Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hogmanay North Fife 2009

Wishing my Blog followers and viewers a very happy New Year, good health and prosperity.

A glass of comfort at Hogmanay North Fife. Join me in a wee dram for the sake of Auld Lang Syne.

In our minds we'll all link hands and sing Auld Lang Syne. Version by Robert Burns.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and days o'auld lang syne ?

For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp !
and surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.


We twa hae run about the braes,
and pu’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot,
sin auld lang syne.


We twa hae paidl’d i' the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin auld lang syne.


And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
and gie's a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
for auld lang syne.

Blue Moon North Fife

Blue Moon over Dundee this evening. An event that happens once every, It's when there are two full moons in one month. "Blue moon" is a nickname for the second full moon in a month.
Full moons happen about every 29.53 days (the precise average period is 29.53059 days,but it's not always that exact interval because there are variations through the year' as the Earth-moon distance, Earth-sun distance, and sun-moon distance change)So you'll get a blue moon in a 31-day month if and only if the first full moon occurs less than 1.47 days into the month, which'll happen, on average, 1.47 / 31 of the time... or about 5% of 31-day months.
Similarly, in a 30-day month you get a blue moon every .47/30, or 1.5%.
These chances work out to a blue moon every 19 months, on average. It varies widely, however, and you can have several years without a blue moon at times.
You can't ever have a blue moon in February, since at most it has 29 days.

Partial eclipse, see a nibble out of the disc at 4 to 5 o'clock.

The River Tay on Old Years Day North Fife

Newburgh on The Tay carrying ice to the sea, it was noisy too.

The River Tay at Blackearnside on a cold old Years Day.

Flisk Point on Old Years Day North Fife.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Extraordinary Chickens

We keep chickens along with Ducks here at Flisk, North Fife, what amazing birds they are, providing eggs and interest. This book will surely extend our development and involvement with different breeds, perhaps yours too.

Extraordinary Chickens. With gorgeous colour photographs and informative text, Stephen Green-Armytage surveys many breeds around the world, capturing with his camera chickens of all sizes, shapes, and colours and illuminating gorgeous feather patterns, elaborate wattles and boots, and many other details. Included are breeds developed in Japan, Malaysia, Britain, France, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Australia, South America, the United States, and elsewhere. For breeders and enthusiasts, this volume will be a treasure they must own; for others it will be a revelation, worth having for the sheer enjoyment of the striking photographs and the amazing animals they portray. The original Extraordinary Chickens will be rejacketed to tie in visually with this new book.Extra Extraordinary Chickens

A Complete Encyclopedia of Chickens.
By A reviewer.
I thoroughly recommend this book. There is a wealth of information crammed into its modest size, making it a must-have for chicken keepers; beginners and old-hands alike.
It enters into adequate detail for most keepers' day-to-day needs regarding housing, health etc., but (hence the 4/5 rating), you may wish to buy some more specialised books on the above to find more in-depth information.
The breed section is excellent, giving far more detail (and photos) than any other book I've read. The info included is relevant and up-to-date, which is great if you've not got the time to trawl through specialist breed books.
This book is a visual treat, having a simple but effective layout, and of course being packed full of high quality, captioned photos of every breed featured. There are a number of mistakes in the allocation of the captions, but we can forgive them for that, considering the amount of photos to be captioned!

Overall, a great read at a great price!Complete Encyclopedia of Chickens

Hogmanay Companion North Fife

Hogmanay, Locally a strong tradition of participation, this book may help in understanding what its all about. Additionally we have The friendly order of The Odd Fellows Parade in Newburgh North Fife. Weather permitting that I can get there, I will illustrate.

The Hogmanay Companion. This volume reveals the origins of New Year's Eve, or Hogmanay as the Scots term has it. Hugh Douglas takes the reader from the remotest beginnings of the festival through 18th- and 19th-century developments and up to the millennium. The book explores many of the puzzling aspects of the New Year's celebrations, including: why a tall, dark stranger at midnight?; why carrying a lump of coal; and why can the first-foot never be a fair person no matter how firm a friend? The author also explores how the name "Hogmanay" was derived and what it means, and offers songs and food and drink recipes. A Hangover Helpline is also provided for those who have over-indulged! The Hogmanay Companion: Millennium Edition

Snow ice and Moon North Fife

The moon 3 nights ago with its halo in the clouds, to the left one can just see a star formation. ( if you click on the image.) Since Saturday we have been snowbound in the absence of local council plough and gritter, unusual and unexpected however today a local farmer Matthew Wilson, thankfully cleared the road enabling us an others to access Newburgh North Fife for messages.

The river Tay beginning to ice up, if it persists the ice because of the tidal nature of the river at this point flows out and flows back again building large noisy wee burgs.

Flisk view of home, as you can see nobody is passing or going anywhere.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Climate Change North Fife

Jim Lovelock is an iconic figure in British science, a prophet whose prophecies are coming true. Lovelock is best known as the 'father' of Gaia theory, which is now established as the most useful way of understanding the dramatic changes happening to the environment of the Earth. Yet, throughout his life - as a student, independent scientist and writer - Lovelock has met with disagreement and disparagement. His drive came from personal belief, curiosity and conviction. He has been right for all his working life and, although it is frightening for us to believe the scenario he describes in The Vanishing Face of Gaia, he is right again.

The Vanishing Face of Gaia is James Lovelock's final word on the terrifying environmental problems we will confront in the twenty-first century. The earth as we know it is vanishing. It is moving inexorably to a new, hot state. The idea that we can "save the planet" by reducing carbon emissions is, Lovelock writes, nothing but a sales pitch. The earth, as it always has done, will save itself. It is up to us to save the human race.
As he approaches his 90th birthday, James Lovelock looks forward to what he describes as "a hell of an upgrade", as Richard Branson is sending him into space with Virgin Galactic, so he can, for the first time, see the face of Gaia.The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning Worth a read.

Climate Change. Going beyond the headlines, this unprecedented union of scientific analysis and stunning photography by leading climate scientist Gavin Schmidt and master photographer Joshua Wolfe illustrates the ramifications of a shifting climate on the global ecosystem. Marshalling data spanning centuries and continents, the book sparkles with cutting-edge research and visual records, including contributions from experts on atmospheric science, oceanography, paleoclimatology, technology, politics and the polar regions. As Jeffrey D. Sachs writes in his powerful foreword, 'Climate Change is a tour de force of public education'.

More and more the topic is being debated, we have our own memories and empirical experience of the way it is. I've lived here in North Fife for 30 years and it has been colder and hotter but at different times. Normally the snows come late January into February or not at all. These unexpected weather incidents cause me to focus my mind on how personally I can lessen my input to carbon exhaust and dependency. Being informed is always helpful in being mindful and this book may steel my and your resolve to do something about it.

Falkland property for sale North Fife

Brunton House, Brunton Street, Falkland north Fife. Falkland, a very lovely place to live, easy reach of Edinburgh, St Andrews, Dundee and the East Neuk of fife with its quaint coastal villages. Falkland property is much sought after, all within spitting distance of the Palace, gardens and real tennis court.
Brunton House, Brunton Street, Falkland, Fife, KY15 7BQ
Offers Over £300,000

Full Description

· Handsome ‘A’ Listed Property in Conservation Village
· Within Walking Distance of Local Amenities
· Entrance Vestibule
· Hallway with Dining Area
· Spectacular Large Lounge
· Study Formerly Falconer’s Room
· Dining Kitchen with Pantry
· Sitting Room
· W.C./Cloakroom
· Three Double Bedrooms
· Family Bathroom
· Gas Central Heating from a Combi Boiler
· Enclosed Garden to Rear
· Garage
· Home Report

Brunton House is a particularly handsome ‘A’ listed property which is positioned within a very attractive location offering views over the village green and towards the Howe of Fife. The property, which was believed to be owned by the Royal Palace’s resident falconer, still retains the original Falconer’s room/study, which is accessed by stone stairs leading out from the large lounge on the upper level. The property was renovated throughout in the late 1960’s by the National Trust and our clients have enhanced the kitchen and family bathroom in recent years. The property offers a great deal of individuality, charm and unique/original features such as attractive original small paned sash and case windows throughout and original doors. Brunton House offers a delightful enclosed garden to the rear and also a garage.
The family proportioned accommodation comprises an entrance vestibule, hallway, dining kitchen which is fitted with wood base, and wall units, gas hob and electric oven. A door leads through to the pantry which is shelved and houses the central heating boiler. There is also a useful dining area with door giving access to the rear. The sitting room has windows to the front and rear. On this level there is also a w.c./cloakroom. Stairs lead to the middle floor where there are two double bedrooms, both having windows to front and rear. The family bathroom has recently been upgraded and offers a three - piece suite comprising w.c., washbasin and bath with shower over. Further stairs lead to the top floor where there is a double bedroom with windows to front and rear, and excellent storage facilities. The spectacular large lounge has superb high arched ceiling, timber mantle and windows to front and rear. As previously mentioned, a narrow stone staircase offers access to the original falconer’s room/study.
To the rear of the property is an attractive enclosed garden. The area immediately outside the rear door is paved. Stone steps lead up to the garden, which is delightfully laid out with some lawn plus a wide selection of trees and herbaceous borders. The greenhouse and garden shed will be included. A pathway directly to the rear of the garden offers private pedestrian access to the garage. The clients have recently fitted a combi gas fired central heating system throughout with the exception of the falconer’s room.
All carpets and fitted floor coverings
Integrated kitchen appliances
Greenhouse and garden shed are included.
Falkland is also a transition town with all the benefits that may bring. Falkland Palace orchards and lands also host the Big Tent Festival in the Summer.
By appointment through our Auchtermuchty Office 01337 828775 or Direct with Clients on 01337 857277
Worth a look.

Winter Sky Dec 27 North Fife

Winter sky here at Flisk north fife this evening Dec 27. I never cease to appreciate the ever changing beauty of sky colours and cloud types that are presented, I think this one augers more snow, och well it is winter after all.

No traffic today in this neck of the woods, last night a gritting lorry went by before the snowfall to no avail so it looks like we'll be snowbound for a while given the road gradient of 1 in 10 east or west.

Well it's still there, the white stuff, tonight at 6-30 pm, just might remain for a while yet. Ahhhgh

Friday, December 25, 2009

Lockerbie to North Fife

Leaving Lockerbie to drive home to North Fife, a journey of unknown weather, in the event it was very picturesque and uneventful, the only snowfall occurring as I approached home.

Heading north on the M74.

Biggar town centre with unusual pendulous street lights.

Beech trees and Scots pine. Winter snow exposes windswept nature of the trees.

Blythe Bridge on the A701

Nearing home in a blizzard on the M9, a welcome sign.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Road To Eskdalemuir

On the road from Lockerbie to Eskdalemuir.

Beech trees and Fir along the way.

It's not often one sees these trees in this covering, what wonderful patterns of display.

Gateway to the forest.

Eskdalemuir valley looking north to Ettrick a place chronicled by James Hogg.

A pheasant, not a partridge nor in a pear tree, still a pheasant with quite dark plumage.

North Fife Weather 21 December

Evening sky at Flisk North Fife. There's a saying "red sky at night shepherds delight" I must say the only delight is visual the rest is preety uncomfortable and even hazardous getting about.

Muir Dens on the road to Hazleton and Flisk.

Wintery Cloud above the Gauldry and snow did follow.

Looking East from Coultra towards St Andrews.

Belhelvie Farm from Pittachope, beyond a fog bound River Tay.

Pittachope Wood.

Red Deer at Logie farm.

The River Tay Christmas Eve 2009

The River Tay this Xmas eve and a cold one at that.

The River Tay Christmas Eve 2009 Newburgh, Mugdrum Island, the Carse of Gowrie through to Dundee in the East North Fife.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Renewable Energy Scotland

Wood power renewable energy Lockerbie. As one approaches Lockerbie from the North on the M74 twin chimney stacks come into view gassing the atmosphere.
Stevens Croft Wood Burning Plant, Lockerbie, Scotland, is a €132m 44MWe Bubbling Fluidised Bed plant has been built. The CO2 neutral plant is the UK's largest dedicated wood burning plant, and has been built by a Siemens/Kvaerner consortium. It will burn 475,000t of sustainable wood fuel a year, including 95,000t of short rotation coppice. It will save up to 140,000t of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

Commissioning of Stevens Croft was in autumn 2007. E.ON won Best Renewable Project 2007 at the Scottish Green Energy Awards for the project. It is creating 40 direct jobs and should create or safeguard over 300 jobs in forestry and farming, as well as encourage additional investment in sawmills.
All laudable, the down side is the harvesting of local timber and its transportation. Many road accidents have occurred, buildings and houses demolished, roads rutted and potholed which need repair at tax-payers cost, it's truly a hazard to drive the same roads from Ettrick through Eskdalemuir and Castle O'er forests. Och well, E.ON shareholders can sit happy they're doing their bit for the planet, hearsay is the plant is only 40% efficient. Same stuff, spin v reallity.

Rose Laing Eskdalemuir

Rose Laing, Psychic, Sooth-sayer, tarot card reader and a remarkable woman, gifted beyond the norm.
Rose moved to Eskdalemuir some 30 years ago to be near Akong Rimpoche, Tulku of the Karma Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism, co-founder and former Abbot of Samye-Ling Tibetan centre, Eskdalemuir. Akong Rimpoche, mentor and teacher has/is guiding Rose along the path.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Snow North Fife

Last night in North Fife we had a gentle fall, a mere sprinkle compared to much of southern England where apparently people had to sleep in their vehicles, driving being impossible. Strange, although north fife is 4 to 500 miles further north we have a relatively kind climate. That's for the now.
Tomorrow I journey South to the Borders to visit friends and party, it's that time of the year, Solstice and then Christmas, then Hogmanay. A time of joyfully coming together.
It's a weather dependant journey and normally I turn left at the Leadburn after passing through Auchendinny from the Edinburgh Bypass on the A6094, instead going onto the A701 to Biggar after joining the A702, along here the road runs parallel to the West coast railway line to London where on occasions one can have hand waving acquaintance with passengers as we zoom along together and thence to Abington where we join the M74. A superb stretch of Motorway that meanders through the hills and valleys of Dumfries to Lockerbie. My first call.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

St Andrews Cupar Anstruther Crail

St Andrews, Cupar North Fife, Anstruther, Crail and much of Fife Coastal Path is covered in this Explorer Series of Ordinance Survey Map.
This Blog contains over 1000 pages of events, places, photos and videos in the archive. North Fife is rich in castles, places, views and much to interest. Should you visit here at any time this map will certainly assist in finding the better and lesser known spots. I highly recommend it.St.Andrews and East Fife: Cupar, Anstruther and Crail (Explorer)
Product Description

This map is part of the Ordnance Survey's Explorer series designed to replace the old Pathfinder map series. At 1:25,000 scale this detailed map shows a host of attractions including gardens which are open to the public, nature reserves and country parks as well as all official footpaths, bridleways, roads and lanes. Other facilities covered include: camping and caravan sites, picnic areas and viewpoints, selected places of interest. National Trail and Recreational Path routes, and selected tourist information. The main advantages of this map are the geographical design of the sheetlines to capture the best local coverage, and the coverage of a larger area for value for money. The series is aimed mainly at the experienced map user but can be used by tourists and locals alike.