Friday, 25 December 2009

-18 and falling for the fourth day xmas morning in the mountains

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Well last night was the fourth day in a row where the temperature dropped below –16 .After much huffing and puffing we managed to dig the truck out and with some relief headed towards Dingwall and out xmas shopping

The relief at knowing we would have more than beans on toast for xmas dinner was wonderful

As always the boys at Transerve have done an incredible job with the roads all across the highlands so the journey to the shops was uneventful but the journey was truly magical frozen waterfalls herds of deer huddled together scrapping at the ground to get at the heather and anything else to munch on.The ability of the animals up here in the mountains to survive always leaves me in awe .

 

Climbing out of bed this morning i knew last night had been the coldest so far this year .The front door to the bus was frozen solid and after half an hour chipping away at it with the axe i was able to get out side and take the dogs for their early morning walk.

Standing down at the river with the boys running around in the snow i was treated to an incredible early morning xmas sight of 3 swans slowly making their way up the glen not more than 5 feet off the ground gentle talking to each another as they passed us totally unconcerned by us

After getting the burner up and going so when Mel got up it would be warm and toastie for her

i thought it was time to get some breakfast on the go but heading into the caravan where we store the extra food and tins etc was like entering a freezer i grabbed a few tins and headed back into the bus

The frying pan on, the bacon sizzling i opened the beans but they were frozen solid so i had to open the other end and with much messing about they fell from the tin onto the plate in one solid ice cube of beans ..

But now after a lovely breakfast and full belly it is time to head of camera in hand and explore the wonder that is the magical mountains of Scotland

 

Peace and light to you all and we hope 2010 brings you all much love light and joy

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A wee film about us on STVs the HOUR SHOW click on STV logo to see the film

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Andy the Daft Hermit lives 45 minutes outside Inverness with his wife Mel in an old bus parked in a layby. This current home of theirs is the longest they have ever stayed in one spot. “I’ve been travelling now 25 years,” said Andy Lowe. “Mel’s been travelling 15. One of the reasons we’ve come and stayed up here is because of Mel’s health. I wanted to bring her to the mountains for fresh air and clean water and just a slower pace of life.” Mel has had breast cancer twice, skin cancer once, and for three years believed she had bone cancer after being wrongly diagnosed. Andy’s belief in the restorative powers of the north made them pack up ‘The Black Bus’ that they live in and cross the border into Scotland. New Highland home for hermit couple Andy and Mel “I think we both believe in trying to get to a more simple way of life,” said Andy, “but it’s strange for us because we are sort of hermits, or we like to live separate, but it’s not being anti-social… it’s just the way we are that allows us to be creative.” Andy first began travelling when he left the army. Fed up with bureaucracy he packed a rucksack and left for France and has been travelling ever since. By investing any money the couple have earned into solar panels and wind generators they now live a self-sustaining existence, without electric bills, and collect rain water “straight from Heaven”. “It’s not easy,” said Mel. “There might be time when there might not be enough facilities around, but you always find a way, you know?” Rather than rejecting technology, Andy blogs about his travels online and collaborates with artists from around the world via his ‘Scratchy Heid Film Studio’, which he runs from a static trailer next to the couple’s bus. He explained his philosophy: “My belief is that if you can go through life and you drop dead and you’ve got a balance there that slightly outweighs the good than the bad, you’ve done alright. “Yesterday, with what Mel’s been through with the cancer and all that, I had a woman on one of my sites there that thanked me for the writing, for the positive things, and to me that’s worth everything. You can keep your millions, we’re not interested. That is what we do.” To check out Andy’s artwork and video projects check out his website. MORE FROM THE NORTH

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