Thursday 25 November 2010

Posh frocks

Never mind the weather!
we're off to a posh wedding. The morning suit is hired and the hat is bought. Yes, me a hat! It's never been known - apart from my school panama hat.
I love my posh frock. It's just a little bit whacky
I love the colour, the silky alpaca shawl, the linen buttons.
Normal service will be resumed on return. The wedding is in Sussex. Is it snowing there too I wonder? I do hope I shan't be expected to get out and push the car!

Tuesday 23 November 2010

Waiting for the snow

There is talk of snow, but this morning there was blue sky and the sun shone.
I went into Ullapool and on the way home, stopped to take this. A picture of our loch, Lochbroom. It was about midday. Each day the sun sinks a little lower in the sky. Soon it won't get over the mountain tops. It casts long shadows along the length of the loch.
We are due to drive south for a wedding in a few days time. Guaranteed, that will be when the snow comes!

Monday 22 November 2010

Let them eat cake

We did it! Or rather Jo did it. I did the dots and a bit of baking and masses of washing up and putting the kettle on.
 But Jo, who has never done more than make an occasional cake, produced a masterpiece. Jo, who offered (over a bottle of wine I expect!) to make her girlfriend's wedding cake. That special cake, that cake that goes on display for all to see!
She went on a course. Her instructor said there was always one who turned up never having made a cake before but nevertheless gaily rising to the challenge of making their friends wedding cake. Jo admitted, she was that person.

Painstakingly petal by petal she moulded roses
 "They need to be thinner" she wailed, "more fragile"

But I think it's beautiful, and the bride and groom and their guests loved it too. I'm allowed that extremely proud mother moment. I'm amazed, honestly, that she did it  (we met the deadline, finishing at 4.30am on Friday morning (the wedding was that afternoon). It cost her a fortune in time, effort, cake making courses, cake tins, cake cutters, boards, rollers, brushes, boxes, non slip mats (important when driving at breakneck speed through London!)   cake ingredients, including the trial runs, the cakes that failed, the wrong colour icing, She could have paid for their honeymoon (especially if you include my airfare in the cost!)
But what couldn't be bought is that time spent with a daughter, the tears and laughter, the cups of tea, the achievement and the relief,  the sharing of a project, working together. That's priceless.
Well done Jo, and to Matt the long suffering boyfriend, who ate his way through several 'gone wrong' cakes, and  who took the final pictures of the cake on the day. I was travelling back to Inverness by then - an exhausted old lady slumped on the plane. I dreamt later that night I fell asleep on a mattress made of smooth white icing!

Sunday 14 November 2010

Digging up the past

Yesterday morning we walked  up the lane beyond Letters to look at our very own broch at Rhiroy.
I didn't know we had a broch, but a talk given in Ullapool on Friday evening by broch expert Euan Mackie on behalf of the Lochbroom Field Club was so interesting we took up his kind offer of a guided tour out at the site
I think our broch at lochbroom 'Dun an Ruigh Ruadh' (a bit of a mouthful for the postman!) is a semi-broch. Built in the iron age, it was used both as a place of refuge as well as a  defence. Semi-circular, a sort of 'd' shape with the straight edge running along the top of a rocky precipice which helped form part of a defence.
I like to think they put in a large picture window here and enjoyed the same views that we do - 
without the additional houses of course.
Having only recently built, and still not finished, our own house, we were impressed to see this one built on a slope in days before excavator diggers. Those stones are huge!  Real man power.
Euan pointed to the entrance, long since covered over with debris and turf and suggested that in the winter solstice when the sun is at it's lowest point in the sky it would shine directly along the passage. We might wrap up warmly on the shortest day and come up here, sun permitting, open the pretend door and let in the sun.
While engrossed with the past, a little bit of the present flew along the loch. What in the world would my iron age family looking out of their picture window make of this!
It doesn't need me to say that my plane photography is about as good as my bird photography!

Tomorrow I shall be flying south to London for a few days to help Jo, our daughter make a wedding cake for her friends wedding. I shall think of Lochbroom broch and the peace and tranquillity here. It will take just a few hours for me to be back in amongst the busyness and bustle of  London. It took iron age man many years of advancing slowly northwards to reach lochbroom.  And yet we're still looking for ever quicker more efficient ways of getting from 'a' to 'b'

Tuesday 9 November 2010

Not Autumn Watch

It has to be said I'm not very good at capturing wildlife on camera! It's never in the right place at the right time. It doesn't stay still for very long and moves off just as I'm about to take its picture.
Driving home from Inverness at the weekend, was no exception! These migrating swans and geese had come down to rest in the far corner of the wrong  field at the wrong time of day, just as the light was going. We counted twenty five Hooper swans some still juveniles in their greyish coats.
A  large flock of geese flying in perfect "V" formation - until I got my camera out, at which point the formation started to break up.
There must have been hundreds of geese. I couldn't identify them.  There was much noise and activity, and with one flap of the wings they rose in the air together to continue their journey south.
leaving just the swans, moving away from the camera!
And whilst on the subject of bad bird photography, I must show you this. You have to squint a bit to see it. A little snow bunting in summer plumage flitting about on the path ahead of us on a recent walk to Sandwood bay. He put in an appearance as the light was fading and on a day when I'd got the 'other lens' on the camera.
I can 'do' feathers though, particularly this one that was very still underwater in a puddle on the beach, and not going anywhere!

Wednesday 3 November 2010

All in a day

Today, we've had a lot of this
and this
and even just a little of this
A quick shop in Ullapool before driving up the road to Ardmair Point and a walk along the beach.
Just an ordinary day made a little less ordinary courtesy of the weather!
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