Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Hogmanay Apocrypha

The tale goes that one December in the 1980s, Dundee Airport faxed a message to the UK's main air traffic control centre.

"There will be no flights over Hogmanay." 

A while later they received a reply.

"We've checked our maps, but can't find it. Where is Hogmanay?" 

A good Hogmanay to you all, wherever that may be.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Memory of the Year, 2014

Looking back over the year, I wondered what my favourite photo was. Barring holidays abroad and family photos, which picture of Scotland would bring back the best memories? I started looking through my pictures. Snowy step cutting on the Blackmount in January. A storm-lashed Aberlady Bay, marram grass bent back and white horses on the sandbar. Pladda light at gloaming with a distant Ailsa Craig enticing me on to Antrim. But my favourite of all was the one that had popped into mind from the start. 

Glen Rosa, Arran:


A perfect summer day in Glen Rosa. We had waited for the rain to stop, and it was late enough in the day that the planned walk through the glen to Sannox was already marginal. But now the day was heating up, birds singing in the trees of Brodick Castle estate, and the afternoon crowds dispersing towards the campsite. We approached the glen from the castle, a quieter, more interesting approach. High above, buzzards soared along the cliff edge. Small trout basked in the River Rosa.

We stopped at a large, clean, granite slab that slipped into a rockpool on the Rosa, and all thoughts of walking further melted away as we played in the pool and picnicked. At this dark time of year, with the 'weather bombs' we have been having, this carefree summerness, with huge dragonflies rattling about, seems like another world. This picture reminds me of those days, and makes me hope for more fine summers to come.