Monday, November 12, 2018

New Design in Three Colour Palettes

After making some drawings from plant subjects, I came up with some stylised shapes to play with.

I made a cut paper and mixed media collage with hand decorated papers, using the coneflower seed head shapes (seen above at top right); then used digital manipulation to come up with the following colour palettes...

Neon Bright

Muted Greys

Yellow and Grey

I have added these designs to my Redbubble and Society 6 sites, where they can be purchased on merchandise or as wall art.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Holiday in North Berwick: Dunbar, Haddington, and the Journey Home

Our first stop of the day was at Dunbar. It had a working harbour and a mainly pebbly beach, so was not as nice to walk on as the beach at North Berwick.

Haddington, a small market town, was our next stop. It is an attractive town with independent shops, cafes and charity shops. We alighted upon a lovely German-inspired bakery/restaurant called Falko. A couple just leaving highly recommended the food, so in we went.

I had a goats' cheese salad that consisted of rocket, beetroot, walnuts and two generous rounds of cheese with a delectable lemon dressing. It was one of the best salads I've eaten. Rob had a grilled cheese sandwich followed by black forest gateaux. I was delighted to find that they served a gluten free sachertorte (chocolate and almond cake) that was one of the best gluten free cakes I've eaten. Definitely the best meal of the holiday!

 Falko's sachertorte (photo copyright Falko)
Falko Restaurant

On Saturday, we took the cross-country, scenic route home, stopping off at Melrose and Hawick on the way. We walked Brock in Wilton Lodge Park at Hawick and had a good lunch in the Heart of Hawick cafe.

Autumn in the park. You can walk for a couple of miles around the perimeter of the park, and this end is normally very quiet.

We finally arrived home at 3.00 pm.

Monday, November 05, 2018

Holiday in North Berwick: Port Seton, Cockenzie and Portobello

Today was to be a day of walking the coastline. We started with a repeat of our walk to the golf club along the beach at North Berwick.

Bass Rock can just be seen on the horizon in these pictures

After lunch, we drove North along the coast, stopping at Port Seton and walking along the coast to Cockenzie and back. We kept seeing mention of John Muir Way, of which this coastal trail is a small section. The walk goes from coast to coast across Scotland and is named after the naturalist who was born in Scotland, but moved to America, where he made his name.

We then drove on to Portobello, parking on the outskirts of the town, walking along the beach and circling back through the town centre to the car.

No! This is not Brock, but 14-year-old Gracie, whom we met with her owners on Portobello promenade. We all had to do a double-take at the similarity between the two dogs.

Brock having fun on the beach

Pottery Kilns, seen from the beach. These kilns were recently rebuilt, but they date to 1909, at the former site of A W Buchan & Co. Pottery. They represent the last surviving upstanding remnants of the pottery industry in Scotland.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Holiday in North Berwick: Edinburgh

It was Rob's 60th Birthday, so we decided to have a day out in Edinburgh. Brock was booked in to a local kennel for 24 hours.

Morning coffee at I J Mellis in Morningside... excellent coffee!

Our next stop was the Royal Botanic Gardens. The cafe there was very busy. There was no gluten free cake listed on the menu, but the waiter said they could provide a chocolate brownie ... and here it is. Very nicely presented, but I got a nasty shock at the till when charged £5.75 for this fancy tray bake!

We visited the Natural Selection exhibition at Inverleith House in the RBG, which was quite interesting.

A Bower bird's nest, made at human scale

A ceramic re-creation of a confiscated egg collection

We went on to the National Museum of Scotland.

 The Grand Gallery looked wonderful in the dappled sunlight

I always enjoy looking around this museum as there is such a variety of things to see, plus interactive installations for those of us who are still children at heart.

Mother India's Cafe was our lunchtime venue. It serves tapas-style curries, and we chose four of them to share with a rice, peshwari pitta bread, coriander chutney and poppadoms: chana aloo (chickpeas and potato); okra and tomatoes; aloo gobi and green beans (potato, cauliflower and green beans); and vegetable samosa. With two soft drinks, the bill came to £30.45.

We caught a bus back to Bruntsfield and walked back to where we'd parked the car, all the way though Morningside, stopping along the way to look at some of the more interesting shops and charity shops.

We decided to pick Brock up early from the kennels and went back to the flat exhausted after a very busy day.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Holiday In North Berwick: North Berwick

After yesterday's exertions and 4-hour-round-trip, we decided to explore locally in North Berwick today.

We gave Brock his second walk of the day in the Lodge Grounds Park at North Berwick, then headed to the dog-friendly Steampunk Cafe for morning coffee and cake. It was so warm that we were able to sit outside. The coffee was excellent and the staff were friendly, so I would definitely recommend giving this small cafe a visit if you are in town.

Mural at Steampunk Cafe

After a look around the town - there are lots of small independent shops, cafes, restaurants and five charity shops to explore - and lunch back at the flat, we headed out for a walk along the beach as far as the golf course.

 The Law: a volcanic plug that you can hike up, and handy landmark for locating North Berwick!

One of Brock's many new friends: Sula (left)

We had another delicious double espresso ice cream from Gelateria Alandas back in the town, and chips for dinner from the nearby North Berwick Fry.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Holiday in North Berwick: Dundee

Dundee was about two hours drive from North Berwick, so it was not really a close place to visit, but we wanted to see the new V&A Museum.

We started our visit with a lovely, long walk in Camperdown Park (a place we used to regularly walk our last dogs, Tess and Henry, when we lived in the city). The cafe in the park was extremely busy with half term coinciding with our week off! It was so sunny and warm that we were able to sit at a table outside with Brock.

We drove into the city centre and had the usual kerfuffle finding somewhere to park. We ended up in the East Whale Street car park: about 10 minutes walk from the new V&A.

My first impression of the building was that it was striking, set next to the 'silvery Tay' and also in its own pond of reflective water, it resembled a huge ship. The interior was less impressive: a large open space with a mezzanine level to access the galleries. On the ground floor there was a cafe and shop (the latter seen from above in the photograph above).

The queue to get into the galleries was a mile long, so we decided to go on to the McManus Gallery instead. The McManus Gallery is definitely well worth a visit if you are in the area.

We had lunch at Fisher & Donaldson (another old haunt of ours) where I had soup (the only gluten free, vegetarian item on the menu!) and Rob had a cheese salad roll. We bought cakes to take away. (Coffee tower for Rob - a choux bun with creamy filling and coffee icing; and a pack of miniature, gluten free fudge doughnuts for me).

Back in North Berwick, we had dinner at the dog-friendly Ship Inn (a huge halloumi salad for me; vegetable curry and rice for Rob) The food was pretty good, but quite expensive. I had an ice cream from the Gelateria Alandas nearby (double espresso and salted caramel - absolutely delicious!).

Brock (and we) had six walks today, so a good night's sleep for us all.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Holiday in North Berwick: St Abbs and Dunbar

Back down the A1, is the picturesque town of St Abbs. We parked in the harbour (£1 per hour charge), and set off on a walk southwards along the coast.

St Abbs Harbour
Coldingham Sands

We walked for about an hour and 45 minutes. There is a narrow coastal path with great sea and beach views.

Statue of John Muir (naturalist) in Dunbar

Mercat Cross in Dunbar

Strange cloud formation, seen on our drive home

View from Lodge Grounds Park, North Berwick


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