Alphabet of Travel Snaps: L is for…

Alphabet of Travel Snaps: L is for…

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs

I feel it should be a band. Maybe a folk ensemble, one with some jaunty chap on a fiddle and another, beardy bloke banging on a bodhran.

Then again, I’m possibly being swayed by some Celtic vibe, as it’s actually an area of Scotland!

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Not quite the true Highlands, it is still wild, craggy, and undeniably stunning. Winding roads lead through quaint stone villages, overshadowed by atmospheric mountains, unspoiled forests and surrounded by a multitude of lochs.

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Although Loch Ness (plus a few others) may be longer and/or deeper (and have resident monsters!), Loch Lomond is the largest expanse of fresh water in Britain and part of the Trossachs National Park.

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Being only an hour away from both Edinburgh and Glasgow, it’s a perfect base for exploring and revisiting history (Rob Roy’s grave was up the road and Stirling, with the Wallace Monument, is 20 minutes away). But you could easily spend longer and never leave the area.

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We stayed in a cabin* on the shores of neighbouring Lake of Menteith – the only area of water labelled ‘lake’ in Scotland.

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We’re quite lucky to live in a part of the UK that is also not far from rural retreats and green spaces, but the silence when you are truly deep in the countryside is something else.

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Had it not been for the (apparently wild) mallards that literally tapped on the window each day to let us know they had arrived, we could have easily just spent the week sleeping blissfully undisturbed!

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But then we would have missed out on seeing our first ever red squirrel, spectacular scenery and bracing walks. Oh and bracing they were… and extremely wet. But hey, at least we didn’t get bitten by midges!

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*We stayed at Lochend Chalets – see their website here: http://www.lochend-chalets.com


Image Credits: All mine (or taken by Sam), so please be sweet and ask before sharing. 🙂

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Wednesday Lensday: CLOTH CAT

Wednesday Lensday: CLOTH CAT

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Wednesday Lensday so thought it was a good time to share some images I took from an exhibition of Children’s TV and toys last month, in honour of the TV shows’ creator, Peter Firmin, who sadly passed away last weekend, aged 89.

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Known for his artwork and puppetry that complemented the imaginative writing of his partner, Oliver Postgate, the pair were responsible for British Children’s TV classics, such as Ivor the Engine, The Clangers (Mum’s favourite, below) and Basil Brush.

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But by far my favourite (although Basil came close), was the saggy old, baggy old cloth cat, known as Bagpuss. His adventures with Professor Yaffle, Madeleine the Ragdoll, Gabriel the Toad and the organ mice, were a delight and are still a pleasure to watch.

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Firmin’s daughter Emily appeared in the opening credits, visiting the lost and found store where the characters lived…and I wanted to BE her! So, it was no surprise that I gave a little squeal at the exhibition in our local art gallery, when I saw not only the original Bagpuss but also her dress from the intro!

The exhibit centred on the creative duo’s work but also included some key toys from the 50s through to the 90s. Seeing your childhood toys in a museum is a sure way to feel incredibly old!

Taking the main image I took of Bagpuss (first photo), I’ve tried to recreate the look of the opening credits, which were always in sepia / black and white, with no colour added until after the toys awoke. Fun fact: Bagpuss was meant to be a ginger cat but the material came back dyed the wrong colour and so the pink, stripey legend was born!

It may have been a small display but was well worth a visit, for the nostalgic memories alone. Thanks Mr. Firmin and and Mr. Postgate for a magical childhood. I’m just sorry that arguably Firmin’s loudest character – Mr. Basil Brush – didn’t put in an appearance. BOOM, BOOM! 😉

P.S. Didn’t even realise the date until I hit schedule but Happy Independence Day to all my US readers! Hope you’re having a blast, however you’re celebrating.


IMAGE CREDITS: My own and YouTube.

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Marmosets are mean!

Marmosets are mean!

Hello and how are we all on this first day of June?

Since posting every day in April (*cough, cough) to accomplish the A-Z challenge, I’ve taken a month off from the blog to catch up on sleep other activities.

‘Where have you been?’ I hear you ask. Well, I’ve been to Africa to feed lions.

Kind of.

Out of the two options, feeding lions probably seems the less likely but that is exactly what I had the marvellous opportunity to do!

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Wednesday Lensday: Animal Antics

Wednesday Lensday: Animal Antics

It may be Valentine’s Day, but I certainly haven’t been giving my camera much love recently! However, a couple of days ago I ventured out to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park with my Mothership and set about snapping some beasts.

(If you’re in the North of England, YWP is well worth a visit and very good value for money, compared with many of the larger safari parks.)

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The park is the only place in the UK that you can see polar bears – as part of their Project Polar, they currently have four males in residence and are continuing to upgrade their extensive roaming space and help with their conservation.

There are plenty of other animals on show too, from lions, tigers and leopards to my new favourite – armadillos! I could have watched them running laps around the enclosure all day. We were also treated to a ‘fight’ between two of the giraffes. Apparently, one is an annoying youngster that doesn’t play fair. But he’s only tolerated for so long!

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I’m bringin’ blogging back, (yeah!)

I’m bringin’ blogging back, (yeah!)

Well hello there! How the heck is everyone? I’m hoping you all enjoyed the holiday period, whether you celebrated or not, ate copious amounts of cheese (like I did) or just treated it like any other day of the week.

And here we are, on the last day of 2017 and I’ve decided that after my hiatus – which was wonderful in all honesty, not having to think about posting or feeling forced to update social media just for the sake of it – that I’m coming back!

If you’ll have me… (*crosses fingers and toes).

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