21 Jul 2015

wanders, wonders

 July has been a great walking tour of Scotland. Actually, my life of late could probably be summarised as a walking tour of Scotland. Not a bad thing, although it has led me to buy my first pair of trainers since I was fifteen - something I'm sure I swore I'd never do again at some point. Ah well. It's been a long year of changing my mind about things I thought had long been certain and decided.

These pictures are from across the length and breadth of the country and a lot of the time I didn't know exactly where I was. Impressive how much of Scotland can be described as the middle of nowhere really.

9 Jul 2015

tuesday exploring: whale bones & witches

Bass Rock from the top of North Berwick Law

On top of North Berwick Law there is a whale bone arch. Or, there used to be a whale bone arch. There has been since the early 1700s, but since the last real bone one collapsed in 2005 there is now a fibreglass mock-whale bone arch in place. Said to have been a homing beacon for sailors in days gone by, now it's just a thing.

I vaguely remember hearing that the notorious North Berwick witch trials used to be held on top of the law as well, but I can't find any corroborating source for that. The Law is interesting in its own right though, rising out of the flat area all around it like a party hat. Also, like Arthur's Seat in the centre of Edinburgh, it's a defunct volcano.

From the top you can see down to the wee islands off the coast, including the Isle of May and Bass Rock, which was once used as a particularly brutal kind of prison. With sheer cliffs on all sides, once you're on the rock there's no getting off unaided. Like if Alcatraz hadn't bothered with beds and food and stuff.
Very compact studio flats for rent in North Berwick harbour

Preston Mill, or as I actually believe it to be, a witch's house


indoor things

At the beginning of every new roll of film, I take a picture of the nearest thing to hand knowing that it won't come out. Sometimes I get the very bottom of that first exposure and when I do it makes me wish I had the whole picture. Here are my elbows in the mirror selfie that was not to be.

 Some out-of-focus pistachios from when I was making a savoury cake for the big editors' meeting back in February. I used this Rachel Khoo recipe and it was delicious.

 The resurrection of the fern

8 Jul 2015

old buttercup shoulder

east and west


"Macbeth shall never vanquish'd be until
Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill
Shall come against him." 
Macbeth Act IV, Scene 1, lines 100-102
 This is the last surviving tree of Birnam Wood of Macbeth fame. It's a big old oak tree, some of the boughs propped up on stilts to stop them falling off and crushing people, I assume. If you need some scale, there is actually a person sitting inside the tree in the first picture - if you look closely you can just see his hands and face. It's a pretty big tree.

 Rumbing Bridge. Boy, does it rumble. I don't have a picture of the huge drop of the waterfall on the other side of the bridge because I felt a bit sick leaning over to look and I couldn't bring myself to hold my camera aloft over such a distance. You'll just have to take my word for the fact that it was impressive.

Glen Nevis
Glen Nevis at golden hour

 I wanted to go swimming here very badly, even though it would no doubt have been bitterly unbearably cold. The water was just so perfectly clear, tumbling fresh from the waterfall.

clootie tree in a fairy glen

East Neuk of Fife
St. Monan's church

the famous Fife Sasquatch