Monday, 11 December 2017

still icy...

Views of Drongan from the bus.

No extra snow last night...just -9's trip to Ayr was on the bus..avoiding silly driving and parking.
We went to Mauchline as well, and it was lovely and warm on the bus!!

Yesterday's walk, Hannahston Nature Reserve

Now a nature reserve and walks for Drongan villagers..previously a group of coal mines.

Friday, 8 December 2017


We're staying put...safer that way!!

There is always plenty to do here, tidying, making, going for a (careful!) walk!

We haven't had too much snow,unlike  many others,but it is getting a lot colder.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

followed by...

Snow over Barbieston..from a view just outside Drongan where we live...thinking about possible snow next weekend.

Thats the last of the larger prints on etsy for now, off to do some smaller images.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

At last! Pine Shelter Belt

The prints have dried...and I've put the Pine Shelter Belt print on etsy...

Now to print the next image..the Green Lane test print has been on the wall....I'm beginning to like it!  Also to cut some smaller blocks.

Storm Caroline is heading our way from the North so that will be the weekend's work, along with using/drying/freezing/putting safe a mountain of apples, writing letters and cards and trying to keep home tidy.

I'd love to plan another visit to Blackhills near Elgin where the shelter belt is...a week in a cottage?...sounds possible if we go off-season...

Monday, 4 December 2017

We have cheese!!

Home made yoghurt...left to drain for longer, mixed with a little salt,,,then wrapped in cheesecloth and pressed further...and left over the weekend...

I love Caboc, so this is my version...rolled in oatmeal and freshly coarse ground black pepper.

Its creamy and slightly cheesy...I could try this again !!

life and lino

My main eyes and hands of course.

These prints will be the next ones on etsy,one tonight and the other tomorrow morning.

Rising was difficult this was getting heads into gear! 

We went and hedge trimmed as the weather was dry and warm...and collected the last three bags of cooking apples ( the frost had seen off the last of the eaters) and two buckets of Japanese quinces that are mostly ripe.
There is still a mass of windfalls but these are feeding the wildlife, insect , mammal and bird. The orchard was full of birds, including a cock pheasant.
With the shoots going on quite a few pheasants appear in odd places,looking surprise there,but sad.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

heading north again

We were very fortunate with the weather this weekend.
After being inches deep in snow,Banchory enjoyed 8 C and just a few traces roadside and on the coldest spots.
We enjoyed some of the Scottish Cyclo Cross Championshipsat Knockburn Loch near Banchory.  Pirate was due to help his friend from the Kingdom of Fife, but we ended up helping his daughter as well,plus I was in the pits with two other spare for a team mate,who changed after a puncture and the other for a potential teammate who medalled without a bike change.  A decided achievement on amuddy day!

It would have been good to stay longer, but we couldn't afford to.
An incentive to return, perhaps.  Maybe if we had a camper van.....
At least we stayed in a good hotel/pub/restaurant/bar on the high street..and found out at breakfast that the owner is also an enthusiastic cyclist...the clues were also decent bike themed mugs on the breakfast tables, and Very Good Coffee!!!

The downside to the weekend? Four hundred miles' driving,four hours each way.....

Friday, 1 December 2017

Ayr today

Looking out towards Aran. I wonder why it has that name...Aran means bread....

The chill is easing for the weekend , but no doubt where we're going will have snow underfoot if not on the roads. Still worth it to see friends, though if the weather turns unfriendly we wont hang around.  As the saying goes...
"stay rubber side down" !

I've made one batch of fruit's foray into town was for more sugar and fruit for further making, as well as a bargain mouli to save work while making apple butter. 
The apples we were paid with for one job are gradually being juice next week!

Thursday, 30 November 2017

true love

A pair of Jackdaws, snuggling up in the lee of next door's chimney stack...a bit warmer than their usual perch on the wires by the telephone pole!!

day out

We planned an hour on the velodrome in Glasgow today...ho hum,they are preparing for a race meeting (Revolution) this us ordinary bods can't use the track. Back to the turbotrainer.

It is still cold..our indoors hall, even with a heavy sheltering curtain was 9 C this despite the inviting sunshine a walk,not a cycle, is on the cards,plus a visit to a Certain Swedish Store to stock upon picture frames .  So we still have to head for Glasgow.

It is snowing in Aberdeenshire, where the Scottish National Cyclo Cross Championship is to be held near Banchory. The roads from the town up to the course are still closed today....
A thaw is promised for the it looks like anyone going will have a mudfest to watch or compete in!!

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

watching ink dry....and weather for cycling

The print runs are all dry now except the Pine Shelter Belt Now today's sun is streaming through the window onto the pasting table where they lie drying, they will be titled signed and numbered this morning.

I might print the Green Lane block as it is, the response from others has been good for that image...then try changing it...Green Lane mark 2 !

Tomorrow we head for Glasgow, hopefully for an hour on the velodrome, before heading for a Certain Swedish Store...
I've hunted for picture frames locally, but even for a simple frame the price is twice as much and the quality half as much. The ones I buy are from Poland, so don't have to come halfway round the world at least.

The weather is getting colder but is at least still dry. We are aiming for a short cycle ride out to get some real air in our lungs, but are wary of ice (falling off is not good..we don't bounce so well now) or getting cold and soaked by rain.
The turbo trainers are set up side by side in the Pirate's study if the weather goes unfriendly, but it isn't the same. 

Sunday, 26 November 2017

print run..Shelter Belt

Proof print and a run of twenty done...we'll see if they are worth it , come daylight.....

Saturday, 25 November 2017

new printwork

While it snows outside, I've been busy....but only during daylight hours. As with working in clay, natural light is the best,even when you need a top-up with electric light.

I'm not happy with the last one yet...but the trees are good in it.

pure as the driven....

Thursday, 23 November 2017

mechanicing on..and life

Blogging has taken a back seat..and photography too, briefly..

The ride on mower has taken two or three hours for three afternoons so far this week. Hopefully today will see the job done , waterpump replaced and cutting bed cleaned and treated if not back on. The bed needs a few holes patching before it goes back on! That will get done when the underside has dried.

I've finished the print run on the Tarbolton windswept tree print and put three prints on my Etsy shop. Its good to feel there is progress there.
At least that is work I can do indoors. Outside is thoroughly wet, and we haven't had a properly dry day for a week in Ayrshire. We were fortunate in the weather on our Pitlochry trip.

This morning I was tempted  by the lack of rain, with two washes ready to go on the line it is raining again!!

Building the kiln shed is still on the back burner, but with my pension installment due on Monday I'm aiming to buy some building blocks.....

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

further North...

Last Saturday we left home in the rain just after 7am...and drove 130 miles to Pitlochry.  There we joined my fellow team members of RT (Race Team) 23 for a ride.

We went on the shortest route, just under 30 miles, out along the Southern side of Loch Tummell , cross over at Tummell Bridge and back along the sunny side .
 It wasn't long before most left us behind and we told those who waited to carry on...we're not as fit as we should be OR used to hills!!  The others rode an extra ten miles over the shoulder of that snow topped mountain, Schiehallion..finding snow and ice on the road as well!!

After a brief lunch came the AGM, and at the end the Pirate and one of our main mover and shakers were presented with life memberships of the team. Pirate is already the President,voted so by all the other riders for all he has done and still does for cycling and his fellow cyclists.

In the evening we all had supper at an Italian restaurant in the town and some went on to local live music. A great night out.

We'd hoped for a ride out in the morning, but discretion ruled after -5 C overnight. Instead we found Santa at Queen's View along Loch Tummell (Queen Isabella, wife of Robert the Bruce, NOT Queen Victoria....) well as beautiful views....