East Neuk Easter

Easter Sunday was a gorgeous day in the East Neuk of Fife where we were lucky enough to be celebrating the day at the home of our newly extended family by marriage in Cellardyke. Below are a few photos that I took from their verandah – looking over to the Isle of May in the distance, it was a wee bit hazy.

Isle of May

Isle of May

It was all go on the Firth of Forth – which is really the North Sea at Cellardyke, with next landfall being Norway.

Kayaks

Two lots of rowers went past in quite big boats and they went at quite a lick. There has been an upsurge in competitive rowing between the Fife coastal villages recently although I think it’s mainly women tha take part in it.
Kayaks

You should be able to see one of the big heavy rowing boats in the background. A pod of four dolphins arrived and swam under and around the kayakers for a bit before swimming off further along the coast, but they turned out to be impossible to photograph.

aKayaks 4

Ella and Zinki are waiting patiently at the gate which leads onto the beach. Zinki the spaniel had already cut his paws on shards of shell or something but it didn’t seem to be bothering him much, he was still determined to get into that freezing water again – and he did!
Zinki and Ella

It did get a bit chilly later on, but by then we were into the home-made chocolate so nobody minded. It was a great day.

easter eggs

More wedding photos

As the wedding was in February snowdrops were being used to decorate the tables, so both Jo and I were busy digging up snowdrops from our gardens and potting them up in various containers. We knew exactly how it must feel to try to get plants at their best for The Chelsea Flower Show. At one point it seemed like the snowdrops would be over and done with before we even reached the beginning of February as January was so mild. Luckily there was a cold snap which held things back a bit, but then I could envision not being able to get a garden fork through rock solid soil so I dug up lots of clumps of snowdrops from my garden and put them into the dark shed, covered with more compost. As it happens, if I had just left them in the garden until required everything would have been fine, in fact the ones that I didn’t dig up were in perfect form by the 16th. If only I had had a crystal ball. Of course because we were indoors they all closed up! I have no idea whose handbag that is in the background.

Snowdrops

Craft breweries are all the rage at the moment and did you know that you can go along to one and create your own beer? So that’s what Duncan and Alex did, and the label is a photo of them both at the beach at Lunan Bay.

Beer bottle

They’re both keen cheese eaters so a traditional wedding cake was never going to feature at their wedding, they opted for a cheesecake. They went to a specialist cheesemonger in Edinburgh and tested out lots of different cheeses before settling on this lot, so the cutting of the cake was quite different from usual. It went like ‘snow off a dyke’ so I didn’t get to taste any which I must admit didn’t bother me too much – I prefer traditional cake!

wedding Cheese Cake
For some reason the barrel with the sheese on it was moved to more or less right in front of a load of coats, I hope the professional photographer had a better angle.
Cutting cheese cake

All aboard for The Gay Gordons!
A and D

And just in case you’re interested in what I was wearing on the bottom half of me … as you can see, I favoured boots as if the date had been anything like it was last year there would probably have been snow on the ground. As it turned out we had perfect mild weather, but I was happy in my boots.

Alex, Duncan and Katrina

Alex and Duncan’s wedding

The wedding of Alex and Duncan (our eldest son) was on Saturday, at The Cow Shed in Crail – and a fine time was had by all. We didn’t take enough photos of the surroundings but you can see the venue via various other weddings here all very stylish I think.

Below is a photo of Duncan and Alex, taken just after the ceremony. Alex is an architect and Duncan is an IT manager, both working in Edinburgh.

Duncan and Alex

It was a Humanist wedding which we had never experienced before but it means that the couple is in control and write it themselves so the celebrant told the story of how Duncan and Alex got together in the first place – Tinder apparently! Then how eventually they got engaged at Lunan Bay, a beach just north of Dundee and one that we used to visit as a family. You can see photos of it here.

The wedding rings were tied together with a small strip of the suit fabric and then they were sent around the entire ‘congregation’ in a ring-warming ceremony, each guest being asked to hold the rings in their hands for a few seconds, eventually the rings reached the front again and were passed to the best man via the other groomsmen. It was a wee bit of a struggle to get them untied, but eventually they were.

Meanwhile the mothers were involved in the hand-fasting ceremony, something that I only discovered the night before. I was a bit alarmed about that as I’m not one for standing up and doing anything in front of an audience, but I managed my part which was to lay a sash-like piece of Duncan’s suit fabric over the couple’s joined hands, then Jo – Alex’s mother – did the same with a piece of white silk, except this time the fabric is threaded under their hands and when they stepped back, hey presto – the fabrics are tied together with a knot – hence the saying ‘tying the knot’. Apparently it’s an old Scottish tradition but we had never seen it done before. It’s very effective. I’ll show you a photo of that eventually I hope.

Below is a photo of me and Jack which was taken by Duncan, he had just got spliced so I suppose we can forgive him for cutting off our legs! My dress was pale grey ‘fit and flare’ style. I have no idea why I’m holding two empty wine glasses. I wore a short woollen coat in a sort of cerise colour. I expected it to be freezing but it was a very mild day.

J and K

Our youngest son Gordon (the best man) got married a few years ago and the photo below is of him and his wife Laura. Laura’s dress was made from fabric from Hawaii, just in case you didn’t guess it! Gordon enjoys wearing his kilt but Duncan can’t be persuaded into one, the groomsmen were a mixture of kilts and suits.

Gordon and Laura

Cat Morley (one of the many guests) took some great photos which she has put on Facebook, I hope it’s okay to embed them on ‘Pining’. I have no idea of the etiquette.

Bags of olive leaves were passed around the guests so they could all take a handful to throw in place of confetti as Duncan and Alex went up the aisle at the end of the ceremony. As it happens I’m just out of view in all of the photos, but I’ll appear in some of the official ones that were were taken – when they turn up.

There are a few more pre wedding photos here

A family wedding – Duncan and Alex

It has been very quiet here over the past week – for a good reason as I’ve been too busy preparing for our eldest son Duncan’s wedding to the lovely Alex. The venue was The Cowshed in Crail – I know it doesn’t sound too romantic but it turned out to be a great place to have a wedding and the Humanist ceremony was perfect. I haven’t even looked at our photos yet – apart from the one I took on my phone, but I’ve nicked one that has appeared on the internet elsewhere, is that allowed?

Sparklers featured in the photo.

wedding

Gordon and Laura’s Wedding part 2

wedding photo 3

Our two handsome lads have always been opposites so it was no surprise when Duncan said that he wouldn’t wear a kilt. Gordon has his own kilt and wears it quite often, probably because he has been to a lot of weddings recently. Each to their own, the brothers get on well together, probably because they are opposites.

wedding photo 14

The wedding cake decoration is based on the logo of Gordon’s favourite band Forward Russia. No, not many people have heard of them, Gordon has quite an eclectic and sometimes quite obscure taste in music.

wedding photo 16

Laura is a big fan of cheese and she had joked to her girlfriends that she would really like a cheesecake as a wedding cake, so they concocted this alternative tower of cheeses for her.

wedding photo 24

And above they are cutting their real cake. The top half was Gordon’s favourite – carrot cake. The bottom section was madeira.

If you want a laugh have a look below at me in a hat, before I ditched the jacket and hat. I took advice from everyone on the hat and they all said wear it. Hmm – I can imagine what will be said about it in years to come! That’s the only photo I have of me at the wedding at the moment, I hope the others are better!

The tables were all named after albums by I Like Trains, another of Gordon’s favourite bands.

wedding photo 12

The photo below is of the ladies all dancing to Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights, and doing all the actions. I have the original album that the song was on and I find it quite amazing that all these years later women who weren’t even thought of back then are dancing and singing along to her music. The good stuff never ages I suppose.

wedding photo 31

Gordon and Laura’s Wedding

The Stephen/Hobson wedding in Glasgow was a great success. Yes it actually was a piss up in a brewery so it couldn’t really go very far wrong, there was no chance of drinking the place dry. I only recently discovered that people in the US have never heard of the often used British phrase – they couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery to describe someone who is useless at everything.

Below is a photo that Jack took as we all waited for the arrival of the bride. Gordon is on the far left of course with his older brother Duncan beside him, Duncan won’t wear a kilt as you can see. Gordon’s kilt’s tartan is called Spirit of Scotland I believe. The other handsome chaps are friends from schooldays.

wedding photo 1

Of course The West Brewery has a bar/restaurant within it as well as function rooms and the staff couldn’t have been friendlier or more professional and hard working. The registrar was booked to come along and perform the actual ceremony, something that she must do several times each day probably but she took her time over it and had a lot of sensible things to say about marriage and relationships, maybe she doubles as a marriage guidance counsellor too! That was the first time I had been at a non-religious marriage and I must say I was very impressed with it.The registrar asked for no photos to be taken during the actual ceremony, I think that is sensible too.

So we scoot on to a photo taken after the event, just after the signing of the legal paper. It’s all red eye but you get the general idea.
wedding photo 5

Laura went for a 1950s style dress and hairdo, very stylish and different. Her hair is usually in shades of red/wine but she went for dark roots, ash blonde and purple underneath.

wedding photo 7

Gordon made all the ‘flower’ buttonholes and Laura’s bouquet from paper featuring the names of each persons’ favourite band and album names. It was all very music themed.

Below is a photo of their first dance, you can see that Laura means business as she has changed into her dancing shoes! As you see, the dress is longer at the back and underneath are tulle petticoats in purple, green and turquoise. It reminded me of a peacock’s tail. Lovely.

wedding photo 30

Below – Duncan and his partner Alex look like they’re really enjoying the beer!

wedding photo 22

It was a memorable day and I can’t wait to see the photos the photographer took.

wedding photo 8

Wedding Weekend

It has been very quiet on ‘Pining’ over the last few days, that’s because we’ve actually been in that west that I pine for – Glasgow to be precise, celebrating our youngest son’s wedding. A great time was had by all and if you’re very unlucky you might see some photos of us all soonish.

Here is a photo of the venue to be getting on with.

A Blast from the Past – A Scottish Soldier

Scottish soldier

It’s a while since I did a Blast from the Past and this one isn’t as old as they usually are, the photo above dates from 1965 I think, and it’s of my eldest brother. My mother took the photo, as you can see she didn’t manage to get his feet in it!

John was about 18 years old in this photo and he’s in full Highland dress. In fact he was on his way to being part of the guard for the Queen’s visit to Dumbarton, where she was officially opening the town’s new County Buildings. There is a photo somewhere of the Queen inspecting the guards and it was taken just as she was walking towards my brother, so she is right next to him. It was taken by the local newspaper’s photographer and my mother had it framed and it sat on top of her display cabinet for years, but it has gone AWOL at the moment.

I was only about 6 years old at the time but I can remember the excitement quite clearly. My brother was in the Territorial Army which is the equivalent of the US National Guard I think, and they had all been given this very splendid dress uniform to wear for the occasion. However they were warned not to put anything in any of their pockets or even in the sporran. I suppose those in command didn’t want any unsightly lumps appearing in the pockets.

The upshot of that was that when my brother got back home after the ceremony he was locked out as everybody was either at work or at school. He used his initiative and went around to the back of the house where he managed to push the top sash of the kitchen window down and climbed in that way.

Unfortunately someone in one of the houses which you can see behind him saw him climbing in and phoned the police to report a burglary! Honestly how daft can you get – as if anyone would break into a house in a full Highland kit.

Anyway the cops duly appeared and my brother had a hard time convincing them that he was a legitimate member of the household. When the rest of the family heard about it we thought it was hilarious.

One other thing which sticks in my mind was that according to my brother they were ordered not to wear any underpants under their kilt -and they were inspected before being allowed to go on parade. Did they have to lift their kilts up I wondered!! No, apparently someone had to go along the lines with a gadget like a car wing mirror on a stick and poked it under the kilts, just to check that they had all obeyed orders and were properly dressed kilted Scotsmen. He swears that it is true but I’ve never been too sure about believing it!

McNulty the cat

McNulty + cushion

I’m not in any hurry to become a granny, as some women often are, which is just as well because McNulty the cat which belongs to my youngest son and his partner is as close as we get to having a grandchild!

I’m not really a cat person myself and McNulty isn’t really a people person, he won’t sit on your lap, you have to feel honoured if he sits beside you on a sofa.

Anyway, when the large cat cushion appeared on his sofa McNulty had a staring contest with it, that’s one he was never going to win, but at some point McN decided that that cat was no threat to him and he’s now quite happy to sit beside the cushion.

We have no idea what McN had been up to while we went out to visit a garden centre, but he came back with very muddy paws and was absolutely shattered. He didn’t even get up to see us out as he normally does, in a very gentlemanly way. Mind you I think he is just making sure that we do indeed leave the premises and he doesn’t have to put up with those interlopers any more!

Christmas 2014

Well the build up to Christmas seems to go on forever, in the UK anyway, and then it’s all over in a flash. I hope you all had an enjoyable time even if you were being a bit ‘bah humbugish’ and preferring to ‘coorie doon’ until it was all over with.

Here in ‘pining’ land it is of course Jack’s birthday on Christmas Eve, something which in a better regulated land would not be possible as it’s just all too much! Luckily Jack decided that he was going to do his special birthday meal himself this year, so I don’t feel quite as exhausted as I usually do about now. I did bake him a cake though, just a plain chocolate marble cake. No candles at all as he says he has given up counting and they would be a hazard to health and safety anyway – apart from that I can’t find the candles and holders – they’ve gone AWOL since the house move. I suppose I should have replenished my supply.

J's cake

It was a very nice cake although it didn’t look great.