Business & Pleasure…

On Fell Shin

On Fell Shin

Well then, after many weeks of preparation, my exhibition finally opened last Friday.  Nita and I arrived at ‘the gallery on the corner’ about half an hour before the preview started and I was delighted with the way the work had been hung.  The 18 pieces looked good together I’m pleased to say and we were ready for a good evening.  In short, it was a success, with a very good turn out, four paintings sold and other folk interested too ….so that bodes well for the next four weeks of the exhibition.

Looking across the northern slopes of Culter Fell

Looking across the northern slopes of Culter Fell

A good friend of mine from Iceland told me a few years ago, that in his country, when they hold an exhibition preview, the artist is always introduced and someone always says a few words about the work.  When I went to Germany the other year, I found they did something very similar.  Strangely most of the previews I’ve attended in Britain, don’t do this and so if you don’t actually know the artist or anything about the work, then it’s just a case of looking at the work and drinking a glass of wine and then leaving.

When we were discussing the preview for this exhibition we decided to take the more ‘continental’ approach.  Rob, (one of the assistant managers at the gallery) agreed to do a brief introduction and then I spoke for about five minutes.  I tried very briefly to give some back ground to my paintings and work in general.  It all went by in a bit of a blur, (and that was before I’d had a glass of wine) but folk seemed to think that the evening was better for it and there certainly was a very good atmosphere in the gallery.  Apparently someone was taking a video while Rob gave the introduction and I spoke and this is going to be posted on ‘the gallery on the corner’ Face Book page.  Gulp!  It’ll be interesting to see this short clip once it’s up ….and I can find out exactly what I said.  Anyway, a very big thanks to all at the gallery who made the evening so enjoyable and to all those who managed to get along for the event.  The exhibition runs until March 30th so there’s plenty of time to see it if you live in the area.

Snow on Culter Fell

Snow on Culter Fell

Needless to say, I was keen to get back out walking again.  We hadn’t been out since our trip to the Luss Hills three weeks ago and we’re now reaching the time of year when the days are long enough for me to do a reasonable length walk again.  So then, yesterday was the day, with a perfect weather forecast for the southern uplands of Scotland especially further east.  A good number of years ago we’d gone with some friends from Lanark, to their favourite local hill ….Culter Fell, just to the south of Lanark.  Unfortunately on that occasion one of our friends was feeling unwell and we decided it would be best if we turned back.  We did though see enough to realise that this was a splendid part of the world and well worth returning to at a later date.  Yesterday then, was the date and our earlier impressions were justified entirely.

Culter Fell from Tippet Knowe

Culter Fell from Tippet Knowe

On this occasion we decided to park the car at Coulter village and walk the two and a half miles up the single track road to the base of Culter Fell.  This was probably a good decision as it’s quite a steep pull up and the walk in from the village gave our legs a chance to loosen up before having to get into serious ‘up’ mode.  The countryside hereabouts is gentle but stunningly beautiful.  It reminded me very much of parts of mid Wales.  The glens are steep sided and the hills rounded…..and yesterday morning in the very spring like weather, it was quite idyllic.  As we followed the road up the glen we were accompanied by the calls of Curlew, Oystercatchers, Great Tits, Blackbirds and a Buzzard ….as well as the sheep bleating in the adjoining fields.

We took a circular route, tackling the steep prow of Fell Shin first.  You certainly gain height quickly and the views, even on this very bright hazy day, were lovely.  As we got further up, the angle eased and we had wonderful views across the steep northern slopes of the fell.  Here surprisingly large amounts of snow were still lying and it made the hills look very special indeed.  We stopped regularly to look, take photos and just take in the peace and quiet …it was wonderful.  We reached the trig point that marks the 748m summit of Culter Fell, at about half past one and found a nice spot for lunch.

Over looking an ancient hill fort, from The Bracs

Over looking an ancient hill fort, from The Bracs

Our descent was by way of Tippet Knowe and then along to The Bracs before a final descent to an ancient hill fort and back down to another single track road leading to Coulter.  It was a very fine circuit and definitely a place we’ll be returning to in the future …there are plenty of equally inviting hills all around.  As we left the village at about half past four we passed a very nice looking pub …with the sign outside reading, ‘No horse in our Haggis!’ …food all day, draught beers’.  Next time we’ll have to get our timing right so that we can pay it a visit too.

Back down to the tree line

Back down to the tree line

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