new post 11
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
The meeting was attended by reps from the Council, Network Rail, SEPA and Halcrow. There was a full and frank Q and A session. It was interesting to learn from the experts that the various dams in the locality actually minimise flooding against the perception in many quarters that release of water from Pitlochry and others was the prime cause of the flooding surge. Also, the experts discounted the build up of gravel in the river as a cause of flooding excess.
Stayed overnight at the Birnam House Hotel, an interesting Victorian era establishment which is poised for a major refurb.
Later went on to visit a badly flooded farm at Logierait where the farmer and wife was in surprisingly good spirits notwithstanding the devastation that had been caused to their residence and business. A local gillie popped in for a chat as a result of which I have agreed to promote his fishing business on my website.
Upon return to base have a mountain of work to fight through, including many incoming tour enquiries. North Americans are still there notwithstanding the historically weak exchange rate.
A teacher from Edinburgh has brought his virtual tours business/product to my attention and sent over a coup,e of sample CDs. Looks interesting. Be interesting to explore how I can exploit this product.
Had first tour enquiry in from a German gentleman (in the German language) which proved a challenge as I don't speak the language. However, enlisted the assistance of a friend in Germany who has kindly helped with the translation work.
Note from today's Independent newspaper that archaeologists have discovered the remains of a huge ancient settlement in Wiltshire used by the builders of Stonehenge-and a party which occurred there about 4,600 years ago.Wow. I would love to go and visit that site.
Will have to close now. Back tomorrow, I hope.
Labels: new post 11
New post 10
Monday, January 29, 2007
Quite a few itineraries to finalise and a new enquiry in for self-drive tour.
Have developed some good connections on Skye, with a father and son. The father is a local expert on wildlife and has given me permission to put a recent article on my web site. His son is an artist and I have agreed to promote his work via an on-line shop, also on my website. Just arranging for a professional photographer to go in and take some images of the art work which is very Skye centric. The father is prepared to act as a local guide for my small group tours, an arrangement which should prove mutually beneficial.
Have also linked with a Glasgow photographer who specialises in images of times past. Hope to put one of his pics on my Glasgow tours page.
Labels: new post 10
New Post 9
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Spent a few days down in Newquay, Cornwall which is, arguably, the U.K.'s premier surfing centre. Weather was mild and people were surfing off Fistral Beach. I note that the town has just appointed a Regeneration Manager , an appointment which is definitely required. The town is very tacky with a predominance of surfing orientated shops and cheap "backpacker" type accommodation. Many of the hotels are being knocked down and turned into flats, which is a reflection of changing holiday patterns. You have to wonder how many flats a town like Newquay can absorb. It's fairly remote and the only thing going for it is the weather and beaches. No industry of any note. Took lots of pics.
Back to Scotland. Amazingly, the Ryanair flight back actually left 30 mins early which I find incredible. That suited me because I had a tight connection at Stansted which worked just fine.I like Ryanair because the airline takes a great pride in punctuality-it does what is says on the tin!
Whilst I was away there was an interesting Timewatch programme on BBC2. This covered Hadrian's Wall and was presented by Dr Julian Richards who I actually met last June when he was filming the programme and I was leading a re-enactment march by Roman legionaries. There are some pics if this meeting in my photo gallery. My wife taped the programme for me so I am looking forward to this "televisual feast" within the next day or so. Some of my friends in the U.S. would dearly love to view the programme but U can't think of a way to share it with them.
I see from Wednesday's Times that the U.K. has nominated the Antonine Wall for World Heritage site status. I think this is very appropriate. Unesco will make a decision next year. Fingers crossed!
I see from the Daily Mail that there is something of a kerfuffle over the National Trust's decision to film a recreation of the famous Battle of Culloden at Lammermuir hills, far away from the actual battle site near Inverness.The new film will be shown at the new GBP10M visitor centre at Culloden. Whilst people in the Highlands are disappointed with the decision their counterparts in the Borders are delighted.
Hope to get back into serious blogging over the next few days.
Labels: new post 9
New Boston to Glasgow flight
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
This is good news for U.S.visitors to Glasgow.
Labels: New post 8
Back in to Blogger!
I have just put a three page article on the Antonine Wall on my website, together with some pics. A lot of work went into that because I had first to obtain copyright approval and then type up the article myself. Who dares wins! Also, placed more images in the photogallery, these were kindly supplied by some Dutch friends who we met in Scotland. Have been promised more pics from past clients from the U.S. More pics the better!!
During the period I was "off air" there occurred the 300th anniversary of the Act of Union between England and Scotland. Very subdued. No street parties. As one wag said on the radio, "someone in Dundee set off one firework in celebration"; not too far from the truth. An opinion poll for the BBC suggest that about 58pct of the populace want the Union to continue.
Attended the travel trade fair in Glasgow on Sunday. Made some useful contacts,especially with the Indian Tourism people. Am actively exploring the possibility of setting up a new venture marketing tours to India. Watch this space.
On Thursday there were reports in the press of just how far Scotland's accommodation providers have improved with some B&Bs ranking among the best in Europe. The following were mentioned in dispatches:
- Trafford Bank, Inverness
- Elmview, Edinburgh
- Geraldsplace, Edinburgh
- Blacket Garden Flat, Edinburgh
- Howard Hotel, Edinburgh (one of the world's top 25 city hotels)
That's about it for now. Hope to update more frequently in future.
Have a nice day!
Labels: new post 7
Monday Jan 15th
Monday, January 15, 2007
Today's press carries a report that Scotland is going to market itself with a "health tourism" theme. Emphasis on stress relief as opposed to the usual tartan and kilts rubbish. Good idea. Its so wet and windy here at the moment that you need to be healthy just to survive!!
There also press reports that the independence minded Scottish National Party is surging ahead in the polls. I am not sure if that means Scots have really thought through the independence option or is it that the SNP is the only outlet for frustration with the governing Labour Party? Funny old world.
The 37 strong community on the remote island Egilsay have asked fort help to rid themselves
of a plague of rats. They want a hit squad along the lines of the successful initiative to rid Canna of a similar plague in 2006. No doubt the Pied Piper of Hamelin will be sending in his CV!
The climate definitely seems to be changing. Nearly every major river in Scotland has a flood alert. As I know from personal experience, flooding can be a devastating and costly experience. I learned today that in the December bout of flooding, the Tay flooded properties it had not touched in decades. Interesting times. I have a love-hate relationship with this magnificent water way.
Received another tour enquiry in from some prospective visitors from Canada. Unfortunately I am already committed so passed the enquiry to an associate.
That's it for now. Running late tonight because of a neighbourhood Watch meeting.
Labels: New post 6
Sunday, Jan 14th
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Have just type up the article on the Antonine Wall and for which I have copyright permission to place on my website. Exactly three pages of A4. I see that part of the article is already on the web but I will have the full version. Will probably buy the book, should prove a good source of reference for the future. It's amazing what a complex structure the Antonine Wall was.
It would be nice if I had more enquiries for tours of Roman Britain, because this time period is very close to my heart and location of the various sites is mainly in magnificent countryside.
Went on a cycle ride today. Got absolutely soaked and a puncture at the farthermost point from home! Had to fix it in high winds and pouring rain-an interesting experience.
Working on a few prospective Scotland tours with my U.S.tour agent associate.
Have a 50 page dissertation on ancestry tourism which I may place on the website once I have got to grips with potential copyright issues.
More news tomorrow.
Labels: New post 5
Bits and Pieces of Scotland News
Saturday, January 13, 2007
The press also reports on the GBP14M ($27m) year long celebration of Highland culture, sponsored by the Scottish Executive. Apparently, the Highland economy is growing and population decline reversed. prima facie this is good, but the proof of the pudding will be in the eating.
Golfers out there might be interested to know that the seventh course at St. Andrews has been named the Castle Course.
Roxburgh in the Borders was once a medieval town of great importance. The ancient town apparently lies underneath the modern town. I think this was the subject of a Time Team investigation some time ago. Interesting.
I have encountered great difficulty in tracking down a copy of a book entitled With Sword and Harp by W.M.Currie. It is subtitled Warrior Poets focuses on the history of Clan Currie. This is required by an artist friend of mine in connection with the Clan Currie reunion August 2007 on Bute. Both Amazon and e-Bay drew a blank but have left an order with e-Bay in case it turns up in the future. The publishers of the book appear to have gone out of business. If anyone out there Knows where to get this book then please let me know.
The weather in Glasgow/West of Scotland is appalling with heavy rain and strong winds. My wife has valiantly gone for a walk along the Antonine Wall. No doubt she will require some hot soup upon return.
A new Persian cat arrived today for fostering. It is a ginger colour and was badly matted until I gave it a good brush and comb. for an ex-astray it has an unusually mild temperament. If you live in West of Scotland and want to adopt the animal then please let me know.
Signing off now. Hope to get back later in the day.
Labels: New Post 4
A Roman Legacy
Friday, January 12, 2007
Learned that Historic Scotland will allow me to add to my website a recent article on the Antonine Wall, being a summary of The Antonine Wall by David J Breeze. The downside is I will have to copy type the article (about 1500 words) as no soft copy is available. Nevetheless, should prove excellent content for my website, especially as Roman Britain is very close to my heart.
Labels: New Post 3
News from Catswhiskerstours
Today, is very wet and windy and I have concerns for flooding in Perthshire where we have a cottage on a flood plain. Fingers crossed!!
Today's press carries a report on The Sculptor's Cave, a 3000 year-old temple dedicated to young children near Lossiemouth. Thus may be similar to the High Pasture Cave on Skye?
Lots of work on the agenda today, fine tuning tours for the current year.
Have noticed that shop in Dunkeld is holding a closing down sale of half price stock comprising Scottish themed CDs, Jewelery and other products. May be I should buy the stock and market it on my own site?
Had a request from a hotel group in Prestwick for reciprocal web links and supply of brochures. This is encouraging and proving my website is getting known.
That's all for now. Hope to be back later in the day.
Labels: New post 2
A NEW START
Thursday, January 11, 2007
I have quite a number of bookings for 2007 but enquiries seem a little slow at present, maybe the weak Dollar is an influence?
I have just added a new Glasgow based tour page to my site. I have just woken up to the possibilities for Glasgow centric tours which I am well placed to provide because of my Glasgow domicile.
We aim to see the Beatrix Potter movie. Reviews have been somewhat "average". We have a special interest because we own a cottage in Perthshire wherein is alleged to have lived the role model for Mrs Tiggy-winkle. Beatrix was certainly active in the Dunkeld/Birnam/Dalguise area and gained a lot of inspiration from the local flora and fungi.
Have an interesting tour enquiry in from a gentleman who wishes to travel through the Crinan canal:
"I am planning a holiday in June, during part of which I would
like to travel from somewhere on the Clyde (river or firth), to
and through the
Crinan Canal if possible, by water from Crinan to Oban passing
by the whirlpool at Corryvrekan, etc. I wonder if we could
take advantage of any of your tours for the first part of this
itinerary, getting from the Clyde to Crinan.
Basically I'm interested in retracing some of the route of the coal scows
and goods barges that went up the coast to Ft. William and
beyond--if I've got my facts right.
I would greatly appreciate any suggestions you might offer."
I am working on this at present.
Weather at present is mild but awful, with very high winds and heavy rain. Went out on a cycle ride this morning and the first time in years was forced off the bike by the heavy winds!
We are off the the Holiday and Travel show Glasgow Jan 19th-21st which should be interesting.
Next post tomorrow.
Labels: New Post 1
Hedgehogs Harried in the Hebrides
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Scottish Natural Heritage have been culling the animals but the British Hedgehog Preservation Society claims it is much cheaper to capture and relocate -GBP50 per animal- compared with equivalent culling cost of GBP950 per animal.
The 2007 cull is scheduled for April and May.
Visit Scotland's islands with catswhiskerstours.
Mull may become Britian's first marine national park
The island benefits from such wildlife as:
- White-tailed sea eagles
- Golden Eagles
- Killer and humpback Whales
- A wide range of bird life including hen harriers and merlins.
New Service to Trace Emigrant Ancestors
Contact catswhiskerstours if you require an ancestry based vacation in Scotland.
The Elusive Scottish Pearl
Monday, January 08, 2007
- The mussel is a protected species
- Collection of pearls from the protected mussel is an offence without a licence
- Cost of such pearls is between GBP50 ($90) and GBP1000 ($1900).
Labels: Scotland's gems
Barra-the most Scottish part of Scotland
Saturday, January 06, 2007
- The unique aircraft landing strip on its beaches.
- Cockles, which are collected by hand and exported to many parts of the world.
Knowledge is Power!
Visit the castles and islands of the West Coast with catswhiskerstours.
Labels: West Coast
16th Century Scotland Map for sale
Friday, January 05, 2007
Explore Scotland's heritage with catswhiskerstours
New Political Party for Scotland
Mr Stirling is a nephew of David Stirling who founded the SAS and is laird of the Keir Estate in Perthshire.
This move coincides with a survey which shows a dramatic fall in public trust in Scotland's devolved government.
Visit Perthshire with catswhiskerstours
Visit Beatrix Potter sites with catswhiskerstours.
Labels: beatrix potter
New Battle of Bothwell Bridge
The campaigners are hoping to attract support from Prince Charles, the Duke of Rothesay in recognition that the first Duke of Rothesay was married in the local Bothwell parish church.
Visit Scotland's battlefields with catswhiskerstours
Labels: Scotland BattlefieldTours
Scotland's Golden Prospects
The soaring price has acted as a catalyst to re-opening of the Tyndrum mine in Stirlingshire. Also, new licences have recently been granted for four sites:
Scotland's New Year hit by adverse weather
Thursday, January 04, 2007
The Edinburgh authorities were criticised for leaving the decision to cancel the £1,75M event until just 90 mins before the scheduled start.
Visit Scotland's cities with catswhiskerstours
Was Dr. Livingstone a failure at conversion?
- Was born March 1813 in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire.
- Was self-educated whilst working in a cotton mill.
- Suffered an injured left arm following a lion attack.
- Discovered Victoria Falls.
Visit Blantyre with catswhiskerstours
Labels: Dr. Livingstone
Cellardyke benefits from bird flu
Visit the East Neuk of Fife with Catswhiskerstours
Labels: east neuk
Scotland attracts settlers from rest of the U.K.
Visit Scotland with catswhiskerstours
National Park to cull 'alien' species
Animal rights activists oppose the proposed cull.
Visit the Cairngorms with catswhiskerstours
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