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Thursday, 29 May 2014

T stands for my Theatre of Dreams.

The coastline along North West Scotland.
It is my mission in life now to travel around the British Isles.
 We've had several holidays in Scotland and have thoroughly
enjoyed the  wonderful Scottish hospitality.
The pictures below are taken in The Trossachs National Park
and the stunningly beautiful Loch Lomond.
On this particular trip we travelled further north to a lovely hotel called
 The Bridge of Orchy.
which is at the southern tip of Glencoe.
 It was a wickedly cold evening so we were glad to settle
in for our overnight stay.
 We were welcomed with a tot of Whisky and buttery
 shortbread biscuits.

This is Loch Lomond,
 we drove along the edge of it to reach Glencoe

When supper was ready a Scottish Piper, in full regalia, piped the
guests into the beautiful oak panelled dining room.

Dinner was tantalisingly  tasty,
 as was the handsome Scots Piper pictured above ! 

Starting with Loch Fyne Scallops on a bed of delicious Haggis.
The Main course was......

A huge rib of succulent Beef, carved at the table.

We had roasted Tatties and roasted white Turnips.

Yorkshire Pudding,

  an assortment of tasty seasonal vegetables and

my favourite part of any hearty roast dinner is the gravy...

one of the finest gravy I have ever tasted!
No room for pudding, just a Drambuie liqueur
and petit fours then we tootled off to bed.

A peat fire welcomed us,  burning in the old stone fire place.
I soon snoozed off  to sleep,
 watching the pretty little purple and red flames dancing
around the fire place.
Next morning, there was a freezing  Hoare Frost
 encrusting the huge Scots Pine Trees,
standing rigid in the freezing terrain outside.
 A  hearty breakfast awaited us, porridge and kippers for me
 and bacon, sausage, black pudding and eggs.
for himself .
Suitably repleted,  we bade our farewells to the most hospitable staff
and moved on to our next destination, Strontian, which is a tiny hamlet
on the edge of Loch Sunart.
  Loch Sunart is on The Ardnamurchan Peninsula.
This is a copy of a painting which depicts a rutting Stag, baying for his ladies to follow him to the glen.
 We had a similar view from our bedroom to this part of the loch. 
 Our hotel was The Kilcamb Lodge,
 The room was just perfect, about 50 yards from the edge of the loch,
we could hear the water lapping gently over the sandy shore.
Below is the stunning beach, just over the peninsula from the hotel,
it is breathtakingly beautiful.
 We managed to sit in the sunshine for a couple of hours
just taking in the beauteous sight before us.

Here lies part of my Theatre of dreams.

I must tell you all that all the above pics are not taken by me but I have been to each place..
on my holiday... particularly the above beach ..


Many thanks to the terrifically talented Denise Nesbitt for devising  'abcWednesday'
 and the thoughtful Roger for being such a tenacious administrator. 

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The Sea and the Seaside.

Oh! I do like to be beside the seaside
I do like to be beside the sea!
I do like to stroll along the prom prom  prom:
Where the brass bands  play
'Tiddly-om pom pom.

This little ditty is a popular  old music hall song which was written in 1930.
It  reminds me of my childhood, holidays spent on the Isle of Anglesey
North Wales.
There would be a local brass band playing on the promenade, always starting with the ' Seaside' ditty,  along with other popular music of the day. 

The parents would sit snoozing in deck chairs whilst my brother and I entertained ourselves by building sandcastles, we created moats around them and dashed back and forth,
filling our buckets with the in coming sea.

Big brother devised a plan by building a channel to divert the sea into the moat. however he didn't take into account the speed of the tide, which was great because the moat was soon full, but not so great because dear Mama, who was wearing her prized white kid sandals, was soon to be swamped and surrounded by the merciless tide, thus soaking her favourite footwear,

To say, she was not amused was an understatement !
The white kid sandals did not appear again during the holiday!

 Dear father saved the day and took her to a local shoe store and treated her to another pair of white  sandals, although the were not  made of kid skin ...
.Good old Pa sure saved the day. 

We are about to set off again for another holiday on the island , it's about a  2hour drive from our home, which suits us just fine now
There are so many gorgeous beaches around and lots of seafood eateries.
 We usually take a picnic to the beach, (as pictured above).

 Often we buy  Dressed Crab  from a local fisherman's wife, she has a Shack down by the beach, where she lovingly prepares his daily catch.

 Sometimes we splash out and buy a Large Dressed Lobster for our picnic,
 I prepare a large bowl of crunchy salad and coleslaw, along with a freshly baked Welsh loaf, from the nearby working Mill,
 (I shall write more about the Mill when we return from our holiday)! 
 I am not able to swim anymore, but, I sure can SPLASH !

 Fortunately the  Sea is shallow, so Dearest will hold my arms so that I can exercise my failing legs and feel the benefit of the Sea water, which is considered to be of great benefit to people with Rheumatic disorders.

I love the Seaside.......Simple sandy salty........ SUPERB!

The delicious Dressed Crab........ SENSATIONAL...

My thanks to  the Scintillating Denise for devising ABCW and the Socratic Roger for being such a Sound Administrator.....

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

R stands for my fascination for Rivers.

Whilst we were on holiday in Northumberland in the borderlands between England and Scotland we encountered this majestic sight of the River Tweed, ambling it's way around the borderlands of Scotland and England.
We were on our way into Coldstream  the home town of the famous  Coldstream  Guards.
 These are the soldiers, when not on active duty, serve in the Household Cavalry protecting our Monarch at the various Palaces, whenever The Queen is in residence.
Apart from their magnificent battle history , they are also renown for  wearing the famous ceremonial Bearskin as their headwear as well as their splendid scarlet jackets.
I am such a Royalist, my heart really swells with pride whenever I see them on parade.
As we were strolling along the riverside, there were rather a lot of ripples in the water,
 Then, suddenly, the most fluorescent  display of salmon leaping appeared, it was as if they were forming little Rainbows, as they weaved their way up stream, to their spawning ground,
We watched in fascination as the a fisherman cast his line to hook a salmon.
, Apparently, it is quite easy to catch them at this part of the River because they become quite tired after such a long swim from the sea.
We were so enraptured by this resplendent display that we stood in awe, just revering  the moment.  
A lady, walking her dog, stopped to watch and said she had be walking her dog daily for ten years, yet had never witnessed the sight of Salmon leaping in that part of the River
As we walked over, one of the many River Tweed  bridges, from the English side into  Coldstream
 on the Scottish side, it was noticable that the dialect changed considerably, from a lovely 'Geordie lilt into a light Scottish refrain.

Perhaps my  fascination for Rivers stems from the fact that I have spent a lifetime living on either side of The River Mersey.
 It must be an inherent thing, my great grandfather was as Sea Captain in the Merchant Navy,
 my maternal grandfather was a Coppersmith and worked on some of the finest ships ever built on Merseyside........
There lies another tale which would take too long to write but I will when the  right 
letter of the alphabet appears on ABCWednesday, 

My sincere thanks to the rapturous Denise for devising ABCW and to the radiant Rodger for being such a realistic  Adminstrator .  

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Q is for Quill

Let me introduce you to Chico our beautiful Cockatiel, he will be seventeen next month and has kept us suitably entertained over the years.
You may be wondering where the letter Q  enters my little anecdote, then,  I shall tell!

Chico has a lovely tufty feathery adornment on the top of his head, which was christened,  Chico's  Quill by  Ingrid, our daughter.
Ian was away on a golfing trip, his first since he retired, so he knew nothing about the new arrival.
I may have mentioned, there was a lovely 'chicky' cockatiel in the local pet shop that needed a new home but too this day he swears I hadn't mentioned it.
Moving forward...... Bird in situ... He stood bolt upright on his perch not making a sound, staring at us, this went on for two days,. by this time I was rather concerned so I telephoned the pet shop owner, Steve, who reassured me that he was probably just settling in and not to worry.
'Hi girls', I'm home called the errant golfer, slinging his muddy golf bags in the porch.
 With that, Chico let out the most piercing shriek, enough, almost, to pierce one's ear drums!
'Good God', what was that, said husband?
'This' is Chico, I said, we rescued him from the pet shop, he was very lonely as all the other birds have been re-homed', 'I hope that racket is not going to be a daily occurrence', said himself, I couldn't stand that',
Chico quickly settled in.

 Soon we were able to let him out of his cage to fly around the Orangery at the rear of the house, he was very much at home in there because it is nearly always very warm and sunny and overlooks the garden.
Chico developed a deep bond with Ian and whenever he arrives home from wherever, Chico will let out his shriek and go crazy around his cage by flapping his wings until Ian pays him some  attention by tickling his tummy and tweaking his Quill.
 A grand performance often follows, consisting of Chico bashing his hanging bell with his Quill and doing wolf whistles after Ian.
He ends the quirky performance by hanging upside down on one leg and flapping his wings vigorously,  You can imagine the amount of feathers he sheds after this carry on, enough to fill a Quilt!
He spends a lot more time sleeping, as he's quite an 'old boy' now.... Ha, that applies to husband too,
 Often, when all is quiet in the Orangery, husband and bird can be found snoozing harmoniously in the lovely relaxing environment, this is known as having a quick nap,
 I must mention that Chico will be safely perched in his enormous cage and Ian in his favourite armchair. At this time, well, you all know where I shall be,,, yes you've got it... tapping away at my
keyboard, complete with snoozing Chloe cat on my lap,
At around four pm, all awakens for the quintessentially  British ritual, afternoon tea
 I enjoy Yorkshire Tea and some cake, the Yorkshire tea is most thirst quenching.

There!  Quest accomplished... I have run out of  Q's......

My thanks to the  Queen of ABCWednesday, Denise Nesbitt for devising such a quirky quest, and
to Roger who is, without question, a most qualified administrator.


Random Z's