Sunday, 31 March 2013

Castles, Beaches, a Harbour and a Labyrinth.

Good Friday, a holiday, dry weather (it's so often raining here in the west we're very much enjoying this long period of dry weather even if it is still a little cold). We went for a day trip...

I can see the sea.

  This was taken shortly before N fell in!

 Snow covered Arran across the water.

A drew a sand dragon while hubby went back to the car to fetch a change of clothes for N. Where he fell was quite shallow so it was just a wet bottom and gloves to sort out.

 The bay.

Climbing higher and looking down at the sea through the dried weeds/wild flowers/grasses?

 I liked the contrast in surface textures and colours here.
 The little cottage on the way to the bay. It belonged to the gas manager of the estate, it's tiny.

A view from the cottage window.

Now we're moving up to the bigger house, a castle actually - we're at Culzean, a favourite place to visit (especially with a camera!).

Sun dial hat.

Looking back to the gate houses. 

 Decorative canon detail.
The canon, with robin!

Now inside the castle and a view of the famous oval staircase.

The servants' staircase.

I liked this painting. I like these style of dresses though I'm glad I don't have to wear one every day!

 The rules of the house.

A rubbishy kitchen view. I was just getting ready to take photos of all the gleaming pots and pans when I was politely informed that no photos were allowed. I'd not seen any notices to say so and I must confess to feeling I was being told off like a naughty schoolchild - I must remember that feeling for when I'm a teacher and have some sympathy for my pupils!

Phew, back outside. I always prefer being outside at these kind of places anyway. It was the first time we'd actually visited inside the castle as usually we run out of time as there's so much to do outside. Our NTS membership expires at the end of the month so we thought we'd make the most of it.

 The castle.
 Back down to another bay, this time the Ailsa Craig can be seen in the distance.

 Zooming in a little.

Daffodil, one of very few in flower, most of the buds are still tightly closed.

Curly branches across the path. 

 A view over the swan pond.
Ice creams at the swan pond. Very nice they were too, from Arran Dairies. I had chocolate, hubby had rum & raisin, A had mint choc chip and N had toffee. 

The ducks had some crumbs from the cones.

At this point it was getting late., While hubby looked after the children at the play park I walked briskly back to get the car.

I managed to get a quick walk through the walled gardens before the gates were closed. I always like to photograph this cottage when here.
 Window detail.

 Back in the castle grounds - a pheasant.
 The deer park.
Now back at the play park - barn owl detail. 

Orange tip butterfly detail.

 A last view at a cottage across the fields from the car park.

It's too nice a day to go home just yet though, and we're very near another favourite place to visit which also has a nice hotel for meals... we head to Dunure.

A little fishing village.

The harbour.

 The beach, rocks on the right, castle ruins on the left.


There is also a labyrinth here. I only found this out after we'd last visited when I was looking up some information about the castle. So today we searched it out.

 The castle ruins viewed from inside the labyrinth.

Labyrinth notes.
A closer castle view, it's possible to explore most of the ruins, some areas are closed off for safety but the rest is open and free to access.

The sun peeps over the horizon as we make our way to the hotel for tea. 

A last look.

'Twas a grand day out.

Enjoy your Easter weekend...

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Bits of This and That.

While I'd a moment and it was dry outside (which is one very good thing about all this cold weather), I took a couple of photos of Violet and Snakey (last seen here) before they got too bobbly from cuddles.


Violet and Snakey.

As I'm doing some crochet photos, how about a blanket update...

 ...I am currently working on the ends. All the squares were completed last year and I finished joining them together in October (using the join-as-you-go method).

Now I'm almost half way through sewing in the ends. I will finish them before I start the border. My goal is to get the blanket finished by the end of May...

Now to some random happenings from March, before it's too late...

N and I visited the loch again. It was cold, windy and wintry but he still wanted an icecream in the cafe, I had a hot chocolate. We then got lots of great books in the local charity shop but I realised when I got home that I must have left my favourite two there, grrr.

Random baking...

 Banana and choc chip loaf.

Bread (using the breadmaker), was most impressed by how a sprinkling of sunflower seeds improves its appearance.

Girdle scones.

 Banana and blueberry muffins. We've not been doing a good job a eating our bananas and they've been ending up in baking, a good way to go though. On fetching the tin to keep the muffins in...

I discovered three chocolate biscuits from some time ago. Reader, I ate them.

The prospect of returning to Uni in August made me splash out on some stationery supplies from the pound shop.

Snowy garden scenes (from the first lot of snow before the weekend)

 Crocuses & daffodils.

 The lantern.

 Looking to next doors' tree.

 Fatsia Japonica snow covered leaves.


Lastly, a couple of shots from the middle of the month...


 Vintage graffiti

The end.


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