“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ....Oscar Wilde

Sunday 27 August 2017

My Sunday Photo... Glen Garioch Distillery

Today we visited Glen Garioch Whisky Distillery (pronounced Geery in the ancient Doric dialect still spoken in these parts) 
It is one of the oldest and most easterly operating distilleries in Scotland and has been making its mighty malt in the quaint and historic market town of Oldmeldrum, near Aberdeen since 1797.
There are guided tours at various times throughout the day.
We had Jane taking us back in time and passing on heaps of interesting information.
She really was passionate about the product and quite hilarious at times...I'm sure that there's nothing about this distillery that Jane doesn't know. 
For a start she's worked here for some thirty years!
Obviously some information has to be kept secret and under multiple lock and key.
I'm not a whisky drinker, but I do know a man that is (not looking in any direction...Mr Natters!) 

 As is the custom at the end of these kind of tours, there is a tasting session.
 I along with a few other ladies in the group had been nominated to be a designated driver, but the thoughtful Jane kindly provided little sample bottles for us to take home.
That way for all those who had drawn the short straw. could have a taste later. 
I thought this was a very nice touch. 
Meanwhile everyone else sipped and commented on the warm soothing subtleties.
Obviously, 'we' had to purchase our very own large bottle (12 year old, 48% ABV Cask: Bourbon and Sherry) so that we could do extensive research. 
I say the Royal 'We' but you all know who I mean (wink wink).

(Photo above courtesy of Glen Garioch Distillery)
If you'd like to know more about the Glen Garioch Distillery click on the name to link to their website.

In true Doric dialect I will leave you with the saying...
That's jist aboot aa tha noo! 
Translation: That's just about all for now

I'm linking up with Photalife.com
and Image-in-ing.blogspot.co.uk
Mersad Through My Lens
Have a great week everyone and thanks for your visit

Friday 25 August 2017

Woohoo New Paints... PPF

I'm having to be super quick posting today, as I have visitors and as they've just nipped out I thought I'd nip in!
I'm so excited to have new paints and can't wait to use them. 
I've not painted using gouache paints before, so any tips and advice will be gratefully accepted. 
I thought I'd colour in my own design that I posted last week, but as you can see below...I didn't get very far before my visitors arrived. 
I'll have to wait (with baited breath) to get to use these new paints...but I'm hoping that we can become great lifelong friends.
I've also joined an online course, so hopefully I'll be able to share details and results from class with you soon.
Must dash...the hostess with the mostess duty calls.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone and thanks for your visit.
I'm linking up with the Paint Party Friday gang.
Thanks Eva and Kristin for hosting once again.

Saturday 19 August 2017

My Sunday Photo...Baby Robin

Sometimes when you least expect it... up pops a wonderful surprise.
Take yesterday for instance, whilst being a contortionist crouching under our curly hazel tree to pull up weeds, a little baby robin hopped right in front of me. 
I quickly went inside to get my camera thinking that it was probably going to be a waste of time.
The robin would have moved on, but he was still there when I returned.
He wasn't in the least bit bothered by me being so close to him.
He was obviously a very switched on robin as he watched whilst I pulled and dug he waited for some tasty treats to appear. 
He wasn't in the least bit timid...I'd go so far as to say he enjoyed watching me working.
Obviously, he's not street wise yet, with being so young and as you can see from his plumage, he hasn't got all of his red waistcoat feathers yet. 
He's still a little fluffy and dishevelled.
I also don't think he's found his voice yet either....but we'll be in for a treat when he does.
As you can see he was watching me closely.
Gorgeous isn't he? 
With him being this friendly I may well manage to feed him some treats from my hand. 
Now that would be something to share.

I'm linking up with My Sunday Photo over at Photalife
and Image-in-ing.blogspot.co.uk
Please feel free to pop across to see lots more photographs by clicking here
Have a great weekend and thanks for popping over to my place.

Friday 18 August 2017

Love Nature...PPF

Well today I'm feeling a little spaced out, as I've been prescribed strong antibiotics.
I'm not sure, but I may have made a mistake by reading the extensive list of possible side effects.
I hardly slept at all last night and my stomach is definitely off today! 
Enough of that...but I'll certainly let you know if the hallucinations kick in!

Last week I shared a snippet of my drawing, so I'm happy to say that I actually finished it and have started another. 
I can't decide whether to paint it myself or use it for others to colour and share their interpretations. 
How cool would that be?
What's your view on the colouring craze for adults?
Do you think that the craze has ran it's course?
I'm not sure if people are still interested in this creative stress reliever or not?
(Love Nature A3 Black Micron Ink Pen)
Whilst drawing I plugged myself in to some brilliant music... (basically to drown out the football commentary... with the odd expletive from my hubby) and spent a wonderful evening drawing whilst looking out over the sunset lit fields. 
I'm going to use the English Premiership matches for my creative time, because it certainly made a perfect evening for everyone.
It's a win win situation. 
Everyone is happy!

I haven't shared any watercolour paintings with you lately, so here's a painting that I created as part of Tracey Fletcher King's Delicious Paint online class.
I had such a great time, plus learning brilliant tips along the way, that I've decided I'll revisit the course...it's available for life once you enrol. 
How brilliant is that!
Tracey is an exceptional teacher and so generous with her time and brilliant talent.
If you are interested in joining in too, then here's the details.
Classroom is now open and you can enrol here... Delicious Paint
Just in case you're wondering...I'm not being paid in any way for promoting this course...not even a gold star from the teacher!
But for now I think I'm in need of a long blink...zzZZZzzzZzzz

As usual I'm linking up with the Paint Party Friday gang.
I'm always happy to see you and will hopefully pop in to your place soon.
Have a great time this weekend.

Saturday 12 August 2017

My Sunday Photo...Fields of Gold

We are surrounded by fields of gold at the moment and I just can't get Sting's song out of my head.
But my favourite version is by Eva Cassidy.

As usual I'm linking up with My Sunday Photo over at Photalife
Please feel free to pop across to see lots more photographs by clicking here
Thanks for visiting my place and I hope to see you again soon.
Have a wonderful weekend

Friday 11 August 2017

Love Nature...PPF

You'll be pleased that my Paint Party Friday entry this week, doesn't come accompanied by a long dramatic story. 
Thankfully, it's been much quieter and calmer around here.
Annie the chook, who was rescued from the 'Jaws of Death' as it was described by some, has made an incredibly recovery. 
She's eating, drinking and the limp has disappeared...she's only needing her feathers to grow back and she'll be looking like new, but with a huge story to tell at the girlies lunch.
The only thing that needs to be rectified is her egg laying...she's stopped laying, which in the circumstances is quite understandable.
She'd like to thank everyone for their concern and kind comments... but she's a little busy right now.
But I digress and as it's time for the weekly PPF get-together I better get on.
Maybe I'm delaying because I'm having to confess to yet another WIP :(
As it was International Cat Day yesterday...I decided to have a little play in my journal.
I'd like to revisit these cats on better paper soon and my lettering obviously needs masses of work.

Yesterday, I only started the drawing below, but already I'm having fun.
It covers an A3 sheet of Bristol Board paper and I'm using my beloved Micron pens.
I will certainly have a good time drawing it up now that it's all planned out.
But the fun will have to wait until later today.
We are in the process of renovating a flat in the city, that we've had rented out for over 15 years!
Yes, imagine cleaning up 15 years...I have enough if things are left 15 days never mind 15 years!
I'm trying to build up to clean the oven. 
Even when I mention it a wave of nausea hits my stomach.
But it's good to know that my drawing awaits my return.
Motivational blackmail, but it'll work...it normally does.

As usual I'm linking up with the Paint Party Friday gang.

Saturday 5 August 2017

My Sunday Photo...Busy Bee On Lavender

I think this might be one of the best photos that I've managed to take of a busy bee.
I must admit I'm rather proud of it, but I have to admit that I've deleted nearly 20 that weren't so good. They are just so busy and flighty at this time of year...never staying still for more than a few seconds.
They really do test your skill and patience!
As usual I'm linking up with My Sunday Photo over at Photalife.com
Please feel free to pop across to see lots more photographs by clicking here
and Mersad Photography (Through my lens)
Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for visiting.
I hope to see you again soon

Friday 4 August 2017


Well as they say...that was the week that was! 
Drama, storms, biblical signs and wailing banshees.
I kid you not peeps.
But before I natter away, I have finally (well nearly) finished the cacti and succulent watercolour I started after my trip to the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens.
I think I just need to tweak and add a few shadows and that's it. 
Here's the result... which is an amazing feat considering all that's being going on around here.
This photo is sort of the calm before the storm...quite literally.
The thunder and lightening arrived and the rain came bouncing down.
Why I thought to go out without a jacket on... I have no idea. 
Perhaps I was under the illusion that it was summer. 
No wait a minute...it IS summer! 
Maybe that's why I'm painting cacti and succulents?
Subconsciously I'm wishing for hot temperatures and more sun! 

I also missed a dental appointment due to my new mobile phone, that I haven't mastered yet.
The memo's and diary are still blank, hence missing the reminder, but I'll get there. 
Thankfully, I wasn't in any pain...my appointment was just for a brush and polish.
I didn't even twig when I got a phone call....mainly because I didn't recognise the new ring tone and didn't answer the call; wondering why someone didn't answer their phone.
I know...but in my defence as I said, it's been quite a week.

For those followers of my Instagram and Facebook, I apologise that I may be repeating myself here, but I feel I have to share this lucky chooks near miss.
Say hello to Annie...who's very lucky to be here today.
Not more than an hour after I arrived home from a lovely weekend in Edinburgh...my hubby shot up from working on the laptop shouting 'FOX' whilst dashing for the door in record time, kicking off his flip-flops (thongs) to maximise his speed. 
His cries were ear piercing and certainly frightened me! 
I had no idea that he could either move that fast or get such volume and pitch to his voice!
Thankfully, the fox was terrified too, as the wailing banshee advanced.
Annie, who was joining in with her own squawks as she was dropped from the jaws of the fox, made off to hide in the corner of the patio...then more squawks came from the top end of the garden. 
More feathers flew and my hubby cries changed to rather colourful language 
(maybe he thought he was near enough away from me...or the circumstances certainly called for it)
Chickens were flapping and squawking all over the garden... it seems that we had far more than just four chooks. 
With the fox's escape under the conifer bushes and over the wall, we began to carry out a roll call.
Annie...yes, but traumatised and injured.
Bertha...present... (maybe too heavy for the fox to carry?)
Winnie...present (although hiding behind the rose bushes)
Flo? Flo? FLO?
Oh no...Flo was nowhere to be seen. 
Only a mass of feathers were floating all around the garden and so with heavy hearts and sickly stomachs, we assumed that Flo had been taken.
I was so mad because I'd been telling hubby that he was being too blasé about them being free to roam, especially when he wasn't in the garden with them...but I had to back off because I knew he was so upset and guilty. 
We scooped up Annie and checked her over...four puncture holes either side of her spine seemed to be the extent of her injuries. We've later found out that her leg is injured, as she now has a limp.
She's full of character and we're hoping that she has a lot of fighting spirit in her too.
She's recovering each day so we're hopeful she'll be fine.
Meanwhile the others were put in lock down!
Later as I was trying to calm my stomach with deep breaths, washing down the patio 
(no blood... just feathers, bird seed and of course poop due to the fright).
A few minutes later my hubby called me to come and look.
I knew I couldn't take any more carnage, so declined, but he was insistent.
As I walked towards his voice and along the path...there he was holding Flo!
His favourite and with a huge grin to prove it.
She'd ran and just missed being grabbed by the fox (her lack of tail feathers are a new testament to her near miss and will be this seasons attire...basically minimal).
Phew... so now they're all together rallying around Annie and safe within the 'folly' walls.
They'll get a taste of free ranging (of sorts) by being in their movable run and we'll reposition it every day...but at least we know that they'll be safe and that's the main thing.

So on a lighter note to finish... here's something that gave us a giggle, this morning...
our 'wonkie' veg.
I would have taken the photo with all the greenery attached, but hubby just chopped them off before I had a chance. Ho hum...it's a work in progress...even after nearly 40 years!

I hope you have had a better week and a brilliant weekend lies ahead.
I think I'm going to lie in a darkened room ;D
Happy Friyay Everyone.
As usual I'm linking up with the Paint Party Friday gang.
p.s. I hope to have a finished completed piece of artwork for next week...see you soon I hope and thanks for popping by :D

Tuesday 1 August 2017

The Royal Botanical Gardens of Edinburgh (Part One)

Last weekend I visited my daughter in Edinburgh.
We had a lovely girlie time together doing things that we love.
Painting in Pj's, shopping, eating and generally nattering whilst having copious amounts of tea.
We also have a love of plants and photography, so what better to do together, than to visit 
To say we took a gazillion photographs between us, may be slightly exaggerated, but not by much.
Therefore I'm having difficulty choosing what to show you...there was just so much to see and appreciate.
A real feast for the eyes. 
I don't think I've even seen so many varieties of plants and trees in one place.
The garden entry is free and there's only a minimal charge to enter into the glasshouse...but so worthwhile.
So there may be a few parts to this post because I would take up far too much of your time if I posted all my photos.
If you are visiting Edinburgh then try to ensure you put aside a day to visit and I can guarantee you will not be disappointed. There will be something for everyone. 

For this particular post I'll concentrate on the Glasshouse which were established in 1670.
It's an incredible building.
The Temperate Palm House measures 15.24 m (50ft) to the top of the stonework - sandstone from a quarry at Bishopbriggs near Glasgow, with each glass dome 3.35 m (11ft) giving a total height of 21.95 m (72ft).
Shall we go in?
Can you feel that heat....ahhh
Everywhere you look there are amazing plants. 
I'm sure that if you were to visit numerous times every season, then there would still be something new to see. 
The humidity and heat took me right back in time to my days when we lived in the tropics.
So different from the North East of Scotland!
The ponds in the Glasshouses are at their best in summer with exotic sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera), tropical water lilies flowers like Nymphaea 'Pamela' and particularly the giant Victoria water lilies (Victoria cruziana), whose leaves reach 1.5m to 2m in diameter.
Okay okay...that's probably enough for today.
As I said before it's been so difficult to decide what to include in this post... I hope you've enjoyed your visit and will return to see more in part two.
If you'd like to check out the Royal Botanic Gardens website then click HERE.
I'm linking up with
Mersad Photography.Blogspot.co.uk
and Our World Tuesday
Have a great week and I look forward to seeing you again soon.
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