Friday, December 24, 2010

December 24, 2010

This is the Kirk Loch at Lochmaben today. I am standing on the ice which is covered by a couple of inches of snow. What a peaceful scene. Or was it? What could be happening to disturb the solitude of this perfect winter's day?

I am sure you can guess. Go here for the evidence.

Photo © Skip Cottage

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas

This was Skip garden yesterday. A Merry Christmas to you all!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Burst pipes and wee curling stones

This Days Inn hotel at the Johnstonebridge Services on the M74 is just a couple of miles or so from Skip, and it was my home for a week. I arrived home from Champery to find the cottage with no electricity and no heating... and burst pipes in consequence.

I cannot speak highly enough of the kindness of the staff at the hotel - helpful in the extreme, and with lots of sympathy. Full marks all round.

Actually, this view of Annandale is from my room at the hotel, not that I was in much mood to appreciate it! With the heating back on, the drying out started, and the loss assessor's visit duly made, I moved back into Skip today to begin the clear up. Fortunately the bedroom was untouched!

Just one pic to show what greeted me in the sitting room. You just have to imagine the inch of water on the floor, and the bookcase of wet books! The paintings are originals from my time in Southeast Asia, and the oils at least are OK.

Still, emptying the display cabinets of my wee curling stone collection today was interesting - one tends to forget just how many I've collected over the years. That's them packed away - I suspect it might be a while before they are on display again.

The floor comes up tomorrow, and the paper comes off the walls. Then the clear up begins in the office.

Who said life was simple!

Pics © Skip Cottage

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Champery-Monthey

In my week at the European Curling Championships I used the little train which runs between Champery and Monthey as often as I could.

It was snowy and overcast much of the time.

The two carriage train leaving Champery station.

Here's a little single car waiting one evening at Monthey to take me up the valley to Champery.

One day though, the journey was absolutely spectacular. This pic, and the one below, were taken through the train window.

I'm on the train as it descends to Monthey in the valley below.

Now, my challenge for tomorrow, is to catch the 06.00 out of Champery on my way home!

Pics © Skip Cottage

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Travels in Switzerland

I took the train from Geneva Airport this morning to Aigle, where I changed to this local service up the side of the valley to Champery! What a spectacular ride.

This was Champery today. Apparently 'Death by Icicle' is not an uncommon phrase to be written on death certificates! Just look at that blue sky!

I wish.

Photos © Skip Cottage

Thursday, December 02, 2010

December at Skip

While much of the rest of the country has experienced major snowfalls, Annandale - Scotland's secret paradise - has had barely a sprinkle. This was early this afternoon.

It was a lovely wintry scene looking over the fields.

The garden is carpeted.

So who are these visitors?

The male pheasant was camera shy, despite my best efforts. But his two girlfriends didn't seem to mind my presence.

Pics © Skip Cottage