Friday, January 30, 2015

winter photo scavenger hunt–January finds

I’m joining Joy and Elaine for their winter scavenger hunt and this month made a concerted effort to find some items, happened upon others and realised I’d got others when looking through my photos.

So this month I give you


3 – an ornate door knocker – I had to keep a good eye out for this as I realised once I started looking that few doors in Edinburgh have knockers


5 – something over 100 years old – this fine granite building was built in the 1830s as Marschial College which later became part of the University of Aberdeen – it is now the headquarters for Aberdeen city council. The tower at the end is not in shadow – it is darker because it was not cleaned during recent renovations as that tower has different owners who were not willing to / could not afford to pay for the cleaning


13 – stained glass window – OK I’m bending meaning a bit here as these are stained glass panels in the window of a gallery


17 – texture from the crochet stitch I was using to make a striped scarf and I liked how the stitch looked up close in the different yarns


18 – shadow of me and some trees on a sunny day early in the month – I do enjoy the long shadows from the low sun at this time of year.

I just counted up and I rather neatly have exactly half of the items at this half way point.  Now I need to find a building site and a fish and decide what I want to use for winter weather.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

pairs week 4 celebrates asymmetry

When I was planning my trip to visit an old school friend at the weekend I though there would be opportunities for a then and now pairing but nothing gelled - in part due to the very small number of photos I have of my school days.

But as soon as we walked into the award winning new University library building I knew I had my pair with the amazing asymmetrical atrium. The hole on each floor is staggered from the one below and each is an irrgular shape - it feels like you are in a frozen whirlwind.

I'm enjoying the variety of pairs - both in looking for something to use as my pair and in the lovely vareity of pairs that you are sharing.  Any kind of pair that makes sense to you is welcome and there are some ideas on the pairs page.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Me on Monday

waving gently as I feel like I’m moving through porridge today thanks to a cold I acquired over the weekend.

But it was a grand weekend as I travelled to Aberdeen and back 30 years to visit an old school friend and walk around our old haunts.  She still lives in the area, in a house we used to walk past on the way home from school.

It was a weekend of reminiscing, patching together shared memories, catching up on what we’ve been doing since then, sharing news of other school friends and wandering around to see what was the same and what had changed (plenty of both). We were lucky to have clear skies and no rain and managed to traverse the patches of ice on some shaded paths.


hope you all have a good week and thanks to Sian for prompting us to wave on Mondays

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Pairs week 3 finding postcards

I went  into the National Art Gallery to buy some postcards for Sian's upcoming postcard swap where she suggests we send postcards of something we love - I thought his was a good opportunity to buy send some picture of great art.  (If you don't know about the postcard swap and want to join in, there is still time, visit Sian's blog here.)

With beautiful clear, blue skies and some sunshine I walked through the park to reach the gallery shop and bought postcards of the watercolours which are only on display in January when the sunlight is so weak that it does not damage the art works.

I'm enjoying the range of pairs that you are all sharing.  You are welcome to link with any form of pairs - there are some ideas on the pairs page.

Friday, January 16, 2015

would you like to live in a book?

it’s one of those fun questions – which fictional books would you like to live in? –which seems easy but actually I found quite hard to answer


About a third of the books I read are from the crime / police / detection genre which while they make a good story are not my idea of a great situation to be living in.  Although taking the idea more broadly, I already live in the city that provides the setting for two of my favourite crime authors – Ian Rankin and Christopher Brookmyre.

Another third of the books I read are of the imagined world genre and here I do have some candidates for places I’d consider living – I’d love to be a dragon rider in Anne MacAffrey’s Pern books or live in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover world or Terry Pratchett’s Diskworld and some of Melissa Scott’s artificial intelligence / steampunk worlds appeal.  Jasper Fforde’s wacky world also appeals, but seeing as one of his plot lines is an organisation which sends operatives to live inside novels, it feels a bit weird to be thinking about living there.

But a lot of imagined world fiction is post apocalypse or dystopian and deals with a breakdown in the old order – which I find fascinating as a the setting for novels but I’m not at all sure I want to live in the world of the Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) or Divergent (Veronica Roth).  I have the same problem with Tolkien’s Middle Earth – at the time he is writing about it there are big wars and upheaval, perhaps I’d like to live there after the end of the Lord of the Rings (and I did live in New Zealand!).

Looking at the other books I read last year, a theme seems to be how people cope is trying circumstances – civil war in Nigeria (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie) or moving to China from USA (Andrea Barrett) or the New Zealand goldfields (Elanor Catton). Again I was fascinated to read about these situations and how people react, but I don’t want to live in them.

Even old favourites like Laura Ingles Wilder and Louisa Alcott and Jane Austen don’t appeal as places to live because life was hard and women had restricted choices. And I realise that one factor in my thinking about which books I would like to live in is the presence of strong women characters.

So, starting from a fun question I end up realising that I’m not drawn to happy, idyllic life books.

How about you?  Are there books you would like to live in?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

week 2 pairs cover both ends

thank you everyone for a wonderful start to pairs - I loved seeing all the different takes on linked pairs and when several of us had a similar pair.

Sometimes I have an idea in mind for my Wednesday photos and sometimes a subject announces itself - which is what happened last Friday when I walked down to the beach and saw a lovely rainbow over the water and then turned left and saw another rainbow and realised that I could see both ends of the rainbow - not sure when I last saw that - cue big smile and camera clicking

the idea of pairs is that we share a pair of photos that are linked such as then and now / up and down / whole and part / his and hers - whatever makes sense to you

looking forward to seeing what everyone come up with this week

Monday, January 12, 2015

Me on Monday


I would be waving but that would make me spill my lovely hot coffee – I’m waving in my mind and thanking Sian for her Monday meme.

It was a weekend of trying to keep out of the rain showers but still venture outside for shopping and a walk and coffee and visiting.

It was a weekend of crochet (hat and scarf set) and thinking about my next crochet project and watching old Dr Who episodes and enjoying the last of the panettone I bought last month.

It’s going to be a week of more dodging showers or getting caught and remembering ‘it is only wet!’; of back to sign language class and hoping I can remember all the basics; of visiting the new bakery; of getting back to the winter scavenger hunt list – there must be some interesting door knockers in Edinburgh somewhere!

Hope you all have a good week despite whatever the weather is throwing at you.

Friday, January 9, 2015

one photo 20 words


the happy unintended consequence of ensuring my bulbs get natural light is that passers-by get to see the cheery blooms

[thanks to Abi for the prompt]

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

1st pairs - a changing scene

welcome to the start of PAIRS where I'm sharing a pair of linked photos and inviting you to do the same - for ideas of different kinds of pairs see my PAIRS introduction page -link at the top of the page

one of the things I most enjoy about my daily walks by the river and Frith is the ever changing scenary with seasonal growth, different birds coming and going and the changing weather.

I walk along the bank of the Esk to where it joins the Firth of the Forth (firth is a Scottish word for wide river mouth - where I am it is about 15 miles across) and one of the most dramatic changes is when fog descends in the Firth and the land on the opposite side disappears.  On Friday, when I took the photo on the left there was no other side but on Sunday, in the right hand photo, it is back.

if you want to join in, you can choose any kind of linked pairs to share, the linky will be open until 11pm (UK time) on Tuesday.  

I'm eager to see what kinds of linked pairs you all share

Monday, January 5, 2015

me on Monday about to investigate

popping in for a quick wave from my computer before I hurry off to a briefing on a murder and start the investigation !


during a quiet weekend of reading, binging on 8 episodes of Dr Who (the David Tennant iteration) and dodging rain I saw a trailer for a free 6 week online course in forensic science which teaches through a case study of a murder investigation.  I remember hearing reports about it last year so decided to sign up this year for some educational past time.  Interested ?  anyone can sign up and it is free at future learn – there is no test but discussion on who you think did it is encouraged. These massive on-line courses seem to be taking off and cover a vast range of topics delivered by top class universities.  Has anyone done one?

A Monday wave is Sian’s lovely idea.

Hope you all have a good week, back to ‘normality’ after the festive fortnight.