Friday, 29 January 2016

Things I want to do in February (and how my January plans went)

rough collie dog vintage sheet floral long tall sally robe dressing gown

In response to my 'Things I want to do in January' list, here's how I got on.

I redid my CV because I did, in fact, lose my job.  We were all a bit too optimistic, it seems.  I'm still there until early March and I've applied for a couple of things, but it's really hard to find such a niche job anywhere else.  Why don't people want film archivists?  Or any kind of archivists, for that matter.  Bah.

On a happier note, I started some selfish knitting and managed to replace my grotty old cushion cover with a gorgeous new floral one, made from a charity-shopped bed sheet.  I have loads of this fabric left over so I might make up a couple of pillow cases too.   I still have to tackle the alteration bag and earn some cake, but I feel like the time is coming... (and let's not mention the wardrobe situation cause...ugh.)

I started watching Outlander.  Then, a few days later, finished watching Outlander.  It was fantastic and I loved that I recognised so many places where it was filmed, although there was the odd 'nope, not watching that' moment.  The 18th century was pretty dangerous, if this is anything to go by.

Last weekend, we found a great lunch place in Dalgety Bay - Louie Brown's Coffee Shop.  This week I went to Yo! Sushi for the first time and really enjoyed it.  Plus lunch out for under a tenner on a Monday is not to be sniffed at!

Another exciting Monday was had last week too, when I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 3D IMAX.  I don't usually care about all that 3D guff but on a screen that size, it looks bloody brilliant.  The film was even better than I expected and I loved spotting all my favourites.  A and I saw The Danish Girl the week before and it was also super.  I wasn't really sure what to expect but Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander always deliver.   And the costumes were perfection, which always helps.  The Revenant was not viewed since I learned, after seeing Star Wars, that this film was even longer.  One for the sofa I think, although I'm slightly torn - maybe the cinematography is the type that deserves the big screen?

So that was January.  One black moment surrounded by a bunch of light ones (until yesterday, when my landlady decided she was evicting us.  So...that's pretty non-helpful.  And something I'm not even gonna think about for another six weeks.)

February's list will have to be things that won't make my head explode, I think.

Find a job - Okay, that might just do it.  But it needs to be done.

Perform a super declutter on my room (life?) - I hate clutter and it has somehow found me in recent weeks.  I'm living in a pig sty and I don't like it, so I'm dedicating some time to having a good clear out next month.  Also, as I already mentioned, my brain is hurting and January has made me weary, so it's time to eliminate all the distractions and focus on what really matters.

Tackle the sewing pile - Similar to last month, except this task encompasses the entirety of the teetering pile of fabric on my desk.  It will be reshaped into something useful!  (I may as well declare this Sewing Month right now - it's a pretty big pile.)

Start practising pilates again - I've been having back problems again recently and I really need to take the time to stretch a bit every day.  I did pilates every night when I was a teenager and I loved it, and it would be nice to work on improving my posture after a day slumped over my desk.

Sleep more - See above re weariness.  I don't sleep enough and I have crazy vivid dreams when I do, which I'm assuming means I'm over-tired and in need of some quality shut-eye.

I think that's enough to be getting on with, right?  February gifting us with an extra day this year might be just what I need to squeeze in as much productivity as possible...

How's everyone's January been?  Busy?  Sleepy?  Cold and miserable?  Count me in for all of the aforementioned.

:)

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Yarn Along

knitting reading cable scarf chorley wrap rowan pattern fashion on the ration world war two book library

Knitting
I've been working on something for myself!  In between other projects, because apparently I'm not a monogamous crafter any more.  I bought this chunky yarn over a year ago with the intention of making myself a scarf but I could never quite decide how I wanted it to look.  I wanted cables - not too many, but enough that they were the main feature.  I also didn't want it to be too wide, since I have a few giant scarves already.  Around Christmas time, I stumbled upon the Chorley Wrap by Rowan and knew it was the one.  Obviously I've scaled it down size-wise to make it narrower and more scarf-like, but all this really involved was using one strand of chunky instead of holding a thicker yarn double, which is how the original design is constructed.

I love how it looks.  Alas, I hate knitting cables.  I never realised how tedious they were before.  I think this design is so pretty though, that I just have to keep going.  Making the scarf seems to have been the catalyst for all the other projects I've been working on - I've only mananged to knit about two feet of scarf but I've also knitted half a baby cardigan and two hats, and sewn a cushion cover and a zippy pouch for my friend.  Oh, and read about three books more than usual.  Never fear though, the queen of procrastination will definitely have a new scarf in time for next winter!

(find the Chorley wrap pattern for free here)

Reading
I've had a lot of interesting reads lately, but Fashion on the Ration by Julie Summers is my favourite in a long time.  I love reading about social history in the twentieth century and anything to do with style, so this was always going to be right up my street, but the writing is great and easily digestible. It turns out there's more to the fashion side of war history than Make Do and Mend!  I've just read a chapter on how couponing worked and it sounds like it was ridiculously complicated - I now have even more respect for the people that lived through death and destruction and still had to deal with the logistics of something as basic as feeding and clothing a family.

What's everyone crafting and reading this week?

Linking up to Ginny's Yarn Along.

:)

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

A trip to Aberdour beach

aberdour sea scotland fife rough collie dog beach walk

aberdour sea scotland fife boat house club

aberdour sea scotland fife front houses beach

aberdour sea scotland fife harbour rope metal ring

aberdour sea scotland fife harbour steps boats yacht

aberdour sea scotland fife harbour life ring

Sunday was a day of last minute plans.  Or no plans, rather.  One of those 'get in the car and see where we end up' days.  Where we ended up was Dalgety Bay - we made it as far as the charity shop and Louie Brown's coffee shop anyway, and it seemed like they were the most important places to go.  I got a few wool shaped bargains in the shop then had amazing lunch (a wrap stuffed with chicken and lettuce) followed by AMAZING cake.  I've mentioned before that I like cake, right?  I went for a chunky slab of millionaire shortbread, but not before the lady at the counter introduced me to the sample board - somewhere that lets me try before I buy (and let's face it, I was never not going to buy) is doing everything right in my opinion.  It might have beat Mother's shortbread but shh, don't tell her.

After all the eating, we needed to walk, so we drove a bit further along the coast to the beach at Aberdour.  Tam and I have already been to the castle and Jake seemed like he'd be more up for messing around on the sand.  He definitely liked that part, and even gamely tested the water, although he emerged very quickly - quicker than Tam anyway, who decided the ridiculously mild weather made it the perfect time for his first dook of the year.  It might be the earliest one yet!  I usually wait until around May to get into the sea...

aberdour sea scotland fife boat club blue door

aberdour sea scotland fife benches sea front beach

aberdour sea scotland fife sea mine fishermen

beach aberdour sea scotland fife dog rough collie

aberdour sea scotland fife in the water dook flowers dried

aberdour sea scotland fife old pier

The beach and the surrounding houses were so charming, I think I might want to retire there instead of East Neuk of Fife.  Some of the houses had gardens that sat right next to the beach, which is luxury in my eyes.  (Wait, I spoke too soon.  I've just been rereading my old posts on East Neuk and it still has the edge.  It's far too beautiful up there.)  I loved that you can look across the water and see Edinburgh - the castle, the high rises, Arthurs Seat...  It was strange to be surrounded by all that calmness and see the city!

How was everyone's weekend?  Who's been to Aberdour?

:)

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

FO - Blankets for babies

knitted crochet baby gift blanket cardigan girl

It's been a while since a baby blanket showed up here.  The steady stream of new parents helpfully slowed down in time for all my Christmas knitting, although by the time the holidays arrived I had two blankets to finish working on.

baby blanket #knitforwinter knitted patchwork charity

baby blanket #knitforwinter knitted patchwork charity

The first was a patchwork blanket for the premature baby unit at St George's Hospital in London.  Sunrise Living are running a #KnitForWinter campaign to encourage others to make up some hats and blankets for the hospital and they very kindly sent me some yarn and needles to make my own cosy contribution.

I used Stylecraft Special Chunky in Pomegranate and Spice, knit up 49 squares and mattress stitched them together.  The knitting part was super quick, the sewing part... not so much.  I knew there was a reason I knit everything on circular needles where possible.  I love how the finished blanket looks though, so it was worth it and I'd love to make them more regularly.  The patterns are on the Sunrise Living blog at the link above if anyone wants to join in with some baby themed crafts.

giant granny square baby blanket crochet DK yarn stylecraft

knitted baby cardigan rowan silver pattern DK yarn pink blue green

My next blanket was a gift for Louisa and it was a work in progress for many months.  I started it back in the autumn and kept putting it down when a more pressing make came up.  Plus too much crochet leaves me a bit disheartened - it grows so slowly!  It came out just how I wanted though (a giant granny square) and I like that the edging looks better than I expected it to.  It's all made in Stylecraft Special DK - it's a pretty rare occurrence that all my project yarn comes from the same brand but I had a voucher to use and this stuff is perfect for blankets.

The baby cardigan was one I made about a year ago.  It seems it was just waiting for the perfect recipient.  I wanted to try out Rowan's Silver pattern and just used some odds of DK that I had lying around.  It's a good project for stash-busting!  I think the pattern recommended Aran yarn (at least, that's what I've always assumed 'worsted' to be) but some tweaking of the needle size and stitch count got me the right gauge eventually.  I have another one in progress at the moment using Aran so hopefully it'll work out again...

Since it's Yarn Along day, I may as well add what I've been reading.  I just finished Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole (predictable but lovely - I'm a sucker for a love story these days) and now I'm reading Attachments by Rainbow Rowell since it's been on my Goodreads To-Read list for ages.  I'm not fussed on her writing so far but I'm crossing my fingers the story will get interesting soon.

What's everyone knitting right now?

*post contains affiliate links*

:)

Monday, 18 January 2016

Photo an Hour - January

running bright top nikon camera DSLR selfie

08:06 - I'm up and trying to motivate myself for a run.  I'm fine once I get dressed but it's the part in between bed and clothes that trips me up.  So much cold.  Outside it was frosty and oh-so-freezing and I regretted not adding a fleece to my outfit, but I had a good run and even caught a glimpse of the sunrise between some houses.

scotland print desk camera lens pencil pot floppy disc DIY

09:01 - Home and about to get in the shower.  I didn't manage to heat up during the entire 3.98 miles (how annoying is that mileage?) but I did get to play with a dog called Max that looked very happy about the attention.  Tam got me this print for Christmas and I mostly love it because I nearly bought him the exact same one!  Great minds...

ciabatta bread olive oil balsamic vinegar breakfast

09:40 - My favourite breakfast right now - a ciabatta roll with oil and balsamic for dipping.

laptop keys word

10:58 - Getting down to business and updating my CV.  I had planned to reformat the whole thing but changed my mind when I realised how much longer that would take.  

video
11:34 - It started snowing, so I was up at the window with my camera, snapping away.  I'm not really a fan but it did make for some nice pictures.  I thought I'd try to attach a video here for a change - fingers crossed it works!

knitting red yarn cable scarf

13:34 - I'm not sure where that missing hour went but there was knitting and Outlander all afternoon since my plan to go to Tam's was scuppered by the weather.  In reality, the trains were running ok but I didn't fancy getting stuck somewhere.

outlander tv show laptop

dormouse tea cosy knitted tea pot vintage blue china cup yarn

14:20 - Still watching Outlander.  I got hooked on it pretty quickly - it's nice to watch a show where I'm not cringing at our rough Scottish accents!  They just sort of blend in here.  The knitwear spotting is pretty fun too, as is the location game - every few minutes I'll spot somewhere we've been, or if we haven't, I'll be frantically Googling to find out where it is.  I also took a notion to get the teapot out.  If I can't be out having fun I may as well be surrounded by yarn and hot drinks.

yarn covered sheep wall hook

15:39 - Mother got me this sheep hook thing at the craft fair last year.  Since it hangs between the mirror and the door, it's mostly used for holding my keys and Spin Pins.

snowing trees glasgow

15:54 - The snow paused briefly.  It might be inconvenient but it looks damn pretty.

linlithgow train station snow night

17:18 - I finally manned up and just got on the train.  Tam met me at the other end and we went out for dinner with his family.  It was also snowing on the east coast, although it had a few hours of catch-up to do to be on par with Glasgow.

linlithgow town hall monument night snow

18:44 - Everyone else went to the panto after dinner (I know.  In January.  I was confused too.) so Tam and I walked along to the town hall to take some pictures.

train knitting hat chunky yarn

19:32 - Train knitting!  I making a hat, which you'll see more of in a minute...

bikes snow floral vintage blouse hand knitted cardigan

20:04 - I found some snow-covered bikes on the way home.  My flatmate was ranting about being caught in the background of everyone's Instagram pictures since he reckoned the whole street was out taking photos of the snow.  I decided not to tell him about Photo an Hour...  Also, I forgot to document my outfit earlier, a Photo an Hour tradition!  I'm wearing my jazzy blouse, a cardigan knit for me by Mother and Long Tall Sally jeans.

double knit coloured rainbow yarn

21:18 - Searching in vain for ways to make my room look more interesting...  Settled on a pic of the yarn I have laid out for my next blanket.  I think it'll be a more rainbow coloured version of the bottom one in this post.  It's for a boy but I don't want to go totally blue.

scallop knitted hat chunky grey pink orange

22:30 - I finished the hat I started earlier in the day.  I had the idea for this in my head for a while and decided to just knit it up, thus avoiding the very cabled scarf I'm also working on.  I love how cables look but actually knitting them winds me up after a while.

letters from skye paperback library book bedcover floral butterfly BHS

22:56 - A later bedtime than I've had all week - I've been preferring to get lost in a book and this was my third of the week, although since picking up my knitting again the reading has slowed.  Letters from Skye is a nice easy read all written in letter format, with chapters alternating between the first and second World Wars.

Thanks to Louisa and Jane for hosting.  Keep an eye on Jane's blog for the next date!

:)

Friday, 15 January 2016

Navy and novelty prints

house print shirt dress mantaray debenhams charity shop navy

I had a very productive morning on Saturday in which, among other things, I tackled my tiny ironing pile.  Since I didn't get a good photo of the house print dress for Buyer's Archive, I decided it had to be shown off properly when I had the chance.  Sure, there was a glimpse of it on Wednesday's post, but you want to see the whole thing, right?

I love the drawstring waist and cuffed sleeves, and I'm even coming around to the collar-free neckline, not a style that normally looks good on me but I think it works here.  The green accents have taken my fancy too, since it means I can pair them with my new-ish socks!  I rarely wear green clothing but when I found these I was just drawn to them, despite my brain telling me to go for the more sensible burgundy option.  Clearly my brain didn't know what it was talking about.

thermal zigzag green thick boot socks marks and spencer

Thermal tights might have worked better with my thermal socks since it was freezing outside at the weekend.  We took the subway down to Govan for a wander around - there wasn't much in the way of interesting shops but the architecture was fantastic.  

dress - Mantaray @ Debenhams via charity shop
socks - M&S
boots - H&M

house print dress pleated hair french plait

Happy Friday!  Has anyone got exciting weekend plans?  I went to the library last night and came home with a big fat stack of books so I'm all sorted.

:)

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

FO - Bobble Cowl

knitted bobble cowl scarf round neck house print dress

Here it is - my first finished knit of 2016!  After giving the bobble cowl to my friend (who conveniently misplaced her matching beret a few weeks ago) I'm pleased to report that it was well received.  In fact, the comments were mostly along the 'never taking it off unless I have to shower' lines so that's as good a reaction as I could have hoped for, right?

I consulted a couple of patterns in the making of the cowl - Duotone for the structure and Irish Eyes for the bobbles.  They had to match the hat of course!  The body of the scarf is a tube shape knit on the round, which made for a nice mindless project and meant it was completed more quickly than I expected.

knitted bobble cowl

I didn't want the bobbles to be too much, so I only did one column of them in a diagonal wave - there's a bobble every ten rows and they move in multiples of four each time i.e. with the first one I knit 4 stitches then made a bobble, then 10 rows later I knit 8 stitches then made the bobble, and so on.

The project used exactly 200g of double knitting merino yarn, slightly less than I thought I had leftover, so it's good to know something like this can be made with so little yarn.  Yes, apparently I only think to weigh my yarn at the end.  It's big enough to wrap around the neck twice though, exactly what I wanted.

failed kitchener stitch bobble cowl knitted

I stumbled a bit on the kitchener stitch at the end and it ended up a bit less neat than I was hoping for, but it was good practise anyway.  It took a couple of watches of this video and an episode of 'And then there were none' to work things out and find my rhythm, but by the second episode it was looking vaguely how it was supposed to.  I managed about 1.5 total circuits of the bobbles so sadly they don't match up at the seams, although I took detailed notes in case I ever fancy making another one, so it should work out better next time!

How's everyone's knitting plans going this year?  I've started a couple more things, most excitingly something for me!

p.s. please excuse my derp face, it seems I was not ready for my close up.

Linking up to Ginny's Yarn Along

:)

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

A year of Buyer's Archive

buyers archive knitwear stack vintage chair

For a whole year now, I've been documenting my spending each month with my Buyer's Archive posts (and my handy Where's Wally? notebook).  It's possibly a bit nerdy, but I like seeing where my money is going each month and whether or not it was all spent wisely.  I wrote down everything I bought in the book but on here I've just been counting wardrobe items - let's face it, we'd be here all day if I started talking about yarn too.  Hazel did a similar post in October and gave me some good ideas on how to sum up my year in purchases, so here goes.

Important stats
First up, the big numbers. My total spend for 2015 on wearable garments (clothes, shoes, underwear and accessories) was £517.33, compared £905.45 in 2014.  This is not an unreasonable number, taking my necessary outgoings, savings and disposable income into consideration, but the next point is slightly more unsettling...

Last year I bought 64 items, including 16 dresses, 11 t-shirts and 12 knits, plus 4 blouses/shirts and 3 skirts, despite rarely wearing either of those things.  I probably spend about half my life in dresses but, added to what I already own, does anyone really need close to 40 versions of one type of clothing?  I don't feel so bad about the t-shirts because I use them until they get a bit shabby looking, then relegate them to gym wear and finally pyjamas.  And the knitwear...  A lot of it gets worn year round but I think I have enough now.

While I'm not going on a full on spending ban this year (well done to Char for managing that, by the way!) I like to think I'll be a bit more careful about where my money is going.  At the moment, I'm not in a very spendy mood, but that could change at any time.  Of course, my main problem with spending on clothing is that I buy a lot in charity shops and when I spot something I like, it's highly unlikely it would be there on my next visit, if indeed I even had a next visit.  I'll try to control the impulse though.

Digging deeper
Here, have a few more stats then I'll move on to the fun stuff...

- In 2014 I bought 62 items, 17 of which I got rid of - 5 items wore out and the other 12 I just changed my mind about.

- 5 items I bought in 2015 have already gone, for various reasons.

- Out of all my purchases, 39 were second-hand and 25 were new buys.

- All my second-hand items were from charity shops. (eBay gives me a headache these days)

- M&S led the way as the retailer I bought most of my new garments from, followed by TK Maxx and Long Tall Sally.

- I bought 11 things that needed alterations done on them, 10 of which I actually got around to altering.  I'm usually pretty lazy about that stuff so I was pleasantly surprised there!  The thing that didn't get altered was a dress that I want to restructure but I'm not sure what I'm planning for it yet...

- I didn't buy any gym clothing, pyjamas, scarves, gloves or hats last year.  The first two I simply have enough of and the latter three I can make for myself!

Ok, enough stats, more fun stuff!

vintage leather handbag office indiana tan ankle boots

My most worn purchases
- I use my charity shopped handbag almost every day and it gets loads of compliments.  My other handbag is a small navy one, also charity shopped for the grand total of 50p a few years ago.

- I bought my Office boots in October intending them to be my main choice of footwear over the winter, and they've been paying their dues ever since.  They're looking way more battered than the photo now and I'm a bit disappointed at how quickly they lost their 'newness' but I have been wearing them a lot.

- The same goes for my two grey H&M t-shirts.  I knew they'd get worn often and they certainly have been.  They're still in great condition despite the constant wearing.

palm tree print shirt dress M&S jersey skirts colour block sweater jumper vintage floral dress

The ones I though I'd wear more
- I had a jersey skirt that I wore a lot the previous year so when I found these replacements I figured they'd just replace the old one.  Not so much.  I'm not sure why but I'm not that keen on either of them, although I think they look better with bare legs and I expect to wear them more in the summer.

- When I had my mad knitwear spree in November, this was the jumper that I was most excited to find and it ended up being the least worn.  It's more fitted than the others and right now I'm in a giant-cosy-sweater phase.  Its time will come.

- The palm tree dress is another thing that works better without tights, although I think I'll give it another try with some layers and see how it looks since I really like the style.

- I was so excited to find this 1940s style floral dress in the spring and then hardly wore it.  I suspect my cake belly made it less flattering than it could be though...

monochrome blouse M&S leopard flats shoes vintage floral dress oversize cardigan

My absolute favourite finds
Not necessarily the clothes I wear the most, but definitely the ones I feel most special in.

- The people-print blouse (and in fact all my Brighton finds) was such a perfectly 'me' thing to come across that I don't even care how giant it is.  In fact I think that's part of the charm.

- It's nice when I find something that isn't blue, but that goes with all my blue clothes, of which there are many.  This burgundy cardi has been a big part of the aforementioned cosy-sweater-phase.

- I went on and on about this perfect vintage floral dress when I found it and even though I only got to wear it once I'm still in love.  Please let this summer have more dress wearing opportunities!

- Ditto the leopard print slipper shoes.  Still love them, even if the rain doesn't.

Honorable mentions also go to the smock dress and the jeggings for being possibly the most comfortable clothing I own that isn't pyjamas.  Interestingly, despite about two thirds of my clothing being blue, I haven't chosen anything in that shade as a favourite.  Could the tide be turning?  Let's hope not, because what on earth would I do with all those self-matching garments?

I'm still plotting out how a link up would work if anyone wants to take part in the series this year, but feel free to join in and sent me your links anyway!  How was your spending last year?  Any regrets?

:)

Friday, 8 January 2016

Things I want to do in January

wooden places location sign scotland

Start a knitting project for myself - I don't make a lot of things for myself, partly because I don't like owning a lot of things and partly because I'm terrible at fitting knitted garments, but it's time to do some selfish crafting.

Sew a cushion cover or two - There's a giant floor cushion in my room that I sit on every night when I'm blogging or watching TV.  I brought it all the way home from a charity shop in Orkney and it's ace, except that the cover is a bit stained and ripped and generally gross.  I finally found fabric I liked in a charity shop to re-cover it and I'm excited to get it looking presentable.  I also inherited a couple of pretty fabric panels recently and if I can whip them into covers too I'd be doing well in the sewing game!

Tackle the alteration bag - My friend hates sewing and I hate cooking, so we came up with a deal.  I'd fix her clothes (sew on any loose buttons, repair the holes, etc) and in return, I'd get a Cake Point for each item.  Five Cake Points and she'd make me an actual cake.  It's like Schrute Bucks but more delicious.  And more easily attainable, I reckon.

Assess the wardrobe situation - Fancy way of saying 'stop shoving stuff in there and have a clearout'.  I have many clothes and little space so I think a few, lesser worn items need to be evaluated and packed away for a while.

Find an awesome new lunch place - Tam and I love going out to eat and we made a vow to try some new eateries this year.  We're pretty good at that anyway but it's been a while since we've found anywhere really great and I'm ready to have a new default place.  Where's good in Glasgow?

Start watching Outlander - Because I'm Scottish and I should have seen some of it by now, right?

Go see Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Danish Girl and The Revenant - So, everything with 'the' in the title this month.  I love Alicia Vikander and Domhnall Gleeson, which makes all these movies automatic must-sees.

Update my CV - My work contract is coming to an end and, although I'd be absolutely gutted if it didn't get extended, I work in a sector that relies heavily on outside funding, so anything could happen.  Cross all your fingers for me!

What's everyone else up to this month?  I have no idea why I took a sudden urge to write myself a list of goals but I'm not sure I'd count on them appearing regularly...

:)

Thursday, 7 January 2016

A trip to Culross

christmas wreath blue door culross scotland

biscuit cafe culross scotland vintage pottery lamps scales

cobbled street old buildings houses culross scotland

tiny christmas trees window box display baubles culross scotland

new playpark culross childrens playground lighthouse

Tam and I had many grand plans for our week off together over new year.  We were going to re-explore some of our favourite places, take Jake on lots of walks and eat lunch somewhere different every day.  Then, weather happened and our plans were pretty much useless.  We forget far too often that we live in Scotland.  Or I'm just far more optimistic than I give myself credit for.  Either way, it's a problem.

A couple of mini outings were manageable though - there was a wander around Falkirk, where we ate sushi and scored some charity shop bargains, although the few Hobbycraft sale shelves were disappointing compared to last year, and then on Saturday it stayed dry long enough for us to stretch our legs at Culross.

running dog rough collie promenade culross scotland

running dog rough collie promenade scotland culross

running dog rough collie prom scotland culross

walking culross new wooden pier seaside scotland

For anyone who hasn't visited yet, the most important thing to know about Culross is that it's a photographers dream.  The cobbles, the old buildings, the shoreline...  All make it pretty much impossible to take a bad picture.  On past visits, we've been to the palace and the abbey and admired the Outlander backdrops at Mercat Cross, but this time was just about lunching and walking the dog.  

The pub we planned to go to wasn't serving food so we ended up at the Biscuit Cafe for toasted sandwiches, then we fetched Jake and made our way along the path by the shore.  He thoroughly enjoyed racing back and forth, unaware of our sneaky attempts to tire him out, although he refused to walk on the pier since the boards were spaced a bit too far apart for his liking.  Smart dog, wish I'd done that.

rocks shore seaside culross pier building scotland

giant crab culross pier scotland

christmas tree lights culross new wooden pier walking

pier culross new wooden wind sign scotland

I walked gingerly out to the pier end and back, clutching the rail with one hand and my camera with the other.  Of course, a clever person would have stuck the camera in its bag and concentrated more on getting out there in one piece, but I've never claimed to be a clever person.  I did get to see a giant crab on the rocks though, so I guess it was worth it.

Check out more Culross adventures here.  Has anyone been?

:)
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