It is now Monday evening and I have had a chance to wind down after a hectic but successful little autumn fair.

It started gloriously with no wind and blue skies which made setting up of gazebos at 6.30 in the morning a little more pleasurable - thanks to Rob, Nick and Barry for pitching in so early and we were treated to at least 26 hot air balloons drfting north-east across the reserve from the take off spot of City Airport.  It was quite a sight!

Nick Smith

The weather was patient and at least let us get through to about 3pm before a few drops arrived and threatened to become a deluge - it eventually arrived at about 5.30 while we were all in the pub!

Almost ready to go... see there was sunshine!

The stall holders seemed to have a great day and the atmosphere was convivial to say the least and despite the chilly conditions and strengthening wind there were plenty of punters around to sample their wares.

Mazzi Makes - Lin Moore

Maurice admiring the ceramics stall - Lin Moore

Julie Dent and her wondrous blankets - Lin Moore

Carim's pet for the day - check out his webpage for some of his amazing insect artwork  and if you love Game of Thrones check out his involvement in the GoT Tapestry just unveiled in Northern Ireland - (Gill Price)

As per usual I was first up on Carolyn's facepainting stall 'for the kids' and was thus a walking bill board for her for the rest of the day. I did not know quite what I was getting this year but if one more person calls me Princess Sparkles...

No escaping that it is me - cheers Basil Thornton!

We may have ended a little earlier than anticipated but we got the best out of the day and sincere thanks to all the volunteers, staff and stall holders who helped make it work so well.

All that was needed was a meal and drink in the Royal to mourn the departure of the Amazing Maurice and to wish him and his Special Nun the best of luck in his new RSPB role in his hometown of Perth, overseeing Face to Face engagement for the entirety of eastern Scotland. He will be missed by us and the visitors alike but will undoubtedly brighten up many a dreich Scottish day for anyone who encounters him...