Sunday, 29 April 2012

Last Weekend

 Is it Petra? (no, not the Blue Peter dog, the rose-red city..)
Actually it's Bothwell Castle in the sunshine, which as near as we'll get to Petra just now - pretty rose-red though!  I was very impressed with the colour in this corridor.  These are pictures from last Sunday when we went out on a making-use-of-our-Historic-Scotland membership expedition - hence Bothwell Castle, which is pretty local for us.

The graffiti is quite thought-provoking - at what point does graffiti stop being an eyesore and start being historical? While My Beloved and Miss Mouse were busy climbing to the Highest Room of the Tallest Tower and finding no Fiona, no Shrek and indeed no gender-confused wolf, the Boy and I had fun looking for the earliest graffiti we could.  'JA Howarth 1880' (?) isn't the earliest, just the clearest picture I got.  The Viking runic graffiti in Maes Howe is definitely historical, and I'm inclined to count the older graffiti in Bothwell Castle as such too, and for the silliest of reasons - serifs! JA Howarth isn't the best example of this unfortunately, but the Victorian visitors put a bit of effort into carving their names for posterity, actually carving their names quite deeply and neatly with serifs on their letters - more modern names are just scratched in, looking if anything more runic. So there you go, I think those Victorians deserve a little recognition for their effort!

This is the view from where we sat on some steps and ate our sandwiches, trying to imagine what the castle used to look like. And trying not to see the scaffolding. Every time we've been to Bothwell Castle there has been scaffolding, and I'm never very sure if work is being done on the castle or if the scaffolding is just holding it all up (that's in my more paranoid moments), though there is access further up the tower now than there was last time we visited so maybe it's the former.

The man in the ticket-office/shop let us into one of the rooms under the great hall to look at their education stuff - re-enactment-type weapons and armour, as well as some nice models of siege engines. The Boy was quite taken with the shiny stuff.  Bit like his father then.

Then we went for a walk round the outside - Bothwell Castle sits above the River Clyde and the ground drops moderately steeply on the river side of the castle, but it's a nice little walk around, especially on such a nice day.  The Peacock butterfly posed nicely for us - I almost got a closer picture but it flew away suddenly and I was left with a picture of a rock.

Growing in the cracks of the castle walls were this plant, which I've tried to identify without much luck.  I've been right through my wild-flower book and though I can find similar flowers, they have different leaves. But whatever it is, it was growing abundantly in cracks and looked beautiful in the sunshine.

I took loads of pictures with the sky in them because the contrast with the red stone was lovely and also because, well, it's Blue Sky!  I make a point of taking pictures of all the nice days.

This weekend has been rather quieter - but I got a bit of my knitting mojo back. I picked up a sock I'd started knitting, ooh, ages ago and had given up on because the wool was depressing me. It's a variegated one, and I'm not that keen on variegated wools really but it was cheap and I just wanted to knit a pair of socks with cheap wool 'til I got the hang of them. But the main problem is the colours which I'd though were shades of blue when I bought it (online of course) but really are shades of murky blue and grey and the whole thing is just too dreich. But today I picked it up again, finished turning the heel and knitted a substantial part of the foot - I think it helped that today was moderately sunny again. Those colours were just more than I could face in the winter!

Interesting link  - 'intensive laser scanning' of Maes Howe!


Mrs. Micawber said...

I can't resist a wildflower ID hunt. I think yours are ivy-leaved toadflax:

They're beautiful, as is the castle. Whenever I hear "Bothwell" I think of Mary Stuart (and Darnley of course), but apparently this castle was inhabited before their time.

Blue sky is always worth taking pictures of!

Peeriemoot said...

Ah, thank you, you're a genius! That's the one :-).

And it is in my book, right at the start in fact, but I didn't recognise it because I was looking for blue-ish flowers and they're light purple in the book. Phew, I'm glad that's sorted, it was bugging me a bit that I couldn't identify them!

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

I was about to say ivy-leaved toadflax too, it loves to grow on old walls :D

Looks like you had a great trip out :D

gordyandjen said...

I agree it looks very much like Petra which I was so lucky to have been able to visit.

I love the picture of the peacock butterfly :)