September 6th, 2004


Another weekend passes by ...

On Saturday, we had another lazy lie-in, eventually got up and moving and lunched and headed to the gym. We've been going for about a month now, two or three times a week, and I think I'm seeing an improvement in my cardio fitness already. Unfortunately, my arms are still like limp noodles, strength-wise, and unbalanced to boot (my right arm is noticeably stronger than the left - what a surprise, me being a right-handed fencer and all). Oh well, given time everything should improve.
We ended up watching Fight Club last night - we were planning to watch a Stargate DVD, channel-hopped around a bit first, and noticed the film just starting, so decided to see what it was like. It was ... strange, but interesting. More thoughts later, perhaps.

Today started earlier - Historic Scotland was holding a Monty Python day at Doune Castle (not far northwest of Stirling). We wanted to be there by 12.00, when the events were starting, and managed 12.15, which I thought was pretty impressive for a Sunday. There were lots of people there - which is a bit unusual in our castle experiences. Apart from the Big Two (Edinburgh and Stirling), or other castles when there's an event on, there are usually only a few people at castles at the same time as us. Anyway, the event involved short reenactments of scenes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (for anyone who didn't know, some scenes from the movie were filmed at Doune), and screenings of the movie (although trying to show something to a large room full of people on a normal TV seemed rather optimistic - you'd think they'd use a projection system and screen). We were amused, wandered around aimlessly, went for a walk outside the castle along a lovely little path by the River Teith, went back to the castle for the reenactment of the Frenchmen taunting King Arthur and his K-nights, and decided that the place was too crowded for us, and the weather wasn't very inspiring for photographic purposes, so we would come back another day.

We looked at the road atlas to see if anything else interesting was nearby - there was a "Balloch Castle Country Park" more or less on the way home, so we decided to stop there. Balloch Castle itself is a modest-sized 18th century building (more of an imitation castle, by our standards :-) ), and all that remained of the 13th century castle near by was a ditch which used to be a moat, and a mound on which the castle building used to be (or so the tourist guide said - we didn't manage to positively find either !). The tourist guide suggested that there was a cafe to be found there, but apparently they only have a couple of vending machines. By this stage we were feeling a bit tired and quite hungry, and decided it was time to do our grocery shopping and go home.

Meanwhile, as if the big Autumn switch had been thrown, leaves have started to change colour, and a few are falling already. I wonder if it'll be spectacular and inviting of photographic expeditions somewhere nearby ?
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