29th May-2nd June, 2017: Whisky, Nessy, and Bees

Monday, 29th of May

Science has proven that the best way to follow up a day at work is with a friendly gathering of folk … to drink whisky! While I was working at Pentland, I became friends with a fellow American (an Ohioan) who was studying art at Edinburgh College of Art. Her partner (also American), has recently acquired one of the most absurdly fun-sounding jobs I’ve ever heard of–working at the Scotch Malt Whisky Experience! Which not only has its own whisky barrel ride (even cheesier than it sounds) and a guided tasting, but also look at one of the world’s largest unopened private whisky collections. The first time I went wasn’t overly impressed, but all it takes is a little modern, tech-savvy and a friend on the inside who’ll give ya free tickets to win you over!

Anyhow, an eclectic bunch of plant-people and art-people and a few in between met at my friends’ flat just off Potterrow. Ben, resident whisky expert was in great form offering everyone drams from his collection. It’s nice to see someone so obviously enthused about the things they like, and Ben was certainly that during the evening, making suggestions and describing flavors. Even better, when I left the night he insisted I take an unopened blended whisky home with me.

Who am I to say no, anyway?!

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Tuesday, 30th of May

It’s hard to fathom that June is almost upon is. Despite our brief warm spell, it’s dipped back down into slightly chilly temperatures once more, leaving me wearing a light jacket and vest at work. Still, when the sun did decide to pop out during brief spells, mainly towards the end of work, it warmed up quite quickly.

And with it, the bees were out and about! I couldn’t help but stop and watch them really going to town on some allium blossoms. Alliums! What a lovely blossom for so smelly a plant–that is, after all, the onion family! Whereas some varieties are grown for their delicious bulbs, others are propagated for their gorgeous blossoms.

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It’s a perfect little bee bomb. The one on the left is one of my favorites, a red-tailed bee! Oh, who am I kidding. I seriously love them all. ❤ (Did y’all know bumble bees’ latin name is Bombus??? Ugh, it’s too much!)

Wednesday, 31st of May

It’s JUNE! And what better way to ring in the start of a new summertime month than with a long, glorious walk with one of your favourite gal-pals??! That’s right! I think y’all have seen the oft-photographed face of my wilderness wandering partner-in-crime Krista. But who can get tired of that perdy wee face? She is a snow princess after all!

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It was a truly lovely walk that we did, and one we sort of stumbled upon only part intentionally. I had discovered the Clyde Valley Woodland Park on my internet wanderings, and decided it had potential for investigation. However, google maps has two different “entrances” to the actual Woodland, the first of which merely took us to someone’s private driveway out in the sticks. The second attempt took us to a strange, small, gravel car park, but lo and behold, it was actually the entrance to one of the walks. “Let’s do it,” we said, “and maybe we’ll have time to find another walk afterwards!”

That was before we “accidentally” tried to complete the entire length of the lengthy woodland walk instead of just the one we’d spotted online! Whoops!

It was honestly a beautiful walk, with the summer sun beating down, a few bluebells just hanging on, big ol’ cows pinning us with ambivalent bovine stares as we ambled across their pastures, giant beech trees, and then some.

Oh, and Krista made Nessy bread. That’s banana bread with a Scottish twist!

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Just how cute is that? Diabetes-inducing cuteness.

Anyway, we had a blast before eventually turning back in pursuit of ice cream (we settled for iced coffees though) and home.

(Side note: remember that phone that I’ve got on loan from the shop while they fix mine? It was due to be swapped out for my actual, real, finally fixed phone the following day… and yet I may have dropped the loan phone in the mud alongside the river. It’s fine, I swear!!! After I wiped the mud off anyway!! Whoops!! Anyway, that’s what happens when they don’t fix your phone for well over three months and you tromp around in mud on the regular!)

Thursday, 1st of June

We have a load of new plants from various locations at work today. Normally when we get buckets of plants all in one go, my boss becomes a bit like a drill sergeant, dictating locations and schemes. However today was surprising–perhaps she’s adopted a more chilled approach, in that “it’ll get done when it gets done” seemed to be her mantra for the day. Considering, it made for a surprisingly nice work day, where plenty of things got done, but no one lost their heeds during.

I didn’t take too many photos, but I did snap a photo of a new houseplant that we have inside. Some type of begonia, which I’m not normally a massive fan of, but this one’s leaf shape was just so gorgeously swirly.

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Friday, 2nd of June

Another day, another dollar. Or rather, another day, another pound. Mehhhh–just doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, does it? How about, another round, another pound??

I’ll stop now.

I noticed in my google photos that I had a photo of my tiny wee garden from a few years ago. It looked a dismal affair compared to how chock full of stuff it is now, so I thought I’d do a comparison.

Sad May 2015, Exhibit A: here!

And Exhibit B, as seen through the window:

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I’m actually quite chuffed with the difference between then and now, even seen in this shady photo in between bloomings. I know it may not look like much to most, but I’m severely hindered by the presence of a massive hedge in the right of the photo, which blocks out a fair portion of the few hours of sun I do get in my north-facing garden. Regardless, I’ve added quite a few bargain perennials from Pentland and Torwood alike, and snagged more bee-friendly plants to boot! Foxgloves, lupins, agapanthus, and now a poppy, slowly but surely I’m bringin’ them bees on in!

I am, however, looking forward to buying a property with a real garden. Oh, man. We could live under a bridge as long as we have a south-facing aspect–oh, and a comfy reading book nook would be amazing!

 

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