Sunday, January 28, 2007

Mean Streets/Calm Seas/Hugh MacDiarmid

I was away this week, just over in Oban. I was summoned there by my employer so that I could begin an Scottish Vocational Qualification for Registered Managers. I've been trying to avoid this thing like the plague. When I actually sat down with my new Tutor and got to grips with it I found out it wasn't so daunting as I had imagined.

I get bored when I'm away on business. The picture above was taken on Wednesday night. I'm not really posing. Remember I got a new digital camera for my Christmas? Well, I still haven't worked out half of the functions in it. Here I am trying out the long-exposure setting, to compensate for the low light. If you look to the left of the picture you'll see a blurred shape - that's actually a car which is travelling to fast for the exposure setting to capture properly. Luckily, the streets of Oban were relatively quiet and I didn't get too many strange looks as I made my way about town, taking experimental photographs of myself.

Training wise, it's been another tough week. I've had to resort to training at night. I put new lights on Bikey - I think I mentioned that before - and I've been out a couple of times in the darkness, even when it's been raining. While in Oban I went out pounding the streets. It was the first time I'd ever gone running on pavements and it was strangely exhilarating.

Coming back on the Lord of the Isles on Thursday morning, I grabbed another few photo opportunities. I'm quite pleased about the way the new camera is working out. Good old Santa!

The only thing that marred the return journey was that somehow the vehicles were loaded wrongly on the car deck and they all had to be discharged back on to dry land so that they could loaded all over again. All the delays meant that the LOTI was about two hours late getting back to Tiree.

I haven't been to the school yet to check up on how they're tracking the Island Inspiration participants but I hear that they are following it closely and have made 'backed' certain of us to do better than others. I may have that all wrong - I'll check with Coach Will soon.

There's an interesting comment in the entry The Mystery of the Missing Blog. Do you remember back in June (was it June?) of last year I played the part of Hugh MacDiarmid, one of the Factors who testified at the Napier Enquiry? Well, Mr MacDiarmid's great grandson has been in touch!

Hi Gordon: Well I may not be Hugh MacDiarmid's lawyer, but I am his great grandson, so I was intrigued to find reference to him in a casual search of the web. Can you tell me anything about him? Is there some history about him? His daughter Meta was my grandmother - I understand they lived in Island House, where my father was brought up. I have never been to Tiree and would love to come. Is Island house still there? Regards - James Dunford Wood

In the original blog I expressed the feeling that I had been a little sorry to have had to play Mr MacDiarmid as a bit of a rascal, a sleazy rascal at that. It turns out he was one of the 'good guys'. Just shows you what you can do with words. Although I was directed to play him in this manner I daresay I could have played him as exactly the opposite. I said in the blog that I didn't think Mr MacDiarmid's lawyers would be in touch - hence James' comment.

Anyway, I've put James in touch with An Iodhlann. James: thanks for getting in touch. I was really pleased to hear from you.

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