Tuesday, 31 July 2007


It's a worrying time when someone is suddenly admitted to hospital with meningitis. Though not a member of our family, none-the-less, it preys on one's mind. "I am not worried ... I am NOT worried ... I am not WORRIED!" The fact is: I'm worried.

What to do? With no worry beads to hand, pace up and down? Get on the phone? Get off the phone?

Well ... one answer: go smell the flowers.

Entrance to Ross Prioy, on the shores of Loch Lomond, last week of July. A wedding about to take place.

Full marks to the florist.

Inside the Walled Garden.

In the Rose Garden.

Friday, 27 July 2007


A summary of digital media trends and how it will affect our lives is here.


[1] Music for fun

[2] Tutorial for learning

[3] Film industry animation demo Click on New Demo Movies


Thursday, 26 July 2007


And with the worrying comes the waiting. The only thing for it is some Ba-a-a-ch (sorry about that!) which is located at the bottom, below The Banks of the Clyde.

Banks of the Clyde

Traquair House, Peebleshire

Banks of the Clyde


Tuesday, 24 July 2007


Last Saturday (July 21st) I was at the Customer's Service Desk of our local supermarket printing out a 'Wanted' notice for the bulletin board. I thought it would be a good idea to write the date at the bottom. I looked up and asked the young lassie who was helping me "What's the date today?" She looked at me and gasped "What!? You don't know what day it is today?!!!" Shock! Horror! "Uh, well actually... no...." said I racking my brains. The Queen's Birthday? Norwegian National Day?!

"This is the day the last Harry Potter book comes out!"

Peter Aspden, in this weekend's FT wrote a funny article here. He sees an eighth book coming out about time Harry is middle aged and reckons J.K. Rowling (who lives in Edinburgh) has it in her to write the definitive novel of mid-life crisis.

Monday, 23 July 2007


In Nigel Nicolson's book Portrait of a Marriage here he describes the marriage of his parents, Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West. After his mother died in 1962, as executor, he went through her papers in her sitting-room at Sissinghurst, (Kent, England). In a locked Gladstone bag he (eventually) opened and found a notebook in which the sixth page was headed "July 23rd, 1920". It was her narrative in the first person which continued for 80 pages - her autobiography. This forms 'the portrait' in the book, but the book is about these 2 people "who married for love and whose love deepened with every passing year, although each was constantly and by mutual consent unfaithful to the other."

Having just finished reading No Signposts in the Sea here I was intrigued to run across this anniversary date.

Sunday, 22 July 2007


"Look well to each step; and from the beginning think what may be the end." - Victorian mountaineer Edward Whymper.

At the age of 80 our mountaineering and sailing friend Malcolm Slesser has died, and, literally, with his boots on. After having gone ashore from his boat Tekoa for a scramble, Malcolm suddenly collapsed and died. Jane, a very competent sailor, and injured when he fell, had to row out to the boat, get the anchor up, and then sail out to where she could pick up a signal for help.

Iain played the pipes at his funeral, leading the procession to the graveside.

There have been many, and different (!), obituaries. The one by the Guardian here came out this week. It is an example of excellent journalism and he has caught the man exactly!

More? Go here and here.

Saturday, 21 July 2007


Wee Ish's first Munro! Goat Fell on Aran.

To celebrate this 'summit experience' have a go at listening to a catchy tune from Shetland called Sleepy Maggie (or Drowsie Maggie as it is known by the web folk). It's a real ol' standby and is easy to bow as well as being (in this case) only 53 seconds long!

Click on the button with the triangle in the box below. Click again to turn it off! (There is a short pause at the beginning.)


Reply of the Duke of Wellington to his Secretary for War, 1810

"My Lord, if I attempted to answer the mass of futile correspondence that surrounds me, I should be debarred from all serious business of campaigning! I must remind your Lordship - for the last time - that so long as I retain an independent position, I shall see to it that no officer under my command is debarred, by attending to the futile driveling of mere quill-driving in your Lordship's office, from attending to his first duty - which is, as always, to train the private men under his command that they may without question beat any force opposed to them in the field."

Friday, 20 July 2007


Before leaving Heroe(s) at Glasgow Airport, a view of 'the other side' of the city:

A notice on the bar of our local pub... bottom lettering states it is a quote from Samuel Johnston, 1763.

This is 'real Glasgow'! The Duke of Wellington wearing his decorations in the city centre.

This also says it all... taken in Kelvingrove Park looking up the hill to Glasgow University. (Photo taken in the '90s.)

Lastly, I took this 2 days ago (9:15 pm) from Mugdock on the immediate outskirts of the city.


Over 1,400 pints are paid for and metaphorically lined up, on the bar at the Glasgow Airport Holiday Inn with John Smeaton’s name on them.

He achieved overnight fame in the hours after the Glasgow Airport attack when he delivered his now famous message to terrorists: “This is Glasgow – we’ll just set aboot ye.” A self-effacing lad, he states “anyone else would have done exactly the same as me.”

Jokes in his honour are now on a website, here, set up by a fan.

And now we have the Glasgow Humour:

Police today named the the Glasgow Airport terrorists as Sinj Mahjeep and Bashur Doorin. Both have confessed to celebrating the Muslim feast of Ramavan.

One of the Glasgow Airport terrorists is in hospital eating haggis, drinking whisky and reciting poetry. Apparently he is in the Burns unit.

Sunday, 15 July 2007


The 8 Metre Centennial World Championship 2007 starts today on the Clyde. Twenty-two of these elegant boats are here for a week and are based in Rhu Marina (with the race being run by the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club of Rhu). To see who's who and what countries are represented click here.

This is one of the 2 Canadian boats preparing to leave the marina. Most of the yachts do not have an engine (they are towed out, then raise their sails) - nor do they have any lifelines along the deck!!!

Photo by Adam

These boats were originally designed and built in the Clyde. My feeling is that they are like Classic cars - hobbies for groups or individuals with loadsa money. The marina was full of big trucks with trailers and cradles plus big RV type vehicles.

Photo by Adam

Light airs out on the Clyde.

These 2 photos are of the same scene but using 2 different cameras. (I dropped the good Nikon camera and am using the "back-up" Sony.) The fleet is heading for the start line.

The following photo is taken by Adam showing the Australian yacht Saskia (just right of centre), a Wm Fife III, 1931, helmed by John Stephen. Very spiffy sails - modern material, silvery grey with dark grey reinforcements - quite different from all the other (traditional?) sails.

Photo by Adam

Out enjoying a lovely Sunday (the yachts have just passed out of sight headed for the start line) are the good folk of Helensburgh. The whole week is devoted to this event so hopefully this glorious weather will last and I can get some additional (closer) photos. Watching a fleet sail by is quite thrilling! (I've only ever seen photos of them on big, glossy calendars!)