Sunday, 30 October 2011

201. Crab/ lobster claws

Here's a common sight along the pier. 
I can't imagine how hard it is to put the elastic bands around the claws of an irate lobster!

Saturday, 29 October 2011

200. Back Road

Not a busy road - it leads to the school car park and a couple of people's driveways.
This is another perfectly named thoroughfare - if you take the sea as the front of the village, this is at the back!

Friday, 28 October 2011

199. Former road

This is the path beyond The Narrows (the big white house just outside the village).  It used to be a coastal road to St Cyrus, but the sea had other ideas and washed a lot of it away.  I'm not sure how long ago it was passable by car, but it was certainly within living memory. 

I assume that the gap in the rocks on this photo was blasted away to make way for the road.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

198. Seating area

I can honestly say I've never seen anyone sitting on this seating area at the Hardgate, however I am very reliably informed that it is frequetly used by walkers and people reading their newspapers.

The sea is immediately off to the right of this photo, so it could be a lovely spot to sit and watch the waves, but the benches are maybe a bit far from the shore.

The large cream building is the Seaforth Guesthouse, one of two properties offering bed & breakfast in the village.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

197. Wild waves

I did eventually decide to brave the weather yesterday for a quick nip down to the harbour to take a few piccies.  The foam was lying on the road like a thick carpet and bits were blowing around everywhere. 

Luckily I'm able to watch this from the cosy comfort of Starfish Studio!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

196. More foam

At first glance you may think that this is a sandy beach, but no, it's Johnshaven harbour covered in foam.  This was taken at the same time as yesterday's photo.  It's even wilder and more foamy today but I've not been out with my camera.

Monday, 24 October 2011

195. Yucky foam

Stormy sea today.  All that off-white stuff on the rocks is the horrible foam you get when the sea's rough.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Saturday, 22 October 2011

193. No travellers please - part two

As I mentioned yesterday, the ditch that had been dug previously was too easy for the travellers to fill in. 

The solution was to bring in a digger to dig a deep trench all along the length of the grass, and also to dig out deep parallel trenches at regular intervals along the grassy area from the beach to the road.

The soil that was removed was placed in between the ditches to make a high ridge, so the whole area is very vehicle-unfriendly.  It was all very bare at first, but grass and weeds are now covering the whole area.

I do wonder what geographers or archeologists may make of this strange land formation in centuries to come!!

Friday, 21 October 2011

192. No travellers please

In the past we've had lots of travellers setting up camp along this coastal dead end road.  It's a very popular walking route, but when there are scary dogs chained up outside a caravan and barking from dawn 'till dusk, it's not very pleasant to walk past.  As far as I'm aware, the travellers themselves haven't caused any bother in recent years, but the mess they leave behind is often shocking.

Previous attempts at making the ground difficult to access by digging a ditch between the road and the grass were thwarted when the travellers just filled in the ditch to make a sort of bridge to drive over.

So, last year the local landowner decided to do something to stop this problem once and for all.  This height restriction is one of the measures used.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

191. Derelict cottages

It's such a shame to see abandoned buildings like this.  As I understand it, there is some dispute over the ownership of these two cottages which is presumably why they are in this sorry state.  One has a potentially lovely pantiled roof - there are not many of those around.

Here they are from the front.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

190. Putting green

One of the many super duper facilities that we can enjoy, thanks to the Waird's Park camping and caravan site, is the putting green.  Here you can see it with the towers of Lathallan School in the background.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Monday, 17 October 2011

188. Fishing necessaries

I spotted these creels, floats and boxes on the wall separating the inner and outer harbours on a recent sunny evening.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

187. Charity 'do'

Last night, one of Johnshaven's watering holes, the Ship Hotel, was the setting for a charity fundraiser. 

Standby, the fantabulous Johnshaven band (all aged 13 & 14) played an excellent set for about an hour, followed by the very talented Brodie who sang four songs.

This was followed by the shaving of Brodie's grandad, Ben!!

Ben has been cultivating this fine head of hair for many a year, but last night it was all removed to raise funds for Breast Cancer Research. 

Friday, 7 October 2011

Thursday, 6 October 2011

184. Geese

The noise from the geese flying overhead is almost constant today - love it! 
You may have to enlarge these pics to see them proplerly.

In honour of today being National Poetry Day I thought I should attempt to write a poem about the geese, but I have completely and utterly failed.  So here's a poem by someone local who knew how to write them. (Thank you Google!)

Violet Jacob (1863 - 1946), who wrote the poem below, was born Violet Kennedy-Erskine into an aristocratic family near Montrose, Angus. She is known best for her historical novel "Flemington" and her poetry. In 1894 she married an Irish officer in the British Army, and accompanied him to India where he was serving. When Arthur died 1936, she returned to live at Kirriemuir, in Angus. Although the poem below is ostensibly a conversation between the wind and a wild goose, it is clearly also about being an exile - feelings that Violet Jacob must have felt when she was in India.

  The Wild Geese

'Oh, tell me what was on yer road, ye roarin' norlan
   As ye cam' blawin' frae the land that's niver frae my mind?
My feet they trayvel England, but I'm deein' for the north—'
   'My man, I heard the siller tides rin up the Firth o' Forth.'

'Aye, Wind, I ken them well eneuch, and fine they fa' and rise,
   And fain I'd feel the creepin' mist on yonder shore that lies,
But tell me, ere ye passed them by, what saw ye on the way ?'
   'My man, I rocked the rovin' gulls that sail abune the Tay.' 

'But saw ye naethin', leein' Wind, afore ye cam' to Fife?
   There's muckle lyin' yont the Tay that's mair to me nor life.'
'My man, I swept the Angus braes ye haena trod for years—'
   'O Wind, forgie a hameless loon that canna see for tears!—' 

'And far abune the Angus straths I saw the wild geese flee,
   A lang, lang skein o' beatin' wings wi' their heids towards the sea,
And aye their cryin' voices trailed ahint them on the air—'
   'O Wind, hae maircy, haud yer whisht, for I daurna listen mair!'
Meaning of unusual words:
norlan = someone who lives in the north
fain = fondly
abune = above
muckle = a lot
yont = beyond
hameless loon = homeless lad
straths = valleys, glens
haud yer whisht = keep quiet!
daurna listen mair = dare not listen more

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

182. New railings

After a ridiculously long wait, Johnshaven Stores' new railings were finally fitted yesterday.  We commissioned Jim Shears to make them eons ago and went to see the largest section at his blacksmiths forge in Auchtermuchty when it had been completed two whole years ago.

Since then we've struggled to get the steps built.  You wouldn't believe how ridiculously difficult this was - to cut a long story short, finding a manufacturer to actually make them was a nightmare.  In the end we found a company near Banchory who cast them and they were finally fitted in the summer.

In the meantime the beautiful railings had become very rusty and Jim was having to store them.  He couldn't make the smaller sections until the steps were in place and he could take accurate measurements.

However, they are now complete.  They have been galvanised to protect them from the harsh salty air, and we are leaving them silver for the time being at least.  Eventually they will dull down and may end up being painted, but we're holding off on that for as long as possible.

I hope you agree that they were worth the wait!

Jim having a sit down

Welding the handrail

If you need a reminder as to why we needed new railings, look at these pics!

Monday, 3 October 2011

Sunday, 2 October 2011

180. Coos on a hill

I'm used to seeing cows in the fields around the village, but it's unusual to see them on this rough, and fairly steep hill.  This pic was taken just past the Narrows.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

179. Recycling

Actually it's more reusing than recycling isn't it?  How many uses can you think of for an old boat?