26 Feb 2007

"Gone Fishin' " by Louis Armstrong - 2nd cut

I have never truly fished on a river or loch in my life till 2005 when Jim, another friend, got me interested. I have since fished for trout with John and Jim in various places and have recently got my own rod and reel.

Salmon river fishing is on a different dimension and I have never really been offered a chance to try it until last weekend.

So … Off I went for the weekend to the north of Scotland fishing for salmon with my good friend, John along with his friends, Derek & George and I had a fantastic time.

I was very privileged to be allowed onto a river and fish for salmon. Within 30 minutes I had a bite but can only talk about “the one that got away” on this occasion. Later on that morning we met up with the other fishers and as George had just hooked a fish he beckoned me over to take his rod from him and bring the fish in. This was my first salmon so I was full of excitement. The fish put up quite a fight and I had to play out the line a few times before the fish was tired enough to bring her in. What an amazing experience. I can now say that I am “hooked”! Of course, the salmon was put back into the river. AND.... I had an even bigger privilege later that same day when we met up again. George helped me cast a long line where he knew there were salmon and within 1 minute I had hooked my own fish. That feeling will stay with me forever. Thank you George and Derek for letting me experience such a thrill and also to my good friend John for suggesting that I may come along.

17 Feb 2007

"Ain't Nobody Home" by B.B. King

It was a clear, blue sky day today so delayed the kitchen taping and painting I was planning to do and took a run up to the coast and visited the little village of Crovie, pronounced "Crivvie". A very isolated place on the North East coast and very picturesque too. Most of the homes are now holiday lets and not many people actually live here.
Here are some words from the Undiscovered Scotland web site:
Crovie is built on a remarkably narrow ledge between the base of the cliffs forming the east side of Gamrie Bay and the sea. It sits looking across the bay to the rather larger and more securely located village of Gardenstown.
Crovie itself was established by families cleared from inland estates in the late eighteenth century. Having been moved off their land to make way for their landlord's sheep, they then had the pleasure of operating fishing boats owned by the landlord, largely for his benefit and entirely at their risk. By the mid nineteenth century some fishermen had built their own boats, and by the end of the century some fifty such owner-operated boats sailed from Crovie.

The first half of the twentieth century saw a gradual decline in Crovie's fishing fleet in the face of competition from the larger, more effective vessels that could operate from other ports. However, the end of Crovie's fishing industry came, finally and abruptly, on 31 January 1953.
A storm that had been building since the previous night brought hurricane force winds and huge seas to the village. The path to Gardenstown was washed away (it has since been replaced), together with stretches of Crovie's sea defences and a number of houses and sheds. The village ceased to be viable almost immediately, and many residents simply moved round the bay to

Crovie was left largely to be developed as holiday lets, and today it is a much more active place in the summer than at other times of the year. The restrictions placed by its location on development throughout its history, plus the halt to commercial activity in 1953, have left Crovie as one of the best preserved fishing villages in Europe.

How you feel about Crovie will probably depend on the sort of day you find it on. It can be an enchanting place, though with its backdrop of lumpy cliffs it will probably never really qualify as beautiful. But find it on a day when the sea is being pushed into the bay by a northerly gale and it is an altogether more exciting place to be.

16 Feb 2007

"I am sailing" by Rod Stewart

Today I spent the morning at Peterhead playing with boats, the afternoon lunching with Claire & Ferruccio and evening looking at cars.

A friend asked if I would like to see a boat getting lifted from the water onto a transporter as it was going to Ireland. So Ferruccio, who was staying with us overnight, and I headed for Peterhead and helped to take a power boat across the Bay to the harbour where the crane was to lift it out of the water. Ferruccio had the honour of taking it into the docking position. He is a marine captain after all. He enjoyed the experience very much as he usually handles vessels a good bit larger than this. Maybe 5,000 tonnes larger!

In the afternoon we went to a nice restaurant out of town called Eat on the Green at Udny Green, near Ellon. We had a lovely lunch there, overeating, as usual but very good food.


In the evening I went with another friend to the launch of the updated Porsche Cayanne. It’s always a pleasure to see a new car launch at Porsche Aberdeen as they lay on a grand evening with champagne reception followed by canapes and more pouring of fine wines and food along with viewing of the cars on display.


While at Peterhead harbour I noticed this wreck of a fishing boat, CARINA, still floating at the pier. What a sad old fishing boat left to die a slow, slow death.

I found this article from an old newspaper: "On 9 April 2003 at Dornoch Sheriff Court, Derek West, skipper of the Banff registered fishing boat ‘Carina’, pled guilty to a charge of polluting Kinlochbervie harbour on 18 March 2002, when the boat was being refuelled with diesel. Around 1000 litres of fuel escaped when a tank overflowed. He was fined £450. Loch Inchard is important to the local economy as an area for growing shellfish. The harbour has a narrow inlet and is sheltered, which means that the diesel would have remained in the water for some time. Diesel reduces the amount of oxygen in the water and can result in the death of marine life." This was probably the beginning of the end for this particular boat.

9 Feb 2007

"Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" Let It Snow! by Doris Day

Aden Country Park on a cold winter's day

I had a lovely walk in Aden Country Park today. It was below zero degrees but the sun was trying its best to come out. The ducks expected some food from me but I had none to give.

Most of the South West of England was in chaos because 4 inches of snow fell during the day leaving many motorists stranded. We think we have it bad BUT over the pond in the USA in New York State they had snowstorms with 6 feet snowdrifts! That's a car in the foreground!

6 Feb 2007

"You'll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties" by Jona Lewie

Old Kitchen

Same View but much changed kitchen.

New kitchen almost completed

I've not been Blogging a lot because I have been painting in the new kitchen before the new worktops arrived. And guess what? They arrived today. CLICK HERE to go to my other BLOG for an update.