Like a virgin

Wednesday 08 August at 1441 | Posted in Life, Lifestyle, Personal, Scotland | 16 Comments

One of my activities that I took up while walking around Knoydart was to photograph as many manmade structures I could find.

One, which caught me off guard was a statue of Mary. You know, the mother of Jesus. That Mary.

This one was a little tricky to get as it was on the edge of the land right next to the loch. And the only road that went near it was a kilometre or two away from it.

Although on one visit to Inverie I got lucky and we were given a lift back from the most remotest pub, to our hioliday cabin, by boat.

So I got myself ready to get a photo of this statue. I had to see it.
The reason I wanted to see this statue was, not because I was Catholic, but because I had been told this statue was made of plastic.
It had been given the name, The Plastic Mary.
This was genius.

I don’t know why it was stuck by the loch facing inland? Or why it is so far away from any accesible path? Or even why it was made of plastic?

But it was because of all these things that I wanted to get a photo of it.


Where is the Plastic Baby Jebus?

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Fat of the Reich

Monday 30 July at 1539 | Posted in Humour, Life, Scotland | 8 Comments

 Update: I’ve been lied to. Thanks to some first hand information from a Knoydart resident, it has come to my attention that Lord Brocket erected his own monument and Inverie House has been lived in for some time now.
The below is just proof of what a game of Chinese Whispers can do.
Enjoy the story.

One resident of the Knoydart’s was a very rich man known as Lord Brocket who bought the estate in the 1930’s. He owned most of the Knoydart region. Knoydart lore goes that Lord Brocket was a Nazi sympathiser. He booted out most of the resident’s of the Knoydart to make way for fishing and shooting to entertain the Nazi’s.
Rumour says that he even suggested allowing the Knoydart to be a stopping point for when the Nazi’s invaded Britain.

When Lord Brocket died in 1967, resident’s erected a monument in his memory.

When my dad was first told this story he asked why would the resident’s erect a monument to someone who kicked them off their land, ruined lives and who was a Nazi sympathiser?

The reply he got was along the lines of
“Well the monument was built just to make sure the bastard didn’t get out of his grave.”

Nice folk in the Knoydart.

Another Brocket story, but one I never knew about.
The Brocket estate also owns Inverie House. A huge building which is now unoccupied. Although it is fully furnished with carpets and cutlery. Even a grand piano in the corner of one room. (It even has a gun facing Loch Nevis, probably to stop any British ships getting too close)
A place that looks as if the occupants have only been gone a few days.
When asking at the only pub in the village about why the house is still furnised, reponse is “carrying a grand piano, 20 miles across mountains unnoticed isn’t the easiest of tasks.”
Although the legend of the empty home may be at an end as a buyer may have taken over ownership recently.

Which is a shame as it would of been quite good, but eerie, day out if I ever went to the Knoydarts again.

Meep Meep

Wednesday 25 July at 1335 | Posted in Humour, Life, Personal, Scotland | 8 Comments

Another photo from my walks.

No story about this, except that I took this photo about half an hours walk from the cows. It just reminded me of a scene from The Road Runner.

You big woolly cow

Monday 23 July at 1448 | Posted in Humour, Life, Personal, Scotland | 27 Comments

Update: It seems that my dad isn’t a very good tour guide. First he gets us stuck up a mountain. Then tells us tales of Nazi mountain owners that are false. And it appears – thanks to the very kind words of someone who it seems has taken it upon his self to straighten all cow related facts – that my dad doesn’t know his Aberdeen Angus from his Highland Cattle.  

On two occasions on my holiday I passed Aberdeen Angus Scottish Highland cows.

First was on second day of the holiday. After being scared to death while getting passed cliff edges, not sleeping well due to sharing a floor in a barn with a mouse, getting soaked for over 8 hours while warning I thought that may day couldn’t get any worse. Then we came up to the herd of Angus. My dad said “we would be ok as long as we don’t go between the mother and calf.”
I checked the path that led between the herd. And just our luck the path split the mother and calf. The only way past would to go between the two.
After a fun, but very scary and tiring last two days I was worried that we would be has-beens at the the final herd-le (haha, good pun)
Luckily we got past. Safe and in one piece.

Then next time I saw, what I guess was the same herd, was the same day I was looking at the beautiful scenenary.
As we got down from the mountain (and again I was pleased to see the floor, my dad nearly had us climbing up verticle rock face) and too the lake you can see in my last photo, we came across the herd having a relax in the lake. It was a hot day (yes it was hot in Scotland) and I was a little jealous.

But seeing as all the cows were pretty relaxed I had a good opportunity to photo them.


A very hairy Aberdeen Angus Scottish Highland cows.

A bridge too far

Wednesday 18 July at 1559 | Posted in Life, Lifestyle, Personal, Scotland | 4 Comments

When walking across the vast emptiness of Scotlands Knoydart, and many other paths in England, one thing a person may encounter is a bridge.

In Knoydart there were many dangerous bridges that I’d have to cross. Life threatening ones. And I’m not making this up. There were actual signs posted near the bridges saying that “users do so at their own risk.”

At times I wished the only danger at bridges was that they homed trolls.


Note; the one foot gap between the edge of the path and first step on bridge.

Someone had thought that balancing a huge rock on the centre slat of the bridge to help people across was somehow a good idea?
And it crossed my mind to jump over the balancing rock, but I feared for putting a new huge hole in the bridge. I didn’t want someone having to move another stone over the new hole.

Nice pic-a-nic

Monday 16 July at 1255 | Posted in Life, Lifestyle, Personal, Scotland | 7 Comments

There have been many memorable lunches while on my many walks around England.

One of my favourite was recently while in Scotland. After attempting, and failing, to climb up Mam Barrisdale we took a small break. People say a picture paints a thousand words. So not much else to say.


Incidentally I was heading to behind the ridge of that mountain on the right.

Lucky that I didn’t lean too far forward and right off that cliff.

If you look hard enough you may see some wooly cows in the lake. But more on them soon.

Another photo of me looking for my lunch.

PS I was eating a pear.

A Wee Walk in the Park

Tuesday 10 July at 1145 | Posted in Life, Lifestyle, Personal, Scotland | 8 Comments

My dad had it almost planned out perfect. Day one of are walk would be a stroll to a small hut in the middle of nowhere. Hidden between some moutains. I was told it would be simple.
Day two would be just as easy. An almost complete straight line. Almost meaning that we would have to climb over a mountain. But any birds flying past would think we where going in a straight line.

Half way through day one we had a nice easy stroll. Great weather also. Keeping to the edge of a mountain and above a lake it was a comfortable start. Really nice views. Speaking with my dad about our route it was then I learnt that my dad had only covered 3/4’s of the two day walk. In fact it was half of day one that he had not covered.
We got to a half way point. Ate some sandwiches. Made a quick call to remind the missus to not forget the cans of beer. Then looked at the map for paths.
And carried on looking for paths on the amp.
And we looked more for maps.
I began to think perhaps the designer of maps had ran out of ink and left the maps out. But this idea was the best idea as the map designer had more then enough black ink to draw on all the lines for the cliffs. So plenty of cliffs and not a single path. No wonder my dad had never done this walk.
It then started to rain so we put on our waterproofs and headed off.

An hour or so in to the walk we came across some locals. We were told that there are two ways to get to our destination. Either walk up the waterfall. Or head along the shoreline.

Now there were a few problems with these routes. Firstly the waterfall route. When the direction was given to walk up the waterfall that is exactly what the guy meant. Not up alongside the waterfall, but waking in it and up it. Granted it wasn’t a big waterfall, more like a wide stream with many drops, but it was still steep. With bad weather and one memeber of the team having a bad leg we looked to route two.
Across the shoreline. Sounds easy. Except the tide was in….or it was out. I forget which. It’s the one tha means that there is water about. So along the shoreline meant ‘swimming.’

So deciding to do neither we went half way up the mountain and across it. What should of taken a few hours to walk about 5 miles took a little bit longer.
We zigged and zagged along the side of the mountain. Encoutering cliff edges, trying to climb above them or below them. But not going to low incase we went round a corner and seen there was nothing but water below us.
It was a hard trek. I, on a few times, annoyed my dad by getting very scared while clinging to a rock face by my finger nails and suggesting that we drop are bags, are two guests – remember one had a bad leg – and making a dash for mountain rescue.
For about the hundreth time my dad said “let’s see what is around that corner.” It was starting to get dark and pitching a tent in the dark on the side of a mountain is hard.
Reluctantly we headed around the corner. I was picturing seeing another cliff face heading in to the loch.
But I was over joyed at seeing nothing but the loch bottom. Granted we were still about a mile away from the hut. But atleast I was on the ground. A very slippy and wet rocky ground, but I’d take my chance with walking on pebbles then clinging to a cliff face by my finger tips.
We raced to the hut and arrived about 9 hours after phoning the missus and having travelled about 5 miles.

The hardest thing about day two was just that day one took away all of our strength.
Oh, and it never stopped raining.

As we entered Inverie – a small fishing village 5 miles from our holiday cabin – my dad told about some sign warning of dangers in mountain regions beyond. This sign of course was a little too late. It needed to be placed about 20 miles away.

Sign
A good warning, but in the wrong place and at the wrong time.

Some other photos of those two days.

The one that goes, “hhhummmm hmmm derr”

Tuesday 12 June at 1408 | Posted in Life, Personal, Scotland | 5 Comments

OK, so lets get started on these photo blogs of my holiday in Scotland – try and get these out of the way before I get a load of Spanish ones piling up.
These photos are in no particualr order. Im just picking out whatever photo I want to write about.
Im trying to get a few more on photobucket soon so some of the best photos and stories will come last.

The first day we had at Mallaig we took a trip over to Skye. This was the missus idea. It went down well with the whole holiday party that we were with.
We booked the tickets for the ferry and jumped on board. Everyone got seats at the front of the ferry so they could experience the whole journey to Skye. That lasted about all of 15 minutes. As when the ferry was in open water the wind really picked up and it was a bit too windy for some who decided to watch from inside the cafe area.

When we arrived at Skye we were greeted by some proper Scottish bag pipe music. There was just the one Scotsman playing at the port. He must of made a living off busking, but I reckon he did quite well each day. He was like a mini celebratory. He was being papped from every angle…well almost every angle. I dont think anyone confirmed the myth of whats up a Scotsman kilt.

Bagpipe Man
Anyway, here is our effort. Click for full view.

I think the missus did a great job of getting the Knoydart hills in the background.

We spotted this guy on our way back. He played so well known tunes that escape my memory now. I think one might of been the Scottish National Antheme. (If someone humms it Ill confirm if I’m right or not) But me and the missus had more time while waiting for the return home with the Scottish music, enough time to have a little jig.

Scotland, escaltors and all that

Friday 08 June at 1100 | Posted in Life, Lifestyle, London, Personal, Scotland | 6 Comments

Well seeing as the Soupster is no longer with us to complain about escalators l’ll take over for the day.

Although mine isn’t a complaint. Its a well-isnt-it-about-time Congratulations.

The folk over at “Trains that enter and leave the Station of Blackfriars” – it wouldn’t be Soup like if there wasn’t some sort of code in there, decipher that! – have finally fixed the escalator. So now both are working. Hurrah! I mean it’s only been over a month since they started sticking on the “The part we need to make this thing move has been ordered and will arrive this week” Or something along those lines. Obviously the next time someone places an order for a new piece of escalator they should maybe ask which week will the piece arrive?

Anyway, as some of you may of noticed there was a lack of posts last week. Before anyone smart tries to point out I know there has been a lack of interesting posts in a longer time so whats the differnce?
But I was off in Scotland last week. Conquering hills, watching wooly cows, chasing seals and spotting pirates.

Pirate ship
Yes, you heard right. Spotting pirates.

Once, I’ve taught my dad how to use the very fast  and great for uploading huge amount of photos application that is Flock, I’ll be posting many mini stories along with some very fun photos.

So to keep you keen here is a little something something

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bK63uSTTNs]

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