Saturday, 1 December 2012

Autumn wanders

I think it would be safe to say it was Winter now. I'm sure this bullfinch I saw yesterday thoroughly agrees. Until about a week ago, I would have called it Autumn, so before the snow arrives, here's a wee roundup of the season.

I was in Dunfermline on my way to work and was in the Duloch shopping centre there, where I saw this iron chicken. It looked like, and indeed turned out to be, by Helen Denerley (who has appeared here before). While checking it out I discovered there are several animals by her dotted around the shopping centre. If I'd known that at the time, I would have gone to look for them.

In the window of a Wetherspoons pub I spotted this colourful sculpture. I went in for a look.

Turned out the effect is made by pasting lots of squares of cloth over the sculpture.

The main attraction in Dunfermline is the Abbey. The Nave and old abbey buildings, dating back to 1072, are under the care of Historic Scotland. The more modern church on the left of this picture belongs to the Church of Scotland and is Victorian. 7 Scottish kings including Robert the Bruce are buried here - unfortunately they're in the church part which is closed in the Winter months unless you're keen enough to turn up at 11 o'clock on a Sunday morning, when I'm sure taking photographs would be frowned upon.

The Victorians got a little over excited when they discovered they were building their church over the grave of Robert the Bruce and built his name into the tower. Not the subtlest architectural device I've ever seen.

These are the visitor quarters of the Abbey - they were used frequently by the Stewart royal family (the guide in the abbot's house suggested that they more or less took over them at one time). They've seen better days, but worth noting that somewhere down there in the ruins is the birthplace of Charles I - the last British monarch to be born in Scotland.

The city chambers in the town has some great carvings on it, including this chap who looks as if he's had a couple too many the previous day.

A knight who appears to be taking it very easy indeed......

......and leaving this dragon in peace and quiet.

Outside the modern art gallery in Edinburgh, there's a curious glass structure on the lawn.

It seems to be custom built to get folk to mess about with their cameras.

It's not just stuffed animals that are in Dundee's McManus art gallery and museum, there's also a good collection of Scottish paintings, from which the next three pictures are chosen.

Mist and Moorland was painted in 1893 by Peter Graham.

E.A. Hornel's distintive style in this  1908 painting, The Blackbird Song. Here's some blackbird song to go along with it.

It's nice to see something I recognise. This portrait of James Scott Skinner by John Young Hunter in 1913 graces the front cover of a book of music in the house. I visited Scott Skinner's grave back in 2010.

When I visited the Scottish Crannog Centre on Loch Tay earlier this year, I was told that they had found a large canoe while surveying to build the crannog. I noticed this large canoe in the museum in Dundee which was found on the banks of the river Tay. It's 8.8 metres long and dates to 485 AD - it's later than the crannogs but must have been of a similar design to the ones used by the crannog dwellers.

I spotted these odd ornaments in a shop in Bruntsfield, Edinburgh.

This one is just plain wacky.

No trip to Bruntfield can't be improved by popping into the Chocolate Tree for a cuppa and something nice (chocolate usually). On this occasion we popped back out with carry out tea and some ginger Buddhas.  This ginger Buddha seems absolutely at peace in the open spaces of the Bruntsfield links.


The Glebe Blog said...

Another grand collection of curios Sandy, you certainly have an eye for them.
Talking of Dunfermline, I was raised in Fife, and often got the comment from my mum "Who do you think I am, Andrew Carnegie".

Sandy's witterings said...

If ever there was a local boy made good Jim, it's Mr Carnegie. He had to move to America to do it though. I see Dunfermline has it's own Carnegie Hall.

Shundo said...

Mmm... ginger Buddha. Sacrilicious, as I think Homer Simpson said.
I thought the iron chicken lived with the Clangers...