Don’t sell off NHS Professionals
This comes courtesy of the campaign group weownit.org – click the screenshot below to sign and share this very important petition:
An important petition about the NHS – please sign and share.
This comes courtesy of the campaign group weownit.org – click the screenshot below to sign and share this very important petition:
Seeking reader participation in the selection process for the 2018 wall calendar.
When I began covering my holiday in Scotland I brought up the subject of my plans for a 2018 photographic wall calendar, which will be my third such. This post now takes the story forward, and seeks to bring my followers in on the selection process.
Some of these pictures were nominated by Oglach (“Oglach’s Selections“), a couple by my aunt Celia, and the rest are others that I consider especially worth sharing. Most of the selections are Scottish for obvious reasons.
My aunt Celia nominated two from the return journey from Scotland:
These are the Scottish pictures that I have selected as possibles on my own:
I have of course shown these before, but for completeness sake here they are again:
These are the pictures from outside Scotland that I consider worth a second look.
You can nominate by commenting on this post identifying the pictures by name. If you right-click on a picture and select “open image in new tab” from the drop-down menu that appears you can see its name. If you have a blog of your own you can nominate by creating a post featuring your choices and putting a link in the comments (this will earn you a reblog as well by the way). Those whose pictures make the cut will be acknowledged on the page(s) that they get in the calendar.
An account of James and Sons’ June auction.
Having completed my series of posts about Scotland, I am now returning to the present with an account of James and Sons’ June Auction, which happened earlier this week.
To set the scene for the rest of this post, the auction was arranged to run in two parts. Lots 1-600 went under the hammer at our own premises in central Fakenham on Monday June 26th, while lots 701-1300 were auctioned at Fakenham Racecourse on Wednesday June 28th. The Tuesday was set aside for getting things set up down at the racecourse, since experience had taught us that combining this with a day of auctioning at the shop was not a goer.
The set up was accomplished fairly straightforwardly, and the sound and video checks went swiftly and easily. The auction got under way with 100 cigarette card lots, then 100 postcard lots, then some general ephemera, some numismatic and philatelic covers and ending with the stamps. The day started quietly, with the cigarette cards attracting very little interest and the postcards not much. It was the numismatic and philatelic covers that provided the only consistent sales of the day.
We had loaded the first van load of stuff for the racecourse at the end of the previous week, so I headed straight from the bus to the racecourse to help unload that. This done and some stuff unloaded from the boss’s car it was back to the shop to load up the van for the second time. This van load then went to the racecourse without me, as I would be of more use working at the shop than down there. Then one of my colleagues was left alone at the racecourse and so I walked back down there to minimise the period for which this situation continued (the person who could drive the van was going to be at the shop for half an hour at least, and I could walk it in much less time than that). Finally, after a few final things had been brought down to the racecourse I got a lift back to the shop. At the end of the day I locked the shop, handed my key to a colleague who would need it on the morrow and headed home. Here are some pictures from the setup.
This was a very tiring day. It was raining heavily most of the time, including for the entire duration of the walk from Fakenham town centre to the racecourse in the morning.
We had been assured by the racecourse that they now had working wifi, but this proved to be an optimistic assessment and we had to use a wired connection, which dropped out four times in the course of the day (fortunately never for very long).
The early lots passed quietly, but then with lot 633 the first tranch of toy lots went under the hammer, and the internet bidders got busy, with three figure prices the rule rather than the exception. The ‘Manod’ steam toys later on also sold spectacularly well. After a few books and related stuff went under the hammer it was time for a few jewellery lots, which also sold well. Then it was into the coins, which started with some proof sets which fetched remarkable prices.
When you see the image gallery for this lot you will realise why I had had my sights on it to the exclusion of all else in this auction:
Unfortunately from a personal point of view I had competition, and although I bid up to £40, when that final bid of mine was topped I conceded defeat.
Although these were not the genuine article I decided that at next to nothing they were worth securing as a tiny consolation for the disappointment of a few moments earlier.
The coins continued to sell well. After the coins it was time for some militaria. Lot 1051 fetched a good price, and then came lot 1052 fetching the only four figure price of the auction.
The auction finished with 100 miscellaneous lots, which went fairly quietly, although even these attracted some interest. After Monday we had needed Wednesday to be a successful day, and it was.
For us there was still the clearing up to be done, but even that was accomplished sufficiently swiftly that I was able to get the 16:37 bus home. This departed late, but for an acceptable reason – the driver was resolving a situation created by another driver who was guilty of dereliction of duty – he had arrived from Wells, let off passengers, switched his destination to “Sorry Not In Service” and had then dashed off without picking up passengers. Stagecoach track their buses, and identified that this one had been parked up just outside Fakenham, and the rogue driver who by his selfishness had let down about 10 passengers was ordered back into service. This same thing had happened the previous day according to the waiting passengers except that he had got away with it, the passengers getting the later bus.
The final post in the series about my holiday in scenic Scotland.
Welcome to this concluding post in my series about a Scottish holiday. In this post we deal with the last stages of my journey home.
Aviemore is the first station the train calls at on its way out of Inverness towards Edinburgh, and also marks one edge of The Cairngorms national park.
The next stage of the route takes us to Blair Atholl.
Markinch is situated two miles from Glenrothes town centre, a fact that is advertised on the platforms.
The train arrived at Edinburgh so promptly that had it been allowed by my ticket I would have had time to get the 13:30 to London instead of the 14:00. As it was I was glad to be able to take things a bit easy at this interchange, the corresponding one on my journey up having been a little close for comfort.
I located my seat on the express train that would carry me to Peterborough and it was in a designated quiet coach. Unfortunately there was a large family who had been assigned seats in that coach and who did not really understand quietness, so it was not as relaxing a segment of the journey as it should have been. A minor frustration at Peterborough when I stepped out of the station exit just as an X1 was heading off towards King’s Lynn. This half-hour delay notwithstanding I got home dead on 8PM.
Continuing the account of the homeward journey, taking the story up to Inverness (Inbhir Nis).
This part of the journey is not as impressive as its predecessor, but I did still get some good pictures.
Starting the account of my homeward journey. This post covers the first part of the Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness rail route.
Welcome to the latest post in my series about my Scottish holiday. This post starts the account of the homeward journey. We are looking at Saturday June 3rd for the record.
Those who recall my post Getting There, will remember that on the outbound journey I had to travel on a replacement bus rather than the railway line for the Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh leg of the journey. For the return journey I was on the train, and the railway route is far more scenic than the road route. Thus, this section of the journey warrants more than one post. As for the actual selection of a break off point, Lochluichart stuck in my mind both because of its name and because a large party of students (school or FE I think) who had clearly been on a field trip in the region boarded the train at that station.
I had set the alarm on my phone, but being me actually did not need it, waking up before it was due to go off. Transferring sandwiches and bottle of cooled tap water from the fridge to the bag I intended to keep with me at all times accomplished, my parents were ready to give me a lift down to the station at Kyle of Lochalsh, and we arrived there nice and early. I had been assigned an aisle seat, but the train not being over full (this was a train leaving at 6:11 on a Saturday morning after all) I moved to a vacant window seat later in the journey. As far as Plockton we were of course in an area that I had seen a lot of over the previous week, but the view from the train gave a different perspective.
As one of the photos in my post about Plockton shows, Stromeferry was the original western terminus of the line when it opened in 1870, the Kyle end of the line only opening in 1897. The segment of line between Plockton and Stromeferry is very scenic indeed:
From Stromeferry the line heads to Strathcarron, the largest settlement in the vicinity of Loch Carron.
After Strathcarron, through which we passed on the road route to Applecross – see these posts:
the railway route diverges from anything previously covered as it head rounds to Achnasheen.
As we approached Lochluichart I was amazed to see the platform of this tiny station in the middle of nowhere looking crowded. It turned out that it was the student group referred to in the preamble to this post, and the rest of the journey to Inverness was rather less quiet than hitherto!
Welcome to another installment in the series about my Scottish holiday. This post deals with one particular aspect of the whole week.
My first encounter with the products of this local brewery which specialises in craft ales was on the Saturday, at Hector’s Bothy. I also sampled some of their product at lunch on the Isle of Skye on the Tuesday, and a selection box of four bottles from Kyle of Lochalsh Co-op enabled my to broaden the range of my sampling. All these ales have a strength of between 4 and 4.5%. Here now are my findings about each the ales I drank:
A post dedicated to the world’s last ocean going paddle steamer.
Welcome to another installment in my series about my holiday in Scotland. The steamer has been mentioned/ shown in various previous posts (Setting the Scene, The Museum of All Shells and Friday Overview) but this one is dedicated to it. There are a few other pictures as well.
Alighting from my parents camper van in Kyle of Lochalsh I was just too late to get the whole steamer in shot, but I did get this picture:
I had not expected to see it again, not knowing the route it would be taking, but that evening it passed by Ferry Cottage, all be it on the opposite side of Loch Alsh, so I was able to get plenty more pictures of it.
Here are the remaining photographs from Friday evening.
An account of the Murchison Monument and our second visit to Balmacara Square.
This post continues the coverage of the Friday of my Scottish holiday.
This is not in honour of geologist Roderick Murchison, who has various things including a river in Western Australia named in his honour, although it was originally erected by him, in 1853. It is instead a monument to someone who fought on the side of the Jacobites and (probably because he was not significant enough for the other side to be that interested in dealing with him) held the land on behalf of his laird.
The monument is at the end of small, midge infested path, and is quite impressive.
The first time we walked around Balmacara Square nothing was open, so it was good to go back when things were open. There is a coffee shop there, which we visited. Even in this tiny place in the middle of nowhere they had raised over £500 at their Macmillan Coffee Morning. There is also a photographic gallery, run by photographer Iain Turnbull. My mother purchased one of his prints.
Continuing the account of my Scottish holiday.
Welcome to the next installment in my series about my holiday in Scotland. It is now three weeks since I returned, and I edited the last of the photos from said holiday only yesterday. This post is the first of three that relate specifically to Friday, there will also be several about the homeward journey and a special post about craft ales from The Isle of Skye Brewery.
Someone from the National Trust called round to check on the cottage’s water systems. It was from them that we learned of the presence in the area that day of the world’s last remaining ocean going paddle steamer. Once they had finished we went into Kyle of Lochalsh, and while my parents went to check in on emails I went out with my camera.
After lunch I decided to do as much packing as I sensibly could given how early my train would be leaving on the morrow. This process brought to light the fact that my train tickets were no longer in my possession. All attempts to locate them and/or secure replacements having failed, the woman at the ticket office in Kyle of Lochalsh did her best for us by providing tickets for each part of the route, which reduced the cost of the tickets to a still painful £117.60. On the way back from this unwanted excursion we visited the Murchison Monument and revisited Balmacara Square, which will feature in the next post in the series.
The steamer came past Ferry Cottage, enabling me to get some more photos of it (post coming up about that). After supper it was time for bed, bearing in mind the very early start.