Saturday, 26 March 2011

Moving - Day 1


The day started pretty early....












By the end of the day, we managed to put most of the furniture and various bits and bobs in their place, where they will remain until I need to redecorate or relocate to another destination, whichever comes first!







Thursday, 24 March 2011

Dunnottar - the setting





Dunnottar Castle - Dùn Fhoithear, "fort on the shelving slope" -
is a ruined medieval fortress located upon a rocky headland on the north-east coast of Scotland, about three kilometres south of Stonehaven.
The rock on which Dunnottar Castle stands might have been designed specifically to permit the building of the most impregnable fortress in Scotland.
Sheer cliffs 160ft high almost completely surround a flat area over three acres in size.
The rock itself was once joined by a narrow fin to the mainland, but even this was carved away to ensure access along it was not possible.








Of late, the weather here has been outstanding, albeit a bit blustery.
Being on the cliff, with the nature's own wind machine, overlooking the sea reminded me of Cathy and Heathcliff
- having that loony Kate Bush's song "Wuthering Height" playing in my head didn't help at all.










Dunnottar - the castle






The ruins of the castle are spread over 3 acres, surrounded with steep cliffs that drop to the North Sea.
The site is believed to have been an early fortress of the Dark Ages, although the surviving buildings are largely 15th - 16th centuries.







One of the two entrance to the castle....
A well-defended main gate set in the cleft in the rock.

























In 1651 during the Britain's Civil War, the Honours of Scotland - sword, sceptre and crown -
were smuggled out of Edinburgh and hidden in Dunnottar, as Cromwell was intent on destroying every symbol of kingship.






Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Coast



About 20 minutes southward from Aberdeen is a coastal town of Stonehaven.
The town has a long beach facing the cold North Sea, with large cliffs at either end sheltering small rock pools and inlets.


























































Cookies from Home






I love making homemade cookies.
They're fun to make, and taste way better than the store bought cookies... or do they?
Making your own homemade cookies needn't be as complicated as you may first think.

I found this basic simple recipe for cookie dough....

250g butter, 140g sugar,1 egg yolk, vanilla extract, 300g plain flour - which can easily be adapted to suit your taste.



Make sure the dough is chilled and the baking sheets are cool before putting them in the oven. 

Otherwise the fat in the cookies will melt too soon, resulting in flat cookies.






Goin' Local



I'm given the task of filling in the census questionnaires for the family....








For dinner, I decided to try out the vegetarian haggis I bought from a nearby delicatessen.
The haggis combines a mixture of pulses, finely chopped vegetables, nuts and spices blended together to form a modern twist on the traditional dish.





Best served with some mashed neeps.





Some hae meat, and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thankit.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Vernal Equinox



At the start of spring—the spring equinox—day and night are each approximately 12 hours long, marking the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere.








The year's at the spring
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hillside's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in His heaven -
All's right with the world!

~Robert Browning

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Drum Castle






Drum Castle is a castle near Drumoak in Royal Deeside.
The place-name Drum is derived from Gaelic druim, 'ridge'. It was owned by the Irvine family of Drum since the 14th century. Today, the castle is owned by the National Trust for Scotland.
It is very special building because it combines a medieval keep, a Jacobean mansion house and a later Victorian extension. The keep is one of the three oldest tower houses in Scotland, probably dating from 1290.







The south, the newer Jacobean mansion added in the early 1600s. Its elegant facade overlooks the south lawn which hosted many a wedding receptions.






The 18th and 19th century brought this Victorian archway...






To the east of the castle is the defensive medieval tower; some parts dating back to the 13th century.

A Walk in the Woods


MrD hurts his back again....
The chiropractor advised him to do more exercises to strengthen his back muscle. He even suggested badminton... I guessed being from Malaysia, more often than not, people would associate us with this game.
Would be fun watching him play the game... even funnier watching me play, methinks!

One of the things we love to do when the weather is beautiful is to go exploring the various paths in the wooded area.
Aberdeenshire is blessed with some of the most beautiful walking trails, especially along the Royal Deeside.
The beautiful 20 acres woodland area of Old Wood of Drum and its ancient oak woodland is one of them.
This area has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.