Saturday, 28 February 2009

Tales From The Highlands


                                                         FOUR SEASONS
                                        ...........................................................

We have now settled into our new parkup,this morning the mountains have thrown all the four seasons at us ,at the moment the rain and wind are driving into us from the north ,giving both vehicles a free jet wash 
clearing all the sand and dirt from the yard off them.


I woke to three Raf planes flying low over us (or maybe its the fact we are so high) i watched as the three of them created trails of smoke as they chased each another across the sky then in a flash they were gone leaving silence and rain behind.


I have always enjoyed full on weather it makes e feel so alive
Watching trees bending in the wind and birds being blown around the sky in a futile attempt to get to the other side of the glen.
Then as quickly as it has come the rain is gone and the sun bursts out from behind an angry looking cloud to shower us with light and warmth what a joy and a privelage to be able to live in such a powerful place so close to mother earth

I watched as little waves were born on one side of the loch and start to travel quickly across the open space.
 slowly gather energy and finally crash against the other side of the loch in a final display of mother natures power.

Dylan is full of energy and everytime i move to get a pen or something he is at the door ready to go out and explore.
So i think it is time to grab a flask and my camera and take a HIKE.......
 






               Home in the Scottish Highlands
..........................................................................................................

Like no other place i have been to, be it the wonderful Exmoor or Dartmoor to the lovely couty of Norfolk or black forest in Austria the the highlands seem to wrap around me and i feel more at ease with my life.

Travelling along the mountain roads as they wind there way gently through the mountains and glens one moment along the shore of 
a long dark peaty wind swept loch, the next moment you are passing through a forest  with trees full of long soft strands of moss hanging from spindly rain soaked Knarled branches of silver birch as if long forgotten xmas decorations.

As if watching some tennis match your head spins from the view too your right, a snow covered Ben, then just as you take in the perfect beauty of what you see ,quickly a movement or site catchs your left eye then back to the right.....

The sounds of the mountains be it some distant eagle calling as it effortlessly glides from glen to glen (making a mockery of them human clunky things called jets)or some stag bellowing his strength to anyone and everyone who will listen seem to flow through me as if electric passing through every molicule and resutling in feeling more alive ,more in touch with this amazing wonderful planet called we call Earth.

Everywhere history calls out,be it from the craggy moss covered rock an imagined clansman huddles from the northen wind and rain,
 the little clump of trees nestled at the slowly flowing river an imagined ancient settlement of people busy their selfs getting ready for the oncoming winter
gathering wood and everywhere laughter..

Travel these roads with your window wide open and your mind as open....
And the mountains will reward you with a gift you never believed possible in the hussle and bustle of this modern computerised world.

Standing on the top of a mountain As  you breathe in deeply your lungs scream for more, until they feel they will surely burst at any moment with the purity and sheer energy as the wind that threatens to blow you from the summit  ,born unseen far out too sea ,by a distant moon and deep deep water in an endless timeless batle and has travelled unobstructed across the Atlantic ocean. 
 until it hits the back of your troat with a force long forgotten and then travels speedily and determind to your lungs. leaving a faint tint of the sea as it does, filling your body with a long and nearly forgotten strength.....

As a kid i would climb Ben Bowie and do the same ,as i looked out across at Loch Lommond (often when i should have been at double maths ) it feels like so many years since i truly breathed ....

Standing by a small burn as is flows golden into the loch with no visible lights from anywhere the sky so clear and huge yet it seems to be completly carpeted in stars as if unable to fit even a single star  but somehow from the west a falling star is newly born and begins it's deahly journey ,weaves and squeezes somehow passing between them all.
 leaving it's firey trail across the  face of the new moon that is sitting lazily on the side of Ben Wyvis
Standing here in the highland moors i have never felt so at home and far from a lonely place the history and people of the highlands call out LISTEN  my friend.....................................

Come ,whatever you do in life, if but once, to the Scottish highlands, and sleep on a bed of moss under a moon lit night and open your heart........

The Happy Dafthermit x

  

Friday, 20 February 2009

Yard Fever

                                Yard Fever
 ................................................................................

Well after 5 weeks of scrimpping and saving we have nearly paid the horsebox off .
If we never see another tin of beans as long as we live it will not be a moment to long 
We even started to see the dogs as they wondered up and down the bus aisle turn into fine chunks of chicken especially custard he could do with losing some weight ,saying "do you think they would miss the odd leg."  mmm leg and chips 
We had planned to move out on Friday but have managed to bring it forward to monday night so 10pm wagons roll .....
One of the things without sounding ungrateful i will not miss is the huge CRASH BANG as a skip is dropped from a great height resulting in Dylan running up and down the bus barking closely followed by Custard barking till he looks about wondering what it is he is barking at. daft sod
Guess the old scrapping still gets into your blood i remember years ago doing it and you end up working and working money money money 
So with a Huge THANKYOU roy we will soon be of to the mountains and away from noise, street lighting etc etc and swapping  the dulcit tones of a lump of metal scrapping along the floor for a Golden Eagle or Some deer calling

We still haven't decided if we want to go to the Isle of Skye or further west and north guess we will leave that till we come to the crossroads on Monday night 



Thursday, 19 February 2009

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Earth hour :seen in Small Footprints wonderful blog

 

What began as a campaign to get Sydneysiders to turn their lights off, has grown to become one of the world’s biggest climate change initiatives. This year, at 8.30pm on March 28, people around the world will turn their lights for one hour – Earth Hour. One billion people, more than 1000 cities, mobilising in a global effort to ensure world leaders commit to actioning the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia with 2.2 million homes and businesses turning their lights off for one whole hour. Only a year later and this event had become a global sustainability movement with up to 100 million people across 35 countries participating. Global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Rome’s Colosseum and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.

Earth Hour 2009 is a global call to action to every individual, every business and every community. A call to stand up, to take responsibility and to get involved in working towards a sustainable future. Iconic buildings and landmarks from Europe to The Americas will stand in darkness. People across the world will turn off their lights and join together in creating the vital conversation about the future of our precious planet.

Earth Hour is a message of hope and a message of action. Everyone can make a difference.

Join us for Earth Hour 2009.

I'm Other and Open.

Earth Hour


A bit more about Earth Hour Global...

Hometown: Earth
Occupation: Global Movement

Contact

Email:

Bonnet's & Snow

Mel made me a wee bonnet to keep my ears warm thanks babe xxx


The snow plough boys do an amazing job up here keeping all the roads clear 


..........................................................................................................................................................

If you enjoy my pics why not pop over to the blackbus flickr group by clicking on the picture 

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Mayberry's Journey to Freedom: Trying To Keep This Alive....

Mayberry's Journey to Freedom: Trying To Keep This Alive....

A Trip Round Scotland

Glencoe - www.flickr.com/groups/glencoe/
- Eilean Donan Castle - www.flickr.com/groups/edcastle/
- Scotland's Scenery - www.flickr.com/groups/scottishscenery/
- Scottish Bothies - www.flickr.com/groups/36062353@N00/pool/
- Glasgow - www.flickr.com/groups/glasgow/
- Isle of Arran - www.flickr.com/groups/IsleOfArran/
- Isle of Bute - www.flickr.com/groups/bute/
- Inner Hebrides - www.flickr.com/groups/innerhebrides/
- Shetland - www.flickr.com/groups/shetland/
- Buachaille Etive Mor - www.flickr.com/groups/buachailleetivemor/
- An Gleann Mòr - www.flickr.com/groups/an_gleann_mor/
- Calmac - www.flickr.com/groups/calmac/
- Scotland Black and White - www.flickr.com/groups/13048418@N00/
- Scottish Landscapes - www.flickr.com/groups/highlandhaggis/
- Shinty - www.flickr.com/groups/50149415@N00/
- Scottish Sunsets and Sunrises - www.flickr.com/groups/27185976@N00/
- scottish scenery - www.flickr.com/groups/scottish_scenery/
- Digital Scotland - www.flickr.com/groups/digitalscotland/
- Isle of Skye - www.flickr.com/groups/isleofskye/
- Scotland in the Gloaming - www.flickr.com/groups/gloaming/
- Scottish Waterfalls - www.flickr.com/groups/scottish_waterfalls/
- Aberdeen - www.flickr.com/groups/aberdeen/
- Argyll and Bute - www.flickr.com/groups/argyll/
- Islay and Jura - www.flickr.com/groups/islay/
- Orkney - www.flickr.com/groups/25766594@N00/pool/
- Ross-shire - www.flickr.com/groups/ross-shire/
- Loch Lomond - www.flickr.com/groups/loch_lomond/
- Scotland's Castles - www.flickr.com/groups/scotlands_castles/
- The Scottish Parliament Building - www.flickr.com/groups/24234539@N00/
- Scottish Mountains - www.flickr.com/groups/37126485@N00/
- Scotland the Brave - www.flickr.com/groups/44124322960@N01/
- ! Scotland - www.flickr.com/groups/68367434@N00/
- Scottish Lochs - www.flickr.com/groups/41298484@N00/
- Scottish meet ups - www.flickr.com/groups/scottishmeetup/
- Scottish Heritage "Alba gu Brath" www.flickr.com/groups/22004427@N00/
- Borders - www.flickr.com/groups/scottishborders/
- Dundee - www.flickr.com/groups/Dundee/
- Edinburgh - www.flickr.com/groups/edinburgh/
- Leith - www.flickr.com/groups/leith/
- Forth Bridges - www.flickr.com/groups/forthbridges/
- Glasgow West End - www.flickr.com/groups/glasgowwestend/
- Glasgow Parks - www.flickr.com/groups/parksglasgow/
- Fife - www.flickr.com/groups/fife/
- Forfar - www.flickr.com/groups/forfartown/
- Highlands and Islands- www.flickr.com/groups/highlands/
- Clyde Islands - www.flickr.com/groups/clydeislands/
- Outer Hebrides - www.flickr.com/groups/hebrides/
- Islay and Jura - www.flickr.com/groups/islay/
- Orkney - www.flickr.com/groups/25766594@N00/pool/
- Lanarkshire - www.flickr.com/groups/lanarkshire/
- Moray Firth - www.flickr.com/groups/moray-scotland/
- Inverness - www.flickr.com/groups/51778257@N00/
- An t-Eilean Sgitheanach (Isle of Skye) - www.flickr.com/groups/458831@N24/
- DSLR Scotland - www.flickr.com/groups/dslr_scotland/
- Coastline of Scotland - www.flickr.com/groups/417083@N21/
- Highland Exposure - www.flickr.com/groups/highlandexposure/
- Iona and Mull - www.flickr.com/groups/49852808@N00/
- Isle of Lewis & Harris - www.flickr.com/groups/lewisandharris/
- Munros - www.flickr.com/groups/munros/
- Corbetts - www.flickr.com/groups/corbetts/
- Donalds - www.flickr.com/groups/donalds/
- Grahams - www.flickr.com/groups/grahams/
- Marilyns - www.flickr.com/groups/marilyns/
- Contemporary Scotland - www.flickr.com/groups/conteporaryscotland/
- The Mearns - www.flickr.com/groups/mearns/
- Ayrshire - www.flickr.com/groups/86933611@N00/
- Dumfries and Galloway - www.flickr.com/groups/18558400@N00/
- Botantic Gardens - www.flickr.com/groups/edinbotanicgardens/
- Sailing in Scotland - www.flickr.com/groups/sailingscotland/
- Scotland from the air - www.flickr.com/groups/scotlandfromtheair/
- Scotlands Animals - www.flickr.com/groups/scotlandsnatureanimals
- Scotlands Birds - www.flickr.com/groups/scotlandsnaturebirds
- Scotlands Insects www.flickr.com/groups/scotlandsnatureinsects
- Skylines of Scotland - www.flickr.com/groups/36413091@N00/
- Scottish Wildflowers - www.flickr.com/groups/scottishwildflowers/
- Historic Scotland - www.flickr.com/groups/403740@N21/
- Scotland-alt - www.flickr.com/groups/scotland-alt/
- B & W Scotland - www.flickr.com/groups/black_and_white_scotland/http://www...
- Ski Scotland - www.flickr.com/groups/ski_scotland/
- Glasgow: Scotland with Style® - www.flickr.com/groups/glasgow_with_style/
- Disappearing Scotland - www.flickr.com/groups/disappearingscotland/
- Scotland Under 16's - www.flickr.com/groups/scotlandunder16/
- Scotland: Eating Out - www.flickr.com/groups/scotland-eatingout/
- Camping Trips in scotland - www.flickr.com/groups/73073826@N00/
- Architecture Scotland - www.flickr.com/groups/architecturescotland/
- Nikon Scotland - www.flickr.com/groups/nikon_scotland/
- Scotland - The Beautiful Landscapes - www.flickr.com/groups/493670@N20/
- Geotagged : Scotland - www.flickr.com/groups/geotagged-scotland/
- Walk Across Scotland 07 - www.flickr.com/groups/walk-across-scotland-07/
- Bands from Scotland - www.flickr.com/groups/scottishbands/
- all Scotland - www.flickr.com/groups/allscotland/
- Railways and Trains of Scotland - www.flickr.com/groups/47902659@N00/
- Dundee and roundabout - www.flickr.com/groups/Dundee/
- Dumfries and Galloway - www.flickr.com/groups/18558400@N00/
- Forfar - www.flickr.com/groups/forfartown/
- Gigha - www.flickr.com/groups/gigha/
- Aberdeen High Flats: www.flickr.com/groups/42055335@N00/
- Seaton High Flats Aberdeen: www.flickr.com/groups/64697316@N00/
- Skye Pipe Band - www.flickr.com/groups/skyepipeband/
- The Highlands - www.flickr.com/groups/highlands/
- Perth-shire - www.flickr.com/groups/59408214@N00/
- Western Isles in B & W - www.flickr.com/groups/westernisles/

The group that covers everything: www.flickr.com/groups/scots/

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Idiot's Stew: I am afraid of Jack Kerouac

Idiot's Stew: I am afraid of Jack Kerouac

Norton 360 what a con

                                  ( a quick update on the hat Jane)


In 20 days it will be a year since we joined the laptop and internet 
and i have had to learn fast when i bought the laptop i was told about this amazing thing called Norton 360 and not knowing any better i handed over some hard earned cash
Well today i have found out how much of a con it really was 
Jane told me about avast virus protection and last night after a bit of a struggle was able to load it onto my laptop
I ran it and it found 2 virus in Symtec part of Norton 

Well today the wee machine is flying i was able to download 4 massive files no bother and my email is going so fast again i have a sore arm with the typing


So all i can say is goooooooooodbye norton and welcome AVAST and many thanks Jane xx 

avast! Suite





Friday, 13 February 2009

Mountains & Delays




Our friend Jane has now gone home (missing my early morning coffee) before arriving in the highlands she was praying there would still be snow
I kept telling her not to worry and i took her up to Aultguish were these pictures were taken ,and were we will be parked up soon
We had to get up at 4.00am to get Jane to the airport for her flight and after tears and hugs she disappeared through the departure gates
We headed back to the truck knowing we have a new friend that will always be there
So we headed back to Inverness when a snow storm hit and within an hour over a foot of snow had fallen we were just hoping to get back to the Muir when the lights went out luckily i found a layby 300 yrds up the road and pulled in 
after checking the fuses i found one blown ,but coudn't replace it as the new one would blow  straight away so i decided to put the hazards on and make a dash for tesco's carpark where Mel could do some shopping while i had another look at the truck failing that it would be light enough to head of from there within an hour or two.
I found a short in the loom but decided to fix it back at the yard so when the sun was up we headed of imagining Jane whizzing of to Manchester and missing her already
We got the fire going and decided to hit the sack for an hour or two
The phone rang a text from Jane her flight had been cancelled and the next one was at 3 but it was 7 before she got going (so at least you got to see the mountains again Jane xx)

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Monday, 9 February 2009

Golden eagles & Shattered glass


The result of passing an idiot driver he took of my wing mirror and the frame sprung back and smashed the window showering us all in glass
Our new parkup we will be moving to in a week or so (life is such a struggle )
Dropped a penny 


                            Golden eagles & shattered glass
                        ....................................................................


We took the horsebox of for her first maiden journey up through the mountains to Ullapool today.
After we had been to the co-op for a few snacks and fueled up we headed into the snowy mountains
and our friend Jane was blown away with the beauty of it all her camera was flashing one way then over there look at that all the way to Ullapool 
It was so good to be back on the road to Ullapool and with the mountains wrapped around you i Know i am home were i always feel save and secure 
We passed hundreds of proud stags with deer everywhere standing truly at home in the snow
and to round of a perfect day we were so lucky to see a huge golden eagle feet away from us perched on a post
The only down side was as we passed a truck i watched as we approached each another and i could see the 3 parked cars on his side and i looked as the realisation came across his face that he wouldn't make it but instead of slowing down he pulled onto our side of the road and smashed my mirror sending the frame back against the window sending a shower of broken glass against me and covering Mel and Jane luckily we only had a few cuts as i slowed down i watched the truck diappear into the distance
We carried on and pulled into a layby and cleaned up the glas and replaced the mirror with a spare i had and when we got back to the yard our friend Hamish sorted me out with a new mirror and glass for the door for Free 
I love being back in the highlands with the highlanders 
I hope you enjoy my wee pics of the mountains
and happy travels to you all

andy 




Friday, 6 February 2009

Loch Ness & Airport





At last i have managed to get back online ,The old Leyland truck is now Mot'd for the year and taxed up so now i can get back on with fully converting it ready to head of in a week or so .
Our friend Jane arrived safely at Inverness Airport and yesterday we took her over to loch ness 
She has always wanted to visit Scotland and i think she is so happy to have made it
monday we plan to take her up to Ullapool for the day maybe get a fire going at the beach.
Talk about timing today the snow is back so we reckon she might be hear for quiet a while but she dosn't seem to be bothered.

a wee link i hope you enjoy :


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

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

Loch Ness film festival

Loch Ness film festival
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