Update on ADSL

I have written about the performance of ADSL ( or broadband as this connection is commonly referred ). I am particularly concerned that often people sign up to services from which they expect to get “up to 8 Meg” etc….. Reality is of course that actual performance ofter falls way short of this level. The BBC has an interesting article that states that currently average download speeds are in the region of 2Mbps compared to 512kbps three years ago. If the average is 2Mbps we can expect that some people will see better than this and some will see average performance which is lower than this figure. The the earlier tests I have documented substantiate this. Read the article and take particular note of the comment towards the end of the article about Japan where apparently speeds of 50 – 60 Mbps are possible using VDSL.

Click Here to see the BBC article

It would be interesting to see a little more information about average download speeds in the UK at peak times! I have seen performance on an up to 8 Mbps service vary between 6.5Mbps and 250kbps depending on the time of day! Evening speeds are typically in the region of a few hundred k’s this is when most users want to use their BB service.

It seems that the UK regulator is holding back on the introduction of VDSL and VDSL2 until some problems which relate to radio interference when these technologies are delivered over telephone lines. Hopefully, it will not be too long before we see this next generation of technology being introduced here!

Fraserburgh Art!!!

I have mentioned this before!

I came across a reference to art in Fraserburgh and wrote about it a few posts earlier. However, when I visited Fraserburgh to day I took my camera with me and recored it myself. The people who paint the fishing vessels use the wall outside their shed to test the colours that they will be painting. There is an alternative reason for doing this. In this industry you will use a brush to paint a number of colours in a given day! The brush is not always properly cleaned between colours so the painters will simply give the brush a quick clean and then put it into the next colour and work it on a nearby wall! The result is what you can see. Note that this effect is caused by many layers of paint. I estimate that the buildup of paint amounts to at least 5 inches. This will have built up over a number of years of course.

I think that this is quite unique……

I can recall that at the start of a summers work there – I would have a set of overalls clean and fresh. But by the end of the summer season my overalls would also be thick and stiff with paint.

You cannot tell this form the pics – but when you walk near these sheds the smell of fresh paint if quite overwhelming….

I don’t know how much longer this will be maintained as the fishing industry is now gradually being run down – this could soon be a figment of the past.

See the pics click here

How did the mystery weekend go?

Well it was a really fine weekend. First surprise was that we were traveling in a Grand Voyager. Comfort for all six passengers. The above pic was taken at the summit of Glenshee not far from the Ski Centre. The weather to pretty awful at the time this was taken – very cold and very windy. But this was not our final destination!

We eventually arrived at a cottage in GlenIsla which was to be our home for the next three nights. Its the white on then photo below

There was no mobile phone coverage at this location and the telephone in the telephone box in the picture was not actually working. So this was a real chance to get away from it all!!!! No phone’s no emails, no text message – real bliss.

We were able walk a bit!

The following photos provide the proof of this!!!!

Some of the scenery was very picturesque. On our second walk we saw a lake which was completely isolated from the public paths and roads etc…. This is one of my favorite photos taken at this spot.

The girls had organised a special treat for the boys – the picture below says it all I think. It was really great fun. There must be a caption for this picture somewhere 😉

On the Saturday we went over the hill to Pitlochery where we met with some old friends. It was really nice to meet them again and renew acquaintances.

This sky was captured on our return journey to the cottage for another evening meal and peaceful night.

Our last excursion was to travel to Loch Tay where we enjoyed some beautiful scenery as shown in the photos below!

Here are the boys,

and here are the girls who managed to do a fantastic job by planning this special weekend right down to the last detail.

This was an outstanding weekend with only one exception. On our last night at the cottage one of our party took ill and had to be taken by ambulance to Accident and Emergency at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee. After suffering severe abdominal pains it was necessary to contact NHS 24 – that was not very easy because the nearby telephone box phone was not working and it was necessary to travel by car about 2.5 miles to get to a point where the mobile signal was reliable. He is now recovering in hospital. This ending took the edge off what was otherwise a perfect weekend. Here is a photo of the ambulance.

I will be publishing more photos from the weekend once I get a chance to sort through the many photos taken.

So what will the boys be arranging for next year??? We will have to be doing some serious planning to equal this years trip.

Well done girls.

You can see more photos by clicking here

Mystery holiday


Here I am sitting at home on the Thursday morning having a light breakfast! This is unusual for me as I would usually be some where in the central belt – but this is a special weekend. Its the weekend when Mary and I go off with another two couples for a short holiday. In the past the boys have taken responsibility for making the arrangements etc… We have usually gone to either Glasgow or Edinburgh and gone to a show or concert 😉 But this weekend is different! The girls decided to take the initiative and have made all the arrangements.

So we ( the boys ) do not know where we are going – its a mystery!!!!

We have been told to pack casual cloths and walking boots? So I am thinking that we are not going to the city? But where are we going ?? I wonder???

Well we depart at 10 am and I am told that we will simply have to follow instructions from the Sat Nav system? So this is going to be a weekend with a difference! So I intend to have a relaxed time with no email or work to think about!

Could it be an activity weekend – or a visit to a Spa as suggested by on of my work colleagues???? Well all will be revealed soon. I need to go and finish packing etc….

Watch this space for an update 😉

Happy valentines weekend.

If you want to see – here is a link to last years photos when we went to Edinburgh for the weekend when we when to see Shakespear’s “A midsummers night dream” at the Festival Theatre.

Click here to see last years photos

Art at Fraserburgh harbour

My first summer job when still a school pupils was to work as a ships painter at Fraserburgh harbour. I was reminded on this when I came across the following web page

  • Click Here to see some art from Fraserburgh Harbour
  • As stated on the page – ship painters were inclined to clear their brushes by painting on the wall of the paint shed. This would result in the paint building up over the years – it would commonly reach many inches of thickness. I recall many happy summer hours working on the boats. One of the most hair raising jobs was to paint the boats ariel at the top of the boats mast! See teh following photo to get an impressions of how hight this can be.


    You can click on the photo to see a bigger version of the photo. ( not my photo – linked to it at Webshots.com )

    When you are up there you would stand with one foot on the top of the mast and hold on with one hand and paint with the other – don’t ask how you would hold the paint tin 😉