1 EAGLETON NOTES: October 2015



Sunday, 25 October 2015

Summer Time is Over

Here but started There. So instead of being 11 hours ahead of Scotland, New Zealand is now 13 hours ahead. This morning should have been much lighter but I was rather upset to realise that it was still dark enough to had to put the lights on when I got up.

So it's alter the clocks morning. I used to have a list of them. Then I realised that many of the devices in the house alter their time automatically these days. The computers, cellphones, televisions, radios, phones, central heating, weather station, radio controlled clocks and probably other things I've forgotten about or take for granted all change automatically. That just leaves me with about six 'ordinary' clocks and my watches to alter manually. 

It's a far cry from my youth when there was the living room and dining room clocks and individual watches to be wound and altered and that was it. Well apart from my early childhood when there was a weights driven clock in my bedroom (which wasn't as ornate as the one on the left).

Thinking about it our timepieces then were not only fewer in number but they were a lot greener: no batteries and they were repairable (and, I have to admit, far less reliable).

Friday, 23 October 2015

Safari Day 7: The Last Day

Who could ever have dreamt that a simple comment by Pauline on a blog back in heaven knows when could have led to the safaris that Pauline and I have undertaken and the friendship that has ensued. However all good things come to an end and in this case the seven day safari (but not, I hasten to add, the friendship) was over almost as suddenly as it begun when I met Pauline off the plane in Inverness. It was a glorious Sunday. Pauline was to leave on the Monday for her brother's 'down South'  (of England not Down Under) and then for more exotic parts of the globe. I had to leave on the Sunday afternoon for a hospital appointment in Ayr first thing the following morning.

So I thought I would show Pauline Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle. The sky was a bit hazy when we arrived (along with hundreds of other people) but after a while the sun broke through and cleared the mist away and it was actually very warm: a perfect end to the safari.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Safari Day 6: From Lewis to Inverness

This was possibly the one day of our safari that I'd have planned differently. I had originally wanted to show Pauline the Isle of Skye but I discovered that accommodation on Skye for a single night on an August weekend is well nigh impossible however far in advance or however short the notice you give. So I decided to take the ferry from Stornoway to Ullapool and then travel to Inverness via the road to the north and across to Lairg and Bonar Bridge. The Highlands of the first part of the journey are as spectacular as ever but then the landscape becomes more gentle, 'though still wild, and, frankly, far less interesting than much of the rest of Scotland north and south of the central belt.

We had arrived into Ullapool on MV Isle of Lewis which we then watched sailing back to Lewis down Loch Broom
Stac Pollaidh (pron polly) and Cul Mor just north of Ullapool (looking West).
Bonar Bridge has a Carnegie Library for its 1000 inhabitants. 
The current Bonar Bridge
We stayed for the night just across the Moray Firth from Inverness at North Kessock.
We very much enjoyed the friendly service, the food and the accommodation in the recently re-furbished hotel.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Safari Day 5: Uig

Day 5 of Pauline and my Lewis and Harris Safari was spent travelling over to the far West of Lewis. It was the least clement of the days we were on Safari and although it didn't rain there was a strong wind and relatively little sun.

At Breanish Pauline braved the wind to photograph the Information Stones. I was sure that I'd blogged about them but couldn't find a post. I'm sure that in the next few of Pauline's posts you will see their contents.

Information Stones at Breanish
It might be as remote as it gets on Lewis but it certainly isn't a blackhouse!
The cattle are pretty laid back over that side of the Island 
The Uig welcoming party
Pauline taking photos of sand
Pauline marching off into the distance

Sunday, 11 October 2015


When I started blogging in 2007 Blogger didn't have any provision for responding to individual comments except by making another comment (which would appear at the end of the comments). Very rarely if ever can I recall 'conversations' in comments. My blogs were started as a combination of a diary and a way of keeping friends in the country I wasn't living in at the time up to date with what I was doing. Consequently I wasn't really writing with comments as an expectation. 

Gradually, though, more dialogues have developed and now comments and commenting is an integral part of blogging. Sometimes it's a way of saying that I've visited although I recall in the early days of Adrian's blogging wondering just how many ways it was possible to say that someone's photos were so good. As we got to know each other and Adrian posted about places I knew or wanted to know and as he got more acerbic the comments became more 'interesting'. It's hard to comment, too, with many photo blogs like Liz's.  On the other hand some bloggers like Yorkshire Pudding or Frances Garrood (with very different blogs and styles) write posts that would overall be pointless if one could not comment.

Most of the blogs that I follow (which is not that many really) have manageable comments. However one blog that I follow has more comments than many of the rest of us put together: Jenny Woolf's An English Travel Writer. As a consequence Jenny wrote the following recently:
Thanks to everyone for the comments, I really appreciate them all and read them avidly! It is funny, although I have been blogging for years I still puzzle about how to manage comments, I wonder if anyone else has this problem. The 3 alternatives seem to be to reply individually, reply in a lengthy response taking in a lot of peoples' different points, or say nothing. I THINK it's best to treat it like I would do if it was a real life party, i.e. respond to everyone individually, but that can feel pretty frantic. Sometimes it is good just to listen and nod - but then perhaps people think you're not interested or not thinking about it. (I do in fact think about everything that people write in their comments). A "group" response to things that several people have said interests me most because it draws together different ideas and aspects, but I don't think many people would see a "group response" unless they're looking out for one. I think that responses only get sent on to subscribers if they're linked to their own comments. Hmmmmm.........
Some of the responses to that comment were quite interesting. I recall a fellow blogger telling me that he never ticked the 'Notify me' box because he never read other people's comments nor responses to his because he just didn't have the time. He did read a lot of blogs though.  It was that comment that made me realise that I always wanted to keep the blogs I follow to a manageable number because, for me, blogging is participatory. So although I sometimes don't comment and sometimes even when I do I have little to say I do try and keep up with both blogs and the comments made on them.

I don't blog as frequently as some nor, indeed, as often as I used to but I try and read all the blogs I follow and comment when I feel that I have something to say (and sometimes even if I don't!).

Your thoughts?

Friday, 9 October 2015

Safari Day 4: Harris

Day 4 of our safari saw Pauline and I travel down to Harris. For some reason I took fewer photos than I usually do but I know that Pauline tool lots so I will simply show you a few of St Clement's Church in Rodel at the southern point of the Island. For those who would like to know more about the church the Historic Scotland website may be of interest.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Safari Day 3: Morning

It's been a very busy time recently. The weather has been better than any we've had on Lewis since April and I've been doing some outside maintenance and also been doing some labouring for our son, Gaz, who is having a house built on the Island. So my visits to Blogland (and Facebook) have been fewer than I would usually make.

On Day 3 of our Safari before we went off to the West Side I took Pauline for coffee at my favourite watering hole in Stornoway: the Woodlands Centre. It stands on the edge of Stornoway harbour which was unusually swathed in mist that morning.