Originally uploaded by framboise.

I was growing tired of looking at the grey-tinged spring blossom, so I thought I’d put up a more summery photo, which precipitated the change in colour scheme to reflect the sunny weather we’re experiencing at the moment (interspersed with rain, of course… this is scotland after all…). If the contrast is too awful for reading purposes or if the whiteness of the background is blinding you, please drop me a note in the comments, or email me if you’re one of my (few) friends who won’t get with the blogging thing. The blogroll is also updated. I couldn’t get the hang of changing the style for bloglines’ auto-blogroll, and had to type in all the URLs and blog names. I apologise for any mistakes, and again ask that you leave a comment if you notice an error.

Seeing as the flower photo was taken on our sunny day trip to Lindisfarne a couple of weeks ago, I uploaded a few shots to Flickr: Lindisfarne set (or see below). We didn’t do anything on Holy Island. That’s the problem when it’s so nice and sunny; you want to be outside. It’s a great place to just wander around and do nothing. And if you’re seeking a few moments of shelter from the baking sun, there’s a birdwatchers’ hut somewhere between the castle and the white wigwam-thing (either a marker for the local boats or something for tourists to aim for, who knows…). For about ten minutes of keeping quiet, we were rewarded with a flotilla of signets (counted 8 following their mom) and a small family of coots (the chicks are so colourful!). On the far side, we think there was a pied-billed grebe, but could not make out the markings on the neck with our piddly pair of binoculars. (Edit: Nah, I think it was just a wigeon.) And later, in a wee bay, I think I spotted some dunlins, but the hands were shaking too much to hold the binocs steady.

And for lunch, some yummy crabmeat sandwiches. No photos, unfortunately. (I’m not allowed to take photos of food in public anymore… It’s embarrassing, apparently…) A very pleasant afternoon was spent playing frisbee and watching two families try to play cricket on the rocky beach (the ball kept running into the mussel-strewn muddy rocks).

If you’re planning a trip to Lindisfarne, make sure you check the times of high tide (either online or at the wee signs posted before you cross the causeway). And when walking across the marshes, watch out for pirri-pirri burs (heh, or see above). The burs may look cool stuck to your socks or trouser legs, but try not to spread it about; it’s very invasive. Another plant to look for is the good old Southern Marsh orchid, Dactylorhiza praetermissa. The two main attactions on the island are: Lindisfarne Castle with walled gardens by Gertrude Jekyll (pronounced Jee-kil, as opposed to Jeckyll of the and-Hyde fame) and the ruins of Lindisfarne Abbey. The Priory is still in use, and robed monks and habit-wearing nuns were in evidence. And if anyone ever finds out what that white wigwam-thing is, drop me a line…

Castle onna rock I see you Castle still onna rock
Ships Head on grass Scruffy man in catalogue pose
White wigwam Ten fingers intact Tide markers?

20 Jun ’05 update: Lindisfarne was on 55 degrees North last night. Premise for the episode? Black man in predominantly white village assumed to be sole murder suspect. Granted, there were eyewitness accounts of the victim asking Errol to get lost. But the automatic assumption was that he was harassing her. It may not be overtly racist behaviour, but in the boondocks round these parts, a foreign face gets more strange looks than in the cities. (Or maybe it’s just because I dress weird…)

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