howl bushcraft canoe trips

Howl Bush Craft

Spend four fantastic days on Loch Awe in Scotland in the hand of the great team from Howl Bush craft. The relaxing location and the team made this a very enjoyable journey. The knowledge both leaders had about canoeing, camping, Scotland, craft, fire, wild food etc was unlimited.

You were always in safe hands, yet never felt like you were in bubble wrap or on a guided tour. You took part in the day to day decision, the cooking, fire making – you really made the experience yours.

There were so much to do and learn that I often forgot to take my normal amount of photos 🙂 Though I did managed to record some great soundscapes, do check out soundscapes@woollypigs (bring your headphones)

Kilchurn Castle, Loch Awe

Kilchurn Castle, Loch Awe

The last day of my visit to Loch Awe was a washout. The strong tail wind and wobbly waves along with the heavy rain made it rather hard to take a snap of Kilchurn Castle from a canoe on the Loch.

Though even if this photo is not pin sharp, this panorama really shows off how dramatically the castle, the Loch and Scotland can be.

Loch awe early morning

Loch Awe

Woke up bright a early and just had to enjoy the peace and clam before the rest of the world, well the birds had beaten me, woke up.

If you fancy you can listen to the sound there, over on soundscapes@woollypigs

holy island

Eilean MoLaise

More commonly known as the Holy island, just off the coast from Lamlash on Isle of Arran. I took this after midnight in the middle of Storm Brendan, which gave the island go old battering, while we visited. Even on a small but sturdy tripod, that I was holding firmly, the long exposure got some motion blur. But I think it works well on this image, where we can see the light (glow) from the mainland and even at night the sky is blue when lit up by the fool moon.

Pladda Lighthouse

Pladda Lighthouse

Had a very windswept walk on Kildonan beach, got the cobwebs well and truly blown away. Could have spend many more hours walking here, will be back one day. As I can just stare at the waves for hours on end. On the way back the light and clouds changed and we got this rather cool looking light.

Pladda Lighthouse

In the background behind Pladda you can just make out Ailsa Craig, where you can find the blue hone granite that has long been quarried to make curling stones

weather front

Weather front

View from Lochranza on Isle of Arran, towards the Kintyre peninsula. This is the tail end of the shower that gave us a good “wash”. When the weather forecast says showers, do be prepared wrap up fast, as you will get a soaking double fast at random times. As you can see on the other photo, the shower had on higher grounds brought some snow with it.

Lochranza Distillery

Lochranza Distillery, jolly good wee dram. There used to be about fifty distilleries on the island, but most of them were “moonlight” or illegal distilleries, those where the days, eh 🙂

Goatfell Isle of Arran


Had a few days on Isle of Arran. This snap was taken from the ferry as we left, the mountain had a wee dusting of snow doing the night.

Bonus shot of Goatfell, with added castle:

Brodick Castle and Goatfell


We are coming up to 6 years with this mutt. And I’m sorry for being such a bad owner/companion, I mean I haven’t shared many photos of her here. Though, head over to instagram for more 🙂



I know they are often seen as a weed, but I do like the look of them and always reminds me of New Zealand.

money tree

Money tree

Funny things these, never really heard about or seen these before. Now nearly every time we go to a bit of wood where there is a fallen tree, we find one.

Lowther Castle

We “fell” over this castle on our last trip out and about. Didn’t even know about it until we drove past it, changed our plans and spend a morning walking the grounds and visited the great cafe, erm, yes there was cake.

There is a interesting story to this –

archie the cat


This is our new pet, well he thinks so. Comes to our door about once a day, like he owns the place.

It’s out neighbours cat, whom our dog have utterly fallen for. When she hears his bell, she goes spare and demands to be let out into the garden to greet him. Archie isn’t much fuzzed about Tilley’s dancing and downward dog “I wanna play” stands. He tries to head bud her and rub up against her, but this she don’t understand what that means and then tries to do more downward dog playing. To which he “hit” her in a play like manner with his paws, which causes Tilley to walk backwards with her front paws up one at the time trying to pad him.

She even took one of her toys out to him to show/play with. Archie just gave it a light pad with his paws and wandered off to lay in another spot.

This friendship have taught our mutt that cats are great. Sadly not all cats have read that memo. So we still need to keep her on tight control, as she runs up to any cat in the neighbourhood.

is it spring yet?

When is winter

I don’t see winter in Meteorological vs astronomical terms, I see it in how much snow we get. 

Meteorological: This corresponds to the months of December, January and February in the Northern Hemisphere

Astronomical:  The determines the seasons due to the 23.5 degree tilt of the Earth’s rotational axis in relation to its orbit around the sun. Also in the Northern Hemisphere, depending on the year, this corresponds to the period between 21 or 22 December and 19, 20 or 21 March.

And in 2013 we had over six feet of snow on the 22nd of March, which according to the above is spring. Where as in “winter” we had less snow, well a mere dusting.

But do head over to wiki and make your own mind up 🙂

winter dusting
Huldra, Lady in the Forest

Huldra, the lady of the forest

We got a new guardian of our local woodland. she reminds me of the Huldra. “The female huldra is almost invariably described as being incredibly, seductively beautiful”, which is she clearly is.

Camden Food Market

Camden Food Market

I like going to Camden Market and often end up in the food stalls area. Just walking up and down not knowing which meal to start with.

vandal art?

Vandal art?

I enjoy looking at graffiti aka street art. Some works are utterly stunning. I know that some are done without the owners permission. Though often the art looks much better than a dull grey wall.

Charles de Gaulle Airport


Was just clinking through some old photos and found this snap of  Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Still surprises me, how good the images quality of the Sony DSC-F707 camera, which sadly has seen better days.

But also that pictures that you took some years ago and discarded, on second look might have something.



Day Six: “Solitude”

The state of being alone, or a lonely and uninhabited place.

I need to find the correct quote. A French explore/sailor wrote a book, years ago, where one part he talked about being alone. He said that, he felt more alone on the Metro in the Paris rush hour. Compared to being on his boat alone in the middle of the ocean. 

This I can totally relate to. The more remote I am, the more I feel at peace, relaxed and funny enough feel like I’m with my friends. Like here walking all alone, ok Peli is with me, on the Farewell Spit on the South Island of NZ.

Photography: Developing Your Eye I

Connected with train


Day Five: “Connect”

In this age of social media, we hear the word connect often, don’t we?

The “old” fashioned way to connect with each other, IRL aka In Real Live. Take a train, ride your bike or heck even walk over to your friends and family and then have a cuppa and a natter.

Photography: Developing Your Eye I



Day Four: “Bliss”

Bliss (noun): complete happiness, great joy, paradise, or heaven.

I don’t need to get wet or lay and collect the rays. The best way for me to enjoy a beach, is just to sit and look and listen to the waves, that is one of my Zen places. 

Photography: Developing Your Eye I

water tower


Day Three: “Water” — Image Orientation

A few days late with this one, sorry chaps. Was a bit busy with life and also split on what do do with this challenge.

I started to click through my old photos for ideas and found this one of a water tower in Portland, OR. So thinking out of the box and not following Today’s tip, oops.

Photography: Developing Your Eye I


corncrake cottage

Corncrake cottage

If you should find yourself lost on Isle of Lewis or want to. You can’t do wrong with staying at Corncrake Holiday Cottage. We spend a brilliant week there few months back. Beach, walks, chill, views and nearly totally of the beaten track and stunning sunsets.

Callanish Standing Stones

Loitering stones

Visited the Callanish Standing Stones on Isle of Lewis, fantastic spot. Amazing that they have been left to loiter about for so many years. Still makes me wonder why someone figured that this is a grand place to put some stone in a pattern and probably dance around them naked too. Back then it was not easy to sit around and enjoy the views as the island was covered in forest.

I totally forgot about this: We were sitting at the nearby cafe and overheard some Americans walking down from the stone circle.

Person A: So, what was your impression of the stones?
Person B: Hmm, a bit like cilantro, take or leave it …


Boot cleaner

Day two : “Street” : Wander your neighbourhood – or someplace new – to capture your street snapshot.

This is a hole often next to the main entrance to Victorian house. The owner of this house have come up with a nice way to use the old boot scraper.

Photography: Developing Your Eye I

lac det mail

Home away from home

This is our home away from home, our tent. Totally bliss and calm when out camping. This location is in the Neouvielle Lakes in the Pyrenees. 

Taking part in Photography: Developing Your Eye I is a 10-day photo challenge for bloggers of all photography levels, from beginning photobloggers to pro photographers over on This is Day One: “Home” — Get Oriented, e.g. learning your camera so that you feel at home with it.

That prompted me to post a photo of a place I feel very much at home, no matter where I’m pitched, my tent.

silhouette sunset

Silhouette sunset

In ’09 we climbed up to 2400m and camped for a night where we enjoyed the sunset. Later that evening we enjoyed the stars and the milky way which was very clear. And pretty much bright enough walk around. Along with the clear sky I saw in ’90 when I was travelling around the islands of Greece it was the best star gazing I have done.

nose and paws


Today is the 5th gotcha day for our rescue dog Tilley. 

She has become a little bit naughty lately. A bit like a miss behaving child over at the grandparents. At home she will ask for a carrot, her evening snack, sit bum to the ground and would never take an empty crips bag from the coffee table. 

But over MiL, she will just dip her bum when asked to sit. Even taken crips out of the bags of the table. Sneak out into the kitchen and nick a carrot without asking.

Can we get angry with her when she is naughty … nope 🙂