Monday, May 23, 2011

Everything Since

Hello All,

I guess you could charge that I've been lazy. I've just fallen out of the blog-zone. Instead of my usual blog updates I've been photoblogging to (refer to my ig:lu review below for details). So it's not like I haven't been updating you all, I've just been doing it in a place you didn't know about. A prize to whomever says 'That's what she said' first.

I'm going to go back and drag a few of the photos I've uploaded and see if that stimulates some worthwhile blog action. Here goes.

Ullapool - Street Clock
I can't remember if I told you all about my first Monro. Monroes are all of the mountains in Scotland over 3,000 feet high. So called due to the first person who could be bothered counting them all was named Monro. And it is something of a Scottish preoccupation - bagging Monroes. There are over three hundred of them. I bagged my first a couple of months ago. Am Faochagach is its name. The whole walk was over 9 hours long. It was murder. The walk was mainly through boggy marshland after crossing a river on foot. The walk to the mountain took around three and a half hours. Then the ascent took another hour and a half. I'm petrified of heights, so was clinging on for dear life. the views were quite spectacular, but at one point I was convinced I could not go on. But I did, and I'm glad I did. Fergus, our trusty guide, did lead us away from the normal track up the hill. Once we reached the summit we were greeted by an old geezer who looked startled at the direction from which we came.

'You came up the wild side?' he remarked. Thanks Fergus. My first Monro and you nearly get me killed.

The photo above is from the lovely harbourside town of Ullapool, remarkable for the fact that every single power-pole in town is labelled with a big yellow warning sign. Are they completely stupid?

This shot was taken on the weekend of our trip to Nethy Bridge. We stayed at a delightful little hostel/campsite called The Lazy Duck. Good times. There were Soay Sheep (from the archipelago of St Kilda in Scotland's Western Isles) who were lambing while we were there. Just lovely to wake one morning and have a newborn lamb appear. We also went and saw the nesting Ospreys. Ospreys were driven to extinction by Scottish farmers trying to protect their stock. Then suddenly, some 40 years later, the Osprey magically found their way back. What clever little blighters.

Our recent visitors all seem to have dogs. So we've mostly been driving to nearby coastal destinations so that the dogs can frolic on the beaches. The shot above is from Findhorn, a lovely little town not too far from us here in Inverness. Fidhorn is also home to a rather large and serious hippy community. It's like a caravan park that's gotten all crazy and had people build permanent residences there - all totally eco-friendly and mud brick and wind powered and all that nonsense.

The running waters above are of Shin Falls. Shin Falls is now a touristy place owned by Muhammed El Fayed. There is a lifesize wax model of him as you enter the visitors shop. Very unnerving, and not the least bit tacky. The store was second rate, and the cafe was a disgrace. We opted for a packet of crisps and a soft drink each rather than sit in and eat, and the drinks were not even chilled. We could figure out if the place would be better name 'Shit Falls', or 'Shin Fails'. A subsequent visit with a spray can should easily rectify all signage.

This shot is also from Shit Fails. For no other reason than I think it is a nice photo.

The Inverness Historic Car Parade was on last weekend. Lucky us, the cars were parked outside our house. The rally was a bit of a fail - not many particularly historic cars, and a couple of recent model Volvos and other less than spectacular offerings. But it was a bit of fun and breathed a little bit of life into Inverness's city streets.

Of course there was the ubiquitous Beetle.

Plenty of Minis. this one, if you look closely enough, is called Haggis. Hilarious.

This Aston Martin was perhaps the fanciest car on display.

And this little Lotus was a fine example.

Here are a couple more random images from the day:

Quite a bit of fun.

We also went to Lossimouth that weekend (of course with a dog in tow). Here are a couple of images from that part of the world.

And finally for today I shall leave you with a couple of images from this weekend's trip to Dundee, of all places.

As you can see, we've been out and about and exploring much of what Scotland has to offer. We're off to London in two weeks for my birthday. We're going to see Macbeth - The Opera. Random, I know. then we're off to the Isle of Lewis for a music festival, to Sweden to visit the lovely Miss Saucy McMinx, and later (October or so) off to visit Amsterdam.

I'll promise I'll get back to more writerly things immediately. I'm sorry I've neglected you all for so long.

Much love,


Oh, a special shout out to Mr Chris Gregan following his most special 50th 'best-party-of-the-year'. I've watched all of the youtube vids and am very jealous. We wish we could have made it.

1 comment:

Fonz said...

Nine hours you say? What an exhausting Monroes Day!