My friend Viki, who some may know as THS on the forums, contacted me a while ago about going to a gig in Glasgow together - I'd never really heard of the band, Stornoway, so was a little hesitant, but she talked me into it eventually and I'm very glad she did as they were brilliant!
(here's their latest album if anyone needs convincing!)
The support duo 'Lost Brothers' were excellent too, though, I wish I'd bought their old album when I was there, rather than the latest one as it was a little too country and far less folky than I'd been expecting. Still, I got it signed so that's something. I've literally just bought the new Stornoway one on iTunes right now though as I can't stop listening to it on youtube. XD
They're the only band I've ever heard who preceded each song with bird and whale song recordings and at one rather memorable moment, gave the audience the choice between audio of seabirds or a Bittern for the next track and had one particularly enthusiastic fan yelling 'BITTERN!' very loudly from the back. Proof that pretty much everyone there was a bit of a bird nerd. :P They loved their terrible puns and bad jokes too so I definitely approved of that! Oh and the guy at the back used an actual axe and block of wood for percussion at one point. XD
It was a really small venue so we got right to the front and even had a quick chat with everyone at the end which was nice, although we were all ushered out of the room rather abruptly by the staff as they obviously wanted to tidy up!
Viki was staying at my house, and as she hadn't been to Glasgow before I tried to give her a bit of a tour - sadly managing to forget about half of the interesting bits in Kelvingrove Museum (like the porpoise in the sculpture gallery!) so she'll need to come back and see it again, haha!
This one went down well I think though. :P
We went to one of my favourite shops - Tiger - where we got Tapir erasers (what? don't you get novelty animal shaped rubbers every time you visit the shops? :P) and later on, I managed to find a Schleich Tapir that was a mirror image of the rubber version. I love Tapirs and have been meaning to get one for aaaaages so I was rather chuffed with my purchases. The rubber one is still very purple so I may or may not attempt to repaint her at some point.
Viki suggested I come back up to St Andrews with her afterwards and stop en route to see the Kelpies - something I've been meaning to see for months - so, off we went!
The Kelpies, located in Falkirk, were designed by Andy Scott and are currently the world's largest horse sculptures at 30 metres tall! More info can be found here. :D
The weather was horrible - bitterly cold and with a wind that could cut you in two, and it only took a few minutes for me to lose feeling in my fingers as I tried to operate my camera. Typically, the sun came out after we'd walked all around the sculptures but I got a few nice shots regardless.
They weren't as massive as they'd looked on TV but were still very impressive!
I keep thinking this one looks like the horse isn't particularly impressed with the photographer below. XD
Obligatory 'NOSE' pic.
On the way through Fife, we made a point of looking out for horses and while we saw a lot from the car, none were close enough to say hello to properly.
We did pull over at a field full of Clydesdales, but they were all too preoccupied with eating that aside from a couple of them lifting their heads to look at us, none of them bothered to wander over for a fuss.
I managed to get a quick phone photo of a couple of lovely Highlands from the car, but alas, there was nowhere to stop, which was a shame as they seemed really friendly. :(
Once we arrived at Viki's, we went for a really nice long walk, literally outrunning the rain a couple of times! I'd taken Spud the Julip with me so he got a quick photoshoot before the heavens opened. You can literally see the rain approaching in the background here. XD
Eventually the rain stopped and it was actually rather pleasant for a while.
We got a great view of some Roe deer and a Sparrowhawk, but not much else, save the plaintive cry of a distant Curlew and some Skylarks.
Overall the weather really wasn't ideal for photos so I didn't take many.
The following day was a complete washout - I can't remember the last time I saw that much rain in one day! We ventured into St Andrews, and I braved the elements to get to the beach...but changed my mind before I'd even set foot on the sand as it reeeeally wasn't worth visiting. XD
(accidental grumpy selfie - I'm not entirely sure what my face is doing here but it's a pretty accurate embodiment of the conditions)
What you're not seeing in that picture is the howling wind and icy rain that seemed to pierce right through you with every drop. It makes me shiver just thinking about it!
Suffice to say, after a quick lunch and some bookshop browsing, I hopped on a train home and hoped for some much needed warmth at the other end! XD
Luckily I'd texted ahead to ask my dad to pick me up at the station and when I arrived home, mum had looked out a hot water bottle and a duvet for me - best parents ever! :P
So yeah, that was fun! :D
A pity about the weather but it was great to catch up and talk horse for a couple of days with someone who knew what I was talking about for a change!