Thursday, August 30, 2012

Folksy Front Page

I am delighted to say that my Folksy Pinterest Board 'Green Britain' has been chosen for the front page of today.

Here it is:-

Visit to find all sorts of handmade arts and crafts from UK sellers.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Gifted Exhibition and Craft Fair, Kirkcudbright

Rob and I went to see the 'Gifted' exhibition in Kirkcudbright Town Hall this week. The show contains some of the paintings donated to Dumfries & Galloway council and had several artworks by one of my favourite artists from the area, Charles Oppenheimer. The image below shows his painting 'A Sun-Dappled Pool'. There were even a couple of Henri Matisse screenprints, a Joan Miro lithograph and many other artists' work. Well worth a visit! The exhibition is on until the 27th August 2012.

Downstairs was a craft show featuring the work of local artists and crafts people.

Handbound notebooks from Anthea Robson of Borgue Books.

Pottery from David Alexander of Brackland Pottery. Rob and I bought these two beautiful dishes, which we will use for serving olives, nuts etc or individual portions of hummus, salsa etc. They cost £8 each.

Paintings by Kie Stewart

Mosaics by Kate Anderson.

A great place to get an early start on your Christmas shopping! We also bought some cards by artist Eddie Saul (three for £5) which are always useful to have on hand for thank you notes and birthday cards.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Zip Wire Fun

Rob and I had a go on the 'UK's longest zip wire' yesterday, at Laggan Outdoor Centre, SW Scotland.

It poured with rain on the journey over, but had cleared up by the time we arrived. You get kitted out at the base camp, with harness and embarrassing safety hat, before being conveyed in a small group up to the top of the hill in a landrover.

Looking smug, with my hat at a jaunty angle before the descent.


The starting platform with instructors preparing the safety equipment.

I had thought that I would be scared, because I am not a great one for heights, but it was fine. I was more worried about dropping my camera, because I had decided to take photos during the descent. We were told that it would be okay as long as we held on with the other hand. It takes about five minutes to get strapped tightly into place with a safety rope and assorted clips, before the five second count down. The red circle in the photo below shows where we will end up (hopefully).

 We're off!

You travel quite fast on the initial descent and have views over the surrounding fields as far as the sea. I spun round and was travelling backwards for some reason, so I could see Rob following on behind me.

It was over very quickly and we had to go through the unclipping process still in the air, before being lowered to the ground. Here's someone else having a go. The last section is much flatter, so that you slow down before getting to the end!

It was good fun and an interesting experience. There are other outdoor activities to take part in, such as grass boarding, clay pigeon shooting, archery, segway tours, and getting rolled downhill in a giant ball (!).

You have to book in advance for the zip wire as they have been fully booked every day. Also the rides can be cancelled if it is very windy, so check in advance of travel that it is still on. The ride costs £15 for one go, £25 for two (per person).

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hoddom Farm/Golf Course Walk

Rob and I had a walk around Hoddom golf course, river and farm walk today. Similar walks can be found in the Walking In And Around Annan pdf booklet on page 20.

This is a view of Hoddom Castle, seen from the golf course. It was built in the 16th century. As you can see from the photos, it was a hazy, humid day.

Repentance Tower set on a hillside above the castle, was also built in the 16th century, and served as the watchtower for the castle.

Some fungi seen on the riverside and woodland section of the walk.

Someone out horse riding with their three dogs.

This is an easy walk, over fairly uneven ground, with interesting views of the River Annan and surrounding countryside. Meals and snacks are served at the Castle if you are hungry afterwards.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Annan to Newbie Circular Walk August 2012

Rob and I went on a five mile walk today. The walk can be found in the Walking in and around Annan pdf booklet. It is called Barnkirk Point on Page 10, Option B.

It is a flat walk, over rough ground in places. The field part of the walk was extremely wet and muddy, but it is possible to stick to a track instead. Walking shoes or boots recommended.

Leaving the bridge at Annan to start on the walk next to the River Annan...(Click on the photos to see a larger version.)

Boats near Port Annan...shrimping still takes place out at sea. The Port was once a busy emigration point for travellers to the New World in the 18th and 19th centuries. And Robbie Burns was an excise man here.

A field covered in wild flowers at Newbie.

There are two large businesses based in Newbie: Cochran Boilers and Rhodia ChiRex (a pharmaceutical plant), seen below.

Approaching the Solway Firth at Waterfoot, and the site of the old lighthouse. (The wooden lighthouse dated to the 1800s, but burnt down in the 1960s).

Wild flowers and other plants on the beach...

We saw lots of bees, butterflies and other insects. Also lots of sea birds on the shore.

On the track back towards Annan.

This was a very pleasant and quiet walk, just a few dog walkers and cyclists. The best part is seeing all the flora/fauna along the way, and the beautiful views of the sea.

We ended up at the Cafe Royal in Annan for a lunch of egg, chips and beans. It is a good, traditional chip shop. Not a lot of choice for vegetarians, but they also do macaroni and chips, or jacket potatoes with cheese & pickle, egg mayo, or cheese savoury.


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