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26th April 2017 (Wednesday) .... 08.00 We have “bright and sunny” this morning, but it is forecast to cloud over later: and, that cauld wintry feel to the air, is still with us. I’m organised for Leven, and Kirkcaldy; I only have the bird feeders to fill...cannae neglect “Blob and Co".... and have a cuppa.
25th April 2017 (Tuesday) .... we have some interesting clouds around this morning .... oh... jings, I nearly forgot; we also have a thin layer (1cm) of snow .... snow having the audacity to fall onto The Royal Burgh! .... this is not
I’ve been out for a walk; up to the Pony Field and golf course, then down to the beach. There are heavy clouds that could bring in more showers of snow/sleet, but the sky seems to be clearing from the West so we might end up with a bonnie, if cold, afternoon. Jimmy needs to go shopping so that will take us up until lunch time. I might get the bike out in the afternoon.
22.30 I never did get the bike out,... there was a gale o’ wind most of the afternoon, with the odd shower (hail/sleet) passing over, so I abandoned any thought of biking. Having said that I did walk down to the beach in the early
evening.... by this time the wind had dropped and it was quite warm in the evening sunshine, and I enjoyed a pleasant half hour bumbling around the edge of the tide. Oh .... the snow that we woke up to, didn’t last long .... it had disappeared before 10.00.
Jimmy and I did a ‘quick shop’ in Leven in the morning, and had a cuppa in Ivy when we got back.... that took us up to lunch time. My afternoon was taken up making Macaroni Cheese and working around Ivy. Jimmy came along later in the afternoon, and we sat in the Hutte drinking tea and watching the birds. The Blackbirds are feeding young so they were busy trying to find food: I gave them ‘Cheese Worms’, and some apples, to help them get through the day. ‘Scrawny Bag’, (female Blackie), is getting to be as tame as “Blob” and comes into Ivy if I’m not quick enough with the food!
Jim and Jimmy came for our weekly ... ‘sort the world out’ over a cuppa Tuesday evening natter. We covered a variety of topics tonight; I think we
even mentioned ‘Brexit’ at one time.
Tomorrow I drop the car orf at Leven, then take the bus to Kirkcaldy to buy a pair of shoes (Clarke’s). I’ll have lunch etc. before going back to leven to pick up the car. The weather forecast is for it to be much the same as today ... minus the snow.
Photographs : Top – The golf course this morning, Middle and Bottom - the beach in the early evening... absolutely gorgeous.
24th April 2017 (Monday) ... 08.00 we have a “bright, breezy and cold” morning ... a good morning for being out and about, well wrapped up,
or sheltered from the wind. My ‘plan’ involves taking the Fiesta along to the garage for a check over.... and I might as well go to Sainsbury’s for a coffee... and a wee ‘shopping’ .... when I’m finished at the garage.
20.00 Jings ... we had one wild spell of weather in the middle of the afternoon; heavy showers of hailstones, with a wind of at F8. I did not go out on the bike today. The wind dropped by evening time, but the heavy shower clouds remained.... and it was much colder, with a real wintry feel to it.
The mechanics are happy with the Fiesta, but, and I was expecting this .... the timing belt has to be replaced. I am happy to do this, and have the wheel arches made good. ‘She’ goes in for the timing belt on Wednesday, and
when that is done I’ll go down to Kingdom Auto to see about the wheel arches. After all this work is done, I’ll have a run to Pettycur Harbour to celebrate.
As ‘planned’ I went to Sainsbury’s and had a cuppa and some kind of “Puku” building biscuit. It tasted good... so it mostly likely wasn’t. Good i.e. I also did a wee ‘shopping’ when in Sainsbury’s, then went across to the ‘Cheap Shop’ to get some ‘monkey nuts’ for the birds. The Leven trip was a complete success.
When I was down on the beach this morning I met, and was talking to a
lassie lady from Edinburgh; we got round to talking about local history, mostly Earlsferry local history. I like talking about Earlsferry .... and could have
gone on longer/forever.... and would have walked along to the Pilgrim’s Pier with her, but I was ‘running late’ for Leven; this was a pity, because this lady was really interested in the history of both villages,... and she is away back to Edinburgh.
Jimmy needs to go shopping tomorrow so we’ll go along to Leven to get him some food, probably in the morning. It’s forecast to be windy and cold again tomorrow, so a good day for shopping.
Photographs : Top – looking West from the Cockstail Rocks, Middle and Bottom – the Cherry Blossom in Letham Glen, Leven.
23rd April 2017 (Sunday) ....... “Happy St George’s Day” to all my friends in Merry England this morning.... do a bit of the Morris dancing, pick dandelion flowers to make wine with; enjoy your Patron Saint’s Day, whatever you choose to do!
We have a slightly overcast and cool morning in the East Neuk, but it should
brighten up later on. I’ve been ‘doon at the harbour’ and roond Elie Estate on the bike; it’s a nice morning for being active. I’d do some Morris dancing but I’m clean out o’ bits o’ wood: and my knees are sair!
21.30 I had to make do with the Union Flag for St George; I must get a proper St George’s cross flag for next year. I have been fairly busy today; going down to the harbour and round Elie Estate on the bike before breakfast.... then some gardening after breakfast: and I managed to get dirt under my nails like a proper gardener does. No wonder I was feeling ‘weak and tired’ by lunch time. Having said that Jimmy came along for a cuppa ..... he likes the Lemon Tea stuff that he gets in Lidl’s. I had run out of his Lemon stuff, and gave him a cup o’ Tetley Finest yesterday, nae milk or sugar... the way I take it. He didn’t like that; and brought along two jars of his ‘lovely’ Lemon Tea this morning. My reputation for tea/coffee making is not good.
I continued with the gardening in the afternoon, until ‘weakness and tiredness’ caught up with me: I fell asleep , only for 10 minutes or so, in the Hutte, and woke up with “Blob” perched on my shoe... glowerin’. He had cleaned up the Hutte floor and was looking for more.
The bird bath has been used; I know this because the water has more or less
disappeared. I’ll fill it up tomorrow morning.
I notice that the ‘BT Hub’ is flashing and the men, are not working at the ‘phone box cupboard’... so it must be people playing games on the computer and choking up the lines. Apparently this is a UK wide problem. Everything was fine up until about 17.00.... now I get five minutes uninterrupted online then five minutes offline, up to 22.00 (ish) then it’s Okay again. I guess their ‘games’ will be getting interrupted too!
The weather forecast for tomorrow is for it to me much the same as today... only colder.
Photographs : Top – the Harbour this morning, Middle – Kinneuchar Loch this morning, and Bottom – the harbour this afternoon.
22nd April 2017 (Saturday) .... 08.00 Gorgeous morning for ‘Crane
In’.... ‘bright and sunny’ with a light westerly wind. A braw morning for watching the boats goin’ in..... though it is cool; and will be even cooler down at the harbour! There are a few clouds appearing from the West... they always add interest to photographs... though we won’t need clouds to do that at ‘Crane In’..... there will be plenty, interesting, ‘nautical’ activity going on. Orf to have a cuppa.
20.30 ‘Crane In’ went smoothly, and all the boats were ‘in’ before midday; except the wooden boat I; the owner didn’t turn up so it remains on the ‘grass’... where it has been for 18 months. It was cold down at the harbour, but braw in the ‘Club House’, where I had a cuppa with Jimmy and Steve. After that I left the warmth of the Club to go out and get some photos. I spoke to a lady from Lower Largo; she was taking photos, for an ‘exhibition’ in the Elie Sailing Club in August, from the top of the hill... and was ‘frozen’. I then wandered out to the pier and took a few photos of the activity; the harbour is
‘alive’ again after what seems to have been a long winter. John arrived at the harbour, having walked over from Shell Bay caravan park ... John has to do 10,000 steps every day: not Linda’s instruction: John was wearing his “Fit-Bit”, which is like having a ‘trainer’ with you 24 hours a day. I wonder if I should get one?
Jimmy went along to Chapel Green for his morning walk, as did John ... on his way home to Shell Bay... by which time I imagine he must have almost covered his 10,000 steps for today. John and Linda come over most weekends.
In the afternoon... after a quick ‘50’ .... I set up the bird bath: and it has been well used already .... including by “Blob”. The wood Pigeons have still to
find it... they empty it when they have a bath... with water flying everywhere.
I notice that my BT ‘hub’ is going off at regular intervals; uploading the Hutte could be a tricky job tonight. I have to do the uploading in the intervals it is working. The problem, it seems, e have the workmen installin new connections up at the 'phone box'.
We have had a lovely, if cold, day .... in fact there’s a wintry feel to the air; and it is forecast to become colder over the next few days.
I read on the news that Minke Whale had to be rescued round at Shell Bay.... I’m wondering if it will show up in Elie Bay next!
Photographs : all taken at ‘Crane In’ this morning.
21st April 2017 (Friday) .... 08.30 It’s overcast and windy this morning, but dry: I hope it stays that way, because I have two jerseys on the
line. The sun is forecast to break through later in the afternoon, so I’m feeling ‘positive’ .... and ‘friskier’ than I have done for the past few days.
The only ‘plan’ for today, is the setting up of a bird bath; “Blob” and friends need to have a bath now and again. I have the equipment, all I need to do is fit it all together!
21.30 Mmmmm.... this has been a sort of ‘mixed up’ day for me. For a start I didn’t get the bird bath erected: but I did fill the bath part so the birds
could have a bath, but it’s on the ground, and I don’t like that: the problem was it began to rain so I went to Leven to do some shopping.
The ‘Food Bank’ folks were in Sainsbury’s; I donated and ended up with two new ‘girlfriends’. When you really think about it there’s something far wrong with our country, when some folks are relying on food donations. I mean we can afford to fight unwinnable wars (at great cost in both money and lives), but can’t afford to take care of our own folk? .... this is something the Government should be ashamed of. However as long as there are folks, like my ‘new girlfriends’, caring about the less fortunate, there is hope .... and ‘love’ ... in this country; no thanks to the Government. Moan over .... but I feel better after that.
You will remember the jerseys I mentioned in the first paragraph? When I
got back to Ivy I suddenly remembered them too, .... they were out on the line; my two soaking jerseys, out on the line, I might add!... because they had been well soaked in the heavy shower that rattled over when I was in Leven. I put them (the jerseys) through the spin cycle and hung them up on a ‘horse’ in the Hutte. So all’s well that ends well.
There will be much activity at the harbour tomorrow morning; the boats are being ‘craned in’ .... starting at 09.00(ish). I have a suspicion that Jimmy and I will be ‘doon at the harbour’ for most of the morning. The weather forecast is ‘mostly bright and sunny, with a light westerly wind... and slightly colder.
Photographs : Top – interesting sky, this morning, over Elie Bay, Middle – Elie harbour in evening sunlight, and Bottom – part of the Elie Estate road that I bike.
20th April 2017 (Drop in Cafe Day) .... yes .... it’s a bonnie morning, “bright and sunny” with a light westerly breeze; definitely a morning for visiting St
Andrews Botanic Gardens. There will be lot of light about, so it will be a fast shutter speed. I’ve been up to Chapel Green on the bike, for a wee bit of pre breakfast exercise; it is a good day for being ‘out and about’. I’m orf to get the camera and stuff ready.... then have a cuppa.
20.30 Jim and I had a really good morning up at the “Botanic Gardens! (St Andrews); with most of the time being spent in the ‘Butterfly House’. It is full of mostly Southern Hemisphere butterflies.... and is cosy, being 27c. There are coat hangers on which to hang your jackets etc.... because you are leaving a temperature of 9c to go into a hot 27c. With it being a bright day the butterflies were all over the place, but most of them settled to feed now and again. You had to tread carefully as they settled on the floor .... or even on ‘you’. Jim and I didn’t have that problem ... we look like newly opened flowers! The only problem we had was the camera lens steaming up, but it did eventually reach ‘room’ temperature and we were able to get a few photographs. We were in the ‘Butterfly House for nearly an hour, and were in much need of something to drink by the end of the hour! There’s a ‘cafe’
place which sold, among other things, Ginger Beer; that, the Ginger Beer, appealed to both of us, and we sat outside in the, by now, warm sunshine enjoying a really refreshing drink .... it was warm but not 27c warm! We were back in ‘the Royal Burgh’ by 12.30.
We had the ‘Drop in Cafe’ this afternoon; which was quieter than usual, but enjoyable as ever. Lexie told me that Geordie Glen had died, (originally Colinsburgh, but moved to St Monans). This news brought on a spell of reminiscing about the Colinsburgh ‘boy’s and girls’ of the 50’s and 60’s: ‘Tempus Fugit’.... irretrievable time right enough.
Tomorrow’s weather is forecast to be cloudy and cooler with the chance of
showers, ending with a brighter afternoon/evening. I have ‘nae plans’ for tomorrow .... apart from getting out on the bike at some point... weather permitting.
Photographs : Top – Autumn Leaf butterfly (doleshallia bisaltide) from South Asia and Australia, Middle – Malachite butterfly (siproeta stelenes) Central and South America, and Bottom – newly hatched ‘Owl Butterfly’ (caligo martia)... from the rain forests of Central/ South America and Mexico.
19th April 2017 (Wednesday) .... 09.00 Hmmmmm .... it is overcast but dry (though it looks like we could catch some spits and spots o’ rain), with
a light, and warmer, Westerly wind; and, we should get some sunny spells in the afternoon. I don’t have a ‘plan’ for today: I’ll probably get the bike out after I have another cuppa.... I need some exercise. Cars are useful; but not but not when it comes to keeping fit.
12.30 It’s actually cooler now than it was first thing.... the wind has increased in strength, and with that so has the chill factor. I walked along the beach for the papers, and ‘bumped into’ Myra at the top of School Wynd; Myra reckoned that I looked like a ‘stray mutt’ (I must remember to brush my hair before I go out), and invited me to join herself and Jim in the ‘Harbour House’ for morning coffee. This was a good opportunity to quiz Jim and
Myra aboot the ‘tram recording’ thing I ‘came across’ the other day; Jim and Myra come from opposite ends of Kirkcaldy, and know the whole town like ‘the back o’ their hand(s)’. Geoff came in and the four of us chatted about nigh on everything important .... this did not include the upcoming General Election. Marcia ‘dropped in’ for morning coffee .... it seems like I haven’t seen her for ages: ‘Harbour House’ was busy. Jim and Myra left to go to Dundee and I wandered back to Ivy.
20.00 The sun broke through about midday, and we’ve had a bonnie afternoon/ evening.... though quite cool, in what by now was a ‘brisk breeze’. Jimmy came along in the afternoon, and we ended up going to Leven, where I bought ‘Blob Fodder’ .... and ‘Oral ‘B’ toothpaste; both purchased in the ‘Cheap Shop’. We didn’t even go to Sainsbury’s for a
cuppa; but had one at Ivy.
Tomorrow Jim and I are going up to St Andrews Botanic Gardens with our cameras; the weather forecast is ‘nae bad’.... overcast mostly, but brighter than today. I’m looking forward to seeing the ‘signs of Spring’ around the gardens ... and the Butterfly House. We should get some decent photographs; don’t want too much light about when photographing Spring buds and colourful butterflies.
Photographs : Top – Elie beach, Middle – further out on Elie beach, and Bottom – the Ferry beach.
18th April 2017 (Tuesday) .... 08.30 It is a lovely morning, (after an early frost), but there is a layer of thin cloud that needs burning off before we
get some warm sunshine. I’ll get the bike out, after the sun gets going! I have nae plans formulated for today .... apart from an appointment at St Andrews later in the afternoon. However, after breakfast I’ll load up the car boot with shopping bags etc, ready for a shopping session (small)... probably at Morrison’s.
22.30 We’ve had a lovely day in the East Neuk .... it was 12c in the garden around midday .... it was so hot that Jimmy and I nearly had an attack of ‘the mauchless’; we were sitting in the Hutte. The temperature inside the Hutte was 24c; I had to open the door.
In the morning we went out for a short run along to St Monans then up to Arncroach in the Fiesta to find out where funny noises were emanating from:
they came from the tools, which were fixed metal to metal, and rattling like the clappers. That’s sorted. ‘She’, the car, goes into the garage to be checked over on Monday morning.
The afternoon was taken up with the trip up to St Andrews; that was a successful mission, as my PSA levels are continuing to fall: I go back in three months for another check.
I can’t believe that we’re going to have another General Election! This means we’ll have to go through seven weeks of promises being made that won’t be kept, and all of that kind of stuff .... again. Oh.... I think I’ve sorted out why President Trump and Kim Jong- un are so grumpy, and threatening war .... it’s their hair! Both of them could do with a better hairstyle: they would then feel better about themselves .... and be able to concentrate on the
beauty, that is all around them, on this Planet of ours! That’s those two sorted out!
Our weather is forecast to be ‘cloudy but dry’ and warmer with the chance of sunny spells later in the morning. I might get the bike out first thing, and go up for the papers!
Photographs : Top – West end of the Ferry beach from the Cockstail Rocks, Middle – Elie from “Nana's Seat” and Bottom – Elie House sycamore.
17th April 2017 (Monday) ..... 08.00 Our weather is, “overcast, but dry, with the chance of a few showers later” .... not a bad morning for doing
things, even if it is cool in the Westerly breeze. I’m feeling ‘fresh and playful’ this morning, but, I have things to do so the ‘playing’ will have to wait. Must ‘go’ ... “slight flap on”; the kettle will be boiling.
21.30 I have a hectic day, and will be glad to get to bed to read a bit more about Yorkshire circa 1938. My ‘mission’ for today was to ‘scrap’ Sooper Buggy, then get the ‘new’ car taxed and insured ; and this has been done.
I began by phoning ‘Noble Re-Cycling (Kirkcaldy)’ to see if they were open today; they were, so I promptly jumped into ‘Sooper Buggy’ and drove her along to the scrap yard. She was running like a sewing machine, but there were far too many other things going wrong so she had to go. There was an element of sadness about this ‘mission’; ‘Sooper Buggy’ was the last car that Maggie and I shared. Before I left Ivy I’d made my mind up to walk, and photograph, my way down to the Bus Station from the ‘scrappies’, stopping for a cuppa and scone at ‘Reject’s’, this would help me come to terms with the finality of ‘Sooper Buggy’ being re-cycled. The thing that amazed me was ....
I got £40 for ‘her’ (Sooper Buggy); I thought I’d have to pay the Scrap Merchant!
The distance from Noble’s Re-Cycling Depot down to the Bus Station, has been ‘tracked’, but it hasn’t come up on Facebook yet; I think it will be about 4 kilometres... my legs felt, and still feel, as if it was ten! Anyway it was an interesting walk, and I arrived at the Bus station, with time to spare before the X60 arrived; I had another cuppa ....and ate a biscuit; the biscuit was not tasty.
The journey from Kirkcaldy to Elie went quickly: Dave (Leitch) got on the bus at Leven and we chatted: mostly about how lucky Joyce was! The Bowling Green opens on Saturday, but I’m wondering if I should join... my hand, and now my other knee are not ‘bowling’ friendly at all.
Back at Ivy I transferred the car insurance, to take effect immediately, then
had a ‘lit bite’ before wandering along to Jimmy’s to pick up the Fiesta. Jimmy and I then took ‘her’ up to Colinsburgh for air, and ‘food’. At first I couldn’t use my tyre inflator generator gadget; the cigarette lighter thing that it (the inflator) plugs into had been adapted.... however Jimmy fiddled about and a plastic bit fell out of the cigarette lighter and my inflator now plugs in ... and works. Air used to be free at garages .... now it costs a £1.
I am one ‘tired ‘boy’ tonight... my eyelids keep falling down over my eyes and the lights go out: methinks it’s time for bed!
Photographs : Top – our local’ Bank Branch .... Rosslyn Street Kirkcaldy, Middle – a recording thing next door to “Bogart’s”... a Kirkcaldy pub, and Bottom – Pathhead and Sinclairtown Co-operative Society entrance.
16th April 2017 (Sunday) .... 07.30 Welllll... it’s overcast but dry, and cold in the brisk North westerly wind; a nice enough morning but you have
to be well wrapped up. I’m ready for the Easter Service at the harbour; which is held in the lee side of the Sailing Club, but even then it will be cold. Everyone will be well ready for the warming breakfast rolls, and cuppa, up at the Kirk Hall.
20.00 I’d say that today’s ‘Elie Harbour Easter Service’ was the best one yet; The Minister, The Rev Iain Hamilton was excellent... and using a potato and golf ball to get the Easter Message across was original and brilliant. The weather was fine, grey but dry, and, it wasn’t too windy. ‘Breakfast’,
bacon and egg rolls, in the Church Hall was, as always, very tasty ... and welcome. There was an excellent attendance at both the Service, and the Breakfast.... I enjoyed both.
The rain came on about just as I got back to Ivy; it was never heavy .... but was wet. Jimmy came along and we had a ‘morning cuppa’. Jimmy took orf
for the Sailing Club, I decided that, as it was raining, I’d bake some scones. That took me up to lunch time.
The rain cleared away, and Jimmy arrive about the same time; we had an afternoon cuppa, before Jimmy went off home to see Ian(his son) and I went round Elie Estate on the bike. By this time the sun had broken through, and we had a lovely afternoon on our hands... apart from the fact that the wind was now from the Southeast.; and you know what I think of winds with ‘East’ in them!
Back at Ivy I found Jimmy ensconced in the Hutte with a ‘Fish Supper’; we shared the supper, which was followed by another ‘cuppa’. The ‘fish supper’ took care of food for today, in fact food for today was more or less totally taken care of.... I only had to make my porridge in the morning.... and have some fruit at lunch time.
Meanwhile, down in Sussex, Michael and Janice got ‘up’ early to go to the Bluebell Railway (Sheffield Park) where there was a very important visitor ... the “Flying Scotsman”! I saw a video clip, on the BBC News, of ‘her’ making ‘her’ way down to East Grinstead from York, the other day. The “Flying Scotsman” is down there for a week.
Photographs : Top – The Rev Iain Hamilton in action this morning, Next – The “Flying Scotsman” letting orf steam, Next – Janice and “Flying Scotsman”, and Bottom – “the Flying Scotsman”.
15th April 2017 (Saturday) .... 09.30 Oh my word .... it’s cold out there this morning; a definite touch of winter in the air. I’ve been up to Elie
on the bike; Okay going East .... hard work coming back into the West wind. In spite of the drop in temperature I’m feeling ‘brighter’ this morning .... almost frisky in fact. I’ll go out and do some more stuff in the garden .... after another morning cuppa.
20.00 I’ve had a busy day.... a busy day that included doing some work in the garden. After my morning cuppa (mentioned above) Jimmy arrived needing to go to Leven to get the car washed; so that was the first mission. It’s one of the few times that we’ve been to Leven without going to any of the shops to buy vitally needed ‘stuff’; and instead of going to Sainsbury’s for a cuppa we went straight down to ‘Lorraine’s Place’ at the sailing Club, and had our cuppa there. By this time the sun was up and had warmed up the air some.... the wind, unfortunately did the opposite.... but this did not deter the holiday folks, who were out and about, around the harbour and on the beach. Many of the boat owners were busy getting their vessel’s ready for ‘Crane In’ which is next Saturday, the 22nd. The harbour will be a busy
place that morning: let’s hope that the weather is kind.
I didn’t get into the garden until after lunch, but when I did I did so with ‘gusto’: a short lived spell of ‘gusto’ as it turned out: I ended up in the Hutte having ‘50’. I only ‘rested’ for 10 minutes or so, but I was refreshed and even more full of ‘gusto’ than I had been earlier. Jimmy arrived so we had a cuppa then went down to the sailing Club; the gardening, and the ‘gusto’ had been, quietly, put on the ‘back burner’.
The villages are really busy, which is always good to see, .... it’ a pity that we’re going through a cold spell of weather. That said, the cold hasn’t stopped folk from going to the beach. I guess the only ‘downside’ is the ‘parking’ .... the streets are choc a bloc, and parking is tricky. I noticed yellow stickers on some, illegally parked, cars; the Traffic Wardens have been
Tomorrow morning we, the EKC Church, have an, outdoor, Easter Service down at the harbour, on the lee side of the sailing Club; this is followed by tea/coffee and breakfast rolls in the Kirk Hall. The Service starts at around about 08.00. It will be chilly so wrap up warm; showers are not forecast until later in the morning.
Photographs : Top – Elie Harbour, Middle – ready for ‘Crane In’ next week, and, Bottom - The ‘Sailing Club’ .... if you look closely you can see Jimmy ensconced in the ‘Royal Chair’.
14th April 2017 (Friday) ..... 08.30 It’s overcast and cool this morning, ... which is, more or less, what the weather is going to be for the
whole of the ‘Easter Weekend’. I’m going to spend most of ‘Good Friday’ pottering about in the garden.... but I will find time to go out on the bike. Having said all that, I’m actually feeling lethargic; I need a cuppa.
16.30 My ‘day’ has been productive re the garden,.... and I managed to fit a quick bike run up through the Estate. On reflection it wasn’t that quick; a couple of folk out jogging, were moving faster than I was biking; I was glad when I saw Stuart, and was able to stop for a blether ... a good excuse to let the joggers past: quite embarrassing really. I’m thinking this growing older is challenging; I might have to stop climbing trees next. However, back at Ivy I forgot about being overtaken by the joggers and got ‘tore into’ the weeding. I am pleasantly surprised to find that I can comfortably do ‘gardening’; the first time in two whole years. I’ve even been able to uproot weeds that were beginning to think they were ‘flowers’. Flowers? .... maybe they were ‘flowers’! It started to rain at 15.01; I put the kettle ‘on’ at
Jimmy went along to the Windmill to visit Chris in the afternoon; after the spits and spots of rain, (the ‘rain’ never came to anything else) I sat in the Hutte with a cuppa, and did a Soduko. I’d probably have fallen asleep but my nose was too cold. Had I been a dog, I’d have been a healthy one. I wonder if dogs feel their noses are cold? Do dogs think ... “ OMG, my nose is hot I must have a bug”? No probably not; too busy looking for a butt to sniff. When you think of it dogs have a no bad life .... apart from the butt sniffin’, and rollin’ on something mingin’, thing! I’ve gone orf being a dog!
20.00 We end ‘Good Friday’ with a lovely evening, though rather cool in
the brisk wind. I’ve had a good day, mostly pottering in the garden..... in fact, I feel tired, though I don’t think I’ve done that much work. Tonight I start a ‘new’ bedtime book; a travel book about Yorkshire, written in the 1930’s. I’ll maybe need to go down to Yorkshire to see how it has changed in the last 80 years.
Photographs : Top – Good progress being made on the Elie Deli building, Middle – Kinneuchar kirk from the south side woods, and Bottom – Ivy Cottage double daffodil.
13th April 2017 (‘Drop in Cafe’ day .... formerly Thursday) .... 08.30 we have “cloudy with bright spells and a brisk wind” this morning; looks
like being a nice day though the wind chill factor will affect the temperature. I’ve hung out a washing.... now I’m having a cuppa and contemplating the garden; but I think I’ll go for a walk along the beach before I tackle something as dangerous as weeding in Ivy garden! There are some strange looking things out there that end up in “Blob”; he eats anything that moves.
22.30 When I checked the tide tables and found that low tide was around
about 10.30 this morning I decided to go down to the beach: the top of the former sewage pipe looked inviting, so I went out to the end of that and pottered about on the wee beaches. It was a really lovely morning by this time, and it didn’t feel cold. When I’m out on lonely beaches I ‘sing’ away to myself, and this morning I was givin’ “Nicky Tams” laldie, when I thought I heard voices! To my horror I had heard voices; the seaweed gatherers were ‘gathering’ seaweed’ ... (what else).... about 50 metres away, on the other side of the skellie. Luckily for them the wind was blowing towards me and they wouldn’t have heard me; I think! Anyway I didn’t take any chances, I stopped ‘singing’, ‘took’ a few photographs, then, quietly wandered back, along the top of the pipe to the beach. From the beach I saw Jimmy sitting on ‘the Boss’s’ seat; stuck m y arms out and hoped I looked like the letter ‘T’; this was my way of letting him know that I was going to put on the kettle.
After Jimmy left to go to the Harbour I set about re-locating some more Ivy
weeds; “Blob” was in close attendance mopping up anything that moved or wriggled.
In the afternoon I biked along to the ‘Drop in Cafe’ ... which was quiet, until a whole ‘table full’ of visitors appeared: this was just as Jimmy and I were leaving to go down to the harbour.
The History Society had Edwina (Proudfoot) giving a presentation about some of the East Neuk Churches... our local church at Elie being the main topic. With Edwina being quiet spoken I had to ‘lip read’ as best as I could... which wasn’t very much. I think I need a hearing aid. Luckily I had helped to ‘record’ Elie Kirk so knew what Edwina was talking about.
Photographs : Top and Middle – Earlsferry beach this morning, and Bottom - Elie this afternoon.
12th April 2017 (Wednesday)... “Friendship Lunch Day”.
09.00 There’s a brisk, cool wind from the Northwest this morning... a really
fresh morning, and a good one for getting ‘out and about’; which I’m going to do after I finish my cuppa. The bike is ready to ‘go’ and I’m feeling ‘fresh and frolicsome’; I’ll take a flask of coffee with me, and have a’ coffee break’ on the estate. ‘Flap on’ .... got to pump some air into the back tyre.
21.30 It has been a bonnie day and I have been ‘out and about’; I biked into a quiet corner of Elie estate for a change of scenery. It was actually cold at that time, though not too bad when sheltered from the wind. When I got back to Ivy Jimmy was ensconced in the Hutte awaiting his morning
cuppa! We had a cuppa and ate some biscuits while discussing how hard it is being retired: perpetually having to decide on what to do next is a stressful situation. Jimmy went orf home to get ready to go to the Friendship Lunch; I was already ‘at home’ and did the same ... got ready to go to the Friendship Lunch.
The ‘Lunch’ was well attended, and it was good to see Suzanne and Stuart back from their trip to New Zealand and Australia. They arrived home on Monday and are beginning to feel the effects of jet lag. The ‘Boy’s Table’ was ‘full’, and we managed to contribute to the general noise around the Hall; it is always a happy hour and a half.
I faced a hard bike home into the wind, and had to have a cuppa up in the
Hutte after all my efforts. I fell asleep; and had to make afresh cuppa when I woke up. Jimmy arrived and we went to Leven because he’s forgotten to get the soap he likes when we were in Leven yesterday. It passed the afternoon. I bought some more honey because pesticides company (Bayer’s) is wanting to spray crops with a neonic insecticide that harms (kills) bees. Without bees, and other pollinating insects, we’d starve; including the Bayer’s shareholders. And, .... I like honey.
Tomorrow’s weather is forecast to be much the same as today’s .... bright, breezy and cool. I haven’t a ‘plan’ for tomorrow; we have the ‘Drop in Cafe’ in the afternoon which is always something to look forward too. I’ll do a spot of gardening, and a spot of biking in the morning.
Photographs : Top – Cygnet (last year) taking off, Middle – the reason for the above action, and Bottom – a quiet corner of Elie Estate.
11th April 2017 (Tuesday) .... 08.30 Mmmmm .... ... it’s overcast and breezy, with the chance of light rain now and again by the look of it, but it may
brighten up by midday. I haven’t got a plan for today; if it stays dry I’ll go out to the garden and do some more tidying up.... there’s plenty to do.
18.30 It has been windy, and cold, all day. Jimmy gave me a run along to Elie so that I could post a letter at the main post box, and I walked home, via the beach; the beach was not the place to be. I met Jim and Myra out for a romantic stroll,..... they were up on the high Street sheltered from the wind. Jim told me that he had been tired after our day out at Loch of the Lowes....
that made two of us.
I had an appointment at the surgery this morning (blood test) and I drove along in ‘Sooper Buggy’ rather than bike.... it was so windy. The thought of biking home against that wind, was too much; I felt a weakness coming on. After the blood test I went round to Jimmy’s and took him for a run in the Fiesta.... all of five metres, the distance I’d reversed it down the driveway. We put a CD in the player thing, someone called Glen Campbell,.... jings that made a lot of noise. We found the Volume control. That was the excitement for the morning. I drove back to Ivy, Jimmy went up to Chapel Green, and dropped in for a cuppa on the way home. We discussed the fact that President
Trump has found his ‘toys’.... and thought about stockpiling some food.
Jimmy went off home for lunch; I went to Leven and did a ‘shopping’ in Sainsbury’s... where I bought another box of porridge oats, this makes two I have in ‘reserve’; a sort of mini stockpile. I have been planning on having a baking ‘sesh; I bought the flour, eggs etc then found an aisle with much beautiful ‘rubbage’. I bought some. The ‘Troops’ Jim and Jimmy will devour some of it this evening! I bought real food too! The baking I’ll do probably tomorrow morning ... if it’s still windy and cold.
22.00 Jim and Jimmy are off home after another evening of reminiscing and planning. Tomorrow we have the Friendship Lunch in the Kirk Hall so lunch is taken care of. It is forecast to be windier, (therefore cold), but brighter, tomorrow.... however I’ll bike along to the “Lunch”.
Photographs : Top – Jim and Myra, Middle – Siskins on the Niger seed feeder, and Bottom – David (blue jacket) at a geo- thermal site in Chile.
10th April 2017 (Monday) .... 08.00 It is a beautiful, “bright and breezy” morning, though definitely cooler; a nice day for a run up to
Perthshire, and the ‘Loch o’ Lowes’. The camera is organised, and, I think, so am I. Orf to have a cuppa..... enjoy your day whatever you do.
21.00 Jim and I had a great ‘day out’ at the Loch of the Lowes.... four hours
travelling there and back, and three and a half hours at the Reserve; the other half hour was spent having coffee/ tea in a cafe in Dunkeld. There was a diversion between Cupar and Newburgh, and serious road works at Perth, which added to the travelling time .... but not catastrophically. The traffic was not too heavy at all ... except at the Pert road works.
Jim ‘moored up’ in the SWT Car Park, and we then walked the 150 metres to the Information Centre and the Bird Hides. The Centre wasn’t too busy, by that I mean it wasn’t crowded, just comfortably busy, and we were able to take
photographs of the birds, and a Red Squirrel, feeding on the feeders; there was a lot of activity, and a good selection of birds.... including a Pheasant. I browsed the info and found that Swallows had been seen here on the 7th March. I thought I glimpsed a Swallow the other day when I was sitting in the Hutte, but it was only a fleeting sighting so I wasn’t certain, but I think that it probably was a Swallow.
The Osprey nest is easy to see from the hides, though it was at the limit of range for my lens; nonetheless I got some decent pictures, albeit distant, of Ospreys on their nest. She was sitting, on two eggs, and he dropped in a
couple of times when we were in the hide (an hour and a half). There is an active beaver colony nearby; the bark had been chomped off a tree near the hide, and a complete tree had been ‘dropped’ at the edge of the loch about 200 metres away. The lassie at the desk made us coffee, and we sat and had lunch outside in the sun.
The journey home was pleasant, and we arrived back in the ‘Royal Burgh’ about 16.20, after a really good ‘day out’. I must admit that I am tired tonight, and will have a couple of Paracetemol with my Horlicks to help me have a good deep sleep.
Photographs : Top – The Ospreys at the nest, Next – Red Squirrel, Next m- Great Spotted Woodpecker, and Bottom – a bendy Fife Road hear Strathmiglo; you can just make out the Lomond Hills through the trees.
9th April 2017 (Sunday) .... 11.00 When I looked out and saw that there was nae wind, I thought .... “reflections; get the bike oot and down to
the harbour” (I’m feeling fine this morning, tired but fine). At the Breakwater I found, unfortunately, that there wiz nae water either; the tide was full out. However Kinneuchar loch isn’t bothered by much of a tide so I went up there, and got a picture of a pair of swans paddling their way across the loch. When I think about it, Kinneuchar swans have a nae bad life, plentiful water to paddle around, with loads of food underneath: I’m also
thinkin’ I’d make a good swan. Anyway I got some ‘reflection’ photos and some exercise; last night I thought I was in for some kind of, dreaded, ‘man flu’ and that I’d be ‘confined to Ivy’ most of the day.
19.30 I’ve had an enjoyable, if lazy, day: no, not lazy’, restful would be a better description. I did some gardening after having a cuppa with Jimmy. Not long after Jimmy left George arrived ... so there wisnae very much gardening done ... but it was good catching up with George’s ‘news’, and to know that he has fully recovered from being knocked off his bike. After George left, I had a ‘lite bite’ lunch, and removed another few weeds from the garden; then Jimmy arrived so we had another cuppa, and took in the washing, before going down to the Sailing Club to see what was going on at the Harbour. Not much as it happens... the wind had risen by this time, and it felt colder.... so folks weren’t pottering out to the end of the pier. The sky is looking like we could get a few showers tonight, but the weather forecast is ‘good’ for tomorrow. That’s great because Jim and I are going up to the
Scottish Wildlife Trust, ‘Loch o’ Lowes’, Nature reserve just north of Dunkeld in Perthshire. In fact the forecast is for ‘bright and sunny’ but windy .... and colder; a ‘wrap up well’ day I’m thinking.... especially as we’re going to be near mountains. We’re leaving at 08.30. Oh oh ... we have raindrops hitting the window, I did think the clouds were beginning to look threatening!
The Ivy hatches have been ‘battened down’, the heating has been turned up, ... now I shall settle down with my mug o’ Horlicks, and watch the golf from Augusta.
Photographs : Top – two, obliging, swans this morning, Middle – where the water leaves the loch, and Bottom – some of the Easter Island moai... over 900, carved in the quarry, were moved to sites around the island; almost as many remain at the quarry, some complete and standing, others unfinished.
8th April 2017 (Saturday) ... 09.30 We have nigh on ‘wall to wall’ blue sky this morning.... and, only a smirr o’ wind; in other words a
‘dazzling’ start to Saturday. I was out on the bike early; along to Elie, through the Estate then back to Elie to get milk and a paper. On my journey I noted (1) that the “Elie Cafe” is set up on the ‘Breakwater’, presumably opening this weekend. ... and (2) The crane is not finished at the “Oak House” as there are still some heavy beams to go up. I also met Alan, out walking ‘Jazz’ (dog), and caught up with the local news....and finally (3) I need to pump some air into the rear wheel of the bike!
21.30 It was 17c (65f) in Ivy garden this afternoon, ... and I was working, in the garden, in that heat. I had to stop, it was too hot; I thought I was
going to have an attack of the ‘mauchless’.... and even considered getting the shorts on. I’ve not been 100% at all today. However I did make a good bit of progress; there are now, two heaps of weeds drying out in the sun. I do not want rain for a couple of days at least!
From the above you will know that it has been a lovely day in the East Neuk.... and the villages have been busy. I biked down to the harbour at 11.00, and the ‘Elie cafe’ at the Breakwater was ‘open’ and had a goodly number of customers; it’s in a prime spot, and should do well.
Down at the harbour I had a cuppa in the Sailing Club with Steve, and Jimmy, while watching a few blokes messing about in the bay with jet bikes. ‘crane In’ is on the 22nd April, and the harbour becomes a hive of activity, especially at the weekends. We watch all this activity from the confines of the ‘club’.
I’m feeling a few degrees under tonight; Jimmy had a ‘bug’ a few days ago
and I’m thinking that I might have it now. It will be another early night in bed for ‘the boy’, after a busy, and tiring day. Hopefully I will feel ‘bright and breezy’ tomorrow morning; the weather forecast is not bad, but there is the chance of showers later in the day.
Photographs : Top – a lake in Chile courtesy of David and Joy, Middle – ‘The Elie Cafe’ at the ‘Breakwater’, and Bottom – a quiet corner of Kinneuchar loch this morning.
7th April 2017 (Friday) ... 10.00 We had some interesting clouds earlier... which I photographed to bits... but they didn’t spoil what is a bonnie
day; in fact they added to it.
I went out on the bike but a piece of string (don’t know from whence it came) got tangled up in the gear sprockets and I had to untangle that; it, the string, had upset the settings so I had to abandon the early morning bike run. I have fixed the problem and will go out after lunch; in the meantime I’ll do some more weeding.
21.00 The bike required a bit more ‘fixing’; the string was well tight round one of the gears and I had to cut it out with a Stanley knife. I eventually was able to go out about 14.45; and I am not going to do that again! The street along by the Old Post Office was busy, and not for ‘this boy’ on a bike. That’s why I try to get out first thing in the morning, and, at what I think will be a ‘quiet times’. 14.45 is not a quiet time! Anyway I got onto the Estate and was able to get a few more photos of the “Oak House”. The crane is no longer there so all the heavy work has been done. The ‘team’ from Oakwrights.co.uk now do the encapsulating, so the oak timber that can be seen now, will be inside the finished house, and only visible to ‘insiders’. I’m looking forward to seeing the house when it’s finished, though I doubt if
I’ll see the inside.
I met David and Joy out for their afternoon walk just as I’d finished taking another set of ‘progress’ photos of the “Oak House”: they, David and Joy were in Chile for a holiday a couple of months ago and have sent me some stunning photos that they took .... and I have permission to put them on the Hutte. This I shall do over the next few days.... starting with one of David and Joy in front of a row of ‘Moai’... ‘Easter Island Statues’. The original Easter Islanders were Polynesian; the same ancestry as the New Zealand Maori.
From the “Oak House” I went on my merry way to the loch, where I waited twenty minutes, for a swan to meander (it must be the swan equivalent of me) across the water so that I could get a picture of it, the swan, with the kirk in the background. It was well worth the wait.
The villages look like being busy this weekend, and next week, with this being
the Easter week, and school holidays. It will be good to have the villages ‘come alive’ and buzzin’, .... but not when I’m out on the bike.
I don’t have a ‘plan’ for tomorrow though I do intend going for my ‘exercise’ (bike) early in the mornin; . Elie Estate, and Chapel Green... not necessarily in that order. The weather forecast for Saturday is good... much the same as today.
Photographs : Top – Interesting clouds, Next – the latest flowers to enhance Ivy garden, Next – Kilconquhar Loch, and Bottom - David and Joy in front of a row of Moai on Easter Island. Thank you David and Joy for sending me your photos of Chile ... they are stunning. I hope you don’t mind me sharing them on ‘The Hutte’ over the next few days.