Sunday, 27 January 2013

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle is amazing, a huge stone built edifice perched on top of a rocky outcrop, it looms over the surrounding countryside and town. We visited twice, first after dark on the evening of our arrival in Stirling when these long exposure shots were taken and then again the day after to go inside and find out a bit about it.
My general knowledge of history is not great and there was an awful lot of information to take in here, lots of Kings called James to try and sort out in my head. A couple of facts that I have remembered are that Mary Queen of Scots grew up here and that a man, who was some sort of King's entertainer/scientist built himself wings using chicken feathers and tried to fly to France by jumping from the wall that this picture below was taken from. He landed in a pile of manure but lived to tell the tale.

 Quite a lot of the interior of the Castle such as this tapestry and wall painting is reproduction as it had been used as army barracks for a long time before being preserved.


The Wallace Monument as seen from Stirling Castle, we didn't make it up there but admired it from afar.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Very Pinteresting; Colourful

I love Pinterest, I use it for storing all sorts of things that I'll come back and look at at another date, a bit like a bookmarking tool. Here are some images from my colourful board and their original sources wherever possible.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Dunfirmline Abbey and Palace

We picked stopping places fairly randomly on our Scotland trip, Dunfirmline is pretty beautiful. We only stopped long enough to have our picnic lunch in the car and a wonder around the Abbey and Palace ruins and then run into some squirrels into Pittencrief Park. Lovely


Thursday, 17 January 2013

Things from the internet

Is it a choice to wear make up? I wear make up most days for work and if I'm doing something nice where I've taken a bit of care with what I'm wearing but I don't feel any differently on the days I don't wear it. Perhaps because I'm a teacher there's a little less pressure to always look perfect as you're likely to end up covered in paint or glue or play dough or snot.
Ran Ortner's sea scape pictures are amazing! These photos of his work, Swell 2006 have been circulating around tumblr and pinterest recently but there are lots more on his website and his blog  . I'd love to see these in a gallery

How about rapper's lifestyles and self image as a source of creative inspiration? Some fairly sound advice but plenty of swearing too

I used to live in Rome so this new discovery of  a huge auditorium underneath one of the busiest areas of the city fascinated me, it looks unlikely that Rome's metro system will benefit though!

This dress from People Tree is called Helen and it is calling to me. It has the same name as me, long sleeves, a nice collar, fair trade credentials, a sensible length and pockets, I think I must make it mine.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Winter growth and decay


 I took these pictures around my local area over the weekend. January tends to be a bit dull and dark so I set out to find beauty all around, to find new growth and decay. None of these places were anywhere fancy by themselves, the bottom berry pictures were next to metal railings, the thorns to act as burglar deterrents. My favourite are the hydrangeas, they fade so beautifully over the winter and the delicate skeleton is revealed slowly.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Update: Neat Ripple Blanket

Back in October I shared some pictures of my work in progress crochet ripple blanket. Three months later I thought I'd add an update on my progress. I haven't done much on it recently as I've been working on this grey not-granny-square blanket as a friend's Christmas gift. I'm still really working on that, I did show it to my friend at Christmas but it'll be awhile before she gets it.

I unrolled the neat ripple blanket this morning from its temporary home where it had been living for the past month or so in order to check my progress, its slightly wrinkled and I'd left it in the middle of a row. I'm eager to get on with it again though now.

In the last pictures I shared, I was working on the pick row that's in the middle now, so I have done quite a bit more. I think I'm about halfway through the yarn I've got so it should end up being double this length. I need to finish up the grey blanket for my friend first, but I really want to work on this too!

Friday, 11 January 2013

Painting with light

 Being on holiday in Scotland in January means very little daylight for not a long time, this was exacerbated by the fact that we were on holiday and therefore went to bed quite late and slept in as much as possible.
These pictures were taken near Stirling Castle when I still wanted to take pictures but had no natural light and no tripod.
We took it in turn to paint with light and see what effects we could come up with. I tried to write, this last picture is a letter S! I actually really like these shots even though they're a bit mad.My friend said they could hang on a travelodge wall, which is a sort of compliment/insult.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Hogmanay in Edinburgh

 I spent new year's eve in Edinburgh on the start of a weeks holiday with friends in Scotland. We had a super time. I've written a little bit about Edinburgh before, it's a city I feel quite connected to but don't actually know that well.
We booked our accommodation quite late and ended up staying quite a way out of the centre of Edinburgh, we hadn't had any breakfast so by the time we got into town we where hungry! Jenners department store used to be a rather fancy place, the central Edinburgh store still is but in general they're now owned by House of Fraser  and so not quite exciting. Either way we got a huge pile of food and felt much better.

The day passed with rather a lot of walking and being touristy. We headed for the Castle first, pausing to pose with a golden postbox and a piper then walked all the way down to the Scottish Parliament at the other end of the royal mile, then trekked back up again to see Greyfriar's Bobby

After all that walking we found a pub and spent a couple of hours in doors being warm and eating before heading out to the street party. The set up for the Princes Street celebrations is a bit confusing, there's a flat £15 rate to get into the streets then there are several different stages with stuff going on, some of which are very expensive and others have no extra fee. We were not particularly interested in seeing any of the bands but we love a cheesy dance party so we headed for a stage that had a big wheel to spin to decide what year to play music from. We danced it up until midnight stopping every hour for fireworks and then a huge display of fireworks at midnight.


 Happy 2013!