Spent most of the day until 2.30pm behind the wheel, and the rest sat at home recovering from the first part of the day. But this scene did cause me to pause on the way home, on the A702 just north of Biggar, in southern Scotland. I’m not sure I’ve quite captured the sunbeam effect, but I did my best.
A 5am alarm call, pick up the car, pack the car, engage in a five and a half hour drive from home to Dundee (a pretty good run, in fact). Pick up key for Joe’s new flat, travel to said flat, unload car, hang around a bit to check all was OK and then…. well, what would you to do unwind from all that on a Saturday afternoon? Something different perhaps, but my habits are well enough ingrained. I did feel like this corner flag at Dundee Violet FC, however.
The long drive home was broken up at various points; the first break taken here, on the north side of the Firth of Forth, so I could get a shot of the magnificent bridges that cross it. The new road bridge has featured before on here; the Forth Rail Bridge is behind me as I took this.
Spectacular though that is, I chose this shot today, the reason being that it looks like it will be the last shot taken with my Canon Power Shot SX60 camera. The same thing has gone on it as goes on all the cameras I have had down the years, and used every day — the motor on the lens. It’s been creaking and grinding for a few weeks now, and after just about teasing it up and down Ben Lawers it conked out once more this morning, and I’m giving up on it. A shopping trip awaits.
Ben Lawers towers over the shore of Loch Tay and, at 3,983 feet (1,214m), is the tenth-highest mountain in the UK. In the whole country south of this point, there is no higher land. Tell you what though, it made me work to bag it; the day was a classic illustration of how conditions can deteriorate with altitude. This walker was heading up it after the worst had passed — which is more than can be said for me. See the County Tops blog for the gory details and more pictures.
A day spent between walks. Did another dose of museum instead, specifically the ‘Scottish Crannog Centre‘ on Loch Tay. A crannog, it seems, is an Iron Age dwelling built on an artificial island in the loch; there are reckoned to be many of these throughout Scotland and Ireland. This centre had a reproduction of one, until it burnt down last year — the impressive thing is that the place was still interesting and good value without it. That had a huge amount to do with the staff, including this guy, clearly the boss, but his minions earned their wages too.
The A93 runs north from the town of Blairgowrie, in Perthshire, to Braemar in Aberdeenshire. Just north of this point — and a couple of hundred feet below the point from where I took this picture, looking back into Glen Shee — the tarmac reaches the Cairnwell Pass, which at 2,199 feet above sea level, makes it the highest public road in the whole of the UK. It’s called the ‘Old Military Road’ as it was originally built as part of the general plan to assert military dominance over the Highlands of Scotland after the last Jacobite rebellion in the 1700s.
Yesterday, the outside of the V & A Dundee — today, the inside. Except we’re not in Dundee any more, but it’s Studio 54 in New York, circa 1979, and Grace Jones is doing her inimitable stuff with body paint by Keith Haring. There are worse ways to spend a Sunday morning. (The exhibition is on until January, if you are interested.)
Welcome back to Dundee. The last time it was pictured, on day 1,401 (26/6/15), I was crossing the Tay via the rail bridge, but this is the road bridge that heads for Fife. Plus the impressive V & A Design Museum Dundee, and a seagull enjoying the very fine weather. It looks like we wil be seeing more of this place, at least if all works out — Joe has applied to come to university here, which is why we are checking it out.
A weekend away with the family. Corse Hill sits in the middle of a gigantic wind farm and although not a dramatic spot, was a nice place to break the journey north to Scotland and did become my 32nd county top — and Clare and Joe have picked up a few as well. C. looks suitably satisfied, Joe’s checking his phone, but that’s what he does.
The first non-English shot since 18th September 2020, which was day 3,312; thus, a run of 259 English-only shots comes to an end.
The weather forecast today was such that it made one think — ‘Hmmm, better get out into the open air, before some pencil-pushing parasite with a job to make seem relevant decides I can no longer be trusted to do so.’ So I went out. To Scotland, in fact: making this only the second non-English shot since the beginning of February. It was worth the drive. This is Loch Skeen, near Moffat.