Friday, 30 April 2010


has definitely sprung! At least it's nearly the weekend!

Monday, 19 April 2010

Saturday nights are made for dancing!

Originally uploaded by Stirling Tango
So, this is how I spent my Saturday evening this weekend. Thanks to David and Denise it was Stirling's first ever Tango Milonga (social/party night) and what a great time we all had.

I'm very grateful to my tolerant dance partners who put up with my 2 left feet for the night when I discovered as I stepped on to the dance floor that I'd completely forgotten everything we'd learned in class!

This guy had a pretty good technique to assist - it involved holding me very close and 'leading' very assertively round the dance floor. Mind you, it worked so maybe not so daft! It all just takes a bit of getting used to you when these are men you've never met before in your life.

And I must admit, I'm pretty pleased by how shapely my legs look in this photo. Not bad for 40 something!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

A welcome sight

Spring is definitely battling to be seen and felt here in Stirling. I spotted this blossom on my way to my Sunday tango class. I'm not sure but I think it may be apple blossom. After the winter we've had - and I mostly missed - it's hard to imagine warm days sometimes.

Although it has been really warm and sunny in Stirling this last week. Unfortunately, mostly when I've been stuck in the office. But all the same, the seasons do seem to be changing at last.

Bring it on!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

On a beautiful evening like this...

I should be at home, but I'm still at work. And will be for some time sadly.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Amazing discoveries

I was wandering through to my hairdressers in Edinburgh when I came across this amazing open air photography exhibition in St Andrew's Square. It's part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival and features simply stunning photographs by Steve Bloom. There were so many amazing shots to choose from, but this is the one that I just loved.

Well worth a visit if you're in Edinburgh before next Saturday.If you can't get there, there's an online slide show that's well worth a look. But seeing them in real life is by far better.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

The Knights that say Ni

blur of action
Originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama
This was going to be my Easter treat for tonight - a full on Monty Python, Life of Brian fest, complete with popcorn. But instead my good friends persuaded me to stay on after my cup of coffee for a couple of G&Ts, a few more glasses of wine, a prawn curry and a caramel Magnum!

I've got such fabulous friends!!!

Maybe tomorrow night for Brian then?

(And in case you're wondering, the photo is from Doune Castle, location for much of the filming for Monty Python and the Holy Grail, with which my big sis and I had great fun this last summer. Oh yes!)

In Wallace's Shadow

Yesterday I decided to take advantage of the good weather and go off for a walk around Stirling. As ever, I took my camera with me and you can see my photos on my Flickr page. I decided to head for some of the areas I don't know so well and made for Riverside and Cambuskenneth. And what a good choice that turned out to be.

After walking through the city centre, past the shoppers on Port Street and heading for the The Thistles, I made for Stirling's new bridge which crosses the railway and joins the existing city to the new area being developed at Forthside.  Once across the bridge I headed for Riverside itself. Cunningly named, this area of the city is - you've guessed it - next to the River Forth. In fact, it's where the old port of Stirling used to be. It's hard to imagine Stirling as a port city with the river as silted up as it is now, but at one time it was a bustling trading centre and the port was a main transportation point.

When you're in Riverside you can't miss the river, although it's not at all obvious from the much of the rest of the city. At this point, the River Forth winds its way across the land in huge meanders, confusing the unknowing walker and constraining and directing the built landscape in all sorts of interesting ways.

From Riverside I crossed the Forth to Cambuskenneth and visited the Abbey there, which I discovered is the last resting place of King James III and his wife, Queen Margaret (one of the many Scottish Queen Margarets there have been through history!). Apparently they weren't a very popular couple!

One of the other delights I discovered in Cambuskenneth was a Provost's Lamp-post. I'd heard about these but never seen one yet. Tradition has it that when someone is elected Provost of Stirling they are entitled to have a special lamp-post erected outside their home, originally to allow the good burghers know where to find their elected representative, nowadays more likely as a status symbol (for the cynical) or mark of respect (for the less cynical).

And then it was back across the Forth to Riverside and a wander towards Stirling's other (and some would say, true) iconic bridge, passing Stirling Boat Club on the way and an interesting gem of a 1960's/70's concrete frieze hidden on the side of what looks like an old pumping or gas sub station by the river. The current Old Stirling Bridge dates from the 1500s when it would have been an important crossing point of the river. It isn't the same bridge that there was a battle about in 1297, which most likely a wooden structure and in a completely different place. Although not used for vehicles now, it does still stand close to the only traffic crossing of the River Forth within the city itself.

From Old Stirling Bridge I walked down to Causewayhead and stopped for coffee in Corrieri's, the first time I'd visited the much esteemed establishment, but certainly not the last. If I could eat pizza I would be there every week - the smell coming from the kitchen was truly inviting.

From Corrieri's it was a short walk to Bridge of Allan, a wander round the shops there, picking up a few goodies from Clive Ramsay's wonderful delicatessan, before heading back to Stirling on the train. And throughout the whole day's wander I was never far from the River or away from a view of the Wallace Monument or the Castle.

Stirling is an incredibly compact and eminently walkable city, I'm just amazed that more people don't do it more often. Want my advice? Want a weekend with a difference, book yourself into a hotel or B&B in or around Stirling, get your walking shoes on and enjoy a different pace of life in this amazing city!

Friday, 2 April 2010

The joy of cooking

I cooked again last night - to celebrate the start of the bank holiday weekend. Sadly I forgot to take a photo of the dish in question, but in my imagination it looked something pretty much like this!

In reality it was a bit less elegant, but still tasty all the same.

After one of the busiest weeks at work I can remember for a while, still not feeling great after my 'man flu' of last week, and at the end of not one of the best days, having sat in the late evening sun (yay for British Summer Time!) for a while with a glass of wine, I decided the best way to relax and cheer myself up at the same time was to do some cooking.

And a prawn curry was the result. Since I hadn't been shopping for a while I was restricted to what was in the cupboard/freezer for ingredients, but luckily I found some mushrooms and a pepper lurking at the bottom of the fridge that made up the bulk of the curry, with some frozen king prawns taking star billing. Rooting around at the back of the cupboard unearthed some ground almonds which, together with a generous dollop of natural yoghurt, helped to lift the dish from prawns in a tomato sauce with a hint of curry into something that, in all honesty, didn't actually look that much different from the picture above.

Mmm! Culinary adventures definitely lift the spirits.

And now, since miraculously the sun is shining on a bank holiday weekend, I'm off out for a tramp round Stirling with my camera. Watch this space for the evidence of my wanderings later.