Monday, February 6, 2023

Glorious alliteration.

This morning we come face to face with a young French lady who is doing her doctorate in primate psychology and cognition. She is looking for the 5 star hotel but has taken a wrong turn at the golf course bus stop. She now finds herself down a farm track - half an hour from civilisation. Sophie likes the French lady. This is most certainly not true of everyone Sophie meets but finding a French speaking dog person in the wilderness is worthy of some manic tail wagging. We drive the lost soul back to the hotel where she's supposed to be having breakfast with a group of primate researchers from Atlanta.

The family diva has an extra long walk on the beach. A shared bacon roll at the cafe by the town kirk helps elevate her morning from being merely 'excellent ' to the realm of the 'wonderful'. 

We've heard of 'The Fablemans' but the other cinema offerings ...

.... we've not heard of.

Yesterday, we drove into Dundee. The nearest big city. Once it was a thriving , global manufacturing hub. Now, like Buffalo, it's seen better days. The city centre has some wonderful architecture which serves as a reminder of its 'golden' times. This building is called Morgan Tower, dates from the 1780's and has four Serlian windows stacked one on top of the other. I don't think I've ever seen that before. In it's day it must have been the height of continental fashion.

There was a time when every other street corner was home to a high steepled church. Now they're almost all empty and decaying. The saddest have been converted into night clubs or 'drop in centres' with unhelpful opening hours. 

We find a small art gallery.

It has an exhibit of water jugs. You lift the head off to reveal the spout. 'The Font' is taken with a blue sparrow hawk but decides against it. Why start collecting more things when we're still trying to downsize from 1000 m2 to something a fifth of that size ? Instead we buy a small oil painting by a Scots artist rejoicing in the gloriously alliterative name of Morag Muir.


WFT Nobby said...

I do like those water jugs, but not the most practical objects for a downsized household.
Much has been made of the regeneration of Dundee in recent years, but perhaps it has not penetrated further than the waterfront area.
St Andrews University has a well-renowned unit researching Primate Cognition. Maybe the French lady is studying their direction finding abilities!

Coppa's girl said...

Lovely photo of Sophie on her beach this morning.
I'm not sure about those jugs - beautifully designed and made though they may be. The sort of thing you receive as a wedding or anniversary gift from a well-intentioned great aunt perhaps? Then store away in a cupboard - rather like your pots from the local kiln when you lived in France Angus!
What are the odds of getting lost down a lonely track in (almost) wildest Scotland and meeting someone who actually speaks fluent French? What a lucky lady.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
You offered your own kindness to a stranger, Angus, driving her to her destination... I read that article yesterday. An uplifting tale in these times of so many 'downers'.

"Dreaming Walls" is, I think, more documentary than anything. "Till" is gaining plaudits, as it narrates true events, and there has been a furore over the lead actress not getting nominations for the upcoming Oscars... and Enys Men (Cornish for Stone Island) is a proper little art film. The maker's earlier film, "Bait", was excellent (BBC showed it last year). I think you can now view it on Amazon Prime, if you are subscribed there. If Enys is anything as good, it might be worth your while. YAM xx

Lisa in France said...

So interesting that Sophie seemingly responded to hearing French - although perhaps it was more the person she was reacting to?

Pam in NH said...

I too am smitten by that blue bird & would place it among green plants in the new garden room. The pitchers are so beautifully done.
Sophie's happiness seems to grow by the day, and I do enjoy seeing "Sophie's Scotland". XXX

Travel said...

Sounds like a chance encounter, that was meant to be. If Sophie liked her, she must be nice.

Anonymous said...

I am Cornish, "Enys Men" is a proper Cornish arthouse horror film which has caused much talk in these parts - probably less so in Scotland!

Kippy said...

The kindness of strangers is often never forgotten. Decades ago my family was in Rome. We were totally lost, could not find our hotel and didn’t speak Italian. A young man and his girl friend were out on a date and sensed our predicament. They didn’t know where the hotel was. The man ran about four blocks away and and after a bit ran back pointing excitedly and saying he found the hotel.
Sophie must have loved hearing French spoken. If only the primate researcher had had Jaffa cakes with her.

Jake of Florida said...

How fortunate the lady was to encounter you and Sophie! And how excited those French words you haven't been using much must have been to have a chance to be useful!

Gemma's person said...

Lovely encounter.

Poppy Q said...

I love the jug - you're allowed some new treats.

Virginia said...

Downsizing is downpressing sometmes.

We still have so many things that "we love" but are duplicates, and are Going To Have To Go. The family does not want, or need, them ,therefore they need to be disposed of.

And the records, the brochures from places we've visited will have to go too. Not yet, but soon. Sigh. It does press-down on me sometimes.