A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Friday, 3 April 2015

Hooptedoodle #169 – Weather Here, Wish You Were Beautiful

Loch Lomond - bonny, bonny banks etc - as featured in tourist brochures
We took a crafty, early Easter break, as soon as my son broke up from school, and thus managed to rent a holiday lodge at a fraction of the normal price, right on the shore of Loch Lomond. That’s where I’ve been this last week.

The lodge was brand new, and in fact was better than anything of the sort I have stayed in before, so that was very good, except that some of the advertised facilities hadn’t arrived yet. It was obvious that the site managers are working very hard to get ready for the full season, and there was a lot of work going on – laying tarmac, landscaping, all that – and a fair amount of noise. In fact, as we were based at Inveruglas, on the Western shore of the loch, it was a bit noisy generally, since the main road and the railway take up most of the land at the water’s edge, and there is a lot more traffic than you would think. We had intended to get some decent hillwalking in, but it rained fairly solidly for the whole time we were there, and the need to start off any outing by playing chicken along the nightmarish A82 proved a major disincentive.

We did manage one proper walk, and it was a short one, but pretty harrowing from the weather point of view – we walked up Glen Sloy to have a look at the hydroelectric dam, and it actually snowed while we were up there. We told jolly tales of Captain Scott’s lads, to amuse ourselves and take our minds off the cold.

Foy the Younger and Elder during the assault on Glen Sloy.
The hydroelectric dam in the background dates from 1946,
and apparently the resultant artificial Loch Sloy behind
it has drowned the traditional lands of the McFarlanes.
All disgruntled McFarlanes please form an orderly queue to
register complaints. This was April Fool's Day - the snow
appears to have stopped briefly at this point - we were
pretty much soaked through, though.
We drove to Inveraray on Tuesday, and visited the famous Jail (an interesting, if overpriced visit), and we had an absolutely splendid lunch in the George in Inveraray, which apparently was awarded the accolade Best Pub in Scotland in 2011, and is still pretty damn good now. Great traditional atmosphere, log fires, fantastic food – high spot of the holiday, I reckon.

Because of the weather we saw very little in the wildlife department, but yesterday while I was getting dressed I could just make out (through the murk) an enormous bird of prey sitting on the grass, not far from my window.  Since it had to be an eagle, at the very least, I rushed off in a state of high excitement to find my spectacles and my camera, and came back to find that it hadn’t flown away (as I had thought it would), since it was, in fact, a large stone.

Got home at lunchtime today, to find that Hermes (the courier – definitely not the deity) had left a parcel safely tucked behind a plant pot on my front doorstep. It had been there since 31st March, sitting in a puddle, and the wrapping had gradually disintegrated. As luck would have it, it was my shipment of Spanish cavalry from Hagen, not a book I have been expecting from Spain, and the figures themselves were completely unharmed by their experience - another stroke of good fortune to cherish.

The cavalry are excellent – more will be heard of these once I have sorted out some plans for painting them. They will become the Dragoons of Pavia, plus 3 units of Line Cavalry that I can’t remember off the top of my head, but I have them written down somewhere.

Now we have to finish unpacking and put our boots somewhere to dry.

Oh yes - I seem to have wriggled past the 300K hits landmark, so thanks again to everyone who reads, or has read, this blog!

Late Edit: Taken by the Contesse - Inveraray Jail uses some effective techniques with
recorded voices and scenes set in the courtroom and the prisons depicting real events.
Your bloggist could not resist the temptation to join the other dummies in the public
gallery at a Victorian trial of a man who burned down a barn filled with animals.
He was found guilty, of course, as he was again 30 minutes later.


  1. Still, it sounds like a nice stretch away from the daily grind, and the pub looks fantastic.

    Best Regards,


  2. That's alright, we're used to it. 35 years ago my brother built a house beside the artificial lake formed by damming the Saint John river in New Brunswick.

    If I'd known you were looking for snow I could have sent some. Ours is usually hone by now but this year we are still having problems wigh small dogs stepping over what used to be 5ft fences.

  3. Looks quite serenely bucolic to me. I agree, the pub looks fantastic.

    Congratulations on passing the 300,000 milestone.

  4. Congratulations on the count. When I get to that total I'll have been dead ten years . . . .

    Given the weather and the inviting charm of the George, I think I know where I'd have spent my time 😜

  5. Yes, I took an early-March break in north Wales - cold and wet was in order for the week! Still, one manages to enjoy despite

  6. Well done on managing to get away from the usual hustle bustle! And well done on the 300k plus hits too!

  7. Ah, the famous Scottish weather. That, and the English, explains why there are so many people of Scots ancestry in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, outer Mongolia, and almost anywhere else.
    Still, the pub looks awesome and everything beats working. Congratulations on the 300K hits!