Monday, 15 May 2017

Jackdaw Village

Hailes Castle  -   East Lothian

The original  building,a tower house,was begun in the late twelve hundreds by Hugo de Gourley
 and over the following 300 hundred years subsequent owners added extensions to fit their needs.

Today it is home to families of Jackdaws and the ghostly "Lady in White" 

Jackdaw's nest in a niche high in the Great Hall
Noisy chicks exercise their vocal chords out of  danger's way.
This was one of many nests in out of reach spaces in the walls. These birds are known
for collecting shiny objects while nest building. When I was a child a friend and I spent hours searching in
old buildings and climbing trees looking for jewels which we were sure had been secreted away in Jackdaw nests
....but we never found the treasure!

Information board illustration

Above  -  The Medieval lord's table
Below  -  How the castle may have looked in the 16th century

The buildings are in a very ruined state and no decorative features remain.

Inner courtyard with the 13th century protective curtain wall on the left.
Behind the wall a water filled ditch added further protection on the landward side.

The tower block

Pigeon nesting compartments above the dungeon
 Pigeons would have been a convenient source of food for the household

Farmland viewed from the back of the building,overlooking the River Tyne

19th century cottage on the perimeter the castle grounds.

I found these ladies on Pinterest - at some point their dress would have suited the setting.
They certainly look aristocratic!

Thank you for visiting

Shared with :    All Seasons    Mosaic Monday   Our World Tuesday   Tuesday's Treasures

Image 1  -  Jackdaw - image source Wikipedia

Monday, 1 May 2017


Pine  -  Hawthorn  -  Wild Cherry

East Lothian farmland

Stones -  cones - pieces of shell - dry earth

I like looking down, looking at detail ....

The structure of the surface here reminds me of American artist Jan Henle's photo sketches.

Exhibition catalogue cover 1988

The work was created on the island of St.Croix in the West Indies,where Henle grew up.
He meticulously worked land with a plow and shovel then photographed the results.
As in East Lothian, pieces of shell appear on the surface.

 I thought it would be interesting to make a virtual connection by photographing shells from neighbouring islands of
St.Kitts and Antigua on the St.Croix land image .... 

I've had these shells and for years - today they want to communicate!

Thank you for visiting

Shared with :   Our World Tuesday    Tuesday's Treasures   Wednesday around the world

Sunday, 19 March 2017

March Wind

Wind - Stormy Sea - Wind - Blue Sky - Wind - Showers - Wind - 14°C

Princess not enjoying the weather!

Thank you for visiting

Shared with :    Saturday's Critters     All Seasons    Mosaic Monday    Our World Tuesday

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Motor Museum

Deep in the East Lothian countryside lies a unique little motor museum.

The collection, started in 1966, is comprised of cars, commercial vehicles,motorbikes,pedal bikes,
toy cars and all manner of related memorabilia.

Most of the vehicles are in running order -  some take part in rallies and film shoots.
I've shown a small selection of what was on show the day we visited.

1938 Citroen traction avant (front wheel drive)
The model was first introduced in 1934.

The car shown here was restored in 1984 for the 50th anniversary and took part in the
Paris-Moscow-Paris rally organised to commemorate the event. 

1923 Arrol Johnston  -  built in Dumfries, Scotland  .....

1935 Packard straight 8  -  last registered in British Colombia  .....

1938 Matchless 1000  motorbike  .....

1931 Austin 7 Swallow -  it is on loan to the museum and has been owned by
the same family since 1947  .....

1948 Vauxhall 14  (centre)  .....

Ford Zephyr  -  circa 1960 (centre)
1925 brown Morris in the background  .....

Behind the Zephyr is a 1926 Chrysler Edinburgh Evening News van.
It is the sole survivor of a fleet used to deliver newspapers in and around Edinburgh.

1961 Humber Super Snipe  .....

1956 Austin A50  .....

1961 Morris Minor Traveller .....

Thank you for visiting

Shared with :      Our Beautiful World      All Seasons     Mosaic Monday 
                          Tuesday's Treasures     Our World Tuesday     

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Summer Queen

North transept rose window - Notre-Dame Cathedral

On January 1st 1537, 16 year old Princess Madeleine de Valois, daughter of King Francis I of France married
25 year old King James V of Scotland in Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris.

Madeleine was frequently in poor health and when James asked for her hand in marriage her father was
at first reluctant to agree. It would appear however that Madeleine persuaded him to
change his mind - that and current power politics!  

Notre-Dame Cathedral - photo by Morelle Smith

At 10 am the wedding party, led by musicians, heralds and church dignitaries, proceeded along a specially constructed raised

 platform to a stage at the west door of the cathedral. There Madeleine and James were married by the Cardinal of Bourbon.
They then entered the church for the nuptual mass.

Afterwards a sumptuous dinner was served at the Bishop's palace, followed in the evening by more feasting and dancing at the
Palais de Justice. Rich cloths and tapestries decorated the banqueting halls and food was served on gold and silver plates.

Madeleine and James

Two more weeks of celebrations followed at the Louvre and Tournelles palaces.
Events included jousts, tournaments,feasts, plays,with airborne fire breathing dragons
and mock naval battles. 

The Louvre Palace prior to remodelling in Renaissance style in the 1540s .....

How James may have looked then  .....

Aristocratic dress of the time.

The couple stayed in France until May when it was decided that Madeleine was fit to travel.

The Scottish king's ships left France accompanied by ten French ships accommodating Madeleine's
extensive entourage. She found the voyage uncomfortable and on arrival at Leith had to rest
for two days before proceeding to Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, where she 
until her death seven weeks later.
 Consumption is now thought to be the cause of death.

I would love to have seen the convoy sailing up the Firth of Forth, led by the king's flagship
......   but I can day dream!

The ships would have looked similar to those in this painting depicting
Henry VIII (uncle of James) embarking at Dover  .....

Holyrood Palace in Renaissance style

.....  and now, with the ruined abbey behind.

Photo taken from the hill above in the Royal Park created by James.
I've shown the Royal Park in a previous post  ....    HERE

Holyrood Abbey

The distraught James ordered a grand funeral for his queen.
The abbey interior was hung with black cloth and her coffin draped in purple and black.
Candles were kept alight around the tomb for two years afterwards.
James celebrated mass on the day of Madeleine's death every year until
his own death five years later.

A year after her death he married Mary of Guise.
20 years later their daughter Mary Queen of Scots would marry the Dauphin of France at
Notre-Dame de Paris in a celebration equalling that of Madeleine and James. 

Queen Madeleine lived in Scotland for only two brief summer months but her story touched
the hearts the people who named her the "Summer Queen".

Thank you for visiting  -   Happy New Year!

Sharedwith :     All Seasons       Mosaic Monday     Our World Tuesday   
                       Tuesday's Treasures     Image-in-ing

Image source  -  1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9  -  Wikipedia
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