Tag: <span>Loch Lomond</span>

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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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 eerie, goosebump inducing, sound.

The gig was on the same day as Louise’s birthday, and I remember standing next to Lorraine Kelly (aff the telly) during Runrig’s set. Other random memories include drinking straight vodka smuggled in a juice cartoon (looked like Ribena, sure as hell wasn’t), the ‘tango’ man who had painted himself bright orange, gotten very drunk and ended up crashing down the hill leaving orange paint marks on everyone he stumbled past.

That was *gulp* thirteen years ago.

Fast forward five years and Oasis roll into Balloch for a two night stay. Remember that this was off the back off What’s the Story… and they were HUGE (they went on to do two nights at Knebworth). Not that I was there, tickets sold out in minutes so we took to the water in a friend’s boat. Again it was a day of many bands, and we had some fun as most of them were staying across the Loch at Cameron House, passing us on their way to perform.

So, roll on R.E.M.! My mate Ian’s house is a two minute walk from the park so I’m guessing we’ll start there. I’m excited already!!

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Every morning should have one, arching across the sky as the drizzle falls, all the colours in such glorious vibrancy.

Site news: HaloScan continues to play silly buggers, I’m trying to get in touch with the site admin to see what the problem is.

Other news: Mark Conrad wrote about the media coverage of Beslan in yesterday’s Observer: Should we have looked away?

Rather than transmitting facts, it exists to stir up emotions – literally to orchestrate them… Ethical scruples may make us avert our gaze from such images. But are we then colluding with the politicians who want to suppress them because of the inconvenient truths they tell?

Interesting piece, worth a read.

And, possibly on a similar note, I found this article at first amusing then, the more I thought about it, rather worrying:

The Church of St Sulpice has many attractions – notably its Delacroix mural. So it is a matter of deep regret to church officials that most visitors are now attracted primarily by a huge bronze candlestick, used by an evil albino monk to batter a nun to death in Dan Brown’s best-selling novel, The Da Vinci Code.

Or maybe I’m just “over-thinking”.

Anyway, nice weekend. Up at 5:15am yesterday to catch the in-laws at the airport before they flew home to Spain. It’s amazing what getting up that early can do for you day. We got home around 8am and I managed to read the paper, over my obligatory two coffees and a bagel, before lunch. Unheard of! My parents turned up at 1pm and it was off to Chatelherault for a launch event for the new Renault Modus. Clever car, lots of “ohhh that’s clever” little gadgets and ideas, but it’s little bigger than a Clio so don’t let the adverts fool you. They had one of the F1 cars there as well (photos if I can get them off my phone), but the day was somewhat ruined by the incessant drizzle. We left before either the falconry display or the herding of the “As Seen on TV” Loch Lomond Ducks.

And so, to Monday. That hallowed day for commuters, where the trains run late, the annoying people are ALWAYS in your carriage, and the man with the large sports bag, who is incapable of putting in an overhead luggage rack, drops it on your toes and constantly fidgets with it, rubbed a welt in your shin.

Except this morning the train was on time and it was quiet and spacious. I started to wonder if it was a bank holiday…

Thanks to all for the questions, my 100 Things is coming along nicely, still plenty of gaps though (I’m guessing that maybe I should put a little more effort into completing it myself, what with this being my site and all…).

And finally, a question: is sleeping from 9.30pm to 7.15am bad for you?

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As we now have a smaller car, the trip through to Loch Lomond yesterday required one of us to take the train (I’m convinced that one of the in-laws suitcases contained only alcohol and cigarettes, I digress). I quite enjoy a leisurely train journey and jumped at the chance knowing it would give me some time to relax and finish off a book I’ve been reading for a while.

David Attenborough: Life on Air (currently only £3.99!) was a present (at Christmas I think) and I highly recommend it. If you enjoy the man’s natural history programmes then you’ll find this book fascinating. It recounts his entire working life, with many anecdotes surrounding the filming and techniques used. He has an excellent turn of phrase and I got the distinct impression that the majority of his life has been spent, not only doing something he enjoys immensely but laughing constantly.

If you are looking for a book to take on holiday, I’d suggest this. It’s very easy to read and compellingly fascinating.

And no, I don’t know if compellingly is a word.

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My best mate is handing in his notice today and is off to startup his own company. I’d tell you what it is but I’m not 100% sure and it’s very specialised so I doubt you’d need his services anyway. He works in the Lighting industry (as in concert/stadium/T in the Park) and does clever things with computerised lighting design.

Ohh look, I did manage to tell you.

I’ll be giving him a hand with some web stuff soon, so more on that later.

As it’s Friday, it’s time to look ahead to the weekend. The slightly longer than normally weekend for me as I’ve taken Monday off (we don’t get Bank Holidays as standard).

First up, cakes this morning. Then the pub tonight, soft drinks only for me though as I’ve got to pick the car up at the station.

Saturday morning we head into Glasgow to buy birthday pressies, probably meet my Mum for lunch, and then head out to the west end for an afternoon/night of drinking. We are starting in Jinty McGinty’s. If you see me, say hi!

Of course this means that Sunday is a complete write off for me (I’ll no doubt be shouting at Uncle Huey), but my darling wife doesn’t get hangovers, so I’ll spend the day in bed and get her to cut the grass 😉

And Monday, lovely wonderful Monday. We have plans to drive through to Loch Lomond and check the in-laws caravan is OK, maybe give it a quick clean and airing in preparation for their ‘holiday’ next month, and then take the long route home. Wherever that may take us. Must try and remember my camera this time.

And you dear reader, what plans have you?

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I grew up with a dog. No, not JUST a dog…

She was part of the family, always there, she went everywhere with us for the most part. She was a bit daft, as golden retrievers are prone to be, but she didn’t have a nasty bone in her body. She loved giving people presents (including the oft recalled ‘tortoise incident’). I miss my dog. I miss taking her out for walks. Brushing her, playing in the back garden, taking her to the park. I miss Sintra.

The nearest park to us was Levengrove (Dumbarton Common was the nearest piece of ground but was surrounded by roads) and every weekend, and some week nights, we’d pile into the car and drive over. The park sits at the junction of the River Leven (which runs down from Loch Lomond) and the River Clyde.

The minute the boot opened, Sintra would leap out and head straight for the water. There was no stopping her, so we’d just let her run off and trail after her, maybe kicking a football, or throwing a frisbee (or an aerobee – remember them?). When we caught up with her she’d be waiting in the water. Now those of you who had a dog may well remember this kind of thing. The expectancy. The patience. That dog would stand in freezing cold water for as long as it took to make you throw something. Silly dog.

So you’d pick up a pebble and chuck it and Sintra would leap into life, dashing for where she thought it would land (thinking back it was a bit dangerous chucking stones near to a dog… we weren’t throwing AT her!). Then she’d do that thing dogs do when something lands in water. They’d try and .. well.. bite the splash. Obviously doggy brains can’t quite handle the fact that, despite the fact they are standing IN the water, items landing on it will not stay on TOP of it. She’d stand there, staring at the spot where the pebble had splashed, utterly bemused that it had vanished.

You could repeat this for several hours, or until your arm dropped off. Silly dog.

Louise grew up with several dogs, all retrievers too, but we only ever had one. Anymore would’ve felt… I dunno… disrespectful or something.

Anyhoo, thanks to weedavid.com for the memories. His pictures of Levingrove Park (and Dumbarton Castle – a volcanic plug don’t ya know) have left me with a nice ‘homely’ glow.

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Loch Lomond was fun. Beached the boat on Inchconnachan, had a few drinks, a BBQ, and then spent the best part of 30 minutes trying to get the damn thing back off the beach… If you have ever tried getting onto the front of a boat you’ll understand our quandary.

Been a while since we were all together and I miss the laidback ease that we have. I guess that’s the thing about seeing your oldest friends, everything is comfortably familiar.

Only disappointment was having to tidy up the rubbish left by other people, it only took us 10 minutes to go over the little bit of beach we were on, but the disregard for nature that some people have is shocking.

Right, where can I hire a 70s outfit from?

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Tomorrow: Head to Loch Lomond for a ‘wee jaunt’ on my friends boat. Then back to his house for a BBQ. Hangover expected on…

Sunday: drive to Edinburgh airport to pickup sister-in-law and two of her kids. She’s leaving the other two in Spain (with her parents). Then dinner at brother-in-laws (possibly).

And still got shelves and towel rail to put up in the bathroom…. hmmm

Also need to get Car Tax, hire a 70s outfit for a party a week on Saturday, and finish rebuilding my old PC for my nephew.

It’s no wonder I’m knackered come Monday morning (ohh yes and another BBQ on Monday night too for a friend’s birthday.. ).

Some pics will ensue (and possibly a quick posting from the middle of Loch Lomond if my phone gets a signal out there).

Phew. What are you up to?

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