Friday 20 March 2015


There was a solar eclipse today. The total eclipse would have been seen by relatively few people on the Faroe Islands and Svalbard in the far north of Europe. A partial eclipse could be seen in all of Europe, north & west Africa and some of the middle east. 

In Glasgow we had a 95% eclipse in the morning between 8:30 & 10:43. Would the weather play ball? It had been fine over the last two days but today dawned dull. But the Scottish weather is nothing if not changeable and between the clouds a good view of the eclipse was possible.  


Wednesday 18 March 2015

Castle Spotting on a Run Round Loch Awe

It was bright sunny spring day today, so I went for a run on the FJ.

Loch Awe is about 75 miles, by road, north west of Glasgow and like many lochs it is long & narrow (23 miles long x about 1/2 a mile across)

At the north end of the loch are the ruins of Kilchurn Castle. There are good views of the castle on the road from Inveraray to Oban. The castle was built in about 1450 and extended in the 16th & 17th centuries. The castle was abandoned after suffering damage by a lightening strike in 1760.

 Giant Lego at a quarry on the west side of the loch.

The loch contains a number of crannogs. These are small islands just offshore. They are man-made and would have had a house built on them. Some are as much as 5,000 years old and were inhabited until the 17th century. A home on a crannog would have been a easy defendable stronghold, but evidence suggest that they actually used for hunting & fishing and as an ancient holiday home!   

 Looking up the loch from the south end.

 The ruins of Fincharn Castle. Not much info on it - "probably 13th century"

 Barnacle Geese grazing the field beside the castle - visitors from Greenland

Innis Chonnel Castle - a favourite of mine. Early 13th & 15th century - a stronghold of the clan Campbell

 The north end of the loch.

The road round the loch is mostly single track - so you've got to look out for oncoming traffic...... 

Monday 2 March 2015

Featured Bike - Triumph TRW

I spotted this bike this bike yesterday at an autojumble in Penrith. It's a Triumph TRW 500cc side valve twin. These were manufactured between 1948 & 64 as an army bike. It seems that most were exported for use by the militaries of Canada, Australia and other Commonwealth countries. In Britain they mostly served with the RAF. The bikes were not available to the public when new but were sold as surplus later.