Tuesday, 27 March 2012

The Horses Mares Tail

A long weekend in Lochaber saw us in a variety of picturesque places and at least two well-known eateries, surrounded by mountains and lochans and stuff. Of course, the weather helped; 19C or thereabouts and just a tad unseasonal, given that we're still in March. Still, as I always say, Scotland in the sunshine is a sight to behold.

Speaking of which; Me? In outdoors gear? Ootside a pub? In one of the most famous mountain locations in the Universe? Too much sun, that's what it was :o)

 Obviously Photoshopped. It's the only explanation.

 The Real Food Cafe

Award winning Carrot Cake

Haste Ye Back, indeed.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Planning Application: FAIL

Fife Council continue to show an admirable degree of common sense. It's a small victory but a victory nonetheless.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Garbh Choire Refuge

I'm no' a great fan of bothies but it's good to know they're there if the shit hits the fan. The wee howff in Garbh Choire is in need of renovation and its' continued existence is in doubt. Neil Reid and Kenny Freeman have put forward a case for its' retention. Interested parties should nip over and have a read.

Clicky link.

The Horns Of The Buffalo

I found the graphic (below) while I was surfing for information on Little Raith Windfarm which I'd heard had been given the go-ahead. Sure enough, there are 9 100m+ turbines going up on the land between the A92 and the Mossmorran Petrochemical Plant. "What's the big deal?", I hear you cry. Well, for one thing, the visual impact will be extreme for anyone living nearby. Mossmorran, despite being a large industrial site, is at least partially hidden by surrounding land. And the turbines will be close to Loch Gelly, the Loch of the Shining Waters, an important habitat for wildfowl, both resident and migratory.

Little Raith is shown in Blue, at the bottom of the graphic. Far more worrying, and I had to double-check this, is the Red area over in the top left. It lies within the bounds of The Lomond Hills Regional Park, or "The Meedies" as it's known locally and is the subject of a planning application for an "industrial-sized" wind factory. I can't help but feel that these fuckers are either taking the piss or simply trying to deflect attention away from other sites. (2 large turbines recently bypassed the planning process altogether via some deadline-related loophole).

Fife Council Planning Dept are currently "inundated" with applications and at least one Councillor has called for a halt until they can work out a coherent strategy. Local opposition is strong and growing stronger which is great to see but these things are easily missed if you're not actively looking.

Those light blue bits btw, are areas marked for housing development. That's houses that no one around here can afford or even wants. More greenfield concreted over and trees and hedgerows ripped up. The Horns of the Buffalo are closing in and the views that I currently enjoy will disappear one day soon.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Photographic Memory

The woman in the picture below was 70 years old when it was taken. She still worked and walked 7 or 8 miles a day, every day, whatever the weather. She'd travelled over 50 miles (2 buses) to arrive at the appointed place and time, dressed for the occasion.

That was 3 and a half years ago. Now she has no memory of that day or indeed many other days. Almost every scrap of her independence is gone. Alzheimer's is a proper cunt of a disease.


Bless you all for your kind words. I think the worst part of it is that she is occasionally aware of what's happening. Physically, she's hale and hearty but her short-term memory is almost non-existent. Day to day stuff that we take for granted is impossible for her. She literally couldn't boil an egg and this is a woman once famed for her home-baking. That's how we knew she was going downhill; the Tablet and Caramel Shortbread, once highly prized, started to be discretely binned. Tea and toast is about all she can manage these days.

In a way, I'm kind of lucky. I've never been terribly close to my mum so I'm able to step back a wee bit and be a bit more pragmatic about things. It's still hard work but the support we've had from East Lothian Council and the local NHS folk has been astounding.  Thank fuck for the professionals. And my Mrs, who is, as always, my rock.