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Sunday 19 December 2010


The chirping of the robin.

The chattering of teeth.

The crackling of the fire.

The rustling of the wreath.

By Matthew

Wednesday 13 October 2010

There Was A Soldier A Scottish Soldier

I have taken a few days off this week to paint our kitchen. In between coats of paint .
I went down into Linlithgow to see some of our troops just back from Afghanistan. It is important to show support for our armed forces.
Here are our desert rats, the Royal Scots Borderers (1 Scots).Their pipes and drums playing "there was a soldier a Scottish soldier" which makes the hairs on my neck stand up. Well done guys and to all the armed forces around the world protecting us all !! :)Brian(:

Sunday 12 September 2010

Millers Falls And St Magdalene

Here are my planes and spokeshaves when looked after you can make ribbons fly. In amongst them is an old treasure a, Millers Falls plane .
When I was young my Father worked in St Magdalene distillery .On occasion I would go in and see my Da, working the spirit safe and doing his stuff with the big copper stills.
I loved this place I can remember the sounds and scents of it all like it was yesterday.
In the distillery, there was an old carpenter called Neil Mccoll. even as a youngster , tools and workshops had my attention my father would take me in to see Neil when I was there .
Boy those days were good, its all gone now knocked down and Apartments built its place .Years later I was talking to a guy at work who told me he was married to Neil's granddaughter .
Small world, the next day he gave me an old Millers Falls plane which he was given but didn't use .
One that old Neil had used all those years ago in the distillery. I'm sure if he knew I was using it ,He'd be pleased :)Brian(:

Monday 24 May 2010

Me And My Boy

It was very warm this weekend Matthew and I went for a walk in the countryside not far from where we live. We watched trout in a little stream where we will try and catch them at a later date, I took a picture of the water with the trout but I'm unsure if you can see them . And then we came across a friendly horse, there are lots of horses in the fields around Linlithgow with farms providing livery to add to their income. And then further on we rested on an old dead elm log I enjoy this time we spend together its good for us :)Brian(:

Sunday 11 April 2010

A Sunny Sunday

Sunday today what a cracking morning sun shining blue sky. So Matthew and I went out for a walk in the woods. Amidst the murky water in a small pond we saw an abundance of toads and toad spawn.
they were all hoping to attract a mate it looks like hard work being a toad! Matthew tried his hand at den building, and scaled some height's he didn't like the look of the fungi though . So after a long walk we were both ready for lunch although we had a sneaky ice cream on the way home :)Brian(:

Sunday 14 February 2010

One For My Son

Yesterday my son Matthew and I were out for a walk and we cut some hazel to make a walking stick as He wanted a stick like dads.So after a little bit of trimming with a sharp knife he has a good stick for pushing thorny branches out of the way, and a bit more purchase over rough ground when we go out for a forage.I started making walking sticks many years ago after my Father had a hip replacement and he needed a good strong stick.Since then Ive made many shepherds crooks and thumb sticks.Hazel is a good wood to use you can straighten it gently over your knee .Ash and Sweet chestnut are good to but Hazel is my favorite it shines like old metal when you coat it with linseed oil.Here's a couple before then after:)Brian(:

Friday 22 January 2010

Man Of The Woods

The sound of the spade breaking through the earth, then pulling a young tree from your planting bag pushing it into its new place in the earth press it in with your heel .Watching it grow tending to its needs.It will give shelter to Birds ,Animals,and Insects.Left to grow in years it will become a home for someone in need.I have always loved my profession .
Even on the worst days when there's wild weather and things are going wrong there is always something that makes it worthwhile. The light through the clouds, a hawk soaring on a thermal.When I was younger I had no real qualifications and I was fortunate to get a job as a trainee sawyer and worked with good Men who taught me well, they were hard on me but I stuck with it. And served my time with them then my feet began to itch.The grass is greener, then I applied for a job where I could try a lot of things that would give me greater understanding of Forestry. What trees to plant in certain ground, planting shelter belts for protection,Drainage, where to put in landings and access,vermin control and lots and lots of weeding trees .Then thinning woodland out to give better quality timber more light. We worked on clear-fells and selection felling. I milled some of the best European Larch Ive ever seen while I worked there.I also became their tree climber .We built bridges ,erected lots of different kinds of fencing.I worked there for three years. Then I was asked if wanted to work at Timber Engineering plant it sounded ok so I tried this and learned about stress grading and we made some amazing structures out of timber .And then I went back to the start and now run the sawmill where I was trained .You have to try new things, and the things that you learn along the way are all useful .The best thing to learn can be adapted for any job. Is that good preparation will give a better end product.I would still do it all again :)Brian(: