A Trip to Old Scotland

21 09 2011

I have just returned from a trip to Scotland. We rented a house near Brechin and took my 93 year old mother for a holiday.

The countryside in this area is farm land and at this time of the year the golden colour of the stubble fields brightens the landscape.

We had a trip to Arbroath and I just had to take a photograph of the old harbour with the new marina. Living now in Lunenburg, I couldn’t help but compare and contrast this sight. Like Lunenburg, the houses are brightly painted around the harbour, but the harbour itself is stone instead of the wooden piers of Nova Scotia.

This is Johnshaven harbour just up the coast a bit.

A visit to the village of Edzell, at the foot of Glen Esk, was a must, mainly to visit the award winning butcher, Bel’s. We miss venison in Canada, so it was great to be able to buy it here.

http://www.lovebritishfood.co.uk/british-food/british-food-producers-of-the-month/bel-forbes,-butcher,-edzell,-angus/

This arch into the village, was built in 1887 to commemorate the 13th Earl of Dalhousie and his wife who died within a few hours of each other.

Just along the road at Fettercairn is another arch. Fettercairn Arch was built to commemorate the visit of Victoria and Albert in September 1861.

The House of Dun, near Montrose, is another old favourite. This house was designed by William Adam in the early 18th Century. This clock, like many of the clocks inside the house, is French.

There are lovely woodland walks and a walled garden. My Mum enjoyed the bright colours of the flowers.

Would you call this an arch pergola?

The south facing wall of the garden is perfect for these espalier pears.

Just along the road from Forfar is Glamis Castle, the ancestral home of the Earl of Strathmore.The parents of Elizabeth,the Queen Mother, were Lord and Lady Glamis.

We visited Glamis often when we lived in Scotland. We walked the grounds, cycled to the village of Glamis and up the long drive to the castle, and enjoyed hot bowls of soup in the huge kitchen, now a tea room. We even had a puncture in our old Standard 10 at the back of the castle in the snow – about 40 years ago!

We have had many swims at Kinshaldy beach, but the weather wasn’t too good for that this time.

After our week at Brechin, we visited our friends at St Andrews. While Jeff played golf, I played the tourist and took some photos of St Andrews Castle.

And the ruins of St andrews Cathedral.

We left Scotland again from Edinburgh Airport, but not before we had a last walk down memory lane there.

That will be the next Blog.

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Looking Forward to the Ospreys

24 03 2011

Every year I await the return of the Osprey.

In Scotland, the Osprey became extinct in 1916. They had been shot for their skins and the eggs stolen and sold to collectors. A pair were seen in 1954 but when they returned in 1955 and 1956, their eggs were stolen. In 1958, teams of volunteers guarded the nest, day and night, but even then they failed to prevent the destruction of the two eggs. In 1959, the nest at Loch Garten was declared a protected bird sanctuary and since then the Ospreys there have become a tourist attraction. But sadly there is always a battle with those who wish to kill the birds and steal the eggs.

There is no such problem here in Nova Scotia. In fact, the Osprey is such a common sight that people almost take them for granted.  They cannot believe how the Osprey has been persecuted in other parts of the world.

Everywhere, in forests, on golf courses, along the highways and around the coast line, you can spot Ospreys nests. These are often set on a man-made platform on the top of a tall pole.

The Osprey is about two feet long and has a wing span of almost five feet. It is a specialist at catching fish.

Here at Lunenburg we have a pair that return annually.

They have the best view of the town.

Last year we watched the two young grow until they filled the nest.

I was lucky to catch the mother returning with a fish for the chicks.

She delivered their supper

then she headed off again.

They seemed happy with the meal.

I hope it won’t be too long now before the Ospreys return to Nova Scotia, after their winter in Mexico and South America.





Curling in Canada and the Olympics

26 02 2010

It’s a bit odd that we come from Scotland, but never tried curling until we came to Canada.  Although Scotland is the ‘home ‘ of curling, there are not the massive number of curling rinks available, as there are here in Canada. Every small town has its curling club and here in Lunenburg, a town of  2,500 people, we have a very nice 4 sheet shed.

I stole this photo from Louise’s Blog.

When we lived in Glenshee, there was a tiny outdoor curling pond that had been used when winters were cold enough, but we never saw anyone playing there. I think it must be great fun to play outside, like this group in Toronto in 1914.

I found this interesting Blog from Skip Cottage Curling club in Scotland.

http://skipcottagecurling.blogspot.com/2009/12/curling-outside.html

We have been watching the curling at the Olympics and were really looking forward to a Canada/ Scotland final. But David Murdoch’s team were beaten  by Sweden  in a tie breaker.

Canada went on to beat Sweden last night and so now face Norway in the final tomorrow.

I’m sorry, I’ve totally been talking about mens curling when the Canadian women play in the final this afternoon, against Sweden!

Like Kevin Martin’s team, Cheryl Bernard’s is amazing.

Good Luck to both teams, it would be a great double.