Monday, 25 May 2015

Welcome to Crieff

I parked in Crieff on the way to Glasgow. It's a car park I have used for many years. The parking meter was out of order. It had been out of order the previous time last year but there hadn't been a notice on the pay machine and I'd left a note in the car windscreen. It did occur to me as I walked out of the car park last Wednesday that on the basis of the notice I, and all the other car drivers, were actually liable to prosecution. It also made me realise that the notice was fatally flawed. The Council might prosecute but winning the case and extracting a fine, of any size, was beyond their legal capability. Regardless of all that £1000 for a parking offence? Get real Crieff. Little wonder that there is such an air of faded glories of times past in the main shopping street. I think I'll give the centre a miss next time. There are plenty of other places for a coffee and comfort stop (where I don't even have to pay anyway).

PS How is an enforcement officer going to know whether or not I have made a note of the expiry time the failure to do of which, according to the notice, could cost me £1000. Try it and see where you get to Crieff Council!

Sunday, 24 May 2015


Saturday, 23 May 2015

A Wee Trip

A week or so ago I decided that I would take a wee trip on Wednesday to Glasgow to see a friend for a few days. That involved an 0500 start. Why is it that for the previous two mornings I had been up well before 0600 but on the morning that I had to get up I didn't really want to? That's a rhetorical question (complete with ?) but it is always thus. Mind you the second I'm up I'm good and raring to go. I decided that I would go on deck for the leaving of the ferry, MV Loch Seaforth, from Stornoway's No 3 Pier. It was a cold but pleasant morning.

A few people have suggested that they would like to see more of the Island upon which I live so this summer I shall try and do more posts of the Islands. This is a start showing the town of Stornoway as we sail out of the harbour.

A few of the landmarks
MV Isle of Lewis berthed at No 1 Pier
We have three ferries here at the moment. I'l post about why on another occasion. 
Part of the South Beach Quay with the Lews Castle Grounds as a backdrop.
No 2 Pier is used for the fuel delivery ships and 40 years ago was covered, in season, with barrels being filled with salt herring.
The long-closed Caledonian Hotel where, back in the 70s, friends and I gathered on a Friday evening.
The first night I ever stayed on the Island was spent in the bedroom with the window second from the left on the top floor.
The old Harbour Master's Watchroom. The door behind the white van also led decades ago to the chair of John the Barber.
The Stornoway Town Hall. No longer used as a proper town hall but still a civic building.
The Stornoway Town Council met in the Council Chamber on the right of the building on the first floor.
It was in a committee room on the first floor to the right of the main entrance that I was offered the job that brought me to the Island.
MV Isle of Lewis with the recently renovated and restored Lews Castle. 
Lews Castle. At the top right of the picture can be seen the top of the Stornoway War Memorial

Saturday, 16 May 2015

The Harris Hills

On my way into town (Stornoway) I have to cross the peninsula on which I live. 

At the highest point of the road across the moor one has a clear view of the hills of the Isle of Harris. I should, of course, have said that one sometimes has a clear view of the hills of the Isle of Harris. It has been know to rain on occasion obscuring them or at least interfering with the 33km or thereby between me and the hills you can see in the photo (somewhere round the end of the yellow line).

One day I shall do a post on peat cutting. In the foreground is one of the very few, perhaps the only, peat bank being cut on the Lower Bayble Common Grazings this year. When I arrived here four decades ago there would have been many dozens: most active crofts in the townships would have had a bank. 

This was the view a week or so ago: