Tuesday, 3 November 2009

And next: Stornoway

I snapped my neck round as I heard Jools Holland mention my home (sort of) town of Stornoway. It turns out that they are a young band from Oxford.

Good luck to them.

BBC band page

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX150

Some photographs taken with my new Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX150 down at Aberdeen Beach today. I haven’t tweaked these beyond horizon straightening, selective crops and resizing.











Did you spot the photo taken in pinhole camera mode? I can’t see myself using it too often.

FMA Aberdeen Beach

I’ll blame some of my students for this morning’s trip down to the beach at 0630am. In the cold and dark, I stood taking some snaps to compare my new Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX150 with last year’s Canon Ixus 950 IS

I had read the reviews on DP Review, and so was a bit concerned about the noise, but Play.com had knocked a lot of money off the price, taking it down to the price that I was looking for. It was too good to miss. I wasn’t bothered about the 14.7mp (just under twice that of the Ixus), as quality is measured in more than mega-pixels. I was finding the Canon Ixus a bit ‘flat’. I know that I won’t get a decent depth of field with a point-and-click, but speaking to some students and talking about our cameras had given me the impetus to go looking. The camera arrived yesterday, and had a fun time in the cold, wearing my Alpkit down jacket and liner gloves.

Things I noticed: in fully-auto mode the Lumix remembers flash settings (unlike the Ixus, which will switch the flash on even in ‘night snapshot’ mode). The ‘rule of thirds’ gridlines are thicker on the Lumix than on the Ixus (meaning some details disappear from the screen when composing a shot). I like the separate review setting on the Lumix, meaning that the mode dial is just for taking pictures. The ability to shoot in 16:9 widescreen is a boon on the Lumix, unavailable on the Ixus. The Lumix’s intelligent focus is better than the Ixus, and has more choice in the settings.

So, without further ado …

Ixus-Boulevard Lumix-Boulevard

Beach Boulevard.

Ixus-TC-Fish Lumix-TC-Fish

Focusing in on illuminated sign.

Ixus-0705 Lumix-0705

Wide-angle 16:9 shot for the Lumix, and comparative 4:3 for the Ixus.

Ixus-Nae-Dogs Lumix-Nae-Dogs

Text quality. Legible on both, but neither camera has a built-in grammar checker. Shouldn’t that be “it’s” rather than “its”? The funniest I saw was just along from here where the council note “Do not surf” in this area, but designate it as a “surf board and water craft zone”.

Ixus-Eye Lumix-Eye

The larger number of mega-pixels shows through in the Lumix, as I selected the car our before resizing both images down to the same size.

Ixus-Sunrise Lumix-Sunrise

The warmth of the final Lumix shot sells the deal for me.

Conclusion: as the pro-reviews stated, noise can be problematic. I was pointed to Steves-Digicams by a workmate after I had ordered the camera, and I agree with his conclusion. It was a blast to use, and I’ll be locking out the ISO to reduce the noise. Not sure to what setting yet, possibly 400. I’ve some other photos to post, where I had been shooting in RAW and trying the dynamic tracking - features unavailable on the Ixus 950 IS. Shiny.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Online Shopping Woes

I ordered a new petrol tank from http://www.everycarpart.co.uk on Monday. The money was withdrawn from my account. There has been no response to emails asking where the part is or when it will arrive (Wednesday noon; Wednesday evening), or to my cancellation of the order (Thursday evening). My car still has no petrol tank, and I have lost 4 1/2 days because of promises made on their website (next day delivery; responding to emails within 2 hours).

Nochexs is investigating, but my credit card company say that without a stated delivery date (as opposed to ‘general’ promises made on the company’s website), they have to default to 30 days for delivery, so can’t chase them up until November.

With help, I have got another tank coming from a company that emailed me 2 hours after placing the order last night, and again at 7am this morning to confirm delivery to the garage (http://www.bradgatemotors.co.uk). What a difference! I also had 2 responses from another website to my enquiry (http://www.partsgateway.co.uk/) – excellent, but I had to tell them that I had a brand new tank now ordered.

Life is too short to get worked up over poor customer service, but it looks like the law has not caught up with the 21st century. So, be careful of dealing with companies who fail to live up to their ‘general’ promises. They are difficult to spot – especially if in a rush and a panic to get a replacement.

I’ll be building this up – showing promises on their website, and broken promises at that. As I start my October break with no transport, thanks to the time lost dealing with this company, I have plenty of evening class work, and chores, and painting to get done.  All within easy reach of the fridge.

In the meantime, it is great to be able to applaud good customer care. Well done, folks.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Gang aft agley

It was the start of a long weekend break. It was maybe my third trip out this year. I was planning on heading up to Loch nan Cnapan as I hadn’t got there last year due to the bout of cellulitis in my leg.  So I had packed for 3 days – which is pretty much my overnight kit, but with extra food and fuel.

To Corrour Bothy

To Corrour Bothy

To Corrour Bothy

To Corrour Bothy

To Corrour Bothy

I took my first break after crossing the Luibeg Burn at the ford that the NTS has been working on. They’ve done an amazing job. I didn’t, and misjudged the water depth. Time for a snack. I had been out of the buffeting wind along the valley, but moving back out on to the hill’s shoulder got the skloogs running back up my nose.

To Corrour Bothy 

I had my camera out ready to take a photo of the jet fighter, who’s engine I could hear, only to realise that it was the wind in the glen beside the Bod. Whichever way I turned, the wind seemed to be in my face. If this was at ground level, I was already ruling out getting up to the open plateau – especially as the wind caught me unprepared twice and almost bowled me over.

To Corrour Bothy

I thought about heading south down Glen Dee, a route I’d taken last year with Dawn, but the wind would be in my face for  a couple of hours. If I tabbed it back towards the shelter of Derry Lodge, I would probably keep going back to the car.

To Corrour Bothy

Arriving at Corrour Bothy, I had already decided to head back to Aberdeen. Knowing I had to cross the burn again, I dug out my oversocks and stored them in the backpack's belt pouch.

To Corrour Bothy

Crossing the Luibeg Burn again, I dug out the TrekMates Gore-Tex "Amphibian" waterproof over-socks and crossed holding my trail-shoes in the cord of my poles. I was surprised by the grip offered. Job done. Thanks for the suggestion, Dawn.

To Corrour Bothy

My goal had now become to get back to the car before 6.30, when the new series of “The News Quiz” would start. I made it with 5 minutes to spare. Sadly, turning on the car radio, I forgot that there was no Radio 4 reception until outside Braemar. Jings, it was the drone o’ the pipes on NECR as I got changed and then dove (almost uneventfully) back to Aberdeen. 15 1/2 miles. 0930-1825. 3 blisters. I'll do better next time.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

ChuckleVision Howeller

Having cleaned the windows and re-organised my book piles, I caught the end of the Chuckle Brother’s zany antics on BBC2 this morning. During the blooper reel at the end, the name of Colin Ibbotson was mentioned, as one Chuckle got it mixed with the name of a character. The other responded with “you went to school with Colin Ibbotson” (or words to that effect).

Is this another claim to fame of the “UK Super Lightweight Hiker”, Colin Ibbotson? If so, the episode is “Jumping Jackpot” and the Elliott brothers hail from Rotherham in Yorkshire. But it is probably just coincidence.

Blockade Runner Outlook

Getting back to Aberdeen, I find that Yahoo’s blockade of my email address only applies to emails sent from Pipex’s online “Netmail” service. Emails sent from my desktop to Yahoo addresses are fine. Huzzah for the ineptitude of Yahoo. As I rarely use Pipex’s “Netmail” service, I am now not sure how long yahoo have had their blockade active, since they have never told me about it, and – when they did bother to reply to my enquiries – said that it was nothing to do with them. In other words, Yahoo lied. They are not lying now, as they did not reply to my last email. Maybe that’s where the name comes from? Stick a finger in each ear and make the noise “Yahoo” continually until the complaints go away.

Life’s too short to bother with these bozos. Transmission ends.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Stornoway Homecoming 2009

Massed pipe bands in Stornoway today. They were really good, and were having fun.

There was a parade and stalls and the rescue helicopter did amazing feats of control and slides and a fair and dancing and a craft fair and the international market and there was lots and lots and lots of people at it and even the police car had streamers on it.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Yahoo’s Blockade Continues

With more important things happening than dealing with some crap from a company that refuses to do anything about stopping me from emailing friends and family who are with them, I forgot to say that a technician from Pipex called me on Wednesday afternoon. He said that Yahoo had installed a new updated spam filter, and it had blocked lots of accounts (including his). Pipex had tried getting through to Yahoo, but there was no response. He suggested that I kept on trying.

I did point out that I was merely a single individual, that Pipex was in a better position to tell Yahoo that they were blockading innocent customers. We laughed then at Yahoo’s deal with Microsoft, where Yahoo were relying on making money from their existing customers – something that would be curtailed by Yahoo’s accountholders not getting mail from their friends and family who are being blockaded.

Today, I laughed when I saw the report on the BBC entitled “The internet's conscientious objectors” and the high-minded words of Martha Lane Fox (unelected, appointed as Digital Champion) “I don't think you can be a proper citizen of our society in the future if you are not engaged online” she said. We are not online citizens, we are users of systems. We have no rights, but merely accept their terms and conditions. How then can we be proper citizens, when the best we can hope for is to be part of a community.

Time I dusted off Hobbe’s “Leviathan”, as we humans have not changed much in over 300 years.

by Art is created that great LEVIATHAN called a COMMON-WEALTH, or STATE, (in latine CIVITAS) which is but an Artificiall Man; though of greater stature and strength than the Naturall, for whose protection and defence it was intended; and in which, the Soveraignty is an Artificiall Soul, as giving life and motion to the whole body; The Magistrates, and other Officers of Judicature and Execution, artificiall Joynts; Reward and Punishment (by which fastned to the seat of the Soveraignty, every joynt and member is moved to performe his duty) are the Nerves, that do the same in the Body Naturall; The Wealth and Riches of all the particular members, are the Strength; Salus Populi (the Peoples Safety) its Businesse; Counsellors, by whom all things needfull for it to know, are suggested unto it, are the Memory; Equity and Lawes, an artificiall Reason and Will; Concord, Health; Sedition, Sicknesse; and Civill War, Death. Lastly, the Pacts and Covenants, by which the parts of this Body Politique were at first made, set together, and united, resemble that Fiat, or the Let Us Make Man, pronounced by God in the Creation.

We are a species that uses communications and tools for advancement. The Internet is merely one of these tools. Online or off-line, we are all part of the leviathan.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Yahoo! Customer Care Team - missive 6

Your still blockading my Pipex account. It has been going on since Friday the 24th July, and all I get is the "it isn't anything to do with Yahoo" messages. Strange, I get the same from Pipex. In the meantime, I cannot email friends and family on their Yahoo or BTopenworld accounts.

Thank you for not caring. It just gives Yahoo a bad reputation, and we work round it by me email them on their other accounts, eg Freeserve or Google. And life goes on.

Sunshine over Broad Bay

Sunshine over Broad Bay, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

Low pressure no longer sitting directly over crofthouse and the first sign of sunshine in a week.

Friday, 31 July 2009

Yahoo! Postmaster Customer Care Satisfaction Survey

Dear Yahoo! User,

Please tell us about your recent experience with Yahoo! Postmaster Customer Care in a brief online survey.

Thanks so much for taking the time to give us your feedback.

Have a great day,
Yahoo! Postmaster Customer Care


Well, a week later, and I am still blocked from sending to Yahoo.com, Yahoo.co.uk and now BTopenworld.com – I only get automated responses from Yahoo. Pipex are replying and say that their engineers are following it up. In the meantime, I’m copy/pasting emails from my secondary account. So I was delighted to see this appear in the in-tray. Sadly it is filed under their “mail abuse” category. They block me, they don’t do anything about it, and now I’m filed under “mail abuse”. Anyway, I think it has stopped raining, so I’d better nip out and tidy up the croft of toys left after the last downpour.


Overall, how satisfied were you with your most recent email interaction with Yahoo! Postmaster Customer Care?

1-Very Dissatisfied

Was your issue resolved?


We're sorry your issue was not resolved. To help us do a better job next time, please select the reason below that best describes why your issue was not resolved.

none of the answers said that yahoo did not care enough to bother

My problem is a known issue to Yahoo! Postmaster that hasn't been fixed yet.

What did you like MOST about your Yahoo! Postmaster Customer Care experience?

Nothing. You failed completely, and I still cannot send emails to people at Yahoo or BTopenworld. Your responses were merely copy/pasted from the Yahoo response book.

What did you like LEAST about your Yahoo! Postmaster Customer Care experience?

The automatic way that you passed the buck onto my ISP with no interest in me as a customer. We've been chatting about it on http://aktoman.blogspot.com

What improvements, if any, would you like Yahoo! Postmaster Customer Care to make?

Treat people like people. You care not a jot about this customer, so I laugh at you calling yourself "Customer Care". Ha ha.

Occasionally, we contact a few customers for additional info about their feedback. If needed, may we get in touch with you?


Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Yahoo! Customer Care Team - missive 5

Hello Duncan,

Thank you for writing to Yahoo! Mail.
I am sorry to hear about the issue you have experienced. We have checked our servers and our mail systems appear to be working at the moment. The issue may have been transient or network-related.
Please have the mail system administrator or postmaster of pipex.com contact us directly via the Yahoo! Mail Help page below in order to investigate the issue in further details.
We apologize for the inconvenience.
You may contact the Postmaster of the domain related to the issue at the email address below:
You may replace "domain.com" with the extension of the domain in question.

Your patience during this process is greatly appreciated.
Thank you again for contacting Yahoo! Mail. Your case number for this issue is xxxxx. Please reference it in all future communication about this particular issue.

Yahoo! Customer Care


To which I replied…


Hank - this is a duplicate of the email that you have sent me yesterday. I posted my reply online, since I cannot be bothered duplicating my response:

and then on Wednesday when your system still refuses to allow me to email from my Pipex account to any Yahoo.com or Yahoo.co.uk


As stated, I will be contacting the UK's Ombudsman about this on Thursday as you have had 6 days to sort this, and you now just cannot be bothered. I just checked by sending trying to send an email to my Yahoo account, and you are still blocking it because of your policy.


Holiday weather

Mini tornado wreaks havoc on isle (BBC News).

The power was out last night after the lightening storm, and the older kids missed Stornoway’s mini-tornado by 15 minutes. They used words like “cool” when seeing the video clip.

Yahoo! Customer Care Team - missive 4

You are STILL refusing to allow me to post to Yahoo accounts. This has been going on since Friday and YOU refuse to take any action, saying it is nothing to do with YOU. Despite the FACT that the error message has YAHOO's name on it.

FFS, get a move on as my next action is to contact the Office of the Telecommunications Ombudsman here in the UK about this slander on my name.

Since this ineptitude seems to be systemic, I have already set up a Google Group account to take over from our club's Yahoo Group, so you'll lose their eyeballs on your adverts as well as when I close down my 11-year old Yahoo account to move it to the GoogleMail account that I set up yesterday.

And never assume that I am patient when I am being called a thief and a liar by a faceless corporation from it's ivory towers in America.


Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Yahoo! Customer Care Team - missive 3

Hello Duncan,
Thank you for writing to Yahoo! Mail.
I am sorry to hear about the issue you have experienced. We have checked our servers and our mail systems appear to be working at the moment. The issue may have been transient or network-related.
If the issue persists, the best solution is to have the mail system administrator or postmaster of the internet service provider or domain, with which you are experiencing the issue (pipex.com), contact us directly via the Yahoo! Mail Help page below in order to investigate the issue in further details.

You may contact the Postmaster of the domain related to the issue at the email address below:
You may replace "domain.com" with the extension of the domain in question.
Your patience during this process is greatly appreciated.

Yahoo! Customer Care


To which I replied…


ROTFLMAO at Hank's email.

It took me a few seconds to send an email to my Yahoo account to find that Yahoo was still blocking emails from this Pipex account. Below is the source of the test email that I sent.

The problem is not with Pipex, as mail from them to other servers gets through. The message about non-delivery originates from Yahoo's system, as it states that Yahoo is not accepting emails from my Pipex account.

Be enough of a man to admit that Yahoo is the one causing this failure in communication. This breach of my freedom to email friends and family. Don't tell me that the problem is with my email provider, as I can email to every other domain that I have needed to in the last 4 days apart from Yahoo.com and Yahoo.co.uk - both of which block my Pipex account as "554-'Message not allowed - UP Email not accepted for policy reasons."

The Delivery Status Notification states quite clearly that it is Yahoo's policy not to deliver to email that I sent from my Pipex account. Your policy. Not Pipex's policy, but Yahoo's policy.

Duncan MacLeod
also at … @yahoo.com since 1998, but set up his Googlemail account today because of this.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Yahoo! Customer Care Team - missive 2

This is beyond the pale. I mailed you on Sunday that I'd been blocked mailing to my pal, ...@yahoo.co.uk, since Friday and now this to an old schoolfriend about him becoming a grandfather.

I mailed the details back to you last night re case ....... And now nothing. Is this typical of Yahoo!'s service? You guys didn't notify our YahooGroup about the shutdown in service recently, and we had to find out the hard way.

I'm off to blog about this breach of service standards. You have 24 hours, to contact me about this slander on my name, and then I move our accounts elsewhere. I know that in this day and age, you won't be concerned about losing advertising, but what the heck, you seem to be happy at letting an automated system call me a bounder and a cad without any human emotion.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Don’t Look Back

Slept in. Missed the post. Watched tv over breakfast, some standard Western (“Man of the West”), until the baddy gang appeared, lead by “Pa”, talking about "Link”, and one even had a bowler hat. Yup, it was the original “Angel Gang” from 2000AD.

Starting on the Audio editing unit of my homework. Listening to some reggae on iTunes.

I didn’t realise that I had so much sleep to catch up on.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009


Playing a horror game at the Club tonight, and it brought back memories of the old KGB.

Found these on YouTube.

It’s not to the tune of Queen’s “Bicycle Races”, but still.

And who could miss this? (where did I leave my copy of the Necronomicon?):

US National Archives

I haven’t visited the US National Archives site for a few years (not since doing some research), so I was pleased to see that they have a YouTube channel.

I’ll catch up with this one in the morning.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Title Says It All

This came on my CD in the car as I headed out to get some essential supplies this morning. They are a great band, I was boogying along the seafront with the aircon on, heading for an early shop – which then included the new CD “The End”.

Supplies – oscillating fan (it was 20°c at 0900hrs) and an LG widescreen LCD monitor (yup, I finally disconnected my CRT unit).

When I got back, the Boxer rifles pack from Old Glory was waiting for me. I only ordered it when I was editing a video after midnight on Thursday night/Friday morning. Good going. I’ll get all my figures to the same stage of prep and then wait for a rainy day to get a wodge painted.

So much to do before I can disappear to the hills with a clear conscience.

If you haven’t figured it out – I survived another teaching year, and I’m looking forward to next year. Emotionally and physically, I’m having a big clearout at home and at work. “Hello, Trail? Yup, I’m cancelling my subscription”. Life is too short to get dragged down by other people. I can’t define my life by what I am not. I like problem-solving, I like helping people, I like learning things. I am a geek. No more, no less.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Break-up Food

I got these for a pal yesterday, when I was in Matthews Chinese supermarket yesterday.

dried lover plums

It just reminded me of the joke that ends “well, sometimes the bull wins”.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Osprey Exos 58 litre (Large)

I got my Osprey Exos 58 litre as a special order from Outside.co.uk – they had a limited supply of the large backs.

IMG_2998 Exos 58

My rational for going from the Atmos 50 litre (L) up to a pack that has 61 litres capacity was simple. I can do simple. The Exos 58 (L) is lighter than the Atmos 50 (L). The larger capacity Exos can allow me to transport a larger load than the Atmos. The Exos can be compressed down so that there is no excess material.

I’ve had the Osprey Atmos since 2006, and it has been my overnight pack, my weekend pack, my long-distance-walk pack (West Highland Way, Southern Upland Way). It is very comfortable, and a great load-carrier. But I’ve often had to strap the Akto’s fabric on to the outside of the pack in it’s compression sack. It just doesn’t look nice. I don’t go climbing, so am not concerned about dragging my pack up cliff-faces on the end of a rope.

First impressions of the Exos. Light. Straps are thinner. More ways to pack items on the side. Belt pockets seem easier to reach. Pocket under the lid is useful, and is now home to a XSS Exped waterproof bag.

I don’t like the official “backpanel sleeve” for hydration bags (loads move as the bag is emptied), and hung mine from the wee strap in the main compartment, and down through the zip into the frame space. I did this on the Atmos, however that was designed to do it, the Exos is not. The zip in to the airspace compartment is on one side only, so cannot fully close (hmm, not neat).

The manual is up to the usual high standard, and the whistle is still present on the chest-strap (and confuses birds no end).

More to follow over the Summer.

Honey Stove aus 2009

Honey Stove 2009 in use as a windshield and pot-holder. Alpkit’s MyTiMug (750ml). Tinny’s BlackFly#4 meths stove (1 oz fuel). The new design allowed me to move the Blackfly closer to the base of the pan. When the fuel ran out, I had enough hot water for two mugs of tea. It still amazes me that such a small amount of fuel can give 2 people a cuppa each – truly a marvel.


Honey Stove in wood-burning mode. A few scrapes off a ‘maya’ stick with the pocket-knife, on to cotton-wool coated in Vaseline, and quick blast from the gas-lighter, and fire was made. I’m sure the Ancients did it the same way.

I boiled enough water for another brew for us both. Then to rehydrate my dinner. Then to wash the dish. Then just to stop the fire from going out.


After the fire was done, I left the stove to cool down, and activated the cloaking device.


Designer and retailer: http://www.backpackinglight.co.uk/product397.asp

Bob and Rose are selling an Upgrade Kit for owners of the 2008 version.

For me, if I’m taking the meths stove, this is a standard accessory. I amn’t counting the grammes, but I am looking at a flat-pack kit that just slides into a side pocket and is multi-functional.

Pro Action Hike Lite

I felt guilty about making Mike haul the old Wild Country New Ilanos, so looked at the old “Tiger Paws” tent that pops up on Outdoors Magic every now and again. That’s “paws”, not “feet” (thank you, George).

A quick check online, and a trip to Argos last Thursday meant that a smaller packed unit went into the Atmos. Of course, I’d swapped the pegs out for a mix of lighter standard pegs (from Blacks) and some ground-grabbers from Alpkit.

Stats from the Argos site:

  • 2000mm hydrostatic head. [The Akto’s is 3000mm]
  • Taped seams.
  • Tension adjusters.
  • Quick clips.
  • Size of overall tent (H)300, (W)120, (L)105cm.
  • Size of each room 110 x 290cm.
  • Size of living space 110 x 290cm.
  • Packed size (H)15, (W)15, (D)40cm.
  • Weight 2.1kg.
  • IMG_3123 Pro Action

    IMG_3122 Pro Action

    IMG_3069 Pro Action

    IMG_3070 Pro Action

    IMG_3072 Pro Action


    IMG_3106 Pitch

    There wasn’t much of a wind, and it wasn’t raining. During the night, the temperature dropped to 4°c and rose again to 14°c by the time we broke camp. Mike carried it, pitched it, dozed and slept in it.

    Sunday, 31 May 2009

    Altanour Overnighter

    The weather was too good, and the fuses too short to stay in Aberdeen over the weekend. Mike was in agreement, and the forecast was great, so kit had been gathered for an overnight visit to Altanour Lodge in Glen Ey (maplink). I’d been there before, and love Glen Ey.

    I started packing on Friday night, and looked out extra kit for Mike. I’d picked up a “Tiger Paws” tent from Argos, as I felt guilty about lending him my old, huge New Illanos tent. I’m not a morning person, so was concerned about forgetting to look out essentials for him, so a sofa filled with gear. With my new Osprey Exos 58 litre (large, so 61 litre) pack, he also got my Atmos 50 litre pack. Saturday morning arrived, and the Atmos was packed with chosen gear, and we were off.

    An uneventful trip out, with a pit-stop in Braemar, got us to Inverey at noon. Packs, suncream, and brimmed caps were the order of the day.

    IMG_3000 Inverey

    IMG_3004 Mike

    IMG_2997 Inverey

    IMG_3010 Glen Ey

    And so we walked for 3 hours. We saw an adder, birds (brown), birds (black and white), birds (seagull), birds (shadowy), rabbits (big), rabbits (small), slugs, sheep (humming), slug (sunning), deer (red), deer (Gilliamesque), beetles (don’t use it’s stage name), ducks (swimming), curlew (curling).

    IMG_3016 Auchelie

    IMG_3032 Ey Burn

    IMG_3018 Poser


    IMG_3033 South-west

    Mike spotted some shells on the track. .22 he reckoned.

    IMG_3050 Shells


    We arrive at the lodge, but there’s a family camped at the good pitch, so we slot into a wee gulley. After pitching, we get some kip in the shade. Mike later finds that he’s sleeping in his tent the wrong way, which accounts for his claustrophobic feeling. The evening passes with tea, cooking, deer-spotting, chocolate and malt.

    IMG_3064 Pitch

    IMG_3106 Pitch



    In the morning, we break the tents down and head back to Inverey after the 16km round trip.

    IMG_3148 Cairngorms

    We stop at Braemar and Aboyne. On the way back to Aberdeen, we pass 3 road-side fires being attended by the Fire Brigade. Perhaps related, some steam traction engines are pulled up at the roadside, a couple are beside a vehicle with blue flashing lights.