Saturday 29 October 2016


We're away in South Wales for a long weekend, staying with friends , seeing the Wizzard and his lady on the way down..a much needed stop overnight on the outskirts of Manchester. Good to see him playing cycle polo, something I did in the late 60s....
Chilling out with friends,resisting even the pull of a Saturday market in Abergavenny!

We briefly walked two Long Dogs over the local fields and started sloe picking until we realized that the estate shoot was on...and they hadn't used the shooting points set up in the we beat a retreat to save risking the gamekeeper's ire!!
Tomorrow afternoon we ride at the velodrome,just one race each before supper with the Carpenter and his family.  Baby is due in just over a week so hopefully we'll be back again soon!

Monday we pack up our hired van with grandma's wardrobe, three sets of shelves and a cupboard with pottery tools, cones and such. Along with a kiln chimney ,spare HTI kiln bricks and other things I've forgotten- these have been in store in my friend's lockup for a year!! Then we collect a small doughmixer from another potting friend before heading off to Bristol for a family visit for the Pirate.

Then the long haul home on Tuesday, unpack on Wednesday morning and return the hire van.

It has been an experience driving a brand new transit van...SIX gears!!
The Transit I drove from '99 to'02 had four forward was at least ten years old then!! Compared to that,this one feels like a cross between a car and a lorry!!

Tuesday 25 October 2016 linocutting

walking and planning

Went for a pre-lunch walk at the nature reserve/ex-opencast coalmine by Drongan. The farm by there has alpacas, one newly brought in from New Zealand.

 There are benches around the paths, used for walking, cycling and riding

 This is "Kenny's View"  over the site and towards the village
 We found a gate.....

 and I foraged

I didn't pick any of these...

The shortening days mean we get out as much as possible.  The Pirate is getting a little sad, partly because of less light,partly because getting over his treatment takes a long time.He is running out of being a patient patient as he sees himself getting older.....riding his bike helps massively.

Meanwhile we do have something to look forward to...airline tickets booked, lodgings reserved (a garage sleepout!).

Hesitating while confirming lodgings cost us £200 each as the pound sterling continued to fall...and "Brexit" hasn't even happened...the Gods help us if it ever does....we are too old and too skint to emigrate.  My Irish ancestry is just too far back to get an Irish passport. We don't have family anywhere we want to go.....

So inertia must be fought, art done and sold so we can feed ourselves while we are away.   The Pirate has already sold some bike kit, now to sort,clean price and photograph the next batch.


Tuesday 18 October 2016

Harbourside Walk, Irvine

 Renovation project..these landing stages hold some vessels that are part of the Scottish Maritime Museum
 Coastal steamer from the 1870s
 Back to his roots

 Scots words....

Monday 17 October 2016

Walk along Croy Shore

 Looking past Maybole Shore to Culzean Castle..all part of Culzean Bay

 windswept trees

 Ailsa Craig
 walking the plank!

neither of us had ever been down the lane to this shore..and twenty years ago the Pirate was living in the next village up the shore!

We also found a painter/sculptor and talked to his wife who runs the gallery...they do have other painters' work there...maybe they'd be open to some lino prints or a few selected pots....

Saturday 15 October 2016

Falkirk cyclo cross

 The cyclo cross season is here...the course has to be 90% ride able,with certain obstacles and be within certain limits for length, generally ending up at about ten minutes per lap.  Unlike road races, these are run over time plus a lap, up to an hour for the top riders, from ten minutes plus a lap over a shorter course for the youngsters (8+).  Last Sunday there were over 600 riders from 8-70+ years old!
 It was held in the grounds of Callendar House, owned by a community trust.
 The course is delineated by tapes...
 This is the start of the 40-49 age group...all 170!!
 up and back...
 through and back....the Antonine Wall!! (gap made in the 1800s..)
 up round and over...
 starting young! (watching dad!!)

 The house is is full of exhibitions and displays of history of the town and the house. It has an 1800s kitchen (closed on the day we were there)

and there were two extra exhibitions,one of wildlife photography the other of botanical illustration

 a well themed play park...

 nae dugs!!
 if you have to remove some trees....

A well organised event on a beautiful day