Thursday, 31 January 2008

Wild Camping Petition: T+7d

283 signatures. Just 17 off having 300 names in one week.

Looking at other older ePetitions -

  • Petition against badger culling proposals: 11,315 signatures: response
    • The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has recently entered into a public consultation on both the principle and method of badger culling in areas of high bovine Tuberculosis (TB) incidence in cattle.
  • Petition to save Red Diesel for leisure boaters: 1413 signatures: response
    • We have read your comments with interest. We can assure you that your views, as well as those who have signed the petition on the Motor Boats Monthly's website, will be taken into consideration, along with other relevant economic, social and environmental factors, when we take decisions on the future duty treatment of red diesel for use in pleasure craft in the run up to the expiry of the current derogation in 2006.

And then looked at some newer ePetition -

  • Pass legislation to give canoeists and all other users of un-powered craft the free right to navigate all rivers and canals in England and Wales (similar to the right already enjoyed by cyclists to use bridleways, cycle tracks and roads). 7819 signatures: response in part
    • To help identify the demand for water access we have asked the Environment Agency to work with other stakeholders to draw up strategic plans. Draft plans for two of their regions - the South-West and East of England - should be published for consultation by the end of the year. The Agency is also prepared to work with user groups to help identify specific sites where an access agreement might be put in place.
      Creating access via agreements will undoubtedly require goodwill and hard work on all sides and nothing will be achieved overnight. But we firmly believe that this is the right approach. Given the commitment of all interested parties, particularly water users and landowners, this managed and targeted approach should, over time, result in a significant increase in the amount of inland water accessible to all water users.
  • Make it compulsory for All Local Authorities to make provision for Aero-modelling at County or Local Level. 1226 signatures: response in part
    • Local authorities are best placed to make the difficult decisions about what facilities to provide at the expense of the local taxpayer. The Government is unable to get involved in the decision-making processes of local authorities and would advise aero-modelling clubs to approach individual councils and make their case as to how their activities may benefit their area on an individual basis.

It is more than just numbers.

Wild Camp Petition: T+7d-35m

Well, Darren's ePetition has acquired 282 signatures. I wondered how many off "300 in a week" he'll be, as it went live last Friday? I was told that it had gone live at 2133hrs on Thursday 24th (Darren's original post and then mine)

There's some great pro- and anti-discussions, and people on the shelf. Some good already come from it as some people didn't realise there were bylaws for sections of Dartmoor. Strange that there's not one source of information for all of this. But it is easy to criticise the customs of other countries. Their ways are so different.


Darren is coordinating the matter across at his blog, and some of us are proud to be supporting him in different ways, with a lot on the forums (honourable mention to John Hee, followed by Robin) and on the Outdoor Bloggers forum.

Today's update by Darren

Make sure you have a read of John Manning's post: legalise-camping-the-debate-is-driving-me-wild. I think the post title says it all.

Determined to Unwind

Even grabbing a few minutes during a busy day can refresh the psyche. Even if i can't get away from the desk, just do what i can. Put aside the emails, texts and distractions and kick back.

In this case, a colleague had returned my copy of "Porco Rosso". Along with the latest "Photoplus: Canon edition".

Another Glorious Day in the City

The crispness of the day heralds bad weather ahead.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Studio Photography, Sort Of

At least it's not -9'c, but the reception might be frosty if my photos don't come out. Making up a poster for the wargames club and want to incorporate some of the figures. Out of laziness, most of the figures on the club site are mine. It'll be nice to see some decently painted figures for once.

IMG_6040-01y IMG_6055-01y

The Return of the Mat

After a brief sojourn, my doormat came back. It was waiting out in the street. Maybe someone else is feeding her.

Citizenship by Osmosis

Pete Seeger playing via the Naxos Music Library. It was Satchmo earlier, then some pre-Elvis rock 'n' roll. Woody Guthrie next, i think.

Monday, 28 January 2008

State of the Nation

By coincidence, American Bushman's now got into trouble for walking near his house.


Gayle's posted a great piece about the legal side of wild camping that exists just now down in England&Wales. wild-camping-legalities

Darren's repetition has now reached 208 signatures.

ePetition reaches 200

Three days since going live, Darren's ePetition requesting access for wild camping in England & Wales reaches the 200th signature that required by the 24th of May before taking the matter further.

Nr 200 was Paul Millington. Well done, sir.


Here's what the site says:

When a serious petition closes, usually provided there are 200 signatures or more, officials at Downing Street will ensure you get a response to the issues you raise. Depending on the nature of the petition, this may be from the Prime Minister, or he may ask one of his Ministers or officials to respond.

We will email the petition organiser and everyone who has signed the petition via this website giving details of the Government’s response.

What next Mr Darren?

Why is the sun setting?

I thought it was almost lunchtime?

Start the week

You know it's going to be one of those weeks when you finish marking at 230am, force yourself out of bed at 645am. Then, after a snack of goji berries, find that someone has stolen the doormat from the hall. Ah well, maybe the Fates reckon i'm enough of a doormat myself and don't need another.

BBC WorldWide on MySpaceTV

I missed this as it's been a busy week, so thanks to a student for referring to the feed in his blogging assessment:

BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC and MySpace, the world's largest social networking platform, today announced the launch of a ground-breaking partnership to bring new and archived short form BBC content to MySpaceTV.

The announcement marks the first global agreement of this type between MySpaceTV and a major broadcaster. Under the partnership, the best BBC video content will be made available online globally via MySpaceTV, the social networking site's popular new video platform. MySpace users will be able to visit and subscribe to the BBC Worldwide's MySpaceTV video channel in order to view, embed and virally share BBC content across the MySpace community.

Full report available at:

BBC Worldwide's page on MySpace - they've already got some clips from Doc Who and Red Dwarf. Lets see if I can embed the code without being a MySpace member (stifles evil cackle)...

Red Dwarf: Taranshula

Add to My Profile | More Videos

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Utterz - ePetition

Mobile post sent by AktoMan using Utterz Replies.

Bush Wars

I see that Tetley have another advert out for their Red Bush tea. I bought some when Tescos started stocking it after the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books and radio plays came out on BBC Radio 4. I can't help but wonder that Tetley are doing this as a precursor to the BBC's tv film.

The tea I got previously was from the Red Bush Tea Company and an unstated percentage of sales would be donated to the Kalahari peoples.

Previous posts 1, 2

Past. Present. Future.

International Holocaust Memorial Day

Never Again

Light a Candle

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Homecoming Scotland 2009

I nipped across to the Scottish Government (no, no longer The Executive, but a Government). A clan gathering in Edinburgh. Edinburgh? Celtic Connections in Glasgow. Hey ho. No doubt there'll be more out of the central belt. Highland dancing and the continuation of Victorian colonisation. Brigadoon. Golf. Trump. St Andrews. Don't mention the Clearances. The poverty and social unrest. The lack of a spinal dual carriageway. Destruction of the landscape to build superpylons and wind turbines in places of natural beauty. British companies that refuse to deliver to the Islands. Some that won't even deliver to the Highlands.

Come home in 2009, get your hair wet and your boots muddy. Get away from all the cr*p. You'll feel better for it out of the bus and in the fresh air. And at the end of the day, sit down with some relatives and have a dram, watching re-runs of "Scotch and Wry" and discuss David Tennant's 1993 appearance in "Rab C Nesbitt".

Here's what the First Meenishter Salmond wrote.

Richard Long


Wild Camping Petition Day 2

Darren's posted a few updates across on his blog. John Hee's been cross-posting on forums. I dug out some photos and added some words to them.


Look, the worse the access laws are elsewhere in the UK, the more people come up to Scotland and hike and wild camp here. The more tourist-based revenue we have. So, why should I care if Johnny Englisher isn't allowed to camp on someone else's land despite it being empty, not damaging anyone. It's not my problem as the English lawmakers make it clear that they don't want me down there wild-camping. I'd prefer spending my money where I'm welcome, and we seem to be quite welcoming up here.

I went back and added a border to the earlier image.


And finally, one more before bed, and a weekend of marking and prep.


I'd love to go legal in England&Wales. But the landowners own the land and their rights have to be respected. It is the Law.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Wild Camping Petition Day 1

Darren said: If I was able to produce a graphic for people to place on their websites/blogs to show support for this I would.

This one's a bit naff, but it is a Friday night.


For the SIS

Previous post.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot

Robert Burns, born 249 years ago; and with 11 months left to go until Christmas.

Here's an extract from the Bard:

"Look not alone on youthful prime,
Or manhood's active might;
Man then is useful to his kind,
Supported in his right:
But see him on the edge of life,
With cares and sorrows worn;
Then Age and Want-oh! ill-match'd pair-
Shew man was made to mourn.


Source and prose in full

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

Darren Christie (aka "Weird Darren") has had his petition approved by the UK Government's web team. He wishes that England&Wales had the same access rights to wild camping that we have up here in Scotland.

Link to Darren's post and official petition if you wish to add you electronic signature.

If you're not sure of the Access Code that we have here in Scotland, click this link to a previous article I wrote regarding this. The piece was written as a precursor to an article on BBC's "Landward" tv programme (original, and follow-up). Of course, it isn't perfect, but we have laws and we have courts.

I'm just surprised that none of the magazines have done anything like this. Nor have they written to landowners to ask them if they agree to set aside land for wildcamping (maybe as part of the CRoW activity), again, under similar restraints to our Access Code. But magazines seem to be happy to point out trails and mention the legal issues of wildcamping and then not mention that they have the owner's consent when they wildcamp, and so are wildcamping illegally. Morality has nothing to do with it, if the law says that you are not allowed to camp somewhere, and you do, then you are breaking the law.

We have a democratic right in the UK to say that we don't agree with such-and-such a law and work to get it changed or revoked. Ignoring and ignorance are no excuses. Certainly not if you are publishing a magazine or guidebook, and could be seen as enticing other people to break the law.

Personally, I couldn't have hiked the couple of long distance paths, nor the Munros that I have been up without wild camping. I just can't afford to pay for hotels, B&Bs or youth hostels. As a tourist, I brought money into the shops and bars that I frequented on the way, as well as the various gear-shops that I spent money in planning for the walks. Without wildcamping, I'd just be walking short expeditions from my car.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

BushCooker xref

Following up from Lighthiker's post about Dutch company selling the BushCooker, I found some excellent photos at Kifaru forum by Jason of Oregon, and the earlier (non-flame) posts.

Now, where's my lottery ticket?

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Humberside Police Seizure

More 'civil liberty' stuff:

A Humberside Police spokeswoman said: "Camera film was seized by Humberside Police following complaints from members of the public about photos being taken in the area of the Prospect Centre.

"Any person who appears to be taking photos in a covert manner should expect to be stopped and spoken to by police to enquire into what their business is.

"Humberside Police would expect other officers within the force to act in the same manner if given a similar situation.

"Following a thorough investigation into complaints made to Humberside Police it has found the police officers acted in a right and proper manner.

"It would be inappropriate to discuss the detail of the complaint as this is a private matter between the complainant and Humberside Police."

Full story at BBC News

Additional quotes from Mr Carroll via

'All the shots were of people. I took shots of people crossing the road, the Big Issue seller, two youths drinking from beer cans, people walking in the street and so on,' said Carroll who told us he was making his first attempt at 'street photography'.
He admits a few of his shots were taken candidly, adding: 'I did not take any photographs of children. I took most of the photographs openly, not trying to disguise the fact that I was photographing.'
Humberside Police seized two films containing the shots Carroll had taken. At the time of writing they had yet to return the films to the photographer.


The Stop/Search record form issued by the police states the reason for the stop as 'obtaining photos of poss [sic] sensitive material', according to a copy of the form supplied to us by the photographer.


'At about 1.45pm, just after entering Boots store I was stopped by two police officers… They asked me to follow them back out to Prospect Street as they wanted to question me about 'the way I had been using my camera'.

There's a copy of the police form on the site.

I used to work in Hull years ago. I can't think of anything "sensitive" there. In point of fact, if it has become a standard British town centre, then the polis can just check the myriads of CCTV footage that will exist on Mr Carroll. Much easier to seize someone's personal possessions and search them to see if they have photos of building security systems (a box on a wall) or times and uniforms of security vans (memory and the Internet).

One wonders if the same would have happened if the photographer had been using digital footage. Obviously real criminals use film. Then send it to be developed and have another chance of it being seen. Or have a lab full of chemicals. This is turning into an episode of "The Sweeney".


Thanks to AT for the heads up on this, and, yes, TrekkingBritain's been in my bolxroll for ages. Just puts me off even going into town with the dSLR.

Noormal Service

Normal service will be resumed as soon as Zooomr finish moving servers and doing the 2008 update. No heckling from the back, BG!

Fire in the sky

Shame i've not got the EOS in to work with me as the glow from the sky sets windows afire.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Yuki ga furu

Some cracking expedition shots from Ulgoods in Japan. Namches and tarps in the snow. And from Nihon too, Bastish has been to a new year festival and reported on it in his usual high standard: "I lost my sticky rice in the ashes of the burning dondo". It is so good to see the children being involved, so much of life seems to be taken up with listening to the malingerers whinging that people forget about the majority of good, active, responsible kids who just want a chance to shine and maybe run around the neighbourhood with a big stick having a laugh, performing a role in the community ritual.

And thanks to for the post title.

Training Day to Combat Wildlife Crime

NORTHERN Constabulary is today hosting Scotland’s first ever multi-agency training day for all those organisations responsible for investigating and combating wildlife crime.

Northern Constabulary Wildlife Crime Co-ordinator, Chief Inspector Paul Eddington, who hosted today’s training day said: “What today is about is talking to like minded professionals about issues they are dealing with in relation to wildlife crime and how we can improve the way in which these incidents are investigated.

“Wildlife crime, and particularly poisoning which is the focus of today, is an extremely serious issue and I believe the fact that so many people are willing to attend this event and discuss the ways in which we can go forward is testament to how seriously the Police service takes the issue of wildlife crime.

“Today we are looking at the prevalence of offences, types of offences and a range of other issues including evidence gathering. There has never been a forum at which to look into these issues in such depth and it can only benefit officers across Scotland in the future.”

Source and more details

Best wishes on the fight against this "national disgrace".

Earworm: Singalong


Faces from the Lewis War Memorial

An interesting use of blogs can be found here: Faces from the Lewis War Memorial

I've said many a time that blogs are quite a versatile format. A project that anyone can do, and can be a comfort to many families worldwide as they try to track down their relatives. Without a past, we have no future.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Hazlehead Park

Look into the eye, not around the eye, but into the eye...


15:38:39 they are peaceable here, as FJ natters to them, possibly in Scots, possibly just in a Scottish accent:


and then ... 15:39:19 the only thing protecting me was the fence.


Channel 4, 2100hrs, "AVG: Alien versus Geese" ... never get off the boat.


Cooncil site (with 2 spellings of the park name). Maplink

In Praise of Ben Spellcheck

Concealed on the BBC iPlayer/Radio/Radio Scotland is "BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra..." which was last night's performance of:

Ronald Stevenson's epic "In Praise of Ben Ardrain" [Sic], based on the poem by Duncan Ban McIntyre.

I caught some of it in my car last night. Not my cup of irn bru. I'll need to catch the whole thing for completeness sake. Some good lilting bits in it, but nothing I could tap my feet to and go "heuch".

I dunno - like the prog that was on recently about a search for a Highland musical, I don't think it is particularly relevant to the Highlands. But that's just me. Nor is this. But some of these may take your breath away or this.


Previous post

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Left hand down a bit

All aboard the skylark

Shivver me timbers, the ferry sailed today across the Minch, arr. She didn't sail last night, we hear. Not too bouncy just now, as the pointy end isn't moving up n down that much. Sun is on the righthandboard side, about where Skye would be. Mainland hills in sight even now, making journey feel shorter. The gps screen shows us now sailing away from the submarine exercise area. Er, should i say "motoring" instead of "sailing" as we're not under any sheets, jibs, gallants, staysails or even a spanker (closes page iix of "The Ionian Mission"). Avast behind, by the deep 55m, aarr.

Friday, 18 January 2008


Found this: CivAnon - no more turns. Maybe I am addicted to Civ2, but never got on with Civ3. Just good to switch off the brain sometimes.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

MBA Renewal

After a few days delay, eventually got to renew my Mountain Bothies Association subscription. I'll need to set up a direct debit nearer the end of the year.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

High Tide in Gaeldom

A brief shower of sleet reminds people that it is winter and they should have worn a jacket. Weather is Nature's own public service announcement.

Praise of Ben Dorain

I heard an article on Radio Scotland on Tuesday interviewing Ronald Stevenson about his "Praise of ben Dorian" piece being performed at Celtic Connections in...Glasgow on Saturday. He sounds a nice chap, I think the term is "well grounded".

More info

Celtic connections 2008

Donnchadh Bàn Mac an t-Saoir (Gaelic)

Who's on First?

Ah, the family lively discussions about who's on what cords for the coffin. Get it wrong and one side of the family won't speak for ages.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Loch Glascarnoch

12 degrees warmer than when i was last here, but snow makes place look colder. I'll bring back gifts to those who are covering for me.

The Angry Corrie 72

I think I missed this TAC, so, whilst the Alpkit Filo dries from its wash of Nikwax down proof, and my 94-year old granny clings to life after breaking her hip trying to escape from the nursing home after months of fooling the staff into thinking that she could hardly move. I shouldn't have jokingly commented on how her escape pack was coming along after seeing the knotted rope by her bed. Cunning obviously runs in the family, or in that case, hobbles slowly.

The Angry Corrie Nr 72

From the pages of TAC: Poet, Simon Armitage, is in a band "The Scaremongers". Jim Waterton's now climbed his 746th Munro, leading to a discussion on Compleators. An evocative piece from Mick Furey. An insider's view of the recent Nevisport problems.

Hmm, I went to the Nevisport site and it looked like to old site. In the "about us" section there was nothing about changes in ownership. It was only when I googled the trading address of 149 Vermont Street, did it come up with "Trespass".

Back to TAC: There's a review of "Seachd", which I've not seen. I don't know if I can honestly add a "yet" to the end of the previous sentence, as I rarely get to see the filums in the cinemar. A review of BBC's "Mountain". Ooh, the 2007 ed of Peter Drummond's must have "Scottish hill names" is also reviewed. I've got the old edition, and don't know if I can justify buying the new version. I'll need to compare them, and I doubt that Tisos will be happy for me to do that. Maybe splash out on a copy of "The Wild Places" by Robert Macfarlane instead.

I'm amazed at the depth of research and diversity in the "Quotes", excellent coverage of old and new media. Enjoyed the empathic article on social etiquette by Davie Cunningham: "You say hello on the hills but not when it's a walk in the park. Doing a circuit of Dun Rig from Peebles, it's a socially tricky skill working out the changeover. Generally, if they're walking their dogs, you've crossed the line."

And finally, I'll need to read properly and delve back into the "Wildernista" that Oliver Francks commented on.

A packed magazine, with more than that for folk too. To be perfectly honest, for me this was a longer read than Trail and TGO combined.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Glenshee Traffic

After leaving Braemar, I stuck with Plan A, and headed up to Glenshee intending to get some action shots of the ski-ing and 'boarding. Heading south, every car park was packed, people were stopping in the road to look at the herds of deer in the glen. We pushed on through to the ski centre where it was even worse.


With no place to turn back, and just space for a single car to pass, we had to pass by The Cairnwell, and Glas Maol before eventually passing to The Spittal, turning round and passing through the tight squeeze again. Complete chaos with cars left haphazardly in car parks and at the side of the road.


An hour to 90 minutes later, we were back at Braemar, with no photos taken and a hope that the MRT vehicles that I'd seen (about 3) weren't needed. I can't imagine any hikers being so selfish to just abandon their car in the road so that they can go and enjoy themselves. I'll never bother heading that way when it is snowing. This sort of thing isn't for me.


FMAO Cairngorms


-9'c on car thermostat. Brr. (maplink)


Creag Bhalg, near Mar Lodge 


Towards the Chest of Dee 

Moving to the Linn of Dee, we parked in the NTS car park, and walked a couple of kilometres along the Dee towards the sunlight.


River Dee, west of the Linn of Dee. Maplink 


Morning sunlight on the frozen River Dee



Flowing water, frozen water and melting water



Burn flowing down to the Dee




Frozen puddles and pools


Mike tests his Flecktarn camo jacket.


New Alpkit jacket got a workout. I was toasty at -9'c with a Polartec 100 fleece and a "life is good" t-shirt. No wind, so no windchill to contend with. Photo by Mike, poor colour balancing by me.

How the Other Half Camps

Found this when looking for photos/illustrations for our ECW wargaming project.

I have to say it was with some trepidation that I joined them as I haven’t been camping for at least 30 years! My fears were confirmed on the first night, as I crawled into the tent borrowed from my sister, cold, damp and running with condensation. The air bed had a slow puncture, and I intensely dislike sleeping in sleeping bags, so my misery was complete. However everything else about the weekend was wonderful, so I announced that I would be joining them next year, but with a tent I could stand up in (see below), and a ‘Comfy Bed’!

Click to ... see the outcome, and source.

I bumped into Blackwell's a few times back in the day, but don't know or remember anyone from them. Have fun, Sue.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

BBC iPlayer

And then it struck me - I can use the relaunched BBC iPlayer to watch BBC 4, where they've hidden away Wainwright's Walks and photography programmes. Sadly, the most interesting prog I could see to watch was "Future Fashions with Sylvia Anderson". I found myself drawn to her hands...she was Lady Penelope's hands.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Primus EtaExpress ETA?

Old article from November 07 about the Primus EtaExpress, this time from Their gear review is waiting for the product to arrive.

North American Gear's have the EtaExpress with 1.0 litre and frying pan lid, but no photo. They sell the EtaExpress 1 litre pot and the stove separately too.

Primus have a product sheet here.

I had a quick shufty round the online UK stockists, and couldn't see anyone displaying ones for sale.

He Clicks, He Scores

A hat trick this time, winning two Mountain Equipment ultimate beanies on the OutdoorsMagic advent calendar competition. According to the description:

Two Mountain Equipment hats in gorgeous green, they may look like just any beanie, but these are Mountain Equipment beanies made from 70 per-cent pure wool and 30 per-cent acrylic with a luxurious fleece headband for ultimate warmth and comfort and adorned with the sought-after Mountain Equipment logo. Just lovely...

One'll do for the camera bag, and the other as an early Christmas present. Woohoo.

Not the Jayne Cobb beanie though...sing the song

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Poor Show R4

I'm disappointed with the controller of radio 4. Why oh why put on a show like "thinking allowed" or is it "thinking aloud" in a wind-down slot? Midnight15 to a quarter to one. On a sunday night. It is too thoughtprovoking, interesting, wellpresented and all-encompassing to be listened to halfheartedly. Some of us have to get up early for work. Or else need little excuse to extend the weekend. Maybe swap it out with the politics prog? That'd help me get to sleep.

Back 2 Chalkface

So, how many weeks til Easter?

Pass the Parcel

George found a great idea being mentioned on YouTube, sort of a pass-the-parcel  game.

Why Backpackers are so Cool

As I watched the vid, I went from "wow, what a cool idea" to "I'd like that...and that...and that...", and the next person would get an empty box, cos I'd find a use for everything. To be totally honest, I'd even find a use for the empty box.

Now, it doesn't mean I'm an evil anti-social person ... well, not usually ... I just blame growing up watching programmes like Blue Peter and Why Don't You*


Well, seeing as I've been a lazy oik today (excluding finishing off painting some Redoubt ECW foote, and basing up the Renegade horse for painting next), I started playing around with the blog's template.

I decided not to bother with changing to another template, and widened out the existing Scribe template. Information came from "Tips for new bloggers", and I modified their 3-column layout into a 900 pixel-wide 2-column layout.

Next came a change in fonts. Useful information:

I settled on Verdana, with Georgia if you don't have that. There'll be someone who hates it, but, you know, it is just a font and it isn't as if there are lots of choices available on the Web.

Next came some pochling to get the layout looking nicer. A bit of work with CSS margins, and finally the border, and the requisite padding to move the border away from the text. And then a few minutes sorting out which colour code matched the existing post-separator.

I found a nice comprehensive colour scheme generator along the way from It even has some colour-blindness filters.

So much for the early night. A pile of work to look forward to on Sunday, before going back to work to do a pile of work.

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Filo Stuff

Just got my new jacket in and out of an OD x-small bag, but didn't manage to seal the waterproof roll-top. Maybe need to eat more spinach and force out more air from the coat - neither of which I was willing to attempt. This had been the most energetic I have been all day.

As with all down, I quickly got it out of the bag, and re-fluffed it. Yes, that did mainly involve me wearing it when sitting at the computer.


I finally had an excuse to use my indoor light-cube thingy.

Friday, 4 January 2008

Alpkit Filo

My toasty new down jacket, the Alpkit Filo.


Now I can turn the heating down in the flat and it'll pay for itself in no time. Oh, and get out in in it when taking photographs, and maybe, just maybe, when I get off my backside to do some hiking and hillwalking again.

Nemo blue, size XL.

To do - CG in outdoor background before publishing this.


Today I have been mainly looking at website:

I would be going "brrr", but I collected my new Alpkit Filo down jacket today. Toasty. I was going to get up Bennachie to take some photos, but someone had stolen the sky, so I didn't bother. Only "tsk, tsk" me if you got off yer *rse and did something more energetic than walking round the supermarket.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

FMAO Loch Broom


Sun rises later on west coast than on east. Stating the bleedin' obvious, i know. Sun then rises behind largest lump of rock and largest cloud formation in sight. I head inside to warmth and a late breakfast.



Sunrise behind An Teallach.


Sun over Loch Broom.

Orion and Mars

A couple of experiments on a cold, clear night - except for one cloud that decides to obscure Mars. I find useful.

Orion - chosen since I can recognise the 3 stars in the belt. 55-200mm lens used, tripod and remote controller. Experiment was to try and find a decent light level. Seems that the longer I leave the shutter open, the more 'wobble' affects the image. Perhaps atmospherics, but it was a windy night.

f5.6, 1 second IMG_5671-01-1s
f5.6, 4 seconds IMG_5673-01-4s
f5.6, 15 seconds IMG_5675-01-15s
f5.0, 30 seconds IMG_5669-01-30s

I may have caught some of the Quadrantid Meteor Shower (?!) completely by accident, as I was failing to get The Plough into one shot, and captured this with a 5second exposure.


Lessons learnt - photographing space is cold and unforgiving. Automatic focusing is out, and everything has to be manually focused - a few wee dots on a background of other dots, or a dark patch. A still night so as not to cause tripod to wobble. Warm clothing. Have a plan. For some constellations, a wider lens is needed. More warm clothing. Don't do it if you are tired and have to get up early the next day.

So, next time, I'll do some research in to the timings, and see what's around to be photographed. Maybe some sort of map of the sky?