Sunday, April 25, 2010

Webskins with Kira

For the first time my photos were exhibited at the University, at the recent Immunosenescence conference. They are pictures I took with Kira last autumn in Laura's garage, which had lots of great old spiders webs. Kira draped them over her arms, and they look just like stockings. They're really close up, so in the picture on the far right hand side you can just see the little hairs on Kira's arm and the wisps of the spider silk. Many thanks to Kira for including them in her exhibit, mounting and putting up the images.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spring in Long Bennington

Out for a little potter through the village in the first warm sunshine of the year we saw lots of pretty flowers!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Edinburgh - day 8

We were up especially early this morning and after a quick muffiny breakfast we headed out of St Andrews, peddling surprisingly quickly up the hills. We reached Glenrothes by 11 and stopped in Kirkcauldy for lunch at Miss Maudes. Then a long slog round to the Forth Road Bridge, along a rather badly damaged sea wall where we had to carry the bikes over 2 meter holes! Over the bridge and into Queensferry for more cake and coffee before the last gasp into Edinburgh. 62 miles today and some 450 in total.

Getting close!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

St Andrews - day 7

More sunshine this morning! We peddled out of Montrose and down to Arbroath for carrot cake and coffee. Over the hills and further south, with a bit of wind again. At Broughty Ferry we went into the Glass Pavillion for lunch. A super art deco place with live music in the evenings. We showed our driving licenses at the Port of Dundee entrance and took a short cut past lots of sheds, then up onto the Tay bridge by a lift! Around the coast on the otherside we went off road through the Tentmuir forest, where N spotted a red squirrel whereas I only saw some bunnies. Then a last push in to St Andrews for a very nice Thai tea. 54 miles.


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Montrose - day 6

what a difference - brilliant sunshine greeted us as we left the youth hostel and pottered over the hills to Stonehaven. We met up with Auntie Kath at Mollies cafe for hot chocolate and coffee, then another quick uphill and a brief look at Dunnottar Castle. Then, saying bye to Auntie Kath, we peddled through the sunshine down to Inverbervie for jacket potatoes for a late lunch. We pottled over the hills and down the coastal path at Jonhshaven and into Montrose, arriving for once at a reasonable time! Staying at the lovely Links Hotel we enjoyed a really super dinner and the music drifting up from the folk and jazz club. 48 miles.

Dunnottar Castle

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Aberdeen - day 5

The weather forecast was not good - 30mile an hour winds from the south and we were heading south, so they were in our faces all day! We set off from Rattray and headed in land and south, over a few small hills. Average speed about 5mph! We headed for Cruden Bay, hoping for a cafe but unfortunately there wasn't anything. Instead we bought some rowies and hot chocolate from the shoppie down by the harbour in Port Errol and sat outside, sheltering from the wind and rain. We peddled onwards to Newburgh, still no cafe, but at least the sun came out as we sat on a bench outside another shop for sandwiches. The wind was still mammothly strong and we battled to Aberdeen to the SYHA, 50miles.

Monday, April 05, 2010

To Rattray head - day 4

The weather wasn't quite so nice as last night as we squelched our way up the hill out of Cullen. Our first stop was Portsoy for rowies, from the local bakery, for breakfast down by the harbour. It was windy and wet but onwards we went and took refuge in The Coffee Pot Cafe in Banff. The owner did a fine line in sausage sandwiches (and also blackpudding sandwiches) and took pitty on us as we left giving us some lollipops to keep us going. We battled in to the wind up to Fraserburgh and spent only a few minutes looking round the harbour beofre ploughing on to Rattray Head where we were staying at the ecohostel, which is in the old lighthouse keepers house. Its was lovely, and we had it to ourselves - stoking up the fire and cooking up a lot of pasta. 52miles

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Cullen - day 3

Setting off from Inverness we turned East and started our two days across the top. We pottered along next to the water and past Benromach and Glenmoranjie distilleries. We found a super place called the Loft for lunch (braised lamb shank) and as we came to Buckie the sun came out and we had a really good view out across the sea. The last leg was along a coastal path and then an old railway route over the viaduct into Cullen. We were booked into the Cullen Harbour Hostel and as we arrived they offered us some tea - roast pheasant no less! What a way to finish the day, watching the sun go down over the harbour. 68 miles

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Inverness again - day 2

We slept like logs! But we up at 7.30 to have breakfast and set off again. Naomi from the hostel promised fewer hills and we bowled along to Golspie, where we had cupcakes in Poppies cafe. Past the Clynlish distillery. Onwards along the coast and past lichen clad trees. There were seals and lots of birds - oyster catchers, red shanks?, little waders, godwits and many more. For lunch we stopped in Tain, just past Glenmoranjie, at the SUnflower cafe, where they had haggis lasagne on the menu! THen in to the hills to Alness and a sneaky hop across the A9 bridge before heading on to the small roads through Culbokie and finally to Inverness. A massive 72 miles but in 10h so much better going than yesterday!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Helmsdale - still day 1

From Inverness we got a wee train up to WIck, passing by snow topped mountains and deer filled moors, even seeing a small heather fire. Quite strange as there was snow on the ground too. At Wick a Spanish woman asked which way to go with her bicycle to John O'Groats - very brave without a map! We pointed her north and set out south - into the wind. The sun was shining and though it was hard work we made good progress. And then the big hills began! The biggest had a 13% gradient and I made it up about halfway before having to push, quickly being over taken by a walker! Then we were rewarded with a full 4miles swooping downhill into Helmsdale and to a lovely little youth hostel in an old gymnasium with super high ceilings. In all 42 miles (including the 7 we did in Brum), arived at 8.20! SO the WIck to Helmsdale strtetch was 37miles in 5 & 1/2h!


NSCR Wick to Edinburgh day 1

Last night we set off in the rain to New Street, being conscious of the new bike (Bertie) I locked him to Nick's bike on the train to
Crewe, using my new kryptonite gold standard lock. As we came to get off the lock wouldn't unlock but we lifted the bikes off the train together. The station master lent us a hack saw but we had to pay a visit to the fire station to get Dave, Phil and Chris to cut the lock off with an angle grinder as the key eventually fatigued and broke in the lock and there was no way to get it off, they even tried those pneumatic pliers which were damaged by the lock! Tough lock but not so the key! But we made it and got on the train to Inverness. It was freezing!! As the sun came up we saw a beautiful snow covered landscape and now we're in Inverness for a spot of breakfast before the next train to Wick.
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