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.

Right – I’ve downloaded my data from Facebook (or at least, what they have packaged as my data). The intention is not to post “blog” style stuff there anymore, but to post there from here should I feel the post is worth sharing to the Facebook audience.

no Facebook

I have been with Facebook about 6 years – I first set up an account as it was the only way I could access up-to-date information from the Scots Music Group when I started my fiddle classes. I was ultimately discovered to be lurking there by family, and hey, I couldn’t really say I didn’t wan’t to be their friend, so I ended up with more there that I had really intended. I have effectively put blog posts there for a few years, but have never been very happy about it; I have always considered it to be an awful piece of software (as you may have read in some of my posts) and I have finally decided to move back to my own proper website. I will still use Facebook for the groups that I am a member of, since they are (for the moment) a good way of communicating with those groups. I will also continue to use Messenger as it works pretty well (though presumably analyses every last word for monetisable information).

Having done a lot of DuckDuckGo-ing 🙂 recently I’ve realised that I was part of the indieweb before it even thought of itself as existing, so it’s definitely time a dinosaur like me got back there.

There are still plenty changes to be made to the websites I’m currently looking after for myself (as opposed to those I look after for other people!), so Watch This Space, and those that it is linked to.

We had our home Yule Session yesterday – we played about 40 tunes using various combinations of fiddle (4), guitar (2), cello, ukelele, lever clarsach (2), piano, whistle (2 at least), three-row nyckelharpa, erhu, kontrabas nyckelharpa, 80 bass accordion … I think that’s it. It was a tremendous amount of fun! Many thanks to everyone who attended, musicians and those who fed and watered them 😃 and took photos.

harp and harpa
The nyckelharpa resting beside the lever harp

Continue reading