Thursday, 30 April 2015

in general...

Ink takes FAR too long to dry.....a week and some still is slightly tacky...and not just where it is a little thicker. Perhaps I'll  invest in a short course,if I can squeeze it in....there are some run not too far away

I'm not happy with the next image...possibly not quite "Me", yet....

We collected the Pirate's "fixie" frame from its mend and respray . Now we'll both be on fixed gear on the road!

Spring is gradually arriving here

 but then we get a little snow, on winds from the Arctic....

Putting out feelers for somewhere to live, asking friends in the business, trawling the ads online and looking in estate agents' windows......something will turn up...

The Pirate found that the landlady here expected us to be almost a live in handyman/gardener/employee...but knew we traveled, and worked for other people when we first rented here...they still owe us some monies  agreed for work done anyway. Favours also ever went one way in fact (although not in their eyes...)
 Moral, don't live on your landlord's doorstep!

So we'll be glad to go, now,even though we didn't want another move, yet.

Something here seems to be upsetting our health as well.  All in all,time to go!

Monday, 27 April 2015

uprooting again....

We have been given three months to now we're looking for a workshop  AND a home....

Somewhere we'll feel welcome ....if we can get something near our village that would be nice, people have openly said they like us here.

However perhaps this is the chance for a fresh would be so much easier if we could buy, and decent rentals are scarce, probably due to competing with the holiday rental market.

The one thing we do know is that we're staying in Scotland.

Friday, 24 April 2015

paper dilemma

The linocut block is on the right,on the previous blogpost, the paper on the left is chip shop paper...
i.e. newsprint without the print....which does yellow quickly but is very useful short term.

I need to know what paper I'm using for printing, when selling.
However I need sales before I can afford better paper.....

The matt comes precut A4 to the art/craft/stationery supplies shop in Ayr, 240 gsm. Annoyingly they had no matt this time, so I'm back to 190gsm smooth, which I have in no need to buy more.
I want to back our local supplies shop (12 miles away), as Glasgow (45 miles away) Castle Douglas (50 miles) or online are the options.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

ink, at last

Proof print.
Printed six others plus one on nice paper..which didn't work as well!

Now to wait until Sunday or Monday to mount the meantime I can mount the last batch of chickens, and branches.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

hare today....

After a busy working, one job paid, one voluntary, and The Pirate working with an electrician friend on sorting the electrics of the workshop garage...we moved the kickwheel to the garage ready for maintenance before use..and headed out on a relaxing drive.
Through the lanes over the hill from Straiton,past Knockgardener Farm and down to North Balloch to turn for Barr.Then on down through the Stinchar Valley where we saw this young hare sitting the other side of the hedge at Balligmorrie....
I reached for the camera....and he'd moved...luckily to near a field gate.
One photo, two....then a pheasant called and he was off and running.

We ended up in Girvan for a chip supper by the harbour!

Home on the bottom road up the Girvan Valley, where we were lucky to see another running hare..a beautiful sight,but we were relieved when he ran into a field!!

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

new linoprint

The latest print is coming,and I'm working on MY style...trying to let it flow and develop.
Started moving with the second print, the running hare...
 and then the road with the trees...
 went back to the first, the scratching chicken and pushed it a bit....
 and then did the branches over the field...
 and back to the road..a difference with the colour change...
 now for a waterfall we saw in the Cree Valley...

 starting to cut
 the first pencil rubbing
 and the second....
now the difficult bit....finishing the cutting....
Possibly I need to do a real ink print first...

Monday, 20 April 2015

for Judith ...

On the corner of a pie shop on the way to Paihia...the muffins were good!


 The QE is an army canteen lorry

 This is a stationary engine, at present towed by a tractor, but would have been behind a steam engine or horses. Used for driving thrashing machines.

Then the last one...not for sowing in rows but for lifting potatoes...a tattie hiker.
It would have been followed by pickers..people putting the tatties in sacks.

A fascinating place.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

cycle a very interesting place.

In Glamis....
We were up 5am ....aiming to leave at 6....well, 6.30!...
a good clear run with a stop at 100 miles by the roundabout at Broxden just South of Perth.
Onward through Dundee to Glamis and past the village to the clubhouse...
The Pirate is there in the middle (blue and white jacket) and after the table was all set I took the camera for a wander....

 Now what is this, Soub?

 and what do you think this was used for?

 and how old is this? and where from?

There is so much more...bikes, motorbikes, information about locally built cars and bikes, tools......I hope next year's jumble will be here again!!

The society ,amongst other things, do shows at some Highland Games...and at some Highland Games there is grass track cycle we might see them again...hopefully....

We didn't sell a lot,but we did more than cover our expenses. For the first jumble organized here it was good.  At least we had a good day out in nice weather.
We came home via Coupar Angus to appreciate the countryside better.

Big estates, big fields, big country.  Farms busy ploughing and sowing, fruit plants growing in shelter tunnels, strawberry , rasberry and currant as far as I could guess.
 Snow still on the Glen Shee range towards Ben Lomond, off to our right as we travelled towards Perth.

Then home again to unload and sort, do housework before we ran out of steam, followed by supper in front of the woodburner all warm and cozy, with a bottle of red wine from New Zealand..a special treat as it was on special offer!

Friday, 17 April 2015


I'm wearing a special insole,with a lump in it to press up at what corresponds to a hand knuckle joint and widen the gap between two bones that are pressing on a nerve.  It is, we've worked out, a long standing thing,exacerbated by an ankle that has always been will take work over time to correct.

I'm finding HAVING to wear shoes a problem.

No taking off shoes as you enter the house.

No wearing jandals/flipflps/thong sandals...although after six months in New Zealand my ankle was stronger....

It is just going against the grain for a barefoot walker.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

more cycling

Riding the bike, whether on the turbo or out in the (Wahey!!!!!) bringing weight and blood pressure down. So one happier, if a bit tired, Pirate.
He has also stopped the meds that were supposed to deal with the side effects of the main they came with even worse side effects....made life not worth achey growly Pirate was not on!!

Yesterday we foraged a carful( and it was full!!) of elm and beech, so by the evening we had a woodbin metre cube full of cut, stacked wood...and today we were tired!!

After today's chores we headed out to Moniaive with the bikes in the car...and went for a ride...not as far as planned, but enough.

No,not Trumpton!   Built in 1865 as the schoolmasters house,with a clock so that no village child would be late for school!  It is still hand wound and standing to take its picture we could hear the works ticking over.

Now we're sitting in front of a nice fire, burning our labours....

Wednesday, 15 April 2015


At the British Cycling dinner,every diner had a gift by their plate from the event's sponsors....I used mine for the first time a couple of days ago.....

not to do bike running repairs....just to adjust the secateurs !

Saturday, 11 April 2015

back to work

After a slow start.(..and waiting for showers to pass!) we rode over to the next village to do a gardening job....The Spring Prune !! Secateurs at the ready ...
four hours and two wheelie bins later we called it a day.
We left a mostly trimmed garden and a happy customer...front garden next time.

He also has said I can move my wheel into his needs a good clean, a window mending and the front doors draught proofing.  He already has some paint for the concrete floor.

Now to get The Carpenter and The Oily One to bring the workshop contents up from Wales....they've been saying that they wanted them moved....

Friday, 10 April 2015

Visiting Girvan

Getting out of bed wasn't too easy today....should have left the woodstack.....
we were on the road just after 11, but with a headwind it took over an hour to get to Girvan.
We were both feeling a bit grumpy. Both a bit tired. Wind over your ears causes this too, as it creates pressure in the eardrum.  Plus the meds to deal with the hormone therapy side effects are giving worse side effects...including making him a tetchy Pirate...not himself atall.

Nearing Girvan the sun was being obscured by high mist coming off the sea.
We were glad of the shelter of buildings!

We missed our potter friend at her workshop where she holds classes,but caught her at her nearby gallery. I might be renting her kiln for bisque and glaze firings.
It will mean firing oxidized to 1230C instead of 1280-1300C.  But it will be firing...I'll return a week tomorrow to glaze some work....

Homeward bound after a "pensioners lunch" in a cafe (well we are both over 60!!!) we seemed to have found a following headwind.  With the coming weather change the wind was backing slightly, and colder. Most unfair! So it was steady as we go,plod along and find the most sheltered route.  As we moved further from the coast we regained the sun at least, and could see the mist sitting over the Carrick hills ahead of us, with the sea the far side of them.

We were glad to see the washing dry on the line and as I write,the next wash load is nearly ready for hanging out!  Make dry while the wind blows !

All this and I'm feeling guilty that I'm still slacking on my daily drawing, haven't done another linoblock yet, haven't posted on Etsy (or had any sales for a week)
Sometimes there is just too much to do....

cars!!!! and bikes...

Thursday morning we managed to be up bright and early,to drop the car at the garage four miles from here in our local small town. I'd thought that I had a week in hand,as usual, but that was the day the MoT (or WoF to our Kiwi friends...) ran out. 
We left the car in Graham's hands...hoping he didn't have a"shout" as he is a retained fireman...aided by his top apprentice, Gary.
Today's ride wandered here and there, South to begin with then North along the coast road past what used to be Butlins. (and still a holiday camp)  From Alloway, down to the coast and along the front to Ayr Pavilion. Around the back streets to avoid the town traffic,to brunch in a nice cafe.
Returning to Alloway we explored the cycle/footpath along the old railway, then across the "bypass" to the lanes to Dalrymple.  We tried to find a different lane,but failed,  and as it was nearing garage lunchtime went the direct route there!
The car's luck had run out too....a small patch to be welded on,due to rust, a little front suspension problem (not surprising with our potholed roads...avoid one and hit the other....) and a tyre to renew, which I'd already ordered.

No car until Monday lunchtime, all being well.

Back on the bikes,a detour to find a friend then home for a rest!

While the Pirate was resting, I started organizing the woodstack.  When it is in three places,it looks more than it is.....and now we know that it isn't big enough.
After his rest, he came and helped and rigged up a better rain cover for the occupied wood bin.  I swept out the little back yard..several we will be putting one of The Birthday Gazebos there.  It wont be ideal to work in,but as we can't have another shed or anything......

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Spring Flowers

We went for a fifteen mile ride late this afternoon,still in the sun.
No balaclava, no waterproof jacket, no extra layer to keep warm...

Spring flowers along the verge..first day out for Dandelions, Bluebells and Wood Anemones. Celandines, Dogs Mercury and Primroses blooming well.
The Blackthorn is beginning to bloom and the Hawthorn...and feral Gooseberries! are coming into leaf.
Feels like we're getting somewhere at last! I know we're back to rain on Sunday and Monday...but Spring IS here!!

and don't forget the Daisies!!