Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Monday, 3 November 2003

Light 'blogging' today

Well, I'm glad to say that my weekend down at Pitlochry for the NTS members' centre conference was both enjoyable and useful this time, much more so than when I last attended it two years ago. There was a particularly useful discussion on insurance, something that is becoming increasingly important in the light of recent legislation and changes in the social climate. I even managed to have a relatively clear run on the A9 in both directions as the traffic was fast-moving and well spaced so those who wanted to overtake could do so safely.

Apart from doing some shopping this morning, my most important task has been to pick up my dog Tara from the kennels. She is always looked after well there, but it is nice to have her back.

This afterrnoon I must prepare my report as Treasurer for our local wine-tasting group as we have a committee meeting this evening. Last Monday we had our monthly tasting, this time of "Gold Medal" wines. One of our members has been a judge at the medal award tastings down in England for the past several years and over the course of the week he is there each year, lucky man, is able to taste a vast range of wines. Those he selected for us to taste were uniformly excellent, in all the price ranges he chose, and none was ludicrously expensive - well, almost none! The final wine he showed us, not really part of the formal tasting, was something to savour at the end and was a complete novelty to me and most of the others there. It was an 'ice-wine' from Canada, produced in British Columbia. The grapes are picked only when the air temperature drops below -10 degC for several hours, so the sugars and flavours become very concentrated. The result is light, fragrant and unctuous wine. The month before we were privileged to have as our guest speaker a South African 'Master of Wine', based in London, who showed us some excellent South African wines; her knowledge of wines seems to be enormous and as a public speaker she was first-rate.