Thursday, September 27, 2007

Davis Cup Tennis - Great Britain vs. Croatia

26 September 2007

On Sunday we were back at Number One Court at Wimbledon to see the last two matches of Great Britain’s Davis Cup tie against Croatia. There was a packed crowd – primarily there to mark the retirement of Tim Henman. Unfortunately, for us, we picked the wrong day as Henman’s final volley in Saturday’s doubles match had won the tie for Britain – but it was still fun to experience the party atmosphere of the remaining singles matches and to give Henman and the team their final send-off. We saw Andy Murray win an exciting match against Roko Karanusic before another young Scottish player, Jamie Baker, put up a brave display in losing to the impressive Croatian teenager, Marin Cilic. And not a drop of rain …


Friday, September 21, 2007

Wester Ross

21 September 2007

We had a great week on the North West coast of Scotland last week. Wester Ross is a stunning area - just looking at the map was strangely compelling with masses of contour lines right down to the sea, large swathes of uninhabited land and few roads or tracks. The reality didn't disappoint - while it took a very long time to get there, it was well worth it. The sea lochs - Gairloch, Loch Ewe, Little Loch Broom and Loch Broom - are spectacular and the view from the road above Gairloch inland to the massive Loch Maree was amazing. We had mostly good weather with three very sunny days and managed lots of hill and coast walking. We stayed in a cottage at Sand, near Laide, overlooking Gruinard Bay and we enjoyed the little towns of Gairloch and Poolewe and got as far north as Ullapool. Our only real disappointment was not managing to see much of the promised marine wildlife - despite much binoculared-gazing from clifftops and a boat trip which only resulted in a distant glimpse of a pod of porpoises and a single friendly seal. I think all the local dolphins must have been holidaying elsewhere!


Friday, September 07, 2007

'Bleak House' by Charles Dickens - progress report

7 September 2007

I am about a third of the way through reading 'Bleak House' by Charles Dickens. I have to admit I've never read any Dickens but having relished the BBC TV adaptation of Bleak House last year (reviewed here in February 2006) I was persuaded to give it a go and I'm really enjoying it. It is, however, a very long book - at more than 900 pages quite a daunting prospect - and being familiar with the plot and characters from the TV version has definitely helped me to get going with it. I will report more fully when I finally get to the end but I thought I would mention it today because I notice that the BBC adaptation is being repeated on BBC4 - starting with two episodes tonight (Friday 7 September) at 7.30 pm and continuing on Monday. If you haven't seen it and you can get hold of BBC4 I would urge you to take a look. And then why not try the book itself …

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