Camping Summer 2007

(photo above, sunset over Keswick)

Summer of 2007 and Mary and I are both ready for well earned break from work etc. We have for many years now camped using our trailer tent and have most often spent the time in Keswick – Northern Lake District. This year we had for various reasons had to delay booking a site so it was all a little ‘last minute’ in the end. However, we did make to Keswick for 6 days and nights.

This summer in the UK has been the summer of floods with many examples serious problems both in the north further south of England. Not the best general weather conditions for camping you may think. We are of course hardened campers so we generally go prepared for all sorts of weather.

We set off with no site booking but did hope that we might get on to the Camping and Caravaning site in Keswick – we were aware that rain has made conditions pretty poor under foot there!

Here is a photo I took look out to the lake form the site beach – really one of the most peaceful locations I know for camping.

In the event despite the fact that some people had cancelled there booking we were not able to get a place and headed of to Braithwaite ( 2 mile from Keswick) to the Scotgate campsite which we have used in the past too. This was probably a good thing as the drainage is much better there.

Here is our tent setup at the Braithwaite site – also a lovely setting which is surrounded by hills – this is an ideal site to use as a base if you want to do some hill walking.

We had offered to keep Abbie – Linda’s dog for a few weeks during the summer as she fulfilled various commitments so we were camping with a dog – this was a first for us – but very enjoyable none the less. She adapted very well to the camping routine and slept very well here are a couple of photos of her ! She is real star – when we went for a walk up Keswick high street we had to stop every few minutes with by passers bye saying “O she is so cute!” or “can I stroke her?” or “can I give her a cuddle?”

Here she is tucked up in her bed!

We had a very relaxing time and really enjoyed the weather – which in the end consisted of both rain and sun. Roll on next years camping extravaganza πŸ˜‰

Click here to see more photos

Model Boat Show – Duthie Park 15th July 2007

This was a really special occasion when we went to the boating pond at Duthie Park In Aberdeen. It was unfortunate that due to another commitment we were not able to be there for the start of the ‘show’. But have a look at the photo below which shows three radio controlled boats which were made by the same model maker. This model maker called Jim McCurrach sadly passed away recently after a long illness. Whilst I strolled along the path around the boating pond, my thoughts went back to the one and only previous occasion when I had been there to see a particular model being sailed. The model called the ‘Bairns Pride’ was the most recent completed project, I had seen on the living room table of Jim’s home some time before. It is the middle model in the photo below.

In addition to these three models Jim also took much pride in his sailing boat which is shown below.

I recall the tremendous enthusiasm that Jim had for his hobby, a close look a the detail of his work demonstrates an immense capacity for accuracy and authenticity. What a wonderful legacy to leave behind in these models which are truly works of art as well as being considerable achievements in terms of the range of craft skills needed to complete them from start to finish. Each of these models has now been passed on to various members of his family who are now keen to continue to sail them from time to time. I am sure that in doing this they will remember him in a special way.

Of course we cannot place too much emphasis on these material things because we know that Jim, the person, will be missed greatly particularly by his widow, children and grandchildren. But he will also be missed by all the people he touched throughout his life and am sure that the members of the Aberdeen Model Boat community are only one such group.

Although I did not know Jim for a very long time I will always associate his memory with these model boats and recall the few occasions when I was privileged to spend just a short time in his presence and know the warmth of his personality.

Link to the Aberdeen Model Boat Club website

Social Networking extended to the world of Pooch

I have made a couple of posts in the past about the new additions to our family – Abbie and Hollie – the dogs!!!

I was very interested to read an email from Bill StArnaud who usually writes about developments in high speed networking. In any case have look at the following web site

click here

Where you can read more about a new development in social networking for dogs! Basically the idea is that the dog is equipped with an electronic tag which stores information about the dog and has the ability to link up with and exchange information about the other dog and of course its owner etc……

I expect that there is some form of network technology at play here – no mention of the safety of the device or the dangers of radio waves etc. to the dogs that wear the device πŸ˜‰

This made me chuckle – of course as with all new ideas it will need to catch on and be distributed to a high enough proportion of the pooch population before it will start to generate significant outputs. This device seems to attach to the dogs collar!

Of course any good dog owner will not be letting his/her pooch out unattended so it is likely that it will be possible for the owners to check the credentials of other dogs and their owners when the return back to base after the mandatory evening constitutional.

I don’t think we will be rushing out to purchase one of these for our kaynine friends πŸ˜‰

30th Wedding Anniversary – Pearl

8th July 1977 – was the day that Mary and I were married in Peterhead, Scotland. So we celebrated our Pearl wedding anniversary yesterday. 30 years is a by some measures a very long time and in the light of the current fashion could be seen as quite an achievement. So many weddings end in separation long before this stage these days.

However, back to yesterday – it certainly was a very special day for Mary and I. Our family had decided to surprise us by taking us out for Sunday dinner at the Marcliffe Hotel and Spa. What a lovely thought and gesture. It was so nice to enjoy their company over a very relaxed meal. Here is a photo taken just after the meal in the gardens at the hotel.

family Pearl Anniversary
In the photo you can see Mary and I surrounded by our family – each of whom we are very proud of indeed! they are from right to left, Linda, Fiona and her husband Richard, Philip is the baby of the family and is the one on lying on the ground πŸ˜‰

What a special day this was when we had the chance to reflect of the product of 30 years of marriage. Some people might measure success and achievement based on material possessions but in our case we put much more emphasis on the things that really matter to us. We share a real sense of pride, contentment and joy in seeing our children growing into great adults. We look around the world and see some many situations where people are full of discontent and unhappiness and feel privileged to be surrounded by these people who are full of love, caring and humor. We have so much to be grateful for and feel genuinely blessed to have such a caring and loving family.

Any reader of this might think that we have had 30 years of ‘plain sailing’, of course life is peppered with good and not so good times – but we do focus on the good things that have happened which helps when we have deal with a not so good time.

Whilst writing this post, I was reminded of the words of an old hymn called “Count Your Blessings” which are as follows:

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Words Johnson Oatman Jr

If you want to read the rest, click here.

Now we look to the future and many more times of celebration such as this was.

Thanks again to for wonderful and memorable day!

Here is a bible passage which is often used at weddings – it describes what love is –

1 Corinthians Ch 13

which is what I believe Mary have for each other.