Happy Tuesday Friends!

I am writing this on Tuesday morning.  I was too tired last night to do anything and ended up falling asleep on the couch watching Bosch (again).  I do love Titus Welliver as Harry Bosch, talk about perfect casting.  After he started in the show, they even changed the narrator of the audiobooks and got Titus to narrate them, how cool is that.  BTW someone asked about audiobooks in a previous post – I get a lot of mine from the library, or I buy second hand books on tape or CD and convert them to digital, or there is always Audible which costs £7.99 for one audiobook a month.  They also have awesome sales several times a year where you can pick up really cheap audiobooks in bulk.

I’ve been playing with my Chromebook in between outings, and have a new favourite app – it’s called Duolingo and it’s a language learning app. It was on a list of best apps to add to your Chromebook so I thought I’d give it a try.  Like most of these things, there is of course a paid version and a free version.  I don’t buy apps so I am of course using the free version.  Languages include Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Arabic, Danish, Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, Irish, Japanese and many more. I am brushing up my dusty French to start off with, but I plan to move on to Spanish (I only know the bad words from watching Narcos lol – if you need me to swear at a Colombian drug lord, then let me know.) and maybe Dutch so I can talk to my Dutch friends in their own language next time I visit and of course I will try the Gaelic.  I did a Gaelic language class about 10 years ago but I’ve forgotten a lot of it.  There are reading, writing, listening and speaking components if you have a microphone in your device, so it’s pretty good and I’m enjoying about 15 mins a day, progressing through the levels.

So, I mentioned outings… we have been having unseasonably warm weather, yes it is June and yes it is “summer” but we don’t usually get such nice weather (mid to high 20s Celsius – 72-80F) and so I had to take advantage, get some vitamin D, and go to the beach! I’ve been three times since last Wednesday and I’m going back again tomorrow!  I love the sea!

Technically I live close to the beach already, there are beaches all up and down the coast here and I live about 10 mins away from one, but the one I like is a little further up and about 30 mins away, so that’s the one I went to. From this beach there is an uninterrupted view of the Isle of Arran which you can see in the photo below. It is often referred to as “Scotland in miniature” and has a bit of everything, lots of unspoilt wilderness and mountains and very few people live there. There’s a ferry service that runs from the next town over, multiple times a day, and takes about 55 mins.

Here’s a look back at the town from the beach, the tide was out…

There are some pretty expensive houses there and one hotel which you can see in the middle.  It’s a spa hotel, one of the old Victorian hydro hotels where people used to come and “take the waters” for their health a hundred years or so ago.  As you can see, there is nothing built up here, no high rises etc, and it’s pretty quiet.

I went for a walk along the beach, paddling in the water which was lovely and warm at ankle depth and got a lot colder as it got up to my knees.

The schools don’t break till the end of June, and then it will get a lot busier here, but on a weekday afternoon, it was just a few people walking their dogs, swimming in the sea and enjoying the sunshine. The dogs were having a great time diving into the sea and chasing balls.  There is a small river that runs into the sea from here and so there was fresh water available for them to drink if they got thirsty.  Below is a short video (18 seconds) just to give you the panorama view.

eotc seamill beach 140623 by EOTC

Today’s Art . . .

Today’s art is a sketch I did on my second beach visit on Friday, when I sat outside with my lunch (again) but this time I brought my sketchbook, and did some sketching.

It was such a lovely way to spend an afternoon, and it was so quiet. I watched the ferry go back and forth from Arran.
In my drink photos below, you will see this view.

ICAD 2023

I followed the week three prompt of “typography” for my next seven ICADs, but then I also added some drawing and collage from weeks 1 and 2.  I’ve enjoyed combining all three weekly prompts for each of my weekly sets but with a different emphasis on each.

Here’s a look at the seven week 3 ICADs – days 15-21.

And here’s a closer look at them individually, they tell a little story…

eotc icad 2023 week 3 800×600 slideshow by EOTC

Currently Reading . . .

book cover of Fourth Wing

This book is my current read but I haven’t picked it up in over a week!   What does that say about it?  This book is getting a lot of hype right now and a lot of positive reviews, even from real people that I know personally, but somehow it’s just not grabbing me (so far).  Needless to say, my June book total remains the same as last week <gasp!>.

Enter the brutal and elite world of a war college for dragon riders from New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Yarros

Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history. Now, the commanding general—also known as her tough-as-talons mother—has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: dragon riders.

But when you’re smaller than everyone else and your body is brittle, death is only a heartbeat away…because dragons don’t bond to “fragile” humans. They incinerate them.

With fewer dragons willing to bond than cadets, most would kill Violet to better their own chances of success. The rest would kill her just for being her mother’s daughter—like Xaden Riorson, the most powerful and ruthless wingleader in the Riders Quadrant.

She’ll need every edge her wits can give her just to see the next sunrise.

Genre:  Fantasy/YA Fantasy

TOTAL for 2023
88 books

June Books so far – 4

85.  Leigh Bardugo – Ninth House  :star: :star:  :star:   :star:
86.  Hugh Howey – Wool – Silo Book 1  :star: :star:  :star:  :star: :star:
87.  Hugh Howey – Shift – Silo Book 2  :star: :star:  :star:  :star: :star:
88.  Hugh Howey – Dust – Silo Book 3  :star: :star:  :star:  :star: :star:

(re-reads in bold)

Currently Growing . . . elsewhere

No photos of my garden this week, everything is growing nicely.  The rain at the weekend really gave everything a boost and all the plants had a growth spurt.  I have been picking and eating strawberries for breakfast every day.

Instead I thought I would show you some of the gardens at the Hydro hotel when I was at the beach.

I love the sea hollies…

Kitties . . .

Miss P has been enjoying spending time in the greenhouse lying on the concrete slabs.

She’s also been enjoying partaking of some delicious cat mint that I put on the table so that she wouldn’t just roll around in it all day haha.

*NOT MY CAT* another frequent visitor to the garden, he lives a few houses away but likes to visit when Miss P is not around, as she tends to chase all visitors.  He is sitting next to the big bowl of fresh water I put outside for any animals in need of a drink.  We do have a pond but sometimes it’s nice to have something fresher and less green lol.  This is a cat drink entry to T day 🙂

T Stands For . . .

After my swim and walk along the beach I stopped at the Hydro hotel and had some lunch and a cold drink.  I ate outside so I could enjoy the sun and the view.  This outside area is at the back of the hotel, with access to the beach.  I had some Deeside (Scottish) sparkling mineral water with lime.
Then I ordered some food.  There is something about being at the seaside that makes you want to eat fish and chips, or seafood, or something salty.  I don’t eat fish any more but I kept thinking about chips all day so I ordered some to go with my house salad (vegan version).  Unfortunately my “vegan” house salad turned up with a boiled egg on the top and I had to tell them it wasn’t a plant haha. (Actually they had just sent the regular house salad).  The second vegan house salad turned up looking like this and was delicious.  It was just exactly what I wanted to eat and was very refreshing.  Those are pea shoots on the top, some sliced apple, pickled radishes, and all the usual salady things, like lettuces, cherry tomatoes, red onion, peppers, cucumber etc.  It was a very good day at the seaside for me.

Let me know what you think in the comments.   As always, thanks for reading and Happy T Day!


ICADS – tissue paper, black pencil, stabilo-all, acrylic ink, Posca pens, white gel pen, scraps for collage, index cards, found words, book pages,


Altered Book Lover – T Stands for

10 Awesome Comments (btw comment moderation is on)
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June 24, 2023 3:23 pm

OMGosh. What a wonderful post. All the beach photos and the art. Just beautiful.

Peppylady (Dora)
June 23, 2023 12:09 am

I also have a black and white cat. Name Abner. Your garden looks quite lovely.
Coffee is on and stay safe.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth
June 21, 2023 3:38 am

Sorry I’m late visiting. Lightening took out the electricity last night in my neighborhood. The cats and I spent the night in sweltering heat with only the light from my portable OTT light. I suspect you can relate.

I get Bosch on Prime (Freevee) and love it. I’ve only seen a few shows, though. I don’t ever have time to binge watch anything.

That sounds like perfect weather to me. Those are our night temperatures here. You must be really enjoying your time at the beach.

Your ICADs are fabulous. Mine are the ones I photographed which are just prior to my T Tuesday post. Yours put mine to shame. I am in total awe.

Love seeing the kitties and the herbs in your greenhouse, too.

Your salad looks beautiful. I laughed at the egg, too Thanks for sharing your beachy photos, your ICADs, and your salad, fries, and drink with us for T this Tuesday, dear Elle.

Sharon Madson
Sharon Madson
June 21, 2023 3:33 am

Love your garden and kitties. Great ICADs, and I love your sketch at the beach. Fun video at the beach. Wish I lived near a beach. Happy T Day.

Nancy A Williams
June 21, 2023 12:57 am

The kitty pictures were my favorite, followed by your cool ICADs (great video), the beach pictures (pretty pictures and video) and that fabulous looking salad! Super art and interesting sounding book too. What a great post, Elle. Loved reading and viewing it. Happy T-day and hugz

Carola Bartz
June 20, 2023 10:28 pm

What a lovely day at the seaside – being at the sea is just so relaxing and calming. I hope that the weather stays warm and beautiful so you can go many more times. Your sketch is beautiful and a nice memory of that day. I love Sea hollies as well, they are a bit unusual and I wouldn’t mind having them in my garden.

June 20, 2023 4:40 pm

Hi Elle, I so enjoyed your post. I too live by the beach. Like 2 blocks away, however, it is always so cold and windy here that we never go to the beach. In fact most locals don’t. Love your art. I too have used biolingual. It is a good app. Have a great week.

Erika N
June 20, 2023 1:52 pm

Your beach trips look and sound lovely Elle. I up my license plate on my car to a state park plate with hopes of getting to the beach, but it’s been so cold and rainy since coming home from Iceland that it hasn’t crossed my mind to go. ?. I am loving your Atcs and the hotel
Garden is also very lovely. And thanks for the app recommendation. I’m going to check that out. I’d love to get more practice with my French and maybe even some Swedish but I don’t want to pay for Babbel which I used to have. Anyhow, this is a long enough comment. Have a lovely t day and I hope you are having nice weather again today too. Hugs Erika

June 20, 2023 1:42 pm

Your photos and painting of the beach and local area are beautiful. I can tell it’s a cool climate because if the weather were reliably warm the beach would be all full of people and the area would be all developed. Such is our global condition! I hope you keep enjoying lovely days.
best, mae at maefood.blogspot.com

June 20, 2023 1:41 pm

You had me at beach. I love going to the beach and am looking forward to another beach weekend (if the weather cooperates) with my friend Teague this coming weekend. Such a lovely beach you visited. I like going off season when there are fewer people around. I enjoyed your ICAD story and the kitties. The black kitty reminds me of my beloved Ink. Ink was all black except for 6 white hairs on his chest. This kitty has more white hairs, but still made me smile. Happy T Day

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