Sunday, 10 April 2011

A bit of a catch up.

I've been a bit quite on the blog front lately. Actually the first week or so of my  time off has been a bit quite all round - nice and peaceful and quite welcome to be honest. A bit of reading here and there, the odd walk in the country (around here that doesn't necessarily mean going a long way), and a few tunes in the garret. It seems that each successive time off has been marked with a sign of the advancement of Spring. In February there were snowdrops, March had crocuses and this month the country is covered in daffodils. Here's a wee picture of some Kirkcudbright daffodils, which help to disguise our local town defences a bit.

On the music front it's been a good week and a bit since I arrived home. We had a session in Crocketford on my very first night back and the usual monthly session here in Kirkcudbright on Friday night which has been very well attended of late. No photographs I'm afraid, nor of this afternoon where I spent a couple of pleasant hours with Martin and my father playing tunes on the patio at the Mill on the Fleet in Gatehouse of Fleet and not getting chucked out. Outside music in April - if this is an indication of the year to come then goodo!

He really deserves more than a mention in this round up blog, but Ivan Drever (below) was playing at the school a few weeks ago at a very modest ticket price which included a free glass of wine. I have a couple of Wolfstone CDs, which he was a member of in the last century and a bit's of music from his son, Kris, kicking about, but I had nothing of him on his own so I didn't really know what to expect. A thoroughly enjoyable night - you can here some of his music on his website here and a bit I've just found on Youtube here.

I photographed a chap wearing the following garment in Edinburgh last month. There has to be line somewhere where a kilt ceases to be a kilt and becomes a skirt - I fear that this fellow is on the wrong side of that line.

Funnily enough, I opened Daily Opinionated this morning to find Mr William Connolly wearing a very similar item - but it wasn't a great picture and in black and white. When I tried to surf up a copy of the picture in glorious internet technicolour, I find it's a bit better. Now Billy, just because you may be the funniest man in the world and it looks like you might have snaffled my denim jacket, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on this one and we'll call it a kilt (just this once).

When I was passing by the Gracefield art gallery last month I spotted the following in the grass. I know where that's going I thought..........

.......and I was right.

A new piece of artwork which I quite like has sprung up at the bottom of the Vennel in Dumfries.

It has the following poem called Sons O Selgovae! by Rab Wilson ( the Selgovae were one of the local tribes during Roman times)

The faur kent Nith sweeps regally throu the Saunds,
History cairved alang its windin course,
Raxin seeventy miles oot frae its source,
A laund o broch an crannog, hillfort, duns;
Whaur, lang syne, bronze age boats aince berthed tae tred,
Tin frae Cornwall, copper frae Great Orme,
An ower yer ‘muddy ford’ the fowk wid thrang,
Tae barter skins, or huntin dowgs they’d bred.
Whyle aiblins frae his heich fort in the wuids,
Thae fremmit masts some chieftain micht hae spied,
O Roman galleys beatin oan the tide,
An suin the drumlie watters ran wi bluid.
Sons o Selgovae! Whaes fawm aince lowed –
Afore ye tint yer torcs o burnisht gowd.

Attached to the museum, Dumfries has a camera obscura mounted in an old 18th century windmill. I was quite surprised to see it wrapped up in white plastic when I was on my way to work.

When I arrived back from work, I was quite surprised to find old house at the end of Devorgilla's bridge had also been wrapped in white plastic. My best guess was that Dumfries was putting in a bid to win the Turner prize by wrapping up as many interesting buildings in the town as possible - I was thinking that they were probably round at Burn's house wrapping it up as I waited for my bus.

I reported in an e-mail to Mrs W that these were for electricity production purposes because that's what the Dumfries and Galloway Standard told me, but now that I look back, it was an edition of the paper remarkably close to April the first - Doh!! If it turns out to be true, then I shall report back at a later date, in the mean time I'm going back to my theory that the local council are trying to boost funds by winning the Turner prize.

I had a couple of bottles of Brewdogs Punk IPA the other night. The first was not so hot frankly but the second was much better. I did notice that there was a 3 month difference in the production dates of the two bottles - they were both so far inside their sell by dates that it shouldn't have made all that much difference but they were most definately not the same beer.

The woods are full of bird song at the moment (well not right now because it's 9 o'clock at night) and it's all very lovely. Most of our feathered friends stick to chirps and cheeps and the odd hoot. The blackbird of course sits at the top of the tree at twilight and gives us the most delightful song but he's not alone in the bird world for expert singing by a long chalk. The festive season being long over, the robin has been freed from his Christmas card duties. This little fellow was sitting in a tree giving it laldy the other day and didn't seemed inclined to fly off when I took his picture - I think he might be giving me a bit of a dirty look though.


Shundo said...

What a whirlwind tour! Nice to see some spring happening - and I didn't cotton on to the host of daffodils at first. I also misread 'burnisht' the first time through and thought it a choice expletive. Enjoy the rest of your time off.

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Happy to see you posting again. A nice read. Liked the daffodils, but not too sure about the kilts. Not that I am modest, just they would be a bit too breezy for me. I seem to always be cold in these advanced years of life.

Kim Ayres said...

I noticed the plastic-wrap building yesterday in Dumfries, and my reaction was near identical to yours :)

Laoch of Chicago said...

The band wolfstone is pretty likable.

The Glebe Blog said...

Nice to see you posting again Sandy,maybe I'll get to listen to you sometime this year.

There are a few odd tartans.I once knew a guy called Shepherd who's kilt looked like the pattern you see on dishcloths.It seems there are more tartans these days than when I was a boy.

Light-In-A-Box said...

Nice catch up Sandy, well put together! Glad your enjoying some time off. The daffodils look great, & I guess its a good thing your not hiding fighter jets as the daffodils just would not be high enough! :-)

Sandy's witterings said...

Shundo, definately trying to keep choice expletives down to a minimum. If spring can just continue to happen for another week or so it will make enjoying the rest of the time off so much easier.

Sinbad's pal, believe me, a decent kilt is anything but breezy - overheating is more likely to be a problem. You'll be glad your knees are out in the open air for a bit of cooling.

Kim, the plastic wrap is certainly curious - I shall watch with interest for developments as I pass by.

Laoch - Wolfstone, not to be confused with the Wolftones, are rather good but I think I prefer Mr Drever (snr) on his own.

Jim. There's tartans for everything now - I'm sure I could have a Witterings tartan made.

Michael, you definately need something a bit taller to hide a fighter jet. Every wonder why our castle has no roof??

Crafty Green Poet said...

I love all the birdsong at this time of year too!

I really like that poetic artwork in Dumfries, must check that out next time we're over there.

And those kilts seem definitely to be more skirt like, though i think the definition of a kilt is in the folding...

Sandy's witterings said...

I think you're right Juliet - Billy's kilt is definately pleated in the correct fashion where as the one I saw in edinburgh just isn't (my sister think's our Mother had one just like it in the 70's).

It's not very often things spring up in Dumfries but this one is definately worth a look.

ruthie said...

Hi Sandy, you have been busy! I agree about the kilt/skirt issue, that sure is on the wrong side of the line! although i think Mr C can get away with it! I haven't been to see the new piecea t the Vennel yet, and you reminded me a trip to the Gracefield is long overdue! Aggh what have i been doing?

Becky said...

Don't let Sinbad kid you about the kilts. I have seen the ones he creates and wears!