Monday, November 19, 2018

Stories and More

Forest walk from Rumbling Bridge

New Word Learned in Scotland. Mahlneid (maul-need) means “meal envy”—seeing others’ meals go by in a restaurant and wishing you’d ordered that. We’re all guilty of mahlneid.
Journaling Our Travels

Fall Flowers

A Couple of Firsts. For these stories I have to go back a few years—51 or 52 is a few isn’t it? As a senior at Linfield College and president of our debating team, my partner (Michael Harrell, who had been my debate partner in high school) and I traveled extensively for speech and debate tournaments and had some unique experiences, a couple of which were “firsts.” For instance, Mike and I qualified for Sr. Division finals at the University of Montana tournament.  That in itself wasn’t a first, but then they told us that the final debate would be held in the university’s television studio and that it would be broadcast over the state’s public broadcasting service. The tournament director also said it was to be the first televised final tournament debate in history (or at least it was to their knowledge). I honestly don’t remember if we won the debate or not, but it doesn’t matter because we know we were the first.
One of my best Brookings HS debaters, Stacy Shiver.

Another first happened to us at the Brooklyn College Tournament. Every other year the Linfield debate squad took what we called “The Transcontinental”—a month long trip by train to several special tournaments in the eastern US and ending with the National Championship tournament (that year in Whitewater, WI). At the Brooklyn College Tournament Mike and I found ourselves again in a finals round, this time against Harvard. As we set up in the auditorium for the championship debate, our coach Dr. Roy D. “Hap” Mahaffey (a giant in the forensic world and a truly great coach and man) came over to our table to talk to us before the round. We guessed we were in for a good pep talk, but instead Hap looked at us seriously and said, “You must lose this debate!” As he saw our startled reactions he said more strongly, “Don’t ask, just make sure you lose this debate!” I don’t know if we could have beaten Harvard in that debate, but we did as Hap asked and made sure we dropped some important arguments so that we lost the debate. At the awards we were called up to receive our second place awards and then Harvard was called up. Hap said to us, “Here is why you had to lose.” Harvard was awarded first place and a six foot tall Winged Victory trophy and it was announced that Harvard would be back next year to defend their championship. If we had won we would have had to buy another seat on the train for the trophy and would have had to guarantee to return to the tournament the following year — neither of which our minuscule Linfield forensic budget could ever stretch to cover.  
Participating in the first televised championship debate was indeed a privilege, but throwing our first championship debate seems like a better story fifty years later.
Anne at our tablet Samhain Festival in Salem.

First he danced to the bagpipe, then he showed us how to put on a Great Kilt...

You lay it out on the floor, pleat it, lay on it, and roll to get it around you, then tie it off with a belt. I'll stick to my small kilts.

A See’s Success Story.  A few years ago we took our Scottish friend, John Clifford, a birthday present of a one pound box of See’s Famous Old Time Candies. We heard later that he’d had one piece of the See’s and not more because his wife Jacky thought it was the best chocolate in the world and ate the rest of the box. Now we are sort of expected to bring See’s with us when we come to Scotland as birthday gifts or as a thank you for Jacky—a task we are always happy to perform.
This last trip we brought a box to Jacky as per usual and one as a thank you gift for our whisky guru, Andrew Cuthbert, for storing our golf clubs over the summer. When we presented the gift to Andrew and his wife Evie I said, “Do you like chocolate?” “Oh, yes!” was the reply. Then I asked, “Do you like fine Belgian chocolate?” They sell it in their store, J L Gill, so of course they said, “Very much!” Then I said, “Well, I have something that we think is better than Belgian chocolate,” and gave them the box of See’s. They thanked us appropriately, if not enthusiastically.
Rainbow over the Village

     A couple of days later I asked Andrew if he had tried the See’s. He said, “It’s gone!” and he told me this story. He told me the two of them weren’t very excited about the gift because neither thought very highly of American chocolate, preferring Belgian or even Scottish chocolates to American. Then they tried the See’s and were amazed. They ate the whole box in a couple of days fighting over every piece.
From now on our suitcases will have several boxes of See’s on the way over, to be replaced with bottles of whisky for the trip back. 
Proof that I was in Scotland.

The Rousay Ferry.  From Mainland Orkney, the largest of the Orkney islands off the north coast of Scotland, we had to take a small ferry (it held only about six vehicles) to get to Rousay Island, a treasure trove of ancient Neolithic sites such as burial cairns and brochs.
Historic Scotland, a national trust, preserves this 4000 year old burial tomb on Rousay.

We visited two brochs in the Orkneys; this one is the Broch of Durness on the main island. A broch is a circular defensive structure from about 100AD.

I pulled our rental car into the back of the queue for the ferry and went into the office to buy a return (roundtrip) ferry ticket. We sat in the car for a few minutes until the ferry arrived from Rousay. The queue seemed to be facing the wrong way to get onto the ferry, but it only took a minute to understand that we would back onto the ferry via a narrow slip and that I would go first. A ferryman came over to our car and told Anne she had to walk on and for me to go ahead—well, really, to back up. I asked him if he really wanted an American to go first. He laughed and said I’d be alright. I started backing up the very narrow ferry ramp and wildly waved at Anne to get some photos. She thought I was having trouble and quickly told a ferryman she thought I needed help. He assured her I was doing fine.
Backing our rental car onto the Rousay ferry.

 I parked right where I was directed the first time. Loading onto the ferry on our return trip was just as interesting—we had to fit three cars and huge tractor with mower—and yes, we all had to back on.
Our Canby home in full fall colors.


Saturday, November 3, 2018

THE BEST OF THE REST: Fall Scotland 2018 Part 3

This post is made up of the Best of the Rest of my photos from the fall trip to Scotland. These haven’t been seen in the blogs from this trip, but deserve some viewing time. And I have a request for those of you who view the blog—give me some feedback on the photos. If I get the usual three or four responses, I’ll appreciate your comments, but I’ll also be disappointed. I really want to hear from those who follow the blog. Specifically, I want to know which photo or photos you suggest I consider for art shows; which photos have artistic merit and quality of composition to enter into an art competition, like a judged show. Also, which photos should I consider for making prints for framing to sell when we set up our book and photo booth at fairs and shows. Sometimes, but not always, a photo might end up in both category. Winter is the time when I can get ready for sales and shows, so your help would be appreciated. The photos in this post are organized into arbitrary categories for convenience, but don’t let that affect your choices when considering photos for sales and/or shows. I hope you enjoy the challenge I’m asking you to take on—it’s sort of what I do whenever I’m in a gallery or looking through someone’s portfolio of work at a shop of booth.

There were plenty of flowers in bloom on this trip to Scotland, but this photo of the fronds blowing in the wind is the one I like best.

Hielan'Coos (Highland or hairy cows) always make for a good photo, particularly with the sheep in the background.

Reindeer were reintroduced to Scotland in the 1950s. Now the Cairngorm herd numbers around 200. After hiking up to the herd, we wandered among them and this guy just walked right up to me looking for a handout.

Tough photo to get--a fast moving gannet skimming the water while I photograph from a car ferry bouncing in the chop.

This harbour seal (or is it a sea lion?) was a much easier target. in the Pittenwee, Harbour He was as curious about me as I was about him.

This grotesque was on display at Elgin Cathedral after having been in storage for decades. Grotesques and gargoyles (those with water spouts) were meant to remind church goers of the the devil's fearsome work.

A picturesque house at Pittenweem Harbour.

Dean Village (a section of Edinburgh) is one of the few places I've seen to make  drain pipes into art.

A lovely stairway in Falkland Village.

One of the features of Falkland Village is the dated lintels above doorways.  In this case, even though the doorway is gone, the lintel announces that GB married MH in 1686 and moved into this dwelling.

J L Gills in Crieff may not be the largest whisky shop in Scotland, but largely due to its owner, Andrew Cuthbert, it probably has the most personality.

You can see the rain is on the way, but the wind is already here.

Speaking of wind, just try to get a good picture in the wind on a fast moving ferry.

A group of hunters hiking to their hunting ground were spotted through the trees near the Roman Bridge.

The story: inside the old section of Dunkeld Cathedral a father patiently answers his young daughters questions.

At the park beside Dunkeld Cathedral, Anne contemplates the River Tay--which was as high as we've ever seen it.

Looking up toward Drummond Castle from the formal gardens. The gardens were used in the Outlander TV series to represent Versailles Garden.

Part of Dean Village, just north of Edinburgh's downtown area.

The skeleton of Elgin Cathedral which at one time rivaled St Andrews Cathedral for size and power.

A typical Highland croft with resident locals.

Glen Lyon in Perthshire has one of the tightest drives in a country of narrow roads.

A small island (I think it might be Swona) we passed on our way to St Margaret's Hope on the Orkney Islands. 

The Italian Chapel on the Orkney island Lamb Holm was built by Italian POWs during World War II. The ornate chapel is now privately maintained and is a real gem.

Midhowe Chambered Cairn on Rousay is a Neolithic burial tomb more than 27 meters long which has been preserved within a cement hanger and is viewed from paths on scaffolding which runs the length of the tomb. The remains of 25 people have been found in the tomb.

The Roman Bridge in Glen Lyon is not of Roman origin having been built in the 15th or 16 century --the Romans left the British Isles in the 4th century. "Roman" most likely refers to the Roman-style arch of the bridge's design.

Skaill Bay Beach, on the main Orkney island, is one of the many picturesque beaches throughout Scotland. 

The Standing Stones of Stenness (Orkney) are the remains of what was once a 12-stone circle built in about 3100 BC. It may be the oldest henge in the British Isles and the stones stand as high as 16 feet.

The village of Dunkeld seems to fit the black and white format.

Edinburgh Arches

An Edinburgh close or alley looking down from the Royal Mile toward Princess Street.


My shadow on a bakery window create "Pie Man."

A rainy street in Kirkwall, Orkney.

Anne meets Sausage Man.

On the small island of Rousay it's hard to find a street for Street Photography, so I had to resort to Farm Road Photography. This road is the main road around the island.

NEXT: There may be some new or new/old travel stories to share.