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How Finlaystone House changed the course of my life…

18 Jun

Finlaystone

Finlaystone House, Langbank, Scotland. Home of the Chief of Clan MacMillan…

Unsure of what to do when I left school, Mother saw an advert, Lady MacMillan, Finlaystone House, Langbank, looking for a gardener…went for an interview but she had already employed Benedict, to work alongside Hugh, head gardener. She asked if I could cook, and I said no, but was willing to learn.

 

I arrived at Finlaystone on my 18th Birthday, 25th October 1977.

 

Caroline Lucken taught me cookery and I quickly managed, with Mrs Beaton’s Cook Book and Finlaystone’s wonderful cooker and Victorian kitchen, also garden work, bees and floristry.

 

One day in the news paper in the dining room I saw an advert for BA Degree Home Economics, my WORST subject at school, but exactly what I was learning at Finlaystone…applied & got accepted, so after a wonderful year with the MacMillans I left for Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh.

 

In the summer holidays, twice running, I went to Virginia USA to live and work with & through Finlaystone friends of the family!

 

Did not want to teach Home Economics, and on a trip back to Finlaystone, just before graduation, Judy Hutton asked me if I was interested in becoming a Preparatory School Matron, as her daughter Alice had had a job offer she did not need…I took the position and worked 10 wonderful years, 9 as House Matron, at the school Robin and Judy Hutton’s son and cousins had attended, Horris Hill.

 

Later, when I had my son James, I saw an advertisement for Horticulturist, and with my Finlaystone garden experience, I applied; 10 years Horticulturist in a lovely garden with Mrs Newton, who taught me so much, & I was able to take my son to work pre-school, and in school holidays.

 

As my walking deteriorated James’ father David re-trained as a Tree Surgeon and I supported the business, my horticultural experience invaluable.

 

David, James and I visited Finlaystone with grandmother Doreen from New Zealand, and were greeted by Chief George and Jane MacMillan.

 

I still have so many dear friends connected with my year at Finlaystone, and keep in contact with the MacMillans every Christmas

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Picture of the Day: Astronaut Salutes Nimoy From Space

1 Mar

TwistedSifter

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Photograph by Terry Virts

International Space Station astronaut Terry Virts (@AstroTerry) tweeted this image of a Vulcan hand salute from orbit as a tribute to actor Leonard Nimoy, who died on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. Nimoy played science officer Mr. Spock in the Star Trek series that served as an inspiration to generations of scientists, engineers and sci-fi fans around the world. Cape Cod and Boston, Massachusetts, Nimoy’s home town, are visible through the station window.

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Exciting News from Virginia USA!

24 Sep

HAVE A LOOK HERE FOLKS…

Exciting News!.

cropped-belle-grove-big

I have watched Belle Grove come to life over the last year…a wonderful rebirth of this delightful Virginian Plantation, beautiful house, top class B&B and amazingly energetic and multi-talented hosts & custodians Brett & Michelle Darnell.

Brett & Michelle

To celebrate a year of abelmoir.com reborn here on WordPress I have to share a friends wonderful as always Blog…Stalking Longbeard

12 Sep

Stalking Longbeard.

Who gave the hoopoe a golden crest of feathers? ?מִי עָנַד לַדּוּכִיפַת צִיצַת נוֹצָה? Mi ‘anad ladukhifat tsitsat notsa? This story is based on an Arab tale that was retold by Israel’s poet, Hayim Naxman Bi’alik (חַיִּים נַחְמָן בְּיָאלִיק).

13 Aug

hoopoe

When King Solomon (הַמֶּלֶךְ שְׁלֹמֹה) felt overwhelmed with his royal job, he used to take vacations in a special city called Tadmor that he built for this purpose in the middle of the desert. He used to fly there for few days on his personal White Eagle, (נֶשֶׁר לָבָן) and when he came back he felt refreshed and ready to rule his people (and animals).

On one of his flights the sun shone vigorously and King Solomon almost passed out from heatstroke. The king of the Hoopoes saw him and called his flock to create a bird-cloud to shade the fainting king and rescued him. To thank the hoopoes, King Solomon promised to fulfill a wish for them. So, the hoopoes discussed it for a whole day and decided to ask for a golden crest (צִיצַת זָהָב) of feathers. King Solomon told them that if they decided their wish was futile, he didn’t mind helping them again.

The hoopoes received a golden crest and were overjoyed. They began acting like narcissists, looking at their reflection in the water all the time. A hunter watched the hoopoes boasting and put a small mirror on the ground. When a hoopoe came to watch itself he hunted it and sold its golden crest. When others heard about the “flying treasure,” many people began hunting the hoopoes to become rich. The hoopoes were in trouble. As a last resort, the king of the hoopoes went back to King Solomon, begging him to rescue his birds from extermination. King Solomon, understanding that the hoopoes had certainly learned their lesson, took pity upon them and removed the gold from their crest. Ever since, the hoopoes have been content with their lot and behave modestly, but still seem very glorious even with their non-golden crest (צִיצָה).

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Here is an excerpt from the beginning and end of a lovely song by Oded Hillel about the hoopoeThe poet rhymed דּוּכִיפַת (dukhifat) with מָה אִכְפַּת (ma ‘ikhpat) which means “who cares?”

?בְּיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת פָּגַשְׁתִּי דּוּכִיפַת וְשָׁאַלְתִּי: מַה שְׁלוֹמֵךְ, מַה שְׁלוֹמֵךְ, דּוּכִיפַת

Beyom haShabat pagashti dukhifat vesha’alti: ma shlomekh, ma shlomekh, dukhifat?

On Saturday I met a hoopoe and asked: How are you? How are you hoopoe?

 לֹא אִכְפַּת, לֹא אִכְפַּת, – אָמְרָה הַדּוּכִיפַת

Lo ikhpat, lo ikhpat, – amra hadukhifat. I don’t mind, I don’t mind, said the hoopoe.

 וּמָה הַשָּׁעָה, אוּלַי אַתְּ יוֹדַעַת? לֹא אִכְפַּת, – אָמְרָה הַדּוּכִיפַת

Uma hasha’a? Ulay at yoda’at? – Lo ikhpat, lo ikhpat, – amra hadukhifat.

And what’s the time, do you know? I don’t mind, I don’t mind, said the hoopoe.

?אָז מַה בְּסוֹפוֹ שֶׁל דָּבָר אִכְפַּת לָךְ וְאִכְפַּת

 Az ma besofo shel davar ikhpat lakh ve’ikhpat?

So what, after all, do you care about?

!אֲנִי לְעַצְמִי, אֲנִי הַדּוּכִיפַת מְאוֹד מְאוֹד אִכְפַּת

Ani le’atsmi, ani hadukhifat me’od me’od ikhpat!

I care about myself, the hoopoe very much!

אָמְרָה הַדּוּכִיפַת וּכְמוֹ שֶׁאָמְרָה פָּרְחָה בְּבַת אַחַת. וְלָמָּה? כִּי חָתוּל רָעֵב מְאוֹד הֵצִיץ בָּהּ מִן הַצַּד

Amra hadukhifat ukmo she’amra parxa bevat axat. Velama? Ki xatul ra’ev hetsits ba min hatsad.

Said the hoopoe and as she said she flew away at once. And why? Because a hungry cat glanced at her from the side.

eTeacherHEBREW.com

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The Walrus and the Personal Trainer…

12 Aug

The Walrus and the Personal Trainer...

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That all familiar voice…Elefriends introduced by Stephen Fry

19 Apr

Elefriends.org.uk