Sunday atop ‘Stirling’s Hill’

Sunday Sunday.. a protected space in a busy life ..

Listened to the inspiring words of Helen Steven on BBC Scotland’s “Sunday morning with….” (not yet available on iplayer!)

An icy Sunday morning walk up Dumyat, ‘Stirling’s Hill’, into the face of a low winter sun. ( http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/fife-stirling/dumyat.shtml ) ..

Looking down the Forth Valley

Looking down the Forth Valley

Looking across Stirling to the Gargunnock Hills

Looking across Stirling to the Gargunnock Hills

.. then off to Solsgirth House where Anna and Euan are to be married in July…

http://www.solsgirthhousehotel.com/

A Winter’s Day at Culzean

A beautiful Scottish winter’s day and we took the chance to go down to Culzean where we scattered Ara’s (Joan’s Mum) seven years ago and Bill’s (Joan’s Dad) ashes fifteen years ago.

Photos follow below.

This bench by the walled garden is named in their honour.

Swan Pond… lots of families getting their kids out for a spell of winter sunshine…. and not a few dogs too!

The beach at Culzean looking to Ailsa Craig and to Arran… stunning views. Peaceful. The calming sound of the sea.

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At the Bench (photo by Tatora!)

At the Bench (photo by Tatora!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tatora and Beth take possession….

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Eating Vegetarian

A great meal at the vegetarian restaurant, Ginebro, in Inca during our Majorcan holiday last week. The inexpensive menu consisted of two choices for each course a set meal, so we opted for one of each and swopped half way! Never has veggie food tasted so sweet, so subtle. The restaurant was in new premises not far from the centre of Inca but, on a quiet March Tuesday evening was completely empty except for us. Given the number of tables, I presume it will crowd up during the summer.
The fresh organic quality of the food was evident in every bite. The restaurant is run by a family team, themselves vegetarian. Dad was the chef for the evening and popped out to see us later. Mum baked the bread and daughter served the tables. All the fresh produce we ate came was grown by them, save for a few spices and the olive oil. It tasted as though it was straight from the garden. This amount of enthusiasm from me is unusual.
If you are in Majorca, and you are not thinking of visiting Inca (who would? – as Majorca’s third largest city it rates only a quarter page in the Rough Guide, emphasising its industrial qualities as the home of the Majorcan shoe trade), think again and make the effort to go to Ginebro. From the motorway, it’s straight into Inca as far as you can go without turning, then continue on foot through the pedestrian precinct, turning left up Carre Bisbe Llompart. http://www.es-ginebro.com, 071 500 209 The restaurant has shifted from the one shown in the picture on tripadvisor. It is now up the street a little into new premises. Menu for the evening:
Home made wheaten bread with sweet black olives dipped in organic olive oil (the oil on the table was fresh and sweet).
Melt-in-the-mouth appetisers of lightly fried flour-crusted green beans, on olive-oil-drenched toast with soft cheese.
Vegetable soup (subtle, herby) or a fresh leafy salad with Majorcan cheese
drizzled with organic olive oil.
A nest of mushrooms, spinach, and beans on thin toasted bread topped with a poached egg or softly stewed artichoke and onion on a bed of polenta.
Peppers stuffed with herby sweet potato on a bed of couscous, topped with a sweet artichoke or spinach and pumpkin roulade with a cauliflower and carrot stew on the side.
Mascarpone cream with a light sponge.
Mint tea.
The best of vegetarian food.
I wish them every success!

Easter Sunday at Portencross

Seamill Beach

Joan and I had fabulous bracing walk from Seamill to Hunterston, with a cold East Wind swirling the windturbines on the hills behind West Kilbride and some fabulous views of Arran, which had so much trouble last week with heavy snow disrupting electricity supplies.   On the way we sorted out a few things, drank some fab homemade soup to warm us up and rediscovered Portencross Castle, now renovated and open for visitors after local volunteer work (see Portencross Castle  ).

Portencross Castle

 

Arran from Seamill

Arran from Seam

Arran from Portencross

Arran from Portencross

January Walks

A long weekend in Gullane (pronounced Gillan by locals until quite recently), but in January snow.  We had some great walks by the sea, Gullane to Aberlady Nature Reserve, then North Berwick to Gullane.  Both walks from East to West along the shore, chased by 30-40mph sub-zero wind and snow……

Surfers Gullane Bay

Surfers Gullane Bay

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bass Rock surf

Bass Rock surf

 

 

Fidra across the rocks

Fidra across the rocks

 

Gullane Bay in the snow

Gullane Bay in the snow

 

 

 

 

Weekend in London

London eye frames Big Ben from south end of Waterloo Bridge

Busy weekend in London.

I’m sitting on the delayed 12 noon service to Inverness, along with passengers from three other cancelled trains, as we make our way to Lincoln to avoid the damaged rail north of Newark (I’m all in favour of avoiding damaged rails, even if does delay my return to Stirling!).

Managed to hit lots of London experiences (including a severe hit on the wallet – a musical show (Singing In the Rain -don’t bother!), theatre (Hedda Gabbler – great staging, great acting), sport (Djokovic vs del Potro), foodie fun with friends (Tim’s suggestion of the Tokyo Diner Lisle Street – go if you ever get the chance), catching up with Beth, Matthew and friends in their Canonbury and Turnpike Lane flats, meeting up with an educational colleague in IofE and comparing the Scottish and English educational trajectories, sitting on buses without moving, dazzled by the Saturday evening view, east and west, from Waterloo Bridge, gawping at the platform announcement board of King’s Cross, then running to board the train and secure a seat.

View from the bridge