Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Two loos and other August stuff

After out trip up the Wallace monument a few blogs ago, we felt in need of a little something to eat. After a small drive around the countryside we managed to pick up a curry in the village of Menstrie, which was only a five minute drive from the campsite. Just opposite the takeaway we spotted this sculpture - it's by Andy Scott and is called Foxboy.

A few minutes before we had spotted this sculpture on a roundabout just outside another nearby village, Tullibody. We liked it enough to return the next day and take some pictures. Seems some of the locals are less impressed and in February last year it had an "accident" (BBC article here).

On another roundabout they have erected an eagle statue, looks good from a distance...

......but doesn't fair so well in a close up inspection (mind you, it is on a roundabout so is probably designed to be seen only briefly)

One of out feathered friends on a wire. Identified for me as a yellowhammer (thank you) and I agree. He was having a rare old sing.

The post office have been painting a postbox gold in the hometown of every athlete that came away with a gold medal in the olympics. This one, just of Princes Street, is to honour Sir Chris Hoy, fast cyclist and owner of a snazzy website.

Sir Chris came away with two gold medals so the Post Office painted a second one gold for him just behind the Tron Church. Pictured here despite attempts by the general public to obscure it.

This little marvel was found in St Mary's Cathedral. It's called Poverty over Sculpture by Mel Howse. It comes with a big pile, which you can read for yourself on the Salisbury Cathedral website here (it obviously spent some time there too).

While looking at Ms. Howse's sculpture, we had our backs to Paolozzi's marvelous window. It would be wrong not to turn round for a few minutes. I first saw it last year here.

Just off Princes Street Gardens is the Parish church of St Cuthbert's. We were in there to see a lady play some Bach cello suites, very nice in themselves, and as a bonus the sun was coming from the right direction to illuminate they're Tiffany stained glass window. It's David on his way to meet Goliath.

Another window - this time on Cockburn Street.

I don't make a habit of taking photographs in the loo, but the toilets in the Modern Art Gallery in Edinburgh merit recording. If you're going to look at modern art with a hangover, might I suggest going before you leave.

This grill on the window has shades of Eduardo Paolozzi about it (or at least I think so)

I say I don't make a habit of it, but here's a second picture of a loo in the same month. This one is much more ordinary and is to be found in a cafe in Sedbergh (which I passed on the way out of Dent).

What makes this loo particularly noteworthy is that it is the only one I have ever seen that has been twinned with another. This one has been twinned with an outdoor facility in Burundi (all in the name of charity)

I noticed from Calton Hill, that somebody had built a mobile hotel on a piece of wasteground. No doubt just there for the festival - I had no idea such a thing existed.

Not quite August, but the first weekend in September brings the Portpatrick Folk Festival. Who needs a mobile hotel when I have my trusty tent. The more observant amongst you might have noticed that I've upgraded my kettle since I was last here in 2010. I didn't take many pictures this time round so here's just a few and you can see the 2010 visit blogged here and here (it was mainly the same people here this year)

Dunskey castle at the bottom of the camp site.

A view of Portpatrick, walking down from the campsite.

A session in the Waterfront - it must be early on as there's still room to move.

Some good weather on the Sunday afternoon meant that a few tunes were to be found outside, I see Gus's cello has developed a little modesty in the last couple of years.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Tunes in Dent

I was under the impression we were off to darkest Yorkshire for a weekend of tunes. The direction seemed about right - down the M6 for a bit, turn left and drive for half an hour down winding roads. But for all Dent is in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, I never left Cumbria. What does it matter where it is, it's a lovely little village. Thank goodness the George and Dragon had a car park because what you see below is the main street.

Our home for the weekend, the George and Dragon.

In exchange for a couple of evenings of music, which seemed to go down very well, we were offered rather attractive rates and the landlord fed us on the Saturday night.

Must say the George and Dragon's food is very good and the trio of Cumberland sausage (who'd have thought you'd find three quite different Cumberland sausages) was no exception. It was though very large and I certainly couldn't eat it all, nor did I see anyone else succeed in finishing it in the time I was there.

I went for a bit of a wander through the village on Saturday morning. This is the local parish church of St Andrew's.

Any excuse to pop a bit of stained glass in the blog. As far as I could see most of the glass here was early 20th century.

Across the road from the pub, where the road divides and is at it's widest, is this memorial to the 19th century geologist, Adam Sedgwick, who was born in the village in 1785. I imagine that Sedgwick is a local name because from 1768 to 1885 all the ministers in the local church were also called Sedgwick.

The villages Methodist church is a much more modest affair.

 It was supposed to be the weekend of the Dent show but it had been raining and the showground was in poor condition so it was cancelled. This poor wee Martin or swift seems less than impressed too.

The one event that did take place was the dry stone dyking  competition (photographed form the road to save me a traipse across a soggy field.) One local told us that they were needing a new wall anyway and it seemed a good way to get it.

In a demonstration of drinking infidelity, we popped into the Sun Inn for a small visit (actually, we popped in for a beer if the truth be told.)

A fine pint (it's really a half pint) of Radical in the Sun Inn.

The George and Dragon is the pub for the local brewery, appropriately named The Dent Brewery . Described by the website as nestling in the hills, I think dug into the hillside and seriously camouflaged is more like it. Even with directions from a local, we couldn't find it when we set out to persuade them to let us have a look around. We did find a large chicken farm but it's really not the same. Perhaps it's there ability to remain hidden that gives them the time to brew some excellent beer. This, T'owd Tup, was my favorite.

Being a bit of a lightweight, I would have fallen over if I had had a pint of every beer on tap, especially as you might have noticed that the T'owd Tup rings in at 6%. The worryingly named Kamikaze isn't exactly alcohol free at 5% either. The pub though, for the price of a pint will sell you three thirds of a pint so you can try more varieties, served up in a bat with holes to help you carry them. Great idea and it feels like you're getting more than a pint.

Honourable mentions must go to the Meadowside cafe in Dent, where we played for a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon. It was full when we went in and empty when we left and still they provided us with drinks (a nice cup of tea in my case) and chips.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

The Prestonpans Tapestry

In March, 2009 Dr Gordon Prestoungrange, founding chairman of the Battle of Prestonpans Heritage Trust, visited the Bayeux Tapestry and was struck that this was something that could be done back home for the trust. They enlisted a local artist Andrew Crummy to design the panels, as well as seeking historical and architectural advice from experts. Originally 79 panels we planned, but as the number of volunteer stitches grew to around 200 and other suggestions for scenes were made, the number of panels grew to 104. It seems remarkable that, 10 million stitches later and 25000 hours of work, the Tapestry was finished only the following year in June 2010 and unveiled at Cockenzie Power Station Near to the site of the battle.

The tapestry, which is actually an embroidery in reality, has been on tour around the country and we saw it when it was displayed in St Mary's Cathedral during the festival. It covers the 1745 Jacobite uprising up to and including the Battle of Prestonpans. Here is a selection of my photos of it.

Although each embroiderer or group of embroiderers had to complete the panels according to the instructions, in a little square in the bottom right hand corner, they were free to embroider something, of their own design, which would act as a signature.


The Tapestry website can be found here