Sacred space at Linne Bheag

Sacred space at Linne Bheag

One of the smaller Web projects that I’ve been working on over the last few months is a new website for my parents-in-law, Peter and Dorothy Neilson: Sacred space at Linne Bheag.


It’s built using Weebly, which is a really simple to use content management system.

Weebly is wonderfully easy to use, even easier to use than WordPress, can you believe it?!

Once we got the site structure sorted it took only a few hours to set up and populate with content. It’s well recommended if you’ve got a small site to create and populate.

You can create blog/news sections, it automatically includes an RSS feed so that people can subscribe to your latest news, and it will even manage your DNS so that you can tie your domain name to it, otherwise you’ll have

Linne Bheag

Anyway, the site is now live, and my mother-in-law Dorothy (whose 0x3Cth birthday it was on Sunday — Happy Birthday!!) is enjoying making site updates.

They offer all sorts of events, services and stuff, such as:

  • Mission Consultancy
  • Quiet Days
  • Enneagram
  • Spiritual Direction
  • Life Coaching

either out-and-about in sunny Scotland or from the comfort of their beautiful new home in Anstruther, Fife.

Check out the website:

Two photos

Over the last few weeks I’ve been taking a few photos with my phone. Not the best quality of photos, I’ll admit, but I thought I’d share them with you anyway.

Red sunset over Anstruther

This is a red sunset that we had a few nights ago. When I arrived home I just had to stand and marvel at the sky.

View across grass to library

This is the view from my office window, out towards the University library in St Andrews. I liked the reflection of our building (the Butts Wynd Building) in the library windows.

Expensive 100 yards cycle

Outline of bike against the sky

This afternoon I went for my shortest but probably most expensive cycle trip ever. I took my bike to St Andrews, but unfortunately I wasn’t riding it at the time.

Around 15:00 I set off on my bike, cycled about 100 yards to the main road and stopped for a car to pass. Stood up on the pedals, shoved myself off and … more or less snapped my left pedal off. It was obviously rather loose and so I’ve threaded the pedal bolt on both the crank arm and the pedal.

So I’ll at least need a replacement crank arm and pedal, but a closer inspection of my front chainset reveals that it will likely be cheaper for me just to get a whole new front chainset, as the current (and original) one is rather worn indeed. And so I’ll probably need a new chain too. And I’ve no idea of the state of my bottom bracket or rear derailleur.

Still, I’ve been meaning to get my bike serviced for a few months now. Unfortunate timing: I was wanting to work on my fitness this holiday.

I’ve dropped the bike into Spokes bike shop in St Andrews. I may or may not get it back tomorrow, depending on how much work is required.


Monday 24 December

I got my bike back at 13:00 on Monday (less than 24 hours after putting it in for repair). Top marks to Spokes of St Andrews. In the end it cost me just over £60 for:

  • Suntour Chainset (22/32/42) – £24.99
  • Shimano UN53 Bottom Bracket 68-110mm – £19.99
  • Black ATB 9/16 pedals – £9.99
  • Labour – £10.00

Bargain! I was then out on it (Anstruther to Elie and back again) this afternoon, just before the sun went down. Marvellous!

Holiday week

Last week I was on holiday. It was always my intention to blog as the week went along but I got too involved in other stuff, away from the computer.

I know! How weird. Anyway, here’s how the week went:

Sunday: Deacon Blue

Deacon Blue in concert
Deacon Blue in concert, looking more like Deacon Purple.

Sunday was my birthday. I was 36.

In the afternoon Jane and I drove to Edinburgh, met up with my brother Eddie and his wife Rebecca, went out for a meal and went to see Deacon Blue at the Edinburgh Playhouse.

This gig was my first visit to the Edinburgh Playhouse for a gig since I saw Slayer there on the South of Heaven tour in 1988; Nuclear Assault supported them.

The Deacon Blue gig was the oldest audience that I’ve ever been part of — Sunday morning worship besides. They kept sitting down during the quiet songs!! Hip trouble, I reckoned.

It was also the quietest gig. I think Motörhead’s Lemmy probably sneezes louder than the PA was cranked up on Sunday evening. My industrial-quality earplugs stayed firmly in my pocket.

Still, it was a good evening out. Jane and Rebecca absolutely loved the concert, and sang along to almost everything. I even recognised about five or six songs.

6 Day Riot

The highlight for me, however, was the support act: 6 Day Riot, who I thought were brilliant, quirky, folky and fun. They are a four-piece that play guitars, ukelele, double-bass and drums.

Check them out at MySpace.

I’ve already bought their debut album; and singer Tamara Schlesinger’s solo album too.

Monday: cleaning

Boxes of cans and bottles for recycling

Monday was the first day proper of my holiday, which usually means one thing in Chez Saunders: cleaning.

Cleaning and taking stuff for recycling. It was a good, clean start to my holiday.

Tuesday: DIY day

I woke up bright and early on Tuesday. It was day two of my holiday, which meant only one thing: DIY Day.

New strip light in the shed

First up, the fluorescent light in the shed got replaced. Only £9.99 at Focus — bargain!

Shed with brass plaque: Kadesh

Next up, the brass plaque that had been gifted to us for our former holiday cottage, Kadesh, found a new home on the shed door. Welcome Kadesh, Mk 2.

Bolt on gate

The new bolt for the back gate has been sitting around for months and months. It eventually was fixed to the top of the gate.

Garden hose reel

No longer does out garden hose sit tangled in a heap on the ground in our back yard. It is now neatly wound on this attractive, green hose reel.

New bookcase

My favourite job was to create an extension for my CD bookcase, which I fashioned out of a broken bookcase that was destined for the local recycling centre / civic amenities site / dump. I now have 14 shelves of CDs!

In the afternoon, I sorted out the cupboard in our joint study and installed Kubuntu 6.06 on Mum’s old PC. That was fun. I’ve been meaning to properly check out Linux distros for months.

Wednesday: Moving

On Wednesday Jane’s folks moved into their new house in Anstruther. I went out for a cycle in the morning; hung around Jane’s folks’ new house in the afternoon offering a hand with some DIY.

Thursday: Hospital and holiday

On Thursday morning Jane had an appointment at the hospital; a follow-up from an operation she had a few months ago.

Thankfully all was clear and we could go off for a few days to Loch Rannoch on holiday.

St Mary’s College quad in panorama

Panoramic photo of St Mary's College quadrangle, St Andrews
Click the photograph for a larger view

When the sun rose this morning, shortly after 07:00 I realised that it was a beautiful day outside: the perfect day to take a panoramic photograph of St Mary College’s quadrangle in St Andrews.

When I stepped out of the door it began to rain. And rain. And rain some more.

The drive to St Andrews was beautiful. The countryside was swathed in golden sunlight, dark brooding clouds in the distance, and a double rainbow sitting like a gate in between.

By the time I reached St Mary’s College quad the rain had subsided. I set up my tripod (check me out with my leet photography skills!) and took a few photos. It was shortly after 08:00, there was hardly anyone around.

I used the trial version of Panorama Composer 3 to stitch the photos together. It’s not quite perfect, but with a little tweaking in Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI it may be good enough for a website.