Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Arbroath part one

Louise and Colins fabulous house that's our home for three weeks

Yep, we've done it again, fallen firmly on our feet, the house is spacious and airy, though slightly confusing with one bedroom downstairs with the movie room, utility, kitchen and dining room, plus one and a half bathrooms. Upstairs are two further bedrooms, the living room and two more bathrooms. I think it's lovely, B keeps losing the kitchen!

The open plan first floor living room with views over open fields
Angus with Jackie and Letham Grange in the distance
The animals are fabulous, as sensibly suggested by Louise we were home before Angus was dropped off, and it was as easy as that. He obviously missed the family as he laid by the front door, but was that because the tile is cool? He is now Brian's little shadow and seems much more accepting that we are ok.

Saturday we kept promising him long walks while we explored the golf course, sadly every time we went out it started to rain, not much just enough to make you question how far you should walk! We did a nice hour long circuit though, guided by Angus, he seemed to know the route. Out again later for a smaller circuit, helping us get our bearings at least. Followed by ball in the garden, though he turned his nose up at the tennis ball in a thrower thing, he wanted to play with his big football. Great fun, we all love that ball!

Toby cat doesn't seem too concerned his family have gone on holiday. The temporary staff must be OK
Oscar cat looking very handsome
Bit of excitement on Saturday night as Angus started barking about 01.45, we got up to see a group of half a dozen or so with possibly a dog walking towards the drive, by the time we got downstairs they'd headed off in the other direction, fortunately, as we weren't really dressed to receive visitors! Bearing in mind we are at the end of a group of four houses in one of the secluded enclaves of houses, they must have been very lost! At least we know we have a good guard dog.

Afternoon cake on the patio
Walking on Lunan beach with Angus. Crowded isn't it!
Woke to a lovely morning on Sunday so off to Lunan bay, a beautiful beach Colin had taken us to, knowing it was going to be busy, but feeling we owed him a good walk after all the previous promising, he understands every word, obviously! Busy is all relative, so there was no problem, out along the beach, back through the dunes, he thought that was it, ha, no, through the village to the red tower and back onto the beach the other side of the river, far fewer dogs. 
A hole through the rock on the beach. No it's not a patch of snow - Ian please note!
Lots of photos of the lovely Angus (and lovely Jackie of course!)
B wanted to walk to the headland, good views the guide had said, but I was hungry and Angus really wasn't keen. As soon as we turned round though the spring came back in his step, and he wanted to play with a ball we hadn't brought! Here, fetch this bit of driftwood then, he did, a few times before deciding it just tasted too horrible! The river wasn't quite as the guide had led us to believe, so easiest way back was to take off sandals and paddle! 

Walking up to Red Castle, an old fort built to defend the coast against the Vikings
And what a lovely coast it is
Yesterday was beautifully sunny so we went climbing, B wanted to go and do a couple of Munros but my Achilles' tendons have both been giving me gyp so we've started on a regime of icing, ibuprofen and gentle stretching. Back to where we'd recce'd some short bolted climbs, I led the first, but so I jolly well should have, at a 3+ however it is very strange rock, red sandstone which is very soft so grippy but with layers of pebbles in it that look like you could just pull them out, and obviously they do come out, occasionally and they do shear in half, but not very often, and you have to trust them, as there is nothing else! 
A windswept Angus
Being wimps and everything else then being harder we set up a top rope and had an enjoyable few hours. We saw no more dolphins, but having been told by Peter from the B&B that he'd never seen any, and by the family who even on a spotting boat trip had never seen any, perhaps it was not to be surprsed at. Makes our first wildlife event that much better!We had to pop into the tourist info, and do a little shopping but should still be home before Angus, only we parked in front of the chippy, so it would have been rude not to...... It was ok though, he was pleased to see us rather than guarding the house from us! 

Angus playing with his big ball
Cycling on the old railway track to Arbroath
Today we again managed to miss his return as the planned out and back cycle took longer to initiate than expected! There are some very expensive bikes in the garage, and if anything is going to make me fall off it's that. At the back though, some older looking touring bikes, quite heavy but we were only planning on the nature trail into Arbroath, along a disused railway line, it'll be flat then, so that's ok. By the time he'd pumped up tyres and played with the gears time had passed, I still had to make do with only two of the 21 that appeared to be on offer. Oh well, it's flat, and keeping him out of mischief now as he tries giving it some TLC.

Jackie outside Letham Grange. Built in 1830 by John Hay, it is now closed and the extensive grounds converted into two 18 hole golf courses. Louise and Colins house is built in the grounds
Letham Grange West Lodge entrance
Apart from all that, we've had stunning nature watch, a red squirrel from the bedroom window, rabbits on the lawn and the fledgling buzzard taking it's first flights this morning! They have nested in the garden, and we've heard a lot of noise but only seen the odd coming and going. This morning however, I took a couple of great pictures of one outside the bedroom window, feeling very smug it explained why I'd kept B waiting for breakfast. However back upstairs to clean teeth and he's still there. Then another one flew in and then we watched him psych himself up to hop from one branch to the next before a short flight, then longer.... We must have watched for the best part of an hour, it was amazing. 

The young buzzard perched in a tree in the garden getting ready to fly
Then there were two of them....
Is that it? Nearly, the man has just been to deal with the wasps nest just outside the front door. Colin had tried to deal with it, but the rubbish powder he'd got wouldn't go directly up, so we'd agreed we'd get the council in. Lovely man, full bee keeping hat, gauntlets etc, must have been one of his easiest jobs, no nooks and crannies, there in full view. He was also good enough to squirt above the patio door where we'd seen some coming and going, so hopefully sorted that out too.

Stretching wings preparing to fly
Apart from a bit of gentle snipping of the fur balls that Oscar has and tidying up the four birds outside, one inside, two mice, what is that you are eating on the lawn Oscar? And the red squirrel...... Presents are all very well, but.......

Still stretching wings and hopping from branch to branch
And finally away...
Not the same one, but this is what it was aiming for
But his friend was still there for a while
Here's the wasp nest being attended to by the workers
And here's the council wasp killer about to spray
And then removal of the nest
This is the queen wasp with eggs protruding. It's between two and three times the size of worker wasps. I found myself feeling quite sorry for the poor creatures
A playful Oscar jumps for the camera
And a very content Toby cat
While Jackie fusses Oscar and snips away at some of his fur balls, Angus seems a tad jealous and sits on Jackie!

1 comment:

  1. What a fab house! You two seem to get all the good gigs! Enjoy the weather. Xxx