Monday, 15 September 2014

Planning ahead.

As you will have gathered we have taken the house off the market and are staying put.

The rounds of Art exhibitions is at a lull.


NEOS (North East Open Studios) is over for another year.

One decision I have to make.  

Do I go solo?  

My friend, Marie Buchan, at St Combs. She did it this year. I managed to visit and began to think......

Would you visit?

Thursday, 11 September 2014

The Time has Come -

- to admit defeat.

 Border at the side of the house.  Completely out of control, although you cannot see the weeds ha!

That is supposed to be a new woodland.  There are baby trees in there.  And wildflowers.  Really.

I could go on.  

The Dawn Patroller now does the cleaning, cooking, washing, hangs it out, brings it in, cleans out the stove, re-sets it, well just about everything.  He also cuts the grass which he reckons he can still fit in.....But the rest of the gardening has always been my job.  Planting, tweaking, weeding, pruning, tying up, training, moving, ,,,,,,,,

My lung disease progresses so I do less and less that involves physical activity.  Watching my garden get like this is not good.  When you get to the stage that you do a bit of weeding and then have to spend some time getting control of your breathing after one dandelion leaf, well, there's no fun in that is there!  And most definitely no fun in watching the weeds grow and strangle the plants I want to be there.

Now look at this.

The lovely Lydia and Aileen , my saviours.  (The tractor drivers are taking a very long time to drive past now as the gardeners wear short shorts and tight t shirts!  )

Yes, I am now employing a firm of gardeners .  For me it is worth it to see my beloved plants allowed to breathe and show off their beauty once more.

The DP also has more time and less worry to do the stuff he enjoys.

Ostensibly taking photos!  


Monday, 8 September 2014


Not that good a start for our NEOS week.  Wind and rain.

As I was doing some tweaking and putting up the the other side of these display boards, with my back to them down they came, crashing on to me.  There had not been sufficient angling done to make them stable.

Hey ho.  Slightly bruised legs but not beaten.  Two paintings lost their glass but that was it.  Phew.  

The DP was away to Edinburgh moving a daughter from one flat to another - again.  

Sith decided to have another bust up with the feral cat.

Here he is with four working legs.  Saturday morning front left not working.  Now I can light a fire, cook me tea, but no way can I carry him in a cat box to the car and then to the vets.  After a phone call to the vets to find if I went in with him it had gone up from £60 to £80 before we even started,  the vet and I took a gamble, which then kept me sleepless.... Dosed him with painkillers, he was eating like a pig, purring, and  made an appointment for Monday   Then I phoned the DP.  Daughter moved so he could return in time.  Phew. Phew.

I feared the leg was broken,  turned out to be infected and after first dose of antibiotics already much better.  Phew Phew Phew.

I so wish I could be more laid back......Phew.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

North East Open Studios (NEOS)

It is that time of year again.  September 6th to the 14th.  North East Open Studios.  Where artists, crafters, photographers open up their studios.  I am a member of  the Wednesday Group who are holding their second NEOS exhibition.  At the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses.  We had setting up to do..

The group setting up on Wednesday.


Do please note, the MAN standing watching!

Women do just get on and do............


Me, doing the labels.  (Later I spent hours cursing the printer - which did not like card.....)


 It was all done extremely peacefully and no fall outs, all amicable.  (Although I imagine most of us were thinking, I'll be back and tweak that!)

Saturday we are open 11 til 4 every day and close a week Sunday.

Wish us luck.  I am the artist in residence and will be attempting to draw, paint in the worst lit exhibition area ever.  In a Lighthouse Museum!!!!


Saturday, 30 August 2014

Museum of Scottish Lighthouses Cafe.

What?  Where??

Having lunch with the DP I had just said, " Its when the sea is like this you get to see things....."

And there is a 'thing'.  A Dolphin.

And more.....

Including a baby!

Meanwhile further up the coast.

Three Hump Backed Whales.

No wonder I spend so much time in the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses Cafe!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

To Cat Lovers - everyone else sorry.

Update.  Minerva McGonnagall.  She who had leg dislocated from hip by feral cat has patiently endured house arrest for weeks.  The reinsertion (?) by vet has held up. In. Today was release day.

 This is Minerva some time ago with my granddaughter, who was being introduced to A CAT.

Min had her collar replaced with magnet to open cat flap and after some considerable sniffing ever inch of the outer door ventured out - and disappeared.  She has returned, exhausted.  But with four legs working.  Presumably been checking out that the fields are still there.

Cait Sith is still on steroids, eating, eating, eating.  He has gained weight.  But his red blood cells have not increased as much as they hoped.  Further blood tests await.  But he seems happy enough.

I am gearing up for the North East Open Studios where our Art Group exhibits at the Lighthouse Museum.  Lots of paintings been mounted and framed.

"I was just having me tea."  one to be mounted.

 And, "Oh We Do Like to be beside the Seaside - not.." another.

Painting of which takes ones mind off worrying about cats.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Decisions, decisions.

I do not find making decisions difficult.  I am the one who worries after I have made the decision!

Phone the vet!  Phone the doctor! Then I worry whether I am wasting their time.

My role as Trustee at the Lighthouse Museum often incurs me making big decisions.  Particularly when the Business Manager is on holiday, as now.

As  a volunteer my decisions are quite small ones.

What to display where.

How to group the books.


Where is the hotspot?  This sells, so move it?  

Those decisions are fun.  Playing shops.  Just love it.

I was in today as a Volunteer.  Playing shops.  And sorting behind the front desk.  This is a claustrophobic area where, literally, stuff gets thrown in.  I have been trying for two years to create some order in there.  I am almost there.

Believe it or not these are after pictures.  Before - you couldn't see the floor.  Still a way to go.  But so much better.  

Then there are the big decisions.

Well are they really?  I will not bore you with what appeared to be a MAJOR ISSUE and wasnt.  Though some made me laugh.

 The window seat.  People kill to sit here.  Above the diners is a glass roof, (sorry for the historical photo).  Mad panic from the cafe staff.  Drops coming through the roof onto the table.  This during a very blustery, sheeting rain day.  Drops? 

 Start to panic when there is a FLOOD, or the roof falls on a customer.  

Solution...... I will have my lunch sitting there and drops.

Next panic was about 50  Italian tourists coming in and all going up to the cafe.  Our cafe seats around 35.  Did they care ?  No.  Did they eat us out of house and home - yes.  Where had they come from?  (Apart from Italy?)  Checked the car park.  No Coach Driver we could have a rant at.  No hordes of campervans, apparently they all got off a bus in the bus station in town and walked up.  Is that a problem?  

Chef of the day. " We need to stop serving hot food as we havent any."

Is that a problem?  No.  Communication is the possible problem.  Let the customer know before they sit down, peruse the menu, make an order, only then to be told.....Its off.

Quick signs printed off, "Due to unforeseen ......50 Italians....." (no we didnt do that!)  

"Enjoy our delicious cakes from 2.30p.m. today."  We did that.

Turn a negative into a positive.  Seemple. 

Then there is the really BIG decision.  Selling the house.  Sod it, lets stay put.  And no worries after the decision, just a feeling of calm...............