Uphilldowndale

Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England


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Family

My father in law died peacefully on Tuesday of last week at the residential in Oxford where he’d been living for the last six months, he died the day before what would have been his 91st Birthday.

Up until recently he had been in very good health, fit and very active. He loved to travel, one of his favourite places (and he’d travelled to many) was the Isle of Eigg on the west coast of Scotland, he returned there many times.

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It’s been a difficult time, regular readers might remember my mother in law died last September followed by the untimely death of our friend Darren just a few weeks later. *Sigh*.

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97% of Islanders Won’t Be Wrong

The Isle of Eigg Says No to Fish Farm

The Isle of Eigg off the west coast of Scotland, has a special place in the heart of this family. I’ve been there a number of  times, I’ve had the privilege of watching otters, golden eagles, seals and pods of porpoise, going about their business. It is a magical place and the people who live there care about it passionately

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If the residents of Eigg say no to the proposal to site a fish farm of the coast of the island, it will be for good reason.

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Opposition to a Fish Farm on the Isle of Eigg

Eigg is owned and managed (including the foreshore) by the Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust, a community led organisation whose aims include taking all appropriate measures to conserve the natural heritage of the island for the benefit of the community & the wider general public.

To this end Eigg is building a reputation as a green island working towards sustainability. Visitors come to the island to learn from our experience and to enjoy the natural and cultural heritage of the island and the peace and quiet. Most of the islands electricity is generated by renewable technology and the sound of diesel generators is but a distant memory.

Highland Council has recently received an initial application to site a fish farm off the east coast of Eigg, north of Kildonan. The site identified covers an area extending to 20ha (this equates to 28 football pitches) & would consist of 14 x 30m diameter cages which would be serviced by a 10m x 10m permanently sited barge (powered by diesel generator).

The community has considered this proposal at length. The outcome of the resulting ballot which had an 86% turnout was 97% against the development.

Eigg lies within the Small Isles National Scenic Area. A large fish farm would have a considerable negative impact on the approach to the island and could also impact negatively on the peace and quiet that visitors seek when they come to the island, as well as on the quality of life of nearby residents.

Laig Panorama

Be a good Eigg, and pop along and sign the on line petition (and you can find some more photos of Eigg here, just a few, sadly I’ve not been up to Eigg since I got into the digital camera lark, I’m sure there would be 100’s and 100’s of images if I went now)

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Up Hill Down Dale and Bobbing About on Boats

Mr Uphilldowndale has set out on his annual expedition to compete in the The Three Peaks Yacht Race, this is the third consecutive year that he has taken part,  so he has got the kit list down to a fine art, which is just as well there is a lot of it. Three sets of running kit, foul weather gear for the boat (remember the hi-tec waterproof testing we subject the gear too a couple of years back?

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  Then there is the cyclo-cross bike, spares, tools and one of my home made ginger cakes, so the boat should have plenty of ballast.

I’ve a very jaundiced view of boats (well the hue is more nauseous green than yellow) following a not very pleasant experience as a child. My adult self knows that boats are not all bad, but the inner child screams get me off this thing. So it was very thoughtful of Mr Uhdd to forward the following images to my inbox the other day.

 

These are of the Peterhead Trawler Harvester. Taken from her Sistership.

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It Will All Come Out in the Wash

Mr Uhdd has finished The Three Peaks Yacht Race, the team had a really good time and are very happy with their overall place, in the top ten.

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He’s not back home yet but his dirty laundry is! My brother in law BiL who has been  driving around by road supporting the event, rolled up here last night with a rucksack of the stuff. Yuk.

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Mr Uhdd checked in at lunch time today, it seems they will be sailing back down in the general direction of home, via a Scottish whisky distillery and with a quick hop across to Ireland and he’ll probably be back on Monday. His laundry may be sorted, but we’ve one or two other tasks lined up for him on his return.


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Ghost Images

Swiftly it seems, my turn to post over at Vision and Verb is here again.

This is my post

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Ghost images, I’m haunted by them, they are the photographs I captured in my head, but not the lens. When I look at this shot, I see what is to me the most beautiful beach in the world, its the bay at Laig  on the isle of Eigg, a small island just 10 miles off the west coast of Scotland, I’ve  danced till dawn on this beach, on the  evening of the longest day ( and the party didn’t stop through the shortest night, darkness never fell).

But the image also reminds me of a walk to this magical place; when I missed ‘one of those shots’ the never to be seen again snapshots that only develop in your minds eye.

Walking down the track ahead of me was a young girl, probably aged about 11 she was carrying a fiddle case, swinging it in time to her pace,  before I could rummage in the rucksack for the camera (this image is from 2007, before I’d embraced my digital SLR)  she’d peeled off into one of the cottages, the moment was gone. With the bay to her left, the  cliffs to rising up to her right and a slender ribbon of crofts and cottages ahead of her, the young girl with the fiddle, captured the beauty of this landscape and the heritage of its music, in a frame.  The two are inseparable.

What are your ghost images?

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I enjoyed trawling through my photos of the Isle of Eigg last night. I’d hoped to visit again this year with a friend, I’m itching to go back and just play with the camera, (when we were there in 2007, I’d just the week before started writing this blog and my renewed interest in photography was probably born here). But realistically, I can’t manage it not this year. I’ve posted some of these shots before, others like this panorama are making a debut. 

Laig Panorama

An Sgurr ‘The Notch’

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The boys have changed so much since this shot was taken, you wouldn’t recognise them now (so they will probably let me get away with posting this.)

Rum Panorama

Bluebells

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Mr Uhdd thinking

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Primroses and the remains of a harrow?

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