Friday, 30 April 2010


I was born 70 years ago yesterday, six weeks premature, in the back bedroom of a small Victorian terraced house, during an air raid. It was only after I had arrived, weighing in at three and a half pounds that the midwife realised there was another baby to be delivered. The Midwife removed the soiled draw sheets, put them in a wicker clothes basket by the bed. She then wrapped me in some towels, put me in the clothes basket too and got on with delivering my brother. My Gran was in the washhouse at the bottom of the yard lighting the fire under the boiler to ensure a good supply of hot water and when she came back to the bedroom it was to see my brother being delivered. She picked up the clothes basket containing the washing and little old me and set off for the washhouse. Thankfully, the Midwife realised the basket had gone and called from the window just as Gran arrived at the washhouse door. Phew! I nearly had an early bath . My brother was just under four pounds and we shared a single pram for the first four months of our lives. We survived more air-raids and came through the war unscathed. I married at twenty and had three lovely daughters and then when I was thirty four, fate again tried to get rid of me and I was diagnosed with oral cancer. After an eight hour operation to remove the tumour, during which my heart stopped , half my tongue and the glands from my neck were removed and
I had to have eight more plastic surgeries to rebuild my mouth and neck. I couldn't speak for weeks, but oh boy, have I made up for it since. I can talk the hind legs off a donkey.
The following years of my life were great and Greg and I enjoyed life to the full. We've travelled to lots of wonderful places and had great fun with an endless stream of pets.
We now have five Grandchildren and a Great Grandchild on the way.
Last year I had a hip replacement (and a blood clot in my leg) oops! which has given me a new lease of life( the hip, not the clot) and despite attempts to stop me I'VE MADE IT TO SEVENTY YIPPEE!!

Thursday, 22 April 2010


After a really hard winter it's great to see life returning to gardens, parks and the countryside. These photos were taken a few days ago in the garden of Brodie Castle.
Click on photos to enlarge them.

We usually have the garden to ourselves but today other people were enjoying it too.

I love these cyclamen
The leaves are as beautiful as the flowers.

I think these are Chinadoxia (don't know if that's the correct spelling)

The sundial surrounded by daffodils

Saturday, 10 April 2010


This is one of my favourite places just a couple of miles from home, I have visited many times.
Spynie Palace was for five centuries the residence of the Bishops of Moray. During this time it stood on the edge of Spynie Loch, a sea-loch giving safe anchorage for fishing boats and merchant vessels . A thriving settlement grew up around it. Today, nothing remains to be seen of the medieval town, but the gaunt ruin of Spynie Palace represents one of the largest Surviving medieval bishop's houses in Scotland. The earliest buildings have not survived, the earliest surviving masonry dating from the 14th century. In the 15th century the great tower house known as David's tower after Bishop David Stewart. was built. The picture below shows the great tower.
Click on pictures to enlarge them.
David's tower seen through the trees from the road leading to the Palace.
Due to land drainage over the years this is now all that remains of Spynie Loch. I took this shot from the top of the tower.

A fireplace inside the tower. There were six floors in the tower.

Another view of the inside of the tower.

This is the water gate where goods were unloaded from boats in the loch.

A view from the top of the tower of part of the great hall and the well which would have been in a small well room.

An arch leading into a small chamber in David's tower

The east gate which had a portcullis and two murder holes.

The north range.

South range

The courtyard and part of what once was a chapel

Thursday, 1 April 2010


A bright dry day, just perfect for a walk. Just outside our cottage a farm worker in a very smart tractor ploughing the field. He just missed my fence post. No more walks across the field until the crop is cut in the autumn.

Click on pictures for more detail.

These naughty cattle have broken through the fence into the kale. Don't they look happy?

They usually come over to see us when we walk by, but not today.

When we reach the cliff path the dogs look down to see if there is anything interesting on the beach.

The water looks very chilly.

This herring gull seems to be on lookout.

How wonderful to be able to glide through the air like a fulmar. You can see on the cliff that they have already chosen their nesting sites.

I like this "window " in the rock, and wonder how it was formed.

This piece of sandstone fell from above a few years ago and makes a nice seat from which I can look out at the lovely view.

Not bad Eh!