Friday, 26 June 2009

Skywatch Friday

Summer is definitely here! All this week we have had wall to wall sunshine with plenty of heat thrown in.

Tomorrow, we head off on the motorbike for a week's holiday. Fingers crossed that this isn't the cue for the rainclouds to roll in.

Sun, sea and sand. What more could you ask for?

To see hundreds more skies, take a look here

Sunday, 21 June 2009

"To the Papmobile, Teasel!"

Jana has accompanied us on quite a few cycling trips but the little hairies have always had to stay at home. All that has changed with the creation of the 'papmobile'!

There is room for only one little dog so they'll have to take turns at coming along for the ride. Teasel got the first shot and, after a moment or two of confusion, she loved it. Our route took us away from the road, where she got to run free and do a spot of rabbit hunting too.

We'll have to draw lots to see who goes on the next trip. Either that or get a few more baskets for the bikes!

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Motorbiking, a moat and mixed weather

It's almost midsummer and, as usual, the British weather just doesn't know what it wants to do! We had some warm, sunny days earlier in the week, a real dreich day in the middle, improving to sunny intervals in between heavy showers being blown in by a strong wind today.

It may have been unsettled weather but it's already been a much better summer than last year. After a couple of lovely weeks in May, we waited in vain for the sunshine to return. 2008 - the summer that never happened.

One thing's for sure, we've been getting some interesting skies just lately. To see more of them, from all over the world, visit Skywatch Friday.

We watched this shower pass us by.

We were lucky, there was more blue than grey.


Tuesday's weather was just perfect for a run out on the motorbike. We headed out over the very bleak Dava Moor and passed Lochindorb on the way. There is a ruined 13th century castle on an island in the middle of the loch. It once belonged to the infamous Wolf of Badenoch.

Stopping lochside to admire the view. We encountered about five cars on the narrow road - it must have been rush hour!

Looking back to the castle

The ruins

My view of the Dava from the back of the bike.

We ended up following a few country roads that we'd never been on before. This one was lined by some lovely rhododendron bushes.

Not only did we have an enjoyable ride but we called in for tea at the Mill Inn, Brodie. I stopped short of taking photos of the meal but I can tell you that it was delicious. I'd recommend the Inn if you're ever passing that way.


Wednesday was mostly rainy but it cleared for the evening and that allowed for a pretty sunset. Jana and I went down to the windy beach to watch. We had the place to ourselves, must have been too chilly for the usual sky watchers.

An interesting cloud formation over the harbour. It was picking up some colour from the setting sun further west.

Jana's ears are blowing in the wind.

Nice sky, choppy sea.


One of our walks today was to Duffus castle.

Desmond at his happiest - chasing and barking!

The castle is surrounded by a moat, parts of which are covered in a green weed and this proved to be the downfall of one small dog........ as you will see.

There were lots of tadpoles to be seen in the clearer stretches. These were all swimming in the same direction, as if they were doing laps of the moat! We decided it had something to do with the wind creating a current. No legs on this lot yet. (Click to enlarge)

These were on the other side and are slightly more developed. You can see their back legs.

Just a bit further on and we saw lots of these little guys in the grass at the water's edge. They made a beeline for the water just as our feet approached. Funny how there seemed to be different stages of metamorphosis as we moved around the moat.

Rosa was the small dog who made the mistake of thinking that the green weed was solid ground! It was her first ever swimming experience and, although she did a perfect doggy paddle, I don't think she'll make a habit of it. In a bit of a panic, she headed out towards the middle of the moat and had to be encouraged to turn back to the bank. Taking photos was not priority but I did get a shot of her drookit self afterwards.

You may be wondering what Jana is doing.
This is the rear view of a shaking vizsla. After a high speed run down the hill, her brakes failed and she also took an unplanned dip into the moat.

I can't imagine what the tadpoles made of it all.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Back in blogland

I am so behind with posts! Life seems to have got in the way of blogging.......but that's probably better than blogging getting in the way of life!

This is going to be a long post, with lots of family photos. For those of you who don't know us, I hope it isn't too boring. I've thrown in a few of the dogs for good measure so don't give up too soon.

Our family gathering was a once in a blue moon affair, the first time that my mum has been able to get all of her grandchildren together for a photo. My brother and family were over from Vancouver and my sister and her family came up from England. Ian, Lynne and Euan made it, despite a few hurdles, and Adam's uni exams had finished just in time for him to get here too.

All present and correct

All the grandchildren.
There is quite an age range, from Ian at 27 (and a dad himself) down to Elara who is 2.

Mum and her grandchildren, plus great grandson Euan.
Another grandchild is due in August and made it into the family group shot at the top, you can just about make out Nikki's bump - it's a handy resting place for Elara!

My brother Stuart.
His new camera is the same as mine and I've borrowed a couple of his photos for this post. (I have to admit to taking some lovely shots in totally the wrong light setting! Cue blue tinged grandchildren)


It was warm and sunny on our patio this day so we thought we'd take a trip to Roseisle beach............

.............where it was incredibly windy!!
Keep your hair on Euan!

A bit of wind wasn't bothering Euan though and he had a swinging time.

Off the beach and into the forest. No wind here.
LSH has an intellectual discussion about pine cones with Elara...........

..........which leads to unicorn impressions!


We visited the farm shop, the play area is a favourite, not to mention the coffee and cake.

Alex and Lewis getting a different perspective on things

Euan steers the pirate ship.....................

.....................and Elara peeks out from below


This was the last day that everyone was here and the weather was lovely

Testing the water on Hopeman beach (it was cold!!)

Euan wonders what Elara has.
"It's banana, do you want some?"

"Thanks, maybe I will.
Hmmm.......not too sure now"

"You dropped it in the sand Euan! It'll be all crunchy now!"

Lewis had great fun kicking the football up and down the dunes with his big cousins.

Looks like Euan is ready to catch.

Big shoes to fill

Elara gives us a smile

Alex had fun with Jana

Dune surfing

Elara looks tickled pink!

Euan tickled too

Stuart took this one of Euan doing jazz hands. Wonder if he's thinking of a career on the stage?


Another day and a trip to Duffus castle with Adam and the paps

Hebe, hot and happy

Downhill racers


Back on Hopeman beach

I love this photo.
Lewis's face is a little dark but I hope you can see the gleeful expression he has on it
(click to enlarge)

Alex jumps for joy too

Adam can't resist it..........

........and nor can Jana


We had a show last Saturday, it was my local one, being only 6 miles down the road. It was great not having the usual early start! There were no great wins in the ring for the paps but Jana did manage to win one of her classes. It was a very warm day and we were indoors so it made the run through the fields afterwards all the more enjoyable.

Pansy with her ball
"This is more like it!"

Happy smiley people