Simply..tartan all the way....
At the Cowal Highland Gathering today....
Part of the forest where I live is being harvested and my favoutite forest walk has been closed for a while now. It was quite a shock to see the change! A new road has been put in to take the huge log lorries.
On an evening walk I saw this magical effect on the water when the waves were coming in in one direction and the surface ripples were going in the opposite direction - I hope you can see the effect in the photographs...We stood looking for ages.
Eat your heart out Bridget Riley (must see the exhibition in Edinburgh).
Coxwold and the gardens at Shandy Hall.
I love both the English and the Japanese look. Why has it taken me so long to realise that I shouldn't be mixing them in the garden!
I will keep the Japanese aesthetic to the perimeter and the English look close to the house - I can see this will work better. Have started already...
The Japanese Garden at Tatton Park.
Infuencing my plans for my own garden....
This development under a motorway flyover is made of old shipping containers. There is a stage, table tennis, a cafe in an old bus, small smart shop/business units, a green wall and lots of healthy looking plants.
Do you know of any developments which make imaginative use of what is usually dead space?
From the welcome in Urdu
to the parents lying on mats with their babies on a gallery floor or playing games outside
beautifully proportioned vistas, quality materials
Thought provoking exhibitions - contemporary and from the collections.
and the most elegant drainpipe ever seen
I love what they are doing at the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester.
Take a look at their Natural Cultural Health Service.
I could have spent the whole weekend there: in the park, the gardens, the cafe, the galleries, the shop. Free, family friendly, well-used on a sunny Saturday - well done my old University of Manchester! I liked to go to the Whitworth when I was studying but it was darkish, and old fashioned with a played out park outside and very few people inside and the cafe consisted of two tiny tables in the entrance way.
Simply..country and city....
I love a holiday that includes both!
A North Yorkshire market town and village, a glimpse of medieval York and a look at Manchester.
A week of contrasts in the company of good friends.
Nice to be home too.
Do you feel that after a holiday?
Here are some photos from the Scottish Sculpture Park (I forgot I said I would post them yesterday!)
You do come away from it seeing the world differently..
While doing the dishes I paused to watch a blackbird. He was sitting on the grass, beak agape with his wings and tail spread out, basking in the sunshine, occasionally preening the odd feather. (Yes, another suuny day - they alternate between non-stop rain and hot sun!).
So I took a leaf from his book and went and sat on the doorstep among the flowers and the bees.
I pndered on how odd it is that this can be hard to do. Just being I mean - given that we are human be-ings.
Once past childhood we may have to re-learn it with classes and courses on meditation and mindfulness.
I sat there trying not to think of my to-do list and found that if I counted my blessings instead I could quieten my mind and more readily just be...
I have a doorstep!
I have a house
The sky is blue
It's not raining
The bees love my flowers
I love my flowers
I have peace. No-one is threatening me
A machine is washing my bedlinen as I sit here
The music of Bach is drifting through my home
I got a lovely message from a friend
I have friends
I can pay my bills
I have a kitchen full of good food
This is a paradise moment
You get the idea...I probably came up with 50 or so. I could easily come up with 100.
Of course then I began to compose a blog post and think about taking some photographs, but I did all that from a place of real relaxation and pure pleasure.
What works for you?
And don't you just love your freshly changed bed? Blessed indeed.
..and in spite of rain all day today!
in yesterday's warm sunshine the hedges, grass, path to the shore and two of the meadow areas got cut at last.
Congratulations to Grace who has completed the 95 mile West Highland Way here in Scotland. I am meeting her on Monday to hear all about it!
Angela and Swissrose who live in different parts of Switzerland met for coffee and sent me a happy photo. Both bloggers and commenters here, they met through this blog. Made me smile all day - thank you both! (Angela I couldn't find a link to your old blog but if you'd like to link us to it could you do so in the comments?)
Lynne has opened registration for her new course on Choosing the Poetic Life, with the enticing title Catch The Whispers. Read about it here.
The Scottish Sculpture Park at Colintraive on Argyll's Secret Coast is well worth a visit for it's stunning setting and intruiging sculptures.
More about the Sculpture Park tomorrow...
I can't quite get yesterday morning at the Rock Cafe out of my mind.
I was there about 8.15, between buses (it is right at the bus and ferry terminal) and had the unhealthiest breakfast I have had in a long time to fill the hour and a quarter till my next bus. At first I couldn't decide whether I liked it or not, but it was clean and cheerful. The man and woman working there greeted all the customers - quite a few people bought food to take away - by name.
'The usual?' they asked.
And 'How are you this morning?'
It is so entirely without pretension.
It could have been 1940, or 1960, or 2019
The menu may not have changed in all that time.
White bread fried, white bread toasted and buttered and a fried egg with a good strong cup of tea.
I loved it. I loved the Rock Cafe and the people in it and the railings and the shore and the lighthouse and the pier and the gulls and the early morning feeling of the town just starting its new day which would be just the same as yesterday and much the same as tomorrow probably and that would be fine and as it should be.
My stomach didn't love it and the bus journey to Colintraive along a winding and hilly single track road left me queasy!
That was fine too in it's way..
Was it nostalgia?
Or just that thing about liking what's real.
Simply..didn't it rain!
No flooding here thankfully. The rain is merely an inconvenience, stopping me from getting grass, meadows, paths and hedges cut - the garden gets wilder and wilder!
Listening to the lashing rain while still in bed I thought about how I could best spend this rainiy day (that was a typo but I think I quite like the word rainly.)
I had the luxury of a day at home, just thinking, and planning. With lots of coffee.
What's your favourite way to spend a rainly day at home?
Colours which don't usually have great appeal seem to be attracting me just now.
Not jolly exactly, but uplifting because it is true, is this quote from Michelle Obama's Becoming which I am just finishing reading.
Friendships between women as any woman will tell you, are built of a thousand small kindnesses....swapped back and forth and over again.
Simply..a fun day....
When did you last have a fun day out?
I mean a whole day with nothing else to do but enjoy yourself...
We started with coffee on the roof terrace of Harvey Nicols in Edinburgh for the view overlooking St Andrew's Square.
On the way back down through the store we fantasised about glamorous gowns
..and crazy shoes!
We visited three galleries - The Scottish Gallery, Open Eye and the National Portrait Gallery ( where we also had lunch) and took a refreshing late afternoon stroll through the Botanic Gardens.
and finished with an hour's people watching while sipping healthy cocktails!
Where will you go for your fun day out?
I will be back to Edinburgh before The Festival ends... (26 Aug).
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)