Monday, 21 August 2017


Progress on the Selfie.

Thank you for the lovely compliments.  Of course I am much prettier.  But not when I am a few inches away from a mirror.  And I paint what I see.  When I am in full flow and the face is animated - well then I am beautiful!!  

The DP said to me, "  You dont have the bags or the saggy chins."  

Thank God for that - he is not a mirror a few inches away!  YAY.   And I usually have a smile too.  For him.

While I am on the look at me aren't I lovely here's the photo of the only white trousers I could find.  Although they are cropped trousers they skim my ankles.

So - this afternoon I went to - yes you have guessed it - the Prom.  Ye Gods it was windy.

I managed to walk up to the Kessock Burn.

So here we have the usual young Skurries and a Black Headed Gull  heading towards Winter plumage. And then all these Starlings who have found something nice to eat.  The DP suggested sand flies.  Now I may have one bionic eye.  But even that could not see what they were gorging on.

Now this Great Back Backed Gull hasnt been seen around much lately but here this one is back.  Progressing towards Autumn and Winter.

Back home the garden birds are moulting after all the energetic feeding of their young.  Or the young are slowly getting their adult plumage.  Progress.

This is a sparrow.

A sort of a progress is we finally had someone to come and quote for the garage roof replacement or repair.  Of course it has to be replaced.  It is Asbestos, the wood frame is rotting, it leaks, and yikes its a lot of money to sort it.  But ever thoughtful of the progress of when we are no longer here and the children having to sort it we have given the go ahead.  The next big job we are awaiting a quote for are the three Dormer windows which although double glazed the surrounds are wood.  And are probably rotten in places.  

I have now stopped looking for leggings or anything else which costs money.  Progress!

Sunday, 20 August 2017


Still windy, but it dropped later.  Sunny but becoming cooler.

After lunch I had an unsuccessful trawl round looking for white leggings.  I had previously trawled various internet sites who appear to think white is for summer so tough.  None in stock.  I ended up with some white cropped trousers, so at least I got the colour and cover for the chicken legs under the new tunics.

White cropped trousers to go with this till I can find leggings.  (Cropped trousers on me become as per normal trouser length.)

Black leggings will have to do with this tunic.

I then went to the Prom/Esplanade.

Pleased - being selfish- we are returning to the deserted beach.  Although, out of sight, on the left was a gaggle of screaming kids so no Sea Birds at the end of the Kessock Burn.

When I saw this fishing boat with my eyes I thought it was green and immediately thought of the Owl and the Pussycat went to see in a beautiful Pea Green Boat....But its actually more a blue.  Anway its off   'oot on the hunt.'  

It being Sunday there were a fair few surfers out.  This one continually went the wrong way and never did catch the wave.

Just as I was back at the car I heard the calls of the Oyster Catchers and watched them land and managed a photograph.  When I got home and put it on the computer there was a Redshank as well.

 A fellow artist commented on my latest paintings on my facebook page, Buchan Birds and Beasts.  She said she would love to see what I did with a self portrait.  Now this is something I have never done, but not being one to ignore a challenge, I took it on.

This is my first go.  I have to say I did not enjoy looking at myself in a large mirror and seeing all the wrinkles and saggy chins.  But then I lost myself and enjoyed the exercise.

What larks!

Saturday, 19 August 2017


It stopped raining.  But the wind remains.  The DP was away on one of his far flung bird watching jaunts.  
I am sure our birds sense this as there seem to be more birds to the square foot here than he ever sees when out and about.  Today I have watched Goldfinches, Greenfinches, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Coal Tits, Dunnock, Robin, Tree Sparrow, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Redpolls, Siskin, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Starling, Blackbird, Wren, Collared Doves, Swallows, Crows, Rooks, Jackdaws.  

The DP was assured he would see Redstart and all manner of things.  Zilch.  Which somehow does not make me feel any better at having to get my own breakfast etc. and feed the cat at least twice.  And have a late dinner.  But hey ho.

The Starlings discover the Rowan Berries. 

And the ones on the ground vacuum up the bits that fall down.

There does seem to be a lot more fruiting on fruit trees than usual.  

I went out to walk.  However the wind defeated me.  Plus the Esplanade was full of cyclists.  Gathering for the BRG Challenge.  Walkers go first, then runners then the cyclists.  They go from the Broch, to Rosehearty, then to Gardenstown.  BRG.

    What is the BRG Coastal Challenge?

The BRG Coastal Challenge is just that... a challenge... for walkers, runners and cyclists who are aged 16 or above, to complete a 17½ mile coastal course from Fraserburgh (known locally as the Broch) to Gardenstown (also with a local name, Gamrie). Taking place annually in August, it attracts challengers from all over and of all abilities. It is not a race. It is about setting your goal to complete the course and doing it!      

On the way home I stopped on the road to our house to take these photos of the field to show you how much rain fell.

Weaver of Grass mentioned in a comment on yesterdays post about the smells of the countryside.  The rain did dampen our current smell.  Which is cow S**t.  I am fine with it once I have checked it is not our septic tank overflowing.  Now that is another 'joy' of living in the countryside.  (But we dont have to pay the water board for sewage disposal.)  

There is an occasional blockage between the inspection thing and the tank, but in the main it quietly disperses itself .  Years ago at our previous house we were advised to throw a dead chicken down every so often to "Get it going again."  But I could never bring myself to do that........I  don't see any joy in doing that.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Anyone got a spare Ark??

For all of you who were envious about out hot day yesterday we certainly got our come uppance today.  It began to rain heavily at 6 a.m. We even had a Yellow Weather Warning. The rain is continuing till midnight.

I haven't been out, not even down to the shedudio.  

This morning I lost 2 and a half hours out of my life while Windows updated itself.

It did say 

'This may take a while.' 

2 and 1/2 hours is more than a while..... But I spent the time usefully by sorting all the stuff I had stuffed into file boxes and it is now in the right box or file.  I now know when the cat is due for his jabs, the MOT is due on my car and how much we paid for the fence that is now destroyed - £900.  Hmmm.  

I also know when I was referred for my second cataract operation.  Or should I say when they acknowledged it. December 2016. (Referral was actually September 2016.)  And that there is a 6 month waiting list for the operation.  Which takes us into 2018.  By then I may well have a totally bent neck as I have to use my good eye to draw and paint.

The rain continued.  As the DP was on the phone to youngest child around 5p.m. he noticed a car going down the road and lots of spray.  So he sprang into action.

This is the path at the side of the house and through the kitchen patio doors.  At the other side of the path is/was garden into which the DP has planted a load of young perennials I had potted on from plug plants.  Drowned.  

This is the path at the front of the house.  Current flowing along to the side of the house and the drowned garden.  And about one inch from reaching the step into the house.  At which point the DP shot off up the road to clear the gully, which is the drain.  That the council are supposed to clear every so often and never do.  And despite years of moaning at them do not actually put into place a proper drain.  So we get water off the fields, water off the track at the other side of the road all zooming down and into our drive.  We have tractors, lorries, cars going up and down our lane and quite a few of them use the side of the road to get past each other and thereby cover the gully/drain.  Fed up with it.

The joys of living in the country side are not always .  Noah I need you.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

How have I done?

Today I had to go for my review on my pulmonary physio.  I keep a 'daily diary' of what I have done.  I am supposed to do the exercises every other day.  But having had the inhaler reduced and then put back up, plus a possible chest infection so a week of antibiotics,  there are some gaps.... But my physio was pleased with me.  In fact he told me to slow down a bit!  I was also advised on the breathing so as to make the exercises actually work the lungs which was helpful.  

The lungs today have not been helpful at all.  It has been very hot.

The British Lung Foundation advise one to not go out when it is hot.  Or windy, or cold, so when do you go out??

As I was already out at physio I then went down to the Prom.  Here is a fishing boat coming in to the harbour.

The Gull Gang.  Despite there being many people on the beach they found a space.  

These two Black Headed Gulls were practising the Hokey Cokey, Put your left leg in.....

I did not walk very far.  Oh to be up to the .59 again..

Back home, I did a bit more to paintings on the drawing board, and stripped down to my vest, I watched the birds.  So many different Redpolls.  Here is a Mr and Mrs. on the feeder.

I wore my new leggings today.  I looked like Mrs Overall with all the wrinkles,

 or Norah Batty (Last of the Summer Wine.)

Do I care ?  No.  I have done fine. Yah boo.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

I hate shopping in supermarkets or anywhere else for clothes.

Not a bad day weather wise.  But increasingly windy.  20 mph gusting to 30.  At 4 feet 10 inches, 8 stone, and a chariot that does its own thing in high winds  I decided to do my walk within the shelter of the local supermarkets.

As advised I needed to buy some leggings to go with the new tunic.  I also wanted to buy a smaller bag as I can never find anything in the ones I have.  So first I tootled along to Tescos.

Now this woman has to be ten foot tall.  My Tesco has the clothing I want to look at way beyond my reach.  I tried, I failed.  Anything I thought I might like was not in my size so there had obviously been a horde of locusts with size 14 tops and size 12 bums.

So I went to ASDA.

I had better luck in ASDA.  I managed the leggings.  Again they had a sale on as had Tesco but again the horde of locusts with 14 on top and 12 on bottom all gone.  

I then latched on to a bag in the sale which was somewhat smaller than the ones I own (now winging their way to a charity shop) so hopefully I will be able to locate things within it.  And a pair of red shoes I could not resist.

Now comes the why I hate shopping.  The red shoes size 5 were way out of my reach.  I could see them tantalising me on the top rail at the back of some boring blue ones.  I looked round for one of our colleagues or whatever they are called in ASDA.  NOT ONE TO BE SEEN.  Ended up asking a lovely young Mum who reached them down for me.  WHY DO THEY PUT ANYTHING OUT OF REACH FOR MOST OF THE PEOPLE WHO SHOP?  MADNESS.  

On my way to ASDA I drove past the Esplanade and saw this.  In the Bay.  Just off the beach.  I then remembered that I had got soaked yesterday.  That I had emptied my bag.  That I had left the camera at home.....

Fortunately a friend, Stuart Fenty, had photographed it and in the harbour too.

Isnt it beautiful.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Grumpy Old Woman.

I bought a new tunic, online.  Supposed to be above the knee as it is a tunic.  I forget I have lost 5 and 3/4 inches.

But I still love it.

I went for my, now, short walk.

The beach today.

The sea today.

The Gull gang today.

An interesting addition to the the entrance to the boardwalk.  Presumably to deter the quad bikes.  But what about the pushchairs?  Or even someone in a wheelchair....

And talking about deterrents.  This gaggle of small surfers, their parents, etc. totally blocked off the prom .  As I approached earlier from the other side there were polystyrene trays with food having been consumed just strewn on the floor.  I picked one up and said, "I will put this in the bin for you."  This must have triggered a reaction as there were none to be seen on my return.  However the human barrier did not move.  

What I should have done was aimed straight for the surfboard and knocked it for 6 - sadly I tend to get grumpy after the event , and merely aimed straight for a person who - at the last minute - got out of the way.  People with pushchairs, and dogs were also stopped in their tracks at the other side.  Such bl***y ignorance.

As I left the Prom the heavens opened and the rain bounced down.  (I bet that shifted them.)  

On my return home from the car to the front door I was drenched to the skin.  I had a puddle in the bottom of the chariot bag, and everything in my bag was dripping....

Then our gardeners turned up.  And cut the grass................

My friend Lesley took this photo from her house just up the road.


Monday, 14 August 2017


North East Open Studios is from the 9th to the 17th September.  I open my studio (shedudio) from 1 p.m to 5 p.m. every day.  Before then I have to have my Yellow signs at the end of every road that leads to here.  I do not have that amount of yellow signs.  I have two.  Fortunately I gave my old signs to a friend who isnt doing NEOS this year so I can get them back.  Being in the middle of nowhere is good but not always.  Satnav sends you into the depths of nowhere...... and not to our house.

My mini trail map.  Together with the two other artists in the Hidden Corner we have put these mini trail maps into the catalogues we have placed all over the area.

There I am on page 27.

Of course I have to have plenty work for people to view, and hopefully the odd purchase on the way.  As I do not have any commission to pay as I do when exhibiting elsewhere I can reduce my prices.  Which I have.

The catalogues are going fast.  Our Butcher has given out all of his!  So I have to replenish.

I think I am ready.  Hmmm.  

Today the weather was atrocious.  Wind and rain.  So no walk.  

I played down the shedudio.

With pen and ink.

And cling film.

When I really should be focusing on NEOS.