Monthly Archives: September 2021

Mystery surrounds the Round Tower at Abernethy

Difficult to know where to start on this one. The Tower is thought to have been built around 1100 AD – meaning it was probably there before the grave yard behind it —

and the carved Pictish stone at it’s base is also a later addition as it was found in the wall of an Abernethy house.

It looks suspiciously fresh to me but that just adds to the mystery —

The door and internal spiral staircase were added later – probably around the time that several human bones and seven male sculls were found during a clean up of the basement —

One of only two round towers of their type in Scotland – the other is at Brechin in Angus – they are plentiful in Ireland with sixty of the original hundred round towers built over their still standing to this day. The stone used for the initial build of the Abernethy tower is thought to be similar to that used for Rules Church in St Andrews with the upper courses being added at a later date —

Abernethy has a proud history – we all know that William the Conqueror or in these parts William the Bastard arrived on the Channel coast and was the winner at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. He probably got the second title seven years later when Malcolm – King of Scotland swore fealty to him at Abernethy —

Helen – I think we need another coffee after this one —

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Posted by on September 25, 2021 in out and about


A Visit to Abernethy got More Than Biscuits

Don’t know when the very plain Abernethy Biscuits were invented but they now have home grown competition in the form of a variety of Clootie Dumplins in every shape and form – from the Billy Connelly lookalike – The Big Yin —

tae a Hielan coo —

and even Mary Queen of Scots —

to name but three —

The scones are pretty good too —

Don’t know what was in the dumplins —

but they certainly had me loupin on the way oot —

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Posted by on September 24, 2021 in out and about


Montrose No More —

I had been so impressed under Monday’s sunshine on the North Promenade at Montrose and probably still glowing from the bike ride to get there that I thought it might be a good idea to jump in the car with Helen and motor over on a second visit.

Big mistake! The sun had put his hat on and although the beaches and dunes were still impressive we were both lame due to my long term knee problems and H having twisted her knee on Monday and joining me in limp mode —

We headed into town looking for a welcome cuppa instead – although many of the magnificent sandstone buildings spoke of past grandeur the overall appearance was extremely run down. We may also have arrived on bin day for the town centre streets were lined with household rubbish bins no doubt hauled out from the many closes and vennels – or maybe that’s just the way it is —

We gave it our best shot but left disappointed and headed south by the road bridge over the inlet to Montrose Basin —

before turning left for the south docks and old fishing village of Ferryden where the main activity appeared to be around a newly built modern office block which is to be the nerve centre for a massive wind farm to be built in the North Sea — could offshore wind be the saviour of Montrose? It certainly needs a pick-me-up from somewhere and in it’s current state it won’t be from tourism —

Having watched a small team of commercial divers battle unsuccessfully against a strong incoming tide in their tiny Pioneer dinghy —

before giving up and trudging back to their van with their heavy gear —

we photographed the many sheds lining the shore road – Brighton it ain’t – then followed our nose south —

by narrow lanes where massive tractors held the upper hand and slowed for no man – or woman – as they hauled the tattie harvest home on equally massive trailers to big sheds —

Memories? Mostly of down-at-heel Montrose and roofless ruined clifftop cottages brought about by over-fishing and industrialised farming. I lived in these parts during the war years and know how tough it was then although the plentiful fish stocks at sea and local farming ensured we were fed a basic diet of haddock – herring and —

tatties from the fields —

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Posted by on September 24, 2021 in out and about


Home on the Range

It’s definitely Big Sky Country where I dropped our Seamus off this afternoon for his few days holiday —

and the sign at the end of the road is a work of art by some unknown blacksmith —

With Loki already having his autumn break elsewhere – for once we didn’t have to hurry home to attend to the animals —

and were able to sort of relax on a windswept evening picnic down by the River Allan at Kinbuck — last photo credited to Helen T Finnie

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Posted by on September 21, 2021 in out and about


Chasing Sunshine on the Honda X-ADV750

With a Saint Bernard dug in the picture it has to be Montrose that had blue skies today —

and with that naval bunnet it has to be the four legged crew member on a navy gunboat under a \Norwegian skipper tasked with protecting allied shipping in the North Sea during the second world war —

the big fella has pride of place opposite the seaman’s mission at the north end of the bridge —

While down by the seaside at the north end of the esplanade the X-ADV has a well-earned rest —

and well she might after an arduous cross-country trip this morning by Crieff – Methven – Pitcairngreen – Stanley – the Beach Hedges – Blairgowrie – Alyth – Kirriemuir – and past a thousand big tractors and tattie loaded trailers n a’ n a’ – enroute tae Brechin and our destination on Montrose seafront —

but it was all well worth it —

to catch what might be the last few rays of summer —

with five thousand miles coming up on her screen —

since arriving in my shed back in the month of May —
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Posted by on September 20, 2021 in out and about


Sunshine on Loch Fyne

No Helen – you can’t bring that Tonka Toy home for Jaxon’s birthday —

It won’t fit into the Yeti for a start —

Run up the Saltire and listen for the bagpipes —

That’s what ‘tourists’ do when they are wearing daft hats —

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Posted by on September 15, 2021 in out and about


The Stanley Girls are in Town

Due to distance – lockdown and all it’s six and a half years since the sisters were together —

Lovely to see them catch up —

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Posted by on September 14, 2021 in out and about


Loki to Fat Jack’s for Coffee

Seems like only yesterday that Loki was touching noses with the nine Luing bulls we had for neighbours and chasing deer over the wild hillsides on the island – socialising wasn’t high on the agenda back then.

Our walks may be tamer along the old railway above Loch Earn —

and the breezes not so brisk —

but it’s not far to Fat Jack’s —

just one of the many hidey holes where dad goes to indulge his coffee habit —

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Posted by on September 14, 2021 in out and about


Who says Xmas comes but once a year?

No way! On Friday my lovely daughter came to visit and stayed till Saturday – first proper visit since Lockdown —

not content with making me a happy ‘ol bunny – she walked the legs off our Loki too —

and to cap it all – when Sunday came around I had a free day on the bike and used it wisely by taking a blast up to Oban —


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Posted by on September 12, 2021 in out and about


A Rolling Stone Gathers no Moss

So what do you do when you find yourself homeless and fancy free on the day you retired?

Well – I ordered a new Eriba Troll and went walkabout – in the three and a half years I lived in it I hauled the little beauty as far as the Balkans and there are certainly times I wish I had her yet —

Built in Holland using aircraft technology – she had a tubular aluminium frame for strength with lightness and was clad in attractive aluminium panels. Compact to tow – she had a useful pop-top to accommodate my 6ft 1ins although the permanent double bed across the rear was just long enough if I lay corner to corner – cosy —

There was even storage space under the bed for my Raleigh Maxim bicycle —

gorgeous on the outside —

and extremely practical inside —

with all mod-cons —

including wardrobe – fridge and useful overhead cupboards —

and afore-mentioned double bed with an ever-changing view —

Such a shame that just like my irreplaceable Skoda Yeti they don’t make them now —

The buggers who control such things would no doubt make ME obsolete — if they could —

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Posted by on September 2, 2021 in out and about