Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Fife Coast

We left Edinburgh on the Monday following the Gathering, and headed northeast towards the Fife Coast. My father had rented a vehicle to be picked up at the airport. He has driven in the UK before, and although it took a bit for him to become re-accustomed, I immediately knew there was NO way I would ever be able to drive on the left (without killing someone, anyway). I've always had troubles with spatial ability, & wonder now if this is somehow related?

Anyway, on we went. After a few wrong turns at roundabouts, which are everywhere, and inconsistently signed, we finally made it to Elie, on the Fife Coast. The body of water in this area is called the Firth of Forth, or was it Fourth of Fifth, Fifth of Sixth......? Firth, as I found out, means 'bay'. Elie is a lovely coastal town, very cute & picturesque. We had a self-contained townhouse there, with lots of room & a fully-equipped kitchen (yeah!).

The morning after we arrived in Elie, we set out to get groceries. I had seen an ad for The Farm Shop. This place was about 5 minutes outside Elie, also along the coast. It was a small building, housing a farm-to-market produce shop and high-end food items. It was immediately inviting, with the metal ducks leading to the front door. As you entered, this was the display - those are real veggies, not fake display models. The way the product was displayed there was how you bought it, out of the display baskets & into a shopping (woven) basket. I loved this store!

When I went to pay, I noticed that there were huge pots of fresh herbs outside, & asked how I might purchase them. The girl said I just had to say what I wanted & she would cut them. So, I asked for some rosemary, chives & parsley. She cut a few stems of each & charged me accordingly; I know she would likely not be happy with this picture, but here she is, cutting the herbs for me.

After spending a few relaxing days in & around Elie, hiking along the coast, hanging around cafes, eating crab & lobster hauled from the ocean just moments before, my last weekend was quickly approaching.

This last photo was taken in Pittenweem, during the Arts Festival. This was a really unique festival, where local artists open up their homes, converting a portion of it into an art gallery, displaying their wares. Visiting artists were also housed in many locations around the town; there were around 89 artists in total. I bought a few prints, and some jewellery - it was great fun talking to the artists in person. An amazing fireworks display was held on the Saturday evening - it was quite the display, one the the best I've ever seen (and we lived in Vancouver & saw a few of the fireworks competitions), for such a small town.
One of the more interesting artists was Derek Collins (Flaming Art), who actually ignites the paintings, yielding a lacquered effect. The art itself was really interesting, & then I saw an article he had on disply. He actually uses loved one's ashes & incorporates them into paintings - a permanent, tangible memory. I really was drawn to this idea.

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