Friday, 28 January 2011

Monte Carlo or bust - from Glasgow with love

There was a bit of a buzz in Glasgow city centre yesterday. Glasgow had been chosen as one of the official European starting points for the world famous Monte Carlo Car Rally in its 100th year, alongside Marrakesh, Warsaw, Barcelona and Reims.

Competitors from four continents descended upon Glasgow to begin their 2000 mile journey to Monte Carlo from Blythswood Square. Back in the day this was an annual occurrence in Glasgow but it seems through lack of enthusiasm from the drivers it lost its lustre and the last time the event was hosted here was in 1973.

I'm no classic car expert (or any car for that matter) but I like anything that puts Glasgow on the big stage, that shows the city in a positive light. At lunch time I nipped down to George Square, before the hoards of office workers descended, to take some pics of some of the cars that were on display there before the start of the race at 6.30 that night.

You might even spot an old car of yours!

If you click on the above pic you will see the name of one particular driver!

If I undetstand it correctly, according to some fellow spectators, it would take 2 days to get to Monte Carlo. Cars set off from Glasgow within a minute of each other and in order to win the Monte Carlo Rally they need to get to various stages of the route by driving at a given speed, and by a certain time, with the fewest penalty points for not obeying the rules (ie driving faster than the set speed and arriving before time set). The aim is not to be the fastest car to arrive at the finish in Monte Carlo but to be the car that finishes first with the lowest penalty points - I think! I'm sure you'll find out the correct rules on the internet - I have just put together a number of conversations with various strangers!

Friday, 14 January 2011

Flying high - lying low

Great start to the new year! I have been lying low with a rotten virus since last week. During those days the computer became my faithful companion when the long nights became days and days nights. When I had little energy to do much else "PC" was there for me.

During the small sleepless hours of the night I visited various parts of the world and at one point I decided that I could benefit from a couple of days convalescence. Somewhere tranquil that I could go to that would lift my spirits and warm my aching bones. So I took myself off on a (blog)holiday - I revisited the Isle of Harris. I remembered, I smiled and oh how I wished…..! But it was great to go back to see some of the places I had visited to enjoy the beauty and the spleandour of that far away island and I wondered what had become of some of the faces I had met during my first visit there – in particular, Robin, and what decisions she had made about whether or not to stay in that remote place having moved all the way there from the USA.

Though only a brief visit I left feeling happy and uplifted.

I also thought I would benefit from some time recuperating on the Isle of Barra – where I had visited last year with some friends when each of us in need of some rest and relaxation, decided we wanted to stay somewhere in the wilds, had to have a coal fire, and accessible by public transport. We had done the research and had decided to travel to Oban from Glasgow by train (takes around 3 hours) and then from Oban to Barra by ferry (takes around 5 hours) and then we’d get ourselves around the island by bus or by the generosity of the occasional kindly motorist! Then we changed our plans!

Much as we looked forward to our long and scenic journey we decided to add to our experience by flying in a 14-seater plane to Barra from Glasgow (takes around one hour!). There was the possibility (on a clear day) to see Scotland from the sky plus we’d have the exhilarating experience of landing on Barra's famous airport beach. Barra’s airport is the only beach airport in the world which is used by scheduled airlines and where your landing and take off times are dictated by the times of the tide – quite literally!

So there was I, keen for another island hopping (blog)holiday, when I realised that I hadn’t actually blogged about it at all! Oh, no...! I always meant to!

So after that disappointent I have decided to fly back to Barra today. Fancy coming along? Right we're off...!
Very trusting pilots left the flight deck door open so we could see the way ahead.

Did you enjoy the flight? Pretty impressive airport don't you think? And by far the best landing ever....!

I did enjoy taking the flight again but now but I am too tired, after uploading the journey, to revisit Barra today.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Onwards and upwards....

Well that'll be that then! Celebrations over, Christmas tree down and packed away (couple of days ago actually - always keen to see it down as soon as poss after hogmanay!). A new year is upon us and it all begins in earnest again tomorrow. Looking forward to the coming year and all it holds. What will be, will be...

Last look at my favourite musical snow globe before it's tucked away for another year. I love it - so much detail. I've had it for around 20 years and amazingly it is still in one piece and works!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

A Guid New Year!

A guid new year to ane an' a'
An' mony may ye see,
An' during a' the years to come,
O happy may ye be.
An' may ye ne'er hae cause to mourn,
To sigh or shed a tear;
To ane an'a baith great an' sma'
A hearty guid New year.

All the best!

Bella B