Tuesday, April 29, 2008


New Job seems very good so far. It's only the second day, but coworkers seem pleasant and the setting is lovely. We went for a walk through the sunny parkland at lunchtime and watched a foal with improbably long legs. Aw!

I also get to experiment with some new bus routes, which should keep me amused for a while.

And so back to the flat, and the chance to hear Ed Reardon's Week, which proves that all Radio 4 comedy is not atrocious.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Unicorn hunt

Today seemed to be Historic Scotland day. I have a friends card and don't use it often enough. So, off to Doune castle, where I confess I was looking for Python locations. However, I did learn about Robert Stewart, who ran Scotland for 20 years, though without being king.

Returning via Stirling, I popped in to the castle, as I've not been for a few years. Odd how this has changed so hugely since I went there as a kid (the past isn't what it used to be). There is currently a long term project to reconstruct the royal apartments. I was rather swept away by the tapestries that are being made for this. They are copies of the Unicorn Tapestries in the Met in New York. Tapestry for me is one of those archetypally dull things. If you see one in a museum it's a case of "Yes, very nice, where are the paintings?" But these are astonishingly beautiful objects in amazing condition. Works of art, in fact. You can watch the weaving too: it looks a pleasant but tricky task, surrounded by bits of wool and photos of the originals. A few of the finished copies are on display and they're not bad either. I enjoyed this article about cleaning, the smell of wet wool, and reclusive mathematicians.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A shy hill

Some time ago, I blogged about my ascent of the Lammer Law (with no oxygen, mind you). I discovered shortly after that this is not actually the highest point in the Lammermoors, with that distinction being held by Meikle Says Law. Clearly, another trip was in order.

Meikle Says Law is undoubtedly one of the most retiring, shy, and self-effacing of the Scottish hills. I don't think I saw the summit at any point in the walk, until, a few hundred meters from the top, and with that it-must-be-here-somewhere feeling, I spotted a trig point above the heather and walked towards it. The way back was almost equally unrevealing, though its pushier friend the Lammer Law kept getting in the view.

The trig point had a recent sign attached warning you not to damage it. I thought the OS didn't actually use these any more, but obviously they do, and MSL is actually visible from somewhere.

A perversely satisfying walk.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Work again

I have acquired a job. No, really this time. It is with the people who didn't quite offer me the last job, but is a different job. Doing proper stats, I hope. My four months or so of semi-idleness is at an end.

In other news, I had a pleasant shopping expedition yesterday to Tiso's. Not only did I get an unexpected discount, but I clocked Iain Banks talking to an assistant.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


There! I shouldn't have mentioned it. The almost-a-job-offer has melted away like snow in the spring sun. There was a long silence, then a downward revisal of the salary to a level that I suspect they knew I would not accept.