Catch up in the world of AlistairL

The frequency of my blog posting tends to follow the ebbs and flows of my life. I certainly find it harder to notice the topics that fascinate me enough to blog them when I am under stress or a bit down.

I’ve also had a couple of weeks holiday during August, and I deliberately tried to chill out and read books and go out instead of random surfing on the PC, and to an extend I succeeded. We only managed to get away for a couple of days, not really enough for me to detach my brain from the daily issues. I really enjoyed aspects of our break though. Taking the family with me (of course!) I drove to Aviemore to try out the Cairngorm Railway. The view from the car park there was excellent, unfortunately low cloud meant that I couldn’t say the same about the view from the top!

The drive up the A9 is an excellent illustration of the range of scenery that is accessible from most of Scotland. Within two hours or so from our start in the Central Belt, we had everything from the farmland of Fife around Kinross, to the valley round Strathearn. Perth is nice in its own right, then the beatiful scenery leading up to and beyond Pitlochry with the tree cover and hills. Then the bleak moorland on the lead up to Aviemore. A bit tricky to record when driving the car, but a delight to see.

We rode the funicular railway, had something to eat the cafe, and headed down. The plan then took us for an overnight stay in Aberdeen. Unfortunately I took a wrong turning and the route was lengthened somewhat by including Inverness.

Playing my old trick of making familiar places interesting, we discovered the beach at Aberdeen, which was a delight (and we ignored the minor threats of wildlife and radiation). Travelling down the east coast took us to Stonehaven, where we’ve been before but this time treated ourselves to a Fish Tea at the Bervie Chipper. Very nice, if you can get over the coach party feeling – those senior citizens know a good thing when they find it.

The rest of the two weeks was spent chilling out, growing my beard and fixing one or two things.

The return to work has been really stressful, but also really excellent in other ways. Sometimes making certain that things get sorted out can feel quite painful at the time, but in the light of day are the best thing to do. I’m still smarting a bit from that one, though, and the stress took its usual toll on my health.