The Aspi.blog 2018 Wall Calendar

Announcing the new calendars.

INTRODUCTION

Producing a photographic wall calendar has become a tradition for this blog, and courtesy of a magnificent offer at Vistaprint (25 calendars plus postage for £129) this year’s are now on order (eta with me October 25th). The rest of this post gives you a preview.

THE CALENDARS

Most of the pictures for this calendar come from my Scottish holiday, so they do no relate to particular months. There are one or two exceptions as you will see.

This is the locomotive that pulled the Jacobite train when I travelled it.
The January picture features the Skye Bridge
This shot was taken on the journey from Plockton to Applecross – it was nominated by Oglach, who blogs at natriobloidi.wordpress.com
This classic stone bridge can be seen on the Isle of Skye. 
One of the minority of pictures in this calendar that was not taken in Scotland.
Back to Scotland, with this paddle steamer.
This picture was taken in June – another Scottish classic.
Bawsey Abbey, taken on July 27th – nominated by my mother.
This was taken during an NAS West Norfoilk organised trip to a beach hut at Old Hunstanton.
Lock Gates, captured through the window of the Jacobite train, near Fort William.
Boats near Plockton, through the window of the train from Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness (nominated by my aunt Celia)
A view of Kyle of Lochalsh from above.
A section of the Glenfinnan Viaduct (the actual viaduct over which the Hogwarts Express passes in the films).

Autism Infographics and Some Photographs

A couple of classic autism infographics I spotted in the last 24 hours and some photographs of my own.

INTRODUCTION

The photographs which will be appearing in two tranches at the end of this post are mine, all taken yesterday. The two autism related infographics are shared from elsewhere (credit given at appropriate points). I saw the first of these yesterday evening and the second this morning.

AUTISM INFOGRAPHICS

First, courtesy of Patricia, who tweets as @pgzwicker, comes this gem:

Autistic chiuld infographic

The second was originally posted on Our Autism Blog this morning, and I link to that post so that you can comment on it there should you wish:

OABinfog

PHOTOGRAPHS

The first of the two sets of my photographs that I am putting up here were taken while out walking yesterday morning:

Upper Purfleet
The Upper Purfleet
giant slug
A giant slug on the path alongside Bawsey Drain
Moorhen
A moorhen swimming in a clear pool
Moorhen and lilies
This second pool was covered in water lilies.
white duck
A town centre section of the Gaywood River
Moorhens and algae
In the parkland area – this stretch of river is covered in algae.
Magpie
A magpie on the path alongside the Great Ouse
Cormorants
Near the end of the walk – some shots of cormorants and boats on the town centre section of the Great Ouse.

CormorantBoat3 CormorantsCormorants on platform2 cormorantsCormorant2Boat and gulls

The last few pictures for today were taken yesterday afternoon while sitting outside my parents house in East Rudham. These are probably the last shots I will have from there as my parents are moving to Plymouth.

Bee1Bee3Bee2

Scotland – Thursday: Fort William to Glaick

The return from Fort William to Glaick.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest installment in my series of posts about a Scottish holiday. Having finished the account of my experience with The Jacobite, this penultimate post for the Thursday deals with the return journey from Fort William to Glaick. 

LEAVING FORT WILLIAM

Before heading back to the cottage in Glaick where were staying we visited the Morrison’s in Fort William to stock up on food, including some ingredients which feature in the next post in this series. That done we headed off back towards Glaick, me with the camera at the ready.

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Scotland – Thursday: Farewell to the Jacobite

The final stages of The Jacobite jnourney.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest post in the series I am doing about my holiday in ScotlandThis post brings to an end the account of The Jacobite train journey. 

THE LAST STAGE OF THE TRAIN JOURNEY

Once we were able to move on from Glenfinnan we encountered no further hitches and the train chugged into Fort William at 3:55PM, within a few minutes of the stated return time. 

GV2GV3GV41175117711851188119311951196120012011202Island and boatlock gates1205Loco at rear of trainFarewell to the Jacobite

A FEW FINAL THOUGHTS
ON “THE JACOBITE”

This is unquestionably a very fine train journey, and to experience it on a steam train added something to it. However, I have to disagree with the ‘selectorate’ who named it The World’s Greatest Train Journey. Inlandsbanan in Sweden is one that I rate ahead of it, the other section of this same railway, Glasgow to Fort William, is as impressive in its own way, sweeping across a moor that sees it at one point seven miles from the nearest road, and as you will be seeing later in this series of posts the rail route from Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness is pretty special as well. 

 

The 2018 Wall Calendar – Oglach’s Selections

Oglach’s nominations for the 2018 wall calendar.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to this special post in my series about my Scottish holiday. In the first post of this series I wrote about my now established tradition of producing a photographic wall calendar and invited readers to nominate pictures for consideration. Oglach, whose blog can be found here, has risen to the challenge by making some suggestions in response to my post about the ascent to the Bealach Na Va viewpoint. 

OGLACH’S PICKS

Here, if I have followed his comment correctly are the pictures Oglach deemed worthy of further consideration:

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AFTERWORD – HOW THESE
PICTURES WERE TAKEN

All of these pictures bar the last one were taken from the back seat of a moving campervan and carefully edited to bring out/ preserve their best points. I will certainly give careful consideration to including some of these in the calendar, and I end this little post by reiterating my invitation to my readers to nominate pictures for the calendar as and when they see them. If you put your nominations in a post on your own blog I will reblog it.

Scotland – A Very Scenic Journey 3: The Descent to Applecross

The final stages of the journey from Plockton to Applecross.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest post in my Scottish series. In this post we conclude the journey to Applecross with the final descent from the viewpoint where the last post concluded. 

DOWNHILL ALL THE WAY

Here are the photos from this section of the journey:

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Scotland – A Very Scenic Journey Part 2: Strome Castle to Bealach Na Va Viewpoint

Continuing the account of the super scenic journey from Plockton to Applecross, reaching the Bealnach Na Va Viewpoint.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest installment in my series of posts about my holiday in Scotland. This post continues the scenic journey from Plockton to Applecross, reaching the highest point of the road through the mountains.

PASSING PLACES

This section of the journey involved a road that was mainly single-lane, with signposted Passing Places where space permitted. The rule about Passing Places is: if it is on your left side you pull in to let the other vehicle through, while if it is on your right it is the other vehicle’s responsibility to make way for you. 

INTO THE MOUNTAINS

Here is a photographic account of the ascent to the viewpoint:

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Scotland: The Isle of Skye 4- Bridges and Departure

The final post about my day on Skye. Some remarkable river scenes.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to my final post about the day on the Isle of Skye. This series of posts about my holiday in Scotland now runs to:

THE BRIDGES

I had identified a place for photo stop on the return journey while we were heading towards the Talisker distillery. It proved even better than I had expected, and in a few minutes I had taken a number of good pictures…

Bridge complex 1Single span bridgestone bridge

major river, Skye

The Land of the Mountain and the Flood
Enter a caption

single span bridge 2607

 

Bridge complex 1Single span bridgestone bridge

stone bridge 2
At least one of these pictures will feature in the Calendar.

major river, Skyesingle span bridge 2607608

The Land of the Mountain and the Flood
Click on this picture to hear the piece of music after which it is named – Hamish MacCunn’s evocation of his native land.

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LEAVING SKYE

I got a few more pictures during the rest of the journey home…

 

Scotland – Isle of Skye 1: Ferry Cottage to Talisker Distillery

The first of several posts about the Tuesday of my Scottish holiday.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest post in the series about my Scottish holiday. We are now dealing with the Tuesday (May 30th), most of which was spent on the Isle of Skye. The day contained so much of interest and yielded so many splendid pictures that I am splitting it into a number of posts. Previous posts in this series:

THE FIRST MAJOR ACTIVITY

We decided that our first major activity would be a tour of the Talisker Distillery (the tour itself will be the theme of the next post in this series). As you will see from some of the photographs the weather was suitable for a day most of which would be spent under cover. 

THE GEOGRAPHY OF SKYE

Although Kyleakin is the more northerly of the settlements on Skye to have historic connections to the mainland (Armadale, with its ferry connection to Mallaig, is the other), it is still the case the most of Skye is to the north of Kyleakin.

Local Map

PHOTOS OF THE OUTWARD JOURNEY

The outward journey yielded some good pictures and gave me an idea for the way back as well…

River, Skye477

blurry waterfall
This waterfall is more than a bit blurred, but still worth showing.

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Stone bridge
I made a mental note that this was an area to get closer attention on the return journey, as you will see in a later post.

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This is the approach to the Distillery Car Park – and distillery visitors are understandably strongly discouraged from parking elsewhere in the village.

Scotland: Walking From Ferry Cottage To Kyle of Lochalsh

An account of the walking route from Balmacara to Kyle of Lochalsh.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest installment in this series about my Scottish holiday. Today we deal with Monday’s principal activity, which was a trip into Kyle of Lochalsh. Previous posts in series:

 

THE DECISION TO WALK

We had noticed the presence of a footpath to Kyle of Lochalsh, and I was particularly keen to sample it. I was not expecting the walk to pose too many problems as the distance was only three miles. However, I had seriously underestimated the difficulty of the terrain. Thus it was that after a brief period in Kyle of Lochalsh we got a bus back.

LEAVING THE ROAD – WOODS

The footpath began by climbing up through some woodland, before emerging into the open. 

Stream

Shelter
This shelter framework had been built straddling the path and left there.

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ON THE HEIGHTS – TO SCALPAIDH BURN

The middle point of the walk, until we crossed a footpath running between Scalpaidh Bay and Loch Scalpaidh, took place high above Lochalsh. This junction came at the crossing point of the only major waterway on the route (there were numberless minor waterways cutting the path at various points – this is northwest Scotland we are talking about!). 

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THE DESCENT INTO KYLE OF LOCHALSH

The final stages of the footpath were on a steady downhill gradient as we approached Kyle of Lochalsh. The whole walk took two hours due to the difficult terrain (there were points when the path was almost indistinguishable from what as around it). We walked it on a warm day during what had been by the standards of the area a dry period.

Kyle of Lochalsh from above
This was the first sight of Kyle of Lochalsh from the footpath.

Skye Bridge from above472

Kyle Co-op
Kyle of Lochalsh Co-op – it has an adequate but overpriced stock.
Footpath Sign
The footpath marker at the Kyle of Lochalsh end of the path.#

LUNCH AND THE RETURN

We had lunch at Hector’s Bothy, also making use of their wifi before getting a bus back. This bus service runs on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays and although its first scheduled stop is Balmacara Square they acceded to a request that we be dropped at the turn off leading to Glaick (pronounced Glike) wherein Ferry Cottage is located. The fares were remarkably cheap at £1.20 each (central King’s Lynn to the Hospital costs more for example). The bus is the smallest vehicle I have ever seen running what purports to be a public bus route:

Bus
The bus – a 16 seater.