Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Birthday Pairs

Yesterday was my birthday so I'm featuring my birthday flower - Lilly of the Valley. 

Over the years I have been given several items decorated with my flower and now I have them in my garden too - planted by the previous owner and discovered by me 10 months after I moved in when they appeared.

Monday, May 25, 2015

me on Monday

enjoying some warmer weather with no rain.

Just right for a day at the Big Nature Festival on Saturday which was handily being held locally.  Knowing that I would be sharing this on a meme created by Sian, the Champion of Storytelling, I couldn’t pass by this site/sight


Plenty of stalls to browse plus some interesting talks on

- using wild plants such as nettle, dandelion, clover

- 10 local places that are great for seeing nature.  I had to laugh and applaud at the last item – Aroundandabout – a reminder to keep your eyes open wherever you are for interesting plants and beasties

- a park ranger led walk talking about the creation of the area from the ash piles deposited by the local coal burning power station.  Lots of interesting stuff but the downside is that we were walking at park ranger speed – although I suspect he thought he was slowing down for us!

Then on Sunday I enjoyed a bit of cute animal crochet with a great free pattern for baby guinea pigs from the talented Kati Galusz


Waving to you all before I head out to enjoy more clear weather – have to use it when it is here!

Friday, May 22, 2015

the goslings are here



big enough to be eating grass and already used to having people close by – the parents are used to people too so no hissing


two groups of 6, with one group a bit older than the other


I love how both adult and chick are pecking at the grass in this one


and for the third year the mixed couple of one Canada and one Grey Laggard Goose have a chick – the resulting birds do look different but are part of the large group of geese (of both types) who live along the river)


I might not see any cygnets yet as I saw the swan nest abandoned with 5 eggs in it but no sign of the adults – it might have got wet when the river rose after the rain.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Pairs by the river

Some lovely sunshine in between rain showers giving blue skies and lovely reflections on the river
and a nostalgic return to look up, look down as I did for all of 2013.

My 20th pair and I'm still enjoying playing with the different pairs and being inspired by all of your pairs too.

Monday, May 18, 2015

me on Monday

following the blogland Sian wave on a wet Monday.

My only weekend of May with no diary events it was, of course, full of rain showers.  But I was sustained with chuckles as I remembered bits from  a Friday evening full of laughter watching Dara O’Brien on stage.

Using the rain and wet grass as an excuse not to work in the garden or mow the lawn, I enjoyed suitable pursuits such as playing musical cardigan as I put them on and took them off regularly as the temperature fluctuated.  Also dabbled with water colour


of the pixel kind, transforming a photo of a tulip with Photoshop Elements.

Hoping you all have a good week and that the rain goes away.

Friday, May 15, 2015

more rugby 7s action

most teams start with all hands on the ball – in this case Fiji, who won the tournament


then it is all action - with only 7 minutes in each half, rugby 7s is a fast game with lots of running with the ball


[Scotland against Portugal]



[Samoa against NZ]


[and Australia against Russia]

and some more great lineout jumps


[Scotland against Canada]

but sometimes the jumpers don’t get the ball


[USA and Fiji]

and kicks to convert a try



Having front row seats in a smaller stadium with some sunshine really did make it easier to take good shots – in bigger stadium my camera is on full zoom and I’m at a higher angle and night games mean floodlights - which all change the kind of photos that are possible.

I also had a good number of blurred shots, and some that miss the action but I’m pleased with 10 good action shots.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Rugby Pairs

Plenty of opportunities for great action shots while watching the Rugby 7s and being near the front meant no photo bombing heads to avoid from the rows in front.

Coincidentally Kenya feature in both of these shots - playing New Zealand (left) and Portugal. I was amazed at how high they jumped/lifted in the lineouts and the speed at which they got up and off again after being on the ground - that's athletic fitness for you!

Enjoying all the pairs you are all sharing and the range of interpretations.

Monday, May 11, 2015

me on Monday

back at my computer after a hugely enjoyable and full weekend in Glasgow seeing my nephews and watching 45 rugby 7s games over 2 days.


I’ll share photos of the action later in the week.  Today I wanted to share a flavour of the event – as you can see the stadium is not massive so everyone had a good view of the action – our seats were in the front row on Saturday and 4th row on Sunday – which was an advantage during the wetter parts of the day.

There was plenty of entertainment in all the short breaks between games – such as the mascots joining the cheerleaders


and appreciating all the groups who had dressed up for the occasion – something very odd in seeing a section of the audience all looking the same


with a game of audience ‘where’s wally for any slack moments’ – there are 2 in this photo. 

Plus regular exhortations to join in with singing (sweet Caroline is still stuck in my head) and of course having to choose which team to support in each game and then joining in with lots of cheering and chanting – Kenya and Fiji had the most noticeable groups of fans – in terms of colour and noise.

And every time Scotland was playing there was extra spectacle with flags and cheerleaders and a special graphic of Nessie scoring a try whenever the team scored


Waving to everyone and wishing you all a good week – I’m off to spend to catch up on you all with the 109 posts waiting for my in my reader.

Friday, May 8, 2015

5 in 5 reflections

During one of my visits to the open space at the front on the canal boat, I captured plenty of reflection photos in five minutes for Sandie’s lovely 5 in 5 monthly meme and here are my 5 favourites. 

Despite the rain the canal surface was creating lovely reflections,


with just a bit of ripple for added texture



and an some unexpected excitement when some rowers had to turn around quickly to get out of the way – this one looked as if the length of the boat was the same as the width of the canal (the skipper told us that the water is about 1 metre deep – so I guess they could have got out and lifted the boat if necessary)


and my favourite tranquil water scene – who would have guessed this was in the middle of the city?


and I promise that is it for posts from our canal cruise – next week we switch to rugby 7s!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

floating pairs

Back to Sunday's canal cruise for my pair
nice and dry inside although you can go through those doors onto a small viewing area at the front and the rain was drizzle rather than downpour so I did venture out several times.  Inside the windows offer plenty of view drifting past as well as several refills of tea of coffee.  The boat is wider than a traditional narrow boat to accommodate more people

Looking forward to the normal variety of pairs from all who participate.

Monday, May 4, 2015

me on Monday

waving to you all as I enjoy a bit of sunshine through my window after a wet weekend.

Despite the rain we enjoyed a family outing on a canal cruise in the middle of Edinburgh – if you follow the canal it eventually reaches Glasgow (our skipper told us that would take 3 days)


I coincidentally wore the same colour as the boat

We enjoyed cake and plenty of hot tea and a lovely gentle glide along the canal watching people and ducks walking along the path, the wildlife and reflections (more on Friday for 5 in 5) and different architecture and critiquing what people have done to gardens and extensions. We saw some ducklings, swimming fast to avoid the boat – the first I’ve seen this year.

A busy week ahead with the election and then a weekend of rugby 7s.  Hope you all have a good week.

And in 4 weeks time I’ll be talking about a weekend in Bristol and meeting some blogfriends.  I’ve contacted those I know are near Bristol – if I’ve missed anyone who lives near there or wants to travel there on 30th May then let me know and I’ll include you in the finalisation of details.

Friday, May 1, 2015

April was

April was the month of Easter and my Mum’s birthday and my nephew’s return form a 6 month trip – all of which called for family get togethers for food and laughter

April was a month of contrasting weather – weeks of sun and no need for a jacket followed by cold days of wind and rain


April was the month of the Science Festival which delighted all my senses -

I ate mealy worms and drank tea made from a jasmine flower  and an orange concoction created using molecular gastronomy

I saw the blackest black (vanta black) which is indeed very black and looks like it would feel like velvet

I heard experts talking about the ways in which human use of language makes us unique and how colour has been an important commodity through history

I smelt coffee roasting and salmon smoking and beer brewing

I touched a map to hear associated sounds (developing new technologies)

I made a smartphone microscope

April was a month of digital creativity.  I joined the 100 days project – I’m sharing them on instagram .  Each piece is made using several photographs which  I am turning into a piece of abstract digital art using Photoshop Elements.  To provide plenty of material I’ve been taking lots of photos of colour, texture and patterns of light (sunshine on clouds works very well) so my photos for the month look mostly like this


I also had a play with merging a photo and the person’s initial – having seen some examples on the interweb somewhere – here are my nephew and my cousin’s daughter (for which there does not seem to be a concise term – ‘first cousin, once removed’ is not catchy)


In sign language I learnt about word order – when, topic, description/comment; and the different syllable breaks in spelling words – using finger patterns rather than sound to break a word into letter chunks eg H-ele-na

I read 6 books plus a short story published as a book


Christopher Brookmyre is an Edinburgh author who incorporates an astute observation of people and behaviour around strong narrative based on murder or espionage – I highly recommend him

The Last Days of Dogtown follows an interesting group of characters through several years with interesting stories about each but no central narrative

Bitter Sweets follows a family from India to London and The Binding Chair follows a family from China to Nice – both mix interesting cultural history and norms with stories of family and generational change.

A nicely creative and stimulating month with some much appreciated sunshine – May is already looking busy and fun – happy May everyone.