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

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

SPITTING FEATHERS. (31/07/13)

I was up with the sparrows this morning, packing, getting rid of refuse, walking the dogs and preparing the van for the thirty mile run south to Ullapool. I was on top form I checked wheel nuts and engine oil and off we trundled. The run out was in total contrast to the run in. I only had to pull over once and then didn’t have to slow much as the young lass from the campsite blasted past with a cheery ‘TOOT TOOT’. In a flash she was gone. If she keeps driving like that she will be. It’s times like this that I feel old. I wish I still had the Westfield Seven or a big bike.

I hit the metropolis of Ullapool at the crack of eight and entered Tesco. It’s not my favourite shop but it’s the only shop before Inverness. I completed my messages…it means shopping…well, I hope I did.

My son, who spent his early years in the Scottish Borders, still sometimes refers to shopping as messages. He’s getting older now but not old enough to sing the theme to Postman Pat in Gaelic. I wish I could…I know the first line. Postich Pat, Postich Pat. It should have been Padraig Post. I thought Gaelic would be easy to learn but very few speak it. I’ve not given up but I might. If I find a hippy Scottish lass that can not only toss the caber but accommodate one..I might learn the language. There’s nothing better than flirting and pillow talk for lingo learning.

_MG_1048    Loch Broom from Ullapool. I’ve never really liked Ullapool so I split toned this. I now can’t make up my mind. It is very useful, it’s generally friendly. It is a town and not croft re-development. I’m split and so is Loch Broom.

I made the mistake of getting a Telegraph in the shop. These bloody Tories. I was spitting feathers when I read that Lord Howell who is a government adviser on energy decreed that gas fracing… No. There is no ‘K’ in fracing it’s a tch as in frat’ch’ure…..Has no place in the Home Counties and that it should be carried out in the desolate North East. It is being carried out in the desolation of the North West.  He is not only a mealy mouthed Tory Tosser he is also our useless Chancelors father-in-law. So much for Dithery Dave and his promise to weed out corruption and nepotism. Lord Howell is trying his very best with the little brain he was born with to wriggle out of what he decreed. Decree. I ask you? Even old big eared Charlie has learnt not to decree, or to decree once removed. They all want removing.

That’s better the feathers have gone. If it’s nice this evening I’ll do a stop frame movie of the Isle of Lewis docking. I think I sussed the practicalities last night…..time will tell. It’s very Compli’k’ated.

Oh! Beggar! More feathers…Is anyone else having trouble with becoming a Follower on Blogger? I am  refusing to join Google+ but have noticed if a Blogger goes without posting for a while then I can’t follow but have to join a ‘Circle’ and to do that I have to join Google+. Imagine me Twittering all this Krap in two hundred and forty Karacters. Imagine resorting to FaKebook. I Kan’t I swapped ‘Cs’ for a ‘Ks’ for Lord Howell. Total bastard he is. Let them start Fracing the grouse moors and see how popular he is. The ruling classes are so inbred that like the Royals they couldn’t find their bums without a butler, lady in waiting or wing mirrors. Possibly all three.

_MG_1048 copy    I feel better now here is a proper view of Loch Broom.

I’m here tomorrow and then Friday I head off to Loch Ewe.

Have fun and enjoy the rest of your week. If you are a Tory and insensative then may it rain rivers of blue blood.

 

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

GUILTY. (30/07/13)

I think I must be getting spoilt. Port A Bhaigh is in all respects paradise but I've failed to settle here. I find this with places. Other areas I book for a couple of nights and end up stopping for weeks. I wish it was something I could understand.

_MG_1033   This is the site I’m stopping on. They have made a real effort and once it settles it should be grand. It has a pub which is okay. It is not dog friendly but allows children in so it‘s not like a proper pub.

_MG_1039    After breakfast we strolled down to the beach. This seaweed is Egg Wrack. I was really looking for crabs, anemones and worms but despite a good rake around I failed to find any.

_MG_1035   This is a different Wrack.

_MG_1040   This is not seaweed but a Beadlet Anemone. When exposed to air it retracts it’s tentacles and looks like a little red jelly. I couldn’t find one out of water. I gathered up the dogs from their new found pack of friends and went back to the van for a coffee. I was still feeling out of sorts so set off round the headland to the next bay. It was hard going through waist high bracken. It was also very wet and soggy in places.

_MG_1042

_MG_1043

_MG_1045  This is the little harbour at Old Dornie.

The weather is superb, the midges are being reclusive, the scenery is great so I must be guilty of something heinous to be feeling a bit dissatisfied.

Tomorrow I’m off to Ullapool to stock up and get some laundry done.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

FLY FOOD. (28/07/13)

Yesterday I left Durness. I’ve really enjoyed my time in the far north but I realised whilst wandering round the Highland Games that I kept getting greeted. I thought they assumed I was there for the caber. After the third: “Alright Tosser.” I decided it was time to move on. I’ll be back in the winter. He’ll open the campsite if I give him a ring.

Off we trundled just after nine. It took a while to get away as the little children all wanted to say goodbye to the dogs. They won’t get out of the van once they see me packing up so that delayed me further. Yes. I have forgotten them in the past. I now check the mirrors and make sure there is no sign of a white dog on little legs chasing me as I move out. I headed south down the A835 towards Ullapool. Forty or so miles later I turned right onto the Coigach peninsular. It took for ever to complete the last twenty miles; the road was heaving with traffic and it’s a very narrow road. Just after noon I arrived at Port A Bhaigh and the village of Altandu. The campsite is a bit raw as they’ve done a lot of work on it. It’s a beautiful place overlooking Isle Ristol the most northerly of the Summer Isles and on the horizon Graham’s house.

This mornings walk was for the benefit of the dogs and the midges. My arms were black with the little devils. I was breathing and eating them. _MG_1029  Loch an Alltain Duibh.

_V0G7358   If you look carefully there are three Grey Heron here, there were four but one flew away. I’ve never seen Herons in such close proximity to one another.

_MG_1027    Plenty to explore here. I’ll go and get macroing later.

_V0G7359   It was time to head back for breakfast. Molly wanted to stay out and headed for the nearest pool. She knows I can’t get her if she finds a pond to stand in. It’s spitting with rain now but hopefully it won’t amount to much.

That’s all for today.

Friday, 26 July 2013

UNITED NATIONS. (26/07/13)

Today was Durness Gathering. The Clan Mackay’s annual knees up._V0G7255 Everyone on their best behaviour. In this picture we have two West Highlanders, a Scouser, an Italian and a German. It’s easy to spot the German.. she’s the organised one trying to untangle the dogs leads. United Nations.

Off we went at the crack of noon.

_V0G7258 To queue and follow the Ullapool pipe band into the Gathering.

_V0G7261 Some queue, I’ve never seen the place as busy.

_V0G7356  They had a clown for the big kids.

_V0G7350 Pillow fights for teenagers.

Face painting……..and…..

_V0G7278  A fair ground ride for the nippers.

_V0G7276 Aww it’s stopped.

The hundred yard dash for all ages.

_V0G7322

_V0G7299

_V0G7311 I crouched down for this shot Just in case one of them tripped and fell I quite fancied rescuing one.

_V0G7290 Much more entertaining than the Olympics.

_V0G7347 The high jump.

_V0G7334  Giant men playing with their balls.

I had to go as I saw a serious change in the weather. The dogs were overheating and the crowds were getting too much for me.

The man next to us said: “Och! Bugger! There’s a whore coming.” Now the entertainment had been varied but I wasn't expecting it to get that diverse in the land of the Wee Frees._V0G7343    He meant a sea fret. The fog was followed by a superb thunder storm so men tossing cabers and throwing balls on sticks will have to wait for another day.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

MARGARETS WISHES. (24/07/13)

Here you go Hun. This is not Google+ but I'm a bit lenient today. I thought I’d binned these but I found them.

_MG_0959 Looks like mum, dad and three chicks to me.

_MG_0996  Here they all are a bit closer. They would have been closer still if a wee Herman the German hadn’t decided it was time for a swim.  No wonder they lost the last two wars and a football game. Bloody mad they are. This water is freezing.

_V0G7230     Margaret is this more the sort of something to appeal. Please feel free to criticise. Good on you lass.

A surfeit of  sycophancy does no one any good. I didn’t bother with the sea cos that is hard work. Don’t be afraid to ask me to. I’ll just put Picky Missy in front of your name.

I THOUGHT I WAS SAFE. (24/07/13)

We enjoyed a couple of sharp showers last night but by half five-sixish it was as muggy and as close as ever.

_V0G7230                      Nice light was blessing our pre-breakfast wander.

_V0G7232                        Not quite as nice as this……this had a seeing to.

I’ve not had the radio on nor purchased a paper since before the weekend. I really couldn’t face all the crap being spoken and written about one baby. As far as I’m concerned if it has the right number of appendages then good luck to the poor little bugger. He’ll need it!

They haven’t thought of a name yet, the only advice I can offer is keep it simple. Adrian was the very devil to spell. The number of times I was belted with a ruler for writing Adrain I can’t begin to recall, it started at primary school and lasted till A-levels. Teachers should realize that violence is not the answer. I should, in retrospect, have changed my name to Bil or Harri. Maybe not the latter. I don’t look good in good light with my kit off. Neither did he come to think.

If I had any say in the matter, which I should do as the Telegraph has eleven pages devoted to the matter, I’d call him Kevin. It scans nicely with Kate and Cambridge; King Kevin has a good ring to it. It doesn’t work with William or Wales but let’s face facts, it’s a wise child that knows it’s own father.

Talking of wisdom I’ve been on a nature walk. I went looking for butterflies and dragonflies. I saw a Small Tortoiseshell and Common Blue but they were being blown about all over the place. Whilst waiting in vain for them to settle I decided to snap some flora._V0G7237     Ragged Robin.

_V0G7239

_V0G7240     Meadowsweet.

_V0G7245    Harebell…. Summer is really here now.

_V0G7242   I hope I got the first three correct. Adrain is uncertain over this one. In for a penny……..Yarrow.  I’m not into big flowers but do enjoy the tiny ones. I’m going to spend a while differentiating between Wild Carrot, Angelica, Cow Parsley, Hogweed and the half dozen others that look the same to the Adriannas of this world.

I would just like to congratulate all the unsung parents of new babies. Your time will come….come the revolution.

Monday, 22 July 2013

THE WILD RAVER DAY SEVEN. (21/07/13)

I’ve had a fabulous time at Grummore. There have been plenty of damp windy days but three with barely a cloud in the sky. Saturday the temperature hit twenty nine degrees Celsius; that was far too hot. I was going to write a post every day and save them up for when I had an internet connection. Never mind here are a few photos from the last four days.

_MG_1008    Dawn.

_MG_0941    From here to the trees there lay the township of Grummore. In 1813 it was home to thirty two families. In 1819 the last sixteen residents were driven out and their homes burnt. It seems that the Bishop of Orkney was responsible for this Clearance.

_MG_0939    This is one of several remains of the turf and stone houses that made up the township. This one is about a hundred feet long and fifteen feet wide.

On to happier subjects.

_MG_0945     This is Eyebright and is about three and a half times life size. It’s also a bit blurry. I put this down to the lack of falling down water in these parts and the wind. It’s amazing how a stiff drink steadies ones hands.

I first saw one of these on my first day here but it was chasing sheep through the bracken and doing fifty miles per hour.

_V0G7215

_V0G7219   The Golden Ringed Dragonfly. They are massive but it still took me till Thursday to find one drying it’s wings. These are just cropped square so should enlarge quite well with a click.

_MG_0978   I had less success with the Black Throated Divers. The blighters were determined to stay with the sun behind them. I thought blow it! I just exposed for the birds.

_V0G7223 copy    That’s all from this stay at Grummore but I’ll try and get back in the autumn. This dusk shot, though not painted is very heavily processed; okay I did paint a bit.

Have a grand week.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

NO NAY NAVER DAY TWO & A BIT. (16/07/13)

It’s been a grand afternoon 18C but the wind has got stronger. It could rain again tomorrow so I thought I’d macro a few plants. If I had any hair I’d have pulled it out. What a job it was! I have to go into Lairg tomorrow as I forgot to buy enough dog food. I may get a broadband signal there so I thought I’d get up to date.

_MG_0933 I hope this is a Common Spotted Orchid. I have my doubts as it’s growing in a swamp and a peaty swamp at that. It’s about six inches tall and three quarters of it is stem or stalk so it’s more likely to be a Marsh Orchid.

_MG_0934  This is Bell Heather. Until 1819, when their houses were burnt down and they were driven away,  the local populace used it for making beer, bedding and rope. If it should turn out not be Bell Heather then they didn’t use this plant, not for making beer or rope they didn’t._MG_0916    This is Sundew…..a Great Sundew….that’s it’s real name not my expressing appreciation of it. I seem to recall it is carnivorous. It traps flies and eats them. It isn’t dangerous to humans, it is only a few inches tall. It’s the first one I’ve seen so I was happy. There are several around on the foreshore and I found a couple that had caught flies but the images are too blurry to use.

I’ll get up to the old township tomorrow when I get back from the shop. I’ve been once and it is a wonderful if rather sad place.

_V0G7211  The view from the van this evening…..Loch Naver and Ben Klibreck.

That’s all for day two and a bit.

NO NAY NAVER—DAY TWO. (16/07/13)

I was awakened this morning to a whistling wind and the patter of gentle rain. Things are looking better; it seems to have been howling wind and lashing rain that has aroused me from my slumbers for days. Today I’ll tell you all I know about Brochs. I can assure you it won’t take long._V0G7200_1_2_fused     This pile of stones with a couple of trees on was once a round tower some fifty feet in diameter with walls ten feet thick. Within the walls were chambers. What the chambers were for, the plaque doesn’t say. I can say that I can see the next lot of rain blowing down Loch Naver.

Brochpan1    This is the same thing but shot as a big panorama. Like all todays images it is HDR and the haloing is an unfortunate side effect of my attempt at de-ghosting the tree branches.

_V0G7194_5_6_fused   This is a closer view which almost shows the dry stone construction.

_V0G7176_7_8_fused  This bit shows mans influence much better.

I am very impressed with this. It was built between 100BC and 100AD. Apparently they were not built as fortifications. I think the plaque is tugging my string. I bet they herded their livestock and other precious things inside whenever they were threatened by avaricious neighbours.

This is another good place. It is right next to the road but with half a dozen cars a day traffic noise is not intrusive.

It’s also been a productive day, I stripped the Gen Set carburettor, cleaned out the sludge and washed everything in meths. I popped a new sparking plug in and changed the oil. It’s now running as sweetly as Uma Thurman. That’s more than good enough. It refused to start on Lewis over a month ago so it’s been a while getting round to being sorted. It’s a big load off my mind…I’ll sleep tonight.

That’s all for day two.