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I said previously that "I can't wait". Well, that is exactly what I am having to do. The weather has improved, but it is still windy and wet. Not really great for nature photography.

The lens has a quality feel, with an all metal construction, as do all in the PRO range. It also feels reassuringly heavy.

I suppose it is just as well the weather isn't suitable, as my UV filter hasn't arrived. I wouldn't want to use the lens without something protecting the front element.

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Meet Dubhaig.

This Lenovo ThinkPad X230i is in perfect condition, it doesn't look like it has been used, at all.

It is running Devuan Beowulf with Xfce. The 8GB RAM and SSD mean it is like the proverbial brown stuff off a shovel. Boot time to the Slim login prompt is 7 seconds.

I still have lots of configuring to do, but I'm thoroughly enjoying it. My photo apps of choice include: Geeqie, RawTherapee, GIMP, and ImageMagick.

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I saw this guy at the bus stop.
I don't know him, but he looks very familiar.

Patricia Neal, always a personal favourite, never looked lovelier in any of her other starring roles. Plus, she put in a great performance, as a sort-of femme fatale. Diplomatic Courier was also one of her favourites.

Film buffs will also note an early co-starring role for Karl Malden, and brief uncredited movie appearances by Charles Bronson & Lee Marvin.

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This week's was Diplomatic Courier (1952).

DC is a rather superior Cold War spy thriller and , starring Tyrone Power, Patricia Neal and Hildegard Knef. It has a feel of realism with the slightly out-of-his-depth diplomatic courier (played by TP) trying to prevent a secret document falling into the hands of the Soviets. All the leads put in great performances, B&W photography is very atmospheric, and the direction is suspenseful & taught.


I've always liked Sterling Hayden's portrayals of the affable "good-guy" in Film Noir of the 1940s & 50s. In particular, his performance in the classic The Asphalt Jungle (1950) is one to seek out.

He was also a real-life adventurer, and WWII hero. He was assigned to the US OSS and completed two deployments with partisans in Italy & Yugoslavia. I have only recently discovered that he had a Highland connection, when he was trained as a Commando at Achnacarry in 1941.

I've decided I can't wait until hair clippers are re-stocked. I've purchased a set of hairdressing scissors (or shears). One pair has straight blades and the other pair are thinning scissors with teeth. I don't know if they will be any good, but they look the part. The brand is Candure, which seems to be highly rated online.

Of course, the real test will be my skills as a DIY barber. Wish me luck.

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Via, Veritas, Vita.

Gilbert Scott Building
University of Glasgow

An impressive building from any angle.

At long last I decided to do something about my haircut needs. However, I've discovered I've left it way too late. I cannot buy branded electric hair clippers *anywhere*. Everyone has sold out. DIY Covid19 Lockdown haircuts is obviously the only growth (sic) industry.

My haircut will have to wait a few more weeks.

The peanuts, for the birds, have been disappearing fast.
Now I know why.

Pine Marten - Taghan - Martes martes

Soon after getting the A10 I purchased a protective shell and some screen protectors. As part of that purchase I also received the iCatchy. The iCatchy is a short, pen-like device with an air-filled rubber pointer. It is used for typing instead of using your fingers.

I was initially sceptical, but the iCatchy is brilliant. I can type very quickly using it, with almost zero errors. It is particularly useful when the virtual keyboard is in portrait mode.

I'll make sure I always have an iCatchy.

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Photo on the left shows the Scotsman Building under construction in 1901. The photo on the right shows the building as it looks in the present day.

The building was originally built as the headquarters for The Scotsman newspaper. It is now a prestige hotel.

The Scotsman Newspaper was established as a radical voice in 1817, pledged to "impartiality, firmness and independence". Where did it all go wrong?

"Scotland and the Flemish People"
Alexander Fleming & Roger Mason

"Flemish immigrants not only adjusted to Scotland’s very different environment, but left their profound mark on the country’s economic, social and cultural development."

Sounds fascinating, I think I'll get it.

I found it!
To-day's solitary cloud in the sky.

Sadly, there will be many more clouds to-morrow, with rain. I am glad I was able to make the most of to-day's sunshine.

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Some critters found to-day's weather to be too hot and dry. Amphibians must keep their skin moist at all times. This European Common Frog (Losgann Buidhe - Rana Temporaria) took a dip in the river to avoid drying out in the warm sunshine. There were a few flies around the margins of the river, so there might have been a tasty snack available, too.

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