What Pegman Saw : The Vaults

The Vaults (of Leith)


My Grandad would often tell tales as we shared a glass of malt, basking in the heat from the crackling fireplace.

As a Cooper, he would regularly inspect the Whisky puncheons held in the Vaults of Leith.

Before each round, he would prise out a bung and help himself to a glass.

One day a Master made a surprise visit.

“Do you always take a glass before your inspection?”

“I do Sir, because there is always a strong smell of whisky and foul air and I would soon turn sick and be unfit if I didn’t harden my stomach.”

They started their inspection together, but the Master, feeling a little squeamish said, “I think ye are no far wrong, a wee dram would fortify my stomach also.”

So my Grandad gave him a drop from the best cask in the vaults and henceforth they became firm friends. (147 words)

The weekly What Pegman Saw is a fascinating weekly flash fiction challenge based on a Google Street View location, somewhere on the planet.

My story is culled and contextualised from the histories of Leith.

This week’s challenge comes from a street view in Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland. A city I lived in from 1968 to 1978. Fond memories.

Daily Post Photo Challenge : Resilient


This is my entry to this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge and the challenge is Resilient.

Borobudur, or Barabudur is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia, as well as the world’s largest Buddhist temple, and also one of the greatest Buddhist monument in the world (Wikipedia).

I don’t think I have to explain it’s resilience – which can be found on so many levels.

Remembering Robert


For a precious time, we were inseparable.

Our hair grew as the months went by, full of dreams and hope.

Pale moonlight would filter through those dusty velvet curtains, as we listened reverentially to Dark Star, while outside, Edinburgh awaited it’s damp nocturnal embrace.

Sometimes I’d squeeze some notes from the upright piano, deliciously out of tune, while you strummed magic chords from that battered guitar.

And if John or Jim were there, they’d bang on something, anything, to round out the melodies that wandered, as they wished, between raga and blues.

Then somewhere between three and four in the morning, hunger would overtake us, and we’d pay a visit to the bakery down the road and cajole them to part with a few warm rolls, fresh from the oven.

Those were the best of times.

Rest in Peace.

I left home in the late sixties to seek adventure in Scotland where I met some amazing people. We had extraordinary experiences together that shaped a lot more than our tastes in music.

Happy Holidays!

Happy Christmas.jpg

It’s that time of year! I hope you all have a special time with your friends and loved ones whatever your chosen holiday.

I want to seize this occasion to thank you for your presence in 2016. I noticed the other day that I’m fast approaching 500 followers here on WordPress. That’s absolutely amazing. You guys are such an inspiration to me.

Little did I know 18 months ago that I’d still be writing and posting my photography. It’s an absolute pleasure and if I’m unable to post for one reason or another I’m disappointed!

Having said that I’m going to take a few days off and enjoy the holidays more offline than online. I’ll be back in the first few days of 2017. Renewed, refreshed and raring to go!

What Pegman Saw : Ace Photographer


Ace Photographer

So there we were on a coach trip to the depths of Iceland, well after the morning’s golden hour, and well before the evening sunset.

Iceland was warmer than we anticipated.

Iceland was cold.

It was also dryer than we expected, but the curtain of spray from the waterfall, born by the wind, battered us relentlessly.

Iceland was wet.

I seized both cameras and tripod, and walked around the waterfall, looking for people-less views.

Iceland was popular.

I looked over to my Cherie and caught her smile. I beckoned her closer and swept her up into in my arms, feeling both her warmth and a rising sense of wellbeing.

Iceland was romantic.

Then the sun broke out horizontally from the low lying clouds and spilt golden rays over the countryside.

Iceland was made of magic.

Whatever my aspirations were.

This is my entry to this week’s What Pegman Saw challenge. I’m really looking forward to reading all the other entries this week. I’ve added a few photos above from when my wife and I visited Iceland last year. Magic is the word.


Daily Post Photo Challenge : Path


This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is Path.

2016 has been a wonderful year and has seen a crossover between photography and art. I have really enjoyed discovering art and artists this year and I’ll be striving to make my photography more abstract while using my photos to draw and paint in 2017.

It’s going to be a great year, I’m sure. A new path.

FFfAW : Treetops

© Joy Pixley


Lucy fidgeted on the backseat of the car while Amanda looked out of the window.

They’d been strange ever since we’d left Limon. Neither of them had been their normal bubbly selves since we’d left on this trip of a lifetime.

I gripped the steering wheel tighter as we sped through the banana plantations on our way to the Costa Rican Rainforest. Small talk never came easily to me, I just bit my lip and continued driving in silence.

“Here we are!” I said as we arrived at the park. “I’m so excited.”

Amanda just gave a weak smile, took Lucy into her arms and followed me up the path to the tram station.

We boarded the tram and it glided up and through the misty rainforest. The silence of the forest was punctuated only by the occasional bird cry. The cable car whizzed mechanically as it climbed higher and higher.

Suddenly, we broke through the canopy of the forest.

I gasped. It was even better than I’d imagined it.

“Wow, we’re up above the trees,” I said.

Lucy replied, “but they’re not Christmas trees.”

Amanda added, “perhaps we should have stayed at home for the holidays.”


This is my entry to this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. I wish to state that I didn’t drag my family away from home at Christmas! These pics and the film were taken on a visit in early 2015.

OWPC : Doll


Meet Elfy our new House Elf, inspired by the Elf on a Shelf book. He arrived a bit late for the party this year but he’s settling in quite nicely.

This week’s One Word Photo Challenge gives me the opportunity of wishing all my lovely viewers and readers a very Happy Christmas. Thanks for all your support and comments through the year. I really appreciate you being there.