Monday, 27 February 2012

Nature's Beauty

 There is so much beauty out there isn't there. I think it's when you get right in and look close up at things that you really see it. 

This is just a simple branch of a tree but it looks to soft and gentle and I really like it.


 I love this - I don't know what it is but it is so fine and papery and has a look of leopard print - don't you think.

And look at this gorgeous blossom - so pretty.
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Sunday, 26 February 2012

Ducks and Swans

We went for our usual Sunday walk today and we decided to go to Rozelle Country Park.
It is full of lovely country walks with a varied selection of very mature trees of all kinds. 
There are also sculptures and flower beds. 
I bet in the summer it is absolutely full of colour - that is somewhere else I will need to go in the summer.
 I think my camera and I are gonna very busy this summer :))

It also has a quite large duck pond with lots of lovely ducks and a swan (I always thought where there was 1 swan there was always a mate there are well but there was just the one swan there). 
There were also a couple of squirrels but everytime I discreetly and quietly pointed my camera he scuttled off.  One day I WILL get a picture of one. 
 
Aren't these ducks soooo cute.




They are even cuter when they are trying to go to sleep - isn't it amazing how they manage to turn their head all the way round and bury it in their feathers. The duck nearest the pond is standing on one leg.

And here is the rather graceful swan.  
She was far more intent on eating than getting her picture taken though.


So all in all we had a really nice time this afternoon. 

 Hope you all had a lovely Sunday too and are ready to face the week ahead.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Soup and Cookies

 I've had quite a productive day today between one thing and another.  But I have to admit to not rising from my kip (sleep) until 9am. I don't normally lie in that late but this morning I did - I reckon I must have needed it!!

 Once I was finally ready for the day I went out and did my grocery shopping - a job I really don't like but is a necessity.

Once home from that and having got lunch out of the way I decided I wanted to make a BIG pot of soup. 

 I make vegetable soup - mainly because it is the best way to get veg into my family.  Now I really enjoy my veg but the rest of them don't.  So I put leek, onion, carrots, swede, potato and best of all brussel sprouts (I love brussel sprouts:))  along with all that goes stock and red lentils.  I leave it to simmer for a few hours and then mash it up a bit and voila a tasty pot of soup. My family love it and are always asking me to make it.

You canny beat a bowl of soup - the best comfort food around!!!

After making that I decided to make some cookies. Karen is the main baker in the house now and I don't normally get a look in  - but today I did.  So I made some double chocolate chip cookies. 
 They did turn out quite good.  You know there is the magical time to take them out of the oven - just before they go to crispy!!!

For desert tonight we had said cookies and mint choc chip ice-cream. I was getting praise all around for my cookies - now that can't be bad eh?  I had better watch or they will get used to this great cooking lol.


A couple of pictures of my winning cookies.  I have to admit though - they were quite good :)))

Hope everybody is having a good weekend.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Weekend Reflection

The sun was shining brightly this afternoon and when I saw the shadow  on the wall - well, I just had to shoot it. 
Yup, that is me there - hi everybody!!!

The plants and all the gardening equipment is Karen's - she is a keen wee gardener - thank goodness somebody is in this household lol.


Anyway,  I hope you like my lighthearted reflection shot.

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Thursday, 23 February 2012

Hollow Trees

I think trees are wonderful - just think of the stories they could tell!!!
When I was out for my walk at the weekend I saw these old trees that have obviously died - totally hollow in the middle.
I love all the shapes and lines involved in them,



Hope you like them too.

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Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Pancake Day!!!!

Well, we have just finished dinner - and I am feeling just a little bit stuffed.  

Today is Shrove Tuesday or otherwise known as Pancake Day. 

Pancake Day is the last day before Lent and pancakes were traditionally made on this day to use up the eggs and fat which were not eaten during the fasting period.

How could I let the day go by unnoticed?  It is so quick and easy (and tasty!!!).

  • 125g flour
  • 1½ tsp  baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 300ml milk
  • butter , for frying
  • 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
  1. Put the flour, baking powder, egg, milk and sugar in a large jug then whiz with a hand-held blender until smooth (or just whisk together in a bowl).
  2. Heat a non-stick frying pan (add a little butter if you need) and pour in small amounts of batter. Once the top of the pancake has bubbled and set, flip with a palette knife and cook on the other side. Repeat until all the batter is used.





 Now, Karen and Danny had their pancake with lemon juice and sugar. They sprinkle sugar on first and then drizzle the lemon juice.


But I like (love) maple syrup with mine - yummy yummy lol.

They were very tasty - in fact I might have to make them again sooner than next year :))

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Monday, 20 February 2012

Another Springtime Flower

Saturday evening was a a quiet one - Karen was out with her boyfriend, Laura was at the pictures with her boyfriend  to see Daniel Radcliffe's  (Harry Potter) new film The Woman in Black.  
This is a horror film and according to Laura was indeed very scary - I'm afraid he will always be Harry Potter to me!!! 
 Emma was out at a ceilidh being held in our local town hall. Ceilidh's are GREAT fun - I have been to a few. 
In fact I went to one when I was about 4 months pregnant with Emma, it is quite energetic dancing I was dancing so much people were telling me to sit down - but I was having so much fun. 
 Emma agrees with me - they are great.

Well Sunday - everybody was home. That doesn't happen very often - there is usually somebody not here - usually Laura. I have to say it is nice to have my brood all around me. 

I went for a walk in the afternoon - well the sky was blue so I had to take advantage of it!  
Spring is definately coming and there is a wee bit of colour appearing.

 I found this little crocus - isn't it pretty?

 It is very delicate looking - but I think it can't be all that delicate flowering at this time of the year!  It is such a pretty colour too.

Hope everybody has a great new week.

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Saturday, 18 February 2012

Saturday Reflection


Wow today's weather has alternated between rain, hail-stones and snow along with the usual gusty wind. I don't think I will be venturing very far from the house today!!! 
I had hoped to go out to take some pictures but somehow I think I might wait until tomorrow.

Yesterday was quite exciting in our house.  Emma, who will be finishing school in June, went for an interview at a local university for teacher training. 
It is a 4 year degree course in primary school teaching. 
It isn't her first choice and is still waiting to hear from other courses she has applied for.
She said she was quite happy with how it went and she answered all of the questions asked of her.  They will let her know in a few weeks. 
It is quite an exciting time for her - waiting to see what her future holds (quite scary for me though).

 Anyway I took this picture a couple of weeks ago and wanted to link it up to


Beautiful pictures of reflections there you should go and see for yourself - just click the link.

Friday, 17 February 2012

My Bird Picture and an Award

I love when people post lovely pictures of pretty wee birds, we don't get that many little birds here, normally just seagulls, crows and magpies. 
Now, I have this paperweight with a bird imprinted on it.  So, I cheated and took some pictures of it.
It is quite pretty though - don't you think?



Now on to the 2nd part of my post.
I have been awarded twice this week with the Leibster Award.  The lovely ladies that were kind enough to do this for me are 



Jill has a lovely blog which I love to visit. She is a lovely warmhearted girl.

Dawn has a food blog with lots of delicious recipes - in fact you should go and see her latest chocolate cake. 

You should go and visit these 2 lovely ladies and say hi - I can assure you that you will love their blogs.

"Liebster" is German for "Dearest"
 
There are some rules - here they are
1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter
on your blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who presented
you the award .
3. Copy and paste the award on
your blog.
4. Present the Liebster Blog Award to
5 bloggers with less than
200 followers.
5. Let them know they have been
chosen by leaving a comment
on their blog.

I really appreciate this award but am finding it difficult to pick just 5 bloggers, so I am going to break one of the rules and say that anyone can join in. Sorry!!!!

Thanks very much again ladies.


Thursday, 16 February 2012

Anyone For An Orange

Can I tempt anyone with a bit of orange?
I had a strong notion for a nice juicy orange so I had to go and buy some. You could call me an impulse buyer lol. 

I have to say these are the tastiest and juiciest oranges I have ever had (I think).  In fact I enjoyed them so much I had to take picture to show you - I hope that you don't think I am too silly!!!!

The only thing wrong with juicy oranges is they are awfully messy to eat - juice everywhere!!!



Well did I tempt you?
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Monday, 13 February 2012

The Striped Flower

Well, I showed you the stems of the plants yesterday, now here are the flowers. 
I thought the flowers looked quite unusual. 
It is called a Primula Zebra. It is apparantly a new species - I've never seen anything like it before. 
It is very pretty and I do love the stripes. 

I found it quite difficult to take pictures of though - I don't know if that is because the stripes make it more difficult to focus or not. They definately don't look as sharp as I would have liked.





It is sitting on my kitchen windowsill trying to catch some sun. 
I'm not known for my success as a gardiner but I will try my 
best to keep this one going.

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and

with


Two lovely blogs with lovely pictures - you should go and have a look!!!!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Sunday Evening

It's Sunday night already - how did that happen - it doesn't seem that long since I said thank goodness it's Friday and now the weekend is almost over. 

Oh well it's the start of a brand new week, I wonder what this week holds for us all!!

No it's not a rhubarb plant.

Karen bought me a wee plant to put on my kitchen windowsill yesterday - it is a really pretty flower. 

However I  took this picture of the stems and leaves and I think it looks kind of cool. 
I had just watered it so there are water droplets on it.  Can you see all the wee hairs on the stems - you don't notice them when you look at the flowers. 

Plants are amazing don't you think?

Have a good week everybody!!!

Friday, 10 February 2012

Reflections

Oh it's Friday - thank goodness. It has been a long week and I'm looking forward to my weekend. Not that I've got much planned, but I'm free from my work for 2 whole days.

 I posted a bridge shot yesterday so please forgive me for doing it again but I wanted to share it with 


This is a new blog to me that has been pointed out to me and I love reflective pictures so I just had to join in.

There are some amazing pictures there this weekend - you should go an have a look.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Tournament Bridge

I thought I would post another couple of pictures from Eglinton Country Park.
First of all can you imagine how lovely this walk would be in the summer when all the leaves are on the trees - I'll have to go back and see. I just love tree lined pathways.

 And this is the Tournament Bridge


I think it looks very impressive - along with the perfect reflection in the water. It really caught my eye. They certainly knew how to build castles and bridges all those years ago.

Here is a little bit of information on the bridge for anybody who is interested - I'm afraid I had to google it! The information office at the Eglinton wasn't open. Nothing opens around here until April.


The surviving 'Tournament Bridge' w
as built to provide an appropriate crossing point to gain access to the far side of the Lugton Water and the Eglinton Kennels, circa 1845. Archibald Montgomerie, the 13th Earl of Eglinton had the bridge built in a Gothic style, using cast iron for the arches, pinnacles, etc. and stone for the two pairs of miniature ornamental towers at either end. These towers have subtle design differences which are significant in the context of the extended history of the bridge. This 'Tournament' bridge is said to have been designed by the architect David Hamilton;  agreement to build the original three arched bridge was reached on 16 October 1799 by the 12th Earl of Eglinton and Hamilton's first recorded work dates from 1807. 

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Deb
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Deb has a great blog - you really should pay a visit and say hi.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Eglinton Castle

I  hope that you are not too fed up with pictures of castles because I've got another one for you.

This is Eglinton Castle which is on the outskirts of a town called Kilwinning.

 It is set in the Eglington Country Estate which is lovely, there are some lovely  walks, gardens and swingparks for children. 

You may remember we visited there a couple of weeks ago but had to run back to the car because of heavy rain, I posted about it here. 

So since the weather was better we visited again with much more success. I used to visit here when the girls were little - that was quite a wee while ago. 

 Here are a few pictures of it. 
It looks as if it must have been a fantastic building.








The top of the tower was covered by birds but when I brought my camera out they all flew off, they can't have heard me 'cause it is quite a height up. Birds always do that to me when I take my camera out.

How is this for a set of windows.





A lovely place to visit - we will have to go back and do some more of the lovely walks and visit the gardens in the summer.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Local Restaurant Fire

On Sunday I dropped Emma off at work at 11 am and went to do some grocery shopping. When I was driving back to town I noticed a huge cloud of smoke. I decided to drive in to see what the problem was. One of  the local restaurants was well alight - and it was quite a bad fire. 
I have to say NOBODY was hurt and everybody was evacuated in plenty of time which is always a huge relief. 
I took a few pictures to capture the scene.  Pretty scary - there were 5 fire engines and plenty of police around. It took a good few hours to get it under control.  
 The local paper say it started in the kitchen and I have heard it may have been the pizza oven that caused it.











One of the things that worried me was that Emma just works around the corner from where the fire was - I had thought they might be evacuated but they stayed open and were in fact extremely busy. 
She finally was sent home when the power went out at around 3pm.
   I went past the building today and it is just a shell now - the roof  is down and it is totally black and there is talk that it will be demolished and rebuilt.
A real tragedy for the owners.  However they say they will rebuild it and be open again in 6 months. 
 They already have a few chic venues in and around our area and they are very nice I have eaten in a couple of them. 

This is the biggest fire I think we have ever seen here. Here's hoping it's not repeated!!!