The 2018 Wall Calendar

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:

through the windowstepped waterfall (1)ruined castle11607150915011433Skye and Wester Ross 2The Iron Road to the Isles1426

One of these steamer pictures will definitely feature.

Steamer4Murchison Monument2

Farewell to the Jacobite
I may assemble a composite image of several “Jacobite ” pictures.

Loco at rear of trainlock gates

At least one of these Glenfinnan Viaduct pictures will feature.

GV3GV2GV1P1010044Jacobite train long viewJacobite Loco 3Jacobie Loco3Jacobite Loco2Jacobite LocoJacobiteIIThe JacobiteFront of LocoBeetleblack highland cowstepped waterfall

single span bridge 2
Bridges on Skye will definitely feature somewhere.

The Land of the Mountain and the Floodstone bridge 2stone bridgeSingle span bridgeBridge complex 1Stone bridgeSkye Bridge from aboveKyle of Lochalsh from above

Balmacara House to Craggan Cottage2
This is the stretch of Loch Alsh on which Ferry Cottage, where we stayed, sits.

Double Framed Lighthouse


I have of course shown these before, but for completeness sake here they are again:

Valleytwo cascades800793784768756755748812804


These are the pictures from outside Scotland that I consider worth a second look.

P1020447P1020432P1020327P1020007Flying gullP1020094Renewable energy 7Renewable energy 6Renewable energy 5Renewable Emergy4renewable energyrenewable energy 2Cliff formation from Old Hunstanton BeachRNLI Hovercraft1Flying bird 1Flying bird 2


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.

Scotland – The Last Post: Inverness to Peterborough

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. 

152015211522152315241527152815291530153115321534153615371538153915401541154215431544Cairngorms sign


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. 




Scotland – Homeward Bound: Lochluichart to Inverness

Continuing the account of the homeward journey, taking the story up to Inverness (Inbhir Nis).


Welcome to the next post in my series about my holiday in Scotland. This post continues the story of the journey home picking up where it’s predecessor left off at Lochluichart.


This part of the journey is not as impressive as its predecessor, but I did still get some good pictures.



Scotland – Homeward Bound 1: Ferry Cottage to Lochluichart

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.


Spot on for a floral display at a train station!



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!



Scotland: Craft Ale From The Isle Of Skye


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:

  1. Skye Blaven (blue label on bottle): a perfectly fine craft ale, albeit the least impressive of this particular selection.
  2. Skye Red – a rich, full flavoured drink. The fact that I rated this one third of the four is credit to the top two, not in any way discredit to this one.
  3. Skye Gold – a heavily hopped ale which also features a highly unusual ingredient – porridge oats. This is a delicious drink, and it would require something special to keep this one out of the top spot, but fortunately for me this brewery has something else that is not merely special but absolutely unique…
  4. Skye Black – a unique craft ale, because it contains oatmeal. The result of the combination of the oatmeal with malted barley, hops, yeast and water is a truly remarkable drink. Imagine the finest stout you have ever encountered and then ramp the quality up from that and you get somewhere close to just how good this drink is.


At some stage in this series I will be producing a post about the craft ales produced by the Skye brewery.

Scotland – Friday: The Paddle Steamer

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.

Steamer2Steamer3Steamer4Steamer5Steamer 6


Here are the remaining photographs from Friday evening.

Old map on wall of Ferry Cottage



Enjoy Nature Infographic


Scotland – Friday: The Murchison Monument and Balmacara Square.

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.

Murchison Monument1
The first of two shots of the whole monument.

Murchison Monument2

Murchison Monument Inscription
The first of two close-ups of the inscription.

Murchison Monument Inscription 2


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.