Tag: Cameron House

Puppies and Mountains

What a wonderful weekend.

Nothing much on Saturday, we pottered about the house for most of the day before heading down to visit our new god-puppies. I’ve not seen them for a week or so but they are growing up fast. They were very excited — I’ve got the scratch marks to prove it — and we had a ball playing with them. The ulterior motive was, of course, to get them knackered out so that they might sleep through the night.

And then, yesterday, we spent the day on a cabin cruiser on Loch Lomond. Photos will follow but I always forget just how stunning the scenery is as you get further up the loch. We stopped off at Tarbet for dinner, at the Ben Lomond restaurant which was excellent, before heading back down to Cameron House. I even got a wee shot, burling the boat about much to the delight of some nearby jetskiers (they like the waves ya see).

Top weekend. How was yours?

M.I. : Sunshine

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find me a good forecast for this coming Sunday. I am only able to find ones that suggest it will be cloudy, or that it will be raining. This is not acceptable.

Why, I hear you ask?

For, this very Sunday, we will be living vicariously through our friends. Specifically we will be venturing out onto the “watter” of Loch Lomond, departing from Cameron House marina, for a wee jolly on their nice big boat.

So we are praying for sun, making our offerings to Ra. I think we’ll pass on performing a Sun Dance though.

This post will self-destruct in, um, well… OK, it won’t.

Saturday

I’m beginning to get a little excited about this Saturday’s gig in Balloch. It’s always a bit special going to an outdoor gig, and the setting for this one, with Loch Lomond in the background (about 100 metres from the stage) makes it fairly unique. There have only been three concerts held there, and a couple of Radio 1 roadshows. The first concert was Runrig almost 14 years ago – the concert itself was on the day of Louise’s 18th birthday… oops, shouldn’t have said that!! – and was just a fabulous day. Hard to describe but a combination of good friends (largely the same bunch I’ll be with on Saturday) booze, sunshine and fireworks brought a lump to the throat. Ahh yes, those were the days.

No doubt we’ll be reminiscing on Saturday and various snippets of the day come flooding back easily – the hauntingly reverberating didgeridoo used by the Hothouse Flowers in their opening song sent shivers up the spine, the man painted bright orange, standing next to Lorraine Kelly when Runrig were on stage, our mate Niall sneaking in juice cartoons filled with spirits (injected using a syringe) – and I’m sure Saturday will be the same. However R.E.M. will play a large part in that, and I’m hoping they break with tradition slightly to play a more “greatest hits” orientated set than they normally would.

I missed Oasis playing in Balloch, sort of, as I spent the day floating on the loch on a friends boat, watching the bands of the day being shuttled back and forth across the loch to Cameron House. The Manic Street Preachers the only ones to acknowledge our presence that day, although admittedly the consumption of cheap red wine was the order of the day. Highlight was the sunsetting over the hills, the sky burning crimson as Champagne Supernova blasted out across the water. Awesome stuff.

Thinking about it, I think only the U2 gig at Parkhead on the Zooropa tour and the Stereo MCs in the Barrowlands can top the Runrig gig. Sure the music, venue, people and the entire atmosphere were different for each, but that’s what gigs are all about, what you take from them, what you keep locked away is rarely the music alone.

So, over to you lot, what’s your favourite gig? And why?

Loch Lomond
I’ve commented about this before, but it’s amazing how much I took for granted when I grew up in Dumbarton, a mere 6 miles or so from the recently opened Loch Lomond National Park, it was something I took for granted. Revisiting it yesterday was truly like seeing it for the first time.

Obviously the mode of transport helped, as did a hearty lunch of mince-n-tatties, a couple of beers, a bottle of wine and the company of some old friends. Ultimately the scenery stole the show. We trawled up the loch, leaving Cameron House marina behind us, lunched on Inchmurrin, and headed past Inchmoan, and onwards to the head of the loch. There are many better websites out there that will give you the details, but of the facts I do know, we were travelling on the longest (26 miles), deepest loch (or lake) in the UK.

The day had started out overcast and with a slight chill, a warning of a winter to come, in the air. We met our friends at Cameron House, then headed down to the marina.

They bought their boat 2 years ago but this was the first time I had seen it, and I was dully impressed. Even more impressive was the ease with which they handled it, and the fact that, despite repeated offers, they didn’t need my help. So I joined the others inside and opened a beer.

It’s difficult to put into words just how stunning the Loch is, particularly towards the top end where the mountains plummet down to meet the water’s edge. This is a place hewn from stone and massive amounts of energy. Throwing up several 3000ft+ mountains, and dredging out a 650ft+ channel. It is dramatic and lush and, despite the fact you are less than an hour away from the throbbing metropolis that is Glasgow, you could be anywhere. The gateway to the Highlands no less.

We spent all afternoon touring up the Loch to Inversnaid hotel (an impressive building itself built on the shores of the loch), before turning back. Dusk joined us on the trip back down the water, and we sat in silence as the boat skimmed across the waves, slicing through the water turned pink by the setting sun. Spears of light flickered across the surface of the water as the sun settled behind the mountains. We arrived back in the dark. Lights twinkling from the shore. A wonderful end to a glorious day.