Monday, February 06, 2012

John Taggart. The photographer as artist

We are lucky to have such nice people staying with us, really. I love it when professionals know their craft so well, that they can break the rules. If I took this photograph it would not have the "photographers eye". John has taken one of the most difficult compositions you can think of, the two parallel lines, without a real centre of interest yet it works brilliantly. The eye is not taken off the page as it would be if I took the shot. The reflections break up the hard lines and the denser tree on the left holds in the eye as does the taller tree on the right.
Who would imagine that Scotland in January would be so wonderful to look at? 
You can find more of John's photographs at, John Taggart Antrim, photography 
I'm going to post the others he sent me at our blog site for the best photographs of Glencoe

Hi John
The cottage was great, lovely place with some great walks, weather wise it was a mixed bag but a few good days. I have attached a few images for you to use as you wish. I haven't had a chance to edit through all the images yet as I need to catch up on some work but am happy with some of the results. When I get more edited I will pop a few on the email. 
We had a day up round Loch Arkaig which was beautiful, never been there before. Great walks round Cuil Bay and Kentallen Bay and a nice meal in the hotel across the road. 
All in all we had a great stay, many thanks for the use of your lovely cottage, hope to be back some time and very best wishes to you and Gillian.
John & Pamela.


Sunday, February 05, 2012

Snow and Ice driving. Preparation is absolutely vital.

We published this page in our website last year and it had a big response. Could be needed again. Best to prepare thoroughly if you are going drive on Snow and Ice  John


From November until the end of April there can be snow on the hills.. Even so, more often than not the main roads will be clear of snow.  Higher snow probability on the roads lies between the middle of January and the middle of March.

You can get massive variations in snow level even with a few miles. Our little hamlet at Kentallen is often clear of the snow which clogs up the main road to Glasgow, about 4 miles away.

Plan how to get to and from the West Highlands in snowy conditions. It is tempting to think of the Moor of Rannoch as being the main hazard, with its snow poles every few yards.
Well, that road is very seldom closed, and when it is they clear it and open it quickly. You are more likely to run into a deer, than you are to be stuck there in snow.

No, it is the steep, curving hill beside Crianlarich station which is the main trouble spot.
Take the coastal road through Kentallen and Appin,  then, just after Dalmally, go to Inverary. Then take the Rest and Be Thankful pass over to the lower half of Loch Lomond. This avoids the worst of the acccident bottlenecks on the Loch Lomond road as well.

For novices on snow and ice driving, here are our tips

Five Don'ts

Don't overtake on snow and ice
Don't rev the engine or accelerate quickly
Don't allow the battery to run down. It is very vulnerable
in the cold.
Don't use washing up liquid in the screen wash
Don't run on thin tyres

Twelve Do's

Drive very slowly, particularly around corners
Avoid steep hills, particularly those with bends
Go into corners slowly
Accelerate very slowly
Use 2nd gear if possible on ice
Keep the driving wheel as straight as possible
Leave a massive amount of room between you and the car in front
Fill the petrol tank more frequently than usual
Keep your mobile phone topped up
Use WD 40 to ease the door locks
Watch out for extra cold temperatures in low lying valleys, and on
tree lined roads
Choose a coastal route if possible rather than an inland route.

Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland
  • Short Breaks Glencoe
  • Stories about Appin villages blog