You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2009.

20091009 Mull of GallowaySo today we decided to brave the potentially awful weather and head down to the Mull of Galloway, which is the southernmost point in Scotland.

And is very, very, very windy.

Getting out of the car and into our weatherproof gear was a logistical feat which tested our skill, and once outside it was all we could do to stay upright. And as you can see from my very wonky picture of the lighthouse, I didn’t do a very good job of that.

But being blown around by a strong wind is extremely exhilarating, and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

20091008 Bladnoch DistilleryWell that’s only a little bit of what I’ve been up to on what has turned out to be the sunniest day of our holiday so far. We drove to Wigtown which is the most bookshoppy town in Scotland, famous for its book festival (which has just finished), and very pretty in a typically Scottish way.

We sampled several of the bookshops but came away virtuously empty handed, and headed off to the main attraction, a tour of the Bladnoch Distillery which involved refreshing my memory on how whisky is made, tasting some of the output, and buying a bottle to take home, as you do….

20091007 Culzean CastleSo after a hearty Scottish breakfast we  drove back the way we came yesterday and visited Culzean Castle, home of the Marquesses of Ailsa (if that’s the plural of Marquis), a stately-home-type-castle set in wonderful grounds on the Ayrshire coast. And for quite a bit of our visit we had lovely winter sunshine as I had hoped, though to be truthful it was the first day this autumn that I actually felt cold and my sheepskin gloves were produced.

The castle is well worth visiting; I hadn’t been there since a school outing back in the 1970s and was surprised by how much I had remembered and how interesting it all was. Eisenhower was given an apartment here to mark his commanding Scottish troops during D-Day and there’s an exhibition on his life with some fascinating memorabilia. The decoration by Robert Adam was stunning; I particularly loved the blue drawing room. And the grounds are fantastic, sheltered and warmed by the Gulf Stream so there are palm trees growing quite happily and a couple of seasons ago they even had a banana crop.

And there are some really good shops, including an excellent second-hand book shop and a wonderful toy shop where I gave in to my inner toddler and bought myself a large puppet dragon, christened Thorin. He may make an appearance here once I’ve decided where to keep him when I get back home.

A good day; now just thinking about what wine to have with dinner…..

Hey, it’s a tough job  but someone’s got to do it!

20091006 Kelso AbbeyWell, actually we have mostly been driving in the rain since we left home yesterday morning (Monday) and it’s now Tuesday evening, but are we disheartened? No, because no-one in their right mind ever comes to Scotland in October for the weather, and as long as you have the right (but not necessarily trendy or flattering) clothing you can cope with anything.

Anyway, after an overnight stay in Northumberland we are now settled into our fabulous hotel in Ayrshire, all this via a drive along the Tweed valley. We had a comfort stop in Kelso where I took the only picture I’ve been able get today during the 10 minutes it wasn’t raining, so here’s what’s left of Kelso Abbey.

To be fair, the sun did come out a little bit late this afternoon, and I’m hoping all will be well tomorrow.

GunnerkriggCourtOrientation54240_fI think I found out about this from Neil Gaiman’s blog, but of course I can’t find the reference now and it’s entirely possible that I’ve made the whole thing up and picked this up from somewhere completely different, so if it was you that pointed me in the direction of Gunnerkrigg Court then thank you because it’s absolutely brilliant.

So this is ostensibly a classic boarding school story; Antimony Carver (known as Annie) has just started her first year at Gunnerkrigg. Her mother is dead, her father isn’t around, and she is an odd and self-contained girl with some interesting knowledge and unusual talents.

This first volume is about her settling into the school, her friendship with Kat, and the strange, sort-of-Gothic things she comes across, including a Minotaur (possibly the Minotaur), demons, robots, shadows, mythical creatures, Gods and demi-gods.

This is great stuff. I love the artwork, I love Antimony herself (and what a cool name that is), and all of the other characters are fascinating in their own way. I particularly like Reynardine and will be interested to see how he develops. For although this is the first part of the story to be published in book for, this began life as a webcomic, and the adventures continue here. Well worth a visit.

Only one movie this month, but what a corker – District 9

Plus my new favourite TV thing – Warehouse 13

FIR09MediumSo I know I’ve had lots of problems with challenges this year (only completed one so far) but I enjoyed participating in this one last year and thought I’d have another go.

And that was as far as I got in writing this post on 26 September which seems ages ago; my only excuse for having put this aside being the last minute, signficant flurry of work before my annual holiday, which started technically as soon as I left work on Friday but starts properly tomorrow when we head north.

So, aims for Fall into Reading this year are:

  • read the six books I’m taking on holiday with me
  • read Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates which I identified as something I wanted to do way back at the beginning of 2009 (and where has the year gone, I ask you?)
  • finish the 42 Challenge on time
  • finish Carl’s RIP IV challenge on time
  • restart the Reading Muriel Spark project which I’ve singularly failed to progress since I started two years ago…

That seems quite a lot to be getting on with; let’s wait and see how I do…..

Bride of the Book God

Follow brideofthebook on Twitter

Scottish, in my fifties, love books but not always able to find the time to read them as much as I would like. I’m based in London and happily married to the Book God.

I also blog at Bride of the Screen God (all about movies and TV) and The Dowager Bride, if you are interested in ramblings about stuff of little consequence

If you would like to get in touch you can contact me at brideofthebookgod (at) btinternet (dot) com.

The Sunday


My Tweets

Blog Stats

  • 43,182 hits
October 2009