Sunday, 25 March 2012

Sprung forward.

It has finally arrived. British Summertime begins.

The clocks moved forward an hour last night, so the lighter nights are finally here. Hallelujah. Not that we have had a bad Winter, in fact it has been exceptionally good. A few hurricane days, but not much snow or rain. What will Summer weather hold in store for us I wonder? If today was anything to go by it is going to be fabulous, but I won't hold my breathe on it lasting.

This weekend has been a fun mixture of things friends, a few drinks, some shopping and an epic bike ride with Beth.

We initially had planned to do a 45 mile training day round a route that would take us from Broxburn through Linlithgow, Grangemouth, over Kincardine Bridge along the coast and back over the Forth road Bridge. We did this but we also added on a few extra miles as we somehow managed to miss the sign for Kincardine and ended up almost in Stirling! In our defence there was still a lot of haar lying over the water so could not actually see the bridge on our first passing and sometimes the Scottish cycle network sign posts are hard to follow. Thankfully our extra 15 miles were flat and relatively easy to cycle. Here is a link to Beth's GPS map thingamejig. She may have all the latest gadgets but never blindly follow her (love you).

However all that said it was an absolutely stunning day for a cycle good temps and little wind. We also proved to ourselves that we can cycle 60 miles without too much trouble. Although this was not a particularly hilly route it was good just to put in the saddle hours. I think we will both sleep well tonight.

Somewhere on the Forth about 20miles from home.

Drinks with Miss J.

Faint rainbow from Tuesday.

Peace x

All photographs by Caroline Harvey. 

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

A little bit of a rant.

I have recently signed back up to a dating site. I tried this last year and the relationship did not end well, but despite this I thought I would try again. It is not my ideal way of looking for love, so to speak, but I find it really difficult to meet new people. I don't particularly want to start new hobbies, go to evening classes or as many people have suggested take up salsa lessons. I am not inclined to go to bars and clubs on my own, so what do you do?

However, I am finding the whole thing quite distressing this time around. I have been on a couple of dates and I have met some genuinely nice people, they just sadly weren't for me, but I am beginning to wonder if internet dating is actually just the modern version of kerb crawling.

I understand that people may view my profile and think "OMG no way!" after all it is really a very intensified version of what we do every day in real life. We check people out in our heads and make assumptions about who they are based on how they look and dress. With internet dating this is what you do in the comfort of your own living room. We check people out and dismiss or not, purely on the information they give you and a few photos. For all I know I could be rejecting the best guy out there just because he has put on a dodgy photograph or tells me he enjoys the theatre!

I feel like I am on an emotional roller-coaster half the time. I get excited when I chat to people and they seem nice and even more excited if I actually get to meet them in person. Then there is the let down if things don't go well. I feel bad when people 'wink' at me and I don't really feel the love back, because I know how I feel when there is no response to a 'wink' or email. I feel I want to write back and apologies and tell them that they are probably a very nice person but I do not think they are suitable for me. What is the etiquette for internet dating, because I don't really know?

If you want to try and get your monies worth and meet as many people as possible, I think you would have to make dating a full time job and do nothing but sift through hundreds of profiles a day. Not very romantic really. I have been told the old adage many times "if you stop looking it will be right there in front of you" or "love will find you", but frankly as optimistic as I am, I am not sure I believe that. So until then I will persevere, but I don't hold out much hope.

My conclusions about the whole thing at the moment are;
Men of my age prefer younger woman
Younger men like the thought but not the reality of an older woman.
Older men like young woman.
I like men of my age or younger.
There should really be a website called Playersd*ckheads&w*, so as to leave room for the people who are genuinely looking to be matched.

I have posted this photo before but feel that it is appropriate for this particular rant.

Rant over. 
If you read this and feel like you would like to go on a date, get in touch, at least it would be cheaper.

Peace x

All photographs by Caroline Harvey.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Castles in the clouds.

This week I have had to deliver to some Historic Scotland sites, mostly castles and most I have never been to before. These included Dirleton and Tantallon in East Lothian, Blackness and Linlithgow Palace in West Lothian, Craigmillar in Edinburgh, Caeverlock in Dumfries and last but not least Stirling Castle. I think I really should make more of an effort to visit and learn a bit more about Scottish history. There is so much on my doorstep and yet I very rarely take the opportunity to visit these special places.

The Bass Rock on the way to Tantallon.

Caeverlock Castle.

Stirling, misty but atmospheric.

Friday's run took me up North, so decided to stay with the Mater and Pater again rather than drive back down in the same day. I brought Dolly with me as am still desperately trying to knock out some more miles. The weather this morning looked gorgeous, dry and blue skies, so headed East towards Pennan. The 10 miles to Pennan took approx 37mins. The 10 miles back to Macduff took approx an hour. The wind was so strong that I had to actually pedal on the downhills almost as hard as I did on the uphills. It was a good test of my uphill stamina. One of the hills near Pennan has a 17% gradient. I think at one point I was close to rolling backwards!


Pretty flowers.

General observations and musings this week include;

1) In amongst the hundreds of orange road cones that I see every day, this week I saw 2 fluorescent green ones. Unusual but nice.

2) Before High viz jackets, waistcoats, uniforms became the norm did we just run over/hit people more than we do now?

3) Rainbow count was only 2 this week.

4) Why is there a Tourist information office in Kirkcaldy? Who goes there and why?

Peace x

All photographs by Caroline Harvey

Monday, 12 March 2012

For Emma.

"I get by with a little help from my friends."
John Lennon

In fact I get by with a huge amount of help from my friends and sometimes they need some too.

This post is for my wonderful friend Emma, who is relatively new to the world of motherhood and like anything new she is trying to find her feet and juggle many balls all at once. 

Emma, this post is not intended to make you cry, it is too reminisce about in either your wakeful or sleep time dreams. It is to promise you that when the time is right, all be it next year or ten years down the line, we will have another trip. It may not be as long and we hopefully won't be so unclean, but we will go back and crush as best we can and if we can't we will sit and have coffee and chat about it.

These photos are from our amazing 3 month trip in France and Spain in 2007 (they are in a very random order).

Good times.

Emma, Font.


Benidorm. Pose.

Ferry home.

Rainbow stripes.


Font beach.

Concentrate Caroline!


The best chef ever.




Shadow dancing.

Peace x

Photographs by Caroline Harvey, Emma Diffley and the self timer.

P.S Emma if you have copies of all my trip photos can I have them on a disc please, as I seem to have lost all but a few! Boo Hoo.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Dashboard lights and memories.

The start of the week was pretty hectic with 3 days of long drives but thankfully the last 2 have been kinder. It did not help that I unintentionally played a game of diesel roulette on Wednesday which stressed me out somewhat. Not a good game to play. I just made it with 1 mile on the clock. I have never hated a dash board light more than I did that wee petrol sign, and I have never been so glad to get to Dundee.

I also decided to try and eat some more fruit for my lunch this week as I am shockingly bad at eating fruit and veg. So I bought grapes, kiwis and bananas to have in my lunch box. Apart from the bananas, my lunch box is where the fruit has stayed. The grapes were sour and squishy and the kiwis were too hard. Yuck. In the end I went back to my usual way of getting my 5 a day. Haribo!

Sour grapes.

My 5 a day.

Today I had a drop in Aberfoyle. Aberfoyle always brings back memories of a  P7 (1983) school camp at Dounans. I think I may have been back there once since, but today I was obviously paying a bit more attention and instantly recognised Fairy Hill. I think I remember it more as a mountain rather than a hill, but it must have made an impression. We followed wooden toadstool markers to the top. Very exciting. I might have to go back and follow the trail again one day, see if I can find the fairies this time.

I took a photo of Fairy hill today and when I got home dug out my old album from the loft to find my originals.

Fairy hill in the rain today.

Fairy Hill in 1983. No blue sky then either.

Beth (left) Me (right) at Dounans.

I also found this great photo, probably in the summer of the same year. Beth and I back in the day when you could cycle without helmets and high viz jackets. I love our matching necklaces. I also remember loving those velour shorts! I miss the 80's.


Peace x

All photographs by Caroline Harvey.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

The Quintessential Quartet.

Well it has been a fun filled few days of fabulous fitness forays and fantastic friends.

On Saturday morning, The Quintessential Quartet, (myself, Beth, Dolly and Kenny (Beth's bike)) had an extremely enjoyable cycle from Broxburn over the Forth Road Bridge to Aberdour. Although it was touch and go for a while if we would actually make it out of Kirkliston, as Kenny got a puncture. Pesky glass. We had all the necessary fixing equipment except the pump! Thankfully a fellow cyclist, with the most amazing psychedelic cycling leggings stopped to rescue us. Patched and pumped, we pedalled on not actually really knowing where we were going. As it turned out we had a wee tour of the Fife coastal route and very pretty it was too. All in all about a 30 mile round trip. Good training but still a long way to go before feeling confident about the 100 miler. Eek.

Excellent catch up chats were also had with Hazel and Emma. I even got smiles from Isabella. Happy times.

Vintage rail bridge.

Silver Sands, Aberdour.

Dolly and Kenny. Love.


Peace x

All photographs by Caroline Harvey.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Castles and Rainbows.

I know the week is not quite finished yet, but it has been another busy one. More mileage in my van, or Morrison, as I like to call him.

 My Monday started with an overnight trip up to Kyle of Lochalsh. The weather was slightly more gray than the last time I went through Glen Coe, but still a stunning drive. Not so stunning was the B&B I stayed in. I can not imagine what tourists must think when they come to stay and happen to come across a B&B of this ilk. The owner was decidedly strange, the decor was a cross between the 60's, 70's and a car boot sale, it smelt slightly damp and the toilet was on the landing and shared with the rest of the visitors. Thankfully I was saved from a lonesome evening of talking to myself, by Billy, an electrician from Kinross who had similar thoughts to me upon arrival. Wickerman! After signing in we escaped to the nearest pub for a wee drink, food and some good old banter.

In the morning, after not a great nights sleep due to a single bed, rustling plastic mattress cover and sleeping in my clothes (incase a quick escape was necessary) I headed to my first port of call at Eilean Donan Castle.

 Breakfast + castle + rainbow = happy Caroline.

Loch Cluanie (I think).

Eilean Donan.

At dusk.


Mirror, signal, rainbow.

Peace x

All photographs by Caroline Harvey.