Tuesday 14 October 2014

Catty Castle

We arrived in the dark...

 ...a magical view on peeking out the window the next morning.

 We were staying three nights at one of the holiday cottages at Duns Castle in the Scottish Borders. The children renamed it Catty Castle, you'll see why...

 Golden weather vane against deep blue skies.

The weather vane belonged to the clock tower of a huge courtyard which is where our cottage was located. It was very quiet and  interesting to imagine how it must have been in its heyday.

 Reflections in the large pond (called the Hen Poo!)

The record we left in the bird hide diary. Artwork by A.

Some of the stuff collected on our walk exploring the grounds. We also collected vast amounts of conkers - it's been a bumper year for conkers here.

 Birch catkins ready to cast their seeds.

 Leafy silhouettes.


 Grating detail.

 The driveway to the castle gates.

 Castle pavillions.

 Now inside and a random detail of one of the embroideries hanging on the wall of the cottage. Such a lot of work involved.

The following day we take a bike ride around the estate and a little further afield.


 Sheep safely grazing.


We pass a row of abandoned cottages. The windows are broken and I poke my head in for a look around. I like the fireplace in this room.

The cottages could make a lovely home and it's not too late for them to be restored as the roof is mainly intact. I like to think that someone will rescue them. 

Here I find the line of trees running down the brow of the hill rather pleasing.

Wall, field & hill.

 Elderflower berries.

 The largest fly agaric I've ever seen.

 A view of the castle over The Hen Poo.

 Now here's Catty! He's wandering through one of the arches out from the courtyard where we were staying. He was originally a stray and his current owners (who have lived in the courtyard for over thirty years) say it took two years for him to become tame enough to pet. He's now lived at the castle for about eight years and it very friendly (though we were strictly warned never to try and pick him up!)

We visited many other places during our short holoiday so there will be more photos to come.

For this trip I had to borrow my husband's old camera as I'm having issues with mine. I feel a little lost without mine - it's the one I've had pretty much since I started blogging and I really like the photos it takes despite several features no longer working. However, it's now become unuseable. I'm torn between just buying a second hand version of it on ebay or whether to upgrade and get a more up-to-date camera. I still don't want to get an expensive camera as I don't like to worry about it, plus it would need to survive a bit of rough treatment such as rattling around in my bar bag on my bike. An suggestions for a good but not expensive compact camera? I'm thinking of this one at the moment...


Country Rabbit said...

such lovely photographs... you have such a beautiful landscape around you and always enjoy my visits to your blog. i have two cameras, but my more expensive one takes batteries and eats them like sweets, its also bulky and i worry carrying it in my canvas bag ( i should save and buy it a special camera case), with my smaller camera it fits in my coat pocket and i can just forget its there half the time...so i use that mostly, mine is a sony cyber shot and only 10.1 mega pixels but its been my trusty friend for a few years now ;0)

Christina said...

The Scottish countryside at its best! Lovely, just lovely.

I use a compact Canon Powershot SX210 and a not terribly compact Canon SX50 HS. This latter one is an in between kind of camera, not quite compact but not a DSLR either. I don't think I would want to faff with one of those actually.

CJ said...

Hen Poo?! Beautiful photographs, it looks like such a stunning place, I'm glad you had such a good break. I've got an old Canon Ixus which has done brilliantly. It lives in my bag, so it gets quite a bit of rough treatment.

blueskyscotland said...

Takes me back to my own childhood when conkers were an annual event to look forward to with playground competitions to be won. My own present camera is a Lumix with 20 zoom option (12 in the past) and I like it fine but the distance clarity could be better at times. I've also went through 4 in five years but that could be where I take them on trips...scrambles, caves, etc. I've thought of getting a more expensive Canon or Nikon but they tend to be bulkier and I like the smaller point and shoot variety for convenience.(getting the fix or replace added extra is worthwhile for Lumix models I've found) Hope this helps. I've always been impressed by the clarity of your photos so far.

Anonymous said...

Another lovely look around beautiful Scotland, thank you. The embroidery is wonderful but those poor neglected cottages!

My little camera is a Fuji Finepix S4800, works perfectly.

Amy at love made my home said...

I hope that someone rescues those cottages, they would make a lovely home for someone wouldn't they. The cat is super isn't he, definitely a touch of a wild lion or tiger!! xx

Cybèle said...

You've probably bought a new camera by now but for what it's worth, I used to have mine in my bike bag on the front and the aperture blades broke off. That lens is now unusable (and unrepairable - well, I could have it repaired but it's more expensive than a new lens). I now carry my DSLR in a bum bag very close to my body (a rucksack is uncomfortable, just makes me sweat), my body seems to absorb the shocks from the bike ride.


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