Saturday, 28 February 2015


This morning we headed for Kilmarnock and The Pirate's old cheiropractor....we spent a quarter of an hour circling the town centre and lanes to find the place...well he hadn't been there for over twelve years!

Next time we go anywhere I will not trust his memory....roads and buildings change.... I wouldn't trust my own!! There will be Maps!!! (he says I'm cruel....mumble mumble....goes off in huff!!) ("mortally hurt"!...)(" but I guess I'll recover....." big sigh !!)

The treatment was good...diagnosing the damage of childbearing and being knocked off the bike and forty years of potting, and gardening too.
Next treatment in six months, unless I need more...I'm doing the right exercises and need to pay more attention as to how I sit, stand, drive....and get back to training with weights.

The Pirate needs to work on his wrists and ankles...we can do that together.
Getting back to potting will help, but still no hope even,of a workshop.
So will getting out and doing enjoyable miles on the bike...but at present it is raining heavily and blowing a hooley...60mph wind gusts are forecast tonight...
Not much hope with that!
There is a hope of a weather window after lunch tomorrow-here's hoping !

small signs of Spring

Four lambs near Maybole yesterday,one very new.....
and a greenfinch on the birdtable this morning.

Plus a weather warning for rain and high winds this weekend, possibly gusting at 60mph over Saturday night.....

Friday, 27 February 2015

keeping warm and working

 We've been lucky to be able to forage for firewood, getting some beech..from a fallen tree that fell across the road a couple of years ago. All the really good stuff went, but we don't mind using smaller wood. It keeps us warm and doesn't spit like other wood!!  Better that we use it than see it just burnt or chipped by the roadside.

The trip to Ballantrae was worth doing, I've earmarked a couple of images to return to when the weather and light are better! 
You don't have to have bright warm sunshine...I've put some Atmospheric Ayrshire cards in my Etsy shop!
 and also some Spring Flowers to keep us hoping....
Yesterday's local foraging on foot didn't yield after ten minutes of sun, the wind suddenly blew up strong and chucked hailstones then snow at us!
I know you're supposed to do a minimum of twenty minutes walking a day...but I'd rather not do it in these conditions!!   Then five minutes after we got back home,the sun was trying to tempt us out again...ready for the next heavy hailshower!!!

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Jean Armour

Aka Mrs. Rabbie Burns....should indeed be better known...and it is HER birthday today, thanks to Catherine for reminding us.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

down day

After yesterday a 'down' day was needed.
I got housework....he got the short straw...drying, cleaning and sorting damp bike bits.

At least the day was partly constructive!

We're not having as severe weather as many, but I find this time of year hard to get through, hard to lift any enthusiasm...

When you just want to get out on the bike for a potter around the lanes for an hour or so....incentive goes when it is wet, cold and the roads are filthy!

It is also the time of year when we realize how little room we have here...and so much stuff!...Let alone the stuff that is in other places and needs to be sorted and used.   Frustrating.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Day out with a difference

No photos unfortunately ...too busy!

Up at 5am then out at 6, having mostly packed the day before....dreading the journey after yesterday's hail, snow and rain....

Starting off in the dark and wet, although not exactly raining...and going across country...the shortest route by over ten miles, by being direct.

Coming past Drongan and seeing the sunrise coming, uplighting the clouds with pink bars.  Through Cumnock as the street lights faded to a grey but dry morning with little traffic and a smooth run.
More and more snow on the fields from Muirkirk onwards, then after Douglas a quick hop up and over on the M74 to Abington and a coffee stop.

Back on A roads to Biggar, a lovely little town, but no stopping this morning. Turn off just after as we weren't heading for Penicuik, then straight through the rolling countryside until almost Bonnyrigg...a quick wiggle across and up the A70 to Newtongrange, where the Lady Victoria colliery is now the National Mining Museum.
There,on the museum's spare car park was Scotland's biggest (?) cyclejumble!

Some were trade stands, others just a car bootfull .  
We sold about a quarter of what we did at Manchester....but to think that was six hours in a warm velodrome centre...and this was two hours or so in a cold windy East of Scotland car park....we did well!
When the wind started to shake things about and get cold with fine rain I called enough!!

Lunch was in a fairly full Ikea...not something we'd normally go for with that many people there...but as we eat a reasonably priced good meal in comfort and warmth the crowds thinned out and we did a short whizz round the "marketplace" bit....picked up what we needed without the fancied extras
( sigh!!)...
and headed off backon the A roads to avoid the Saturday motorways.

Back to Abington and the Pirate had the bright idea of a quieter still route that I'd like......
It involved the Highest village in Scotland at over 1500 feet....Wanlockhead...and at the previous village I did give him the choice of retracing....

Lets just say I was glad of my snow driving teaching from The Mountain Man..
The snow wasn't that deep, but deep enough that you needed to keep calm and carry on in second gear.   The Pirate's bp must have been rising...but then he wasn't driving!!  We met the snow plough on his way back up as we came down the far side.  No, we shouldn't have gone that way...but we were capable...and had proper supplies and equipment in the car as well as a (reduced) load of bike bits!!

Home by 6pm as it fell dark again...a tiring twelve hours away, but successful!

A quick stirfry and rice supper and a decent night's sleep, and no alarm clock to wake us!!

Friday, 20 February 2015

afternoon off, to Ballantrae

 The Pirate said hello to the Boar in Peinnmhor. He likes pears...well they both do!
Then through Poundland...the village that give a friend a bike...and on to Ballantrae through the lanes. A beautiful drive, with snowdrops at the foot of hedges everywhere.
A brief lunch in the garden centre in Ballantrae before spying out the ground for the craft fair in March. Now I know where the village hall can be found!
Looking for good shots that also said "Ballantrae"...and of course the sun hid behind the clouds and the wind blew chill.....

 The castle Ardstinchar, built in 1425 with money earned by fighting in France in the 100 years War.   Visited by Mary Queen of Scots when she was on a pilgrimage...and demolished in the 1700s to build......
 The Bridge over the River Stinchar...two arches over the river, and an extra to cope with floodwaters
 The clouds built up again...
 but lifted enough to show Ailsa Craig from the harbour.
 Where unfortunately the only two boats looked like this one....grass-bound!
Home again through rain and hail, feeling better for being out and away from home too.

getting ready

More cards in production, looking forwards to the Craft Fair at Ballantrae on 28 March...

The Black & White images are coming along...but they are from Girvan!.
I'm only happy so far with three of those from Ballantrae.

We're suffering a bit from "Cabin Fever" is getting us down a bit, especially The Pirate.
What better reason then to go out in what sunshine we have, NOW !!!!

Hormone Therapy can bring depression....and influenza...and getting older....
The Pirate feels Sad.     Giving him plenty of hugs and getting him away from The Cabin !!
So, get the firewood in for later on (stove is ticking over nicely already), pack a bike in the car to give to a friend near Ballantrae and be off....and even if it rains, we'll get good photos!!

Keep thinking positive...In two weeks we'll be at the Scottish Potters' weekend get together.....I've just booked for the Kirkmichael Gala Day on May 30th.....  and a young friend of ours from New Zealand will be here for a few days on his travels as a WOOFer at Eastertide.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

naming jugs

Thankyou to English Rider for the comment that my jugs look like birds..

I've called then that on  my shape lists for years.....

Pelican, Puffin, Wren....

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

keeping going

These jugs were posted for sale individually in my Etsy shop yesterday.
 Over the past couple of days I've had nearly 50 views, one has been favourited and I've gained a follower....fingers crossed for sales...

I've just booked a table in my first craft fair of the year, in Ballantrae Village Hall on March 28th.

The Pirate is slowly recovering from the flu, but we're both stressing too much and raising our blood pressures...not good.  At least we are aware now, so we can do something to be healthier.

Our weather is here and there..two days ago we managed over twenty miles easy riding on the bike...and yesterday...

The view through the kitchen roof window.....Hail!!
 Nothing compared to the Eastern USA, but I'm still glad we hadn't put the washing on the line!!

Today we're back to cold with rain showers, which means finding inspiration for new cards and working more on the linoprinting.

So far I've been using the same technique as brass rubbing to check progress before cutting a little more from the lino, but now is the time to be brave and go for a wet trial with ink...

Saturday, 14 February 2015

impatience and Valentines Day

I'm itching to get a workshop...but nothing looks even half likely.

The landlady wouldn't play ball, even though we wanted to pay more rent for a patch of land for the caravan/workshop..
She knows we're looking elsewhere...but it gets tempting to find somewhere else to live AND work.    So we look...and there is nothing anywhere near here- unless we want to pay three times the rent!! 
We could move further South..but The Pirate's treatment is going along nicely, so we don't want to leave Ayrshire.  Besides which, we like our village and people like us!!  Why should we leave?!!
If only we could get at our capital and buy.....

So today we have vented our frustrations on a fallen beech tree....collected another carful of lengths, then cut and stacked it...

and at least the sky was blue....

Which means that now the sun has set it is getting very cold again!

Tonight we will be walking down to our village cafe  for a special Valentine's Supper. The chef has made us a special Veggie Meal for Two as well.
The cafe has just been moved around a little and now we're up to 20 covers from 16...and tonight is fully booked!!

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

a patient patient....

The Pirate is trying hard to be patient....but having a short dose of the 'flu'...on top of his continuing really pushing his tolerance.

Definition of flu?   Put a $ or £20 on the lawn......if the answer is can't be bothered, it isn't "Man-Flu" !!

We've been collecting firewood to aid his recovery...a good bit of fresh air and I've been wielding the saw and doing the stacking.

We're discussing the effect of an untidy house on how we feel.   It just happens that we're in the middle of doing things that have been interrupted.
We could have somewhere constantly clean and uncluttered....if we chucked out most of our stuff and sat on our hands doing nothing..but that wouldn't be us!

The living room has been taken over by-
1. a large table of bike parts, being sorted for the next cycle jumble.
2. a table of my card printing and Etsy packages and art materials
3. a sideboard with printers and computer
4. exercise equipment ...we're not going out in icy, cold or wet weather

It is a mess....but it IS a positive mess!!

Monday, 9 February 2015

Thursday, 5 February 2015

keeping the ball rolling

I'm seeing views on my listings and the shop, hooray!....

Now a cousin has apparently bought something....but it is still showing....
oh dear.. hopefully her grandson can help sort the problem.

The Pirate hasn't been feeling too good...getting too enthusiastic plus getting a bit chilly one day.  Getting back to himself is a longer haul than he realized.
At least he IS going in the right direction!
Spring Flowers....just to prove that the year is going towards Spring!

Still Winter weather, as it should be, in Winter!!

Monday, 2 February 2015

stocking the shop for Valentines...

The shop is looking steadily better...and sales have started gradually..relief!!

Revolution 5

 Introducing the teams
 Glasgow. The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome  ...still a job to think of him as"Sir" !!
 Cat and Mouse in the Match sprint
 We could only get standing tickets between turn one and two, above the steepest banking
 The Pirate, with crinkly beard...he is getting used to it!

 The Man in Black....on the derny for the Kierin race...starting
 all on, and jockeying for position.... and the pace gradually rising until he reaches 50 kph and comes off the track with two and a half laps to go
 then it is down to them....and sometimes photographers get too close...
 and over the line to finish
Out into the cold and glad the roads were clear of snow...and a clear run for the hour and a quarter drive home.

Old Photos

 With my father,riding a "Grand Prix des Gentlemen"...1972?   The one being paced had to be 40+ years old.  We rode as a two-up, taking turns. It was somewhere near Bournemouth I think.   The photo was taken by Jim Love of the Southern Paragon (and then Sotonia possibly) Cycling Club.
 In 1974 (or 75?) setting an allcomers' womens 1km standing start TT record on Meadowbank Velodrome in Edinburgh.  I was in the Welsh Team, up for one of the two yearly weekend international Grand Prix events.
Photo by Angus Fraser.

 Early 1980s,so after having two children....didn't realize how skinny I'd got then...and thanks to Nel Rann for the photo.
Then the Pirate himself, early 1990s, possibly the first time he went there on an early season training camp. He is wearing the strip of the Camberley Wheelers , a club that then joined with the Farnborough and District.

We both have a mountain of old photos and negs to go through and archive....

Sunday, 1 February 2015

one for Hawthorn....

                                              She likes hearts!