Thursday 28 April 2011

Birthday Treat - Photos!

As mentioned in my last post, As a very special Birthday Treat, Sue bought me a voucher for a helicopter trip over Lochalsh and south Skye. I took the trip the other day, and have now edited some of the many photographs I took. I'm posting just a few of them here. I'm uploading them full resolution, so if you click on a photo, you should be able to zoom in for greater detail.

The trip started from Plockton airfield. This is the track of the flight as created by my GPS device.

 - and here we are, setting off from Plockton:

As you can see, it was rather cloudy, with the tops of the hills hidden, but the pilot kept quite low, and the views downwards were brilliant.  Here we are flying over Kyle of Lochalsh:

The pilot obligingly headed for Strollamus, so I could get a picture or two of Rowan Cottage. Rowan is next to the rather untidy looking boatyard, though on the ground, the yard is hidden from the cottage by a hedge!

We headed a little further north, then headed back over Loch Ainort. That's a little road running along the side of the loch. The islands of Scalpay and Raasay lie ahead.

We came back close to the coast of Broadford Bay. Below is the community of Breakish....

.... and soon were circling over Eilean Donan Castle.

We had a good view of Duncraig Castle too:

Then it was over the top of Plockton Harbour before returning to the airfield, which is just visible towards the top of this picture:

That was some Birthday Treat! Thanks Sue! I'll have to be 60 more often.

Wednesday 27 April 2011

Birthday treat

Sue bought me a very special treat for my recent 'significant' birthday - it was a voucher for a trip in a helicopter over Lochalsh and south Skye. I went on the trip a few days ago, but took so many photographs, it is taking me a while to get them edited for posting here. I promise I'll have some here soon....!!

Thursday 21 April 2011


(A post from Sue)

Cupar the Collie has been noticeably absent over the past few weeks on this blog 
but I just HAD to add this particular post!
When our four legged friend is in 'relaxation mode' he tends to lie on his back
to have his tummy tickled and as a rule one of his front legs 
is stretched out as far as it will go!
We think this is a hoot and the other evening Richard 
- having had a beer or two - decided to keep him company!
Hence the somewhat amusing photo below..... :) 

That aside though, Cupar spends most of his time on all fours 
and seems completely tireless and full of energy!
Recently Cupar and I met Andrea and her two springer spaniels
down near the Cuillin and we all went for a walk.
Inevitably this turned into an excuse for a bit of running around a
and I was there with my camera.... 
Below Andrea gets ready to launch a tennis ball for Cupar!

Cupar waits expectantly - watching her every move.....

... and then two minutes later after a LOT of charging about
and a few skirmishes between the boys and .... guess what.....

Toby gets the ball!  Is that a grin I can see on his wee face?!!!!!

Monday 18 April 2011


Sue came in from walking Cupar yesterday morning, saying, "I've just heard a cuckoo!"

Today was my turn for the 7.00am 'walkies' - and not only did I hear the little chap, but I saw him too. So we can safely confirm, the 2011 cuckoos have arrived!

I mentioned cuckoos in this blog last year -

Wednesday 13 April 2011

Skye weather

We get every kind of Scottish weather on Skye - and maybe we get a bit more of some kinds and a bit less of others.

But we seem to get everything in moderation. It seldom gets extremely hot - summer maximums might make mid 70s F (low 20s C). In winter, it seldom gets extremely cold (25F/-4C being about the lowest overnight we might normally expect). But it might not get above 50F (10C) from September to May. So, mostly I like to wear a jumper or two...!

We get snow in winter from time to time - any time from November to March - maybe a few inches at low levels, but it's unusual for it to hang around for more than a few days.

We get quite a bit of rain. It often comes in the form of thick drizzle, which is very wet! It's not unusual to get rain and sunshine at the same time, so we get some brilliant rainbows! It is quite unusual for rain to fall continuously for more than a day. When it does, the rivers and waterfalls are fantastic! Here's our local river today, the highest I've seen it in the three years we've lived here:

As it flows through quite a deep gorge, we are not at risk of flooding!

And we get wind. Storms reaching 60 -70 mph occur most winters. Gales of  40 -50mph can happen anytime.The island is used to it - there are very few exposed trees, and buildings are built to withstand the strength of the battering.It's rather nice to huddle in front of a hot stove during a storm, and listen to the wind racing itself  round the chimney!

But extreme winds - hurricanes/tornadoes - are something we very seldom experience.

And as a bonus - we very seldom get fog!

Monday 11 April 2011

Potatoes planted!

Here's a shot of the alltoment in the sunshine today. To the left of my planks are four rows of 'earlies' - Pentland Javelin, and the row just in the ground and three further rows I've just finished planting to the right are maincrop Maris Piper.

This is the first planting I've done on the allotment this year, but the beds are all dug and ready. I have some brussels sprouts, broccoli, leek and broad bean seeds germinating in trays. The weather seems to be perking up a bit now - I hope we are going to be frost-free from now into summer, so I don't think it will be long before I get the onion sets and some of the outdoor-planted seeds going.

Wednesday 6 April 2011

Don't you just hate it when...

....the DJ on the radio keeps telling me that today is the warmest day so far this spring....

.. and it hasn't stopped raining here all day...

...and I am about to light the stove....

As you can imagine, the dog-walking continues unabated, no matter what the weather is doing. Cupar is getting more used to being rubbed dry with a towel, and we are wizard at drying our waterproofs!