Friday, February 25, 2011

Spring is coming!

The snowdrops are out in full force.

The little green shoots of the daffodils always make me smile when I first see them.  It means that winter is coming to an end.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lovely Neighbours

I was at a wonderful 21st birthday party for a young lady in our village.  I have known her since she was a tot.   It always startles me when I see her and others her age from the village.  In my mind, they are still chubby cheeked primary school kids and the picture I carry around of them in my head doesn't match up with the elegant young adults I am often confronted with.  It was a fun night.  It is always nice to have a reason to dust off a party dress.   There were so many of our local gal's friends from the University of Edinburgh where she attends that they needed a coach to get them here!  

One of the best things about this party was not only did all the university lads wear their kilts, there were some elders from the community at the party as well.   I got to have a nice long chat with Geoff,  semi-retired farmer in our village and father of the fabulous Tina, a dear friend of mine.   During our conversation I said that the potatoes he had given me the last time I popped by to say hello were simply delicious.

The very next day, this arrived at the house.
 Dear dear Geoff brought us an entire sack of potatoes!
I love gifts that come in big brown burlap sacks!  I do not know the variety of these potatoes, but the pale yellow flesh has a floury texture when cooked and are really tasty.  Being embarrassed by the generosity of my neighbours, I tried to pay for them.  I have been assured that the potatoes would have just gone to waste otherwise and he was happy to give them to us.

On Wednesday nights I go into Dumfries.  The dive club meets at DG1, the fancy new swimming pool for training.  I have started the custom of bringing in a cake when it is somebodies birthday.  Alex, the club's equipment officer and all around good egg is having a birthday on Sunday.   Alex is a great guy and would do anything for his pals at the dive club, but it is widely known that he is a little accident prone.  So it was no surprise when making his cake, I dropped it on my newly cleaned kitchen floor!

By some freak of luck, I actually had enough ingredients and TIME to bake a second cake.
 The shattered first cake was left here at the house - we're not proud - it's broken but still delicious.  The second cake was iced and made it to Dumfries in perfect condition.

I also wanted to show you one of the things that is currently in bloom here at the house:

This lovely clivia - given to me by Elizabeth, the mother of another dear friend, Anna.   Isn't it beautiful?

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Loch Fyne

Last Sunday I was out again with the Dumfries Sub Aqua Club (some of my favourite people) to the prettiest sea loch I have ever been too, Loch Fyne.  There are a few more I have yet to visit . . . but this one is the prettiest so far.

This was taken from St Catherine (across the loch from Inverary) on the loch where we spent the day. 
Loch Fyne is a couple of hours north of Glasgow and I believe it is worth the loss of an extra hour of sleep to get there.

It was young Liam's first dive in open water.  We were excited for him!

There is some very good diving to be had.  Aside from one bump on the head and some body's equipment box breaking, there were no serious accidents.  For that we are grateful as there was a reminder in the form of a fading Christmas wreath on a tree at this site, that things can go wrong even when you follow all the safety rules. 
High spirits and excitement as we get things ready for the dive. 
I had a short and shallow dive in which I got to use my camera!  I was a happy girl. 

Squat lobster, red sea squirt and pink encrusting algae.

Sea urchin and more of that pink algae.  :-)

I don't know what it is about crabs, but the non-edible variety always want to have a go at me!

All out of the water in one piece at the end of the day.  

I've actually managed to get more dives in during the winter than over the summer.  Don't get me wrong, I prefer diving in the summer . . . but sometimes it just works out that way.  Thanks to the dive club for yet another fantastic day of diving.