Pittenweem & Elie

The last day or two have been brilliant. Yesterday a friend of mine in Pittenweem invited myself and my flatmate over to his to watch the harbourside fireworks display celebrating the opening of the nth annual Pittenweem Arts Festival. It's essentially a massive art exhibition with almost a hundred "galleries" - some of them as simple as an artists front room - open for viewing throughout the town. It's made special by a few things. First of all, the town is tiny, pretty much a village, yet the opening and the festival itself attract several thousand visitors. The other thing is that while the fishing industry is sadly dying in this part of the world there is something rising from the ashes. There isn't the desolation that the death of local industry can cause in some places. It gives room for optimism...

So anyway, Andy and I rocked up to Steve's with a case of beer, a case of wine, loads of sausages and my own home-made burgers. I'd never been to Steve's before and the view was amazing.A few more people started arriving and after a few sausages and a burger we decided to head down and check out the festival itself, so a brief walk and another amazing viewlater and we were in the thick of it (that photo is of the Isle of May - the first history of Scotland was written there, in the now ruined monastery). Great atmosphere, good pipe band (a totally different league from the guy who loiters outside the cathedral in St Andrews) and a few pints were had before we went back to Steve's to see the torchlit procession. It was getting dark at this point, so my pictures weren't turning out so well,but it was quite cool in an almost Frankenstein type way, with the villagers grabbing torches to storm the castle.The fireworks then started shortly afterwards. I was at the event last year and the haar (sea-fog) was so thick that instead of actually seeing the explosions and hearing the crack there were just muffled booms and technicolour glowing in the clouds - which was cool, but not quite fireworks. This was the real deal this time, the night was clear as could be and I felt like a kid again, wanting each boom and blast to bigger than the last. I tried to get a cool photo, but a photo of a firework is never quite the same. This is the one of about 20 that I like the best:And it's still not great. I also took a lot with my SLR but have no idea how they turned out yet.

After the fireworks Andy I went back. Quite tired. We questioned why a small fishing village was able to host such a fun, culturally enriching festival while St Andrews got stuck with the bloody Lammas. LA Story was on - a film I have curious affection for.

Today then brought me to Elie, another coastal town in Fife with a fantastic beach within the harbour. The Ship Inn do an outdoor seafood BBQ on Sundays which fit the bill for an awesome lunch. The light kept changing and I tried taking a pic or two using my Oakleys as a filter - I kind of like it. I think it gives it a bit of sepia tone without being too grainy.

So, a burger and a cajun-spiced salmon on the way we met a new friend, named Fudge. I'm not a big small dog fan. In fact, small dogs have to be extra cool in order to outshine the image of annoying yappy dog in my mind. Fudge succeeded in this - he belonged to the table next to us and was a Norfolk Terrier. I asked if that meant he had webbed feet and either they didn't get the Fens reference, or were horribly offended. I hope it was the former. This is Fudge, being lavished with attention by Jill and Andy while Chris watches.Lunch was really good, but kind of filling, so I went for a walk to check out the always quiet beach on the other side of the harbour. I wanted to get everyone on a walk but they just fancied going back to play boules in St Andrews. Ah well.