Wednesday, 28 September 2011

sea trip

Went for a wander along the sea wall in this glorious very late summer, but found the bureaucrats had got there before us with their signs. Goodness knows what they are doing and of course it is top secret. The solitary egret was there as usual. Some day s/he is going to have to find a partner.

As we wandered back we saw the ferry from Harwich was just about to dock. This is probably the last chance to gain a tick in the box, as it had been a plan to venture onto the high seas and get some fish and chips at the posh place over the river, at least once this year, so we toddled along.

Just as well as this was their last w/e, but seeing how the sun is going bananas I reckon they may grant themselves an extension this w/e.
Of course everyone and their kids were out and about so we couldn't get on, they took one pay load over and came back for us 20 mins later. It is over 30 miles round the coast road to Harwich but not so long if you are a crow/sea gull. She's a rusty old bucket, but she does the job.

I am without a job at the mo. Delivered my Gaiety Girls to the Gallery so now I have no deadlines left this year to thrash me along.

Thus am rather bad tempered gazing at the television with no stitching to excuse my inaction,. obviously it is the fault of the media as most of the programmes are so inane I am bound to feel guilty sitting watching them. I have found a new author, which helps Hakon Nesser I think, tho it doesn't look very likely written down......he is a Norwegian and writes well. I have over dosed on crime stories lately but he is somehow more reflective and easier on my soul.

Friday, 16 September 2011

hurricane winds, crouching houses

For the second week we have moved on to Port William on the south West coast of Galloway. On the way we passed the Wicker

Man [woman? s/he looks rather fey] fortunately for him/her no flames until next year.

We arrived in PW just in time for the tail end of Hurricane Katia

A very dramatic sea-scape at the bottom of the garden.

Apparently Scottish Electric turned off their wind turbines because they had more than enough electricity.

Happily the weather repented and has been kind ever since, sunny when we go out and peeing down when we are in. No wonder the hills are so green and lush, so many cows and sheep. only seen one pig however - plastic. Bacon rolls are still available however, which is helpful as eating out is more difficult round here..

Only one pub in the village, Retired Person bravely gave it a go but someone spoke to him, so he has his beer safely at home since then.

Home is one of those low, squatting, stone shoe-boxes linked along the winding roads, ubiquitous round here. Maybe it is the wind, thankfully this one has been extended out back, usually they look very small and ....grumpy.

The fishing boats were safe in the tiny harbour and were soon out again after the storm pulling in the orange buoys attached to lobster pots. We haven't eaten out in the village so I don't know if they are on the menu, maybe scampi and chips.
Wigtown is Scotland's National Book Town
There are 15 second hand book shops they claim, tho one sells just old [heritage] newspapers.

The Book Shop, confidently named, had a double stack of books as pillars at the entrance. But like The Creaking Shelves it didn't seem to be doing much business, the Shelves is selling up, but RP helped out by buying two airplane model kits there [to go above his model railway] so maybe they will survive a little longer.

Most of the book shops seemed to make most from their cafes, Readinglasses claimed to be the last specialist women's bookshop left in the UK.

Some how i couldn't bring myself to go in, I knew I wasn't going to buy anything from any of them. Waterstones and Amazon + the kindle have already taken my money.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Educating Arches

Andy Goldsworthy crops up as one blunders around the countryside, except when he proves to be Richard Long as I have got my artists in a tizz.

He was born round here [Dum and Gallers] and returned from triumphs to erect these strange arches. They are Striding Arches apparently and apart from this one anchored in a byre [but trying very hard to get in - or out] they are dotted around the hills.

We drove seven nerve shattering miles thru the forests on a day mercifully without rain or we might be stuck there still] up and down a rutted track. Felt like pioneers till we were passed by the post office van.

Somehow it was rather underwhelming, I am sure when they [students etc] were labouring mightily day after day to erect these things they felt deeply fulfilled. The arches are meant to represent how the Scots have always strided [striden?] out around the world, fearing no man, but altho the sand stone is skillfully cut, and the key stone expertly placed, the surrounding forest and terrifying journey to see them did seem more significant.

But there again I expect that is partly the point.

We also trundled round the by ways searching for the Twelve Apostles. Standing stones from pre-history.

When we finally found them lolling ignored in a sheep field, looking like a circle of very badly cared for broken and grey teeth, we wondered if the Scottish gods were having a laugh.........however as with everything -it was the journey that really counted.

Monday, 12 September 2011

dumfries and galloway

The drive to Scotland last week was interminable, made possible only by listening to The Lollipop Shoes on ipod and an overnight stay in Harrogate.

The hotel was enormous and cheap, maybe because a Lady Gaga tribute act was going to thunder up thru the floors until midnight. Had my first Wagamama meal in this country - adventurous for oop north.

The cottage is an ancient stone barn, walls 24" thick but all refurbished in the "best possible taste" - oatmeal and eau de nil. Three bathrooms, but no baths, sad I like a good wallow on holiday. Just a few muddy steps down the bank flows the river Scaur, absolutely wondrous, tumbling Scottish waters leaping and jinking under ancient trees, beautiful.

The countryside is so beautiful, lush green hills, thanks to the rain, huge beeches and birches lining the roads, all mouldy and mossy, so serene. It was a wondrous week; I am attempting to make a textile diary of the gorgeousness, brought some inks and bags of threads and fabrics.

Also done a fair bit of reading, polished off several crime stories - Sophie Hannah kept me awake at night watching the door. very tense making.

Sue Townsend's Number Ten for light relief [Tony Blair in drag] and Snowdrops one of the Booker shortlisters. Very atmospheric but somewhat depressing.

Have also read from the short list The Sisters Brothers - good but got bogged down in the second half I think, and Derby Day [left off the short list] a well researched Victorian style who dunnit.

All except Sue were depressing, and really she was too when you consider TB and his antics, both in real and fictional life.

Started one by Lin Anderson but had to chuck it, nastiness, couldn't take it, wouldn't take it. She can bog off with Val Mcdermid, exploitative violence,and not well written either. have turned to an early Donna Leon for a gentle murder or two in Venice, much more enjoyable.

Thursday, 1 September 2011