Sunday, September 26, 2010

Day 2 ... Callender House ... Falkirk

If you survived, and dare I say enjoyed, Day 1, then here is the second of my days out.

I was staying in this Bed and Breakfast on the outskirts of Falkirk.The house was over 100 years old and still sported the original tiled hall....the view from the steps seemed to change depending on the weather...on a clear day the distant hills glimmered in the sun light. The garden surrounded the house and was divided into little nooks with seats to enjoy the view .... so tranquil ... and the rose hips were the biggest I had ever seen.

Callender House was in fact close by ...a short bus ride ...and unlike the first day out, no hill to climb at the end of the day. lol.
I could not see it from the road as it was hidden by trees but I followed the signs ... my breath was taken away as I came face to face with the imposing structure.In the 14th century the original wooden structure, that had stood on the land for about 400 years, was abandoned and the first stone structure, with walls 8 feet thick and a single room on each floor, appeared. Over the following centuries it was extended but in1651, Cromwell lay siege, killing the 62 defenders and destroying the building. It was the Earl of Callender who on his return in 1660, restored the tower and extended a new mansion eastward. The new owner, William Forbes, in the late 1700's extended it again but it was his son and grandson who, by 1878, created the final appearance that we see now.It is an amazing building packed with history... the exhibition is so interesting to follow. As you wind your way around the parts open to the public, on three of the floors, you learn the history of the house and the area, the social and industrial changes and a great deal more. It is set up like a museum but there are some furnished rooms to see too.

A GEORGIAN KITCHEN with a roaring fire and a lingering smell of Ginger and Cinnamon.

This kitchen was built in 1824 to accommodate the spit which needed a high ceiling and it was so interesting to see the implements used nearly 200 years ago... some things had only changed in my lifetime.
The cook in the photo was there to answer questions and I learnt that around that time there was a tax on male servants to do with the wars and the need for soldiers. French chefs returned to their homeland and so the Head Cook's position would be now given to a woman ... and this kitchen was run by her and with only four female kitchen assistants under her.


The vast grounds looked beautiful but I left a walk around them for another visit ...mainly because I could not see any seats and my back was reminding me that I had already been standing and strolling, for quite some time ... including a small art exhibition. It was of Alan Davie's works ...he is 90 and apparently still painting. His abstract work caught my imagination ... not something that normally happens but I felt the tribal origins in some of the work and saw how his patterns and forms had evolved ....well I'm no expert but I did get enjoyment from standing and absorbing what I saw.

I finished my trip with a visit to the tea rooms that were in the old stable block .... everything was home made ...and a fair price too lol

Hope you managed to get to the end lol
Take Care xx

Friday, September 24, 2010

Day One ...Linlithgow ...picture heavy ....sorry

I so admire the ladies who, on their blog, illustrate a visit to a beautiful garden or a wonderful Stately Home. This is why I thought I would have a go ...sharing the couple of days I spent 'chillin' after meeting my new grandson. I have to say that I am not a walker ... the thought of half a mile is plenty but when my son suggested a stroll along part of the Falkirk Canal ....a mile and a half stroll ...I shuddered but gave it a go. Having not smoked for over 2 years now ....and having now lost some of the excess weight that resulted from doing so ...I really coped quite well.
The ecoutics were such fun ....could not resist calling out to hear the echo. lol

This stroll gave me confidence to go exploring on the following two days.

Day 1
Linlithgow Palace ...the earliest surviving Scottish Royal Palace ... built between 1488 and 1513. James V was born there 1512 and Mary Queen of Scots also, in 1542.
A wonderful arch greets you as you stroll up to the palace ....the panels depicting the Orders of Knighthoods held by James V ...the painted embellishment to the carving was a later addition in 1845.

The Palace

The Loch below

St Micheal's Parish Church to the palace ...the grandest Parish Church in Scotland, it is said by many.It dates from the 12th century but after a fire, was reconstructed from 1425-1532. There have been many additions and alterations over the centuries that followed, with the new spire( seen in the earlier photo) being added in 1964.

As one walks back down to the Cross, one see the amazing Cross Well and Fountain ...carved by a one handed stone mason in 1807. The area know as The Cross is where the public hangings and other punishments, took place

When you reach the main road,the High Street stretches out to the right and the left of you. It is so full of history, like Annet House Museum whose deeds date back to 1610 and now, after so many changes of use since it stopped being a family home, houses 'The Linlithgow Story' ...a very interesting exhibition.
There is the original Oliphant Bakery and little gems like the amazing Purely Patchwork shop that, as you enter, the amazing kaleidoscope of colours suck you in and make you want to stroke everything that you behold ..... and entices you to give this craft a go.

Down a turning, further along the street, I found myself by the loch but this time on its edge. I took the opportunity for a slow wander many swans ...apparently swans have nested on the banks for hundreds of years.

and this chair ... once a mighty tree .... not sure whether this was actually created by nature or man.
Well I think if you have got this far you are a true friend but will be thankful that Day 2 will not be following immediately .... but will be the next post ... in a couple of days.

Take Care xx

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Oliver John ...aged 5 and 6 days

Here he is ......

Sorry I've not been around but I took a few days out to visit Oliver and have a few days out to myself .
The photos of my trip will appear later but I had to show off my new grand son .... and Ben and Jake too ...bless them they had a streaming cold.
I may add some more of Ben and Jake, on my next post, but I had to show you these, as I love the tops.
I really prommise I will catch up with everyone ....soon ...but I have been reading a lot of the blogs although not commenting.

Take Care xx

Thursday, September 09, 2010

He is here .. at last ...Grandson No 3

Sorry I have not been around for a while but the final straw was when one of our weird cats, who seems to loose bladder control and sense when on heat, hung her derriere over the edge of my desk and pee'd on my keyboard ....yes I couldn't believe it either. She totally killed it ...and I had to get a new one.

Now the real purpose of this quick post ......

Oliver John arrived at 11.52 am ...weighing in at 7lbs4oz

.... not an easy birth for Emma and he had the cord around his neck. The name was finally decided by the twins, who kept patting her tummy and saying 'Olly'. I have not been needed yet as her Mum has been over ....I will let you know more when I manage to talk to DS again.

I hope my blog friends will forgive me for not commenting on their blogs over the past few days .... I enjoyed having a good read but I was just lacking the keyboard lol ....will catch up soon.

Take Care xx