First fire

It seems as if renovating the house has taken forever. Now that we’re almost there, it was time to get my new wood burning stove fired up. The heat from it is delicious, it has a wholesome feel to it that’s completely different to electric heat. This place is starting to feel like home, and that’s a feeling I’ve never had before.



Metal detecting

Not a bad morning yesterday, so headed down to the beach for a few hours and geared up for some metal detecting.


First thing I found was an old creel. Well, I say creel, but all that was left of it was the cement with some metal still embedded. The rest of the creel was gone.


A little later, I had a nice contact while scanning a crack in bedrock. Sounded good. A lightbulb? On a beach? I guess it must have floated here from somewhere.


Then the sky got very dark, and I high tailed it home before the rain started.


Brora War Memorial


The Brora War Memorial is a baronial styled monument which was built around 1920 to commemorate those who gave their lives during WW1. Later the names of those who sacrificed their lives during WW2 were added, and more recently, the Gulf War. A distinctive Brora landmark, it also includes a clock that chimes out in unison with Big Ben.



As befits such a splendid memorial to those who sacrified their lives so that we could live ours in the freedoms we enjoy today, it holds a prominent position in the heart of Brora on the banks of the river, as well as in the hearts of the villagers. The names of the servicemen inscribed on the memorial can be seen below.




Quite where the idea for the memorial came from has been a subject of debate for many years, but perhaps the photograh below with this insight shared by Adam Brown may shed light on its design.

I think the ruined Bethune Clock Tower may have been an inspiration for this memorial. The 5th Bn Seaforth Highlanders defended Bethune in April 1918 as part of the 51st Highland Division, and they would have been familiar with this landmark – Adam Brown


A walk along the beach

It was t-shirt weather down the beach today. It’s October, and it’s still warm enough for t-shirts. I never tire of walking Brora beach. Here’s Lower Brora from the viewpoint at the Golf Club.


Tide was well in as I walked down onto the shore.


And here was the beach as I walked around the point at Ardassie.


The first burn. It was so warm, I had to take my jacket off.


Walking towards the second burn.


The second burn.


And the third burn at the end of the golf course. The walk back was just as beautiful. Summer is still here.


Down with a tree

Loved this old silver birch, but he was getting too big. Not only was he blocking all the light to the back of the house, causing damp and keeping the back bedroom and the kitchen in a perpetual twilight, but he was also starting to cause concern regarding the telephone cables. Whenever there was a storm, the branches would brush the BT telephone lines quite severely. Its roots were also damaging the patio stones at the back of the house, forcing them up from the ground. Unfortunately, he had to go. The sparrows crowded in the hedge and watched. Must have been quite entertaining for them. I’m sure they were more concerned about what was going to happen to the peanut feeder, but they needn’t have worried, it’s still there. Here is a before and after. Can you spot the difference?


The light into the back of the house now is astonishing. I had no idea it was blocking so much light. I’ve left about 6 ft of the tree standing, and I’m hoping it will sprout new life which I’ll be able to prune into a gorgeous but manageable silver birch bush.