Monday, November 30, 2009

Leaving Edinburgh

Leaving Edinburgh, originally uploaded by ccgd.

Since its St Andrews day, and nominally I'm on Holiday, but instead I have to get to London tonight, then Brussels and then Edinburgh, I thought this picture was just a little bit appropriate.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A view of distant mountains

A view of distant mountains , originally uploaded by ccgd.

Causeymire windturbines, and the Mountains of the Caithness/Sutherland border.

A quick day trip to Thurso, work, but the sun was setting as I drove over the Causeymire, and the view west was just something else.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Clava in the sun

Clava in the sun, originally uploaded by ccgd.

The Clava Viaduct, over the river Nairn. Its just outside Inverness, and I'm usually on top of it, travelling to and fro the South by Train.

But I'd never been at this position for years, underneath, until a couple of days ago, when sitting at my desk in the office, looking out the window at the bright winter sunshine I decided to drive the ten mins over Culloden moor with my Camera.

And this is the result.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fire and smoke

Fire and smoke, originally uploaded by ccgd.

Living in a three hundred year old house does mean that sometimes you have to do things that bring bits of it into – if not the 21st Century – at least into the 20th. The house itself, although preserving what estate agents like to call “Period Features” is of course a modern machine for living. It's got plumbing, bathrooms, a kitchen with oil fired ranges, electricity everywhere, and associated gadgets, and both a wired and wireless computer network (with a home server – I’m a geek and proud).

Some of these things that would be unimaginable to the original inhabitants in the late 17th and early 18th Century. Water out of taps – OK, a bath – you could work out what it was for. Fridge, Washing Machine, Dishwasher, Microwave, TV, DVD, Espresso machine – getting a bit trickier.

Computers. Mmmm

But fires, now that’s something that any human from the last 20,000 years could understand. Fires for warm, fires for cooking, fires for light. Interestingly of the four chimneys in our house, three are in use. The kitchen one carries the flue for our oil fired Rayburn. The Sitting room has the original fireplace, dated to the 1690’s by a St Andrews professor in a wonderful academic way, and used for large fires on high days and holidays. And downstairs, in what is our family room, we have a little woodburner, a replica of a French late Victorian vertical stove. We had not used it for a number of years, but last year decided to bring it back to service.

Which was fine, and with most stoves it provided great heat for 90% of the time. But sometimes it smoked, and sometimes it would not light, and sometime it would not draw. So I decided to bring the chimney into the 20th century, and drop a flexible liner down to improve the draft, (which it has dramatically) and install a fancy aerodynamic cowl that stops it smoking, no matter the wind direction.

So now it does not smoke, and the draw is great and little ash and dust escape into the room.

Now that’s something that our 17th Century predecessor would understand, and I think approve.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Yellow rig

Yellow rig, originally uploaded by ccgd.

The Transocean Rather (where do they get these names?) stacked in front of the North Sutor in Cromarty, caught in the early afternoon sun.

Her yellow hull, and the autumnal foliage on the Sutor, make for a colourful scene as we rapidly approach winter.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Night rig

Night rig, originally uploaded by ccgd.

The Transocean Rather running anchors in front of Shore Street Looks like its being stacked after drilling a gas well west of Shetland.

This is the first time that a rig has been stacked up our way for a couple of years. Noisy when the East wind blows......

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Embankment station

Embankment station, originally uploaded by ccgd.

In London last week, for meetings with Westminister polititions for a change. Most of my job is with Holyrood, so it was interesting to be dealing with Scottish MP's in areas that are not devolved.

Rushing to get to Heathrow for a flight to Edinburgh (I had to be there quite early for a reception at the Castle - OK I know, I know) I took a wrong turn and ended up at the end of this long empty corridor.

Hand help - High ISO - no Flash.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

It's a big sky country

It's a big sky country, originally uploaded by ccgd.

The Hull of the Hutton TLP in the Cromarty Firth, under an early winter sky.