What a year 2021 has turned out to be. Here in Scotland, we started the year in a lockdown and here we are, about to end the year in another lockdown!
1st January 2021. Part of the traditional festive Scottish traditions was to go for a walk on Ne'er Day (News Year Day) and that is how I started 2021. A walk on our local beach in the bracing wind sure does blow the cobwebs away from the New Years' celebrations of the night before. I am lucky in that I live in Burntisland a seaside town in the Kingdom of Fife in Scotland, and this spot where I took the picture from happens to be only a five-minute walk from my front door.
1. Burntisland Beach, Kingdom of Fife, Scotland, 1st of January 2021
I am loving this challenge, as it has me scrolling through my google photos, I love how they date the pictures for you. This next picture is not a pretty sight in more ways than one.
25th January 2021. During the night I heard an almighty pop and bright flash coming from my kitchen. I got up and discovered that the socket where my halogen oven had been plugged in, had blown. It seemed rising damp had got into the electrics and caused all sorts of problems. I called the landlady and she eventually sent an electrician to repair the socket etc but would not reimburse for the oven.
2. Blown electrical socket in the kitchen of my flat, 25th of January 2021
However, it would turn out, that this was a blessing in disguise as you will find out later on in this article.
11th February 2021. Snow! Living on the coast we don't actually get much snow at all, and it is still exciting whenever it does snow. I don't know about you, but our worst winter weather seems to be from about mid January until mid February and this snowfall happened on the 10th February, two days later it was all gone.
3. Burntisland Links, 11th of February 2021
This picture was taken in the park which was at the end of my street. You can see the traffic cone on top of the statue on the right of the picture, why do kids do this, it happens all over the UK.
The building in the picture is a burger joint and I would be ordering from them later in the year in picture 6.
15th May 2021. I am a massive bluenose. This means that I support the Rangers Football Club, a football team from Glasgow in Scotland. You might call football as soccer, but that is a debate not to be had here. Rangers have had a terrible time. Basically, we were relegated directly from the Top tier league all the way down to the fourth tier league and made up way back to the top via promotions.
4. Wee Ger my Rangers teddy bear, 15th of May 2021
Our arch-rivals Celtic meanwhile were going great guns as they had no competition and they were chasing a record ten league titles in a row. Rangers had other ideas and we went the whole season unbeaten and finished the last match beating Aberdeen 4-0 on 15th of May. The picture is of Wee Ger watching the match wearing his miniature scarf. Rangers fans get called many things, and Ger is a common name. He did enjoy himself but refrained from drinking any alcohol!
8th June 2021. I was brought up in Edinburgh and often go back for a visit. One of the perks of having to endure so many lockdowns and working so much from home during this pandemic is that I became addicted to YouTube. In particular, I fell in love with the thought of living on a canal narrowboat full time in England. There are so many vloggers showing us their lifestyle on the canals that I want to do this in 2022. I did know that there was a canal in Edinburgh, but did not know it was the original way of transporting goods between Edinburgh and Glasgow. This picture was taken very close to my old school and amazes me just how much the canals have been refurbished and is a thriving part of Edinburgh's charm now.
5. Narrowboat on the Edinburgh and Glasgow Union Canal, 8th of June 2021
I write on read.cash (as TengoLoTodo) and post on their sister site noise.cash (as Broxi) and actually came across one of my favourite narrowboat vloggers on noise, who I find out is a bit of a star on hive @scubahead as is his wife @millycf1976 . But really guys, Camille needs to be on the vlog more lol. They live on an awesome wee boat called Badger and if you have not watched their vlogs I recommend checking out their channel JamCam & Cam - We Be Cruising !
Being the bluenose that I am, I included this particular picture of a blue canal narrow boat from the many I took that day. When we say narrow it is because they are generally no more than 6 foot 10 inches wide.
12th June 2021 Do you remember that I had mentioned the burger joint in picture number 3. Well, I was invited to be a mystery shopper for the Scottish Takeaway Awards, and this was to help judge local eateries on their home delivery service. I was asked to be one of the mystery shoppers for the burger joint.
6. Burger Joint, 12th of June 2021
My picture does not do this justice at all. We have a local High Street award winning butcher. He supplies the beefburgers and all the meat products. The burger in the picture had a burger patty and a white pudding patty complete with bacon and a creamy whisky sauce. It came with Mozarella cheese sticks and dirty cheesy fries with bits of black pudding in them. It really was heaven in a mouthful. I duly voted and was happy to learn that they got all the way to the final, meaning they are one of the best takeaway restaurants in Scotland. Impressive stuff indeed.
18th June 2021. I mentioned in picture 2 that the blown socket was a blessing in disguise. So whilst we were in lockdown, the landlady hand delivered an eviction notice stating that she wanted the flat back for her daughter to move into. As we were again in lockdown, finding another place to live was not easy. After two unsuccessful months of trying to find somewhere in the same town, I broadened the search and arranged to view a flat in Kirkcaldy, which is a bigger town about five miles up the coast.
7. Raith Rovers FC Football Stadium, Kirkcaldy, Scotland, 18th of June 2021
I now call this hill Murder Hill, because it is murder when you walk up it with bags of shopping. The blessing I mentioned previously was that I viewed the flat after walking up Murder Hill and took it immediately. It is located on the opposite side of the road to the stadium and just past it. It is a much better flat than the previous one, and is quite loud but interesting on match day as you can hear all the roars and boos of the crowd.
13th July 2021 As it turned out the blessing about the new flat kept continuing. Whilst I was out for a stroll on a hot day in July, two weeks after I moved into the new flat, I came across a park five minutes walk from the new flat. This was called Beveridge Park and after I read the Park entrance notices, I discovered that they had a boat pond.
8 . Ice Cream on the one day of Scotlands summer of 2021, 13th July 2021
Once I found the boat pond, I discovered that due to the pandemic the boat rentals were closed. However, they had a children's adventure playground beside the pond. I then notice a big queue of people beside an ice cream van. Any excuse for ice cream. We call this sort of ice cream Mr Whippy and when we put a chocolate flake in it, then it becomes a 99. I ate the 99 and discovered more of the park
31st July 2021 The blessing continued to give as it turned out the Park not only had a boat pond, but it had woods attached to it, and was a haven for local wildlife. As an animal lover I had great fun exploring and started to feed the animals and become recognised by them. I started to get to know the ducks pretty well. The noisiest duck I heard I named Dafty (from the Scottish word daft, meaning a wee bit silly), he would quack forever and when he saw me, come racing over the water quacking away. I discovered he was a Pomeranian duck, which was unusual as the other ducks were Mallards.
9. Beveridge Park, Dafty and Milly & Molly, 31st of July 2021
He also was a romancer and had a tangled love life. At one point the two females in the picture, Milly and Molly would be fighting over the right to court him.
I had so much fun with all these conversations I had with Dafty and his fellow ducks that I wrote several stories on read.cash about them. They proved very popular with the readers there. And so one of my alter egos Eddie Wildlife was born. I know he is your favourite @coquicoin
3rd August 2021 Eddie Wildlife did not stop at talking and feeding the ducks, oh no he went exploring the wooded parts of the park, and met plenty of squirrels. The most popular and most friendly was one named Sammy, who being so photogenic and talkative featured in many articles. Sammy was as bold as brass and would run out to be fed whenever I was around. In another part of the park was where another squirrel lived.
10. Beveridge Park, Sabrina, 3rd of August 2021
I named her Sabrina, and try as much as I could, I could not get her to come close. I would leave nuts and oats on this particular rock which I had seen her playing on. I would go there and leave the food and then go for more exploring. This day I did the same thing, but when I returned, there she was eating on the rock, and rather than run off, she actually looked at me and carried on eating. It was a breakthrough moment and then of course she became a chatterbox. Her area of the park was much further away from the pond than the area bossed by Sammy.
10th November 2021 This next picture brings happy memories but will be a reminder that some good things come to an end. The park has a resident pair of Mute Swans. Of course Eddie Wildlife being Eddie Wildlife he got to know them and their family. Mr and Mrs Swan (Steve and Susie) had seven children, unfortunately one of the children or cygnets was killed and eaten by a seagull, so they had six. Eddie Wildlife was lucky enough to get to know them and infact named the cygnets as the Pies.
11. Swanbombing, Beveridge Park, Kirkcaldy 10th of November 2021
Yes there was six pie children, Cutie-pie, Strawberry-pie, Mud-pie, Blueberry-pie, Blackberry-pie and Coo-pie (with Coo being the Scottish for Cow). Steve and Susie were very protective of their children, and who could blame them after one of their kids was eaten by a seagull. Eddie would feed the swans with special duck and swan food. This particular day I was taking some shots of Cutie-pie when her brothers Mud and Coo swanbombed the picture. It has been fun seeing the six cygnets grow up, but this will end as around February time, the father Steve will evict his children and reclaim the pond for himself and Susie so that they can make and produce another set of cygnets. So I just enjoy the six pies whilst I still can.
3rd December 2021 The picture here now symbolizes covid life for me. Throughout December, there was to be a Winter Market and Artisans fair on the High Street on a Friday and Saturday. It became really popular and the entrance to the market was guarded by two Nutcracker soldiers making sure nothing untoward passed.
12 . Winter Artisans Street market, Kirkcaldy High Street, 3rd of December 2021
So today, Scotland has brought in new Covid measures as a result of the new dominant Omicron strain. I learnt that the Artisans who operate the market have decided to cancel the market that was due to be held on Friday or Christmas Eve.
When will this pandemic ever end.
There we have it, some wonderful memories brought back by looking through my gallery of pictures. They are certainly not the best pictures that I took in 2021, but they all evoke memories as soon as I look at them.
This is my entry for the photography lovers end of year contest initiated by @derangedvisions. Whilst these are not in my opinion my best pictures of 2021, they are nevertheless the ones with instant memories attached to them.
Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Scotland.
All images and ramblings are from this mad Scotsman unless otherwise stated.
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Haste Ye Back!