Kinbrylie Diary Page  August 2009


Sunday 2 August

Here we are again and we haven't done very much at all this week as we are now at the peak of the season for B & B.  The car has been great and it is amazing how noisy the old one was, I had forgotten what it was like to drive something quiet, no bangs or clonks etc.

If you  have been following this you will know that we have our roe deer mum and fawns, the young ones are growing amazingly quickly but are still very shy. Mum, however, is getting bolder and as the next couple of photos show she is not helping my plants in the boat.

When I opened the kitchen window to take this photo, she just looked up for a moment then - 

carried on with her supper.

It took more that a few loud shouts to persuade her to leave them alone but by that time she had finished the near container and was tucking into the back one.

A few minutes after she had leisurely hopped over the fence and disappeared into the trees, the other family of pests decided to have a look and see if there was anything for them.

Luckily these wee chaps don't have long enough legs to reach the flowers, but they do do a lot of damage in other ways.

Well sorry that's about all I have for you this week unless ah that's a good idea,  Don is making bread as we speak so I will wait a little longer and take a photo I just wish you could smell it it.

Ready for the oven

Ready to eat.

We are going on a trip next weekend so I will take the camera and hopefully have some great photos for you next week but it will probably be Monday before I can update.

See you then.

Tuesday 11 August 

Sorry for the delay with this week's diary but if you remember we were going away for the weekend and by the time we got home yesterday and caught up with all the chores I'm afraid I was too tired to update.

Well we had a super day on Sunday, after we had finished all the chores on Saturday, we headed off to Aberdeen arriving early evening. Our daughter had booked us a meal at a really nice Italian restaurant which we thoroughly enjoyed. Unfortunately she had a prior engagement so we did not see her. After a restful evening, we headed for the station at 8.15 and were met with the wonderful sight of the Northern Belle train, run by the Orient Express Company. We had always promised ourselves this indulgence and when we saw it advertised in February we decided that we would not miss the opportunity. The trip ran from Aberdeen to Kyle of Lochalsh where we disembarked for a couple of hours for a trip to the  Island of Skye then back to Aberdeen on the train arriving at 23.00.

I took lots of photographs, but I'm afraid that the windows were double glazed and therefore a lot of reflection caused problems. However I will share the best ones with you, half today and the other half on Sunday.

Waiting to leave Aberdeen, the inside of our carriage. Every carriage is named after a stately home, ours was Warwick.

Breakfast was a parcel of scrambled egg wrapped in smoked salmon on a toasted crumpet. It was delicious.

It felt peculiar going through Inverness Station on our way and I couldn't resist a picture of the sleeper train, some of you will know it well.

This is the Dolphin Cruise boat getting ready to leave Inverness for the Moray Firth

View of Inverness harbour from the Black Bridge

Looking back towards the Kessock Bridge, the bridge over the Moray firth to the Black Isle.

Looking north over the Beauly Firth, the long flat topped mountain in the distance is Ben Wyvis.

This is Loch Garve, very popular with fishermen.

This is the end of Loch a'Chuilinn just before it joins Loch Achanalt, between Garve and Achnasheen. Sorry about the reflectiion of Don looking at the water.

Right that is enough for this week and as we have no plans for next week I will show you the rest on Sunday.  The week after we have managed to get tickets for the Edinburgh Tattoo, I have always wanted to see this spectacular and will endeavour to take lots of photos of that but for now it's night night and see you next week.

Sunday 16 August

Righty ho, here we go again, part 2 of the marvellous Train Journey .

This was lunch, cod fillet with asparagus and potato and a creamy sauce, it was delicious and makes me hungry just looking at it again.

This is Loch Carron, looking across to the start of one of the nicest roads in the Highlands, Bealach Na Ba, (the pass of the cattle). It goes from Kishorn to Applecross and was an old drove road, it is now a demanding drive being a very steep hill with many hairpin bends but well worth the effort for the spectacular views.

Loch Carron again looking towards the Kyle, the distant hills are on the Island of Skye.

This photo was taken looking back up Loch Carron towards Achnasheen

and straight across Loch Carron to "Hamish MacBeth counntry" the beautiful village of Plockton.

Crossing the railway bridge at Kyle I managed to get a photo of the front end of the train, there was as much behind me as there was in front. The stretch of water is the Kyle of Lochalsh with Skye on the other side.

Don took this photo on the bus as we headed for the bridge, which you can see just round the next corner. Unfortunately the flash went off and caused a reflection on the window.

The weather turned as we arrived in Armadale at the south end of the island, this is where the ferry crosses over to Maillaig which is the small town on the other side. Sadly our timing was a bit out and there was no sign of the ferry crossing the sound of Sleat (pronouned Slate).

This stunning hydrangea was growing just outside the gardens at Armadale Castle and although just passed its best, it still looked impressive.

Well that's the end of the track now, we didn't have long on Skye and the journey home was as luxurious as the one out. As the nights are drawing in a bit now, most of the homeward travel was spent indulging in a wonderful dinner. 

Next weekend we are going to Edinburgh to see the tattoo so I will try and get some decent photos if I can.

See you then

Sunday 23 August

I can't believe that we have been to Edinburgh and back already, it is the old story, you look so forward to doing something then all to soon it is over. So here is a brief résumé of our trip to the Edinburgh Tattoo 2009.

We decided to take the train from Inverness to Edinburgh as it is difficult to park in the city, and very expensive. After meeting up with my sister and a lovely meal in a small French bistro we set out to walk to the castle, I think half the city had the same idea as you can see from the photo below. I find it hard to believe this happens almost every night for the month of August.

Walking up the Royal Mile towards the castle, the lit tower in the centre of the photograph is the famous Camera Obscura.

Arriving at the castle esplanade I couldn't resist taking a photo. We were ushered to our seats and I couldn't believe our luck, the only better seats we could have had would have been the row in front of us, we were on the second row back and a few rows behind us, taking the salute for the evening was General Petraeus, who was commanding general of the mutinational force in Iraq and is now head of U.S central command.

The show got underway and the mass bands appeared through the gate at the far end of the esplanade with a puff of smoke, you couldn't help feeling extremely patriotic. 

This is the Medical Emergency Response Team which ensures that casualty's receive prompt on-site medical treatment followed by swift evacuation to a health care facility, no matter where they may be. Their demonstration was very convincing and makes you appreciate all that can happen on the battlefield.

Shaanxi She Huo is a troupe from China, from Edinburgh's twin city of Xi'an, they gave an amazing performance and as you can see the centre ones are on stilts. Unfortunately you cannot see that they are portrayed as being on horses they were brilliant and very talented.

It was extremely difficult to take photographs as flash was not allowed and as it was very dark, it was difficult to see the settings on the camera, also the spotlights were changing constantly and by the time the photo was taken the lighting could have changed completely. I also had a head in front of me which I did try to avoid but it wasn't always possible.

The Swiss Army gave us some wonderful music but I was much more enthralled by the changing scenery on the castle wall, this is the best one I could capture. It was amazing the way the background changed.

Now this was definitely my favourite, it was an act called Top Secret Drum Corps from Switzerland. Their performance was extremely clever and amusing.  They are all drummers and for about 10 minutes they really entertained the crowd with very clever variations on drumming.  It would take ages to tell you about it but if you want more then visit (web site in German, but good photos). My favourite bit was when they ignited their drum sticks and played with them flaming, as seen in the photo.

This was a performance from the RAF Massed Bands, as you can see they projected an array of aircraft on the castle walls, this was the best photo I could get.

And of course the grand finale, the fireworks were amazing, but it is difficult to capture the atmosphere on a photo.

This year the theme of the Tattoo was the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns and there were a lot of songs and music of the bard, the lighting was very bright for these scenes and the camera just got vast areas of glare.  The rendition of Tam O'Shanter was excellent but the majority of it took place at the far end of the esplanade and was too far for a good photo.

All in all we had a really good night, the weather was fine until the last minute when it began to rain just at the start of the fireworks, but by then, it was too late to spoil the evening.

Time to finish now and I would like to say that if you get the chance to go to the Tattoo then please do, I haven't mentioned all the other acts, which were entertaining, from all over the world including the south pacific island of Tonga. If you do feel inclined to go then now is the time to start to think about it. It was last September that I downloaded the application form and applied for tickets.

I will be hard pushed to follow the last three weeks but I think it is time for an update on our wildlife friends and what is happening in the garden, polytunnel and oh gosh what has happened to the boat!!!

Tune in next week to find out.

Sunday 30 August

Never mind another week, that is another month over.  Oh well soon be Christmas, I was in Inverness last Friday and Yes I saw the first Christmas items in a shop. One of the charity shops had Christmas Cards in the window and No I didn't buy any, I usually get mine on line. The B & B is still busy and we didn't get a chance to get anywhere this week so I will bore you again with home things.

Remember the naughty mother roe deer who was having her supper at our expense, well she has well and truly ruined my lovely display, all that is left are the ones she can't reach. Still it's nice having them around.

Tomatoes are almost ready, in fact we have eaten a couple already. This truss was so heavy I have had to hold it up with string, another like it has fallen off the plant and I am trying to ripen them indoors.

These are potatoes, I am assured they will be ready in October and will keep till Christmas, we will see. So far they seem to be doing fine.

Now this is the Polytunnel tonight. Don decided to see if there were any cobs on the sweetcorn. I was rather late planting them and will be amazed if they do ripen, it is getting late in the season. They are just beginning to form in the centre.

Now I don't know if you listen to Radio 2 but Chris Evans has been promoting sunflower growing on a Thursday evening. I challenged my boss's husband, who is a keen gardener to, a competition.  This is the first one to flower and I am seriously worried about the others as they have hit the roof and bent over without flowering, maybe I should have grown them outside.

Now these are two of the beef tomatoes that we picked tonight.

Don cuts them up nicely

and we have a wonderful tomato and olive salad for our supper.

Hopefully I will find something interesting for next week - see you then.

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