The Calendar Lies

I always forget how much I enjoy winter. Not all of it, I could happily live without seeing a pile of dirty, melting slush, but I do enjoy those crisp, clear mornings which still seem eerie and magical, a light dusting of ice, sprinkled over the land, glittering in the glow of sunrise. We were in Balloch yesterday morning, standing at the southern end of Loch Lomond, soaking in the view of the snow drenched mountains that march away into the distance. The mountain tops merging with the sky in an endless arc of glaring white, stunning. Such days are few and far between and should be savoured all the more for it. That aside, has anyone noticed that it’s …

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10 kilometres

A little over 6 miles, and the last in the series of Polariod 10K races. It was this time last year that I started jogging, but one thing I’ve never mentioned is who spurred me into action. It was someone I bumped into at the end of last year’s race and if I seem him today I will be shaking him by the hand to thank him. I have contemplated a quick kick to the shins at the same time but I’m past that. Almost. This time last year, as we turned up to visit the Farmers Market at Lomond Shores we realised that it was also the finish for 10K race. As we walked past the finishing area I …

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Drawn to Water

Recently, Hg was musing on how he is “fascinated by the sparseness of the planet’s polar extremes and specifically by artistic responses to the territory”. He quote from Brian Keenan’s book, Four Quarters of Light, and it’s such a great quote that I have to repeat it here: “Wilderness to the creative mind is like a blank canvas to a painter: it is full of possibilities. Here is perfect peace and absolute freedom; here too may be the prologue of melancholy or bliss. In the wilderness there are no ready-made roads; you make your own and go where you choose.” Isn’t that glorious. The entire post is worth a read and really struck a chord, and as well as having …

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Weekender

We had few plans for this weekend, which is fairly rare. However Sunday was my late mother-in-law’s birthday so we had already decided to go to Cashel where we have a tree planted in her memory. But before that we had a free Saturday and, after pottering about in the morning, we headed to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum where, for the first time, I managed to fill a 1GB memory card in one afternoon. The worry is that of that lot, I only consider 24 of them to be “good enough for Flickr”, I’ve obviously got a way to go before I full get the hang of this photography lark. As a child I remember visits (although it may …

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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 …

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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.

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M74

Unlike Route 66 and the N17, no-one has ever written a song about the M74, but there is time for that to change. With the news that the proposed extension of the “motorway that goes nowhere” is to be built, and naturally that a variety of protest groups are up in arms at the decision (for some good reason), there is a chance for this dead-end of a motorway to grab a share of the spotlight and gain some notoriety. For those not in the know, the M74 ends in a roundabout (hence the dead-end references) and is mainly used as a link from the M8 on the journey south to England. Before we moved to Hamilton, which sits on …

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R.E.M.

Whilst I remember, I have one spare ticket for this Saturday’s R.E.M. gig in Balloch on the shores of Loch Lomond, the venue is amazing, and if the sun is out it should be a great day. If you want the ticket, make me a (monetary) offer. P.S. You’ve only got a couple of days before I bung it up on eBay.

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Concerts

I forgot one other thing that I promised myself this year. More concerts. I’m toying with going to see Ed Harcourt in February, already got tickets for R.E.M. at Loch Lomond (couldn’t NOT go as it’s my spiritual home) and then U2 announce their dates. I’d LOVE to see them again but £45 a ticket is a bit steep if you ask me. Or is it? God, I just don’t know. Anyway it’s academic as I’m completely skint and the tickets will be gone by the time I have enough money for one.

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The High Road

R.E.M. are to follow Runrig and Oasis and play at Balloch. Ahhh memories. Runrig, at the time, were huge. Their version of “Loch Lomond”, recorded at the event, charted in the top 10 (I think). The gig itself was more like a mini-festival, with several bands on stage before the headliners – Wolfstone, Hothouse Flowers, The Big Dish, Capercaillie and The Fat Lady Sings. I can still remember sitting on the hill overlooking the stage, a beer in hand, the sun shining, and the sound of an amplified didgeridoo reverberating around the hills (from the opening to a Hothouse Flowers track I can’t remember) – there was a stunned semi-silence as you couldn’t see anyone on stage, only hear that …

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