LJ friends and gifts. #11: A trip to Scotland, MaFe meets Jamie - visiting my friend Jamie Speirs.

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Blog entry by mafe posted 09-07-2013 03:41 PM 6227 reads 0 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 10: Mads meets Madts - LJ visit from Texas. Part 11 of LJ friends and gifts. series Part 12: Spiers of Ayr infill smoother - restore »

A trip to Scotland, MaFe meets Jamie
Visiting my friend Jamie Speirs.

This is a short picture story of a wonderful travel I just ended last week.
First a visit to Ireland and then Scotland.
The blog will be followed up by blogs about projects I did as I was in Scotland.

My sister is married to an American General Consul and they are stationed in Belfast, so when I decided to go and visit her, I contacted our LJ buddy Jamie and asked him what he thought about me coming for a visit on my way back to Denmark. Jamie opened his doors right away and invited me to come and stay. My travel was a wee bit on its way, but at the end I finally managed to make all the ends meet and took off for Ireland.

First Ireland, Belfast:

This is what I always dreamed about seeing, the coastline of Ireland.
A Google map here:

And here I was all of a sudden, with Sam (my sister’s dog) and a good dark Irish beer.
Sometimes I feel life is so amazing, that I find it hard to keep up, lucky I am.

I will not make a travel blog, but Belfast is also an interesting city, quite real, an authentic pulse, a little rough, only 300.000 of population, like life goes its own way and most of the city quite rough and not all like this picture.

When you move around you can watch the flags, to see if it is a Catholic or Protestant area and this is still a sad reality of Ireland.

Many meetings have been held in these pubs, and again choose one with the right flag if you are religious.

Did someone say Flatiron building…

Like mother – so daughter…

In these docks Titanic was build, and the ship here is a sister ship from the same builder.
In the background the new pride of Belfast, the Titanic museum.

Ohhh yes and my beautiful sister with her wonderful dog Sam.
Thank you for a wonderful visit.

Woodworking… Naaa, not too much, but I did see this wonderful guy in the local forest.
And with him I say goodbye to Ireland and take the boat over the sea to Scotland from Belfast to Cairnryan – Ayr to Waterside Patna where Jamie lives.

Scotland, :
Google map:

Here Jamie’s wonderful house in Waterside Patna.

Here we are, I tried to steal a seat in Jamie’s wheelchair, what a cute couple of Lumber Jerks we are, lol.
Jamie and I have been on the mail for a few years now, talking about life, woman, kids, tools, wood and all that touched our hearts, so I was more than happy to finally get to meet this really special man.
I knew even before my arrival, that this would not just be a visit, but the beginning of something more.

The grass really is greener in Scotland and sun is something you run for, when it is there.

Wondering if this was why Jamie moved here…

Small houses on a row in the nearby city.

I enjoyed my breakfast and a moment of meditation outside the front door in the morning.
Became quite fond of eggrolls and loved the time on one of Jamie’s meditation stools.

Jamie’s house is a run of wonderful people, this says a lot about Jamie, people with the heart on the right spot and care for each other. Her Gordon, he is kind of Jamie’s right wing, a good turner and like a detective, he can find everything in Jamie’s workshop.

Ohhh yes and these sweet ladies, they were always happy to see me.
Jamie’s house is also dogs.

And this guy.

This is Scottish pie and yes another resident of the house, I called her my little princess.
While I was here I also had the chance to try the famous haggis, and actually loved it.

Of course fish also.

Jamie and his bride is Buddhist and so they have a prayer room for them and all the guests arriving to this house full of love and open arms. I turned a little stick for the big meditation bell as a thank you back for the moments I spend in the room.

When I arrived in Ayr (where the Spiers hand planes were made), I noticed this: the wee nook, Jamie always use this wee word and it has now become one of my favorite words too.

The view from my fine room.
The lawn is a bowling club, yes they play outdoors on grass here, that is a wee bit cool.

Ok, I’ll not explode.

Just visited the local steam locomotive museum a couple of times, quite interesting and I even had a tour in a steam train.

Here a little woodworking inspiration.

And this is the floorboard sawhorse.
It was tradition that the carpenters when working on a house, build one or two of these as worktable on site.
They are brilliantly simple.
Can be made stronger with a board under the top plank also.
All you need is a floorboard and a handful of nails.

It gives a fine place for storage of tools and nails.
I found this one in an abandoned factory building.

Jamie have a huge book and magazine collection, so when I was not busy, I was reading and once in a while took a picture of a favorite page.
This one inspired me to go and turn some wedges, this I will post later.

A part of life in the house is tea time, this was around the big table, and always a wonderful moment with room for talk’s quietness. Here with Tharchin and Jamie.

Another visit to the old factory.

I have a thing with old buildings, there is a wonderful reality in this reality, that nature slowly claims back what we have borrowed.

I also had time to take a small hike.
A day out by Loch Doon, with my new gear, walking boots, back pack, sleeping bag and a hammock.
(Gear is much cheaper in UK than in Denmark).
Google map:

Look at the shadow, it is me walking a tall aqua duct.

Please enjoy the light, it was such a beautiful day.

After three hours of walk, I found the perfect spot and it was time to put up the hammock and make camp for the night. Dam I love that hammock.

Here on my test sleep in my sister’s garden, it was raining cats and dogs and I was dry and warm inside.
Think this is going to a close travel companion.

Loch Doon from where I set camp.

The day after I was picked up by the loch by this beautiful woman (inside out), Ros.
Ros gave me the name: The man with the hat, who sleeps in the trees.
Please notice what she has in her hand bag. ;-)

No it was not in this car, just a wonderful couple I saw by the local gas station.

Jamie’s workshop, where I spend a lot of hours during my ten days stay.
Notice the tool cabinet in the back, Jamie’s, this will also be subject to a blog.

I loved to be in the shop, and also Jamie gave me a name: the happy monkey, since I was so happy when I was there playing with wood (here wearing Jamie’s South African carpenter’s hat).
And the dogs were often there for a kiss and a hug.
Actually I think they would have loved to call me the Lollypop.

Jamie’s wonderful wife Shirley was more willing to be kissed by the dogs (and Jamie), in fact she loves those dogs.
Shirley took me in, as an if I belonged there and so I felt completely at home, thank you.

Another of Jamie’s friends Arthur, he is also a part of the house and are a fine woodworker too.
He helps out Jamie and makes spoons too.

Here Ryan, that some of you have seen before in Jamie’s posts.
Ryan and I shared a fine day making spoons, my first fully hand carved spoon, it was great fun to carve it and I enjoyed the time with Ryan. Ryan made a really fine spoon.
I will post my spoon later.

I also had the chance to visit Ronnie.
He has a pole lathe and love green woodworking.
So I got the chance to spin it and this was great fun, I have to make me one of these.
Recorded some video, that will become a blog with a few pictures also (lots of work to do).

Finally I will let the blog end with this picture.
Jamie and I shared a fine moment in the shop, where he showed me all his hand planes, and I admired his beautiful Spiers of Ayr smoother, that once was his fathers, next plane I picked up was another Spiers of Ayr smoother, this one Jamie told me had belonged to his uncle and I was completely in love with it. As we were about to move on to talk about the next plane, Jamie told me that this Smoother was now mine, I was almost not able to understand it, so I was like in a coma for a moment, and then I think I looked like a small child on Christmas evening. The next days they all laughed a wee bit of me, since I never left it, it was with me where ever I went, even on the night table when I was sleeping. I spend some wonderful time giving it life again, cleaning, oiling, flattening, polishing and sharpening this beauty and finally making shaves.
It is with no doubt the most beautiful plane I own, a piece of art and craft.
Thank you so much for this beautiful plane Jamie, I sit and look at it at this moment and feel so lucky.
(Yes you guessed right, material for another blog).

The last day I spend alone in the shop, since Jamie needed to go to the hospital (he is now home again and fine), and this day I spend building a Japanese plane, but this will be posted soon. ;-)

So, it is time to say goodbye now.
To say thank you to Ryan, Tharchin, Arthur, Gordon Ronnie and beautiful Ros – for taking me in, and making me feel as welcome as I have always been there, you are all special and real humans.

Jamie and Shirley I think you could feel how much I enjoyed to be in your house, to be in this wonderful atmosphere of love that are around you. I am so proud to have felt you love and refused to say goodbye, since this was just the first time we meet. Love you.

Best of my thoughts from my heart,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

29 comments so far

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 4745 days

#1 posted 09-07-2013 03:56 PM

Enjoyed the blog

Thanks for sharing!


View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5340 days

#2 posted 09-07-2013 04:03 PM

What a wonderful blog posting. What fun.
And I loved the mother daughter pic. Funny what we pass on to our kin.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View shipwright's profile


8816 posts in 4256 days

#3 posted 09-07-2013 04:20 PM

Mads, you are a man who truly knows how to live and enjoy this life.
Best thoughts.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View RobynHoodridge's profile


127 posts in 3788 days

#4 posted 09-07-2013 04:45 PM

Thanks for sharing.

-- Never is longer than forever.

View Brit's profile


8508 posts in 4301 days

#5 posted 09-07-2013 04:55 PM

What a wonderful meeting Mads. Good friends, good surroundings, good memories and a new plane too! Wow!

The forest carving reminded me of some forest art I found when I was on holiday in Cornwall (south west England). I know you will love these, so I thought I’d share them here.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27701 posts in 4564 days

#6 posted 09-07-2013 05:17 PM

Great story of your travels, my friend. Such a nice visit with Jamie and such a wonderful gift—a real treasure especially for a rhykenologist. That is what makes this site so great. Soon we become close like family!

Thanks for your post, Mads…...........................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4762 days

#7 posted 09-07-2013 05:53 PM

this is a wonderful blog mads, what a time you had, seeing your sister and meeting up with jamie, his home is beautiful as are those who live there, its so grand to see jamie’s home and shop and his wonderful dogs…its a wonderful home…my wife and i are just sitting here admiring your place . wonderful jamie, your a real man , full of love , ..well maybe someday you will come to america mads, if so…maybe you can stop by and stay at the grizzmans home…your welcome to come…..all of these wonderful pictures…thanks mads..

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5556 days

#8 posted 09-07-2013 05:58 PM

Such a wonderful visit. When are you going to grab your Hammock and tour America?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 5195 days

#9 posted 09-07-2013 06:27 PM

You had a fantastic trip Mads. Those are a couple of places I would love to visit. Seems like some wonderful people you kicked around with and met.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View jjw5858's profile


1135 posts in 4061 days

#10 posted 09-07-2013 07:57 PM

Great post as always Mads. Looks like it was a wonderful time with great folks.

-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

View lew's profile


13533 posts in 5214 days

#11 posted 09-07-2013 08:14 PM

Thank You Mads, for taking us along on such a splendid journey and introducing us to family and friends.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View peteg's profile


4438 posts in 4281 days

#12 posted 09-07-2013 11:02 PM

What a fabulous account of your visit, My dad was born in Stirling & came to NZ in 1929, Scotland is on my bucket list.
lovely shots you have shared Mads
go well

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4792 days

#13 posted 09-07-2013 11:03 PM

Thanks for this fantastic blog Mads. It brings back fond memories of the time I worked and traveled in Scotland. It was so great that you could spend time with Jaime, his wife and friends in their beautiful home and still get some quality shop time to as well. It was incredibly generous of Jaime to give you such a fine old plane, especially since it is a family heirloom. An all around wonderful trip and visits. The only disheartening thing was seeing those flags in Belfast and realizing the great divide between the population there. I’m sorry I didn’t see your post earlier, but it didn’t pop up on my email notification for some reason. My email set-up is a bit complicated and occasionally it goes wrong. Glad to see you back on LJ!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View TechRedneck's profile


770 posts in 4315 days

#14 posted 09-07-2013 11:45 PM

I enjoyed reading of your visit with our friend Jamie, thank you for taking the time to share this with us.

My grandparents came from Scotland and I fondly remember them speaking with that distinctive Scottish brogue. A trip to Scotland is on my “bucket list,” and hopefully a trip to Denmark as well.

You and Jamie are always welcome here in West Virginia, there is plenty of room, lumber and a full workshop. Al lives a little over two hrs south of me.

Here is our place, two empty bedrooms and a heated shop. Seriously Mads, you have many LJ friends here in the states if you are up for some travel.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

View Don W's profile

Don W

20386 posts in 4026 days

#15 posted 09-07-2013 11:53 PM

what great pictures to go with a great story.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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