Category: Ramblings


The International Space Station

It took just four minutes to pass from the western horizon and fade out over towards the southeast horizon.  This was the view of the International Space Station near my house last night. It’s amazing to think that the ISS orbits the earth once every ninety minutes, whizzing around our planet at 17,500 mph at an altitude of 370km. There are currently six astronauts living on … Read More The International Space Station

The Story of VIN 903847

Originally posted on Zero to Sixty . . .Eventually:
I came across an article last month which linked to a short documentary produced by Red Urban and Volkswagen Canada.  This film struck a chord with me because it illustrates many of the facets of the car/owner relationship that bind owners of Volkswagens not only to their cars but also to a larger community.  The tale is…


Lewis & Harris – TripAdvisor’s Top European Island

TripAdvisor have this week announced that Lewis and Harris are the best European island in a list compiled using travellers’ views.  Together they form the largest of the Outer Hebrides, with Lewis in the north and Harris the southern part of the island.  What’s more, the Islands of Orkney come in at number four and the Isle of Mull at number nine.  This is a great … Read More Lewis & Harris – TripAdvisor’s Top European Island


Day trip to California

I’ve been meaning to take a day trip to California for a while.  Alas, not the Sunshine State – with lots of palm trees, beaches and celebrities – but Scotland’s own Sunshine Village with … er … some houses, a community centre and a new roundabout. If you’re thinking of booking a trip, I’m afraid there aren’t any campsites there.  But you can get … Read More Day trip to California


Mapping the Wild Land Debate

The debate over what constitutes wild land in Scotland is certainly creating a bit of a stooshie (stir), as they say in these parts.  If you’re keen to make your voice heard, the consultation by Scottish Natural Heritage on its mapping of Scotland’s core areas of wild land ends on the 20th December. Debates such as these are often chacteristed by entrenched positions and this one is … Read More Mapping the Wild Land Debate


The Wonderful World of Camper Vans through the Eyes of 12 Year Olds

“Wow, this is cool !”  My daughter’s 12 year old friend had just stepped into our camper van for the first time. “You haven’t been in here before, have you ?”, the favourite daughter asked.  Overawed and ignoring my daughter’s question, she repeated, with added emphasis: “Wow, this is so, SO cool !!!” “It’s got a cooker, a fridge and a bed as well“, I piped … Read More The Wonderful World of Camper Vans through the Eyes of 12 Year Olds


The Bicycle Tree

Hidden in a wood in the small Trossachs village of Brig o’ Turk – most definitely off the beaten track – is a peculiar sight: the Bicycle Tree. This century-old Sycamore tree clearly has an iron deficiency for it has ‘swallowed’ not only a turn-of-the-century bike frame but also an anchor and other iron implements.  The tree stands just off the lane that leads towards … Read More The Bicycle Tree

VW Woofwagen advert

You’d be barking mad not to love the new VW advert ! VW’s latest advert shows that there’s a Volkswagen for everyone.  That’s 21 cars in the range, all matched to a different breed of dog – and hanging out of the car windows to a great soundtrack (“Me and You” by Barry Louis Polisar, in case you were wondering). Check out their new website – and … Read More VW Woofwagen advert


Cairngorm Adventure Triathlon 2013

Once again I took part in the Cairngorm Adventure Triathlon yesterday in near-perfect conditions, in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park.  The event includes canoeing 3km around Loch Morlich in Canadian canoes, mountain biking 25km on forest trails and quiet roads and a 5km trail run around Loch Morlich.  Competitors take part in teams of two.  With my niece unable to take part owing … Read More Cairngorm Adventure Triathlon 2013

First the Munros, now the Strangeways

If you’ve ever fancied an alternative challenge to climbing all of Scotland’s munros, how about ticking off the Strangeways ? “The what ?”, you may ask.  The Strangeways are the brainchild of Andy Strangeway, the first and only person to have ever spent a night on each of the 162 Scottish islands over 40 hectares, 62 of which are uninhabited. He defines an island as “an … Read More First the Munros, now the Strangeways


Perseids Meteor Shower

Last night we set our alarm for 1.30am and set out to see the Perseids meteor shower, clearly visible with the naked eye and peaking between 10 – 13th August. We stayed out for about an hour and saw about a dozen shooting stars on a still, clear night. Most meteors quickly streaked across part of the sky before quickly vanishing. Blink and you’d … Read More Perseids Meteor Shower

Beware the Curtain-Twitchers

Remember when you were young and there was always an cranky old lady or couple who just seemed to hate kids ?  The kind of person who would peer out from behind their lace curtains when you were out on your bike or kicking a ball about ?  The kind of person who, if you did happen to kick your ball over their fence, … Read More Beware the Curtain-Twitchers