Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Tuesday 29 January 2008

Day 1 - Nairn to Rosyth and on-board Blue Star 1

I left this morning around 10am and by about 11.45 was driving into House of Bruar (a rather upmarket pit-stop for food and some quite fancy shopping), a little north of Pitlochry on the A9, where I had some lunch and bought a few 'typically Scottish' gifts to give to a couple of people at my destination - basically jams produced locally. Then just before 1pm I was on my way. The weather when I left home had been overcast, but there was no rain. However maybe 20 or so miles north of Bruar the rain began, light at first, but as I travelled south it got steadily heavier. By the time I reached Perth it was raining quite heavily and that continued until I reached Rosyth at about 2pm - where the ferry port is. However, it doesn't seem to be raining now - perhaps it's such a fine drizzle that it's not showing up on the surface of the water - we're still in port of course and will be leaving here at about 5pm assuming we keep to schedule.

Now I am seated in the bar near the prow (is that the right word?) of the ship, just having a glass of sparkling mineral water and trying out wi-fi access to see how it works from on-board. It was pretty straightforward and I was online wihtin mintues - however, they sell access in 90-minutes slots and it is relatively costly at €9- (GBP6.29), so I think the novelty of trying it will be enough. If I recall from last year wi-fi access from most of the hotels I stayed in was about €9- for 24 hours in France and about €12- in Spain, so I shall probably give that a go during the next couple of days, if only to check my email.

In a couple of hours I shall go and get dinner (wine-less I'm afraid as I'm back on 'Atkins' - see section at right for my diet details if you're not familiar with it; basically it's lo-carb and in my case is mainly protein of whatever kind I fancy, accompanied by copious salads at all meals, including breakfast). Over the past year I've seen my weight creep back up a little and this process continued over Christmas and New Year. About 10 days ago I decided that this had to stop as I had been having to buy clothes (trousers especially) a little larger to be comfortable - 33" waist instead of 31" or 32". Of course I'm nothing like as heavy as I was before I started 'Atkins' about 5 or so years ago and I never intend to let myself get that way again.

OK, enough of that. Tomorrow I should be heading down through Belgium from Zeebrugge and will soon pass into France where I'm headed for Orléans tomorrow evening, having transited a part of the Boulévard Périphérique in Paris - that should be enormous fun (not). I used to travel on a small section of it pretty frequently (around the other side of Paris near Neuilly) and it is a road which is never not busy, even during the wee small hours of the night.

I suppose one of the advantages of having only 90 minutes access, and working purely off battery power, is that it focusses the mind - rather than spend idle minutes 'surfing the web' and generally wasting time, one is forced to do what one wishes to do then close the machine up. That's what I plan to do in the next few moments. As I'm typing this it's about 4.45pm and just getting dark - we should be leaving port in the next 15 or so minutes, hopefully.

PS/ I hope you notice the serious political content in this post; time constraints and being 'on vacation' make me feel whatever disasters may be happening onshore, it's not my concern just for these few brief hours!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Welcome to my comment area. Whilst all comment is welcome you are requested to respect the views of others. To read full terms for use of this facility, please visit my 'Terms of Use' section, linked to under the 'About this Blog' heading at top right of the blog. Note added 12JUL2010 - All comments will now be pre-moderated before they appear in this blog; this is a measure to prevent 'spam' commenting, which has become frequent of late. Thank you.