up north

Back writing this in the beatson on my fourth round of treatment. I have felt pretty good the past 2 weeks since my last post and hope that is a good sign with my first scan since treatment started next week. I have spoken to my consultant about the scan and what they expect to see which will hopefully be a complete halt in the growth of the tumor or a reduction in size preferably. I had more reflexology and a back massage. The treatments really take my mind off everything even if it is just for and short while.

It is has been my intention to make the most of the weekend I am not getting treatment and with the stunning weather we had last friday I booked a last minute room in Stonehaven on the east coast near Aberdeen. I drove all the way up with the roof down which is the first time it has been down for quite a while. I booked dinner at the well recommended Tolbooth restaurant on the harbour. It was one of those meals that was close to perfect with its stunning setting overlooking the harbour, the food which just got better from course to course and a lovely bottle of lomond pincushion. After crab cakes on noodles and then a wonderful cod on couscous the highlight was an apple tart which is best described in the pic below.

amazing pud

There was a great atmosphere on the friday night, everyone was outside the bars chatting and enjoying the night. It was a short walk back to our bayview apartment and I was ready for a good sleep after our meal and I was looking forward to the rest of the weekend. Unfortunately when I got out in the morning for a walk on the beach the weather had turned back to typically Scottish and was actually quite cold in stark contract to the balmy night before.

It is a short drive from stonehaven to Dunnottar Castle. There is a clifftop walk but I wasn’t feeling up to it, especially in the weather. Dunnottar castle  is an amazing cliff top setting which I have seen many times in photos and the reality did not disappoint. Again, with the poor weather and the amount of climbing involved we decided not to go right up into the castle and took some pics from the clifftop a short walk down from the carpark.

me at dunnottar castle

After the castle we headed to Aberdeen to try to do something indoors. I had a bit of a rest in the hotel while Julie scouted the shops and somewhere to eat. We headed to the art gallery which was near the hotel where I was quite impressed with the collection which included a Francis Bacon, pope I, which I never knew was there. One of his pope painting sold recently for around £15m and roman abramovich bought another of his works for $50m. There is a good range of other works ranging from classical works to recent contemporary works. Dinner was at the Foyer which was a bit disappointing after the meal in Stonehaven.

Francis Bacon. Pope I (1951)

I took the opportunity to have a look at the new university library by architects schmidt hammer lassen. I thought it was closer to completion as I was keen to see the interior. The building is certainly a departure from the granite buildings of Aberdeen and looks impressive from the architects visuals.The facade seems a bit arbitrary although it is a bit different from the bar code elevations which have dominated this style of glass facade in our cities for far too long.

aberdeen university library by schmidt hammer lassen

Headed back home on sunday via Montrose, Edzell and Brechin before being disappointed by the lack of being able to get a bridie on a sunday afternoon in Forfar!

After a great lunch with some friends in the always wonderful Cafe Gandolfi last week, I met up with a couple more friends that night to plan a short caravan trip next weekend which will probably take up a bit of my next post. I have enjoyed getting back  out and meeting people again and hope to catch up with as many people as possible.

I was back judging the student awards at the Glasgow School of Art on this week and will be at Strathclyde this week. It is a great opportunity to see the degree show and there was a huge range and quality of work on show. An example of one of the winning students work is shown in the pic below which is a proposed performance space building along with viewing tower in Venice. I was particularly impressed by quality of the model making which we are very keen on in our office.

venice project by Kieran Sheehan, GSA 2011

At work I am progressing a planning application for an office building in Glasgow and we have some domestic work keeping us busy also. Some good news coming through on a commumity project we have been working on for some time and that will hopefully move to the next stage  soon. I have not been in the office as much recently and doing a bit from home. This is mostly due to appointments etc but also the fact that I need to rest when I can.

Right now I am looking forward to getting out tonight, last time I had to watch the first half of the champions league final in here and caught the end at home. It was all over for man United before I got home though. I also have an invite to the racing at Hamilton next week from Lanarkshire Business Group which I have been the vice chairman of although I havent been active with them since my illness, it will be great to see them all and catch up. Also have my caravan trip to look forward to with my fellow architect friends Jason and Martin, who knows where we will end up, tune in next time to find out!

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3 Responses to “up north”

  1. June 11, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    You sound good, Jon. Looking forward to your next adventure filled post.

  2. 2 Catherine in Wexford
    June 15, 2011 at 7:09 am

    Hi J-M,

    Sounds like it was a great weekend away,fingers crossed for better weather soon! Hope all goes well for the scan next week, we are thinking of you.

    take care
    Catherine x

  3. 3 Michele Carver
    June 16, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Always look forward to your blog!! Hope all goes well with the scan. Have a great weekend camping.xx

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