Saturday, 17 May 2008

Painting the summer house

It's perhaps possible to have too much fun.  We woke up this morning to brushes, paint, overalls and ladders.  Unfortunately, after fifteen man hours we ran out of paint before we finished.  The DIY shops close at lunchtime on a Saturday in Finland and don't open again until Monday.  You can sense the disappointment :-D .

Pictures from top - my brother Finn-law Matti; Jen in a striking red outfit; Matti and I - zoom to see the size of my brush.

Arriving in Finland

First stop in Finland was to catch up with Jon, Jaana, Elina and new arrival Lumi.  Jon has just purchased a Wii.   We played a number of games including golf where I was convincingly beaten by Elina (4 years old).  I also discovered I have a Wii Fit age of 46 years (43 on my second attempt at balancing). Jen's Wii Fit age improved drastically from 50 years to only 35.

Pictures from top - changing trains at Kirkkonummi station with a very generous luggage allowance;  Jen enjoying a Finnish classic - Makkaraperunat (sausage and chips with all the sauces).

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Rock climbing in Reiff

While the rest of the party was walking up Cul Mor on 5th May, the climbers made the most of the stunning weather by heading to the sunkissed sea cliffs of Reiff. Superb climbing on great rock!

Pictures from top -
Sea cliffs in Reiff; Jen, Bong and Steve trying to locate the crag; Jen top roping Friends for Life HVS 5a/b; Claire flying up Bank of Scotland E3 5c; Claire & Jen very happy after a fantastic climbing day!

Monday, 12 May 2008

Finnish end of year party

It's the Finnish end of term party. Hopefully I have learnt enough to survive in Finland! Many thanks again Maija for organising everything and for teaching me for the last four years.

Pictures clockwise from top left - Pasi and Wendy; Andrew, Peter and Heli; the Wednesday night class and Maija and me.

Durness Round Up

A final entry on our trip up to the norh west of Scotland.

Sandwood Bay

A trip up north wouldn't be complete without a visit to Sandwood Bay. St John and I are fishing (left). St John caught a very tasty seabass. Roger prepares the table for dinner (right).

We also managed to find the remains of a Spitfire merlin engine - the propellor had been uncovered by the shifting sands following the winter storms. It appears that the engine hadn't been working for some time...

Spitfire R7154 - Accrington, Church and Oswaldtwistle

It would appear that our Spitfire had a short and uneventful life.
First flight, 26 February 1941
Received by 12 MU, 1 March 1941
Accepted by 124 Squadron RAF, 7 May 1941
Pilot: Sgt Kilburn.
Engine failed South west of Cape Wrath, force landed Sandwood Bay, Sutherland, The pilot Sgt Kilburn safe.' Aircraft struck off charge, 30 March 1942
124 Sqn was reformed with Spitfire Mk 1's at Castletown, in the extreme north of Scotland, for the defence of Scapa Flow, on 10 May 1941. (taken from this website)

Balnakiel Beach and Faraid Head

Balnakiel beach and Faraid Head are also beautiful places. Here we cooked some chicken on a charcoal b-b-que (below left). A little bit risky considering it had been defrosting in a very hot car for two days. Luckily the imodium remained in its box. Roger's photo on the beach - ideal for delivering Cadbury's milk tray chocolates (right).

Smoo Cave

Colin gave us a great tour of Smoo Cave again - we hadn't been back for a number of years. Smoo Cave is home to some Scottish pirahna (trout). Colin has been doing a lot of caving around Assynt too - check out polar bear remains in Scotland.

The Crask Inn

Celebrating our last night at the Crask Inn. Excellent food and hospitality and always worth a visit. A big thank you to Mike and Kai for their hospitality. Check out the linen table cloth (left) and Roger preparing for his journey home to Thurso (right).

Cape Wrath and Kearvaig Bothy

Cape Wrath is the most North-Westerly point in mainland UK. To get there it takes a short ferry journey across the Kyle of Durness and an 11 mile bus journey along a very rough road. More about the history of the lighthouse.

Pictures from left - below the lighthouse and the impressive cliffs of Cape Wrath.

Kearvaig Bothy is located about two miles east of Cape Wrath. It is well maintained by the Mountain Bothy Association.

Pictures from top left -
Jen in an impressive tidal cave; Claire takes time out on the beach; sunset on the beach - for David from my Finnish class and toasting marshmallows.
Below - bothy life. We managed to find a Norwegian radio station too.