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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow!!

Peek a Boo I see You!!

Mistress Mary, Quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With Silver Bells, And Cockle Shells,
And so my garden grows.

The oldest known version was first published in Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book (c. 1744).

The Bumble Bees are going just mad in the petunias tonight, they must of dry out enough to head out and see what they can find.  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Glasgow Necropolis

Introduction:  The Necropolis has been described as a "unique representation of Victorian Glasgow, built when Glasgow was the second city of the Empire.  It reflects the feeling confidence and wealth and security of that time."

It is a memorial to the merchant patriarchs of the city and contains the remains of almost every eminent Gaswegian of its day.  Monuments designed by leading Glaswegian architects including Alexander "Greek" Thomson, Bryce Hamilton and Mackintosh adorn it.  Their designs are executed by expert masons and sculptors who contributed ornate and sculptural detail of the finest quality.

HISTORY:  The early 1800's saw Glasgow grow as a major industrial city.  Whit it came a new class of merchants and entrepreneurs who had made vast fortunes in tobacco, spices, coffee and cotton.  By 1831, Glasgow's population had trebled from 70,000 to more than 200,000.  Flooded by immigrants, most notably Irish and Highlanders, the existing urban structure was inadequate and could not cope with such an influx.

The working classes suffered considerable conditions of deprivation, exacerbated by inadequate housing, dire poverty, poor sanitation and contaminated water supplies.  The sudden dramatic affected cemeteries since the poverty and squalor resulted in fierce epidemics of cholera and typhus.  In the 1830's over 5,000 people were dying each year and were being buried in unhygienic churchyards.  Previous burials in the 1800's outside of a churchyard had been reserved for the unbaptised and lunatics.  Growing concerns with hygiene and sanitation led to the opinion that this policy of burial in urban churchyards had now to be avoided.

THE NECROPOLIS:  The Necropolis remains one of the most significant cemeteries in Europe, exceptional in its townscape, its symbolic relationship to Glasgow Cathedral and the medieval heart of the city.  In common with other major Victorian cemeteries, it was designed as a botanic and sculpture garden to improve the morals and tastes of Glaswegians and act as an historical record of past greatness.

JOHN KNOX MONUMENT: This imposing 70 foot monument predated the Necropolis and has a 12 foot statue of Knox in his Geneva gown clutching a bible in his right hand.

The Bridge of Sighs designed by D&J Hamilton has been described as "the Separation between time and eternity".  It carried the carriageway across Molendinar ravine from Cathedral Square to the Necropolis.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Got 20p ... I Gotta Go!!!

Ok, no I didn't not brave this.  Th first time I passed it, I didn't even realize what it was.  I think I was to busy looking at all of the other buildings and the architecture.  And yes, it did cost 20pence to use the potty. LoL :) 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I Have Just Made a Story!!

I have just made a Story to Please Myself because I never grew up.
Beatrix Potter

I stayed in a little town in Scotland by the name of Birnam, a pretty little place just down the road from Dunkeld.  When I arrived, I went passed a beautiful little park but took no real notice until after I settled into my B&B.  I needed to figure out where the train station was so I first wonder up to the little park and notice some great little brass figurines in the park.  They were rabbits and my first was Peter Rabbit but of course never really thought that was what they were.  The more I wonder, the more figurines I found and eventually found the write up regarding Beatrix Potter. 

Beatrix Potter was born in London in 1866. As a child she became interested in the natural world and spent much of her time drawing and sketching.

It was her family’s long summer breaks in Scotland (May to the end of the salmon season in October) that were to be one of the most enduring influences on Beatrix development both as an artist and scientist. Here she was free to go off and explore the countryside around her. 

Charles Macintosh, born in 1839 was a postman for the Dalguise Postal District, the ideal occupation for a budding natural historian, his long daily walks delivering the mail allowing him to study the local flora and fauna. 

Gradually Beatrix interest turned to mycology, the study of fungi, and it was this which brought Beatrix Potter and Charles Macintosh together for the first time. It was this meeting which led to a long correspondence which gave great pleasure to both. 

It was also whilst in Scotland that Beatrix wrote a ‘picture letter’ which provided the basis for her first book ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’. Similarly, a later book ‘The Tale of Jeremy Fisher also started life as a picture letter with characters clearly based on her study and exploration on the banks of the River Tay. 

The tale of Mrs Tiggy Winkle’ was published in 1905 and is almost certainly based on the Potters’ old washer woman at Dalguise, Kitty MacDonald.

Birnam Arts and Conference Centre

Beatrix Potter Gardens

Peter Rabbit

Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter Rabbit

Mr. Tod

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


You are very welcome to visit the remains of this magnificent medieval cathedral and to enjoy its beautiful grounds on the bank of the River Tay.

The thirteenth-century choir of the cathedral is now the parish church and is open daily.  You will find a small museum in the fifteen century sacristy, which can be entered through the choir.

The ruined fifteen century nave and tower of the cathedral are in the care of Historic Scotland.

CHOIR ~ MAINLY 13TH CENTURY ~ in the medieval cathedral this east end housed the ceremonial area around the high alter and the stalls for the canons and other clergy.  Since the reformation it has served as the parish church for Dunkeld.

Leading off the choir is the 15-century chapter house, which now contains a small museum on the history of the cathedral.


The eastern limb of the cathedral was built first because this is where the high alter and stalls of the clergy were located and Mass was celebrated.  It was built in the mid-13th century but was greatly rebuilt during the early 14th century under Bishop Sinclair.  What you see now, however, dates mostly from a restoration of 1814.  The western limb, or nave, started un 1406 for Bishop Cardeny, was consecrated for religious use in 1464 under Bishop Lauder.  A fine feathure of the aisles on either side of the nave is the elaborate window tracery, particularly that in the chapel of St. Ninian at the east end of the south aisle.

The west front of the cathedral, as started in 1406, was quite a simple design.  However, in 1469 a vast new window was inserted and a single tower started to the northern side.  Although little of the window survives there is enough to see that it must have been one of the most elaborate ever built in Scotland.  It is a very similar design to that of the window in the south transept of St. Michael's, Linlithgow.

Medieval cathedrals like Dunkeld took centuries to build so no one person ever saw them completed from start to finish.  Abbot Alexander Myln's book on the bishops of Dunkeld, written in 1555, gives us a good idea of who built different parts of the cathedral.  The evidence of architecture, including the prominently place coats of arms of several bishops, also helps indicate the successive phases of work.


If you get the chance to ever go check out the grounds and the cathedral at Dunkeld.  The grounds and cathedral are along the River Tay, many benches to sit on and enjoy the surroundings.

  1. Dunkeld Cathedral - Highland Perthshire
  2. Dunkeld Cathedral - Wikipedia

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Storm Clouds

Last weekend, went for a drive and a picnic out at Carseland Dam, just to get a way for a little while.  That evening there were some great storm clouds brewing and I was able to capture a few along the way.

If I wasn't such a chicken when it comes to thunder storms, I might photograph more of them.  But well, cluck, cluck!!! LoL

These clouds were near Mossleigh, Alberta.  We kinda skirted around the storm and only got a little bit wet when we headed back towards Nanton.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Eilean Donan Castle

Although the island of Eilean Donan has been a fortified site for at least eight hundred years, the present building dates largely from the early 20th century.  Today's castle, which rose from the ruins of its predecessor, was re-built between 1912 and 1932 by Lieutenant Colonel John MacRae-Gilstrap.  Eilean Donan is unique, the product of an incredible fest of determination and devotion to restore the castle for the MacRae family.  It is hard to believe that the present castle has yet to celebrate its 100th birthday, but easy to be absorbed by the atmosphere of a place which has stood witness to so much history.  

Eilean Donan and its magnificent setting draw visitors from the world over, but for those who have not experienced the magical reality they have almost certainly seen the castle in a myriad of guises on the big and small screens.  Most famous, perhaps is the  castle's role in Highlander starring Sean Connery and Christopher Lambert.  But there is also Loch Ness with Ted Danson, The Master of Ballantrae with Errol Flynn or perhaps you have seen it in a Bond movie?  And nationally, for how long will we remember the Avengers, the BBC balloon drifting over the island or the Clothes Show Wedding of the year in 1998? Eilean Donan will undoubtedly continue in her starring role.

One tale, about the origin of the castle, tells of the son of a Matheson chief who could understand the language of birds because his first drink had been from the skull of a raven.  When he told his father that the birds said that he would one day wait upon his son like a servant, the boy was banished.  After years of travel and adventure he returned home with a fortune made through using his magical powers.  No one recognized him but he was offered hospitality by his father who fulfilled the prophesy by serving him a meal.  It is said that the son soon found favour with the king, Alexander II, who commissioned  him to build Eilean Donan to protect his subjects against the Vikings.

The Canadian Connection:

The war memorial at Eilean Donan Castle is highly unusual as it commemorates all those members of one clan, the MacRaes, who died in the First World War.  Included among the columns of names is that of Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, the Canadian Doctor who penned the lines which now universally symbolise the First World War:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow, 
Between the crosses, row on row...

The present Clan MacRae Society was re-formed in Scotland in 1990.  It has strong links with branches of the clan in North America, Australia and New Zealand.  

By Eilean Donan Castle ~ Official Guide
Published by the Conchra Charitable Trust

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Pleats and Pillars (Pleatan agus Carraighean)

Kilt Rock on the Isle of Skye ... Really Beautiful Place, so worth the trip up there.  Can't wait to go again!!

Between 61 and 55 million years ago, massive volcanic activity (obair bholcanach) took place along the west coast of Scotland (Alba).  During this period, the Cuillin Mountains (beanntan a' Chuilthinn) were formed and the northern half of Skye (ceann a tuath An Eilein Sgitheanaich) was covered in a series of layers of molten rock (creag leaghte), over 1200m thick in total.

The pillars of rock (carraighean cloiche) which form the pleats of the Kilt Rock were formed at this time as molten rock forced its way between layers of Jurassic sandstone rocks (creagan de chloich-ghainmhche).  The molted rock cooled slowly and the striking columns (carraighean) formed as it shrank.

The name Stafainn comes from an Old Norse (Seann Lochlannais) word (Stafr) for pillars.  For sea-going people like the Scandinavians (na Lochlannaish), who settled here in the 10th century, the pillars of Kilt Rock would have been a memorable landmark feature (comharra-tire).

Formation of Kilt Rock

Around 160 million years ago, tiny fragments of rock, earth, animal remains and plants settled in layers on the sea bottom.  Pressure slowly turned them into sedimentary rock (Valtos sandstone).  The animal remains and plants became fossils.

Around 57 million years ago, this area was intensely volcanic, just like Iceland is today.  Molten rock forced its way upwards then sideways through the sedimentary rock to form horizontal layers call "sills".

At Kilt Rock, most of the top layer of sandstone has been worn away but you can still see the volcanic sills with a layer of sedimentary sandstone between them.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

CILL CHRIOSD, Broadford, Isle of Skye


Originally the parish church of Strath was a Ashaig, traditionally founded by St Maol Ruadh in the 7th century AD.  Sometime during the later middle ages a new parish church was built here at Cille Chriosd (Christ's church).  The earliest historicial refrence tells us that in 1505 one Kenneth Adamson succeeded John MacGillivray as chaplain, only to be replaced, firstly by Sir John Johenson, and then in 1508, by John Ranaldson.  The small stone carving of a boar, found during the restoration, probably dates to around this time.

In 1627, the church received its first Protestant minister, Neil Mackinnon.  On his appointment on June the 19th he 'gave his grite and solemn oath that he sall treulie according to his knowledge, give up to the Clerk of Councell the names of all Papists he he knew within the Isles'.  Neil's mean spirit and greed were proverbial.  While allowing his workmen two meals a day when working, he only supplied one meal on the Sunday when they were resting.  One Sunday, as two hungry workmen sat on a knoll outside the church where he was preaching, they waited until the minister was leaving with his friends then set-to working the foot-plough.  Thereafter Neil made sure they received two meals every day.

In 1840, Cille Chriosd was itself superseded as parish church by a new building in Broadford.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Prints for Sale ~ This Weeks Feature Print ~ June 6

Please contact me if you are interested in prints.

May 8 ~ Broadford

I spent couple of days in Broadford, Isle of Skye, Scotland.  What a beautiful place with really nice people.  Just a small little village on the ocean, with a pharmacy, post office and a grocery store as well as a few B&Bs and hotel. 

Broadford is second-largest settlement on the Isle of SkyeScotland, lying on the SW corner of Broadford Bay, on the A87 between Portree and the Skye Bridge. Overlooked by the eastern Cuillins, Broadford is in a beautiful tranquil area as well as having many services available.

Skye or the Isle of Skye (Scottish GaelicAn t-Eilean Sgitheanach or Eilean a' CheĆ²) is the largest and most northerly island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. The island's peninsulas radiate out from a mountainous centre dominated by the Cuillin hills. Although it has been suggested that the first of these Gaelic names describes a "winged" shape there is no definitive agreement as to the name's origins.

I stayed at the Seaview Guest House and the hosts, Penny & Bill were wonderful people and I would stay at their Guest House anytime.  This is also the place where the internet gets turned off at 10pm :)  HeeHee!!  Thank you both, Penny and Bill, you were awesome hosts and so much fun to chat with.

This little guy was trying very very hard to get the attention of the lady inside, not sure if he was successful or not.  But thought he was rather cute!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Bowling League Photos

Well, this year was rather fun.  I had the opportunity to design something new!!  Really like to design, sometimes it take a little while to come with an idea but once things start rolling I quite enjoy it.

I have removed the names from this image but the final product had all of the girls' names included.  I look forward to coming up with something different and fun for all the teams as well as the final group photo.

This project is being printed right now and has turned out great!!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Balquhidder Kirk

Built by David Murray, Lord Scone, in 1631, the now ruined Kirk was established on the site of a pre-Reformation chapel, once visited by King James IV.

The new Parish Church dates from 1855 and was built by the then Laird of Stronvar, David Carnegie, (no connection with the steel millionaire Andrew Carnegie).

This was a beautiful spot, the scenery and the old church was awesome.  And the old library turned into a coffee/tea shop made for the perfect setting.

Balquhidder History

Christianity was brought to this Glen by St. Angus, whose ancient stone effigy now stands in the Kirk.  The first church on this site was built by the Celtic abbot Labhran some 800 years ago.  The Clan MacLaren, the original clan of the district, took their patronymic surname from the Labhran (MacLabhruinn).  The MacLaren Chiefs, buried within the old Kirk, descend from the 6th century Scots King Lorn Mor and in the middle ages, they were cadets (kinsmen) of the Earl Strathearn.

Six hundred years ago, the MacLarens found themselves forced to defend their lands.  A great battle took place against the Buchanans of Leny on the slopes just East of where you now stand, below Creag and Tuirc (The Boar's Rock), which is both the traditional rallying place and the war cry of the MacLarens.  None of the Buchanans survived the battle.

In the 1500's, the MacGregors, driven out of their original holdings in Argyll by the Campbells, launched successive raids on Balquhidder and gradually moved in.

The famous (or notorious) Macgregor chieftain Rob Roy (1671-1734) lived the last years of his turbulent life in the WEstern end of Balquhidder Glen.  In 1734, Rob Roy unsuccessfully disputed land with his neighbour, John MacLaren of Invernenty.  Rob Roy lost the clan duel that followed and died of his wounds on 28th of December 1734.  The duel took place in a field directly South of here on land still farmed by the MacLaren Chief today.

There remains some debate over the whereabouts of Rob Roy's grave.  Early Victorian accounts refer to a funeral in Balquhidder on New Year's Day, 1735.  Parish records are silent; and the Caledonian Mercury of 9th of January 1735 reported his death but not a funeral.  The flat stones that mark the grave are of much greater antiquity. The railings and headstone are of more recent construction.  If local tradition is correct, Rob Roy may be interred in the MacGregors' burial ground on the island of Inis Cailleach on Loch Lomond, or in Glengyle on Loch Katrine.  Balquhidder is connected to Loch Lomond through Bealach non Corp, or Pass of the Corpses, on the route formerly used by the MacGregors to carry their dead further West to their original lands.

There are inscriptions at the site in the kirkyard Rob Roy's wife and two youngest sons.  However, it seems unlikely that Robert, alias Robin Oig, is buried here.  Having fled after shooting John MacLaren in the back, he was later hanged in Edinburgh for abduction and manslaughter.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Mars Wark Section of the Old Town Cemetery

Mars Wark Section of the Old Town Cemetery

Adjacent to this is the Valley Cemetery, the Old Kirkyard and the Drummond Pleasure Ground.

The Kirkyard dates from medieval times, whilst the Valley Cemetery was established in 1857; local businessmen and evangelists funded the new Cemetery to celebrated Presbyterianism in Scotland.

The key statues within the Cemetery are iconic figures of the Scottish Reformation Movement.

The Old Town Cemetery is situated at the Top of the Town in Stirling amidst a ‘constellation’ of world renowned tourist sites. Indeed, The Esplanade of Stirling Castle forms the eastern boundary of the site. The cemetery expanded from the original Holy Rude Kirkyard between 1857-59 into the adjacent Valley and Mars Wark Garden. The site of the Drummond Pleasure Ground was purchased in 1862.

Overall panoramic views can be gained from the cemetery across the carse of the River Forth. All of these features have been influential in the design development. The essence of the site is as a didactic landscape which celebrates the establishment of Presbyterianism in Scotland. This is a unique landscape with no other cemetery in Britain laid out to convey this message. The site is of outstanding Cultural, Scenic, Historical and Architectural value as well as containing outstanding examples of Works of Art.

Old Town Cemetery, Stirling ~ Well, worth the wander though this cemetery.  Beautiful views of the valley and some incredible artwork.