Monday 25 April 2011

Sunny Day Adventures

Easter Friday was such a glorious sunny day that hubby and I decided to go for a walk. We chose a new spot along the coast, where the gorse was blazing in all its golden coconut-scented glory.

The path seemed to go on forever...

But tantalising views kept luring us on...

Could you resist a view like this?

The way down wasn't without hazards. These rocks and pebbles were wonderful to look at, but not so great to walk on!

Here's the view looking out from where I stood on those pebble-stones. You can see how they spread out into the rock pools.

Beyond the pebbles and the rocks the beach was calling...

...a gateway into a secret world.

...with the most amazing cliffs of yellow and amber sandstone.

Just look at those colours! They were even brighter in real life without the sun glare bleaching them out.

Align RightOn the cliffs we could see tiny white spots... seabirds nesting. They weren't seagulls - the were Fulmars - cousins of the Albatross and Petrels.

I went for a wade through the rock pools...

The water was so clear you can hardly see where this seaweed is beneath the water and where it is still on dry sand.

It was a perfectly magical day on a perfectly magical beach.


Friday 22 April 2011

Aberdeen in Bloom

Dad had to see the lung specialists this Wednesday. That meant a trip through to Aberdeen for a three hour visit to the hospital while dad had various breathing tests and X rays. He's been a bit better every visit so they only want to see him again in six months time.

This is the first time any of us have been in Aberdeen at springtime. We were all amazed at how different it looked from our autumn/winter visits. Virtually every bit of bare land along the city streets was crammed full of daffodils.

It was a warm misty morning that slowly cleared into a glorious spring day.

You can still see it's misty here...

but starting to clear.

The flowering cherry trees were breath-taking too.
I got the chance to photograph this one at some traffic lights.

and a close up...

We finished our visit with ice cream at the beach front before heading back home. It was a very good day. :-)

Tuesday 19 April 2011

Daffodil Daze

A few weeks ago we took some visiting family for a drive around the area where we live. We stopped off at Baxters Highland Village, where they make all sorts of delicious things from soups to preserves. It's a really beautiful area. The whole factory and shopping complex is surrounded by river (Spey), parkland and countryside.

Here's the view of the Spey from their visitors parking area.

...and this is where I was standing taking that photo,
on steps going up the hill between grassy banks overflowing daffodils.
Golden yellow ones...

...and white ones.

I never knew there were so many different types of daffodils!

These below were really weird - shaped like little yellow trumpets.

And the difference in sizes amazes me too. These below were really big...

...but this one was so tiny I nearly missed it hidden in a bed of tulips.
I held the stem so you can see my hand size in comparison.

I was in a daffodil daze! ;-)

I took the last photo of daffodils a week later, in the town of Forres.
It's the one I have used for my April Banner.

I just love the combination of colours in this flower tub.

Sunday 17 April 2011

Wednesday 13 April 2011

Yesterday, Tomorrow... Today

Yesterday, Tomorrow...

Tomorrow we bury my mother-in-law. I've tried a dozen times to write a post about her leaving us, but nothing seems to fit. She was here, just a few days ago, now she's gone. As much as we'll all miss her I'm glad it's over. The hospital staff were wonderful and made her last month as bright and gentle as possible, but waiting to die is never going to be an easy journey.

Tomorrow I'll have new stories to tell and memories of all those Yesterdays to share, but Today I'm finding myself thinking about how often we forget that Today really is a gift...

... so this video is for all my friends and family who have battled cancer and won... or lost. However many Todays your life gives you, may you find Love, Peace and Joy in every single one.


Tuesday 12 April 2011

The Pain of Fame

Last night I was talking to my husband about the pain of fame... or to be exact my brief moment of being a "somebody" and how it messed with my head, quite literally.

I mentioned how I once had a writing job (advice column) on a newspaper. When they told me I needed a photo for the column, I was surprised and thrilled. 'Me in the paper? Me?? Wow!'

I must have spent two days figuring out what to wear. That was really daft since the picture was just my head, and you never saw what I was wearing anyway, but (typical woman) I needed to wear something that made me feel good. When it was done, I took my photo in to the newspaper offices. Feeling Very Important I handed it over with a flourish and told the guard it was needed for the next run.
Next day there I was, near the back, lower left page... ME smiling back at me.

Wow. What a rush! What a head swelling ego-smug moment. I wanted to roll in the paper like a cat in catnip. I wanted fireworks and champagne. Reality set in somewhere between having breakfast and going to the local supermarket. Yes, my photo was in the paper… now everyone would see me. It was a small newspaper in a small town, which means any gossip moves at light speed. It would take a very short time for the entire town to know who I was. Everyone would know ME, everywhere I went, all the time.
All the time?
Suddenly I felt as if the universe had placed a flashing sign above my head with a big arrow pointing at me. I felt incredibly visible and the feeling was not good! At the shopping centre, a few people seemed to stop and stare at me as I walked by. I could feel their eyes burning my skin. The unspoken thoughts of, "she looks familiar? Isn't she the one in the newspaper?" seemed to scream in my ears.

I grabbed a trolley and made a dash for the entrance, thinking furiously…

'Try to keep cool. Breath in. Breath out.
They aren't staring at you. No-one is staring.

Oh my GOD, they are STARING at me! I am VISIBLE!
I am this new huge neon-glowing ME and it feels horrible!
I want to be small, invisible ordinary me just browsing the shops. Not this person with the LOOK AT ME arrow above her head.'

At the supermarket entrance there was a turnstile with a hole in the railings next to it where you pushed your trolley through into the shop.

'Quick, quick! Get in there, get the food and get out.
Be cool. Be calm. Don't look stupid. People are watching…
DAMN. There's a fat lady wedged in the turnstile, moving slower than a sea turtle.
Ok, don't panic. You can get through this. You are cool. You are in control.
Push the trolley through the gap, duck down and follow the trolley.
Simple! You are short, the trolley gap bar isn't too low.
You can do this…'

That's the last coherent thought I remember before someone picked me up off the floor. Yes, I am short. Yes, the bar across the top of the area where you pushed through the trolleys wasn't that low. No, I didn't duck down far enough. In my blind animal panic to get in fast and inconspicuously, I ducked at the wrong moment of dashing forward and smashed my forehead into the metal bar, falling backwards flat on the floor while my trolley happily drifted off into the supermarket without me...

and EVERYONE stared.

The pain of fame going to your head is indescribable. ...

Friday 8 April 2011

A Golden Moment

Today is my mom and dad's 50th Wedding Anniversary. :-)

Saturday 2 April 2011

What a Trip!

Yesterday I had the nicest surprise - an email from the travel website Tripbase:

Tripbase Awards 2011

I am pleased to inform you that your site has been chosen to receive a Tripbase 2011 Blog Award.

This year our panel of judges reviewed hundreds of sites from across the Internet before hand-selecting the best ten for each travel category. Your site is among these elite ranks, and can be seen here:

I would like to congratulate you on your continued hard work and achievement in winning a Tripbase Award - this year, the awards have been featured in CNBC, CBS and AOL News. We have created small and large badges for you to show off your achievement to your readers, so please feel free to grab the code and upload it onto your site.

Well done once again, and keep up the great work.

I really can say it was a 'trip' to read that email. Every blogger wants to be recognised as writing stuff worth reading. We wouldn't be here if we didn't want to be read - we'd be at home writing in journals. To have your own readers leave positive comments will always be the most rewarding, but there's no denying that being recognised beyond your regular friends and readers truly is a thrill. Thank you Tripbase. :-)

Friday 1 April 2011

Happy Birthday


If I had words to make a day for you,

I'd sing you a morning, golden and new,

I would make this day last for all time,

Give you a night dipped in moon shine...

Happy Birthday Sweetheart