ABOUT ME

I live in a camper van with a couple of West Highland Terriers for company.
My passion is photography but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN
ALL IMAGES WILL ENLARGE WITH A LEFT CLICK

Saturday, 31 January 2015

PEASANTS. (31/01/15)

Yesterday was sunny and showery with a top temperature of 3.5o C. It was cold and wet and I was sure that the Wild Goats, Red deer and all manner of wonderful mammals would be wandering around at low level looking for easy food. I saw some Deer tracks and a few Rabbits but nothing of the wee beasts themselves.

I did meet Vicky, sister to my current lust Alex. She said. If you dare take my photo dressed like this you are dead. She had come to sort out the drain on the thermal recovery unit. That’s what she does when she isn’t being an artichoke or whatever she said she was on Burn’s Night. I hid behind the camera and took a shot. I showed her later and she wants a copy. She says it makes her look connected. Connected to what other than muck and the ground I’m not sure. _MG_2515   Vicky on her way to sort a drain or two. She was actually on her way to supervise the men who had been sorting it for a couple of days. She got there, banged on their van roof, causing them to spill their coffee and ripped into them in a most unladylike way. I loved it but blame the internet for making her aware of so much language, even if some of the things she threatened were going to be difficult without committing murder. I’m not sure about pressure gauges but shovels would not fit where she suggested they were going if they hadn’t got their fat arses away to the job in two seconds.

I did get a thump but not for the photo. I said I have always liked Ugg boots but yours are wonderful, more durable. She called me a peasant. She’s kind.

I have got the latest version of Blender 3D. I didn’t realize but I was using a year old beta version of 2.72. It was okay but when I wanted to extrude selected vertices on the ‘Y’ axis I had to tell it to do it on the ‘Z’ axis. I now have a stable release of 2.73. The fluid simulation is now almost an automatic thing. It needs a twiddle here and there, there again, here again but it is brilliant compared to 2.68. It even provides a Node editor half filled in. I just wanted to add fire to smoke. Blender like Adobe is perverse. Fire and smoke doesn’t do it. I just went to Fire and bingo the fire is at the bottom and the smoke is at the topish. I moved the emitter down. The emitter is just a wee circle and you have to fill it in. I think you have to make it a Ngon. Then give it a clouds texture and piss about with that until You get random flames and smoke. Had I more monitors or bigger ones I’d show you. No I wouldn’t cos it looks a bit naff.

The reason I couldn’t get a trail of smoke and sparks on my New Year GIFF was because I’d messed up and had also not Baked them first. My little sparks were still meshes and if one gets a thousand of them or so and an explosion of another five hundred then it buggers the job up. Baking is just Rendering but you can do little bits, select which bits and work on them after. A full render would take hours if not days. My first 3D Render took all night and still wasn’t done. Now I do it in little bits. Mostly the wrong little bits but if I’m still here in a year I’ll be quicker. Blender Guru and some others. The words just roll off their tongues. Brilliant they are but I know I have to learn the words. I’m a peasant.

   Chinese New Year is nineteen days away. I am going to have a roaring campfire and the mortar bomb type fire works streaking into the sky in the background. Fat Chance but I will try. I’ve modelled the logs and will have some burning, some glowing and some just emitting smoke. I have a 200o panorama all UV mapped to a bumpy little landscape.  My use of the Node editor whilst not instinctive is coming on, it has to be learnt as it is the only way to use cycles render and not the internal Blender Render. There is so much that is good in 2.73. Variable Boundary box is great, it cuts Bake times by three quarters, I know I should but I don’t; this is the first time I have had read release notes. I had to look up half of what they were banging on about in Wikiblender or whatever. I learnt a lot. Should have read Adobes years ago. The downside is that it will still only process fluids through the CPU and not through the Graphic processor. Come on you Blender developers get your fingers out. Come on Adrian; shut up you know nowt  and you know none of your readers are interested.

I was gobsmacked with the praise for yesterdays Peasant. She is beautiful.

_MG_2499    Here she is again or most of her. The bits of her I got are fine. She is almost there but I’ll call her a Peasant.

20131031    For those that couldn’t find the bird here is the answer. Tree Creepers are the devil to spot until they move. I’ve enlarged it a bit and popped a red ring round it. Pity the damn bird can’t do the same. The wonders of computers and digital. I spend half my waking hours manipulating digital images and the other half inventing them. What I do in the four hours I sleep is my own affair but a pound to a penny and a bit of luck young Vicky will feature.

Have fun. Enjoy Sunday. Back to Blundering in Blender for me.

Friday, 30 January 2015

CRYING WOLF. (30/01/15)

I’ve had a very quiet week. I can’t shift this cold and have had little luck with getting any Red Deer Pictures. It’s been a similar story for the Jay, Tree Creeper and Woodpeckers. I know where to find them but that is only ten percent of the battle. I did see the Sparrow hawk take a Wood Pigeon and tied the dogs to a bush and crept up on it. I have seen them catch things before and they’ll usually let me get quite close whilst they hide their catch under arched wings. This one flew off with the pigeon before I got within a hundred metres.

The Met Office have been issuing Amber Weather Warnings but nothing has happened. I was expecting to be buried in snow but all we got was 50mm. None of the main high routes were shut nor were the snow gates closed. I suspect that it was one of the quieter winter weeks. Warnings are only any good if they are relevant. People start to ignore them if they are merely a precautionary guess. I don’t know how much has been invested in computer hardware and software but a few extra phone lines and a quick ring round the country would probably be as effective; far too easy a solution for those Muppets in Exeter, they probably can’t see Dartmoor from their office. A view over high ground would give them a clue. An accurate forecast for the next twenty four hours would be good. The wind is roughly northerly here this morning. Were I to give someone a ring in Shetland then I’d have a fair idea of what to expect.

In between the showers it’s been a good sunny few days but I have few pictures. _MG_2500  Female Pheasant sunbathing in the woods.

20131031     Spot the bird. I have spent an hour following this Tree Creeper round trees. I see him move and get closer and it wanders round the tree. I wander round, find it again and so it goes until eventually it’s too high for a picture.

_MG_2494    Greenfinch, another awkward and unaccommodating little bird but rare here in winter. It’s not a brilliant shot but it is the best I managed. It’s almost twig free and reasonably sharp.

_MG_2514    The snow at it’s best yesterday morning.

That’s all for today Have a good weekend.

Monday, 26 January 2015

SOAKED. (26/01/15)

The dogs and I were not all singing and dancing this morning. Yesterday lunch time a monster of a man called David poled up at the van. He is Alex’s partner; she of the unruly hair and lovely bum. He didn’t look aggressive but he did look wet. I invited him in and popped the kettle on. He said thanks for feeding Alex and lending her your Manic Street Preachers CDs.

I said she left me with the washing up… sounds par, he said.

She has sent me down to ask if you and the dogs would like to join us for Burns Night. I said that would be great but I only have Grouse to bring. He was happy with that and said there would be more than enough Malt to go round.

It was a grand evening, I stayed soberish as a guilty conscience takes no prisoners with the drink. Her sister addressed the Haggis and I borrowed her Penny Whistle to pipe it in. I played Mull of Kintyre as it was the only song I knew that was vaguely Scottish, I do know it’s a Scouse tune. At around eleven thirty I said that was wonderful but we ought to be on our way. It was lashing down, what the locals call showers.

Alex said I need a word. We’ll drop you back……… Oh Shit. I thought I’d rather get wet.

She said the pictures are great but we need a better female Siskin and we also need a male Dunnock. She said David's brother was impressed but as I’d done male and female for everything but the Great Tits, Blue Tits and Gold Finches, why hadn’t I got a male Dunnock? I felt like a little boy…..Is there a big difference? Yes, she hissed, the male has big grey bits round his eyes. I didn’t like to admit that I thought the Dunnock was a Sparrow when I took it’s picture.

David gave me a wink. I guess I’m taking some pressure off him.

I’ve been half a day trying to please her…..Much longer than I’m accustomed to spending. I also got very wet.

_MG_2492    I think this is a much better Mrs Siskin.

DunnockFBlog     Mrs Dunnock.

DunnockMblg    Mr Dunnock. I hope she is just pulling my leg.  I think the locals are taking the Sassenach a bit. I suspect it is more to do with how the light hits them.

No worries I've little else to do. I do have to get my Manics CDs back but there is no rush. I do have to dry out a camera and lens but what the hell.

Have fun. I’m going out to a badger set early tomorrow with David's brother.

Friday, 23 January 2015

HELP. (23/01/15)

I have twenty seven images going for print tomorrow. That’s twenty seven different birds without twigs in front and they all have to be presented like this. To print perfect at two to a sheet of A4 with the Matt._MG_2389     Help is the ID correct? I know the image is within a Gnats whisker of blowing out. I have till Wednesday to get a better one. Amazingly I know what the others are called.

I texted Alex at noon whilst the rain was teeming down and she said. Aren’t they done? I need them tomorrow.

She was having a haircut in Inverness. It was a ladies haircut, when she polled up an hour ago she looked just the same with her head capped and shrouded by a tangley mass of blonde and not so blonde curly hairs. It did smell of lemons. I said very nice. It smelled lovely. I could have done with a good sniff.

She has decided that all the images look better for a vignette and with her leaning over my shoulder I had to agree. I’d have agreed to anything, she is stopping to eat a Pork Chop and moan. She could moan for Scotland. She says. What are you writing? I said I am just asking for confirmation on an ID. She tells me to tell you that if my hand gets so much as an inch from her arse again this will be my last post and she will be blowing the bugle. I’ll have to write this very small as like most ladies she has twice as many eyes as normal folk.

I think I’m winning. She is cooking. Has dropped back home for a bottle of wine. Her partner is massive. Don’t think of the pain Adrian. Faint heart never won a fair lady.

Have a great weekend. It’s looking good here. I have twenty or so images to re-edit but no worries. I now know the deadline is Wednesday. It pays to get to know ones clients.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

HAIR ICE. (22/01/15)

We have had a grand wander through the woods. The weather is still fine, the wind is getting up a bit and the temperature is a nippy –4oC.

There was lots of Hair Ice to admire. I’ll not apologise for posting more pictures as it is not often I see things I’ve never seen before and since I first saw it on Monday I’ve not seen it since. It must require an ideal temperature to grow.

_MG_2459

_MG_2460

_MG_2468

_MG_2469     The individual filaments vary from 25mm in length to about three or four times that, it’s difficult to tell exactly as they always seem to curl up a bit. I have a dozen or more pictures from this morning but will spare you the rest.

Whilst rooting around in the leaf litter I looked up and noticed this growing on an old tree stump.

_MG_2462   It is a very large Many Zoned Polypore. I don’t think it is green, well it is but I think the green is some sort of tiny moss or lichen growing on it. I didn’t have my little plastic box with me but have marked it’s location and if I remember I’ll get a bit and have a closer look. I really ought to have done the same with the Hair Ice and popped it under the microscope. I am not really with it at the moment.

I have quite a few comments to catch up on and will get round to it but I have a couple of dozen images to edit for print and I must sort out my Actions thingy in CS6. I don’t know what half of them are and some don’t even work. There must be thirty or so and it means I can’t find the ones I want easily. I’ll also have to check a couple of sets of batteries as the ring flash died on me this morning. It could have been the cold but it wasn’t that cold. I know it is not very green but I buy Maplin AA batteries in packs of fifty or a hundred. Catch them when they are on special offer and they are less than ten pence each and last far longer than Duracell.

It looks as if the weather is going to turn warm and wet for a few days. Mrs Sparrow Hawk has been back this morning. What a clatter, she must have hit the feeders at fifty miles an hour, the peanuts are all over the floor as are the fat balls. She got another Chaffinch; she is starting to treat the place like the butchers or poulterers. So much for moving everything around. I wouldn’t mind too much if she would pose for a picture. I assume she’s a she as it has orange colour where the beak meets her feathers.

If I don’t post tomorrow have a great weekend.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

GOOD NEWS AND NOT SO GOOD. (21/01/15)

The weather is still perfect. It’s cool, dry and calm. I have spent hours wandering through the woodland trying to find some more Hair Ice but have not found anything to compare with the examples in the last post.

There is a Barn Owl but although I’ve seen it twice it is flying too late to get pictures. The Jays and Woodpeckers are about but never close enough. It’s all a bit of a pain._MG_2445  Not to worry the weather is perfect but not for landscapes.

Winter Watch is back and whilst watching it at five this morning I thought Michaela was going to take her clothes off. I may have misheard her, it was early. If she did the editors cut it; just mean are some folk. Thrilled as I was to see infrared images of a Pine Marten I’d rather have seen Michaela in the altogether dancing round their camp fire.

_MG_2346    This Coal Tit is still alive. It is hard for the small birds and there were two of these. I suspect one has succumbed.

The good news is that the Long Tailed Tits are still around. I hadn’t seen them for five days and was getting worried, I shouldn’t have been as they are back in vast numbers. I could do with bigger feeders to accommodate them.

_MG_2450

_MG_2455     I have had to move the feeder nearer the bushes and I’ve shifted the perches and tie wrapped them to a big old rose tree as the Sparrow Hawk got a Chaffinch yesterday. I love raptors but there is no point in making life easy for them. I leave it a chicken leg out but bring it in at night or the foxes will have it.

_MG_2384     Female Siskin. These are usually about in their dozens but there are very few this year.

_MG_2405      There are plenty of Robins, Blue Tits and Goldfinches. A few Greenfinches, Lots of House Sparrow and Chaffinch. I’ll need bird food soon.

_MG_2411      One of a couple of dozen Goldfinch. I wish I'd started using perches ages ago.

_MG_2321    Alf likes the snow, he is asking to come in the van. Molly is keeping well back as she knows he is going to get a good going over with a towel. I think after years I’ve sorted dog clipping as they aren’t too hairy yet the snow isn’t melting so they aren’t getting cold.

I succumbed yesterday and went to see the quack. He got my records up on the screen and noticed I’d taken a hit or two. I told him I had stagnation of the lungs but what was keeping me from sleeping was a headache, a watery eye and smelling snot like cow shit.

Bright as a button he was he said have you used a decongestant.  I told him the bottom end was working fine. Bloody should be the muesli, apples, grapes, carrots, potato with their skins on and porridge I get through a day.

I did say I needed Vick. They don’t sell it at 100% these days. I said I think me sinuses are bunged up as I’m a bit wobbly on my legs first thing. I got more than my ten minutes, he checked my art, my preshus, my iyes. He said when he looked in my ears have you been raking about in there. He opined that that could be half the problem He never mentioned drink or smoking. He has given me a thing to squirt up my nose. Brilliant it is it makes my eyes water but I slept last night  and my mucus (that's his word for snot) doesn’t smell of cow muck. I’m to see him again on Friday. I’m better already but will see if this wondrous doctor can do anything for erectile dysfunction as I'm seeing Alex Saturday. I bet he has a little sprayer, squirter thingy that will save disappointment. He is only young but is kind. He did say that I hadn’t been to see my GP Mark for six years. I was diplomatic and said there was little point as the bloke is grand but a tosser of a doctor.

A mixed couple of days but most of it good. Have fun.

Monday, 19 January 2015

SOME STICKS DO. (19/01/15)

I have had a busy, gloriously sunny morning, I took the dogs a wander at first light and whilst watching Saturn set lost the little devils. It was about –8oC and for some reason the colder it is the better they can sniff. While I awaited their return from Deer annoying I noticed a strange growth on a twig. It looked like a fungus but not like any fungus I had seen. It tasted slightly bitter but didn’t smell of anything but Marlboro. The dogs wandered back, clean for once. I had a second breakfast whilst they had their first.

It was time to drive the thirty mile round trip to Inverness to stock up. I had my list and couple of messages and Ally asked for my mobile number in case he had forgotten anything. I had to stop twice on the way to answer the phone and once in Tesco to write down messages from strangers. It took ages.They expected them delivering so they could pay me. I had to explain the van is quite big, I hadn’t a clue where they lived or who they are and that I would put their groceries in separate bags with the receipt and Ally would bring them round later and collect the money. It took forever at the checkout. Putting six lots of messages through on different receipts, charging plastic bags to the right list but the young lass working the till must be used to it. She never batted a false eyelash. I hope I got it right. I doubt I did. I have a list when I shop but still forget something. Today it was yoghurt and shower gel, it’s too cold to shower and I can live without yoghurt so no worries.

I arrived back. Dumped the messages with Donald and asked him to phone Ally Mcgruer to sort out who had what. Ally must know who he gave my number to and the packet of tampons must limit his choices.

I headed out with the Macro lens, flash bracket. and a couple of strobes. I wanted this fungi.

_MG_2435     Here it is at about 12mm or half an inch tall.  Okay I am a Muppet but it can look much more hairy.

_MG_2431   See. It’s gruesome sorry, I meant grown some.

_MG_2432    I would like to time laps this growing. It seems to grow on fallen Silver Birch branches. It grows single filaments. Does anyone know what causes this? These are measured in length 3” or 75mm.

I was fascinated. I accepted it might be boring so I took a red gel down with me.

_MG_2429     Here it is. Some sticks do it and some sticks don’t.

I would love to know how it happens. These, though far form straight out of camera were double strobe lit. They are a foot on the X-axis.

Have fun this week.

Friday, 16 January 2015

SNOWY BIRDS. (16/01/15)

Yesterday was awful with heavy rain at low altitude. I am sitting only seventy six meters above mean sea level. The road I drove in on Wednesday was blocked by fifteen foot drifts. The wind has at long last died away.

_MG_2286         This Pheasant was a bit damp and so was I.

This morning dawned clear and cold with just a sprinkle of snow. It has since been snowing continuously but it does look wonderful.

_MG_2294     I got sick of cleaning the feeders so in the end I just heaped a load of seed onto the tray bit and decided the birds could sort it out themselves.

I have spent most of the morning sitting watching the little mites. I did do an hours calculus so felt I’d earned a bit of fun time. Non of the following pictures are brilliant but the camera was trying to focus on the snow and I forgot to press the little AF button which stops it hunting for focus. I’ll never make a birder.

_MG_2289    I could have sworn this was a female House Sparrow but it is a Dunnock. There are some others which are much darker but I missed them.

_MG_2291      Male Chaffinch.

_MG_2300      Male Siskin……I hope. The females are lighter and don’t have a black head but I could be wrong.

_MG_2308     Female Chaffinch. These are beautiful birds and would be highly rated by proper birders were they not so common. I’d be highly rated by ladies if I wasn’t so common.

I am quite pleased with the Siskin as it is twig free and I need one for the booklet I started at Christmas,   I just need his mate now and all the little birds here are done. The first prints are in and the printer has done a cracking job they are ten inches square on full gloss paper and I couldn’t believe I’d taken them. A big thank you to young Alex. She used to work for an advertising agency and is a spot on printer. I’m in love. She says it is just lust and that I’d do unmentionable things to a trapped rat or a legless frog. I got the impression that she wasn’t about to save me from the rats or hopping frogs or non hopping ones. I’ll send her a bit of lichen as there are no flowers here. I’ll pop a label on expressing my undying lust. I bet that will melt her stony heart.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

LAS VEGAS. (14/01/15)

It’s a hundred miles from Oban to the central Highlands. There isn’t much choice of road from Oban so I took the only choice The A828. It was fine if a bit slushy and it doesn’t go up and down hill very much. After the Connel bridge I caught up with a timber truck. They are usually as fast as a Lotus. On the next bend I saw the problem a RAV4 doing 25mph. He went past it a couple of miles later with his air horns a blasting I was about to follow him when the RAV slammed his brakes on. My reactions aren’t what they were but it was the merest of kisses or pecks. No damage whatsoever to mine or his. It turned out he was a Cloggie and had never seen snow. I thought he was a lying Dutch bastard so invited him to report it. I took him for a wimp. I said remember if you restrict the movement and free flow of traffic in Scotland then they take away your car and crush it. It turned out that the poor mite had only driven for a month and was on his honeymoon. I said it’s hard driving in six inches of slush. Where are you heading. We are trying to get to Fort William. I said follow me but not too close 50mph is good as it is difficult weather.

We got to Fort William and at the first roundabout I popped my hazards on and gave him a thumbs up out of the window. He followed me down the wee bypass and into Morrison's car park. They followed me round Morrison’s I could have done with following her. Drop dead gorgeous she was. Far too young and only a week married. I nearly forgot to buy milk and cheese. They followed me to the check out. I checked my chicken crown, bread, milk, cheese and veg. I was going to get a bottle of Campanology but the buggers put the price up after Christmas and I hate being ripped off. As I was waiting in line at the fag counter while the three daft biddies in front were checking what seemed to be a years worth of crumpled lottery tickets. He came up with a bottle of Maclannan gave it me and said thank you. I tried not to accept this gift but not too hard. He said is MacDonalds the same. I assured him it was so he said we’ll take you for a BIGMac. I insisted on paying. I did get a doggy bag for the most of it I couldn’t eat. Off they went for some skiing in Scotland.

I never made the Cairngorms. I left Fort William and got as far as Spean Bridge. Two police cars and a daft sign they had found saying HAZARD. I slid the widow open , had a chat. He said that due to the inclement weather it looked as if the A9 may be closed. But we have another incident on the A82. I asked which was worse. I’m afraid i can’t divulge that information Sir. That’s police speak for I don’t know.I decided on the A82. A two hour wait while they sorted an Audi from the front of a bus.

I took the high road from Fort Augustas. The slippery slidey road. I’m back at Foyers for a week._V0G7677 Not brilliant but  I like the place.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

T’INTERNET WORKS. (13/01/15)

It is another damp snowy day. The wind has dropped but I now have thunder and hail to brighten things up. Assuming it doesn’t snow hard tonight I’ve decided to head over to the Cairngorms where there looks to be plenty of snow. I spent an hour watching Buzzards this morning until the cold drove back indoors. They are beautiful to see as the soar this way and that.

_MG_2280

Communication now seems back to normal but how long it will last is anybody’s guess.

I am tired of the constant wind and rain. This telecommunications mast is a couple of hundred yards from the van. I like the look of it surrounded by dark clouds and a sprinkling of snow.

Have a good week.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

I WON’T BE HERE LONG. (10/01/15)

I drove the sixteen miles from Creagan Bridge to Oban. The rain was raining so I couldn’t hardly see. After three wrong turns round the same roundadout thinghy I found Tesco in Oban. My jeans were skin tight and cold from the stagger to the store. I got in the shop, Oh what bliss. Tesco are struggling but today they were on top form.They had heat on and were filling orders for deep sea pelagic fishermen, packing it away for Spaniards an even the French. This was not Pick and Pay. This was serious load two dozen cabbages and a full cow shopping. Vac pac it and get it to our boat. I used to love that bit of my life at sea. Crates of oranges and apples all having to be wrapped in a bit of newspaper to keep them going for a couple of months or so. Oranges go bad so I didn’t wrap them. Lettuce also last longer in a bit of posh newsprint Eggs all ordered by the hundred and put pointy end up and not chilled below 2oC. The staff here were used to it. I t was like a Pick an Pay in Cape Town. Where and how do Tesco get the food in so fast in vile weather I don’t know but they also had floorwalkers saying ‘Ola’ , ‘Bonjour’, ‘Bom dia’, Hello. I even heard ‘Witam, w jaki sposób możemy pomóc’. Which I found really funny as all the staff were Polish. I look at these poor folk in this weather but the boats are built for it. The big ones can haul nets in a force nine.

Who says the Scotts aren’t welcoming?

Saturday, 10 January 2015

I’M TRYING TO LAUGH. (10/01/15)

I am feeling almost human again. I could do with a nights sleep but at long last the wind has died down, the power is on more often than it’s off and the sleet, snow and hail squalls are interspersed with sunshine. It is much colder. I had a very wet and miserable walk with the dogs this morning and our post lunch promenade was no better. Tomorrow I'm moving down to Oban for a few days and then I intend coming back as Loch Creran is unique round here. It has sponges, giant mussels, red seaweeds and special worms plus lots of birds for a Scottish Loch. It is also a grand place to sit and stare.

_V0G7676     Sometimes I can see a bit.

_V0G7673    Others a bit more.

_V0G7675    In rare moments I can see all there is to see.

Earlier on whilst struggling to stand up I was passed by a flock of what looked like Fieldfare. They were flying at subsonic speed but only just. They could have been anything but that is what came to mind when I saw them. I was thawing out and enjoying a mug of tea in the van when I noticed several Thrushes. Some big ones and some small ones. They are Thrushes, shall I risk getting closer? In for a penny.

_MG_2270      Mistle Thrush.

_MG_2276     Redwing.

Enjoy what is left of the weekend. I’ll catch up tomorrow when I should have power and a good internet service.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

I’M HERE. (08/01/15)

I am still full of pestilence. This has been dragging on too long for me. Happen I should do what I suspect most people don’t and present myself at an Hospital. It’s only a cold but I find it a right Royal pain. Katy Kambrige gets a bun in the oven and she thinks the world should stop She is better with this one as he isn’t the heir to the throne but only the spare.

This morning I reversed the road to the Isles to Fort William. I called at Morrisons supermarket and got a packet of something called Sudafed. I suspect aspirin, whisky and honey would be more efficacious and cheaper.

I got a Daily Telegraph and was upset that a load of Towel Heads had shot half the staff of a very silly comic. Even dafter was a UK Government recommendation that you hide in a cupboard….Just Brilliant. Dithery has never been hit or shot at if so he would know a cupboard is useless.

These are nutters. They are not your everyday Arab. Your everyday Arab is like me but tends to be shorter, darker and a bit thinner. He is difficult to understand because he speaks a different language…I am difficult to understand in Spain, France or Yemen. I speak their language with a Yorkshire lilt or twist. I learn from them and they learn from me. We generally settle to a sort of mixed up language.

I have trouble in Bloody Belfast and that is a place needs a good sorting. They won’t learn will the bible bashers there. Bloody Proddies. The Protestants make the Catholics worse. Imagine living in America. Latter Day Saints nutters. I couldn’t cope.  Government. including ours, should be secular. No cow towing to Popes or Clergy. Imams. Royalty, It’s all subservance. It gives our lot an excuse for bad behaviour. Queeny if not senile looks it and I suspect she wasn’t in the top of the brains queue to start with.

No worries, not a major war in the offing as America wasn’t involved. I would like to suggest to Dithery that he condemns and nicks all Saudi money and Emirates money in London. I seem to recall he had that daft idea with bent Russian money. Then as always he thought I could be stabbing myself in in the back and nothing happened.

Anyway, folk have died. It’s sad but not the end of the world. Here are  three snaps from the van before the next damp violent  depression.

_V0G7668

_V0G7669      There is light at the end of a rainbow.

_V0G7671    The view from the van Beinn Squilaid. Not a major one but she looks fine.

We are promised more damp weather with high winds have fun.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

LAZY. (06/01/15)

I am full of cold and coughing and sneezing. I am not nice to know; full of pestilence and disease.

My internet connection has been winding me up, I don’t mind having no internet but having a decent connection one minute and a second later nothing makes me spit feathers. I have tried communicating with Bloggers but there are only so many timeouts I can tolerate in a day; three seems to be average. It seems to be back fine now so I will get round to catching up tomorrow during the promised twenty four hour spell of continuous rain, wind and maybe slush.

I did read one Blog from Frances which asked if I had a Christmas present I didn’t want. I didn’t get any presents. Not quite true. I got a massive fruit cake baked by my favourite Mistress Baker and a book by Clarkson from my son. I cannot stand Jeremy Clarkson but he can be amusing if I’m in the mood. Many years ago I was invited by my ex-solicitor, lawyer or whatever the incompetents title was to a wife swapping party. Swap, what’s with all this swap? I just wanted to donate her to the highest bidder, I didn’t want another. The money could have kept Africans in fresh water for a month or two. Altruistic I am and looking back I’d still have a house. Good idea Frances but just keep extending it. Unwanted children, dogs, cats, wives. You may have hit on a great new DotCom model.

This is the weather, it’s not cold and it isn’t hot. It’s pain in the bum weather.

Sorry about this it was shot two quick, twice as fast as I normally do. I’ll blame hot toddies.

_MG_1263 Alf guarding a bit of Kelp. None of the other dogs want it and neither do I.

_MG_1267   I’m as tall as you. Molly being scrambling.

_MG_1269      She has found a Shore Crab in the Bladderwrack. She is fascinated but daren’t get too close. Past experience tells her that they will rear up and nip.

The weather here is mixed.

_MG_2262       Eigg from the van. The weather is vile.

_MG_2264        Rhum from the van, it isn’t much better.

Tomorrow up here is a washout. Thursday I’m moving on. Have fun.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

NA H-EILEANAN TARSAINN. (03/01/15)

This is a very presumptive title as despite having had over two years in Scotland I still cannot speak Gaelic. I have a Teach Yourself course which I delve into from time to time. Over the festive season I often stopped for a chat around about day break with a couple of Gaelic speakers. One morning I said to Ally McGruer. “What the hell did you say?” The Highlanders are very soft spoken folk so I assumed he was mumbling as usual. No. He had forgotten I wasn’t a Gaelic speaker or mumbler, jumbler or fumbler. He was apologetic. He switched back to his version of English and wrote the title of this blog……….It is Gaelic for The Small Isles. I hope it is and I’ve not written something rude; I’ll give him a slap if I have. Ally collects my Daily Telegraph for me whilst I’m parked in Foyers. I have started to say thank you in Gaelic. Just in case you are interested I say “TAFFULEEEV”. Seems to work fine but I can’t find it in my book. I’ve just heard Gaelic speakers say it so it could mean anything.

The run from Foyers to Fort Augustus was a bit slip slidey but after that it was a lovely run down the Great Glen to Fort William. After a quick provision and bunker with very expensive diesel I hit the road to the Isles. It’s the A830 but is far from an ‘A’ road as the English would recognise an ‘A’ road. It does the job and just after Arisaig I ventured onto the B8008 or whatever it is and found somewhere to park the van. Spot on this is for a winter stop. Julie the owner lets me stay for £12.00p a night.  She isn’t Scottish but is drop dead gorgeous and is from Billingham. The power house of all wealth were places like Billingham, Rotherham…well maybe that is stretching things…..Silkstone Coking Plant…..Thatcher decided bankers were the future. Look at the mess they have got us in.  What future have we got with bankers? Banking takes folk with about the same qualifications as teachers, nurses, policemen and yet we have a head of state that is barely literate it is a terrible world.

I’ll have a bit of a rant. Scotland produces most of the UK’s oil but the twats in the south of the UK can buy it at ten percent cheaper than the Scottish can. England produces lots of gas but it isn’t piped up to Scotland. Am I missing something? No doubt I am but I much prefer living up here. Just a gnats eyebrow under £130.00p a litre It cost me for Esso posh diesel. Cheap diesel is 10p cheaper but the truck won’t romp up hills on it nor will it return 27mpg. Most petrol is much the same unless one drives a Ferrari. If I bought a Ferrari in Scotland I would get fuel delivered in drums from France. The French know how to to mix fuel.

I guess by now you are fed up. Here are a couple of snaps from the beach overlooking the Isles.

_V0G7667     Two of the Small Isles. Eigg to the left and Rum to the right. Canna lies behind Rum to the right Muck is to the left also out of shot. I think these are big islands. Not to worry they are islands._V0G7666     My view looking over the peninsular towards the Cullins of Skye. It’s not good and after yesterday I am getting right royally fed up. I spend hours tweaking curves, sharpening, boosting mid tones. I even pop a three click matt on. Then Clumpy, Blogger Googley decides to piss about with what I’ve done. I know it’s free but to be honest I’d rather pay than look at it much longer. Never give up is my motto but when it isn’t working then I am quite prepared to say stuff you Google.

I’ll try a couple more months but it is hard work perhaps it’s not for me. I made a complete bollocks of working a video camera the Produceress said brilliant……I had learnt that there are push /pull stops on posh cameras. Purely mechanical. I wasn’t happy.