Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Picture post - 4 January

That's all I saw of the solar eclipse. Nothing.

Hello, Puss [the blotch beside its left eye is due to a fleck on the camera lens]

The Shell Gallery is now back under wraps.

Tuesday 4 January

Missed this morning's solar eclipse due to cloud. Elsewhere in Holland, some people were lucky to see some of it. The eclipse commenced at sunrise, with the sun partially obscured by the moon as it rose just after 8.45 am. It ceased at around midday - after which clouds broke and it became fairly clear. Such rotten luck.

Went into the next town for a spot of shopping, but had to walk on the cycle paths because the pavements were extremely slippery. We had another frost and some light snow in the night, making conditions treacherous.

I am now going to prepare for my return to Stornoway, which will take place tomorrow. It will mean a very early start, and will take about 14 hours door to door. This is mainly due to some lengthy waits at intermediate airports, but I prefer long waits to the stress of tight connections.

Apart from a later picture post, the Shell Gallery will now go back under wraps until my next visit to Holland. I shall resume blogging on Atlantic Lines on Thursday 6 January, but will post (by mobile) on Facebook as I proceed on tomorrow's journey.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Monday 3 January

Winter will be on the way out in Holland by the end of the week, with a forecast daytime max of 9C / 48F. That should neatly clear the snow and ice, but I'll be back in Scotland before then. For the moment, the nighttime lows remain below freezing, which means that the snow that had thawed into slush turns neatly back into ice. Another problem is that the hard snow cover makes it difficult for wild animals to feed; I found evidence on a forest walk today that wild boar had been at work, looking for food underneath the 2 inches of ice. As you will be aware, I am in a hilly area, and on trying to descend from one of the hills beside the village, I found this to be well-nigh impossible. I nearly had to divert into the garden of the old Schoolmaster's House to get off the hill.

Wild boars' handywork

Fungi on tree

Arnhemse Allee (the road from Arnhem)

Kapellenberg [hill]

Contrails, converging on distant London.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Sunday 2 January

The first Sunday of the New Year, and the start of the first full week of 2011. It's not a bad day here in eastern Holland, as the low mid-winter sun streamed in for part of the afternoon. There was this rogue shower about an hour, but it's now some twenty minutes after sunset and it's still quite bright. Temperatures were a tad higher today than yesterday; we peaked at 3C / 37F after an overnight low of -1C left everything nice and icy. Everything that had thawed out yesterday duly reverted to a sheet of ice. It being a Sunday, everybody was out for a walk, taking care not to slip on the icy surfaces.

Familiar images for those who read this blog regularly.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Saturday 1 January

First of all, Happy New Year!
The amount of fireworks let off after midnight seems to have been somewhat less than in previous years. In this village at any rate, the noise subsided after only 40 minutes or so. Unfortunately, the use of fireworks has claimed two young lives overnight. Two teenage boys died of their injuries after a bomb, made of illegal fireworks, exploded near them. Elsewhere, a number of people were injured, and many others were arrested for public order offences. In other words, a typical New Year's night in Holland.

In the afternoon of New Year's Day, my father and I walked to the River IJssel, which is about 3 miles away, beyond the town of Velp. The thaw had cleared most of the snow from the roads, but the pavements, although slushy, were still bad. The waterlevels in the river have fallen by about 2 metres over the past few days. I'll close with some images of the walk.