1 EAGLETON NOTES: February 2017



Tuesday 28 February 2017

Inverness at Night

When I was in Inverness a few weeks ago with my son Gaz we stayed at the Glenmorriston Hotel on the bank of the River Ness. I used to stay there years ago when it was far less "upmarket" than it is now. There were no Singapore Sling cocktails available 'back in those days'. After an excellent dinner Gaz and I decided to take advantage of the very cold, crisp late evening air and go for a walk along the river or, to be more accurate, along one bank and back along the other.

The view from my bedroom window
Looking back towards the hotel (not in view) and the Castle. The old Highland and Islands Development Board offices between the camera and the Castle are now luxury apartments
The road bridge from the town centre towards Loch Ness and Fort William
There are a lot of churches on the river's banks
One of several footbridges
Just a closer view
Just a wider view

Friday 24 February 2017

Just a Quick Quiz

This is a picture captured on my dashcam yesterday on the Isle of Lewis on the way home from Grimshader. It's an unusual scene for Lewis. Do you know why?

Wednesday 15 February 2017

It's Mine

Monday 13 February 2017


Yesterday we went to the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery. I love going there and have blogged about it many times. Today I looked, as I always do, at some of my favourite paintings by The Glasgow Boys and then, whilst listening to the afternoon organ concert, wandered around the gallery on the first floor looking at familiar sculptures and, in particular, at the faces. I have probably blogged about these statues before but when I concentrated on the faces I could just concentrate on the emotions captured in the materials.

This face is from a statue entitled The Sunflower carved in Portland Stone by Gilbert Ledward in about 1932.

I don't think that I've ever shown this one before. It's entitled Paul and Virginia  and was carved in about 1841 by William Calder Marshall. It depicts a scene from a French poem with Paul carrying his devoted playmate over a raging river. She later dies at sea and Paul dies of a broken heart.

The next is a bronze cast for a gravestone. It is entitled Memorial to a Marriage by Patricia Cronin. The explanation follows the picture.

Syrinx (the beauty who attracted the unwanted advances of Pan in Greek mythology) by William Macmillan was awarded the accolade of Best Sculpture of The Year in 1925 by the Royal Society of British Sculptors.

The Spring Tide of Life by Robert Colton in 1903 depicts the children gazing from the crest of  wave as if into a wonderful future.

Of course anyone who has followed my blog for any length of time knows of my love for the sculpture entitled Motherless by George Anderson Lawson (1832 - 1904).  Few sculptures show more emotion than this.

Lastly is the face of the Rt Hon the Lord Macfarlane of Bearsden KT who was chairman of the Kelvingrove Refurbishment Committee amongst many other things.  I just thought that it was an 'interesting' face. When we had finished wandering we went down to the restaurant for coffee. I showed Anna the photo and asked her if she know who it was. "Of course" she replied "I was sitting near him at (her granddaughter's) school production recently." That was not an answer I had expected but it reminded me of the six degrees of separation which states that everyone in the world can, supposedly, be linked with everyone else in not more than six steps.

Sunday 12 February 2017

La La Land

I've not seen the film La La Land. It definitely seems to be a Marmite film.  YP loved it. Frances Garrood held quite the opposite view. I've been holding back on expressing a view until I've seen it. However at The BAFTAS this evening (the first time I have ever seen the BAFTAS) when I discovered that I had never even heard of most of the films mentioned, La La Land swept the boards. It seems that Marmite is definitely in favour at the moment. I shall watch it with interest.

Tuesday 7 February 2017

A Dawn Journey

Last week Gaz and I went to Inverness on Monday morning and returned on Tuesday evening. On the outward journey across The Minch at dawn the weather was idyllic and I managed the following photos as we sailed into the mouth of Loch Broom towards Ullapool.

Then as we exited Strath Garve by road and  saw the lower slopes leading towards Ben Wyvis the mist and frost gradually got thicker and colder.

Sunday 5 February 2017

Global Weather Chaos

It's Sunday. My 'day off' from my recent day job at my son's house. As a full-time job it comes to an end this week as he's going back to the superyacht that is his home for two months out of every four. The house is almost finished. I will miss the day job very much indeed. However I will get back to the very full life that I had before.

This morning, after a late and very enjoyable night out with my son and his wife and family at Stornoway's finest restaurant, I'm sitting in bed with hot water and lemon and doing some catching up in Blogland before getting on with the day's tasks (which include finalising the designs for my next project: gutting and putting in a new kitchen).

I'm not sure why but something prompted me to see what I'd written on this day back in 2008 (the second year of my New Zealand blog).  It was brief and to the point and reminded me (almost) of the unpredictability of Lewis weather.
It's very hard to understand how bizarre the weather is here at the moment. Two nights ago I had the air conditioning on for a short while before I went to bed because it was too warm. Yesterday morning it got up to 31.5 deg on the deck and I was working in shorts alone. This morning on the Croquet Lawn I was wearing long trousers, a body warmer, a fleece and a windproof jacket! Tonight I have the air conditioning on to warm the Cottage. We are supposed to be having a record hot, dry February according to the forecasters. Eh?

Wednesday 1 February 2017

A Thank You To A (former) President

This post is plagiarised from (or written with apologies to) Mrs Slapthing at Mental Meatloaf.  

Until relatively recently no one at all knew anything about my politics. I am not, and never have been a person who has been involved in Politics although I worked in a 'political' (but not party political) environment all my bureaucratic life. Theses days I still avoid politics whenever possible. Listening to people argue about politics makes me switch of the radio or the television assuming that I hadn't switched off before the programme.

That being said, I just wanted to thank the former President of the United States, Barak Obama,  for his service to the world. He and his family have been an inspiration to many.  Listening to him speak has been as positive as politics-related experiences get.  He has shown the best combination of patience and power that I have seen at the helm of any country in a very long time.

The fact that President Obama and Michelle have been such real, warm, and accessible people has made many people all over the world happy that that family was in the White House. 

It's so easy to think of the ruler of a country as some cold, tense person "up there" - but President Obama made it seem like having a family, a real life, and a wife that he loved was also possible while taking on the problems of a nation. He could walk with kings but not lose the common touch.

So many of us around the world thank him for that, and for all he has done to help not only the USA but people all over the world.

Many are afraid that the USA and, therefore, inevitable the world, is heading for a huge disaster. I would love to believe that is not the case but I'm not holding my breath.

In days to come, I think the rest of the world will be though.