Tuesday, March 08, 2016

SCOTLAND'S WINTRY A9 ROAD

The weather forecast was almost, but, not quite as dire as some we have heard before a journey. Nevertheless, if we were going to make the journey we had to travel in daylight.  The forecaster warned that with the temperatures being low, driving conditions could be icy and in addition, there was snow expected on high ground, which would move onto lower ground later on in the day.  It was mid February, daylight hours had increased by four minutes a day since the Winter Solstice, so, that meant we now had a decent chunk of additional daylight time in our favour.
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You Can See The Icy Road Ahead.
Being a Tuesday, we expected to encounter a fair amount of commercial traffic.  Most of the commercial vehicles and some streams of cars were all heading in the opposite direction.  In front here, there was a truck and a tanker.

The road, Scotland's notorious A9 two lane road, is currently governed by average speed cameras. Vehicles of 7.5 tons or more, are restricted to 50 miles per hour.  Overtaking opportunities were limited, unless you thrived on serious risk-taking.  There being no other road north, it meant that domestic and smaller vehicles were forced into slower speeds for much of the time.  You see road signs that tell you 'frustration kills'.

Here we are into the steady upward climb of  'higher ground' as can be seen by the snow-capped hill on the left and the broken white slopes appearing on the right.  Just in case you are wondering, we are on one  of  the sections of dual carriageway on this road.   There are not many.

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Still, onward and upwards.....
Climbing Higher
Climbing Higher still

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Mucky Windscreen.
 
Then clarity.......The snowy  marshmallow pillows were lovely
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This is my way of climbing peaks, using four wheels.

Mucky Windscreen
The dual carriageway at this point is on two levels.  In the right corner, you can just see a bit of the upper level.
 
 We caught a heavy bout of 'lower ground weather' as forecast, just after a quick, a very quick lunch stop; me darting in to a road side cafe to buy two coffees to take away.   Here we are driving into 'the weather'. The light and the sky were very threatening  What a difference an hour or two makes to a day.  All that lovely bright light, the gorgeous skies with fluffy clouds, had totally disappeared
 
 


A few minutes more and we met the weather totally as forecast, we were well and truly in it, a mix of snow and sleet and  very subdued daylight.


The rest of the journey, the last hundred miles or so, was punctuated by more  heavy wind-driven snow and sleet. But, it was still daylight when we reached journey's end.  We'd done it!



Wednesday, February 03, 2016

WHAT WE TALKED ABOUT

While out walking we talked about….

Where humans might rest up in a dual purpose horse box;

The anarchy of some computer programme system designs;

About overflowing farm drains;

A courier company that uses more than one livery;

A swollen river in spate and nearly over-topping its banks;

About a utensils pot seen in a charity shop;

Buying a loaf of bread from the local bakery,

As I absent-mindedly walked past it;

Where to find a public toilet;

The cold wintry wind felt like ‘a bed for snow’.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

ABIGAIL....TO GERTRUDE AND HENRY,WHAT NEXT....Brrrrr

So far, Abigail, Barney, Clodagh, Desmond, Eva, Frank, Gertrude visited, all, it seems, in quick succession.  Now we expect Henry's imminent arrival.

Gertrude stormed in last Thursday night, (28th January 2106) and raged all of Friday. Late in the day there was a lull in Gertrude's activity and I went out to get some provisions, such as were available. Bridges closed to traffic, meant absolutely no buses, no transport of any kind that would deliver anything and also trains were cancelled.

Passing through the check-out with my few bits of shopping; 'passing the crack' (chat) with cashier, a young lad from the high school :

Him politely: It's getting chilly out there now.

Me: Gertrude  has been raging all day.

Him: - mischievously- what set her off then!





Yesterday, Saturday, we had snow and windy gusts. It felt really cold...it pierced through you.  I was wearing four layers indoors and a long padded coat plus hat outdoors. By nightfall the snow was nowhere to be seen.

Heavy snowfall pitted its sound against the windows during the evening.  Eventually, peaking out from behind the curtains, I saw a settled covering of white.

 
Today,Sunday, the last day of January, we had snow lie all day.  It was another four layer dressing day. There were some light snow showers, also a period of bright snow reflected sunshine.  We went for a walk  zipped up in wadded coats, our hats on, thermal gloves to keep hands and fingers toastie warm and walking boots for grip.








Now we await the arrival of Storming Henry, chasing in close on the heels of Gertrude.  Oh joy! (Not).

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

BUSY BUSINESS.

Hello.

Just been rather busy since November last year, though there was a lull for a few days over the Christmas break.  Just as well, because with the dire flood warnings, which sounded like they were near, or, at home, we cut into our break  and dashed back to see if everything was okay chez nous.

The busy business will continue for a bit.  It means I won’t have much time for posting, (though I will take any opportunity that presents itself).  However, I intend that all this busy stuff  will not get in the way of keeping in contact and commenting.

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day.  This morning, I heard a very poignant story on the BBC Radio 4 Programme, ‘Midweek,’ about a sock that belonged to a survivor.

January is nearly over; we’re getting an extra hour or so of daylight now.

:)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

THE END

BLOG UK

MADE BY YOU



Dear user,
We inform you that our blogging platform has been closed on all markets on December 16th 2015. All blogs have been taken offline at this date, and it's not possible any more to log in.

For any questions regarding the closure or your blog please contact our customer support.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

SELF-DESTRUCTING BLOG

Blog.Co.UK (BCUK), whose registered offices are in Germany, is completely removing its blogging platform during the day of the 15th December, 2015. It is a very final act. I have never before seen a blogging platform self-destruct out of all existence.  BCUK will be history.     smile emoticon kolobok
 
Blog UK was an intuitive site to use, a vibrant and supportive social site in its heyday, it was easy to make blog friends who actively shared comments. Its demise, though slow, was really inevitable after it was sold on. The new proprietors gave access to avalanches of spammers.   Inappropriate mails stopped being dealt with.  Lots of genuine bloggers voted with their feet. Many, like me, occasionally posted and kept in contact with favourite BCUK bloggers. Groups of friends kept going. smile emoticon kolobok
 
Users of BCUK were given lots of warning of the proposed end, as were sister platforms in other parts of the world. At the same time we were given detailed instructions in English on how to export our posts to WordPress (WP) and how to save them.  The instructions would not work for the likes of Blogspot, where I was regularly posting.
 
The French bloggers also received their instructions in English!   smile emoticon kolobokI spent some time translating the instructions into French with the assistance of Google Translate. My translation was posted on the French site, with lots of grateful thanks.

Exporting blogs to WP was not difficult, though perfect, it was not. I will have to edit through ten years worth of posts. I have given it a rest while I’ve been learning to use WP.  By default WP has become my primary site.  It is a bit complicated and there is a lot of clunky programming.   Bloggers from other countries have found sites elsewhere and find it easier to stay in touch with me on Blogspot.
smile emoticon kolobok
A few blog UK friends decided it was time to say goodbye to blogging.  Some have have connected up on WP. It’s nice because linking up on WP with other people who want to genuinely inter-communicate in words about this and that, and not sell you something, is not easily facilitated with the WP set up. smile emoticon kolobok

Thursday, November 26, 2015

THE ANCIENTS GOT IT RIGHT!

This year it was going to be different, I decided. When the days shorten, with dark mornings and early nights, (it is quite dark by half past four in the afternoon) it is easy to feel like going into hibernation mode: no, I was going to be bright and perky. We still have not arrived at our shortest day, the Winter Solstice brings that.

With little sunshine, it is not easy to be bright and bouncy. I have been looking around me. There is a weariness  visible on people's faces. The town has a Fun Day soon, probably just in time. The Christmas lights, which hopefully will be installed this year, ( you never know if austerity may intervene) do make a huge difference to the long dark evenings. Saturnalia was to the ancients what the brightening seasonal decorations are to us now.  Roll on.....bring 'em on.

The other thing is, with collars up, hoods scarves and hats on, it is not easy to see people greet you with a smile, which we tend to do here. Against the winds, you keep your head down, yet another barrier to not just being cheery but being a receiver of others' friendliness. Apart from SAD syndrome, which, luckily, I am not bothered with, there are all the other diffusions of our subtle happiness connectors, which, ordinarily, you would not think about.

So, how am I faring with my inner bounce. I am working on it. I may even succeed!    
 
smile emoticon kolobok