Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Great Glen, Geese and Castles

Autumn is now fully here and the clocks went back this weekend. The colours of the trees with the soft sunlight on them makes Autumn special

We were a bit surprised to recognise the frontispiece of the October Edition of Knock News. The title is 'Aikenway Autumn'. Our property is on the right. If you want to see more photos taken in our area, please go to

Most of the bus shelters are plain affairs, but occasionally one comes across something special. This one is in the middle of no-where and has magazines and plants!

Here is another bus shelter cut out of a Yew Tree, but it needs a trim!

 The River Spey has been in spate twice in the last two months due to deluges. We took this video near Aikenway Castle close to us.

 A few pictures of Cawdor Castle outside Nairn. I took this shot of our friend Marian together with Paula when Marian visited us some months ago.

Leith Hall on the way to Aberdeen has a nice garden. Here are some pictures. Sorry, it was misty that morning!

  Paula continues to work on her garden and this picture was taken late Summer.

Every Autumn one can hear sounds high up of geese flying in from Iceland and other colder part. They pass over Scotland, naturally, looking for warmer climes. They fly in 'V' formation very high up. What an interesting sight! The video clip below gives some idea :

Migrating Geese click on the wording, not the picture

Pluscarden Abbey was founded in Mediaeval times by Benedictine Monks and destroyed by Henry VIII along with most Abbeys in Britain, but luckily a large part of the fabric of the buildings remained and the Benedictine Monks reoccupied it in the 1940's. Wonderful choral events are held here and the acoustics are excellent.
Here is a clip of the Monks singing the Alleluia. Just click on the blue link below:

 Inverness is the Capital of the Highlands and sits on the River Ness on the Moray Firth.

The River Ness opens up into the Loch Ness, Monsters and all! Boats must negotiate these multiple Locks before they enter the Loch.

This is a view at the head of the Loch before it opens wider into the Great Glen.

This body of fresh water is the largest in Britain. In fact all the storage dams, reservoirs and lakes in Britain could fit into Loch Ness!

The ruins of Urquhart Castle overlook the Loch

Our local church, St Margaret's had a Wedding last week. The flowers were really beautiful so I took a few pictures

Thanks for viewing my blog.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Abbeys and Castles

We went to a performance of Music Fyne at Pluscarden Abbey, close to Nairn. The Abbey is home to the Benedictine Order and occasionally used for public performances. Part of the Abbey was rebuilt in the 1940's and enough of the fabric of the building remains.

One of the pieces they sung was John Rutter's 'Song for Athene' and we have attached a clip which you may care to open of this song. The arched and domed roof gives a lovely acoustic quality to the singing.

Our friends, the Irwin's, opened their garden for charity. It was classed as a Pop-Up Garden as one had only two days notice! this spontaneity seemed to work and we are sure that the Charities will be grateful for the goodly sum raised. It was a particularly hot day and just the ticket for encouraging people to visit. We were photographed on the day.

An interesting amateur play was performed in the ruins of 12th Century Huntly Castle, called "Who killed the Cock o' the North?" The 4th Earl of Huntly who owned many castles and much land in this part of Scotland in the 16th Century came up against Mary Queen of Scots and lost both his life and all his land as a result. The conspiracy to discredit him was mounted by the Queen's Chancellor, Earl of Moray. Action took place amongst the ruins and the scenes moved around so one was constantly moving to different places! A novel idea.

The two pictures below were taken at dusk as the play was proceeding.

Nearer to home, I managed to photograph a deer along the road from us. They are elusive and usually disappear before one can get one's camera out!

Paula's garden is coming along. 

Monday, 26 May 2014

Liburnums, Lilacs,Rhododendrons, Bagpipes and Music

The first of the Highland Games was held last weekend at Castle Gordon, Fochabers near us

The Pipers are always a stirring sight

The most amazing Rhododendron we have ever seen is at Gordon Castle. It is ENORMOUS - can you see Paula in the front!

Our Laburnums are out now 

and also the ancient Lilacs

We went to a concert of Baroque music at Brodie Castle, in the Drawing Room, also near us

I do hope these Posts are not boring you!
Best wishes, Chris

Views travelling down South

I had to travel down to Norwich and I thought I would attach a few views of the journey :

Not a direct route, but going down through the Cairngorm mountain range past Braemar (where Balmoral Castle is situated) is a hauntingly remote and sparse area, but the views are very lovely nevertheless :

Balmoral Castle 

The down through the town of Blairgowrie

Past the spectacular Blair Castle

Past the town of Stirling and Stirling Castle where Mary Queen of Scots took refuge

and into Glasgow - a rather shabby City

Then down to the Lowlands passing near to Gretna which is virtually on the border where eloping English couples used to come to get instantly married at the Blacksmith's forge!

Then down the Motorway to Penrith

and then travelling through the Fenlands of Lincolnshire and Norfolk where Church spires and towers are easily seen across the flat lands

Into Norwich which is an impressive City with a wonderful Cathedral and Castle

I stopped in at a tiny Georgian town called Hingham with it's charming town square where Paula's Mum spent her last days in a Nursing Home

Travelling back along the East Coast one eventually comes to Coldstream - where the Coldstream Guards come from ;

then back up past Dalwhinnie Distillery

and home - Craigellachie town