Sunday, January 01, 2017

Dawn on a New Year

So, another year! Should I make resolutions? Probably not. But fingers crossed for a peaceful year in a world that is becoming increasingly alien to an old guy like me. Still, I'm very content here at Skip. Annandale is a wonderful place to live.

Highlights of 2016? There was a visit to the trolleybus museum at Sandtoft, see here. That was a fun day.

I've not done as many walks as I would have liked, although this stretch of the Southern Upland way was explored back in March.

With the Carlisle-Settle rail line still closed, there were fewer local opportunities to experience steam locomotives close up, as few rail tours came up to Carlisle during the year. However, I did get up close and personal with Flying Scotsman, and that was exciting, see here. Size isn't everything of course, and I enjoyed this day with some wee locos at Threlkeld.

The new camera got put through its paces when a couple of red squirrels decided to visit Skip regularly in June and early July, see here. I wonder if they will come back in 2017?

August was a fun month with lots of really enjoyable days at the Edinburgh Festivals - and I made a number of blog posts. I'm the same age as the Edinburgh Festival, which is 70 this year. Highlight of many good days was making my stage debut, thanks to Countermeasure, that story here!

I do lots of things in my life that I don't blog about. This year I received a 'commission' to photograph some sites associated with Sir Walter Scott. This took me to a number of places I've never visited before, including Smailholm Tower, above. It's always a challenge with 'commissions' to get the best photo, prevailing weather and time constraints notwithstanding. But I do like a challenge!

I can thoroughly recommend this biography of Sir Walter, written by a good friend, and recently published by the National Museums Scotland, see here. Having just finished reading it, I realise just how little I knew of Sir Walter Scott before. It gets five stars from me.

Generally though, the Skip Cottage blog wasn't as busy as in previous years. My efforts have been directed towards keeping the Curling History Blog active, and researching curling history articles for that site has kept me occupied and engaged, and has been a rewarding experience. Even more so in 2017 I hope.

A Happy and Healthy New Year to everyone!

The top photo is of dawn on December 16, 2016, taken from outside Skip Cottage. I looked out of the window to see this sky and the toast went on the floor as I rushed to find the camera!

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