Saturday, 31 December 2016

New Year's Eve

A very treacherous morning, with fog and general moisture freezing onto surfaces, including road surfaces, coating it all in a thin but hard sheet of ice. It made for exceedingly slippery conditions, which caught my dad out whilst cycling. Fortunately, he was not seriously hurt, just a graze and a painful ankle. Could have happened to anybody. Had to take it easy, and we therefore enjoyed the evening in front of the garbage can, otherwise known as the TV.

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Friday, 30 December 2016

Friday 30 December

A lovely winter's day, with a lot of hoarfrost about. Went out for a stroll at lunchtime. It was cold, only just above freezing. The hoarfrost was evaporating into shallow mist or fog in places, but higher up in the forest, it was clear. Very nice.

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Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Tuesday 27 December

A beautifully sunny day, with hardly a cloud in the sky. The sun even felt warm in sheltered locations. Went for an amble around town, specifically to have a look at a new estate being built near the A12 motorway. On the way back, we encountered some enthusiastic runners, who were exercising their Christmas fat off their bodies. Think the run would have stretched to 3 or 4 miles aroud the outside periphery of the Country Park.

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Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Christmas 2016

On Christmas Day I joined the local church choir once more, this time to be the only tenor; the other had fallen victim to the current bout of colds and flu that's sweeping the country.

In the afternoon, I went to see various members of my family, and took bus and train to reach there. Joined by my dad for the journey, we were given a lift back, which saves a lot of public transport hassle. I can share one picture from the journey - a public piano from the station hall at Arnhem.


On Boxing Day, we headed a couple of miles up the road to meet up with an aunt and uncle for coffee and lunch. Both occasions were very enjoyable, and it was good to catch up.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Saturday 24 December

The day started bright and at times sunny, but during the afternoon cloudcover increased. As I type this, at around 4.45pm, it's getting dark but still dry. After lunch, we went out for a stroll round the Castle Country Park, where it was all quiet and covered up for winter. The water features in particular have to be protected against the destructive force of freezing water. These were installed in the 18th century, and are quite vulnerable. During the summer, the Country Park is very busy - but not now.

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Friday, 23 December 2016

Friday 23 December

The day started with fog, which took until about 2pm to lift. The sun was out until sunset, which occurs around 4.35pm out here. Went for a short stroll around the village - I do not do these walks on my own, and will adjust the length to what my company is happy with. Not much has changed at all, and past readers of this blog will recognise the scenes.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Thursday 22 December

It's been a grey, overcast and dank day here in eastern Holland. Storm Barbara will not reach us here, but is expected to strafe the north of the country. I have kept a quiet day, also because I do not expect to go out walking much during my current stay here. However, this evening, I joined the local church choir for a two hour practice session for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services. A wee comment about Dutch TV: great on the human interest angle, the individual's story. I don't expect to post every day, but will when I have something to share.


It is close to Christmas, so I have headed southeast to spend time with my family. The journey went well. I took an unusual route, taking the ferry to Ullapool, then proceeded by bus to Inverness Airport. The weather was poor, with strong winds in the Minch. The new ferry, MV Loch Seaforth, mitigated the worst effects as did having a breakfast before setting out. From the moment I went out of doors in Stornoway to the moment I entered the terminal building at Inverness Airport, I was treated to non-stop hail, sleet, wet snow and rain. In the night, there were frequent thunderstorms. The flight went without a hitch. At Schiphol Airport, I was stopped by a pretty girl trying to flog skin products. She wanted to clean my hands, but when she wanted to clean my face, I had to make my excuses and went for my train. Although I normally take the bus from Arnhem, I found I was going to miss the connection (next one a whole hour later) so I proceeded a few miles up the line and took a bus from there.

Boarding MV Loch Seaforth

In the observation lounge

Crossing the Minch

Approaching Ullapool

Between Ullapool and Inverness

Inverness bus station

Inverness airport

The Lake District

Gridlock Holland