Friday, 30 July 2010

Just a glimpse

This morning the sun took pity on the people living in and around Ullapool. She rose prettily and daintily in the sky looking very promising, before moving over and making way for the rain!
The sun is out there - somewhere!

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

It never rains....

....but it pours!
This is the cloud that sits over Ullapool. I'm well aware that the rest of the country is on a heat wave, and hose pipe ban, but here we have rain and when it's not raining we have  
 This is the five day forecast. It says light rain. I'm optimistic enough to know they don't always get it right - it could be heavy!
The reason for this weather is because I've hired this lens and had hoped to get maximum  outdoor use with it.
This was taken one morning last week just before it started to rain
And here another day,  just after it finished
There is a little light on the horizon. The sun is going to shine gloriously again next week (after the 6th August) because that's when I return the lens!

Monday, 26 July 2010

Attention to detail

We went to this ceramics exhibition here in Ullapool recently
'Keeping the Burners Lit'
People ask what on earth there is to do here, so far away from the
real world! In truth you need never be bored.  The Ullapool News is crammed
with events, places to go, walks, talks, courses, exhibitions, concerts, markets, not forgetting sheep dog trials and the like!
I loved this piece of sculpture! I appreciate it won't be everyone's cup of tea, and
I can't say what it is I love about it. It's just so very tactile.
This chap Nickolai Globe and his mum Lotte Glob (they spell their surname
differently)  have studios in the highlands of Scotland  (Lotte Glob's house is a work of art too), And both rely heavily on the
surrounding landscape for their inspiration
You see I think Nickolai has walked along the beach
and been inspired
if you see what I mean
And his mum, Lotte, makes, amongst other things the most fabulous bowels, huge dishes and plates, that sparkle with light and colour full of intricate detail
And this is on the beach at the bottom of the garden, lying at our feet. Nature
has done her own thing throwing up light and colour in such tiny detail. It's quite beautiful.
We went to the east coast at the weekend.
That was where the sun was going to be? We
didn't find it, instead I found any number of patterns and shapes in the
There were other people looking for the sun too. 
Actually it wasn't nearly as gloomy as this. I took the photo into
the sun light which made it dark!
I love the great big views
and impressive landscapes to be found here,
but I'm also aware of the enormous attention to detail
and perfection found within the landscape. I'm learning
to open my eyes!

Thursday, 22 July 2010

A new lens and a crash

My computer crashed! It's never happened before
 and at times I've wondered what it would be like if
and when it did.
 These cabbage eating caterpillars have nothing to do with 
the crash
nor does this beach
 nor this lady -there was no one on the beach the day we were there
But I hired a camera lens about a week ago, to try out, and I love it - and my computer crashed shortly after it arrived. And like all things
  digital in the camera world it requires
a computer to view the pictures and it has been a very frustrating
few days.
 My computer is now fixed thanks to Dulcie who owns the Ullapool equivalent
of PC world only better, if not as big. He managed to save everything
on the hard drive, although, for once I'd listened to advice and backed stuff up.
Now I can start uploading hundreds of photos.
What i first took to be  a jelly cube on the beach at the bottom of the garden, turned out, to be a beadlet anemone. Apparently it tucks it's fronds into the top of its head while it waits for the tide to come in. It seemed to be friendly with this little snail.
I found my very own stalactite. It's rather small it's true
  and may 
take several thousand years (about the same time it'll take
to save for this lens) to become even vaguely spectacular. But it was impressive to watch it drip, dripping away doing it's stalactite thing.
I wish I could say I used my time more productively without the computer.
But it wouldn't be true. I started to knit. I thought a jacket or a coat,  but I haven't knitted for a while so am beginning with a guest towel!  I've read more. 'The Summer Book' by Tove Jansson, quickly followed
by the 'Winter Book' which seems more fitting for the Scottish summer!

The lens is a Zuiko digital 12-60 mm 1:2.8-4.0 standard zoom, and it's
wonderful. It costs an arm and a leg to and will require much saving
of pennies!
and, I would like one very much!

Monday, 12 July 2010


If the definition of a weed is an unwanted flower, then there aren't
nearly as many weeds in the garden as I thought.
I think  unwanted flowers look very wanted and pretty and whimsical
in jam jars (though this may have been a chutney jar)
the perfect receptacle for flowers of
the unwanted variety!

Friday, 9 July 2010

Ancient Fort of Dun Canna

Mary and me, together with our ranger guide Lindsey and her impeccably well behaved
dog Ulla, an exemplary example to all dogs every where, set off from Blughsary (a little north of Ullapool) to see the Ancient Fort of Dun Canna
Yesterday morning was big, bright, bold and beautiful, huge skies and clouds that could have been rainy, but weren't
As always, I gawped, open mouthed, at the surrounding loveliness, happy to be part of it.
I wondered if the ancient fort builders ever realised how handy their ancient fort walls would be one day for resting one's camera on?!
 Did they get carried away with the views ? Probably not, they would have been far too busy building fortifications
We sat and ate our sandwiches contemplating how life might have been back then. Lindsey showed us photographs from the museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, of pots, shoes and items of clothing from the iron age showing how people have always had a love of colour shape pattern and design.
 Lindsey not only told us of life in the iron age but pointed out life, here and now.
Wild flowers I would normally have walked over, eyebright, lousewort, bog asphodel, and a particular favourite, butterwort, a hairy carnivorous plant, that eats midges (only not quickly enough!)
Meadow pipit, a bird I haven't been able to identify before, butterflies, a dark green fritillary  and a small speckled wood.
It was a perfect day and it felt such a privilege to be part of it.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Splashing about

We thought it would be a quiet morning. Breakfast and fresh coffee, sitting in the garden in the sunshine
But, we should have known Helen would bring her wet suit with her, and 'sitting' and 'quiet' wouldn't be part of her holiday plan!
Yes, we can see the bottom too Helen!
I'm happy she got us up and out in the canoe to join her. This is the end of the garden and what a playground it is
The water shimmered and sparkled in the sunlight
and, apart from the occasional passer by, we had the entire loch to ourselves!
We stayed near the edge of the shore and peering over the side of the canoe
could share in some of Helen's watery underworld.
It was brilliant she said (at least we think that's what she said!) Clear and beautiful with shoals of small fish swimming by. 
And after playing the toys were put away - til next time
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