'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menootanabootagain - with the relos

As mentioned briefly last Thursday, Mac1 and Cuzzy S came over from Edinburgh to spend a couple of days with me. It was Cuzzy's first-ever visit and the weather could not have put on a better show. [Side note; all my visitors get this gift and it gives them a totally false impression... jus' sayin'...] They drove over on Wednesday evening; in the dark and rush-hour traffic, stopping for fish'n'chips on the way. The door was knocked not much after 8pm, so we had a good two hours of nattering before bed-time.

Breakfast was allspice pancakes with honey and lime. Despite being bitterly cold, that sun was as bright as it can get around here, so we piled into Little Ren and went for the obligatory neighbourhood drive. We stopped, first, just at the fringe of town in Sandbank, to look down the Holy Loch and across to Kilmun.

Even the birds were feeling the freeze... well, this oystercatcher certainly was, tucking its bill under the feathers warmth of its wing.

Having driven out that way with the intention to take them to Loch Fyne, I realised that Mac1 had not been down the Kilmun/Ardentinny road before, so changed plans and pointed the wheels down that side of the Holy Loch and round the back of that peninsula. We stopped at Blairmore, where the jetty was displaying the saltire (as were many homes and gardens - it being St Andrew's day). The gallery cafe was open, so we enjoyed a cuppa and cake and admired the artworks on display. A few cards were bought and Cuzzy bought me a tea towel which is now proudly hanging in my kitchen... with Highland cow cartoons printed all over it and the logo "OCD - Obsessive Coo Disorder"!!! I confess it proudly.

As we drove around the spit, towards Ardentinny, we had a grand view along Loch Long towards Finnart, the oil terminal. Stretching the lens enhanced the glimmer of the frosted air; yes that's snow on the mountaintop, and it is definitely NOT a heat haze!

From Ardentinny, as you can see from the map, the road goes up and over the back of the little peninsula. It is a very scenic drive, with the Ren needing to go into first gear for quite a few of the switch-back turns and steep climbs on the track. We didn't stop again until we got over to Loch Eck, dropping into one of my favourite spots, Jubilee Point. I wished to gather some greenery to dress up my advent candle setting. There were holly, fir, cones, and ivy, so was well-pleased with that endeavour. Mac1, who is doing a certificated needlecraft course, required a number of photographs of trees from which to create patterns. No better place for it.

As we drove back towards the Hutch for lunch, (eight-veg soup and gouda and avocado sandwiches), the low sun was reflecting off the damp road and the loch water, so sunglasses were required! Even then it was quite tough going for this driver. It had been a grand outing though... and in the afternoon, it was simply a walk down to the promenade, up by Castle Rock and a drop by a couple of the local charity shops. Mac1 is a fiend for them.

In the evening, I made my paneer masala with sweet-potato rice and fried okra. We watched a movie and chatted away about all sorts. Then the heating boiler broke down. Hey ho. Just when I thought this very expensive and troublesome year was about to get over. Sigh... We didn't really need it the next day, as it was much milder, but I am left with that to get sorted.

Friday dawned, still bright. The girls took themselves off for a wander along the main street and checking out a few more shops before coming back to have a late lunch and then they set off back to Edinburgh mid arvo. It was lovely to have visitors, I was just sad I couldn't keep them warm!!!

A few more photos tomorrow. Just because...


  1. Ahhhhhhhhhh YaYa you gals had a fine time. Allspice pancakes....make my mouth water. Love the tea towel "OCD - Obsessive Coo Disorder"!!! I confess it proudly. Lovely photos and the sun does paint a totally different picture.
    LOL too funny your weather behaves when there are guests...
    Hugs HiC

    1. Hari OM
      No kidding. We are under the onset of Storm Caroline as I write this and was due to travel over to Edin tomorrow... may have to delay as I think the driving will be just too difficult; not to mention the ferry might be cancelled! Yxx

  2. Sweet potato rice? Sounds positively delish!!! Thanks for all the photos - made us feel like we spent the day with you too:)

  3. Looks cold there, too. Lovely pix, as ever.

  4. Sounds like a great time and the pics are beautiful! That mountain has LOTS of snow on it! Noooo! Not the boiler!!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  5. Hope you get the heat issue sorted out soon.

  6. Lovely photos ~ love the shore and ocean ~

    Happy Week to you ~
    A ShutterBug Explores
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  7. I first thought the berd is a penguin... wow that would be a surprise to see them in your country (apart from zoo's) ;O)

  8. Hard to beat Scotland in the sunshine with snow on the hills. Especially if the day begins with allspice pancakes with honey and lime!
    Cheers, Gail.

  9. Hello, I love the beautiful views of the water and the snowy mountain tops.
    The food sounds yummy. It is bad timing for the boiler to break down, I hope it can be fixed soon. Happy Thursday, enjoy your day!

  10. The combination of the water and the snowy mountains is divine. Gorgeous photos all around. It sounds as if your visitors departed happy - after seeing so much beauty and eating so much good food!

  11. Always annoying when the heating breaks down! But lovely photos. We have had some snow up in the mountains as well lately, but down here at the coast it is just the wet see-through stuff. And a lot of it!

  12. Wonderful photos to share!
    Hazel & Mabel

  13. It all looks like a splendid time, including the scrumptious food. The photos do convey a sense of deep chilliness. I hope the heating problem sorts itself out quickly.

  14. We're into deep freeze this week! Stove is working hard. sigh.
    I love your post. You are so fun and funny!


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