Our weather has been generally good of late with lots of blue skies but the odd heavy shower has also made an appearance. Here's one that was making its way towards Covesea Lighthouse and Lossiemouth West Beach.
Go over to Skywatch Friday, where you'll see amazing skies from all around the world.
The dogs have taken a back seat on the blog during the holiday posts but now they're back.
While we were away the dogs were split between my mum, Chris and Jenny. Jana didn't seem to miss us very much, she was too busy having fun with Keira, Brint, Sadie and Jasper pug.
Jana dangling a toy in front of Jasper
News of a successful show two weeks ago. For various reasons, I haven't been able to get to many shows in the last few months so it was great to be out at Bon Accord KA's open show in Aberdeen. The weather defied the forecast and stayed warm and dry, which is just as well, seeing as there is no wet weather provision at this venue.
It was a lovely day out and the dogs did very well. Pansy and Louis had to make do with third places but both Rosa and Desmond won their classes and then Des went on to take Best of Breed. It was pretty hot during the group judging, he was starting to get a bit fed up and, seeing as there were eleven dogs there, I wasn't expecting too much. However, I was very pleased when he made the shortlisted six and then chuffed to bits when he actually won the group!
The photo below was taken after he'd won the group and my friend Anne Macgregor (Pyatshaw) had to work quite hard to get it because he was his usual uncooperative self!
Desmond with his Bon Accord rosettes
Last weekend I was at a local charity show with Pansy and Jana. It was a nice afternoon out, the dogs were placed well enough but, for them, the best bit came afterwards when they went for a run at Duffus Castle with Jenny and Morag's dogs.
Cue lots of running dogs.
Logie, Pansy and Sadie
Sadie had a great time in the moat, then shook half of it over us
Speedy Pug! Not sure what he's doing with his tongue
Group pose Logie, Sadie, Jasper, Gigha, Jana and Pansy
More show news. Yesterday I was at Dingwall for Highland CA's open show and it turned out to be Desmond's day again. He took Best of Breed and then second in the group, Jasper pug won it! Pansy took Best Opposite Sex and Louis won the Toy veteran class. Rosa was entered but she is in season and so had to stay at home (and complained bitterly about it all day, according to LSH).
It was another nice day out, not only did we do well but plenty of friends did the same and it was nice to sit in the sun and watch proceedings. Next week we do it all over again at Turriff, fingers crossed for the weather.
Des with his prizes
Pansy and her Best Opposite Sex trophy
Louis with another Best Veteran award
The winners with trophies and rosettes from Bon Accord and Highland
The last of our holiday photos. I'm gradually catching up!
We left Sunderland and headed north to Edinburgh on what was probably the hottest day of the year so far. Even on the move there was little cool air, unzipping my jacket a bit and opening up my cuffs were about the only things I could do to avoid overheating. Whenever we stopped it was a case of strip off as much as was decently possible! No complaints though, it could so easily have been raining.
We took country roads where possible and quite often we had these roads to ourselves. It made for great biking.
The open road
Alnwick Castle was the first on our route and it is surely the epitome of an English castle. You can easily imagine knights and battles here! The earliest parts of the castle date back to 1096.
A closer view of Alnwick Castle
We stopped at Seahouses for lunch and could see our next castle, Bamburgh, further up the coast.
One of our 'things to do' whilst in Edinburgh was climb Arthur's Seat and we arrived back in the city with enough time to tackle the peak. The fact that Edinburgh was baking in 30C heat did not exactly make for perfect conditions but I was willing to give it a go. LSH was not so willing, he thought it was a mad idea and was determined to have a heart attack on the way up just to prove it! He survived, of course, but both our hearts did get a good work out as it was a steep climb. The view from the top was well worth the effort, though.
Looking up to the summit before the climb. Heart in chilled mode.
LSH at the summit. Heart in racing mode!
The view south
Looking back down to the loch where we had parked and to the east.
Looking over Salisbury Crags and the city. Into the sun, unfortunately, but it couldn't be helped
This is the loch where we parked. It's about half way up Arthur's Seat and it's so quiet and peaceful there that you'd never believe you were in the middle of a city. It was quite busy with people of course but there were no city noises. I was amazed at how many people were running and cycling around and up (!!) the hill, we were huffing and puffing just walking it!
I really enjoyed my time there, the people of Edinburgh are lucky to have such a lovely, green and fairly wild place right in the middle of the city.
Our last day in Edinburgh and we met up with Ian, Lynne and Euan for a trip to the zoo. The last time I was there I was about two years old, not much older than Euan is now.
I have mixed feelings about zoos and definitely don't like to see large animals cooped up but it's perhaps not so bad for some of the smaller exhibits. A lot of effort is made to try and provide as natural an environment as possible and most of the endangered animals are part of a breeding programme. It's also a way of seeing just how big, or small, they are in the flesh. Something that doesn't always come across on TV.
Euan makes an entrance. I've forgotten what the animal was behind the screens but it obviously wasn't as much fun as this peek-a-boo game.
This baby Pygmy Hippopotamus was the newest addition to the zoo, she was about 4 weeeks old...........
.............and really rather cute.
Afternoon nap required (for Euan, not Ian!)
This wild beastie seemed to have escaped from its cage
What fantastic eyebrows!
How can it possibly sleep in this position?
You can watch the penguins as they 'fly' underwater. So much more at home there than on land......
........as could be seen during the 'Penguin Parade'
Every afternoon the penguins come out (if they feel like it) for a walk round the green beside their enclosure. It's very popular, certainly with visitors, and apparently with the penguins too.
I have no idea!
This Red River Hog has to be the ugliest animal in the zoo, although I expect the female in with him really goes for that look.
Euan follows in his dad's footsteps (hand holds?) and does a spot of climbing
Heading for the monkey house.......looks like three inmates have escaped
Ian and Euan in the jungle
Adam gets looked in the eye
These Rainbow Lorikeets come to feed on nectar in little pots
Euan wasn't convinced of their appeal
Aren't rhinos just the strangest looking creatures?