May 25, 2005

FNQ

Who would have known? FNQ = Far North Queensland.
That’s where we are now. At the great barrier reef, with the fishes and the coral.
Yesterday we drove to Cape Tribulation. Furthest point north you can drive on tarred roads in northern Queensland.

fun fun fun

filles at 7:04 am

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May 13, 2005

Infrequent updates…

What’s news you ask? Not a great deal really. Fairly tedious stuff. Yesterday I spent pretty well the entire day in the hairdressers (I only manage to get there about every 5 months, so when I do go it’s a big job!). First I wasn’t really happy with the colour. Then I was. Then I didn’t like the cut. Then I did. Then I found a couple of patches that weren’t done. Then they were fixed. Then I walked out with white hair with a couple of yellow spots, and silver streaks.

Now I’m in shock.

Last night we went out on a ‘girls night out’. Drinks at the Partick Tavern first. I’m not sure who’s brilliant idea that place was but a double gin & tonic for £1.45 can never be bad. Then we headed off to ‘The Cabin’ on Dumbarton Road. What a laugh. The Cabin has just brought out an ‘a la carte’ menu, instead of a fixed price set menu, and I have to say it was fantastic. Now the thing with the cabin is, well, there’s a kind of cabaretish thing going on after 10pm. We kind of new about it, but kind of not. We definitely didn’t know what to expect, and I certainly wouldn’t be able to describe it here, it’s only something you have to go and experience yourself. Imagine, lots of women. Singing. Music. A pole. Plenty of wine. That’s about it. A real hoot. A great night out. Late. But great.

Today I’m madly trying to get organised in-between yawns and pill popping for my hangover. I’m going to assist a friend doing a documentary photography project tomorrow in Newcastle. We’re leaving at 5.30am from Glasgow returning around 8pm so it seems that Saturday is going to be a write off as far as packing, cleaning, and preparations for the trip are concerned…

So. Today I’m running about wildly trying to finish everything at once. In the midst of it all, around 11am, I received a call from the agency with an urgent job for me today on ‘River City’ – Glasgow’s own TV soap. I’m very disappointed to say that I had to refuse. The first TV work for some time, and I didn’t have time to take it. Nevermind. I’m off to Australia in a couple of days! Nothing can make me feel bad right now.

I have to dash. Michelle will be here on her own for a little while, then we have house-minders moving in, car-minders taking off and plant-waterers getting ready to keep our thirsty plants happy. It’s a shame to leave Glasgow while the sun is still shining, but we’ve got our fingers crossed that it will stay out until we return.

Happy, sunny days ahead.

filles at 3:48 pm

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May 11, 2005

Michelle and her Golf…

Kingsbarn. May 9th, 2005
Photos here

filles at 12:45 pm

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May 8, 2005

True

I’ve been working on a couple of pictures …


Michelle


and Jonathan

filles at 2:58 pm

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Tough Life

This week we celebrated Julies birthday, for 3 days. It was a long week. Dinner at Mother India’s Cafe on Tuesday night with Louise, A Play, a Pie, and a Pint followed by lunch at Bloody Marys then early evening cocktails at Rogano on Wednesday, and finally, drinks at the Ben Nevis followed by lots of wine and a fab dinner at Roastit Bubbly Jocks on Thursday night in Partick. I must have gained a few pounds on my hips and lost a few pounds from the bank, but it was all good..

You have to celebrate birthdays. They only come around once a year, and once they stop, it’s too late.

We’re penny pinching now, I leave in a week for Australia and if there is one thing I know for sure, it’s that a holiday to Australia is never cheap.. especially for us, especially when we have a stopover in Singapore on the way home. We’re making lists. And more lists. I’m not sure why, we never usually stick to them, but I guess it’s some form of organisational tool, lulling our mind with discipline.

The rest is fairly ordinary. Getting ready. Finishing tasks. Planning itinerary’s for Rogers & Lorraines visit in June, Stephanie and Alexandres visit in August and our trip to the Outer Hebrides in September.

It’s about all I can manage today. Up at 7am, gym by 8am it’s now almost 12 noon and I’m ready for a nap. Tough life.


This was taken last year, Julie and Eleanor celebrating – not much has changed…

filles at 11:47 am

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May 3, 2005

Mull & Iona

We had a great trip to Mull and Iona. The weather held out for 3.5 out of 4 days. Full-on sunshine. Like nothing I’ve seen before in Scotland.

We left Glasgow on Thursday afternoon for Oban. It’s a long drive through lots of very pretty but tiny villages along the way. The gale was in effect, our little car was drifting this way and that, but we made it without any major problems. Oban is quite a picturesque town on the water. We stayed at a lovely b&b called The Old Manse. Good choice. We wandered about the town for a little while, had a pint in one of the oldest pubs and then a spectacular seafood meal at Ee-usk on the north pier, the 2005 AA Scottish Seafood Restaurant of the Year.

Next morning, up bright and early for our ferry crossing to Mull. It was drizzling, but not raining… we arrived on Mull and followed a train of cars heading west across the base of Mull towards Iona. One by one the cars dropped off until it was just us left on the single lane road dodging the hair-raising driving by the locals coming towards us. Driving on Mull is an interesting experience. 95% of the roads are single laned, with passing bays every 200 metres or so, there is a lot of trust involved. You get used to it, provided you don’t have passengers in the back that scream everytime you go over a blind ascent…

After an hour and a half of driving, we managed to dash onto the foot-passenger only ferry to Iona. It’s only a very short crossing, but the sea was so rough, the ferry rocked dangerously back and forth for the entire journey. We arrived on Iona with still very shaky sea legs and sorted out the b&b at the local general store. There are some lovely b&b’s on Iona as well as two great hotels, it just depends on how much walking you want to do, and how much cash you have to spare. We chose the cheapest and closest to the pier, because I wasn’t sure I wanted to walk 2 miles with luggage if it was bucketing down with rain… Only permanent residents have the right to cars on the island so as a visitor walking is the only way to go. As it turned out the sun was shining so we could have walked to something nicer, but there you go, you never can tell.

We spent the afternoon visiting the Abbey, the old nunnery, all the teeny gift shops and taking a walk to the north point of Iona which in the sunshine looks like you could be in the Caribbean. Aqua coloured sea, with fine white sand, the only thing missing is some scorching heat. It’s absolutely beautiful. The island is peaceful, it has a good pub, and a few great restaurants. Definitely a rare gem in Scotland and somewhere well worth going a bit out of your way to get to.

Saturday we boarded an old fishing boat for a trip out to Staffa island. One of the Treshnish Isles, Staffa plays host to Fingals Cave – the one and the same that inspired Mendelssohn to write his Scottish Symphony and Pink Floyd to write a psychedelic number for the film Zabriske POINT (although it was later not used in the movie at all..). The cave is amazing. In fact the whole island is amazing. The volcanic mass of the island, shards of stone pointing upwards is incredible. I clambered up to the most northern point of the island, and sat on the cliff tops quietly waiting for the puffins to join me. The trip was highly recommended, low key, scottish and very interesting, much nicer than a huge touristy version.

In the afternoon we drove through some of the most majestic scenery on the west coast of Mull I’ve ever seen. So desolate, so quiet, but so beautiful. We arrived into Tobermory early evening. Although home to a distillery, a chocolate factory, a fish n’chip van that has received the gourmet accolade of inclusion in Les Routiers 2002 Guide, and the best cookies in Scotland from the ‘Island Bakery’, Tobermory is a village more famous for the setting of the tv equivalent ‘Balamory’ than anything else.

Unfortunately for us, pretty well everything in Tobermory is closed on a Sunday, so we didn’t get to visit any of the above, but we did manage a pint or two at the MishNish – a truly typical pub and a couple of lovely seafood meals. We stayed at the Failte Guesthouse right on the harbour which was wonderful (unfortunately they don’t seem to have their own website). A great location, an ample breakfast and lovely rooms, all at a very reasonable rate, definitely a warm recommendation from me. From Tobermory we took a drive around the north of Mull to Calgary Bay and back. This was the 1/2 day of rain we experienced but despite the weather, Calgary beach still looked very exotic. I can imagine in the summertime it would be packed with keen tanners and family oriented frisbee throwers…

Monday we were ready to leave Mull via a ferry crossing from FishNish to Lochaline. Again, we drove through some beautiful scenery towards Argdour where we took a second short ferry crossing to Onich before taking in the majestic hills of the Glencoe pass.

If you have 4-5 days to spend in Scotland – this is a fabulous trip. Some of the best scenery and so close to Glasgow you won’t feel like you’re spending the entire trip in the car.

Wonderful!

See more photos here

filles at 10:40 am

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