Monthly Archives: October 2007

Edinburgh Trip Report

Yesterday, I took my first trip to Edinburgh since I got the Canon 30D. It was about time I went back, as it was my last visit there that started me on the train of thought that ended up with me buying a proper camera and starting to get moderately serious about photography. I had the chance of free first class travel[1], which persuaded me to make the effort. It was one of those deals where you have to travel at the right time, and if you’re on the wrong train, you’ll have to pay, but I had no problem with that.

I arrived in the city at around 11:15, and had a good wander around, passing the Scott Monument before heading up to the Castle area. I then too the traditional stroll down the Royal Mile, pausing to take a few pictures along the way. When I got to the Scottish Parliament, I stopped to eat my sandwich and plan my next move. I did want to have a walk up Arthur’s Seat, that rather large rocky outcrop that dominates that end of Edinburgh, but I got just a short distance up when my knees started suggesting that if I went any further, they would be very unhappy indeed. As I wanted to be able to walk for the rest of the day, I gave in to their demands. I’m hoping that if I can lose a lot more weight, they might object less to moving me up hills, in which case, I’ll have another go at a later date.

Having been thwarted[2] slightly, I moved on to my next objective: Calton Hill. This is a slightly less impressive high place, but it does have some interesting monuments and superb views of the city. I could see the top of the Forth Rail Bridge, and got a recognisable picture of it. On another visit, I’d like to get up close and take some more pictures of that lovely structure. Up to this point, it had been a moderately bright day, but while I was on Calton Hill, the wind got up and it started to rain. By this time, I’d been wandering around for nearly three hours, so it was a good time to take a break. I went to the National Gallery of Scotland to have a coffee, look at some pictures and rest a bit. They currently have a small William Blake exhibition on, which I enjoyed.

By the time I’d done my art appreciation and coffee drinking, the rain had stopped, so I returned to my walking tour. I wandered around a lot more, stopping off at Greyfriars, which apart from the famous Greyfriars Bobby, has some really interesting tombs and memorials in its grounds. And then I walked some more, getting some different views and angles on the city. After a final stroll through Princes Street Gardens, I was ready for a sit down, so I went back to the station and waited for my train, which turned up on time, and got me home at a moderately sensible hour.

I had a good day, in which I took over 200 pictures. Lots of them are either under or over exposed, or otherwise of limited use, but I got some which I’m pleased with. The first batch are now visible in a new Edinburgh album, and I’ll add some more over the next day or two (or when I find a tuit).

Update: It’s 26 May 2008, and I finally found that tuit. The Edinburgh album now contains rather more pictures. Sorted out for an arbitrarily “seven months” value of “the next day or two”, which isn’t bad for me…

[1] Thanks, Aaron :wave:
[2] Today’s posh word

October round-up

As I started my latest new weight reduction plan at the beginning of the month which is now ending, I thought it would be a good time to see how things are going.


October 1: 224.4 pounds (16 stone 0.4 pounds, 101.8kg)
October 31: 218.2 pounds (15 stone 8.2 pounds, 99.0kg)

Difference: 6.2 pounds (2.8kg)

That’s nearly 1½ pounds per week, which is a good start.


I’ve got back into the habit of having a sandwich and some fruit for lunch rather than a sandwich, two sausage rolls and some chocolate. I suspect that most of the weight loss is coming from eliminating those extra calories. I’ve also managed to get my general chocolate eating back to my monthly box from the Chocolate Tasting Club, and an occasional bar of something less exotic[1]. That’s another pile of extra calories eliminated.


Doing better at this – I’m managing to walk to or from work roughly half the time. I’ll try to build that up a bit more, as I do need to be more active.

Unless I lose the plot, I’ll do a similar report at the end of next month…

[1] I did succumb to the lure of the recently revived Wispa bar yesterday. Nice.

Blame Edinburgh for that

Yes, as I suspected, this morning’s weight was down a wee bit, probably thanks to walking around Edinburgh for a long time yesterday. Also as I suspected, I was feeling the after-effects of the unaccustomed exercise today, so apart from a quick trip to Tesco’s for supplies, I had a quiet day in.

Autumn colours

This is another picture from yesterday’s walk in the park. It was at this point that I switched from the macro lens to the standard one, so I could get a wider viewpoint. I think the colours have come out quite nicely in this one.



More progress

This morning’s weight was down a pound on yesterday’s, which is encouraging. I walked my feet off in Edinburgh[1] today, so tomorrow’s figure might just be lower. We shall see. Of course, I probably won’t be able to move much tomorrow, so the following day’s weight will probably be higher, but never mind…

[1] Report and pictures to follow

Nice day for a walk

It was quite sunny this morning, and I started my week off with a stroll around Saltwell Park. It’s really nice at this time of year, with lots of autumn colours and hardly any people to get in the way of my camera. I took a lot of pictures of various leaves and trees, but I thought I’d start with this one of a Canada Goose taking a stroll.

No-fly zone

No-fly zone

It reminded me of an old joke about two pigeons who were getting married in Trafalgar Square. The lady pigeon was very late, and everyone thought that she wasn’t going to turn up, but eventually she appeared and explained

It was such a lovely day, I thought I’d walk…

Which is pretty much what I did. After my tour of the park, I walked over to Newcastle, visited the Laing Art Gallery, popped into the office to collect my proper copy of Lightroom, which arrived just in time. Another day or two and the free trial would have expired, which would have been a wee bit awkward, as I’ve got used to using it now. After that, I got the bus home.

I’m hoping for another good day tomorrow, as I’m off to Edinburgh for the day. Lots more walking, and lots more pictures!

Quick recovery

Hmm. Not bad. Today’s weight is down nicely compared with yesterday, which is a good recovery from my relaxed weekend. More progress should follow, as I should be doing quite a lot of walking tomorrow…

And back again

Weight back up, that is. Just the usual daily fluctuation thingy, combined with having a relaxed weekend, I’m sure.

Talking of things going back, last night was the end of British Summer Time, which seems a little unfair, as we didn’t really get much of a summer this year. And it’s that twice-yearly reminder of how many timekeeping devices we all have. And of how many of them are capable of sorting this nonsense out for themselves. I’m pleased to say that my new clock radio did reset itself correctly while I was asleep. Computers are pretty good at that sort of thing, too, but various other timers and clocks had to be adjusted manually. Fun.

On the bright side, this does mean that the week off I’m just beginning includes an extra hour free! Bargain! :grin:

Department of silly headlines

I’ve just seen a BBC news report about an auction of meteorites taking place in New York. It’s quite a nice report, with some interesting details about some of the items being sold. But it lets itself down a bit with the headline:

Space rocks go under the hammer

Ummmm, wouldn’t that, well, break them? :laugh:


Here’s another view of the geode that I mentioned recently.



This time, I put a light behind the light tent. This shone through the geode, showing off the fine structure of the white area. I used a diffused flash to brighten the coloured part, and took the photograph with the macro lens at maximum aperture, which turned the background into a uniform white area, which is exactly what I was after.