Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tayview Dec 31 2008

A misty afternoon Tayview Dec 31st 2008 on my way to Newburgh.

Oddfellows March Newburgh 2008

An Oddfellows Flag flying from the steeple of Newburgh Townhall heralding the march on the night.

The Caledonian Friendly Lodge of Oddfellows Newburgh lay down their staffs and enjoy a wee dram.

Old Years Night. The Caledonian Lodge of friendly Oddfellows Newburgh North Fife. First constituted in the early 19th century out of sectarian roots. It has now evolved into a more inclusive organisation raising funds for the elderly and needy in the Burgh of Newburgh.

Monday, December 29, 2008

December 28th 2008 Tayview North Fife

December 28th 2008 Tayview North Fife. A sunny day over the River Tay, At home the sun is screened by the north facing hill for about eight weeks in mid winter. Frost and snow remain much longer on the ground though the view may be sunny. These are the fields of Ballinbreich and Logie farms with a misty view of Dundee in the distance at the end.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Tayview North Fife Dec 27th 2008

Dec 27th Tayview North fife 2008, This was at 3-30 pm today, rather dull but still, on the way to my studio in Newburgh. There I continued to scan, clean and A2 print portraits of people and happenings from the 1970s. There's nothing like memory lane!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Dinner North Fife

Christmas dinner North Fife. We live in a modest dwelling but tend to eat well. Growing as much as we can, cooking every day and we naturally have an interest in cooking programs and books. This year we came by a goose and plumbed for a roasting method I recently watched on Jamie Oliver's cooking program.
The goose is oiled and smeared with a couple of desert spoons of Chinese five spice powder, pierced in the fatty areas and with a couple of pierced oranges inserted inside the bird, all placed on a bed of :-
3 sticks of celery
2 carrots halved length ways
2 parsnips " " "
4 or 5 inches of crushed fresh ginger, just a few heavy blows
The giblets, gizzard, neck, heart and liver
A good bunch of fresh sage with a little fresh thyme
A bulb of garlic, cloves squashed
2 onions sliced and sauteed till soft in a little fat
An apple quartered, all in a roasting tin.
Anything else you might have, like fresh plums, sultanas, whatever, enjoy the possible tastes.
Place in a preheated very hot oven for 10 minuets or so reducing to 180 centigrade for 2 to 3 hours depending.

A little water was added from time to time to the roasting tray. When the goose is removed the tray contents are strained and the fat separated from the sauce. There was nearly a litre of goose fat saved to be used at a latter date. A few choice pieces of the cooked giblets were blended with the liquid to create a fantastic sauce.

Before this a red cabbage was quartered and finely sliced with a few cloves and juniper berries added and sauteed in a little fat for several hours with a shot of grape juice and vinegar half way through with salt and black pepper.

The roast vegetables were:-
Potatoes, par boiled to nearly done, added to the hot water were , carrots, parsnips and jerusalem artichokes to warm, all drained and then tossed in the goose fat and added to a roasting tray with orange zest and flaked nuts.
Brussels Sprouts to accompany

A reviewer has said:-
I was a real sceptic to cookbooks a few months ago. 'It's alright for these celebrity chefs', I would say, 'It's their job to cook up gastronomic epics. We just don't have the time or money for it.'
However, I've admired Jamie Oliver ever since the infamous school dinners campaign, and I thought that I'd give this book and a few recipes a try, if only to confirm my cynical attitude.

Well, I'm converted. Contrary to my previous belief, it's all about proper, honest home cooking with foodstuffs that are readily accessible (from supermarkets and farmers markets), and the recipes are realistic and well explained in Jamie's endearing matey, lad-round-the-corner tone. Hardly pretentious like I first thought.
And, the incredible thing is; they work! Honestly, you'd think that it'd be of a 'maybe I'll get it right next time' affair, but it isn't. If you follow the instructions, you'll end up surprisingly close to the glossy photos you see in the books. And, of course, the end result is delicious.

As I said, I'm converted, and I feel genuinely enthusiastic about what I eat now. It really doesn't take up as much time or money as you think (perhaps even less when you get into the swing of things), and this will be a New Year resolution that I will eagerly stick to. And I have Jamie and this book to thank for it. Fantastic.

Oh, and I will never have my tomatoes any other way again.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Catherine Greene North Fife

Catherine Greene North Fife, a friend who called by to my studio today in Newbugh North Fife with her wee pooch. Change, We are all faced by change, in fact the next president of America, Barack Obama came to win promising change. We have climate change, economic change, environmental change. There has always been change, always will be, it's just that they are rather bIG changes the now. Catherine is up there on the point of moving home and enjoying the process due to the adjusted view and insight given by reading Deepak Chopra books. It can only be helpful to find a way of embracing positive change, a situation unfolding as I type. Yes, we are all at it..
One could of course consult the Book of Changes, a similar but different food for thought, if ancient oracle.

Draws on ancient Confucian commentary, which emphasizes applying practical wisdom in everyday affairs. The "I Ching" is the oldest and most profound of the Chinese classics, used as an oracle of fortune, a guide to success and a dispensary of wisdom. Wisdom revealed by divination. Deepak Chopra's book is through working with ones mind.I Ching: Book of Change (Shambhala Pocket Classics)

This is the book that Catherine recommended to me and others who maybe feel the need for positive change. A review, This book is a must read for all Deepak Chopra fans. Firstly, it helps the reader gain a deep understanding of the mechanics of synchronicity in every day life. Secondly, it contains guidelines for the reader of how to gain insight into his/her deepest desires and through that insight, teaches the reader how to work along with synchronicities and coincidences in order to make the most out of their occurence. Having realised why things happen in a certain sequence, the reader learns how to see the greater meaning hidden behind a chain of events and, hence learns to respond to exterior events in the most fruitful way possible. Great help for periods of stress and uncertainty. Enjoy! Synchrodestiny: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence to Create Miracles.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter Solstice North Fife

The winter solstice marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year. The sun appears at its lowest point in the sky, and its noontime elevation appears to be the same for several days before and after the solstice. Hence the origin of the word solstice, which comes from Latin solstitium, from sol, “sun” and -stitium, “a stoppage.” Following the winter solstice, the days begin to grow longer and the nights shorter. Thank goodness, we are now into another period of growth and rebirth. Celebrations of many kinds are taking place the now. This book elaborates on this festive season starting with the Winter Solstice.The Winter Solstice: The Sacred Traditions of Christmas

Friday, December 19, 2008

Dark North Fife

Tonight peering out front and back, before me a very Dark North Fife, with only the brightest stars glimmering through. Yes, dark and blustery, slightly disturbing and uncomfortable such is the view from here tonight.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tay Day North Fife

A still Tay Day North Fife. On leaving home to drive to England on Sunday this was the calm beauty of The River Tay.

As I turn westwards this is the ever changing view.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Biggar Scotland

Biggar Scotland. On my journey south from North Fife my preferred route is through Biggar, a quiet scenic amble to the motorway at Abington on the A702.

Wind Turbines

Do you see the propellers? Here just around the corner travelling south on the M6 by the lake district wind turbines come into view. A really heartening site. Energy conversion of benefit.
There are proposed sites in Fife and existing in North and South Scotland. It's true they can be seen to despoil natural habitats but that's what we humans do, out of necessity and hopefully a more balanced pragmatic approach.

Almost surreal, like sculptures these propeller driven wind turbines look incongruous yet no different to the motorway.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Amaryllis Lily

Amaryllis Lily, a stunning flower and this one has just come into bloom in my new studio in the Steeple Arts, Newburgh North Fife. I have a white one also which is slightly behind in coming into flower and will post it soon. There are many hybrids and you may find this book below a mine of information.

The hybrids of Hippeastrum, also known by gardeners as amaryllis, have long been popular indoor plants, their flamboyant blooms bringing cheer during the dark winter months. Published in association with the Royal Horticultural Society as part of our Plant Collector Guide series, this book for gardeners describes the astonishing range of hybrids now available and explains how to get the best results from these rewarding plants. A wealth of practical advice accompanies the plant descriptions, including a specially formulated growing medium used by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, an effective "hot water treatment" for pests, and essential advice on feeding, watering, and lighting.Hippeastrum - the Gardener's Amaryllis (Royal Horticultural Society Plant Collector Guide)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

East West North Fife

Looking from home in North Fife to Dundee in the East over the Tay River this rather frosty December Day.

The other view west to the mountains of Perthshire and beyond.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Property for sale Dunshalt North Fife

Fixed Price £199,000
Highly desirable and immaculately presented bungalow which has been tastefully extended to provide spacious accommodation. This semi detached property is tucked away in a quiet cul de sac on the very edge of the village with views over fields and towards the Lomond Hills and is in close proximity to children’s play park and football park. Finished to a very high standard with triple and double glazing, gas central heating, ample storage throughout, plus many other features. Accommodation Comprises Hall and Lounge, Large Bespoke Hand Crafted Dining Kitchen, 3 Double Bedrooms, Bathroom with Separate Shower Cubicle, Large Utility and Inner Hall, Triple & Double Glazing, Gas Central Heating, Gardens to Front and Rear, Garage

Lounge has lovely ornate fire surround, marble hearth, ornate cornicing, and laminate flooring. A particular feature of this property is the stunning dining kitchen with vaulted ceiling. The focal point for the room is the beautiful bespoke, handcrafted oak kitchen with ample storage units, integrated fridge, plumbing for a dish washer, ceramic Belfast-style sink, extractor fan, tile-effect laminate flooring and space for range cooker. The worktop incorporates a breakfast bar. A wide window gives a panoramic view across fields and french doors to the front lead out to the decking. Ample space for a large dining table and chairs. Very large utility well fitted with wall and floor storage units, sink and drainer, plumbing for washing machine, ceramic tile flooring, extractor fan and space for a tall fridge freezer,. The inner hall has ceiling hatch giving access to partially floored attic by means of a Ramsay-type ladder. Master bedroom is to the rear of the property with double mirrored sliding wardrobe doors. Bedroom 2 is a further double to the rear with built-in wardrobe. Bedroom 3 is a further double bedroom to the rear of the property with attractive high coombed ceiling. Bathroom has large corner bath, separate fully tiled shower cubicle, vanity sink unit, w.c., tongue and groove panelling to dado height, extensive tiling around the bath and extractor fan. Outside to the front a wrought iron fence separates the property from the road and has been landscaped with ease of maintenance in mind. Steps lead up from the path to large area of decking and front door. The rear garden is enclosed by stone wall and fencing and is laid out to lawn with borders stock with a variety of small shrubs. In one corner is an attractive timber gazebo. Large timber shed with power and light. The single garage has an up-and-over door, power, light and an internal water tap.
Dunshalt is situated on the B936 close to the M90 and ideal for travel to Perth, Dundee, Edinburgh and the large Fife towns of Glenrothes, Cupar and St. Andrews. The village is surrounded by beautiful countryside and has its own village shop/post office/newsagent. The village nestles between Falkland and Auchtermuchty which both boast excellent local amenities with banks, shops, garages, surgeries, public houses, etc. Mainline train stations at Ladybank (5 miles) and Markinch (8 miles).

2 Allen Park Dunshalt North Fife for sale.

Fife Property for sale

4 North Feus Upper Largo, Fife, KY8 6ER for sale.
This beautiful and spacious B listed villa, circa 1790, enjoys a wonderful location in the most sought after street in this popular village. There are views from the upper front windows over nearby buildings to the Firth of Forth and to the rear spectacular views over fields to Largo Law.
Although the property has been totally modernised and upgraded to form a beautiful family home much charm and character has been retained. It is in truly immaculate decorative order and benefits from gas fired central heating. On the ground floor it features a large lounge with fireplace, dado rail and laminate floor, elegant dining room, very well fitted kitchen with stable door and w.c./cloakroom. On the first floor there are two large double bedrooms each of which has access to a superb modern bathroom equipped with a good quality three-piece suite plus Jacuzzi/Sauna shower. The top floor has two double bedrooms each of which is pine lined and a further w.c. compartment. To the rear of the property is a superb garden which is beautifully laid out in lawn with well stocked flower beds, specimen shrubs and trees. There is a beautiful garden pool with cascade, summerhouse and shed. There is an attractive sitting area with pergola and of course wonderful views to Largo Law.
Not quite north fife but never the less a delightful part of the world.

Full description.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Frosty Tayview North Fife

A frosty tayview from north fife. Sods law, today like many recently, is cold and the central heating has failed. The usual cajoling with a smack on the control unit to throw a relay switch ended with it falling apart. The outcome was to drive to Perth and purchase a replacement, now fitted with adaptation and is working. Phew. On exiting my home I had to stop and show you these views.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

December Tayview 2008

From home looking across the river Tay to the carse of Gowrie from north fife. A cold snow filled airy day, not usual at this time of the year with heavy dark overhead and light from the ground.

December day looking across Balhelvie Farm for a Tayview this morning about 11-15 am. Amazing light.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Seagull St Andrews North Fife

The other day in St Andrews I was surprised to witness this juvenile seagull apparently nonchalant of humans. It has a deformed beak which is crossed, how it can survive naturally would be in question. It finds sustenance in the compassion of visitors to Aldi car park in St Andrews who feed it.