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Heading for Schiehallion and Loch Rannoch —

Shiehallion is easy enough to reach as it’s possible to see it’s Benachie Bap silhouette from many miles away —

No worries for we had found a lovely spot for a picnic on the south shore only a few miles in –

Loki loved it and went fishing fast as you like —
while the old boy behaved like an ‘old boy’ for once —
Loki surprised both Helen and I when he came out of the water with a trout in his mouth —
More so because we had just been told by a passing Ranger that the wild brownies were scarce and difficult to catch —
Whatever – we had no idea if it was dead or alive for as soon as we tried to get it from him he forgot his Basic Training and swallowed it whole!
Seasons are later this far north into the wilds and it’s primrose time here —
and a few violets were showing amongst the wood anemones along the shore —
They obviously exist on next to nothing on that pebbly beach —
A straggly Scots Pine on the roadside —
and another in the churchyard with the obligatory yew fills the tree quotient —
A hidden view of the falls from an old stone bridge was a must —
as I rode a trials bike up there on occasion when it was used as an Observed Section in the Aberfeldy Two Day Trials many years ago —
Point the camera at Schiehallion is what I was waving my ever-straight finger at.
I rode my bike up the front of that one too – all 1083mts of her —
while the bold Helen was engrossed in hillocks passing by on her side of the car —
but we got there – and back – without too much drama 😎
 
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Posted by on May 17, 2022 in out and about

 

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The Pointing Finger —

Even when I lived on the outskirts of Nottingham back in the late sixties and most of the seventies that index finger was known down my ‘local’ as Don’s ‘pointing finger’ as it naturally sticks up or out instead of wrapping round the glass.

It has been like that since I was eight or nine years old when I rashly climbed on my dad’s workbench and managed to knock his favourite crosscut saw off from it’s precarious position hanging from a couple of pegs on the wall.

6ft long – a two-man crosscut – it’s probably where I got my big shoulders from as I was cutting trees for firewood with my dad using one of these from my early teens – I can hear him yet through gritted teeth growling ‘yrr hinging on the sa’a – jist poo!’

Well my dad not only had the sharpest saw in the country as he would spend hours sharpening it – but he also had the quickest temper in the country and everything I did as a youngster appeared to annoy him!

Down came the big crosscut saw off the pegs – teeth first – as I stupidly tried to catch it as it hit the bench – the teeth cut deeply into the palm of my hand! Rather than risk another hiding I just wrapped my bloody hand in a hankie – wiped up the blood and said nothing. If my mother knew – she said nothing.

It was to be a few years later that I found that the sharp crosscut had cut through the tendon of my right-hand index finger – hence the Friday night pointy finger 🙄

Having got that boring story out of the way – tomorrow I will try to put a post together around our trip to Kinloch Rannoch on Saturday and that might explain why the pointy finger got up Helen’s nose – again 😄

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2022 in out and about

 

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Clunie and Loch Tummel Hydro Schemes —

The top line of the story reads – Honouring the men who brought power to rural Perthshire —

It’s by the magnificent entrance to Clunie Hydro Power Station which I came across by sheer accident while out on the bike yesterday —

The Arch is a section of tunnel lining as used underground to pipe the dam waters to and from the turbines —

My dad had been a wood-cutter prior to joining up for service in the second world war and one of his first jobs in the aftermath was to clear timber from the islands slowly being formed as the Tummel Dam flooded.
This pic with a four years old me in 1946 is the only one I appear to have of him – I was to do my own stint on Hydro Schemes when I was involved in Hard Rock Tunneling almost thirty years later at the Kariba Dam on the Zambezi —
This one on the front page of the Farming News dated 1948 has me togged up against the wind and rain at a ploughing match at Blair Atholl Castle Home Farm where my dad was competing – having found employment and better housing for his growing family —
We can’t have dad without mum and here we are at a Bridge of Allan Care Home where she enjoyed the last few years of her life. Dad had died just two weeks after his retirement and mum was to spend almost thirty years on her own as she ‘waited to join her Chairlie’ – her words – she was a cool customer my mum 😎
 
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Posted by on May 16, 2022 in out and about

 

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Arbroath for Smokies —

That was the idea yesterday but when I got through to the Perth – Blairgowrie road via Luncarty and Stanley I found myself turning left and north for Braemar instead of east for my proposed cross-country route to Arbroath —

Seems I had decided to photograph the famous ‘Beech Hedges’ just south of Blairgowrie —
so I took another shot and rode on to the Visitor Centre and Tea Room at Glenshee —
Well hidden below the road and with a small gravelled carpark it’s not a favourite for roughty-toughty bikers as they enjoy the never-ending bends of that ever-undulating road north —
But they are missing something – for after lingering over a cracking bowl of broth with fresh sourdough bread and a coffee with warmed fruit scone plus butter and jam – just how I like ’em in the sunshine – I pointed the X-ADV north – only to spot dark rain clouds over the mountains —
A quick ‘U’ turn soon had me heading south again to hang a right —
for blue skies and more bend swinging on a mainly single track road – wonderful – until I met the main Street in Pitlochry —
With traffic at a standstill due to congestion on the A9 I decided to pick up what turned out to be another interesting single-track which winds it’s way through the forests on the south side of the Tummel Dam for 13 miles till it meets the Tummel Bridge – Aberfeldy road —
Leaving me with a nice ride over the hills —
and home —
The X-ADV750 is sitting here on our patio looking as if it could do the tough 160 miles all over again – while it’s contented – but smokieless rider makes his excuses and settles for more soup for dinner without a murmer of protest 🤠
 
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Posted by on May 16, 2022 in out and about

 

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On The Edge —

Helen is a big fan of U2 but I don’t think they have had any influence on her latest offering —

The Edge

I could do with a piece of whatever she is on – It’s Magic!

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2022 in out and about

 

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Al Capone visits Aberfeldy —

But what car is he in —

I don’t think this snazzy lil blue number is his style – in fact the tidy alloys are not quite period —
White wall tyres ok – but more likely to be a getaway car for his backup team —
Nice one — doesn’t draw attention to itself —
and this fella is more likely to be driven by the undertaker to cart the bodies away —
Al could be in this one — hard to say as there are so many more —

They made Aberfeldy look like Chicago as they all fought for the last drop of E5 higher octane gas from the one petrol pump still working at the Co-op 🤠

All credit is due to gangsters moll Helen – seen here in the Three Lemons speakeasy – for the photographs 😎
 
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Posted by on May 15, 2022 in out and about

 

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Pear Tree and Plum —

We’ve just had a view from our former home on the windswept Isle of Luing —

Now we are bang up to date with the view down the garden from a bedroom window of our current home in Comrie, Perthshire —

They both have their time in our lives 👍

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2022 in out and about

 

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Bluebells and Rowan Trees —

Three years ago – the morning view from our bathroom window —

Looking due west over Fladda Lighthouse and the Garvellachs —

Wonderful at any time of day 😘

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2022 in out and about

 

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Honda X-ADV 750 —

On the Glen Orchy Road —

With Ben Cruachan in the distance —
 
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Posted by on May 13, 2022 in out and about

 

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Biker Babe in the Ochil Hills —

Counting the Bug Splatts 🦟
 
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Posted by on May 12, 2022 in out and about

 

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