There have been more fine sunsets since I posted that gallery of them in June, with a couple this weekend accompanying the rising new moon, so I’ve taken the opportunity to add some extras to it. Meanwhile, here are some that were the wrong aspect ratio—click through for the rest.
In the first year of the pandemic one of our few day trips out of Edinburgh was to the Scottish Owl Centre, a wonderful place with more species of owl in one spot than just about anywhere else in the world. Last week I was out there again with my daughter, giving an opportunity to take more photos of the same birds, with a few new ones in evidence as well. Here’s a gallery.
At the start of the month I drove my son and his instruments all the way to Skye in a single day, via Callander, Glencoe and Fort William, for a week-long music camp culminating in a four-date tour around Scotland.† It’s quite a drive there from Edinburgh, so I didn’t try to get all the way home the same day, but stayed a night in Roybridge before making my way back through the Cairngorms. Glen Etive and Glencoe were as spectacular as always, and I got a few misty pics of Eilean Donan to add to my castle collages.
What the Internet really needs is more cat photos. This Chinchilla Persian is one of the stars of Maison de Moggy, Scotland’s first cat café, which we took our daughter to for her eleventh birthday. For an hour we got to eat cake surrounded by pampered felines, elaborate climbing frames and strands of cat hair. A great way to scratch that moggy itch (behind the ears) when you sadly don’t have one at home. Click through to see more.
From our attic window this evening. Mouseover for a view at sunset. Tell me what it means.
Covid restrictions have now eased in Scotland (as of 18 April), and at least two-thirds of people seem to have abandoned masking in the shops. Two of our household caught it again in March, one pretty badly, so we had another few weeks of disruption as a result. I had another faintest-of-faint test result, but didn’t come down with it this time. Is this going to be the story every three months?
When the kids were little we used to visit North Berwick a couple of times a year, but for some reason hadn’t been in eight years. (Possibly because finding a parking space there on a warm dry day is almost impossible.) I took them out there on Good Friday for a beach picnic of hot cross buns and some soft serve, for old times’ sake. On the way back we spontaneously stopped at Chesters Hill Fort to admire its earthen ramparts, cows and gorse. Click through for more photos.
A few days ago we visited Gartmore House in Stirling for our son’s performance, which I’ve since discovered was the home of Robert Cunninghame Graham from 1883 until 1900. I took a few photos of the grounds while we were there… click through to see more.
Our family has been part of the ONS Covid survey for a year, and I’ve been answering that I don’t think I have any symptoms of Long Covid from my Delta infection in September. But I may have to change my answer next time. Everything smells burnt, as if I’m smelling smoke; not cigarette smoke filtering up from the neighbours downstairs, but sooty smoke, like from a campfire or a fireplace. At first I wondered if it was from sitting on the couch in front of our old blocked-up chimney; but I went in to the office for the first time in a month yesterday, and smelled it there too. So, that’s new. I’m pretty sure I got Omicron at Christmas; my PCR test was negative, but one of my LFTs showed a very faint test line—faint enough not to be sure if it was a trick of the eye. I was slightly under the weather for a few days, so it seems possible. Repeated exposure seems to raise the risk of Long Covid, and its different features can come on at different times. All I can hope is that being vaccinated up to the hilt keeps them at bay.
The signs of a new and stronger variant from Hong Kong and South Korea are ominous, and cases are going up here as well, in the face of—or partly because of—the relaxation of restrictions. Mask-wearing is still required in shops in Scotland, although that’s set to change. Covid has disappeared from the news in the past fortnight, totally supplanted by Ukraine; but it feels as if the pandemic is far from over, and that we’re in a period of collective wishful thinking.