And we got that afternoon tea which was a gift from last Christmas! A lovely treat.
..at it's most beautiful.
And we got that afternoon tea which was a gift from last Christmas! A lovely treat.
My little 'rough crossing' on the Clyde yesterday pales completely into insignificance beside this!
Inside thie replica of a hut in the Antarctic, we sat on a bunk wearing headphones listening to the wind howl and watching archival film of the whalers and exploresrs in Antarctica. Story Machine who have produced this nnovative experience tour the country, and have done different books, are worth looking out for. It was very good!
on the ferry both there and back, but fine weather while in Wigotwn for the Book Festival. More soon...
Simply..the reason why....
Simply..doing nothing much....
If you have listened to La Leendertz this month (you can hear her podcast here)
She says of August-
If you are able to take time off, the days spill into each other in a haze of nothing much
There is a suspension of expectation and activity in August
and it is good to see
how little you can get way with!
I do hope you get some time off.
Don't forget tonight you may see shooting stars..
I was lucky.to be joining friends who are keen and knowledgeable bird watchers, and who had researched all the best things to do on Shetland. This was one of the very best.
At dusk we sailed out to the island of Mousa, reknowned for its ancient broch and the storm petrels which nest in it. We sat inside this amazing structure, awe inspiring in itself, as hundreds, if not thousands, of birds flew in and out feeding their chicks. The broch is double-walled -there are staircases between the walls - so you don't see much of the birds inside, but to sit and listen to stories of the island and hear about the life of the storm petrels was very special.
It is about a 20 minute walk to the broch.
Outside, as it got darker we could see the birds, as fast as swallows, swoop in and out of the outer walls, and sometimes hear their strange small warbling cries.
It was well after midnight and we needed torches to get back to the waiting boat for the 30 minute croossing to the Mainland (as the biggest island is called). You can just see the lights in the final phtograph.
Kathleen Jamie in Findings writes a lovely essay about storm petrels.
Gannets, guillemots, arctic terns, great skua, stoem peterls. Thousands and thousands of seabirds, seen at close quarters, lives, deaths from avian flu, and breeding habits described by a knwledgeable local guide. It was amazing. I see gannets dive into the loch at home, but to see it right beside me was thrilling.
We were very lucky as the weather was kind (gales forecast this weekend) and there was talk of discontinuing the tours because of avian flu.
The little centre of Lerwick is colourful and stylish (and very quiet until the cruise ships come in). There are good eating places and the shops sell high quality things both traditional and modern in a chatty and unpretentious way. There is a super bookshop and the tender flowers in the tubs surprised me this far north.
Does anyone know what the pinky-red flowers are? Arctotis? They have ferny foliage. The flower tubs were superb.
I was very restrained in my purchases but am delighted with the gloves from the museum shop and the socks from RAM
RAM's ethos and contempoary designs - machine made- are really interesting. You can read more under About on the website (link above). I could have spent a lot there, but I spent my money on two wildlife boat trips...
The small but wonderful shetland Taxtile Museum was a delight., and the Facebok page on their very good website has some great videos.
Much of the land is is covered in a carpet of green close cropped by 284,831 sheep! (Sheland in Statistics 2017) and the skill of the knitters is known the world over of course.
Wouldn't you like to have your first coffee of the day on that little balcony?
loved these windows on the older houses - mostly 12 panes, but sometimes 8
There are hundreds of standard bungalows on Shetland, but also many scandinavian style houses which sit well in the landscape.
..to Number 10 (not that number 10!)
I love the boldness and simplicity.
I wonder what inside is like..
Worlds within worlds at The Scottish Gallery
And The Open Eye Gallery. I will be going to the Barbara Rae exhibition next moonth.
Do any of you know of a nice place to stay in Edinburgh?
From extreme heat and sunshine to relentless rain today - heavy rain, a moderate breeze and 13 degrees.
However, the Scottish rain does produce a lush leafy green landscape and the first couple of days after I came home from holiday weather of continuous sunshine and 31 degrees, we had a couple of gentle days and I felt very fortunate to have a beautiful place to come home to, with the meadow at its best.
Tsunamis and hurricanes, torndoes and flash floods and wildfires! Really I should not be calling this post extremes! Extremely grateful is what I should be for our climate here in uk - but we do like to grumble aboout our weather. It's a national pastime.
Simply..au revoir Cannes....
The entrance to the station
And you can eat Briget Bardot's favoutite cake.
What more could you ask?
Simply Holiday is a sizeable category in my blog! I absolutely love holidays.
I enjoy the research and the planning, the event itself, and reliving it here in the blog. On the journey (which went pretty smoothly thankfully) I listened to Carol Drnkwater's The Olive Farm, an account of her purchase and restoration of a derelict property in Cannes. Then I revisited Lawrence Durrell's Bitter Lemons of Cyprus, and Gerard Durrell's My Family And Other Animals, and some videos and old BBC documentaries about that generation of travel writiers. Patrick Leigh Fermor among them. There is lots to be found online on the still earlier generation - Freya Stark, Wilfred Thesiger whose wonderful photographs I omce saw in Oxford, Gertrude Bell... A quick refresh of Peter Mayle and thank you Liz for the reminder of Sheila Hancock's Just Me. I also have Driving Over Lemons lined up.
So part of me is still in the Med!
Do you have favourite writers about your holiday destinations?
Further suggestions most welcome.
Loved the Matisse Museum in Nice.
We also loved the food in the surrounding park. Sitting in dappled shade we felt as though we were relaxing in one of our favourtie Renoir paintings.
You can always tell a blogger - they photograph their food before they eat it!
It's a wonderful and relaxing treat to have such food put down in frnt of you. Leisurely breakfasts and healthy lunches..
Salads and juices with 7, 8, 9 ingredients.
A restaurant on the beach as the sun set - torches lit the beach after dark and we waded into the still warm sea.
Desserts included the best affogato ever!
All making me rethink my cooking at home..
Simply..joie de vivre....
Heather, wonderful travel companion in Venice and Paris, now lives and works in Cannes. Oh joy!
This is Forville market...
Though maybe chill wasn't the word for temperatures of 31 degrees! In the sense of relaxing and taking it easy, it was perfect. Had a wonderful week in Cannes on the beautiful Cote d'Azur.
I hope you hve had a lovely Midsummer Day.
I loved Carry Farm. And I adore the image on this page of their website. They somehow manage to be both homely and sophisticated at the same time. No hype. Low key. Small scale.
Caravans and eco lodges, hens arund your feet, donkeys and rare breeds, a sailing school, quality craft work, real coffee. The woods around full of primroses and bluebells.
A young Dad and his two small children passed us here - they were putting up a tent for the night on this bit of machair.
Simply..the old and the new....
I was curious to see 'The Walnut Whip', a new hotel in Edinburgh's St James's Quarter.
I like the juxstaposition of old and new in architecture - a real design challenge which when it does come off can be very exciting.
To my eye this nearly works...
I liked this view - the bold strong curve against the geometry of the old buiildings makes an intersting contrast.
The deep steps for sitting on, the normal size ones to walk up and down on - this works well. Very user friendly.
This strange shape interested me. I wondered if it was a staircase? (At the time I did not know that one of the names for the buidling is the golden ribbon.) I went for a closser look and grasped the concept.
..where the 'golden ribbon' shoots up from the ground to wrap around the building, though a quite beaurifully executed bit of sculpture, it looks as if it is considered such a hazard that safety barriers have had to be put around it, totally spoiling the effect! If I was the designer I would be weeping into my drink if I saw this!
I thought about the building over a cup of coffee in the adjacent Black Sheep Coffee Shop at an outdoor table and concluded that it would take a builder of consumate skill, a genious of a builder to create this design almost completly made of curves, with the confident panache it needed..Instead it is a bit wibbly wobbly and ponderous and sadly, in my view, doesn't quite come off.
Better to have tried and failed? Better to have given it to Frank Gehry...
Second live concert (one of the things I missed most during the pandemic). I think there is a very special atmosphere at these first concerts - both the nusicians and the audience are so especially delighted to be there - it's palpable.
The RSNO concert at the Usher Hall was stunningly good. Lise de la Salle played Rachmaninov 2. The programme began with Walton and ended with Elgar. We loved it.
What things did you miss most during the past two years?
Simply..Reekie no more....
I wonder how many chimneys there are in Edinburgh?
Edinburgh was once known as Auld Reekie (Old Smoky), but it was all cloudless blue skies and sunshine for the four day visit I had with friends meetng up from Washington DC, Paris and Glasgow. A leisurely meal for a catch up on the first evening, and breakfast at The Urban Angel in Hanover Street the next morning, and we were ready to hit the town..
The galleries of Dundas Street are close by and this was a good , if small, exhibition at The Scottish Gallery. Upstairs the work of Claire Harkness is selling well. Beautiful work. On until the 26th if you can get there.
The Botanic Gardens on a perfect spring day.
A little browsing in George Street shops (this is Anthropologie). A brilliant concert to follow....
I am so glad Covid waited till after our trip!
I bought some mmosa yesterday. It reminded me of my bedroom in Venice. The shutters opened onto a courtyard with a mimosa tree in full bloom. Heavenly.
I almost forgot to listen to the March episode of The Season Turns. You can listen to it here.
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)