vendredi 25 janvier 2008

Happy Burns Night!

On the 25th of January, Scotland celebrates the birthday of its most famous bard : Robert Burns. Cue, loads of Burns suppers and Burns night celebrations, generally involving haggis, neeps and tatties and a healthy dose of whisky, followed by lots of singing and dancing and ending with Auld Lang Syne.

A "wild" haggis, as photographed at the Kelvingrove Museum last weekend.

And happy birthday to my blog - one today! It seems like yesterday that I was writing my first post about, take a guess... Burns Night!

mercredi 23 janvier 2008

Best of 2006

Second installment: all the fun we had around Scotland in 2006 ....

View from the Whangie towards Loch Lomond (picture 1)
and the Kilpatrick Hills (picture 2) - January 2006
The pictures were taken on our first visit to the Whangie, a nice little walk north of Glasgow that I should blog about actually... It was a very cold day, the paths were frozen but the light was beautiful.

Glasgow University from Kelvingrove Park - March 06

It does snow quite often in Glasgow in the winter but it's never very heavy, never lasts and the stuff normally melts away as soon as it hits the (usually wet) ground. This Sunday in March was the only time since we have been there that it snowed enough for it to stick. It actually snowed heavily overnight and loads of people coming out of pubs and clubs in the middle of the night were stranded in town. Cue loads of very funny pictures in the morning papers of Scottish lassies wearing very inappropriate footwear and freezing their butt off ! Kids were making snowmen and sledging in Kelvingrove Park and I even saw some people skiing! A great day.

Daffodils in Kelvingrove Park under the snow and the river Kelvin - March 06

Loch Ard in the Trossachs - March 06

Isle of Arran - Easter 06

We spent the whole Easter weekend in Arran with some very good friends. We spent loads of time eating and drinking, one of the food highlights being sampling the local cheese at the cheese shop near Brodick. People say Arran is a little bit like Scotland in miniature, you can judge for yourself with the following pictures!

By the way, the isle of Arran should not be confused with the islands of Aran in Ireland. That's where the knitted jumpers come from - not Arran.

Waterfalls walk above Lamlash - Arran is great for walking and we made the most of all it that weekend! It is during this precise walk that my friend Chris taught me how to use a compass and read an OS map (never too late!). The picture on the left shows a view of Holy Island.

Evening walk near Blackwaterfoot in the South West of the island which offered superb views over the Mull of Kintyre (not pictured here though!)

Standing stones still in Arran

Glen Coe - July 06
Needs no introduction, and Wikipedia will tell you everything there is to know!

Loch Awe and Kilchurn Castle (Argyll) - July 06

One of the most photographed castles in Scotland apparently. We were on our way to Oban, it was very early in the morning and the loch was eerily quiet ...

Oban (Argyll) - July 06

We spent Glasgow Fair in Oban and what a great weekend it was!

Seals, near Oban - July 06

Whilst in Oban, we went on a small boat trip and got to see loads of seals, cormorans and shags. There was a very loud American couple on board and unfortunately, the lady appears on most of my pictures ...

Culross, Fife - August 06

Another pretty village, looking over the Forth and the petrochemical plants of Grangemouth. Not the nicest setting on paper, but it makes you feel as if you've stepped back in time to the 16th century. Well worth a visit if you ever find yourself in the area!

The coast in St Andrews - August 06

Saint Andrews, home to Scotland's first university and THE place to play golf! There's a lot to see around the city: castle, cathedral and all the university buildings; but on this fine summer day, all we were interested in was a dip in the water. Needless to say that even in the height of the summer, it was freezing !

We came back here to celebrate Hogmanay and had a great time! Although on New Year's Day, the city felt like a ghost town. I guess a side effect of partying until the early hours ...

World Pipe Band Championship - Glasgow - August 06

The World Pipe Band Championship takes place every August around Glasgow. During the fortnight preceding the big competition, it's pretty commom to walk round the city and find bands practicing in the most random places. Your normally hear them before you see them though! Various events are organised during that fortnight: Scottish drummers, Highland dances and of course pipe bands demonstrations, and people come from all over the world to compete or watch the big tartan-fest. Great fun especially if you like Celtic music!

Mushrooms - October 06

I used to go foraging for mushrooms with my grand dad in the Cevennes forests - ceps rule in my family! I figured I should be able to find some in the Scottish woods, but have not been successful so far, not that I have tried very hard I have to admit! This is the results of our first (and last!) foraging expedition. Just a bunch of poisonous specimens. My Papi was not impressed.

Another visit to Inchmahome Priory - October 06

Here, views of Lake Menteith and Port of Menteith

lundi 21 janvier 2008

Best of 2005

First installment of my "celebrations" of our Scottish adventures, a selection of pictures and places we visited in 2005...

Loch Katrine, February 05
This was the first of many visits to Loch Katrine. An interesting fact is that Loch Katrine has been the reserve of pure water for the City of Glasgow since 1859. We walked and cycled around the loch but never had the chance to sail on the Sir Walter Scott, the steamship which has been cruising the Loch Katrine waters for over a century.

Highland cattle - February 05
Obviously, you can see many of them in the Scottish Highlands all year round; this one was photographed in the Trossachs where they sometimes spend the winter months. In Glasgow, I have often seen them in Pollok Park.

Stirling Castle - March 05
Not the best shot of Stirling Castle ever but I like the different angle,
with the Ochil hills in the background.

Falls of Dochart, Killin (Pertshire) - May 05
This picture was taken in May and the falls very pretty wild and impressive. I came back in October and the river level was a lot lower, not giving the same feeling of power I get from this picture. More pictures of the Falls here.

Inchmahome Priory, Lake Menteith - May 05
The Augustine priory - or its ruins - is situated on an island in the middle of Lake Menteith (the picture I used for the title of this blog is Lake Menteith); you have to get a small boat to get to the island and back and it always feel like a little adventure. I love taking visitors there and they always seem to enjoy the experience! Little bit of trivia, Lake Menteith is one of only four bodies of water in Scotland to be called a lake and not a loch.

Glasgow Cathedral and the Necropolis - May 05
I like the copper roofs of the cathedral behind the greenery of the trees in the Necropolis; and coming across wildlife in the middle of a city is always a pleasant surprise!

Holyrood Park, Edinburgh - May 05
This was taken by my sister on one of her visit to Edinburgh. How very Scottish!

Cottages in Luss on the banks of Loch Lomond - August 05
On a dark winter day, Luss can be a very wet and miserable place. I once got lost in the hills over Luss and ended up knee deep in a nearly frozen river, surrounded by dead sheep, in almost complete darkness. But that's a story for another day ...
In summer however, the gardens and windows of this pretty little village are covered in multi coloured blooms which make for a most enjoyable visit.

Urquhart Castle - Loch Ness - August 05
I managed to resist until August of my first year in Scotland before I fell in the tourist trap of Loch Ness. It is not the most beautiful or spectacular loch in Scotland but definitely the most visited by tourists, still trying to spot the world famous monster! I never actually managed to visit the castle, which offers splendid views over the loch (this picture was taken by one of my relatives) but it is most certainly on my to-do list - and who knows I might meet Nessie...

dimanche 20 janvier 2008


Il y a 3 ans, je posais mes valises à Glasgow, sans savoir trop à quoi m'attendre. Très vite, j'ai su que j'allais me plaire ici. Je ne savais pas encore que 3 ans plus tard je serais encore là et bien décidée à rester encore quelques années de plus. Cette semaine, pour célébrer mon troisième anniversaire en Ecosse et le premier anniversaire de ce blog, je vais poster une selection de photos de notre aventure écossaise. Ca commence demain!

Three years ago, I was arriving in Glasgow, not to sure what to expect from Scotland. I realised very quickly that I was going to be happy here. Although I didn't know yet that 3 years on, I would still be here and keen to stick around for a few more years. To celebrate my 3rd anniversary in Scotland and the first birthday of this blog, I will post over next week a selection of pictures of our Scottish adventure. Hope you enjoy watching them as much as I enjoyed taking them!

samedi 12 janvier 2008

All change in 2008!

Me voilà enfin de retour après des vacances bien méritées et une absence bien prolongée! Absence plus ou moins forcée, d'abord car je n'avais pas d'ordinateur à portée de main pendant les vacances de Noël, puis manque d'envie, de temps et d'inspiration au retour des vacances. Mais il ne faudrait pas perdre la main alors je me remets dans le bain.

Je vous souhaite à tous une excellente année 2008 et j'espère continuer à vous lire dans ma boite à commentaires et sur vos blogs respectifs.

Pour moi, 2008 commence sous le signe du changement .... Non seulement je suis officiellement trentenaire depuis le 23 décembre (oui, oui, ça va, je le vis plutot bien) mais j'ai aussi un nouveau travail! On dirait que le succès du projet dont je vous parlais en décembre a impressioné mes employeurs puisqu'ils m'ont offert non seulement un CDI (a permanent contract) mais également un nouveau poste beaucoup plus intéressant! C'est un gros challenge pour moi car je ne suis pas vraiment qualifiée pour le poste mais ils me font confiance et j'apprends petit à petit. Coté maison, ma famille m'a offert ce bel appareil photo pour mon anniversaire (j'aime quand on fait attention à ce que je dis ...) et j'ai donc la ferme intention de me remettre un peu plus sérieusement à la photo; pour l'instant, les résultats sont plutôt limités, surtout à cause du mauvais temps qui ne se prête pas vraiment à de longues séances photos. Et puis comme c'est de saison (faut bien les éliminer les kilos foie gras chocolat), j'ai repris l'entrainement pour courir les 10K du mois de mai, en espérant améliorer ma performance de débutante de l'année dernière! Ajouté à cela un certain nombre de projets mis en route avec le Petit Chimiste et la reprise des activités côté jardin prévue dans les prochaines semaines, j'ai bien peur que 2008 ne me laisse que peu de temps pour écrire ! En contrepartie, je pense poster plus de photos, pour suivre mes aventures avec mon nouveau reflex ... Vous avez été prévenus!

Et pour donner le ton et commencer l'album photo de 2008, un beau lever de soleil pris d'Alexandra Park, à 2 pas de chez moi et un ciel d'hiver cet après midi ...