Archives for the month of: January, 2016

Been trying to snow; little flurries blow in on the wind and dust the ground before the rain washes it away. Small patches of brightness light up the greyness; to drive the cold winter away…

Keep warm, thanks for stopping by today!

Address To A Haggis

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face, 

great cheiftain o’ the puddin-race!

Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,

Painch, tripe, or thairm:

Weel are ye wordy of a grace 

As lang’s my arm.

Robert Burns 1759-1796

Kale - eat up your greens!

Burns writes about everything, from kale, to hares, mice, daisies, lice, pious people and simple people – he saw and wrote it all. Tonight Scotland celebrates the Bard, with pipes, puddin’ and whisky, not to mention champit neeps and tatties!  Alas we have no Haggis, though hubby’s uncle used to make a good one but sadly the recipe probably died with him. If you are part of the Scottish diaspora – enjoy yer Haggis!

Monumental Art

So what’s this got to do with the price of mince? A stone’s throw from Burn’s Cottage in Alloway is the  Maclaurin Art Gallery complete with art garden on a monumental scale!

Sleep in Stone...

Even in winter the sculptures are impressive nestled under the trees, Rozelle house often hosts interesting art shows and we were delighted to stumble upon a Tim Stead exhibition.

I don’t think I’ve ever been actively encouraged to touch or sit upon the exhibits, open drawers and look inside dressers. Everyone visiting automatically drew their hands across the polished wooden tables.

We Will Remember...

We Will Remember (1989)

The woods used in this high backed chair spell out the words “we will remember” – created for the North Sea Oil industries chapel in Aberdeen. The smaller galleries exhibited his objects, part sculpture, part toys with hidden chambers, supplied with torches for thorough examination and staff nearby to help you rebuild if necessary!

native art

Outside nature creates her own sculptures, decaying wood and fresh fungi. Beauty is all around. Some, like Tim Stead are inspired by wood and the living environment to become “Object Makers” and “Seed Sowers”, artists, woodworkers and poets.

“To think of the moment

Has already taken moments

And the moment has passed

Shimmering in perpetual renewal…

… Becomes an image

To remember”

Tim Stead

Taken from With the Grain  published by Birlinn

(Oh, the exhibition just finished and sorry for the quality of the phone pics)

Sunshine on Stones

What tales these stones could tell

 if words were warmth, radiating

from sun-soaked stones?


January Snow

We felt like children! Watching the silent clouds billow across the sea, as the distant island  partially disappeared beneath a haze of cloud, reappearing minutes later dressed in pristine white. Yet, here we were staring at green grass, blue skies and sunshine. The following day, a strange thing happened, a bitter wind and stinging rain, meteorological alchemy as the first soft, white flakes fell upon the frigid ground…

Large wet flakes swirling in the wind, at first slowly until the sky was laden and gradually the garden, blanketed in white, lay hushed and still. Summer herbs dressed in winters clothes, trembled and shivered in the cruel wind…

The gardening girls gather at the door, pleading to be let inside, and inside, Oscar pleads to get out.  Neither cat nor chickens can fathom this new phenomenon. The girls decide to huddle at the shed door before being led, reluctantly, up the hill to the coop. Esme, needing extra persuasion in this strange new world, is gathered up and put to bed. Oscar decides very quickly that this cold wet world is not for him; as he sniffs the icy air his little nose berry red, he turns and walks purposely toward the door and warmth. Several hours later the snow is still falling but by bedtime the familiar sound of rain upon the skylight. Morning reveals a thin veneer of snow, winters pure delight but a brief interlude to rain.

Make snow angels while you can, pristine snow won’t wait! 

Sunset after a grey day

Sinking sun sends a golden

ribbon across the muted sky,

 bids a wistful goodnight; 

Full Moon Rising

While wrapped in silver and starlight,

radiant moon rises beyond the trees,

to scatter brightness.


Dusk, that delightful time as day dwindles and night expands, all around is cloaked in mystery, shadowed and silent. A rustle of rodents, an owl’s hoot, shuffling cows in the nearby field. A dog bark and the whisper of the leaves – the rising wind and the gentle rain. Night fall…

“When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator”

Mahatma Ghandi (1883–1944)

How welcome the pallid winter sun; illuminating the austere beeches;

Stately pines, forever green, sheltered home of tits and finches.

Last, lingering bronzed and brittle leaves tremble on the naked bough,

As new buds, flushed in ruddy hues, adorn the bare limbs now.

Softly falls the evening sun, staining clouds with pastel colour,

As Rooks perform the evening ritual, raucous call from naked spire;

 And cold blows the wind from o’er the snow-capped hills and crested sea,

Driving the feathered visitors, pilgrims from far afield, towards the bield.*

Gradually the dwindling twilight is swallowed up in falling darkness;

Last birds fly with urgent cries, to shelter in ivy covered hedges.

As the rising moon casts silver beams across the frosted lawn,

We retreat inside the cottage, to the flaming, fragrant fire and warmth.


*Bield – Scottish  – shelter or house


“The Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is time for home”

Edith Sitwell (1887 – 1964)