Friday 31 August 2012

Boys and their Toys

At Mendon Carlo has a Razor Quad so Fraser and I headed off into the mountains on it. The off road tracks are very dusty as there has been no rain for months and we were soon covered in dust. It was great fun and the views from the mountain trail across the valley were tremendous.

Thursday 30 August 2012

An Oasis of Green

At Mendon Carlo and Sidne have about 5 acres of land adjoining their house. This year they are growing Alfafa and you can see the field being watered in the photo. They used to irrigate it twice a week but now have been told by the State of Utah they can only water for a spell of 15 hours per week based on the number of shares they have in the irrigation scheme. Also shown below is photo of their lovely house.

Brigham City Mormon Temple

Today we travelled north in Utah on our way to stay at the Mendon home of Fraser's in laws Carlo and Sidne.
On our way there we met up with Carlo and Sidne in Brigham City. The reason for this was to see round the brand new Mormon Temple. Normally non Mormons are not allowed in the Temple but as it has not been consecrated yet we were allowed to see round the building. It was indeed very beautiful and not at all what I expected as the largest room was the marriage room with seating for about 70. There was also a splendid total immersion font built on the backs of 12 oxen. Unfortunately no photographs were allowed to be taken. The photograph shown was taken with my phone camera so not as good as I would have liked. Beautiful it may be but no comparison to our own buildings like York Minster.

Wednesday 29 August 2012

Veterans Memorial Park

Today seems to be the hottest since we arrived so just a nice walk this afternoon in the Veterans Memorial Park and then some grocery shopping. Almond and I did have an hours walk mid morning which was later than usual and we were both tired afterwards due to the heat.

University of Utah

Last night Fraser had been invited by the University of Utah to give a presentation to 15 Computing Science Masters Students in the Engineering Faculty building about his work with Disney and I was invited to attend. His lecture was absolutely fascinating even although I had hardly a clue what he was talking about but the students certainly understood. The University Campus is spread over a large area and is full of beautiful modern buildings. I was very proud of Fraser who spoke for 2 hours with virtually no notes and held the attention of the students who asked loads of questions.

On the Tram

Gaye and I decided to head into Downtown Salt Lake City to see a new shopping mall called City Creek.when we first visited SLC 11 years ago the main shopping mall was called Crossroads and a few years later when a new mall was built a mile away called Gateway the Crossroads Mall was knocked down. In its place was built this new one called City Creek and it is fantastic with a mountain stream and even a waterfall in it. To get there we took the tram from West Jordan to City Centre and it is a superb way of traveling and built in half the time and cost of the yet uncompleted Edinburgh trams. Next to the City Creek shopping mall is Temple Square and the wonderful Temple Gardens. We sat in the gardens for a while and the perfume from the flowers is almost overpowering.

Monday 27 August 2012

More Birthday Photos

Our day ended with Fraser and Leslie taking us out to dinner to a Sea Food Restaurant while Kelly and Nancy and the boys looked after Eleanor and Thomas.

A Ruby Wedding and a Bouncy Castle

Today was our 40th Wedding Anniversary and it coincided with our Granddaughter Eleanor's 3rd birthday party which was held in the garden at West Jordan, Utah. Fraser and Leslie had booked a Bouncy Castle and loads of their friends were due at 10.00am and of course the weather was glorious so everybody sat out on the garden.
Ellie had a great time and her and her brother Thomas were as good as gold.

Saturday 25 August 2012

Timpanogos Caves

As soon as we arrived in Salt Lake City Fraser told me he had booked an early morning trip round Timpanogos Caves. This meant leaving the house at 6.30am and driving for 40 minutes into the Wasatch Mountains to American Fork Canyon and then walking 2 miles up 1200ft to an elevation of 6730ft for a 9.00am tour of the caves. This was a great way to beat Jet Lag so we picked up his Nephew Jacob and off we headed into the mountains on another beautiful morning.

Wednesday 22 August 2012

The Magnificent Seven

For the first time ever we had seven walkers for John's Birthday Walk. His friend Ken from Edinburgh joined us for the day. He is the only one still working and he had to pay a Locum to stand in for him today. Working is so tough these days.
We headed off to the Borders Union Railway Station at Whitrope on the old Waverley Line. The walk was an 8 mile circular taking us to Riccarton Junction further down the line. At one time there were 118 people living at Riccarton and the only way in or out was by the railway.

Lunch on a well placed log.

All that remains of Riccarton Station.

Back at Whitrope Station there was a Buffet Train sitting just waiting for the customers that never come.

Tuesday 21 August 2012

40 Years Ago This Week

Fourty Years ago on 26th August 1972 Gaye and I were married. There was no Facebook or Blogs to post photographs on then but better late than never. This week we head to Utah to see Fraser and our two American Grandchildren leaving behind Fiona and our two half Dutch Grandchildren. It has been an amazing 40 years and I would not have missed one single day and we are so proud of our four amazing and quite different in character Grandchildren.

Gabrielle looking very beautiful and she still looks good after all those years. The same cannot be said about me.

The wedding party from L to R Davie McGinn, Doris Graham, Shiela McQuade, Doreen Boyle, Gavin, Gaye, John Irving, Hilary Moody, Thomas Graham, Florence McDonald McArthur Kerr Chisholm McGinn. She always said she had all those names so will give her the credit now.

We see our bridesmaids maybe once a year but Best Man John is still my Best Friend after 55 years of friendship and we meet up at least twice a month to go walking.

Four beautiful girls

Wednesday 15 August 2012

Wednesday Walk Resumes

Having had a few weeks break from our weekly walk due to bad weather, illness (Tom), and a sore knee (David & Me) we headed out to Allonby on the Cumbria coast to walk to Silloth and then get the bus back to Allonby. The weather forecast said it would rain at 3.00pm and as we boarded the bus at 3.09pm the heavens opened. It was a splendid walk and finished with a lovely cream tea in a new small cafe in Silloth.
This is a view of Criffell on the other side of the Solway.
Silloth Golf Club and one of the greens we walked past. A certain Langholm Blogger would be delighted with the green as it looked in absolute perfect condition but I bet the golfers found it difficult to get onto the green as it is elevated on all 4 sides. The golf course looks really tough and with the wind blowing as it was today there must be a lot of golf balls loss in the heather surrounding many of the fairways. 
John and Peter

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Birthday Treat

A couple of weeks ago I decided to take Gaye for a couple of days to Portpatrick instead of buying her a birthday present. Our friends Jean & Wattie Rutherford were keen to join us so on Monday we headed of to Portpatrick. Unfortunately we had to attend the funeral of Nan Brown on the way there so left Jean & Wattie in Castle Douglas for a couple of hours. We stayed in the Rickwood Hotel and it was excellent and I can recommend it to anybody wishing to go to this lovely town.

The view from our Hotel Bedroom.


On Tuesday morning after a superb breakfast we headed to Wigtown as Gaye wished to see the place where she was brought up as a child. This is the Cafe Bookshop and provided us with excellent coffee and cakes as well as a load of good books. Wigtown is smaller than Langholm and has 11 bookshops as it is Scotland's Book Town. It is worth a visit especially during the last week of September and the first week of October during the annual Book Festival.

This house is where Gaye lived until she was 13 until her mother and father sadly died in 1957 and 1958. The house is exactly the same since she lived there and is in need of some repairs.  

Jean & Gaye at Wigtown Harbour which like her old house is in need of some repairs as it is badly silted up and rarely used these days.

After leaving Wigtown we headed for Kirkcudbright and an Ice Cream near the Harbour. Judging by the faces eating these Ice Creams was a very serious business.

Our final port of call on the way home was Rockliffe near Dalbeattie. On the estuary of the Urr this small village is much less commecialised than it's neighbour Kippford but is a lovely place to go for a walk along the shore.

In Memory of a Lovely Lady

This photograph taken in August 2010 is of Gaye with her good friend Margaret Rodger and Margaret's mother Nan Brown at the farm Comlongon Mains near Ruthwell. Sadly Mrs. Brown died a week ago and Gaye and I were at her funeral in Urr Church on Monday. Mrs. Brown moved to the Haugh of Urr 70 years ago as a Land Army girl from her home in Cambuslang where she was employed in a biscuit factory. She married Andy Brown and lived in the Urr Valley for the rest of her life. She was one of the hardest working women Gaye has ever met and with her support and hard work the farm became a great success. Until just a few weeks ago she was still driving from Dalbeattie every week on a Sunday to spend the day at Comlongon Mains and was also to be found regularly on the Bowling Green. She was a lovely lady and Gaye will always value her friendship of over 50 years as she was very fond of Gaye. She will be sadly missed in the farming community in the Urr Valley.

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