Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween / Samhain North Fife

Halloween / Samhain as celebrated over the weekend in the Co-op store Newburgh. As always the staff enter into the spirit of the times and we all enjoy. A good community experience.

What's up.

Halloween at the Co-op Newburgh north fife, staff cast aside normal working clothes and indulge.
Halloween (also spelled Hallowe'en) is an annual holiday celebrated on October 31. It has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holy day of All Saints, but is today largely a secular celebration.
Samhain marked the end of the harvest, the end of the "lighter half" of the year and beginning of the "darker half". It was traditionally celebrated over the course of several days. Many scholars believe that it was the beginning of the Celtic year. It has some elements of a festival of the dead. The Gaels believed that the border between this world and the otherworld became thin on Samhain; because so many animals and plants were dying, it thus allowed the dead to reach back through the veil that separated them from the living. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities.

Pears Newburgh Garden.

Pears. Conference pears hanging in there after leaf fall in a Newburgh garden. These pears need to be set aside in the warmth to totally ripen, yes, delicious.

Newburgh Sky October 30th

The sky, always there, always different.

Newburgh Sky October 30th. Pierced by jet vapour trail.

Tayview 30th October. Nightfall over the River Tay.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Autumn North Fife 2010

It's hard to resist a closer look at the rich variety of colours found in the leaf fall of Autumn, this year has been no exception for me in north fife.

Sycamore leaf atop a mixture.

Wonderful patterns in Hornbeam leaves.

Litter with ash leaf.

Ash tree seeds ready to wing away.

Beech leaf litter.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

North Fife Railway

A wander out today to enjoy the autumnal colours and exercise my new knee.

North Fife Rail Bridge at Stirton just west of Kilmany. In remarkably good condition with skill-fully crafted brick and stone work.

Stirton Rail Bridge, one of the few remaining structures of the long disused north fife railway.

The railway follows Motray Water which eventually runs into the River Eden.

Still with leaves, a bright yellow before they turn the rich brown associated with Beech.

National Cycle Route 777 North Fife

National Cycle Route 777 North Fife heading for the Gauldry from Hazelton cross roads on the Barony Road. Cyclists are warned of leaping deer.

Birkhill Woods just West of Hazelton walls.

Autumnal colours on Birkhill Estate. The Earl and Countess of Dundee invite you to share their house...Just a short cycle ride down the drive.
Birkhill is the family home of the Earl and Countess of Dundee and their family. Lord Dundee is the Hereditary Royal Standard Bearer for Scotland, his ancestors carried the Scottish Banner for William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. Bruce later appointed the Standard Bearer and his successors as custodians of the City of Dundee which lies just across the Tay.

Kindle 3G Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 6" Display, Graphite, 3G Works Globally - Latest Generation

Amazing. Carry your library in your pocket.

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Kindle is our #1 bestselling item for two years running. It's also the most-wished-for, most-gifted, and has the most 5-star reviews of any product on
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Energy Saving Week 25-31 October 2010

Energy Saving Week 25-31 October 2010

Loads of links and connections to help you save lots of money.

It's here! Finally! Energy Saving Week has begun! It's now officially time to take control of your energy saving habits – and the Energy Saving Trust is here to help you!

Before we get into the nitty, gritty of what's happening this Week I want to tell you about our amazing eco-fit your home prize draw – your chance to win £20,000 worth of Energy Saving Trust Recommended products!

The lucky winner will grab themselves:

* Up to £5,000 worth of windows.
* Insulation and its installation – including loft, pipe and cavity wall.
* A new energy efficient boiler – and a set of house and home heating controls!
* An energy efficient dishwasher, washing machine, fridge freezer, television – and mains controller panel, kettle, printer and pack of LED light bulbs!

All you need to do to win all this great stuff, and give your home an eco-makeover, is request a call back from one of our advisors about an energy saving or generating topic of your choice - whether that's loft insulation, or solar panels.

As you know the Energy Saving Trust is totally impartial and not trying to flog you anything (other than advice!) so you have nothing to lose!

Treat yourself

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Garden Poultry North Fife October

Not able to get about with ease at the moment my gaze is closer to home. I love my poultry.

Our Cockerel. He struts his stuff in the garden, crows a lot but really looks after the hens, scratches about and calls them to eat and stands guard. Quite charming to watch. He has a mixed bag of offspring, all different.

The white one, offspring of the cock. There are two more about six weeks old, one black and the other brown.

St Andrews property 6 kyle Gardens for sale

Offers over £420,000

6 Kyle Gardens, St Andrews
Property Type : Detached
Public Rooms : 1
Bedrooms : 4
Bathrooms : 1
Garden : yes
Garage : yes
An impressive detached villa set within a much sought after area of St Andrews. The property benefits from off street parking via a double driveway and double integrated garage. The villa is positioned within 1.5 miles of St Andrews centre.

Lounge. Dining room. Dining kitchen. Four bedrooms
Master en-suite. Family bathroom. WC/Cloaks. Gardens
Further details.

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Solicitors and Estate Agents
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Tel : 01334 475151
Fax : 01334 477219

E-mail :
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Geordie's Mingin Medicine (Itchy Coo) [Paperback] by Matthew Fitt

We called in to our local library to browse. My daughter decided to borrow this book. What a laugh we have had in reading to each other.

Geordie's Mingin Medicine (Itchy Coo) [Paperback] A Translation into Scots of Roald Dahl's much loved "George's Marvellous Medicine" by Matthew Fitt.

Matthew Fitt is a novelist, poet and translator. Matthew was born in Dundee in 1968.

"I like to write about a wide range of subjects and to switch between poetry and prose. I suppose the strongest theme in my writing is to make language exciting and fresh. I've written so far about floods, hurricanes, virtual polis, wee pigs, coos on loos, muckle monsters, Italian cafes, medieval merchants, pawkie provosts, upside doon puggies, crabbit grannies and a bing of the other stuff. Histories, translations, anthologies, education packs, radio scripts, short stories and poetry films are all things I've tried my hand at and have enjoyed doing."

Matthew's translation is a gem and enhances the story particularly if you wish to ken the rich Scots language. I have no hesitation in recommending it for an entertaining children's book.
A close friend Harvey Holton said "just say it as you read it" then you've got it.

RRP: £4.99
Price: £4.19 & this item Delivered FREE in the UK with Super Saver Delivery.
A great buy for a Christmas pressie. Geordie's Mingin Medicine (Itchy Coo)

Tayview Sky Newburgh October 19th

After a few dull days the sky was back to its sunset splendour. Along with many others I love them.

Tayview Sky Newburgh October 19th.

What an amazing cloud colour and formation, impermanent like rainbows, maybe that's why we like them.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A History of the World in 100 Objects

I've been listening to this series on BBC radio 4 at night and in the morning, quite captivating and enlightening, worth the listen and certainly worth having a hard copy to peruse.

"A History of the World in 100 Objects"

This book takes a dramatically original approach to the history of humanity, using objects which previous civilisations have left behind them, often accidentally, as prisms through which we can explore past worlds and the lives of the men and women who lived in them.

Compiled by the Director of the British Museum, A History of the World in 100 Objects is an intellectual and visual feast.
‘In this book, we travel back in time and across the globe, to see how we humans have shaped our world and been shaped by it over the past two million years. The story is told exclusively through the things that humans have made – all sorts of things, carefully designed and then either admired and preserved or used, broken and thrown away. I’ve chosen just a hundred objects from different points on our journey – from a cooking pot to a golden galleon, from a Stone Age tool to a credit card, and each object comes from the collection of the British Museum.’ [from the introduction] This book takes a dramatically original approach to the history of humanity, using objects which previous civilisations have left behind them, often accidentally, as prisms through which we can explore past worlds and the lives of the men and women who lived in them. The book’s range is enormous. It begins with one of the earliest surviving objects made by human hands, a chopping tool from the Olduvai gorge in Africa, and ends with an object from the 21st century which represents the world we live in today. Neil MacGregor’s aim is not simply to describe these remarkable things, but to show us their significance – how a stone pillar tells us about a great Indian emperor preaching tolerance to his people, how Spanish pieces of eight tell us about the beginning of a global currency or how an early Victorian tea-set tells us about the impact of empire. Each chapter immerses the reader in a past civilisation accompanied by an exceptionally well-informed guide. Seen through this lens, history is a kaleidoscope – shifting, interconnected, constantly surprising, and shaping our world today in ways that most of us have never imagined. An intellectual and visual feast, it is one of the most engrossing and unusual history books published in years.
About the Author
Neil MacGregor has been Director of the British Museum since 2002. Before that he was Director of the National Gallery from 1987 to 2002. He was 'Briton of the Year' in 2008.
RRP: £30.00
Price: £18.60 & this item Delivered FREE in the UK with Super Saver Delivery.
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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Oscar Wilde

Today is the 156th anniversary of the birth of Irish writer Oscar Wilde – one of the greatest playwrights, poets and writers to have ever committed words to paper.
Google are celebrating this event by featuring a Google doodle image of The Picture of Dorian Gray on their homepage.

Here are the top ten things you need to know about the Irish aesthete.

1) Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born on October 16th 1854 in Dublin, Ireland.
2) Lauded as an outstanding scholar of the classics, Wilde attended both Trinity College, Dublin and Magdalen College, Oxford.
3) Wilde moved to London after university, mixing in fashionable circles, and becoming a ‘spokesman for aestheticism’ while partaking in various literary activities.
4) The Picture of Dorian Gray (published June 1890), considered a work of classic Gothic horror fiction, is his only published novel.
5) Drawn to drama, Wilde wrote Salom̩ in French in Paris in 1891 Рbut it was refused a licence.
6) The Importance of Being Earnest, a farcical comedy, is Wilde’s most famous play. It was first performed on February 14th 1895 at St. James's Theatre in London
7) While The Importance of Being Earnest was still running in London, Wilde sued his lover Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas’ father the Marquess of Queensberry for libel after Queensberry left his calling card at Wilde's club, the Albemarle, inscribed: "For Oscar Wilde, posing somdomite".
8) A series of trials lead to Wilde being convicted of gross indecency with other men and imprisoned for two years, held to hard labour. Upon release, he left for France.
9) In prison he wrote De Profundis, a long letter which discusses his spiritual journey through his trials.

10) He died in Paris, France, destitute on November 30th 1900, aged forty six.

The Picture of Dorian Gray (Norton Critical Editions) [Paperback]
This is the only edition available that includes both the 1890 Lippincott's and the 1891 book versions of "The Picture of Dorian Gray". The backgrounds, and reviews and reactions sections allow readers to gauge the novel's sensational reception and to consider heated public debate that the novel's publication engendered. "Criticism" includes seven new essays on the novel. A bibliography is also included.

RRP: £8.99
Price: £8.54 & this item Delivered FREE in the UK with Super Saver Delivery.
A classic. Click to Buy Here. The Picture of Dorian Gray (Norton Critical Editions)

The Oscar Wilde BBC Collection : The Importance Of Being Earnest / The Picture Of Dorian Gray / An Ideal Husband / Lady Windermere's Fan (3 Disc Box Set) [DVD]
Dramatic adaptations of four of Oscar Wilde's works. In 'The Importance Of Being Earnest', Algernon Moncrieff and Jack Worthing are a pair of bachelors who both have alter egos in order to increase their opportunities for having fun. If they are to win the hearts of the girls of their dreams, however, they must realise the vital importance of being earnest. Also features: 'The Picture Of Dorian Gray', 'An Ideal Husband' and 'Lady Windermere's Fan'.

RRP: £24.99
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Friday, October 15, 2010

Water North Fife Blog Action Day

The River Tay, one of the cleanest in the UK. I see it daily including the rain that maintains it. It is still relatively clean because there is not much industrial development between here and its source at Loch Tay in Perthshire, there are agri-chemicals though and less of these would be of benefit.

Tayview 15th October.

Today is Blog Action Day on the subject of water. Clean water, an absolute requirement for healthy life of any kind. Throughout the world many millions of us are dependent upon sustained provision. Here in North Fife we are water rich and even in times of drought there is provision from a deep bore well that taps into an underground river that flows North South deep under The River Tay, clean, free of contaminants and possibly 100s of years old. Contamination is a big problem world wide either through industrial or agri-chemical pollution and over use.
What can be done?
Sign the petition.
Reduction of pollution of all kinds is a good start and mindfulness of our own uses and disposal. Conservation too.
We can only change ourselves in attitude.
Browse other sites.
|Start Petition

Mindfulness of it and others.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tayview 14th October

Tayview 14th October. Compared to most of the UK we had a fair bit of sunshine, this view shows the sand banks and islands on The River Tay at Newburgh, North Fife. 3 weeks ago today was my knee replacement operation so I ventured out without walking aids just to see. I think maybe I'll be back on them tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Convolvulus Hawk Moth

Convolvulus Hawk Moth Agrius convolvuli. A few years ago I came across this wonderful specimen at my front door feeding on Honeysuckle, a female in perfect condition. I captured her for a few days in the hope of finding bindweed, should she had started to lay eggs. A forlorn hope. The plants were dying off but I do now know where to find small stands of bindweed all over North Fife.

A large species, with a wingspan of over 10cm, this is a migrant in Britain, appearing sometimes in fairly good numbers.
It most often occurs in late summer and autumn, usually with influxes of other migrant species, when it turns up in light traps and feeding at garden flowers, especially those of the tobacco plant (Nicotiana)
Although larvae are sometimes found in Britain, usually on bindweed (Convolvulus), it does not regularly breed.

Bindweed, Convolvulus arvensis (Field Bindweed) is a species of bindweed, native to Europe and Asia. It is a climbing or creeping herbaceous perennial plant found occasionally in north Fife where it is not invasive. It has beautiful soft white trumpet flowers, a joy to see on the roadside passing at this time of the year and will continue to flower right through September. A relative of Morning Glory which is rich blue with five radiating magenta petal markings.

One of the weeds discussed in the Weed Book below.

Weeds: How vagabond plants gatecrashed civilisation and changed the way we think about nature [Hardcover]
A lively and lyrical cultural history of plants in the wrong place, by one of Britain’s best and most admired nature writers.
'Mabey offers a diversity and richness of fact, fiction, philosophy and fun ... a great read.'
--Professor Stephen Hopper, Director, Kew Gardens
'Richard Mabey's journey through the realm of weeds is witty, learned and original.' -- Ronald Blythe.
RRP: £15.99
Price: £9.11 & this item Delivered FREE in the UK with Super Saver Delivery.
Order Now, Published 14th October. Weeds: How vagabond plants gatecrashed civilisation and changed the way we think about nature

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Crab Apples October North Fife

Crab Apples along the Barony Road Flisk North Fife. This year all fruits have been in abundance and wild crab apple is no exception. Contrary to what you may think they can be quite delicious, good texture and not sour if left on the tree long enough. You can notice the good colour these are.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Kalu Rinpoche

Kalu Rinpoche at Samye-Ling Tibetan Centre, Eskdalemuir, Scotland in 1975. Kalu Rinpoche was one of the first Tibetan Lamas to tour the world and spread Tibetan Buddhist teachings. Many in this photograph have gone on to practice and teach by his example for the benefit of all sentient beings.

Kalu Rinpoche.
His Eminence the Ven. Kalu Rinpoche Meditation Master of the Shangpa and Karma Kagyu Lineages passed into Paranivana at his monastery Samdrub Darjay Choling on May 10 1989. One of the greatest Buddhist Teachers of our time was highly respected and loved by countless beings that had the great fortunate to meet and receive empowerments and teachings from this Extraordinary Saint. From his humble birth in a remote location in eastern Tibet his enlightened activity brought benefit to countless beings. His heart son Bokar Rinpoche wrote about Kalu Rinpoche "The gentleness of his being, the pervasiveness of his kindness, the brilliance of his wisdom and the irresistibly of his sense of humour has touched hearts in every part of the world".

Kalu Rinpoche.

Kalu Rinpoche, H.H. 16th Karmapa and Gyaltsab Rinpoche, Rumtek 1980.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pumpkins North Fife

Our pumpkins have done well this year, they make amazing pies, soups etc and there is no end to the different kinds that can be grown here in the UK. We are encouraged to try many other types. What better activity can there be than growing ones own and the pleasure in eating and gifting. Inexpensive food compared to supermarket prices.

The Compleat Squash. A Passionate Grower's Guide to Pumpkins, Squashes, and Gourds (Hardcover)

If you only ever buy one book on squashes, this is the one to get! Okay, so it's an american book, hence the 'incorrect' spelling of 'compleat' (spelt 'complete' in the uk), but they are experts on the subject of squashes; after all, native Americans were growing squashes long before Europeans arrived to pillage their land. Politics and linguistics aside however, this book is a work of art.

It is well written and no expence has been spared with the photography and it is lavishly and lovingly illustrated throughout. The author provides artistic photographs of hundreds of squashes and gives you the 'low down' on their culinary quality and other details.

Each squash has the following 'info' issued next to them:

Rind Colour:
Flesh Colour:
Colour Rating:
Best Use:
Synonyms: (other names)
Seed sources: (where possible)

Most also have comments next to them containing such subjects as origins and history.

The book does not cover every squash in existence, but then you would need a book three or four times the size of this one, at least, to get them all in (assuming you devoted the same space for them per page).
To be quite frank, this book makes me drool and I wish I owned a good few acres of land to fully scratch my 'squash itch'.

It's worth mentioning though that many of the varieties are not available in the UK and you would have to order them from abroad. The states will allow the shipping of seeds to this country, but remember, you may need to give some of them extra heat by growing in a greenhouse. Fortunately, those requiring more heat are noted upon in the book and I suggest you give them as longer growing season as you can (cloches etc).
The americans also seem to be more generous with their seed quantities, so you get your moneys worth even with high P&P.

Squash lovers, go buy this now! And if anyone mocks your squash/pumpkin obsession, drop a generous sized 'Dills Atlantic Giant' on them from a great height.
Please note: I accept no responsibility if you put your back out trying to do this. Neither am I responsible for the demise of persons having said squash dropped on their cranium.

RRP: £30.00
Price: £27.00 & this item Delivered FREE in the UK with Super Saver Delivery.
Now is the time to treat yourself and others. The Compleat Squash: A Passionate Grower's Guide to Pumpkins, Squashes, and Gourds