Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Grandson and more.....

Danny and I spent the weekend in Inverness where his daughter, her husband and their darling son live.  Mason will be 8 months old on the 21st.

A few photos of the River Ness in the middle of the city:

Three weeks from today we leave for a 4 week trip to Uganda. I hope to be able to post from my android phone while there.  The photos will not be highest quality due to the slowness of the internet there and I'll only be able to post the photos taken with my phone.

Very strange not being in Michigan with my family for the holidays.  We look forward to a long summer visit with nice weather and opportunities to enjoy being outdoors with the grandkids and the rest of the family.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

A few pics...

...from this week. The snow stuck for a few days but is now gone from low lying land.  Most is still on the mountains though.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

A 'culture' outing to Glasgow

As a belated birthday trip, Danny and I spent a night in Glasgow. We began by meeting up for a lovely, long lunch with his brother John and wife Grace.

In the evening we attended a fabulous concert at the City Halls with the Scottish Symphony Orchestra and an amazing 20 year old guitarist, Sean Shibe, who was guest soloist.  The piece was Rodrigo's Guitar Concerto.  

We spent the night at our usual city centre hotel:  Ibis Glasgow city centre

The next morning we visited:  Mackintosh House Glasgow  I am very fond of Mackintosh designs and the designs of his wife, Margaret MacDonald.  I had never visited this house before although I had been to House for an Art Lover

Before we left Glasgow Danny took me to a museum of a very different kind. It had very emm....interesting specimens which were preserved, pickled or whatever!  Museum of Anatomy

A few pics I took with the camera on my phone:
Glasgow University - founded 1451

Glasgow xmas lights

xmas lights

Sunrise while waiting for bus

Sunday, 25 November 2012

No to wind farm!!

There is a proposal to build a wind farm directly across the loch from our house - 5 of them - 300 feet high - bright white - and hideous.

This wind farm would benefit the small community across the loch as they sell the excess electricity to the national grid.  Our communities would get a small amount as compensation for totally destroying our beautiful views.  

I will not expand on the technical and other details of this, but some of the reasons many in our community don't want it is because it's a blight on the landscape and would lessen tourism income. We are located inside a national park as is the loch.  The community which wants the wind farm are not inside the boundaries of the national park.  The value of our homes would very likely decrease. These turbines emit a low hum 24 hours a day and as we are in an area that is normally dead quiet, we would hear them. The hum would be amplified due to the fact that it will be crossing a body of water. It would be like all of us have tinnitus. 

I'm all in favour of green, alternative energy, but Scotland has plenty of remote areas for wind farms that don't destroy anyone's enjoyment of the landscape and views from their homes.  

This is what our view looks like now:  the 5 turbines would be directly across from our house and when we look out our living room or bedroom windows these will be a main feature. 

5 of these would be on the hill across from us

Sunday, 23 September 2012


Sunshine has been missing for what seems like forever, but for the last 3 days we've had some. Cool temps though.

We're booked for our 4 week summer trip to the US.  Our 4 week trip to Uganda is coming up in about 3 1/2 months. I can't believe that it's been nearly 5 years since we left for Uganda (Oct 1st) and 3 years since we've been back home!  

Yesterday I took a walk through Benmore Botanic Gardens then treated myself to a nice lunch at the cafe.  

After lunch I took a much needed walk through Pucks Glen.  I've been wanting to go for weeks but it's been too wet.  

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Castle on a dark, cloudy day

I have some nice memories which took place in Dunoon Castle... I took this pic on my smartphone.  Thought B & W would be appropriate for the mood of the sky.

We got married here in the 'wedding room' and my UK citizenship ceremony took place in the same room.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Trip to Edinburgh

Danny and I attended the Edinburgh Military Tattoo on Saturday, the 11th of August.  Edinburgh, as is normal for August, was heaving with tourists!

We enjoyed meeting up with my friend, Kay, a fellow expat, and went to the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens.  I neglected to get a photo of the 3 of us!

Otherwise, life is rather quiet (post-Olympics).  Danny has become an expert on brewing beer and it passes all taste tests by me!  We are booked for a 4 week trip to Uganda in Jan/Feb and are excited about seeing everyone.

Friday, 3 August 2012


Danny's daughter gave birth to a boy, Mason, on April 21st.  We visited the family in Inverness just after he was born, and then again earlier this week.

Photos of Mason

Danny and I are booked to visit Uganda in January.  While there we will see Doreen graduate from Makere University.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Some summer flowers

Just a few shots of our Foxgloves, Irises, and Daisies:

Danny and I have mostly recuperated from our jetlag and getting back into our routines.  I'm back at the gym working off all that ice cream, beer, and other goodies. 

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

A month in Michigan

Arrived home yesterday after nearly a month in Michigan with my family. 

I haven't sorted through all the photos yet, but when I do they will all be uploaded here:  Photos from Michigan holiday 2012

  • Arrived just a few days before my beautiful niece's (Kristin) fabulous wedding to an awesome guy - Jeff! We had a fantastic time at the wedding and reception and enjoyed seeing many relatives and friends that we rarely get to see. 
  • On June 1st, the day before the wedding, my nephew's wife, Angie, gave birth to their second child, a beautiful girl.  Angie was supposed to be a bridesmaid but her new daughter thought differently.  
  • On one Saturday we took my oldest granddaughter (nearly 7), Haylee, to see my niece (Grace) compete in horse shows.  She enjoyed having a day out with us - although it was a very hot day.  An ice cream cone on the way home helped both her and I cool off!
  • Went with son (Patrick) and his family (wife-Robyn, Jesse, Haylee & Allyson) to Greenfield Village.  Lost track of how many times Haylee rode on the carousel! Her wee sister Allyson (nearly 2) went twice.
  • The day after that Haylee and her dad and Danny and I visited the Toledo zoo.  The rain stopped about an hour after we arrived so was more enjoyable after that.  Time ran short though as we needed to get back for my nephew Ben's high school graduation.
  • A couple of days before we came home my son's family, Danny and I went to the cinema to see the animated film 'Brave'.  Loved it!
Haylee and I in a Model T in the village

South Haven & Kal-Haven bike trip

Danny and I spent two nights in South Haven, MI. The main purpose of the trip was to bike the 34 mile Kal-Haven trail. 
The Kal-Haven Trail is one of the many rails-to-trails projects in Michigan.  The trail itself is well-maintained and is mainly a finely ground gravel trail with a mile or two being tarred.  The majority of the trail is through woodland and is shaded.  Some of the trail goes through open farmland and in a few spots it crosses the road in a small town.  There were very few places to stop for lunch but several grocery stores were convenient.  We decided not to stop at all though and ate our snack bars and bananas.  Along the trail there are several water pumps and outhouses.  The ride is mainly flat so quite easy – it just got VERY long after about 25 miles. 

Covered bridge on the trail
We rented our bikes from Rock 'n Road in South Haven and rode about a mile to the beginning of the trail where we met the shuttle.  We took the 2 Valleys Shuttle to the other end of the trail in Kalamazoo and rode back to South Haven. 

Danny pumping the water on the Kal-Haven trail
South Haven was quite a pleasant, clean town with many charming homes and buildings.  I especially loved all the big porches.  The marina, beaches, and layout of the town with many nice shops, along with the sunny and not-too-hot weather made our visit quite pleasant. 

Our hotel, Lake Bluff Inn and My Tripadvisor review which was not positive. It was 2 miles from town which was convenient, the grounds were nice and the breakfast was fantastic. But I would not stay there again.

Sleeping Bear Dunes - Empire/Glen Arbor

Danny, my sister and I spent a week in a rented house in Empire in NW Michigan. This area was voted the most beautiful place in America by Good Morning America viewers last year.  This is the house we rented and were extremely pleased with it:  Bjorn Hus from Leelanau Vacation Rentals

Sister, Cathy, and I
While there we climbed the big dunes, took a ferry to South Manitou Island, canoed down the lower Platte River, and toured Glen Haven.  Lots of beach time and walks as well.  Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

South Manitou lighthouse
My sister bought the lifetime National Park pass for those over 62 and which is also valid at SBD National Lakeshore.  A great deal!!  When Danny and I do a tour of some US parks in a few years I'll get a pass as well.
See senior pass

Future trips

Our next trip is for two nights when Danny and I finally attend the spectacular Edinburgh Military Tattoo in August.

After hearing my brother describe his trip to Israel with his son (a graduation gift), both Danny and I want to visit.  So we've added this to our long list of future trips.

We loved visiting Michigan in the summer and will be skipping our usual Christmas trip (though will be sad to miss) and making our annual sojourns during summertime.  Next big trip is Uganda in January to see our 'daughter' Doreen graduate from university and to visit other friends there.