The long awaited summer

Since moving back to the west of Scotland six and a half years ago, we’ve not had the best of luck with the weather during the summer months. 2009 was a complete washout across the whole country and it was an especially miserable one for me. The years that followed didn’t deliver much of an improvement and I was really starting to rue the decision to move back here.

Things took a turn for the better in 2013, though, with July being simply fantastic with week after week of beautiful blue skies. I hoped for more of the same this year and boy did we get that and more. Even over the easter weekend in April the weather was fantastic, but really, from when we came back from the family holiday in Orlando at the end of june the weather this summer was just incredible, with the exception of a very wet end to July.

I’ve noted before that good weather is a great enabler for me. It gets me out and active and that in turn just helps me stay energized and positive.

2014-07-10 19.22.24The list of things I enjoyed doing during summer 2014 is practically endless. From riding my cruiser skateboard into work almost every day, to re-joining the tennis club and making the most of it. We went out on Loch Lomond aboard Crazy Uncle John’s boat. We played baseball on the grass field by the house in the evenings. We did the Swing Park Challenge again. We spent sunny weekend afternoons in Helensburgh on our skateboards and scooters, just soaking up the vibrant mood brought on by the glorious sunshine.

For as long as it lasted, I knew that in late September we’d all too soon be wrapping up for the wind and rain. So, on what I thought would be the very last weekend of good weather for the year, I set off and climbed Ben Bouie to take some pictures of the town basking in sunshine.

But it turned out I was wrong and the good weather rolled on for a few weeks after that. There were even days in October that were t-shirt temperature in Glasgow and I was able to ride the cruiser down the hill to the station a few more times than I could have reasonably hoped for.

The view from Ben Bouie, September 21st 2014Anyway, going back to that day I climbed Ben Bouie – it was my way of doffing my cap to what had been one of the most enjoyable seasons I can remember. As the clocks went back to mark the end of British Summer time I had to concede that regardless of how brutal the winter is, that summer was one I’ll not soon forget.

Unless 2015 can better it, of course. Fingers crossed!

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Challenges for 2012

Starting the year off on a positive note, I thought I’d list the challenges I’m attempting in 2012. I’m doing this in the knowledge that I wasn’t successful with some of those I set myself for 2011, yet managed the cycling challenge I threw in later on. I don’t know whether that makes me more realistic or not, but I intend to have a bigger spread of challenges this year all the same.

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Ramping up again

Ever since I was in single digits, I’ve been fascinated by skateboarding. From the plastic yellow deck with the red polyurethane wheels that I had in the early 80’s to the Lib Tech maple & fibreglass deck with jet black Spitfire wheels I’ve used so sparingly over the last ten years, and all the others in between, I’ve skated on and off on all shapes and sizes of skateboards for thirty years.

I’ve seen the sport go from boom to bust, to boom again, before skateboarding finally achieved the critical mass that made it part of pop culture and here to stay. What’s unfortunate is that I haven’t had many friends to skate with over the years, which has led to it being a somewhat lonely pastime for me and caused my interest to run in cycles.

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