Friday, 12 June 2015

Staffa & Fingal's Cave

Have to say I'm not quite sure where to start with a post. I've got so many photos but I think I'll go with Staffa & Fingal's Cave, Scotland. The photos are not as clear as I hoped mainly because of the wind, it was really hard to keep the camera steady & often I was hanging onto the rail with one hand to keep my balance.

As you can see it was the usual Scottish weather, the water was a bit rough but not too bad, it was chilly & a bit grey but not too dreek!

We had to take a small boat out from Ffionphort on the Isle of Mull to Staffa. I have seen photos of Staff & Fingal's Cave but I wasn't prepared for what I encountered. I thought you could just land & walk into the cave. No such luck!

Here we are getting off the little boat onto the jetty.

Looking up you can see there could be climbing involved!

Now heights are not my style so I opted out of going up to see the puffins, much as I love them.

It was amazing to see the thrift growing between those basalt columns with no soil & despite the sea water washing them.

So ye tak the high road & I'll tak the low! I chose the low path to Fingal's Cave.

Not quite as easy as I thought. It got 
higher & narrower. 

It was perishing cold & I wished I'd brought some gloves.

I didn't dare take photos at the narrowest point. It was very windy & really cold so didn't want to lose my grip on the rail.


It's getting wider & flatter here & the rail has disappeared......for now! That lulled me into a false sense of security.


Here we are at the entrance to the cave & the rail is back thank goodness!

Just look at the colour of the water it's gorgeous. I kept thinking of Mendelssohn's The Hebrides Overture when I was looking at the water rushing in & out.  



Now I did wonder whether I should venture in any further but in for a penny in for a pound as they say.


but no safety rails here! I did wonder what would happen if anyone slipped & fell in. There were no lifebelts! It was a bit of a drop plus the water was gushing in & out of the cave.


 Not sure whether you'd call this a roof or a ceiling because the columns reminded me of the structure of a cathedral. I think Gaudi would have been thoroughly at home here.

 Looking out of the cave you can see how narrow the ledge is & the drop. 

 I made it out!

Everyone got back safely & thankfully the boat came back for us & the boat's dog. By this time I was wondering whether we were suffering from hypothermia!
We considered ourselves very lucky to have been able to land there that day as the previous day the weather had been terrible.
Here's the beautiful music of Mendelssohn that The Hebrides & especially Fingal's Cave inspired:


Wednesday, 13 May 2015

I Don't Believe it!

You go out for a meal drive up the access road to the hotel & suddenly crash! 

A golf ball from their golf club smashes your windscreen.

So after a horrendous shock, what makes it even worse? The golf club manager wouldn't speak to me, sent the young receptionist out to say "Nothing to do with us. It's the golfer's fault". 

"OK then which golfer"?

"Nothing to do with us"!

Which was absolute tosh. What about public liability insurance? They have to have it or their business is running illegally.

So I went into the hotel where I was meeting a friend for a meal & asked to speak to the manager about their golf club manager. Have to say their staff there were lovely asking was I OK, could they get me a coffee etc. Manager apologised, the golf club is now privately owned. He went to speak to the department who deal with insurance & was told yes they are insured but not for golf ball damage! Well I don't believe that for a minute. However he offered on behalf of the hotel to pay the excess on the windscreen replacement.

I wondered what would have happened if I had been walking up the drive & the ball had hit me. 

So a nasty shock, a ruined evening out & now the company doing the replacement say they can't change the windscreen for a week!

Well I'll be writing a thank you letter to the hotel staff for their customer service, a not so nice letter to the Golf Club Manager & it's back on to the insurance company tomorrow to say their windscreen replacement service is unacceptable.

As I said earlier "I don't believe it"!

Monday, 11 May 2015

I Haven't Been Slacking - Honestly!


Well I've had a bit of a break from blogging but I have been quite busy. Enjoying myself mostly, on a Panama Canal cruise!  Now I will post about that later as there are lots of photos to upload. Meanwhile above there's a photo of the ship Aurora which was very nice.  It's docked at Puntarenas which was not quite so nice!

Anyway since I got back apart from the washing & ironing, I've been quite busy trying to finish a crochet blanket I started a couple of months ago.  If I'd had room in the luggage I would have taken it with me on the cruise but it was quite bulky & heavy. We only had 23 kg of luggage for a 23 night cruise which needed posh frocks (for me) plus a dinner jacket & a suite for Eric so I took a shawl pattern to do.  I knitted it for two weeks, didn't like it & pulled it out so I had nothing to show for my time spent knitting on the ship. 

My time wasn't totally wasted though.  I went to Spanish lessons which were great. I joined the ship at the end of March when the ship was doing its final leg of the world cruise it had started way back in January. So I only had three weeks to catch up with most of the other passengers who had started when the ship, left Southampton in January! Have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it & we had a great laugh with the young Spanish tutor who had a wonderful sense of humour. 

So now I really need to keep the Spanish up. I had planned to learn some Italian on the cruise for my two trips to Italy in the summer. That went by the board though like the knitting. So apart from trying to finish the blanket, that's on the cards for the next couple of months.

Anyway this is my progress with the blanket so far:

10 of these done!

10 of these done!

Now for the bad news. Only 5 each of these done because I've run out of wool! Never mind the flowery centres are finished so the easy peasy bits are left to do. Well apart from joining the whole caboodle together which I'm dreading.

So will have to order more wool this week. Hopefully it will eventually look something like this.

I changed the colours as I don't do pink & I made it in wool not cotton.

I'm nearly always amazed at how good camera photos are. Bearing in mind I've never bothered to find out how to use it I just point it at the thing & click. It's great, no having to upload the camera photos, they just go. Just like magic!

Wish it was as easy to learn Italian!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

What a Day!

You get them don't you, those days when you just shouldn't have got out of bed!

For once I got up early & made some soup before I went out to meet my sister for coffee & then lunch. Well then I couldn't find my purse. Had my handbag but not the purse. After a 20 minute panic & a search that got more desperate by the minute I finally found it on the window sill of all places.

After lunch I left Marks & Spencer to get the car & as I approached it the car started to shudder. I realised someone had hit it. A car pulled in next to it & two elderly people got out, totally oblivious to the fact the lady had hit my car. Luckily they had only scraped some paint off, red paint! The old chap was vehemently denying they had touched the car & the lady said she didn't think she had touched it as there was no red paint on her silver car. I looked & the front of her car was covered with scrapes & mainly white paint.  Crumbs it was a mess. She said that had been done earlier when she hit her garage. There was red paint on it but there were so many bumps & scratches it was hard to see it. She offered to pay me for some paint but I felt really sorry for them so I said no, I would just get it done. The chap had some kind of brain problem. To be honest she probably shouldn't be driving.
I will have to be more careful where I park in future, as far away from the shops as I can as the more elderly try to get as near to the shop as possible. Crumbs you would think I was a spring chicken!

You would think that was my lot for the day, but no. Fate had some more rubbish to dump on me. After I had read with the children in Year 2 at My granddaughter's school, I walked out of the gates with her & promptly fell over. No I hadn't imbibed anything alcoholic with my lunch, I had fallen foul of a path with paving stones that had sunk to a lower lever than the concrete part of the path. Yes probably as a result of some service companies laying new cables or pipes! They have made a horrendous mess of our roads & pathways. Well it took me a few minutes to get my breath back & get up. I'd badly twisted my ankle, bashed the knee on my other leg & hurt my hands. Still I managed to get up & hobble to the car. It was a difficult job putting the clutch in though, hurt like mad. My ankle's badly swollen & I have a lovely lump on my knee which will be black & blue soon, but I don't think anything is broken thankfully. Mustn't have osteoporosis or I could have had a few broken bones with the way I fell down. So as soon as I can go back to the school I'll take a photo, contact the council to tell them to get their act together & get the path fixed before someone has an even nastier fall & takes them to court!

I had intended to go shopping for stuff for our holidays afterwards but that went for a burton! Took my granddaughter home & promptly dropped my phone on the brick driveway! Luckily it just took a chunk out of it, the glass didn't break & the phone is still working. Thankfully it isn't an iPhone or it would have been a gonner. My daughter got a new one recently & within less than 24 hours the screen was broken. A bit femmer as my granddad would have said. Whereas I've dropped mine a few times & it's been OK. Must get a cover for it or one of these days it will break.

So all in all not a good day, I kept thinking it must be Friday 13th! However I'm counting my blessings. It could have been a whole lot worse!

Sadly I won't be shopping for new clothes tomorrow either, just not up to it. I'm staying at home. In fact I might not get out of bed but knowing my luck I'll probably fall out!

Maybe I'll make some more Easter chicken baskets! A good excuse to get out of the housework. As if I needed one!

Happy Easter to everyone in case I don't post again soon.