Tuesday, 14 January 2014


To mark the fact that the blog-o-meter is about to trip "1000" (i.e. this is the 1000th post) I decided to do an "As At Position" today.  For starters: what's the weather like; what am I doing?  Maybe tomorrow I will get some As At family photos. (The problem is I have some but not a full range at the moment.)  Later:  see 1000th POST 2: THE GRANDCHILDREN

Hey ho... it's cold out. The front window (UK = windscreen / N America = windshield) of Iain's car which sits in the front of the house illustrates the Scottish climate exactly.  The photo shows where I drew 2 eyes, a nose and a mouth.  The eyes are in frost which has reached just above freezing and the nose and mouth are still frozen.  That describes the road surfaces, conditions when you are walking outside or out in the mountains: one bit is water and the next is ice.  Treacherous!

The good news is that we live in a maritime climate and so we have the moderating influence of the Gulf Stream here.  It has been wet, windy, stormy but basically a mild winter so far.  Also the days are starting to get longer.  It is starting to get light at 8 am and is fully light at 9 am.

 The bulbs are starting to peek through under the leaves.  The best sight in the whole growing year!

The parsley is thriving; frosty white in places but still giving green in the garden (helped also by the hardy, healthy rosemary and sage)!

I think this is wintergreen.  The man in the garden nursery recommended this plant and the dozen I planted in a row continue to give colour all through this winter period.

However back indoors .... what's doing?  The CCC Sailing Directions for the North, North-east, Orkney and Shetland.

Iain and I are updating this book for people who sail the waters of Scotland.  So my head is presently in the Pentland Firth.  The photo above is of Cantickhead Lighthouse where we stayed in 2012.  It overlooks the Pentland Firth (the body of water on the north coast of Scotland between the mainland and Orkney Islands). I am going through the text and also assembling photographs to illustrate the harbours, marinas, beacons, hazards etc.  Some are my own taken 2 years ago; others come from various sources including aerial photographs. Iain is checking the charts and re-writing sections.

Today a question occurred to me: can one take photographs from the Google Earth images? I had a long chat about this with another CCC member and have now learned that this, indeed, is possible.  I am so impressed with this technology! Also there are other similar sites to Google Earth which I am learning about.  I had a go at zooming in to a location on Hoy (Orkney) called Lyness then taking a photograph of it taken using my iPad. (It creates a jpg file in the camera roll.) Amazing!  The resulting image is crisp and sharp and can be of a suitable size at high resolution.  However, there are lots of outstanding questions: copyright conditions, how up-to-date are the images etc.
What is it the kids say nowadays??? .... AWESOME!

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