Saturday, 30 August 2014

Summer photos 4 - Dreamy views

This post is a selection of photos that make me feel dreamy. :-) The first is the seaside town of Lossiemouth. This photo panorama was taken looking down at the beachfront and Lossie river mouth. 

Next is a tree from Brodie Castle grounds. It took five photos to create this view from where I was standing beside the tree. It is HUGE.

And finally... some magical houses. The last two are gate houses for Castle Grant.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Summer photos 3 - Men in Kilts

My third set of summer photos was actually a very dreary weather day. It was cool and misty when we set off to the Tomintoul Highland Games. It stayed that way the entire day, but we still had fun. I have made several photos into panoramas. You will need to click on them to open up to full size. Here's the setting for the games.

Now, I'm not a Highland Games expert. The only event I know is tossing the caber. Beyond that it was, for me, a day of muscular men in kilts chucking large dangerous objects about. And they do it with a shrug of indifference. There were men flinging weights up over a bar above their heads without bothering to see where it goes. Guys flinging giant metal balls, hammers and weights on chains around, like Thor cleaning house. 

And other contestants stand waiting right next to them, chatting casually. I'd be ducking behind things in anticipation of concussion!

There were other events as well as stalls. Highland dancing and piping competitions. I took a photo of one young piper warming up before his turn in the nearby forest.

We had burgers for lunch. I chose the venison and hubby had the beef. They were excellent. :-)

The best part, for me, was when the clan chiefs marched out in front of the pipe bands. The sound was amazing.

Historically, the clans compete against each other in the games and each clan chief would pick the contestants. It was interesting to see some women marching as clan chiefs.

I love their uniforms.

The back clan chief looked very impressive standing to attention.

I have no idea who he was, but if I were single... ;-D

Happy Birthday to Me! ;-D

I bought myself a new CD with birthday money - TUNESHIP by a Scottish band I love - Daimh.
That's pronounced"dive" for those who want to know ;-)

Here they are talking about their new album. I can't wait to listen to it! I got to hear them live for my birthday a few years back and ended up buying two CDs that night. :-D

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Summer Photos 2 - Bishops, The Wolf and Photobombs

My next set of photos are of Elgin Cathedral. Or the ruins, to be exact.You can click on the photos to enlarge them. Elgin Cathedral was built in the 13th century. It must have been a very impressive and lovely Cathedral.
A former Bishop (Alexander Bur 1362–97) described it as, "the ornament of the realm, the glory of the kingdom." 

So what went wrong? War, of course. Elgin was a powerful centre in its day and much fought after. The Cathedral was damaged several times, but the worst fire damage was thanks to The Wolf of Badenoch in 1390. The "Wolf" was the ferocious and fearsome Alexander Stewart, third son of King Robert II of Scotland.

Here are the doors of the West Front. This section is still fairly intact.

I took a close up of the stone Bishop through the doors...

This cheeky guy photobombed my view of the front. Couldn't resist adding him. ;-)

And finally... a panorama view from the nearby castle of Duffus. Duffus was built in the 12th century, on the edge of Spynie Loch. That seaside loch no longer exists. It's all farmland now. But back in those days ships would sail past that castle, right up to Spynie Palace, which was the where the Bishops of Moray lived.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Summer Photos 1 - Brodie Castle

I've been promising to share my summer outing photos for a while now. I took 200 photos and needed to tidy them up first.

I'll start with our trip to Brodie Castle. It's free to walk in the gardens and grounds and they have a smashing gift shop and tea room. Tours of the castle are available, but you can't take photos inside and tours just remind me of school trips. I prefer to wander on my own. ;-)

My first wondering wandering was seeing this strange shape tree in the gardens. The one on the right - it looks like Buddha is sitting in contemplation. Or perhaps it's an Earth Goddess?

Here's a close up...

The castle grounds from the side.

We walked all the way down to the ornamental pond/lake.

Here's the view looking back at the castle from the edge of the pond. 

There are walkways around the pond with benches. Very pretty.  

Sunday, 24 August 2014

How long Till my Soul Gets it Right?

A fun video with some lovely lyrics.

Galileo's head was on the block
The crime was lookin' up the truth
And as the bombshells of my daily fears explode
I try to trace them to my youth

And then you had to bring up reincarnation
Over a couple of beers the other night
And now I'm serving time for mistakes
Made by another in another life time

(Chorus) How long 'til my soul gets it right ?
Can any human being ever reach that kind of light?
I call on the resting soul of Galileo king of night vision
King of insight

And then I think about my fear of motion
Which I never could explain
Some other fool across the ocean years ago
Must have crashed his little airplane


I'm not making a joke
You know me I take everything so seriously
If we wait for the time till all souls get it right
Then at least I know there'll be no nuclear annihilation in my life time
I'm still not right

I offer thanks to those before me
That's all I've got to say
'Cause maybe you squandered big bucks in your lifetime
Now I have to pay

But then again it feels like some sort of inspiration
To let the next life off the hook
She'll say look what I had to overcome from my last life
I think I'll write a Book

How long 'til my soul gets it right
Can any human being ever reach the Highest Light
I call on the resting soul of Galileo
King of night vision king of insight

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

The Liberation of Man and Beast

I was thinking of Melek Taus, the Peacock angel, of the Yazidi people. I can understand why they used such a beautiful bird to represent a rainbow Archangel

There's no denying that Peacocks are impressive birds. The ultimate LOOK AT ME symbol... and all just to impress the peahens! But then nature does this to the males of many species. The male has to impress to "get the girl." So, he puts on the flashy feathers, the mane, the tusks or antlers.

They recently discovered that Red deer females (does) go for the guy (stag) with the deepest voice. Red deer roar in autumn. Scientists did an experiment - they taped and deepened a stag roar. Turned him from a Tenor to a Baritone. When they played the tape (from a woodland thicket) all the does ran towards the recording. They left their stags and were gone. Fickle hussies! 

The poor stags were left running in bewildered circles.

Male animals know females are choosy. Females only want the best. She wants to be impressed. And that in turn leaves the male constantly insecure. Because he knows his female/s will leave the moment a better prospect arrives. No wonder males started to fake it, like the peacock with his thousand eyes only for her.

We think humans are different to animals, but we are not. Human women want to be impressed. The real irony is that many women despise men who overdo it. They ones who are all ego - puffing out their chests and doing the macho thing. We despise the fact that they believe their own act - that they ARE the feathers and not the runty bird under them. ;-)

But we created them! Our female-animal instinct of choosiness made our males insecure. Because that insecurity worked in our favour. It allowed us to pick and choose the "best" mate. Men will not stop acting to impress until women stop making them feel insecure. Or until men realise women make them feel insecure.

We don't just need women's lib. We need Men's lib as well!

Photos Coming Soon

Last month we had smashing weather and I went on a photographing spree.  I have about 200 photos of local countryside and places. I need to sort them into order, make up a few panoramas. Once they're done I'll post the best ones here. :-)

Here's a "taster" for now. ;-)

Brodie Castle.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Thank You

 Today I was listening to one of my favourite singers - Alanis Morissette. I found a song I hadn't heard in ages on You Tube. Yes, she is naked. Do try to get over it. ;-) It's all about the words and  the people around her. All life is an experience to be thankful for - even death. 

How bout getting off these antibiotics
How bout stopping eating when I’m full up
How bout them transparent dangling carrots
How bout that ever elusive kudo

Thank you india
Thank you terror
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you frailty
Thank you consequence
Thank you thank you silence

How bout me not blaming you for everything
How bout me enjoying the moment for once
How bout how good it feels to finally forgive you
How bout grieving it all one at a time

Thank you... 

The moment I let go of it was the moment
I got more than I could handle
The moment I jumped off of it
Was the moment I touched down

How bout no longer being masochistic
How bout remembering your divinity
How bout unabashedly bawling your eyes out
How bout not equating death with stopping

Thank you... 


Sunday, 10 August 2014

A Different Perspective

A friend shared a fascinating link with me recently. it was about Melek Taus, the peacock angel.

To cut to the important bit. Melek Taus is the archangel worshipped by a group of Kurdish people called the Yazidis. This has led to them being persecuted, because the peacock angel is also known by another name - Shaitan. Yes. Melek Taus is an ancient form of Satan. But his followers are not devil worshippers! 

In their version of the story this archangel rebels when God demands that all angels and archangels bow to Adam. Melek Taus refuses to accept this new creation as being better than he is. He is thrown from God's grace... but he redeems himself. He eventually realises his egotistic mistake. He makes amends. 

Is that why the Yazidis admired him? Because he was the rebel who went too far, but realised it? He wept for 7,000 years. He took responsibility for his mistakes. He grew up.

Quite an awesome variation!

I really like this different perspective on an old story. It has lessons we all could learn from. We all are capable of making mistakes in anger or ego. No matter how big that mistake might be, the only thing that matters is how we deal with it.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Small Addictions

A friend sent me his latest addiction - online jigsaw puzzles! I've always loved doing jigsaws, so I was quickly hooked. Whenever my brain gets tired of words - I go do a puzzle. ;-)

I have two places I like the most:

the jigsaw puzzles has a huge assortment of choices...

It allows you to decide if you want normal shape pieces or weird ones. It also lets you set how many pieces. So you can go from really tricky 200 piece ones to quick and simple 50 piece using the same picture.Another nice feature is that it will allow you to do the edges first. Makes large puzzles a lot easier.

jigsaw planet has a really nice feature. You can upload any photo or picture you have and create your own puzzle. You can also save your puzzles and share them with others. :-) Here's me trying my book cover artwork as a puzzle...

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

All About The Bass

Something cheerful and thought-provoking to brighten your day. All About the Bass by Meghan Trainor.

I love the lyrics! Wish I'd had this song when I was 16. ;-)

Monday, 4 August 2014

Farewell Facebook

For years I was only on blogs. I tried Facebook twice. Didn't like it and left both times. Now I'm back a third time and have been there more than blogs for the past few years.

Why did I leave Facebook in the past? Because it's tiresome and mostly pointless. Yes, everyone I know is there and I can get news in an instant on how everyone is. But most times people post jokes, pictures, more jokes, games... real conversation is non-existent and news vanishes in a deluge of junk.

Why did I go back? Because I do have friends/family who only go onto Facebook. They never read blogs or websites. They don't even do email.

But lately that's not enough. I can't completely stop Facebook. There are still friends and family there who do not connect any other way. But I'm tired of scanning a hundred fragments and pictures in order to find out how my friends are. I think it's time I stepped back into the (more) real world of blogging again!

Friday, 1 August 2014

Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit for August

Happy first day of August!

August birthstones are Peridot and Sardonyx.
Birth flower is Poppy.
The zodiac signs for June are Leo and Virgo.