Saturday, 31 October 2009

31 October 2009 - Halloween

I am smoking a fag.

Remember Hip Hop Hamish and Rapping Chuck? Well they're in the halloween spirit too.

25 October 2009 - Auchterarder

Today we headed up to Auchterarder for a wander around. I liked this masonic outdoor light.

Carlos with piping? Big mistake.

Every shop should have a wooden gate.

Interesting doer-upper.

Breakfast looks good, I'll be back.

Monday, 26 October 2009

24 October 2009 - Blair Drummond Safari Park

Today having offered Amber the choice of a couple of places to go inside in Edinburgh she instead asked to go to the Blair Drummond Safari Park near Stirling - in the driving rain. As it was raining though, we got in for free - bonus. First stop was the elephants.

Then the rhinos.

The lions.

A camel and a bison sheltering from the rain.

A bison not sheltering from the rain.

Second circuit - back to the elephants.

The rhinos.

Some other animal.

A camel and an antelope.

A lioness preening.

A tiger.

A baby ostrich.

24 October 2009 - George

George is still enjoying his breakfast visits to the back door.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

11 October 2009 - Forth Road & Rail bridges

On our way home we passed through South Queensferry and stopped for a quick photo of the Forth Road & Rail bridges.

The town seemed busy and we discovered they were doing abseils off the bridge. Reminded me of my abseil down the Finnieston crane a few weeks ago.

And the Forth Road bridge, not as nice as the rail bridge in my view.

11 October 2009 - Gallery Of Modern Art

The Gallery of Modern Art or GOMA was on our way home. There's been an exhibition running for some time that ends today. Features work from Damien Hirst and Andy Warhol.

Now this is where my knowledge of art lets me down badly. The selection of "items" or should that be "art" in the Hirst category, to me, make a complete mockery of art. The shelves of fish pickled in formaldehyde would have sat more comfortably in a laboratory rather than a gallery. Alongside of course a similar pickled sheep. That's before you then stumble across the giant medicine cabinet filled with an array of .....yes you've guessed....... medication. Oh and then to complete the biology lesson there are cabinets filled with plastic medicine models of the anatomy. The only small inspiring piece of art was one of his creations of circles of colour neatly displayed in lines. Then again.......I recall buying wrapping paper like that in the 1970's! Pretty sure at around 20 pence a sheet it never had the art critics queuing up to critique it in WH Smiths!

Still, at least GOMA is a nice building with interesting manicured grounds with a water and grass feature from the designer Charles Jencks.

11 October 2009 - The Queen's Gallery

I never knew up until about 2 weeks ago that beside Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh is The Queen's Gallery which houses exhibitions. This picture shows one of the entrances into the courtyard area of the palace. You'd have thought the Queen could have afforded to build the roof too!!!

With a lunchtime arrival time, we had to stop for a bite of lunch in the Palace Cafe. Good food and reasonably priced too and the general standard very high. You can sit inside or outside.

Whilst Amber and I headed in to buy the tickets for the exhibition Andrew stopped outside for a few photos of the new Scottish Parliament building. Personally I think it looks nicer inside than outside.

The exhibition we were going to see was a photographic exhibition of the Scott Antarctic Expedition called the Terra Nova which took place around 1910 to 1913. So we headed through the doors of the Queen's Gallery and we must have spent over an hour doing the audio tour of the photographs. I would certainly recommend it. Not only are the photos fantastic considering when they were taken and the conditions in which they were taken, but you learn quite alot about the exhibition itself. If like me you'd only heard of the name Scott then you won't know about Shackleton's earlier unsuccessful quest to the pole, or indeed the Norwegian Roald Amundsen successful trip to the south pole just a few weeks before Scott made it there. There's a photo of Scott and his men at the south pole and their faces tell it all........ not euphoria for reaching the pole but a weary, disappointed expression from realising the moment they got there, someone had beaten them to it.

Other highlights were a photo of the sudden end of a glacier, a photo from inside a glacier cave with the ship Terra Nova sitting stately in the distant sea, and a picture of the Antarctics only volcano sitting above the monstrously, enormous cliff of ice and this tiny tiny man and a sledge just below it all. The contrast between the tiny man and the giant ice and volcano is amazing. Poor photographer chap must have been freezing waiting for the right photo opportunity!!

The car park to Holyrood sits at the bottom of Arthurs seat. Now there's something we must do another weekend........walk up to the top and no doubt appreciate some great views.

We spotted some huge stone sculptures and had a sense of deja vu......... ah yes, same artist displayed his works at the Falkirk Wheel. We liked this lion and so did Amber as she attempted to clamber up the top.

10 October 2009 - Glasgow

Tonight Ange & I headed in to Glasgow as we were having dinner at Arta. After sitting in traffic on the M8 for what seemed like hours we made it just in time for our reservation. The best bit of the meal was the dessert - arroz con leche - delicious.

After dinner we took a drive down by the Clyde, this is the Clyde Arc or "Squinty Bridge".

This walking bridge further down the Clyde seemed a lot "squintier" to us.

Another view from the banks of the Clyde. You can see the Clyde Navigation Trust building.