Ratty

Back from a fun time at the Chester folk festival – the photo is definitely the best I took (though I didn’t take many as the music was too much fun). It’s Ratty of course 🙂  We only stayed overnight on the Saturday but still saw a lot. Very much enjoyed Les Barker on Saturday lunchtime, then the afternoon concert with 5 acts including Will Pound’s “Through the Seasons” which we had heard a lot about on several radio folk programmes so were interested to see it. It was good though I felt the story was a bit disconnected at times. Hannah James with her accordion was superb, as were The Trials of Cato (fantastic mandolin player), and of course Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer were well up to their usual fantastic standard.

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roundhouse

Whilst down in Gatehouse we visited a new tourist attraction that opened last year – a reconstructed iron age roundhouse. There has been a dig nearby for some time, and they found evidence of several round houses, including a very large one on which this is based. It’s a tremendous building, definitely worth a visit (the ticket gives entry to other museums etc and also is valid for a year!). Continue reading

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bike

At last, the first bike ride of the season down near Gatehouse. Cycling uphill into a tremendous wind to start with – but hey, the idea is to get fit again, right? After a fika in the Gem Rock Museum in Creetown I felt ready for the ascent back, which was much easier with the wind more or less behind me. I stopped a few times on this ride – it was a lovely day and the scenery beatuiful. Wildlife to see too – I frightened two deer that were beside the road in different places. Continue reading

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I just love the sound of the nyckelharpa together with the pipe organ. This new CD from Olov Johansson and Anders Bromander arrived in the post this morning from Sweden (though if I’d waited, Olov might have some at the concert in the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh on Thursday). I couldn’t wait though – it’s on the CD player at the moment. Fantastic!

Track 6 is the tune from Olov’s “Storsvarten” (track 5), Ockelbogubbarnas favoritpolska, which sent shivers down my spine when I first heard it – just a wonderful sound.