Removals, wanders and warbles

Below White Caterthun

Below White Caterthun

I think I may have mentioned already that we have the builders in at the Courtyard Studios. They’re creating new studio spaces in the loft area and refurbishing the older studio building. So, when it’s all finished in June everything is going to look good and we’ll have space for a few new artists and craftspeople …so if you’re Ayrshire based and looking for studio space it’d be worth contacting WASPS …see the link at the side of this page. Of course the work is creating a little bit of mayhem as everyone has to move out and into a spare space while their studio is done. It’s going pretty well though and the new studio spaces are looking good. As I’m going to be away soon, the work in my studio is not starting until next week, but with all the jobs still needing to be done prior to my trip to Speyer, I decided it would be easier to clear my studio a week early …taking everything home. It’s surprising just how much junk you can accumulate in a couple of years and my studio was no exception. It took Anita and I most of last weekend to clear the space and cart all of the stuff home …and today I passed the keys over to the builders. The work will be finished by the end of May and so Anita will be using the space for a couple of days a week while I’m in Germany….she can be the first one to splash paint on the newly refurbished studio!

With the removal work all completed, my next job was to pack some of my painting gear and get it sent across to Speyer. This actually turned out to be easier than expected (well, if the stuff arrives OK that is) and yesterday a large old banana box full of paint, pastels and brushes was collected from my house and is as I type winging it’s way to Speyer. With a bit of luck it’ll be waiting for me on Tuesday next and I’ll be able to ‘hit the ground running’, as they say.

From the White Caterthun, Angus

From the White Caterthun, Angus

On Thursday we decided to take a wee break and drove up to see our friend Norma who lives in Angus. We do a walk or two with her most years and she is the coordinator for the ‘summer mountain skills course for visually impaired’ that is run at Glenmore Lodge by the Mountaineering Council of Scotland. It’s a fantastic course that is now in it’s tenth year …if you’re interested in learning more about the course, check out the Glenmore Lodge website …a quick ‘Google’ should find it.

Anyway, we had a great little visit and on Friday morning Norma suggested we do a short walk over a couple of local hills – the White and Brown Caterthuns. These wee hills sit on the edge of the Angus hills and each has an ancient hill fort at the top. Apparently they’re of different ages and the White Caterthun is very obvious, being a very large circle of piled stone. The weather last Friday morning was pretty fine with lots of sun but large shower clouds brewing. As we reached the top of White Caterthun and started to wander around the old fort or dun, we found ourselves being rained on…quite heavily! One of these big shower clouds had crept up on us. It didn’t last long and the views out across the Angus countryside were really beautiful. The Brown Caterthun lies a couple of kilometres away but to us, there didn’t really seem to be much sign of the ancient fort when we got there …but then again as both Norma and I are registered as blind, that’s not saying much!

The Angus countryside from White Caterthun

The Angus countryside from White Caterthun

It wasn’t the biggest walk I’ve ever done but it really was very enjoyable. Just getting out in such beautiful countryside does a lot of good especially in such a busy and hectic time. As we walked past a wee coppice of trees I heard the first Willow Warbler of the summer ….what more can you want?

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