Thursday, 30 September 2010

Lager Lout

It's not Miller High Life, champagne of beers but it's close enough......

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Worth waiting for?

My wife brought this home for me tonight. I'm a happy happy man. It's
the new Jack Reacher novel. I've read all 15 previous stories. Well
more like inhaled them ever since I discovered Killing Floor in one of
those hotel lending tables. You know the places I mean, the place
everyone dumps their used paperbacks instead of incurring the weight
on the way home from, Greece for me that time.

I think this one is going to be different. I'm almost scared to read
it. The last novel was a bit of a shock, Reacher is getting on, he's
old, mentally he's a fraction slower, physically he's not as strong.
He very nearly met his match and now seeing the title, 'Worth Dying
For'. Is this it? Is he at a cross roads? I haven't even read the
jacket and my mind is racing. What if this it? No more Reacher, it's
possible. Plus it's the first time Lee Child had release two novels in
the same year. That's big in itself. Something big and explosive is in
this book and only reading it will set it in motion! Oh I am scared,
maybe later. I've got the fear, I wish I was Reacher.....

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Days Out - Dumfries House & Estate

Dumfries House

I spent Saturday afternoon with my family at Dumfries House, Cumnock, Ayrshire. This is old pastures for me. I used to walk through the grounds here very regularly when I still stayed with my parents in Cumnock. In fact most weekends were spent in the woods and on the trails. However it was the first time in a long time since I had been there. In fact it was the first time since the estate was bought from Johnnie Dumfries by Prince Charles and his trust. The house is famous, well famous locally and to those that know for being one of the Adam Brother's first stately homes. Both John and Robert worked on and oversaw the construction from 1754 until 1759. It is also known for it's unique collection of Chippendale furniture. Much of it designed specifically for the house.

Dumfries House

Not much has changed other than you can now actually have a tour of the house, by appointment and they have a tea room where you can enjoy a high tea at a reasonable cost as well as the ubiquitous gift shop. There is evidence that they are trying to improve things and make the place more accessible. There is scaffolding up around the Carriage houses, which were falling badly into disrepair. It will be interesting to see what use they will make of the Carriage houses when they have been repaired. Holiday cottages or something I should think. Also during my walk along the trails I notice a lot of woodland management going on with the felling of trees and the marking of the trails with posts. Though not all the trails are marked yet but hopefully that will change. The grounds are full of architectural surprises most of them in ruin after years of neglect. There are wall gardens, estate house and the saw mill to name but a few things to stumble over while you wander.


There's not much evidence of the earlier house, Liefnorris, apart from the doocot (the photograph above). It has the coat of arms above the door and a date on the door lintel of 1671.

Window of the chapel

The photograph is of the stained glass window of the lady chapel, it looks to be the Virgin Mary holding the baby Jesus. The tea room is now in what used to be the private chapel but you can't actually see the window from inside the tea room, it's behind a rather large set of double doors. It's a shame as it would be really nice to see it in full glory rather than from the back.

Road to the Bridge

The photograph above is looking down 'The Avenue' towards the bridge designed and built by the Adam Brothers. Just one of the many walks start from about here. One of the longest and well marked trails goes from here all the way up to the Barony 'A' Frame, which is a walk of about 6km. The estates is rather large and most of the paths are either estate roads, gravel paths or muddy trails. 

Lugar Water

A view a long the Lugar water back towards Cumnock on one of the many trails. However this one doesn't go far but it's an enjoyable walk all the same.

So if your down in sunny Ayrshire why not pop in for a couple of hours and enjoy a good walk. Any questions or if you think I've omitted something glaringly obvious that would be of interest then leave a comment.

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Wednesday, 29 September 2010

1 tomato, 2 tomatoes, 3 tomatoes 4

This is the last of the tomato crop from this summer. All grown in
what sunshine Ayrshire had this summer. They've been fantastic and the
taste has been beyond compare. Just got the winter vegetables to look
forward to, in nice big stews and soups.

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Sunday, 26 September 2010

The magic mirror and ball pit of doom

Well I had to make it sound interesting but the genius that came up
with the ball pit is a wizard because @babybunten just loves her's.
We're also now fascinated with the 'other' baby in the mirror. It's
the ultimate combination at the moment. It's all fun, fun, fun if your

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Saturday, 25 September 2010

Red Admiral

Witnessed about a dozen red admirals flying around today at Dumfries
House, Cumnock. Haven't seen that many in a long time but I don't live
in the country any more. I'm a towny these days.

They were all swarming about the lavender plants. I think it's a red admiral.

If it's not leave a comment and let me know.

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Friday, 24 September 2010

A Hellenic Legend

Managed to get some of my favourite Greek beer, Mythos. Just reminds
me of great summers on Crete, Kefalos and the like.

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Thursday, 23 September 2010

Autumn is here.

Autumn has arrived. Got out of work to find my car covered in leaves.

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Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Monday, 20 September 2010

Monday, 13 September 2010

The sun has set

Finished my bottle of Arran Sunset now for a bottle of Deuchars IPA
from the Caledonian brewery, then to bed.

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An Arran Sunset

I can't get my favourite beer, Arran Ale. It's not available in any of
the local shops here so I'll just make do with the 2nd best, Arran
Sunset. Oh the sacrifices but I'll deal with it ;)

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Sunday, 12 September 2010

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Trouting about

Badger set

Days Out - Whitelee Windfarm - 2nd Time

Whitelee Windfarm

It was a fine day if a little windy yesterday and my parents were up visiting from Cumnock. They were really only up to see my daughter, I'm second best, probably actually third behind my wife. They brought the dog with them, Breagh an Irish springer spaniel. They wanted to go out somewhere with the buggy and also somewhere they can take the dog. We've now, in the last 9 months or so exhausted all of East Kilbride's parks and walks that are suitable for both the dog and the buggy. Having enjoyed myself so much the last time at the windfarm, I made the suggestion. However I did prefix it with a warning, once we're out on the moss there's just the walking and the views. My mum asked can we get a coffee near by and I told her about the cafe in the visitors centre. That settled it, we were off. Somewhere to get a coffee seems to be the clincher for my parents these days.

We arrived and got parked. It was really busy, the car park was almost full. Visitors ranging from families, casual walkers, Mountain bikers and dog walkers were all about. After that we headed over to the visitor centre and my Mum got the coffees in while Dad and I fed Rowan.

I was much better organised this time and we took the Lochgoil curcuit as recommended by Phil Turner, @PhilOutdoors. It was a cracking walk and we took it at an easy pace. I'm going to have to go back again, as about half round, near the control centre there's a monument in the middle of the field but I didn't want to enter the field as it was full of sheep. Never a good idea regardless of how well your dog is trained. I'm thinking its probably a covenanter memorial. There's plenty of them dotted alround this area and I've visited a few. I'd be very surprised if it's not. I'll need to get up close to know for sure.

Whitelee Windfarm

I really need to get myself a decent camera. My photographs really are not doing the views and justice what so ever.

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the walk and the dog got a good run out. Two new converts to the wonders of the Windfarm. 

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Friday, 3 September 2010

This what happens when daddy puts me to bed boo

Google this?

Look closely at the reflection in my wing mirror and you can see the

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Achievement Unlocked


Does anyone out there use digg anymore? Or is digg dead? 

BTW this post is just to verify to digg I own this, so you can just ignore this or leave a comment?

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