Welcome reader to my blog - a mixture of this and that. Now that we are living in a retirement community in downtown Columbia, MD my personal gardening activities are somewhat curtailed. I still enjoy visiting gardens, reading, watching wildlife on my walks, traveling, and occasional food commentary. Please leave a comment if you feel inspired to do so. I read every one of them.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Scotland - Dunblane Cathedral

Having Dunblane Cathedral in the town where we made our base was such a bonus.  We walked around it and inside it the first afternoon we arrived.  It's an Historic Scotland property but since there's an active church there the admission is free.  The next day we had a tour by a member of the church and learned all the history.  Not sure how much I remember but it was fascinating.


Here's what was included in the Historic Scotland pamphlet:
"One of Scotland's finest medieval churches.  The lower part of the tower is Romanesque but most of the building was built in the 1200s and extensively restored in the 1800s.  The 15th century choir stalls - amongst the oldest now surviving in Scotland - are carved with real and fantastical beasts."

Here are a few photos of the inside of the church.  I'll share more another day.























We attended church there the our first Sunday in Scotland.  We walked to church listening to the change ringers.  We were delighted with the organ, choir and handbells that accompanied the service. The service was well attended and singing the hymns filled the cathedral with music.




Monday, October 16, 2017

Scotland - The Logistics

We did Scotland using Untours and what a wonderful experience that was.  I guess it was almost a year ago we decided to go, we looked at the properties available for just two people and the two week period we wanted to travel.  We then booked it with Untours and other than our finding the flights, they took care of the rest: booking the rental property, reserving the car, arranging for airport to car rental transfer, supplying us with GPS and cellphone, and stocking the kitchen with groceries.  We were pleasantly surprised to find there was an orientation to Scotland the day after we arrived.  Untours has many properties in Sterling and vicinity, but that arrival week we were the only ones so didn't have to share the orientation with anyone.

Our flat was the only one in Dunblane.  Others were in Stirling and Bridge of Allan.  We had a two bedroom here in this old mill building on the Allan Water.





The flat had the three large windows on the far right, first floor in the building below.



There was a lovely walk on both sides of the river.


We met Val, our Untours coordinator at the Dunblane Cathedral that first Thursday and were given a tour by a member of the church.  More on this cathedral in another post but cathedral dates to the 13th century and the lower part of the tower to the 11th century.



When we came out the sun was shining.


Val took us to a local restaurant for coffee/tea and scones where we met Padraic who regaled us with poems about Rob Roy in both English and Gaelic.


We popped in to the Dunblane Museum.  More on that another time.  Tennis champ Andy Murray is from Dunblane.


He's responsible for this mailbox being gold.

We then walked over to the Leighton Library, the oldest private library in Scotland.


Robert leighton (1611-1684) was Bishop of Dunblane and left his collection of books to the town along with funds to build a library.





Our last stop was for tea at Another Tilly's Tea Shop where Val answered all our questions and some we didn't even think to ask.


Much more to come on our trip, but I can't say enough about how wonderful Untours and Val were for us.  After that orientation we felt ready to explore on our own the land of the Scots.



Thursday, October 12, 2017

Back from Scotland

We arrived home last evening from a wonderful trip to Scotland.

Today I've been tackling laundry, the mail, bookkeeping, emails, and other items on my to do list.  With the time change from there to here, it was too easy to rise early this morning, but by afternoon I had to have a nap.  Now my body is telling me that it is 11:00 at night, past my bedtime but I will try to stay up or I'll never adjust to the time.

I did manage to download all the photos I took but have done no sorting.  I'll randomly select some to give you an idea of the beauty of Scotland.











Monday, September 25, 2017

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Today I'm frantically gathering to pack using the list I created over the last month.

Lots to do before we depart on a jet plane.

Heading to Scotland.


Lots to share upon my return.

Monday, September 4, 2017

It must be Done

I need to take a break from blogging.

Several demands on my time plus an upcoming extended trip require that I spend less time on photography and blogging.  
I am chair of a committee at church looking for a new pastor.  
I am Nana to granddaughter #3 and her mommy needs help twice a week for now as she prepares to return to the workforce.  
I have to help edit the Vantage House newsletter for October.  
And on top of all that I need to get ready for traveling abroad at the end of this month.  

So blogging friends, I may still have time to read your posts and occasionally comment, but no posts for awhile.  Look for my return in mid-October.

 I promise to regale you then with photos from Scotland.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Memphis Fences

Went back into the files to find some fences to share on Fences hosted by Gosia.

These photos date to last January when we visited memphis, TN.

First a fence around playground equipment at Graceland.


Also at Graceland the fence around the field where Elvis had horses.


Here is the family graveyard at Graceland, notice the fence in the foreground and around the fountain in the center.


Here's view of the Mississippi from the top of the Pyramid with a fence to keep you safe.


At in the historic district there's a iron fence separating neighboring properties.


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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Random Assortment

I have had these photos saved for what I don't know.  With nothing else to share at present thought I'd show you these.

I think they qualify as Treasures.

From Cornish Flat, NH I share these two millstones.  One has been repurposed into a monument of sorts.


The other just  graces the ground.


In Harpers Ferry, WV, first a sun umbrella over a burial plot.


I had to ask why it was there and the answer was for the renovators working on the gravestones.

On the Maryland mountain side across the river was this ghost sign.  Only the borders remain to say there once was a sign there.



Also in Harpers Ferry, where the Potomac River on the left met the Shenandoah River on the right - can you see the line?


In Frederick, MD I share these signs.  The first was embedded in the pavement advertising a watchmaker or jeweler, I think,


And on the side of the building was another ghost sign.



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