highlands.  Every morning minibuses in varying degrees of sophistication leave the city to give visitors at least a glimpse of Scotland.  The bright orange minibuses of The Hairy Coo company have a distinctive slogan: 



From one mode of transport to another  - a duo of mobility scooters outside our village bakery on Speyside.
 


Controversy has surrounded a new power line from the north of Scotland to the central belt.  The Beauly to Denny line runs through the central highlands on larger pylons than are presently there.  Protestors have claimed that the line will spoil the landscape.  Now that they're in place I have to say that I don't think they are much more intrusive than the pylons they've replaced.  Below is one of the new pylons in mid-construction, looking rather symbolically artistic.
 


In May our son set off to Australia on a year's working visa.  Here he is at Glasgow airport, checking in for the first leg of his journey to Dubai.  He has just sent us fantastic New Year photos of Sydney Harbour fireworks.  We're glad he's having a great time, and we combine that with missing him!
 


In the Spring our rhubarb came on stream.  The most delicious combination is stewed rhubarb with Mackie's honeycomb ice cream. 
 

 A peaceful protest in Edinburgh city centre, below, of the Wool Against Weapons project allied to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
 


On holiday in France in June we discovered a surprising local product.  We didn't sample it, being much more attracted by the discovery of the local Gaillac wines.
 


 The Commonwealth Games mascot, Clyde, popped up all over the place in the summer.  Below is the home-made version in the same community garden that featured in a recent post with a Christmas theme.



The Scottish independence referendum is inescapable in a retrospective of 2014.  All sorts of polls were carried out.  The most fun was this one from Cuckoo's Bakery.  In the event the gap between 'yes' in favour of independence, and 'no' in favour of remaining in the Union,  was closer than this, but was still a decisive 'no'.  



Looking back at high summer from 'the year's midnight', it seems incredible that we will return to lush growth and warm sunshine.  But come it will, and the slow return of the light is one of the joys of Scottish life.
 
 

Further north now, to Gothenburg and our referendum-aftermath escape in September.  A slim Swedish lady sets out a high calorie array to tempt Saturday morning shoppers.



Strolling around the city with Swedish friends, at one point they urged us to look up.  We would never have noticed this suspended swimming pool otherwise.
 


For your domestic repairs, whether eroded carvings or pink turrets, you can call on traditional stonemasons.



From the late autumn, a few examples from my garden of the long flowering season we've had this year.
 





On to pictorial flowers.  These are on a tea towel that I bought at the Country Living Christmas Fair in Glasgow.  Christine from Writing From Scotland and I made a foray there in the autumn.



Finally, our 'festive branch'.  With a combination of parental illness at opposite ends of the country, and my daughter and me coming down with horrible colds that weren't quite flu but near enough, we had no energy for Christmas decorating this year.  Our artistic compromise was what we have called our 'festive branch'. 


We made sure to hang one of the bell ornaments from my childhood on the lowest branch, in memory of my cat who would sit under the tree batting softly with a paw at the tinkling bells.
 

Wishing you a Happy New Year when it comes!

Comments

  1. Nice post! I think you were right in avoiding the frog whisky. In Sweden too you can find local whisky, but considering the price of it, Scotch is still better

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy New Year, Sven! I'm afraid I can't negotiate Google+ to leave a comment in return.
      I haven't seen any Swedish whisky - will look out for it on our next visit.

      Delete
  2. Lovely post. Happy New Year to you. I love reading your blog and look forward to reading more in 2015.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy New Year to you too! Thanks for the kind comment. I am going to try to galvanise myself to post more often in 2015.

      Delete
  3. That's been an exceedingly busy year for you!

    The Twelfth Night cake looks tempting.

    Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It has indeed been a busy year, and a very quick one too.
      Almost time for more Twelfth Night cake - I think a visit to La Barantine is on the cards when we get back to Edinburgh.
      And a Happy New Year to you too.

      Delete
  4. I wish you and your family a very Happy New Year!
    And a big pack of health for all of you so you can
    enjoy this one more than the last one.
    And if you would come over to my blog, there is
    alot more I wish you, but I can't remember it all :))
    Have a good one!
    【ツ】Knipsa


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Health is so important, isn't it?

      Delete
  5. Great collection of photos from 2014. Happy New year to you and your family!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy New Year, Linda. Hope you get back to skiing and hiking before long.

      Delete
  6. This is a wonderful collection of the year. You have taken some great shots and they are so varied. I appreciate the amount of time it took to create this post. Have a happy new year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, Larry, it did take a long time. I needed a little whisky to restore me at the end.
      Happy New Year to you.

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. Merci, et a vous aussi de l'Ecosse!

      Delete
  8. I've loved catching up with your posts, they are always so interesting to read. I've lost my way a bit with blogging, not that I did much - but I always enjoy reading others. Best wishes for 2015!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sharon, it's been a strange year on the blogging front - I've seen a few bloggers lose their impetus, besides me.
      We've been in Elgin a few times over this holiday but I haven't bumped into you. Tho we have been restricted to Tesco - and more Tesco, Johnston's for lunch, and Kenneth's for a haircut for me!
      Happy 2015 to you too.

      Delete
  9. I always love your posts, a glimpse into another life. If your son needs a bed south of Adelaide in South Australia let me know, we always have one. Hope 2015 is a good year for you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Penny, that's really kind of you, thank you. I don't know what his plans are, other than that he wants to move on from Sydney in the New Year. We do have some friends we made through Suzuki music in Adelaide, so he may pop by to visit them. Although 'popping by' in Australia involves some huge distances I now realise!
      Happy 2015 to you too.

      Delete
  10. Wonderful photos. Thanks. I'm definitely looking for Fermor's book. A good friend who is a painter belonged to a group of Chicago artists called The Hairy Who.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a great trilogy, Ron. I especially enjoyed the first one.
      That's an interesting name for a group of artists!

      Delete
  11. Happy New Year! I was amused with your fresh fish comment, as that's something that doesn't exist here in Colorado.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You probably have other culinary consolations that are unique to Colorado. Is there a lot of game available?

      Delete
  12. You have had a busy year! Happy New Year from Canada, Linda!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think we all have - I'm amazed when I've been looking at 2014 retrospectives on blogs.

      Delete
  13. Some really wonderful images from Scotland, I've enjoyed discovering your blog Linda.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Likewise to you. You live in a beautiful part of the country.

      Delete
  14. A Happy New Year to you. I like your festive branch - much less hassle than a tree and you can really be selective with your ornaments.
    The red warriors in my photos are on the cycle path between Bridge of Weir and Kilmacolm. There are various sculptures erected at intervals along the cycle path, the warriors are the most striking. They're made from old gas cannisters and other scrap pieces of metal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the red warriors information! I find them a bit Dr Who-ish...

      Delete
  15. Regarding your comment at my blog from a couple of days ago, the NACO tour of Britain, and that particular night, made the news coverage here in the wake of the shooting- it happened pretty much across the street from the NAC. The Memorial, in fact, can be seen in the second shot from that post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The whole audience felt deeply for the members of the orchestra - the shooting was so recent, and so near their home - and for all of Canada.

      Delete
  16. Beautiful post! Looks like a nice place to eat lunch with your daughter. Living here in Iowa there's not much available in the way of affordable fresh fish; we usually end up eating tuna or salmon out of a can. At least there's plenty of fresh beef and pork! Rhubarb grows wonderfully, and just about everyone out in the country has all they want of fresh rhubarb--and more. Interesting to hear about the debate over the power lines. Our scenery has changed drastically in the past few years with lots of windmills being built. Now they want to put up more high power lines to carry the electricity to big cities like Chicago, so along the highway you can see a sign or two about stopping the lines and the misuse of eminent domain laws.

    Beautiful shots of the flowers! Have an awesome New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems that the transport of energy blots the landscape wherever and however it's done. Although I think there are some very artistic electricity pylons in Iceland - perhaps they've got the balance right.

      Delete
  17. Lovely photos which really capture your year! Starting it with delicious french pastries is a great idea, and I think the Christmas branch is very sweet. Thank you for your recommendations on my blog - I shall go and take a look at those sites shortly :)
    Cathy x

    ReplyDelete
  18. I just loved this post! You've had quite a few challenges this year, it seems to me, but you've kept on finding beautiful and funny things to share. I really enjoyed our trip to the Christmas Fair, and the recipients of the crafts I bought there did as well. Happy Fête des Rois today - I hope you got the fève if you did have a slice of galette! All the best for 2015.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you for making the effort to share these beautiful/ funny/ thought-provoking photos. I think my favourite has to be the rosebay willow herb: it gave me a welcome rush of remembrance of high summer days.

    I totally sympathise with your reasons for a blogging drought and am glad I'm not the only one, though sorry you have had the weight of family illness to bear. Not easy being the middle generation. I hope you will continue to blog here when the spirit moves you though.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular Posts