Thursday, April 10, 2014

Blackthorn North Fife

I know it's spring when Blackthorn blossom is on show, along with Cherry plum it is the first to show. If the weather is warm enough for germinating insects there will be a good harvest of Sloe Berries.
Blackthorn hedging (Prunus spinosa) is the perfect barrier for keeping wandering pets or unwanted visitors at bay due to its dark strong thorns and prickly appearance. Hugely attractive to birds and wildlife, the Blackthorn hedge produces beautiful white flowers in the early spring, followed by Sloe berries that ripen to a deep purple in autumn.

Here in the hedge rows by the roadside emerging from the winter dormancy clumps of Blackthorn stand out.

Amazing profusion.

Monday, April 07, 2014

North Fife 5th April 2014

A view of the The River Tay at Newburgh on the 5th April, North Fife, tranquil and still, the rolling clouds threatening rain which did fall intermittently.

Four of my hens sat the rain out, you know, done enough, scratched here and there, got their fill and were content.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Higham Wood North Fife

Higham Wood North Fife, North facing at Ballinbreich. A wonderful stand of mainly Beech and Ash trees, providing shelter to roe deer, buzzards and badgers. I drive by daily and covet the thousands of self seeded saplings which are ideal log sized fuel for my domestic wood burning stove.

 Opposite lie the remains of Ballinbreich Castle.  More.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


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Tayviews North Fife March 2014

 8th of March a storm approaches off the West.

 16th occasional rays of sunlight beam down.

 23rd, the air quality is clear though in shadow giving good sight of the Perthshire hills slightly sprinkled with snow.

 24th A bright, clear sunny day, blue skies, snow covered hills in Perthshire, a deep breath feeling good to be alive.
Mugdrum Island mid Tay off  Newburgh North Fife, mostly reed beds but with some pasture. The Island once supported a working farm and house and later for many years cattle were taken across by boat from Newburgh, called the iron duke .... I think it sank.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Losar Tibetan New Year Wood Horse

Tashi Delek,
Today is New year in the Tibetan Tradition, New Moon. a fresh start. The year of the Wooden Horse.
I am happy today to have been gifted this book, The Heart is Noble by HH 17th Karmapa. Already I know that my life is transforming, you too can benefit by the wisdom shared in this book.
If you are inspired to take up his challenge, the Karmapa offers a path for participating in a global community that is based on compassion. In these chapters, he shares his vision for bringing social action into daily life, on a scale we can realistically manage through the choices we make every day what to buy, what to eat, and how to relate honestly and bravely with our friends and family and co-workers. His fresh and encouraging perspective shows us that we have the strength to live with kindness in the midst of the many challenges we face as socially and environmentally conscious beings. Because he sees the world through the lens of the interdependence of all beings, he sees that humans can change social and environmental problems by changing their attitudes and actions. And so, he shows ways that we can change our world by changing ourselves—by examining our own habits of consumption and by being willing to look into how our food reaches our table and how the products we buy are made. In his chapter on gender, he points out that we don’t have to label others according to a social construct.
If his viewpoint seems optimistic, it is—and it’s also demanding. The Karmapa calls on us to open our mind and heart to the innumerable connections we share with others—in our families, communities, social systems, and on our planet. Thanks to the depth of his spiritual training, and the breadth of his curiosity about the world and his love for it, he presents a relevant framework for understanding what it means to be human now—and why it’s imperative that we concern ourselves with the well-being of all others. He points to a world we can create through our own effort, using a resource we already have in abundance—the basic nobility of our human heart.

I have started to read it, it's a must for sentient beings, it really is.

Treat yourself and others
The Heart Is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out

Monday, February 24, 2014

You Will Pay for leaving me... FOR FREE

You Will Pay - For Leaving Me [Kindle Edition]

Eve Rabi

Kindle Price: £0.00 includes free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet

"The part I hated most about my miserable existence – the bedroom.
I hated the way he demanded sex just about every night, forced me into perverted positions and the fact that he was insatiable.
Hated the way he roughed me up during sex, grabbed my hair, twisted my neck, the way his hand fastened around my throat while thrusting vigorously into me, the way he took total control over my body and my soul and dominated me in the harshest possible way, the way he demanded I orgasm in record time, then got irritated when I didn’t, the way I had to fake it just to please him, the way I broke down and cried in the bathroom so many times after sex with him, the man I had chosen to have and to hold"


Eve Rabi lives in Sydney Australia, but was born in South Africa.
She is the author of 20 books and is known for her kick-ash leading ladies, her alpha males and her ability to make you cry and make you laugh as you fall in love. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Fife Diet's AGM

Fife Diet's AGM.
Below as events unfolded.

The Board introduce themselves and disclose the agenda for the day.

To the gathered assembly of Fife Dieters who will have enjoyed the free soup and breads beforehand applaud Wendy Gudmundsson and Colin Lindsay for being on the board for many years. Wendy gifted with a wee gnome to keep her company as she gardens.

The venue was split into two parts, the upper hall used for an open space session to share ideas about continuing elements of Fife Diet work and developing new ones. What members would like to see happen and what part they could play. Resilient Grassroot movements need a life of their own and not be just grant dependent. To this end members minds were focused.

Downstairs 2.00 - 4.30 board members were available for advice, above is Mags at the tables of free donated books on food.
Seeds from the Seed Truck initiative, free for the use of.

Jam Art and tasters. mmmm nice.

Charlotte Duffy, paper pods and cardboard sculpture.

Catherine Brown author of many Scottish focussed Cookery Books promotes Bere Flour, a Neolithic Barley still grown on Orkney but once a staple grain throughout Scotland. Superb taste, I'm delighted to be made aware of its existence.
Mrs Mash, entertains with story telling prior to cooking.

Meanwhile, starters of Savoy Cabbage Parcels with winter roots and Vegetable Falafel are prepared by many voluntary hands ( yes well washed ones ).

Others find the seed bank.
Sampling some of  Catherine Brown's food delights and they were truly delightful, it was no wonder that people bought signed copies of her many publications.
Catherine Brown grew up in Glasgow, her mother's home town, but also spent much of her early life in an east coast fishing village where her father's family lived. Two very different food cultures which provided vivid food memories of distinctive Scottish food traditions. They sparked her quest to celebrate and develop the potential of Scotland's rich and varied larder. She has been a chef in hotels, a teacher, a researcher, a journalist as well as a presenter of STV and Grampian TV's Scotland's Larder. She became the Guild of Food Writers' Food Journalist of the Year in 2001 for her investigative food columns in The Herald (Glasgow). She now divides her time between a small village in Perthshire and an even smaller one on the shores of Loch Torridon.
Look and Buy Here. Scottish Cookery

Falafel production.
Bicycle powered flour mill.

Upstairs, split into 4 groups, ways forward were considered, written down for further debate.

All coming together to meld the various proposals.

Meal time came round,  I was so hungry I demolished several Cabbage Parcels and Falafels that omitted to photograph them. The main course was Beet Bourguignon, Potato and Celeriac Dauphinoise, Puy Lentils. ( recipe from.

Dessert was:- Crowdie and Heather Honey Ice Cream with Rosemary Shortbread and Fruit Coilis. ( ice cream recipe from the Gardeners Cottage restaurant Edinburgh ) Shortbread made by Fiona Wallace.

At the end of the AGM and before the Ceilidh Lesley Riddoch gave a talk, pushing at open doors in the main. A wonderful affirmation of how some people feel. Lesley spoke of the Nordic model, so very different from the English whereby a few inherit the wealth and deprive the many. Such is the overbearing class system in operation.
“Blossom is an account of Scotland at the grassroots through the stories of people I've had the good fortune to know – the most stubborn, talented and resilient people on the planet. They've had to be. Some have transformed their parts of Scotland. Some have tried and failed. But all have something in common – they know what it takes for Scotland to blossom. We should know too. So this book poses a question as important as the one Scots must answer on 18 September 2014. Why is Scotland still the most unequal society and sickest man (and woman) of Europe despite an abundance of natural resources and a long history of human capacity? Facts and figures are a vital part of any story. But they don't bring Scotland's dilemma alive. They don't explain why people with choices act as if they had none. They don't explain why Scots over the centuries have put on weight, not democratic muscle. They don't explain why cash and socialist tradition have failed to shift poverty. They don't explain why some Scots trash Scotland while others tiptoe round the place like it's only rented for the weekend. Why don't ordinary Scots behave like the permanent, responsible owners of this beautiful country? Is it because we are not the owners – and never have been?!"


Every Scot should read Blossom by Lesley Riddoch before they vote. This book will arm them with all the information they need to fill in the blanks. I'm reading Blossom right now and every paragraph crystallises the nebulous sensations of deep divide inequality and snobbery I have experienced my whole life. We have to make a new more equal Scotland by having our own Scottish value system to aspire to and not a middle British set which asks us to adopt ways foreign to our sensibilities. If we can't build a new fresh Scotland filled with opportunity and without prejudice it might be time to walk way and leave this country to its final disaggregation. --Des Dillon

Reading Lesley Riddoch's Blossom is like inhaling fjord air after being trapped in a sweaty backroom. Just brilliant. --Pat Kane

It's brilliant, every politician in the land should be made to read the chapter on inequality. I love the human stories in the book, but it's rich with evidence too. The most engaging social policy book I've read in ages (ever?) --Jenny Kemp, Zero Tolerance campaign

About the Author

LESLEY RIDDOCH is an award-winning broadcaster, writer and journalist. She writes weekly columns for The Scotsman and Sunday Post and is a regular contributor to The Guardian, Newsnight Scotland and Scotland Tonight. She is founder and director of Nordic Horizons, a policy group that brings Nordic experts into the Scottish Parliament. Lesley presented You and Yours on BBC Radio 4, The Midnight Hour on BBC2 and The People's Parliament and Powerhouse on Channel 4. She founded the Scottish feminist magazine Harpies and Quines, won two SONY awards for her daily Radio Scotland show and edited The Scotswoman, a 1995 edition of The Scotsman written and edited by its female staff. She lives in Fife and is married to an Englishman who grew up in Canada. 
To look and Buy