Scots wha hae. . . . . .Tuesday Travels

robert-burns-scots-wha-haeI spent my first fifteen years growing up in Scotland but duting that time I never visited the Wallace Monument near Stirling.  That grave omission was rectified when I visited it recently while I was in Scotland. The website for the monument is comprehensive and well worth a visit if you are unable to visit the actual monument.

Wallace monumentIt doesn’t look much from down below but it is an interesting monument giving all the details of Wallace’s role in Scottish history.

This is the monument from further afield.

national-wallace-monumentI remember the Burns poem from my childhood.

Burns poemThere is a replica of Wallace’s sword and a scale alongside so you can get the idea of how it compares to you.

The monument also gives details of famous Scottish identities, writers, engineers etc as part of the detailed exhibition space within the monument

I particularly liked aspects of the architecture of the tower. You can click on the pictures to see more detail.

The surrounding countryside was viewed from the base of the monument.

My granddaughter enjoyed the exhibition too.

ViI might also mention that it was good exercise climbing to the top.

Memories and plates on the wall

Many years ago we bought a plate for my mum and dad for Christmas.

blue platesSince then we bought two plates of our own.  When mum and dad passed away the plate came back to us and we now have three plates above our kitchen doorway.

In our family room we have a wall of plates that each have some significance to us.

platesThe little square plate is one of a set of five given to me as a gift from a parent of a Japanese student I taught.

The Hills Clothes Hoist plate is from our younger daughter.  The cockerel plate with the clock mechanism was converted to a clock by our son and the dark blue plate on the left-hand side is from our elder daughter.

plates2Each plate is a link to a memory of someone or somewhere we have visited.

Do you have any plates that bring back memories to you?


A reading update

I have not read any non-fiction recently to add to my Reading Challenge but the last fiction book I finished reading was Winston’s War by Michael Dobbs.  My brother and sister-in-law gave me this book when we were in Sydney. (They were trying to declutter.) Since then they have visited us and brought two boxes of books.  They are seriously decluttering now!

Winston's WarFrom the cover:

Saturday 1 October 1938. Two men meet. One is elderly, the other in his twenties. One will become the most revered man of his time, and the other known as the greatest of traitors.

Winston Churchill met Guy Burgess at a moment when the world was about to explode. Now in is astonishing new novel, Michael Dobbs throws brilliant fresh light upon Churchill’s relationship with the Soviet spy and the twenty months of conspiracy, chance and outright treachery that were to propel Churchill from outcast to messiah and change the course of history.

I have read other books by this author and have thoroughly enjoyed them.  This book didn’t disappoint.  I enjoy books that are intertwined with real history. I am now off to the second hand bookshop to see if I can get the follow up Never Surrender.

Since writing this draft I puchased the e-book version of Never Surrender to read while I was overseas.  I didn’t get it read and since then I have moved on to David Baldacci.  I will get around to reading Never Surrender, just not at the moment.

A very easy recipe

dutch ginger cakeThis recipe is from one of my old cookbooks.  We haven’t been eating cakes recently but we were having visitors so I thought I ought to make a cake for having with our cups of tea!

The recipe is from The Australian Womens’s Weekly – Best recipes from the Weekly

Dutch Ginger Cake

1 3/4 cups plain flour

1 cup castor sugar

125 g glace ginger ( I use crystalised)

1 egg

185g butter

30g blanched almonds ( I usually use slivered almonds and scatter them over the top)

Sift flour, add sugar and chopped ginger, mix in melted butter and egg.  Press mixture into well greased 20cm sandwich tin,(I use a quiche tin).  Brush top with a little milk, decorate with almonds.  Bake in moderate oven 45 minutes – I check after 35 minutes.  Cool in tin, cut into wedges to serve.

The cake is firm, sort of like a shortbread.  Delicious.



Metung Marina makeover

A long time ago . . . . February 2014 to be precise, I posted about the renovation of the Metung marina.

We have almost reached the finish.

Today they were doing the clean up of the foreshore so perhaps it will be open for business next week.  Certainly it has been a long term project but the finished article looks good.

Tuesday travels. . . . . Falkirk, Scotland

One of the reasons for my absence was travel overseas.  I was away for a month. Scotland was one of the places visited, if only for a short while on our way to England.

kelpiesThis wonderful sculpture was on our way to Stirling.  The top of the heads were visible behind a hedge on the road edge and I mentioned that I had been keen to see the Kelpies so we made a detour to do just that.

This video tells you more about the sculpture.

It was certainly worth the visit.  This gives you some idea of the scale in the landscape.

scale of kelpiesup closeUp close you can see the scale in relation to the people at the bottom.

Close to the Kelpies is the Falkirk Wheel but we didn’t have time to go to that, maybe next time. An engineering marvel.

falkirk wheel

An added piece.

The sculpture has just won an award and I found this article telling much more about the artist and how the sculpture was created.

Live: Borough Markets, London —

A must for any food lovers visiting London is a trip to the fabulous Borough Markets. They are one of the oldest and largest food markets in London and are packed with stalls selling everything from classic British fare to European delicacies. Donuts stuffed with vanilla custard, giant seafood paella, artisanal bread, fresh oysters and […]

via Live: Borough Markets, London —

This post is for my older brother and my sister-in-law.  We had been discussing London Markets and we said how our daughter had taken us to the Borough Markets way back in 2003.  They hadn’t heard of the markets so this is a timely post for them.