Saturday, 9 January 2010

Christmas in Carnoustie

Now that we're effectively "snowed-in" in Soton, I can catch-up on the blogging I've been putting off for the past couple of weeks ...
  • 22 December: Bit of a disrupted journey up. Snow on the east coast made my parents wary of coming to get me from the airport, so I prebooked a bus ticket for this leg instead. Not that this helped me: delays elsewhere in the UK stalled my flight 2 hours, causing me to miss my ride. These were then compounded by the world's slowest carousel-loading service at Edinburgh - a record-breaking 65 minutes after touchdown. Anyway, after ditching the idea of making an alternative bus connection (Megabus being pants), a short bus hop (with a young Australian climate skeptic; Tate/Nate) followed by a train ride got me to Dundee. The roads to Carnoustie from there were sufficiently clear for a parental rescue.

  • 23 December: Overnight, a further few cm of snow fell making ideal conditions for me to waste time taking faux arty photographs. Walked through the woods and along the High Street to the Flats, where Caitlin and I made a snowman. In the PM there was the ritual fixing of the parents computer to attend to.

  • 24 December: No new snow, but I disastrously postponed my walk until the afternoon, whereupon it started instead to rain. So this turned into a stay-at-home day whose primary achievement was present wrapping. Despite the rain, the snow persisted, turning instead into snowman-useless ice.

  • 25 December: Christmas Day had the usual shape of a walk (this time along Carnoustie beach at sunrise), followed by a family get-together. I caught up with both brothers, their partners and both of my (new-ish) nieces.

  • 26 December: Though now suffering from the traditional CCC (Carnoustie Christmas Cold), in the PM I took a walk out along the beach between East Haven and Arbroath. Cue panorama beach photographs. Despite said cold, I was still able to be appalled by the sewage farm section of the walk. Out to see Jennifer et al. in the evening.

  • 27 December: Spent the morning playing with Caitlin on her Wii, largely on the game that I bought her for Christmas. We also tried out some of the Wii fitness stuff - actually a lot more arduous than I figured it would be. The games aren't quite what I'm used to (less headshots, for instance), but playing alongside someone in the same room, and doing so via a quite physical interface, is a lot of fun. In the PM I carefully ventured across the snowy roads to neighbouring Monifieth to catch up with Phil's parents. The evening saw me round at the Bickerton's, catching up with the family and finally passing along much-belated birthday presents.

  • 28 December: After being unable to resuscitate my parents' aged printer (a decade-old Epson), it was off to the town of my birth to secure a replacement. The shining newcomer impressively doubled as a scanner, but curiously managed (and manages - I never got to the bottom of this) to interfere with the wireless broadband whenever it was switched on. Out in the PM for a walk around Craigmill Den with Dave, Suze and Harry. The evening was a great get-together with the full gang, though alarmingly high in nostalgia index.

  • 29 December: More mucking about on the parental PC, and an effort to spreadsheet Dad's blood sugar data. No interesting long-term trends, but I did find out how alarmingly early he gets up in the morning. Round to Colin and Catherine in the PM. Sounds like they had an interesting cruise-based trip around Norway and Iceland since my last visit. Spent my last Carnoustie evening down with brothers and family. Much shooting of the breeze followed, plus some shooting of airport hostages. Reminded me that consoles really aren't as good as PCs.

  • 30 December: Packing and photographing Ava. She accompanied me to the airport in the PM, but in distracting her with my (new) phone, I managed to leave it behind in Scotland (it finally made its way to me on the 3rd January). The return journey was a nice contrast in timeliness to the upward leg. Home.

DSC02590 panorama


chimpaction said...

Snowed in? Is that an English snowed in, or a proper one ;)

Two things. I question your Modern Warfare review and lots of the pictures on Flickr you've linked to are set to private...

Plumbago said...

It's English "snowed in", though for once it's not so different to the situation that we had up in Carnoustie over Christmas. It snowed here on Tuesday but, and this is unprecedented in my Soton experience, the snow is still persisting. It's now all ice of course, so it's making all of the secondary roads here a nightmare, but as yet there's no sign of a thaw. So, while it's not even faintly in the same league as what you're having, it's pretty extreme for the south. The University (but not my part of it!) is even shut tomorrow.

Sorry about the pictures. I forgot that I'd linked in "family" ones. I should have chosen different ones - though it was difficult to get a picture of Duncan that didn't have Ava in it (as difficult as I imagine that sounds). If you'd like, I can upgrade you to "family class". It'll also give you a chance to see my nieces so that you, too, can be shocked that they're the offspring of my brothers.

Regarding Modern Warfare 2, I think I mostly get put off by the rubbish controls in console titles. I'm so used to mouse and keyboard, that I find anything else clumsy. That said, there's also something about the gameplay of the titles I've played that keeps me at a distance from the game. It always feels slightly closer to watching a film than playing a game to me. Although this might have more to do with the specific games I've played, and the fact I've always done so with Duncan. But I remain a PC gamer ...

(P.S. Fallout 3 is magnificent BTW)