Today we drove the forty miles or so from Onich to Foyers on the shore of Loch Ness. It was a murky evening yesterday but I met a proper birder from Chesterfield. We had a good chat. I gave him the benefit of my ignorance and he put me right. Nice bloke but even with a camouflaged hat he couldn’t tempt the Loon within range. He did see a lifer or killer. It was a Hooded Crow. He says there is no such thing, I said Keith says there is and his hat isn’t as daft as yours. Who the bloody hell is this Keith. I explained that between them the three birders I know within striking distance of Milton Keynes have taught me all I know. He went to get his book and said well fuck me it is a Hooded Crow. I didn’t he wasn’t my shape. Chesterfield folk are not noted for their couthicity; despite Chesterfield being a town.
He was still sitting out there in the gloom when I went to make supper but was now sporting a camo poncho. He is on his way to Skye to get some snaps of White Tailed Eagles. I’ll get some as well next month. I’m going to Skye so it will be easy. I’m daft but not daft enough to attempt bird shots in this light. I’ll get a new hat.
This morning I ventured into Morrisons in Fort William for some fresh meat, fruit and veg. I selected a 500gm or 1lb in old measure cardboard box of strawberries, they were only £3.00p and they let me taste one, It tasted like strawberry so in the trolley they went. I was at the checkout when I realised that every time I eat strawberries the rheumatism (that’s a hard word) in my fingers and toes gets worse. The check out girl says It's Gout you have. I was impressed, I have just Googled Gout and sure enough strawberries don’t help. I ask you. Doctors having to moonlight on supermarket checkouts? Glad they are doing, it saves making an appointment for days away at their proper place of work; excellent system. I forgot to ask her to have a look at my little toe which has a corn on. I know corns and had she diagnosed that as Gout I’d have put her on par with my GP. I suspect they just guess when baffled.
The Commando war memorial just north of Spean Bridge. I usually stop here. It’s both sad and uplifting. They have built a Garden Of Remembrance; I have some pictures but find it tacky. This is a grand memorial. It makes me sad and peaceful at the same time. A bit like the song ‘Old Shep.’ I feel better for having been here and indulged in a bit of a weep.
I arrived at my destination, got in a row for being ten minutes early.
I lent them my card reader, as a visiting Muppet couldn’t get his snaps off his camera and mistakenly thought he was in Jessops. I sorted the site computer. I eventually got the van set up with mains water, electricity and plumbed in drainage. I have to get it cleaned for the summer.
Donald the owner had sent me some pictures of Otters and I have seen them here though I suspect his Otter was a bit of tree. He also mentioned that the Wild Goats were back after a two year absence. I also like the folk here.
I took the dogs a walk.
Alf didn’t know. I’ve never seen owt like thems Moll. I said they is Wild Goats dogs and they are carnivorous and close relatives of Koreans. They were good while I adopted a recumbent posture. Okay I fell over.