Hi my lovely friends.
Can any of you give me a bit of advice on how to set up another tab that is more than a page here on Blogger?
I would really like to do a tab on restaurants that I find as I travel and perhaps places to stay too. Do I need to set up a new blog and then link to it as an external feed?
Your advice would be much appreciated.
And here's a wee pic from York yesterday - inspecting the walls for oncoming marauders :)
Saturday, 28 February 2015
Friday, 27 February 2015
|The harbour at Pittenweem|
We spent the weekend with some old friends and on Sunday we all headed out for a drive around The East Neuk of Fife - that's the East Nook, or East Corner of Fife for us non Scottish speakers.
I spotted this wee family of ducks out in the rain ...
We popped into another big farm shop place - at Cambo - where they have dozens of varieties of snowdrops - and a whole family of cheeky little piglets … like this wee fellow.
|swathes of snowdrops at Cambo|
|One of hundreds of pastures of snowdrops - |
someone spent a lot of time planting them.
|Dusk over May Island|
And finishing up in St. Andrews….
|Looking down to St Andrews|
|sunset on the church window|
|Flags at the Old Golf Course in St Andrews|
Thursday, 26 February 2015
|At the border between England and Scotland|
But for the last two-three days I've been feeling rotten with a bad cold and really convulsive coughing which beset me twice during the concert on Tuesday night. I'm so grateful that we had a very kind audience who know us well and who finished the last song for me cos I was coughing so badly.
Our hosts for the night, Mike and Tish, were so sweet. We chatted for a while when we came in and next morning, before I got as far as the shower Tish came in and very kindly ordered me back to bed. We had yesterday off and had planned to find a hotel and just lie about for the day - this was after the original plan of meeting a cousin for lunch had to be shelved due to my sniffles. Anyway, I digress. So they had decided I looked so ill that we could just stay with them for the free day. And boy was I grateful. Everyone went out and left me dozing - I didn't get up until after 5 - I couldn't have if I'd tried. And thankfully I'm a lot better today.
The simplest of gifts mean so much and that was worth a lot to me. Thank you both so much.
What kindnesses have helped your week?
Monday, 23 February 2015
|Back in sight of Ailsa Craig on Friday night|
Folk clubs always have floor singers before the main guest of the evening goes on, and one of the floor singers at Girvan (back down near Ailsa Craig again) on Friday night sang this Jim Douglas song and everyone was falling about the place laughing. Tom and I in turn were laughing at their hysterics, but in truth I got about one word in ten. So our friends that we've been staying with for the weekend gave me the words … it's very funny and it is properly called The New Teacher.
So I thought I would tease you with a snippet of a song and see if you can figure out what the singer is on aboot - especially for any of you teachers reading this who might be trying to teach your childer to speak proper England-like!!!
This has kept me awake most of last night I might add - could not get it out of my head and now I'm wrecked ….
"Is a dove a doo, dad
Is a doo a dove?
Is a cow a coo dad,
A sparrow just a spyug
Is a wall a waw dad
Is a dog a dug?
She's gonny warm ma ear dad
Instead of kelp ma lug."
Here's a video of some children singing it just so you can get the tune and let it stay in your head for the next 24 hours too and I won't be going mad on ma oon…
It's slow getting pictures loaded up when we're travelling - there's not much time to sit on your own. But we had a lovely weekend off from gigs, visiting friends and having a drive around the East Neuk of Fife - I'll be back soon with some pictures.
Today now we're heading to Stirling to sing at the folk club there tonight. Then down into England tomorrow.
Have a brilliant week and I'll be dropping in when I get the chance to say hello on your blogs.
Friday, 20 February 2015
|Photo by Allan McMillan @ Edinburgh Folk Club|
There's not really any time for doing any touristy stuff so I've been snapping pics out the window of the car and annoying Tom's head (he's doing most of the driving) by shouting -ooh that's lovely stop here!!
|Another view of Stranraer harbour |
with the ferry terminal in the background
|Ailsa Craig in the mist|
Then to our first gig in Glasgow which was lovely. The Star Folk Club has been going for more than 40 years - this is a new venue for them and it was smashing - great craic… I only managed a picture of an empty stage but someone posted some on Facebook
|And this pic specially for Kezzie …|
|Dr Who had landed in Glasgow … quick snap through the window:)|
you can see more here…. The gig was great and we saw some old friends who had travelled a good bit to see us and sang a few songs too.
Doris Rougvie is a legend in Scottish folk music - she runs the House of Song at the Celtic Connections festival in January every year
- and her husband Hugh Hoffman writes ridiculously funny parodies full of brilliantly cringe worthy puns :)
And last night we were in Falkirk Folk Club - again another fabulous night - a brilliant singing audience - they joined in heartily with every chorus and even sang along in French!!
Driving through Edinburgh yesterday I took a few pics …. It is such a photogenic city - the sandstone buildings are simply beautiful and the place is full of great charity shops, vintage shops, craft shops … oooh paradise - I could easily spend a few days browsing here.
|a street full of goodies|
It's been lovely having an hour to post this. We're in a friend's house in Falkirk. So now we're packing up to head back to the West Coast - down to Girvan for tonight's folk club.
I do my knitting in the car - a habit I picked up from my Mum - got the first sleeve finished yesterday for the cardigan/jacket I'm making … aiming to have the second one well on the way by the time we're home.
I'll be back with more updates in a few days.
Thursday, 19 February 2015
This is our second visit here. It serves food all day which is very useful and has a really interesting menu. It's also licensed. Furthermore, I have loads of food allergies - a real pain - but the staff couldn't do enough for me.
We came in on a tester day which meant the menu was half price and was superb. And even at full price it was not overly expensive - £9.50 each for starter and main course. Check out the menu here
If you're in the area and looking for a mid priced good meal, give it a shot.
The quality of these photos isn't great - they were taken on my phone which is a bit old, but I hope you get the atmosphere. Check out their website for a better view.
A final note, the restaurant don't know I'm writing this review.
Sunday, 15 February 2015
So many are new blogs that I've started to follow since the Grow Your Blog Party organised by Vicki at 2 Bags Full . The party was such a huge success for me. I started off with 34 followers and ended up with 60 - I am so delighted and not a little scared I must confess - the doubt gremlins are always hard at work when wondering if your blog is ok.
However, I met some lovely ladies (all ladies that day) with amazing skills and great humour and great blogs. I look forward to keeping in touch over the coming months.
And during the party, several people offered prizes ... and I was happy to do likewise.
And so on with the business of the day... I got Tom to help me in this task ... hence all the drums in the pictures... we're rehearsing on and off all day today. And I have to own up that this is an idea I stole from someone and I can't for the life of me remember who I saw doing it. So if it's someone reading this, I hope you don't mind.
I decided that I would do 3 prizes rather than the one I originally said ...
I wrote out all the names and put them in a bowl
And ta da .....Drumroll ...
The winner of a bundle of my CDs is Maggie
And the first runner up of a copy of Songbirds is Threadpainter
And the other runner up is J at What Happens at Grandma's
I'll be coming past to let you know. And I sincerely hope you enjoy the music
Thanks again to Vicki and to everyone who visited my blog on that day and in the weeks since.
Saturday, 14 February 2015
Starting in Glasgow on the 17th and ending up in Keighley in Yorkshire on the 27th if the snow stays away it'll be a very pleasant trip.
If you're anywhere near any of these venues and you're into folk music it'd be lovely to see you or please pass the info on to anyone whom you think might be interested...
All dates in February - most clubs start at 8pm, unless otherwise stated. It is advisable to check their website for details before travelling.
Tues 17th - GLASGOW Star Folk Club @ The Admiral Bar
Wed 18th - EDINBURGH Folk Club at The Pleasance
Thurs 19th - FALKIRK Folk Club @ The Tollbooth Tavern
Fri 20th - GIRVAN Folk Club @ The Queen's Hotel
Mon 23rd - STIRLING Folk Club - Stirling County R.F.C.
Tues 24th - CRAMLINGTON Folk Club, at The Clef and Cask, Dewley -
www.cramfolk.co.uk 7.30 start.
Thurs 26th - YORK, the Black Swan Folk Club, Peasholme Green -
Fri 27th - KEIGHLEY Bacca Pipes Folk Club, Ukrainian Club, Henry Street -
Have a great week rest of weekend..
Sunday, 8 February 2015
Meanwhile this has been a silly crazy time work wise - yesterday for instance, the day started with a meeting about The Emigrants's Tale - that's a subject for another post; followed by a rehearsal for the tour coming up in Scotland and England, followed by more writing for The Emigrants' Tale, and finishing up with doing voice overs for a TV ad! Phew …. The day before was similar - singing with senior citizens, planning for a German tour in October, recording piano pieces for the Emigrants Tale and working out songs for one of my students …. I'm also trying to learn new songs for the recording that got postponed by a few weeks … My brain's been melting a bit, but thankfully I've managed to keep all the balls in the air without dropping any.
And ending on a funny note, we're visiting my Mum this weekend. Her wee cat is feeling a bit sorry for itself after getting the operation earlier in the week. But …. when she took her wee boy cat to the vet, they told her it wasn't a boy, but a girl!! My poor mother was mortified, but the vet's staff and everyone since has had such a good laugh … .It was worth it to bring a smile to their faces - I often feel sorry for people working in veterinary surgeries - the so often have to deal with such awful things and for people who love animals that must be so hard …. I'm sure my mother's mistaken identity will keep them cheered up for a while to come …. Meanwhile Tiger is still a bit off colour and will still remain Tiger ….
How's your week been?
Did you do the A to Z last year? And are you up for it again this year?
How do you cope with doing 10 different things at once?
I'd love to hear from you.
Saturday, 7 February 2015
|Getting ready for the session|
The session is a regular part of life in Ireland and we have several regular ones in Rostrevor.
|Deirdre on the fiddle|
|The pub is tiny|
|Jimmy playing whistle tunes|
|Alfie on banjo - he leads the session with Matthew|
|Some visitors from Denmark|
Sunday, 1 February 2015
Today, at the Brigid of Faughart Festival, I attended a lovely singing workshop with Noirin Ni Riain who is a wonderful singer in the traditional Irish style, and a world recognised teacher and expert in Gregorian Chant as sung by the monks at Glenstal Abbey in the West of Ireland. She actually lives at the monastery and continues her studies of the Celtic Church and its music.
Here is Noirin singing Ode to Brigid.
I learned today that Imbolc is the time of new beginnings - when we sow the seeds for the coming year.
I came away with lots of ideas and plans. Now I just need to sit down and put some of them into action. And the first of these is to catch up with all the lovely new people who came to my blog from last week's party. It's been such a busy week and I've only managed to visit about two thirds yet. So this week, I promise to get by and say hello.
Are you starting anything new at this time of year? You know I love to hear.
Have a wonderful week.
There are many things to celebrate about the start of February.. Imbolc, St Brigid's Day, Candlemas and Groundhog Day - all happening on the 1st and 2nd of the month.
Imbolc, pronounced I-molg. is one of the quarter days of the Celtic year, half way between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox. The word, it is thought, comes from the old Irish word oimelc, meaning ewes milk. Until recently it was celebrated in Ireland as St Brigid's Day, but in recent years, the resurgence of interest in the Celtic Calendar have meant that both are celebrated now.
Check out this fascinating blog for detailed information about Imbolc and about what's happening around Ireland to celebrate it. John Wilmott, Woodland Bard is an expert in Irish mythology and keeps a sacred labyrinth at this restored cottage in Co. Leitrim. John has become a friend through Facebook and he is a store of wonderful information. He is a bard and keeper of treelore among other things.
Then there's Brigid's Day - in Ireland there are several festivals to Brigid, whether to the goddess or the saint. Brigid of Faughart Festival is run by my friend Dolores Whelan, who is a teacher in Celtic Spirituality. Check out her fabulous Celtic Calendar on her website where the year runs from November to October. I'm going to a workshop on spirituality and singing as part of this festival which will be so interesting .... I'll report back. Faughart near Dundalk in Co. Louth is recognised as Brigid's birthplace.
In pre christian times our ancestors dedicated the day to Bride, the pagan goddess who was the daughter of Dagda. Legend has it that the cauldrons of Bride were always full and her followers would be blessed with plenty.
With the arrival of Christianity, the Church allocated Bride's day to St Brigid and gave her the same attributes - generosity. She is the patron of the hearth, the forge, the family and marriage. To confuse things there is another St Bride too who was Mary's midwife and later protected Mary and the infant Jesus from King Herod. Here feast is also the same date.
|My less than perfect Brigid's Cross from last year.|
I find it interesting that although I am not religious these old symbols of our ways of life are important to me to have in the house.
And here's a lovely English folk song for Candlemas sung by the gorgeous singer Kate Rusby It is based on The Robert Herrick Poem, "Ceremonies for Candlemas Eve" which Kate has set to music.
Again, this is believed to have been a pre-Christian festival dating back to Roman times when Februa, the Mother of Mars was celebrated by a candle carrying procession the the streets of Rome on the date when Women performed certain purification rites.
And lastly Groundhog Day, and really all I know about this is the movie of the same name. But I do love the names that are given where the groundhog is celebrated on February 2nd - my favourite is Punxsutawney Phil - he must be great when he's called Phil :)
Some silly interesting facts about February
- In years when it has 28 days , it starts on the same day of the week as both March and November. When it has 29, it begins on the same day as August.
- The old English called it Solmonath, the cake month or mud month or Kalemonath, the cabbage month. The Germans called it Horning, meaning the month of the hornets.
- The flowers associated with February are the violet and the primrose - strange when neither are in bloom.
Traditions and rituals abound at this time of year ... I could write for hours but I don't want to bore you into submission. If you'd like to find out more do follow the links to John and Dolores.
I also want to make mention of Irelands Own Magazine for some of the other bits of information. It is a weekly magazine that has been around since 1902, documenting and preserving the old Irish ways and celebrating the people and places of the country.