Tuesday 17 April 2012

There are fairies at the bottom of our golf course

Well, if the truth be told ( Really ? Well alright then), more at the top than the bottom. And not exactly on the golf course. And of course they're not really fairies- more sort of elfy pixie things. Certainly the ones I've seen anyway.

When I say “top of the golf course” I allude to the fact that Bridge of Allan Golf Course is uniquely registered with both the Scottish Golf Union and the Mountaineering Council of Scotland.

I resisted the temptation to attempt the diretissima straight up what used to be the first fairway, and strolled round the road past Sunnylaw farm and approached through the fields

And here we have – The Fairy Knowe. OK, it's not exactly Stonehenge but it is an Ancient Monument (I'll do the jokes,thank you, Danny !). It used to be much bigger than it is today. Like, I suppose Christmas selection boxes and knickers.

When it was excavated in the 19th century, a burial cist was found inside with traces of pottery, clothing and human remains. Extensive tests revealed that this dated from the “Very Long Ago” period.

The fairies who lived here were apparently wont to rush out and grab any passing local drunkard and hold him inside the knowe for a year and a day, a business model later copied by The Priory.

Anti-photography at it's best ! The Fairy Knowe is almost out of shot (little technical term there), but we have a rather good view of Carleatheran. In outdoor light, that little screen thing at the back of the camera appears completely blank to me so I just point in the general direction and press the button.Or fumble trying to find the button because I am holding the camera upside down.

At this point some weather could be seen approaching from the North, and it began to sleet but I wanted to check on something else while in this neck of the woods. In fact, this proved surprisingly rewarding, and will form the basis of another post when I complete some bits and pieces. Bet you can hardly wait, eh ?

Thursday 12 April 2012

A walk in the woods

The combination of some lovely Spring sunshine and a wife like a bear with a burnt arse made the call of the wild seem irresistible this afternoon. With no clear plan in mind I packed an apple and set off up and east.

Soon I was on the Back o' Dykes road, where the eVent membrane in my new shoes was soon put to the test.

Just past this point I caught a whiff of exotic cigarettes (exotic as in foreign, as opposed to illegal !) On rounding the corner I discovered a rather striking lady of a certain age, standing beside some highly expensive looking camera equipment and smoking a Portuguese ciggie. Apparently she was waiting to take a picture of a nuthatch returning to the nest. Unfortunately my stock of ornithological chat-up lines was soon exhausted, so I bade her farewell and continued to Logie Old Kirk.

The church dates from the 12th century as do these two original hogback grave stones.

In my cyber personality I obviously have a professional interest in this stuff and there is certainly plenty restoration work to be done. The old stones were often carved with symbols denoting the previous occupation of the deceased

Think this was a tailor or perhaps a shoe maker from nearby Pathfoot.

Big shovel ? Stoker ? Probably a maltster I would say.

Pirate ? Naw. It's a memento mori, a reminder that we are all going to die and that the sands of time are quickly running out.
Yes well.
Moving swiftly on.....

Remember I told you about the Airthrey Hill copper mine a few weeks ago ? No ? Sure you do.
Anyhow this another copper mine just up the burn from Logie Kirk. It's is a horizontal adit or “ingaun ee” into the bank of the burn, typical of much early Scottish mining. Seems to have been a bit of a flop commercially, though.

 Big gate ! 18ft.

Enticing !

When Lord Abercromby improved the estate in the mid 19th century he planted this wood and built a folly called The Hermitage. He even went as far as to advertise, presumably in The Guardian, for a hermit to live in it.I can imagine the interview. The earnest girl from HR asking “Tell us about an incident in your life when you lived alone without talking to anyone for 20 years while living on acorns and drinking your own piss. And how do you think this made you a better person ?”. However the post remained unfilled and is probably one of the 100,000 (or whatever) vacancies that the Stirling Job Centre Plus claims to have on the books


Is this a zen garden of contemplation ? Or is it the University water supply ? Or both ?

Spotted this on the way home. The coping seems to have been cast in situ. I assume there was some kind of former and it was run like a cornice.

And so, before returning home, a visit to the new Tesco Express for a bunch of flowers and new batteries for my taser.

 Todays clip has embedding disabled so just click on the link


Monday 9 April 2012

Gartmorn. Damn!

In the absence of the capability to undertake anything more strenuous, I was reduced to a stroll round Gartmorn Dam.Starting at Sauchie and finishing at Coalsnaughton, two of the scenic highlights of the 62/63 bus route.

It's a really interesting piece of water about which I may blog again when I'm in better fettle