Thursday, September 29, 2016

River Brink museum

River Brink Museum is a lovely gem on the Niagara Parkway, a short bike ride from Niagara on the Lake.  It was originally built as the home of Sam Weir, a King's Counsel, who all along had intended to bequeath it as an art gallery.  The land was purchased on the bank of the Niagara river in 1943 and the house finally finished in 1970.

Right now there is an exhibit of work by Campbell Scott, a Scot who trained in Scotland as a cabinet maker.  After he came to Canada he trained as a teacher and taught at the Ste Catherine Collegiate.  He pursued his art in sculpture, pottery, painting and printing, travelling to many countries including Japan to better his art. 

Below is a plate for printing

and this is one of the prints produced from it.

 and more of his work.  Do click on them to make them bigger-  they look so much better.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

A Bike and Sail trip in Scotland

We spent a week traveling in Scotland  with Island Hopping, a bicycle tour company, on the ship below - a two masted schooner from the Netherlands.  Despite the tiny rooms, the whole experience was great - staff went out of their way to make us comfortable and the lounge area was big enough to hang around in after a day's cycling.

We started the tour in Oban which you can see in the three pictures below. 

On our first day out the sails were hoisted - here's Robbie helping out!

our first castle sighting from the ship - Duarte, home of the Maclean clan

Some of the "wildlife" on the route-  a few Highland cattle.

Typical scenery along the trail on the Isle of Mull
The heather was in full bloom throughout

A buzzard perched in a handy spot.

Note the phonebox

We did lots of riding along the coast

the beach at Calgary bay

Below is Tobermory, a charming little town with lots of brightly painted houses, shops and good restaurants. 

And this was our ship out in the harbour

And this is how they got the bikes (and us) from shore to ship.

In the lock at Corpach leading into Neptune's Staircase and Loch Lochy.  This was the only day we had rain, lots of it!  and then about 3pm it stopped and we went for a 2 hour ride up the canal and back

Back in Oban where we climbed the hill to visit McQuaig's tower
and on the way found this cute cottage and lovely garden and some yarn bombing

It was a great trip and I thoroughly enjoyed my electric bicycle.  I think the highlands would have been a wee dram too much.

The last point on our cycling-  at the end of the canal.
I hope you've enjoyed seeing the pictures and places.  I love to hear if you've travelled here too. 

Monday, September 5, 2016


After the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham seven of us drove to Hilary's HPB time share to spend the next 4 nights.  This was one of the cottages.  We had the right hand side, which had 3 bedrooms and was just lovely inside and out.  Thanks Hilary - what a great spot! 

This was one of many vistas from the site.
Some other cottages
And other residents -  if you open the picture and look closely you will see two little heads.  Not sure if they were swifts or swallows. 
And our backyard
Another house on the site.

We spent our days touring the countryside and had a visit to Stokesay Castle.  This is the lovely entryway to the castle

And inside
Another day we did the Black and White tour to the towns of Ludlow, Pembridge and Leominster to see the timbered houses. 

The bell tower - and I can't remember the church!  Leave me a comment if you know:  from Hilary with thanks:  Note about the church and bell tower:
The church of St Mary the Virgin in Pembridge dates from between 1320 and 1360. Around the same time there was built what has been described as probably the finest of Herefordshire’s seven detached belfries. It is a three-storey pagoda-like structure of timber and stone supported inside by eight massive oak pillars.
The Gang.  And we were so fortunate to have warm, sunny weather.

Another day found us at Berrington Hall which had lovely gardens at the back.
Sweetpeas in all sorts of colours, and artichokes

There was a display inside of mannequins dressed in paper outfits by Denise Watson.  There was a celebration of Capability Brown's work on the estate as well as part of celebrations throughout the UK on the 300th year of his birth.

These are not paper mannequins but three of our group in the costume room! 
One of the art pieces on the grounds.

I hope you are enjoying my trip and would love to hear from you if you have any comments.