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Wings Over Scotland


Sunlight is the best disinfectant

Posted on February 28, 2021 by

Bath, readers – which some of you may be aware isn’t even in Scotland – is a pretty darn pleasant place to while away your days, all things considered. Packed from head to foot with gorgeous Georgian architecture the colour of set honey and nestling amid a clutch of lush green hills, it’s like a miniature version of Edinburgh in sandstone.

It’s big enough to be lively and have plenty of culture, with theatres and museums and venues and galleries and cinemas both multiplex and arthouse. Countless movies and TV shows have been shot here, from contemporary episodes of Roald Dahl’s Tales Of The Unexpected to a whole string of period costume dramas, and the “Little Theatre” cinema seen in Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr Fox” is based on our real one.

It’s also very handily placed. Situated on or close to two main railway lines, you can hop on a train and ten minutes later be in Bristol, an ugly and unlikeable but still vibrant and eventful city. 30 minutes takes you to the classic English seaside resort of Weston-super-Mare, or the unfairly-maligned Swindon. Stretch it to an hour and you can be in a whole other country, in Barry Island or the impressive Welsh capital of Cardiff. 90 minutes gets you to London, and a couple of hours will see you in any of a bunch of places on the south coast (my personal favourite is Weymouth), all direct. You can even get straight to Edinburgh or Glasgow with only a single change of train at Bristol.

Having a car unlocks lots of other magical and fascinating places that are well within daytrip distance, like the ghost villages of Tyneham and Imber, the striking Cheddar Gorge, Longleat safari park and the world’s greatest museum ever, the batshit-mad Oakham Treasures, as well as Lacock, a quaint 13th-century townlet entirely owned by the National Trust, which gets invaded by Nazis every year.

(If you love a stately or historic home, you can join the Trust and visit somewhere new within 40 minutes’ drive just about every week for a year. Then you run out.)

In short, Bath is fab. But there’s a downside.

Because of its sheltered location near the west coast, Bath rarely gets very much if any of a winter. I’ve seen decent snow maybe five or six times in the 30 years I’ve lived here. And that can make autumn and winter a real slog – six months of grey, damp, monotonous drizzle that doesn’t get broken into a couple of distinct seasons the way it tends to in Scotland, and so can seem to drag on forever.

For a completely solar-powered person like this reporter, 2020/21 has been about the worst case I can remember. The sun basically disappeared on the 1st of September and didn’t come back until Friday afternoon this week. So when it finally shows its face and makes everything look stunning (Bath stone positively glows in sunlight), you need to get out and enjoy it, because those UV rays just burn the blues away.

And that’s why one of the saddest things about having all my Twitter accounts banned because I believe women exist is the fact that I can’t tweet Bear Patrols any more.

As alert social-media-savvy viewers may recall, in spring and summer I liked to post threads of pretty pictures taken while engaged in eternal civic vigilance against the ever-present menace of ursine infiltration, because by a happy coincidence most of my patrol routes took in parks and canal paths and beautiful old country pubs serving ice-cold refreshments in agreeable scenery.

It made a nice break from the usual exchanges of unpleasantries on the toxic hellsite, and people would often reply with shots of their own local surroundings or tales of past visits to sunny Somerset, and everyone always seemed to feel a little more cheerful afterwards, especially when there were wildlife shots.

My personal fondness for squirrels is well known, for example, and if you can keep the furry little scamps in cashews and walnuts they’ll let you get some pretty good close-ups. These are some of my buddies from the local park over the years.

There are all sorts of other creatures knocking around too, from bees and damselflies and jackdaws and herons up to foxes and badgers, most of which I regularly feed in return for the pleasure of their company, and there are also my own office assistants – readers, meet Separats 3.0: Daphne, Celeste, Pepsi, Shirlie, Coco and Rosie.

(In fairness I have no idea what damselflies eat, but whatever it is certainly seems to make them pretty frisky. Who knew damselfly dogging was a thing?)

I even managed to capture a rather sweet scene of crows grooming each other.

But this year’s main case study has been swans.

Swans are most excellent animals. Huge yet elegant, they mate for life and are very protective and conscientious parents, famed for their effortless perpetual grace. Except for Steve and Janice, who live just behind Bath Spa railway station and are total dicks.

But along with two other swan couples, they’ve raised one of three broods of cygnets along a stretch of the Kennet & Avon canal this year, and I’ve been keeping a paternal eye on them all while out Bear Patrolling, from their earliest days as tiny bundles of fluff last May up to full-size adolescents.

I’d really wanted to catch the final stage of their transformation into mature adults, where the last of their brown feathers are replaced by white ones and the beaks start to change from black to orange, but the weather’s been wretched for weeks and I was sure I’d missed my chance. But today I got lucky.

“Is there a point to any of this, Bill Extremely Oddie?”, we can overhear a few of you grumbling in the background, and there is, although partly it’s also just that a few nice animal pictures on a Sunday evening might calm everyone down a fraction from an extremely heated and eventful few days.

But it’s also a reminder than even amid the longest, most miserable and depressing winter, the sun WILL come back at some point, and that process started two days ago in more ways than one, just when even we were starting to worry it might be too late.

We’re in for a heck of a week in Scottish politics, folks, and it’s just possible that the joys of spring are a little bit closer than we think.

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    268 to “Sunlight is the best disinfectant”

    1. Alice Timmons says:

      So, you’re at the teasing as well now! But you know you’re gonna get pelters for posting dirty pictures, don’t you…

    2. P says:

      No grumbling from me, very happy to see your local wildlife photos.
      Optimistic and looking to the future
      Thanks Stu

    3. Alain Mack says:

      Momentous week ahead Stu.
      As Eric and Ernie would say.” Bring me sunshine “…….probably Wednesday

    4. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Nice one.

      ‘…amid the noise and haste…’ an aw that desiderata-type jazz.

      Much needed.

      😉

    5. Black Joan says:

      Gorgeous. Thank you. Love Bath.

    6. Shiregirl says:

      What fab photos. Bath looks so pretty. Buckie has been lovely these past few days too. What a difference a bit sunshine and some squirrels makes.

      I think you are right Rev. There is new hope and even more sunshine just around the corner. Change is afoot and I’m feeling optimistic.

    7. ScottieDog says:

      Only visited bath for a couple of hours but it is beautiful – passing through on my way to see a friend in rural Somerset, an area I just love.

      Today had a lovely freshness about it although there was a pesky layer of cloud in the kingdom which put a wee nip in the air.
      Hopefully a time of renewal….

    8. Stephen says:

      Hell yeah!

    9. Dorothy Devine says:

      Rev, just remember that squirrels have nut cracking teeth!

    10. El Mariachi says:

      I agree. I suspect there are rather a lot more decent folks in Scotland than Sturgeon is hoping for.

      Looking forward to the return of the sunshine; in more ways than one.

    11. Dexey says:

      Aren’t they rooks rather than crows?
      Not that I am sure.

    12. Lovely! Thank you for this post and these pictures.
      May you long enjoy happy walks like these.
      Regards too to your squirrel friends and team of rat helpers.

    13. Astonished says:

      Don’t get my hopes up. Nothing less than a wokeratti exodus will do.

      P.S. Any response on the missing money ?

    14. holymacmoses says:

      That’s so good to read and see you enjoying the real world which exists without the alphabet, and the beginning and end of the ‘word’, which is so less trustworthy than the shaking of hands or the meeting of eyes.

      It’s been sunshine all the way today as far as I understand and I hope lots of people have taken advantage of the last flickers of February to charge themselves ready for the big March towards spring.

    15. Astonished says:

      I thought it was just Nicola Sturgeon that had a team of rat helpers.

      I’ve got my coat.

    16. Lothianlad says:

      Thanks for sharing.

    17. Flower of Scotland says:

      Hope so! Feeling a bit down this weekend with all the anti Scotland stuff! Indy folk tearing lumps out of each other etc. Thanks Rev!

    18. dan macaulay says:

      Huzzah

    19. Kate says:

      THANK YOU! Your nature photos are WONDERFUL! I just love the squirrel photos. Growing up in Nova Scotia, these little creatures were part & parcel of our lives. Pine trees (along with Maples) cover most of the province so these little rodents are as common there as bluebottles in Scotland. I’ve always loved their beautiful little faces & their clever ways of getting what they want. Hence loved seeing your photos! But I love most animals (bugs, hmmm… maybe not so much) so enjoyed all your pics. The swans are so elegant & so pretty… but I’m a sucker for your foxes!

      So thank you for sharing. You’re right! Just what we needed just now. And thanks for that bit of hope at the end of your write up. We needed that too – A LOT!

    20. Effijy says:

      Stuart Campbell identifies the names of wild birds
      Despite a court order.

      Stuart Campbell slating British Rail for train delays!

      Stuart Campbell looking to take over from David Attenborough
      leaving Independence behind.

      I’m sure the U.K. media can find more you did wrong today!

    21. M_Alc says:

      BREAKING: “Toxic blogger shares images without consent of subject”

    22. Robert Hughes says:

      Excellent post Mr Campbell : and snaps . Looks like nice place Bath , never been there though an acquaintance of mine has lived there for many years , I forget his first name but he was known as ” Striker ” , 2nd name Mackinnon .

    23. Margaret Lindsay says:

      Thanks for this lovely calming post. I’ve always said, if you can trust someone with animals you can trust them with near enough anything. You’re missed on Twitter.
      P.S. How’s the emergency kitten/cat doing now?

    24. Captain Yossarian says:

      Excellent. Great photos and a great commentary. Much better than that tiresome old skitter we read in the Sunday papers. Get to your bed early man. There’s much to look forward to this week.

    25. Alison says:

      Loving the photos Stu. I miss living near bath. I was often found in moles for battle of the bands as a teen. Once this whole covid things over you’ve made my mind up that I’ll be heading down for a visit back to Bristol and bath. I grew up in oldland common which I guess was kind of between the two places

    26. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “P.S. How’s the emergency kitten/cat doing now?”

      She’s fully recovered from her awful trauma, but is in an epic and sustained sulk over her new little brother.

    27. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “P.S. Any response on the missing money ?”

      Nope.

    28. Cath says:

      Lovely travel and wildlife blog. And uplifting for a stressful lockdown Sunday. I must get back to Bath and Bristol sometime when covid hell is over…

    29. Jimmy Cox says:

      As good as AS was and as desperate as his accusers are becoming I can see that horrid woman getting by this almost unscathed and hanging on to her position. Hopefully this week and the first sight of Spring will prove me wrong.

    30. Effijy says:

      George Galloway on social media advising that he will
      be voting Tory at the May Elections and his second vote for himself.

      Is that son of the beard muncher he is promoting?

      Vote “ Let me be the cat in the fedora hat”?

      He has been in more parties than the Rangers players.

      Is an attempt to draw second votes from the English Tories that are
      taking over Dumfries?

      Indecatagable fruit cake!

    31. Prasad says:

      I have seen damselflies eating midges.
      Larger species presumably take things a bit bigger.

    32. Josef Ó Luain says:

      A man after my own heart. Magpies are my great fascination. When you see a lone magpie, fear not: give it a minute or two and its mate is bound to appear, changing “bad” luck to good. Unless you happen to be the manny Murrel, of course.

    33. Sunshine on Crieff says:

      We’ve had our fair share of sunshine this winter, albeit bitterly cold temperatures accompanying it.

      Grey skies today, although after St Johnstone’s cup final win today it feels like a summer’s day.

    34. Ian Brotherhood says:

      We all know that Jimmy Wolffe’s favourite phrase is ‘I’m not going to answer…’ and we should expect plenty of it tomorrow.

      If he’s really pushed then he may trot out the ‘I can check and write to the committee…’ or feign memory-loss or whatever.

      Point is – does anyone know what powers the committee has? Can it say ‘Look bawjaws, time’s nearly up, we have a report to do, so just spare us the waffle and answer the questions.’

      Several of the committee members raised their game during the six Salmond hours because he forced them to – will they now just revert to being patronised and brazenly lied to?

    35. Lindy says:

      I spent my childhood and teens in Wiltshire and my paternal ancestors are from Gloucestershire.
      So Bath, Bristol, Weymouth, Weston Super Mare, Cheddar Gorge, are old haunts of mine before I came to Scotland in my early twenties.
      Thanks for sharing. It was a nice trip down memory lane.

    36. maureen says:

      The foxes have fairly grown, gorgeous animals and would love to get that close to squirrels!

    37. Kilted Splendour says:

      This is what has got me through lockdown. Take your pleasure from the small things. Ive spent the last year trying to attract small garden birds, because all we normally get is herring gulls, pigeons, rooks and jackdaws. Those are rooks by the way, but both rooks and jackdaws are corvids so can rightly all be called crows. Ive succeeded and have been getting regular visits from lots of other smaller species. I’ve been absolutely thrilled to have pied and grey wagtails and a pair of Goldcrests regularly visiting. Mealworms are a wonderful thing.
      Glad to see that you’re of the same mind. Enjoy your environment, because there’s always something to raise a smile if you take the time to look.

    38. Jaf says:

      We had a holiday in Bath last summer.

      It was brilliant.

      We did Lyme Regis and Weymouth for a day, and Weston super mare and Clevedon Pier one day, Glastonbury was another trip and a lot of time eating in some fabulous restaurants – Nepalese was our favourite. There was a super wee pub – The Riflemans?, and we also liked The Bell Inn, and then a fancier cocktail bars whose name escapes me.

      We want to go back some day.

      This week fills me with trepidation and hope in equal measure. Its real good versus evil stuff, and I hope the Superhero Salmond Man can triumph like all good superheros do!

      A city we very much enjoyed.

    39. Red Squirrel says:

      If anyone deserves a day off for a nice bear-friendly walk in the sunshine, it’s you.

      I hope better days are coming for all of us soon.

    40. Alba & Erin Go Bragh says:

      As long as that disinfectant doesn’t clean away hopes of independence!

    41. rob says:

      Oh come on…… it’s not a patch on Saltcoats lol

    42. Joe Jenner says:

      Lovely.

      It seems you like Bath as much as I like Edinburgh and Glasgow.

      I’m English and you’re Scottish.

      I know the Tories are c**ts but it would be brilliant if we could all get on better.

      This little island of ours is brilliant and so are the people who live here.

    43. Rose Ford says:

      Lovely photos (except for the beasties, they freak me out a wee bit) Love squirrels but none on Shetland.

      Good that you have managed some rest and relaxation, I think you will need it greatly in the coming week 🙂

    44. Contrary says:

      Brilliant 🙂

      Spring is always good – longer days make a difference for sure.

      Dunno if Friday marked a turning point, but it was a relief at any rate.

    45. Tommo says:

      I suppose in future people posting on here will have to refer to the ruling party in Scotland as the SN- the P being silent, as in Bath

    46. Sweep says:

      At last, there are Separats again! All is well.

    47. Derek Morison says:

      Thanks for the Bath-elogue and great pix. Nice to hear you in a good mood and enjoying yourself in the sunshine.

    48. Ian McLean says:

      Thank you for these rays of sunshine.
      It’s interesting to see how a city changes in sunlight. Aberdeen is spectacular that way. In dull wet weather the stone merges oppresively into the grey of sky and sea. When the sun appears, the granite literally sparkles and reflects the light and cheer.
      For warmth though …. probably get that train to Bath.

    49. Heaver says:

      Pretty sure damselflies, like dragonflies, are carniverous, take their meals on the wing.

      A game I would like to play is flying as a dragonfly, seeing as a dragonfly sees, if in hard mode. Catch enough, and level up to a bat, then a house marten, swift, falcon. Don’t think its been made though.

    50. Lauren Alder says:

      I miss the Bear bulletins from Bath. Twitter’s much diminished by your absence. The po-faced bullies, professional offense takers, and the assorted self-regarding, flouncing, prima donnas have risen to the fore.
      Never mind, those who cast bread upon the waters will taste the butties of retribution…

    51. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “A man after my own heart. Magpies are my great fascination.”

      Beautiful things. Been trying to get a good pic of one in the park for months, buggers just won’t sit still.

    52. Muscleguy says:

      As a biologist I’m not sure adult damselfies eat anything. The nymphs are voracious stream predators eating things like tadpoles by the score. Part of why beaver pools breed more of them, because they also host much more frogspawn.

      Here in Broughty Ferry we host the teenage swans from further up the Tay where they breed. In late summer you get to see them get all lovey with each other making that heart shape together.

      Being on the coast we get the occasional seal as well including cubs stashed by mum while she goes off to feed.

      Must do some scrambling around the local burn to see if the beavers have moved in yet. There’s a weir left over from a water mill. A heron likes to perch by the side outlet still as a statue. The dog and I were in the middle of the footbridge just down from there when the heron flew up the river (a clear safe tunnel from the beach and right over our heads. It was magical.

    53. SOG says:

      You take good photographs.

      I hope you won’t mind a mention of Dyrham Park, just a mile or so short of the motorway, with trees, grass and Fallow Deer, a garden, and a Big House.

    54. Andybhoy says:

      Very nice pictures.

    55. Muscleguy says:

      The magpies I grew up with are the Australasian variety, big crow like birds. Get very aggressive when they have a nest to protect. A helmet with eyes painted on it is recommended though not foolproof.

      The European magpie is much more elegant bird. I’m partial to them myself.

    56. Arbroath1320 says:

      Brilliant.

      I used to live just outside Weymouth and work on Portland for a few years back in the 90’s. This allowed me to also *coughs* ‘visit’ Bath on a number of occasions but NEVER at ground level. My ‘visits’ were all carried out at around 2,500 – 5,000 feet a.g.l. ?

    57. Gavin Bic says:

      Being a child of privilege I grew up in a house with a large garden, at the bottom of which was a small body of fresh water. We all referred to it as the lake. About a dozen houses backed on to it, and looking back it must have been landscaped, as there was a large reed bed dead in the middle, that could probably never have evolved by chance.

      Every year a pair of swans arrived, renovated their nest in the reeds, and raised a new set of cygnets. So my brothers and I grew up with the annual warning of mum ringing in our ears:

      “Don’t go near the swans! THEY CAN BREAK YOUR NECK WITH ONE FLICK OF THEIR WINGS!!!”

      To our slight disappointment, all they ever did was hiss at us if we got too close.

      Got to endorse the judgement ‘great photos and great commentary’ – many thanks.

    58. TNS2019 says:

      Shocked to visit what I had assumed to be an erudite political website only to be confronted with images of naked birds.
      Some looked under-age too.
      I was going to add that they were female but that might get me into trouble with certain factions.

    59. A Person says:

      A wonderful city and generally area of the world. My brother lived in Bristol for many years which is of course so nearby, very different but also a city with great character. The Bath museum off Pulteney Bridge has a wonderful china collection. The last time I was there I had a flavoured scone in a cafe next to the abbey, best cake I have ever eaten! And I would say that the road from Bath to Stroud (the A46) is one of my favourites.

      If the woke faction had been around in the eighteenth century then Beau Nash’s parties would be one party they couldn’t infiltrate!

      Great pictures, regardless of developments in Scottish politics, it is nice to think that we might all be out of this rotten time for the world and into a more free summer. Keep your chin up anyone that is struggling and thank you Rev Stu.

    60. Ian Brotherhood says:

      From Twitter:

      Iain.lawson27
      @ILawson27
      ·
      3m
      Being told the Scottish Government will only give the committee permission to get the papers from Alex Salmond’s solicitors if they give them to the Scot Gov to make the necessary redactions first. Have you ever heard the like?

    61. Derek says:

      I was excavating a bubble car from a friend’s late dad’s garage yesterday; we were joined by a crow who was quite content to hop on and off of folks’ shoes if need be. There were other crows waiting for it though; think it was trying to hide from them.

      As for Bath, my band played at the Royal Oak a couple of years ago. Bradford upon Avon the night after, too. I like the canal interchange in between the two towns.

    62. misteralz says:

      Fab. Bath is ace. Been a couple of times as we’ve got friends there. It doesn’t feel English, if that makes sense? More European. And the spa in the middle of town is brilliant.

    63. Patsy Millar says:

      Great stuff. Lovely to see you having a bit of lightness in your life.

    64. Tinto Chiel says:

      Thanks, Rev, for your selfless bear patrols in “beautiful old riverside country pubs serving ice-cold refreshments in agreeable scenery”: wottaguy!

      Even in [Redacted], the birds are limbering up with a rusty dawn chorus: blackbird, mistle thrush, song thrush, robin and the elusive Gove Bird (great tit).

      I hope the madness of spring, as the Celts used to call it, is a sign of a better future for us all, once a few evictions have taken place in Embra Toon 😉 .

      Thanks for all your efforts and the punishment you have taken for all your pains.

    65. Andy McColl says:

      Can’t believe you’ve sold us Bath’s cutest animals without mentioning the cuddliest and least threatening…. The players of Bath Rugby… A greater collection of pussycats over the years I’ve never seen (only ever visited the place on one occasion – Lacock is 1000x more beautiful).

    66. Wullie B says:

      I totally get you Stu, I skipper a boat out to St Kilda during the tourist season, and its great seeing the wildlife on show, from seeing Gannets, Fulmars and Kittiwakes at Borereay, to Razorbills, Shags, Cormorants and Puffins in Village Bay, and then the Soay lambs in the village that show no fear of humans, the sheep only interaction with our species comes during the annual “audit” when the Soay Sheep Study is done, its either the longest running study of animals in Scotland or in 2nd place to the Rum Red deer study.
      Walking through the village you might see the St Kilda field mouse if you are extremely lucky, (campers get issued mouse proof tins to keep food in), the St Kilda wren, and over the past couple of years a Snowy Owl.
      Walk up the gap you really need to stick to the middle set of stone buildings called Cleits, or you will be dive bombed by the ground nesting Bonxies.
      But the best part of the day is usually the part of the journey in the evening when its calm, you can spot multiple pods of Short Beaked common dolphins, or possibly the Rizzo’s Dophins which didn’t seem to make an appearance last year although we only made a baker’s dozen of trips, but Minke whales were in plentiful demand but just seeing all that wildlife in their natural habitat, you cant beat

    67. Al says:

      Sent this to a friend earlier:

      So – listened to almost all of Salmond session again.

      I mean – I still couldn’t list them all – but there are so many points that he has the gov on the barrel that NS can’t possibly answer. If – eg legal advice re case – she says well it was still in balance – and then it is released – she is fucked. If she prevaricates – then the committee will be like why can’t you just answer.

      On the procedure itself – why did she remove herself and not include mediation – when it was in for current ministers – I can’t see a good answer to that?

      On the supposed texts – if she denies and then released – again perjury as under oath. Does she try to take a ‘well witnesses have to be supported’. And that’s the nub – she could theoretically take the line that Salmond was suspect – but that’s golden for tories / Labour – proves both Salmond a sleaze and NS covered up.

      I really don’t know how she can answer on the above.

      Also – the meetings – again – I can’t see how she can answer it except by saying Salmond (and presumably Duncan Hamilton QC) lied under oath. Which again – why isn’t her Crown Offixe charging for perjury? Same for the naming of a complainant.

      Currently – still think she either resigns before Wed or ‘something’ comes up.

      Also think now approaching 50% that LL / PM / SR / IM do jail time.

      We’ll know by Wednesday!

    68. Dan says:

      Those grey squirrels are excellent in a stirfry…

      Invasive species, locally sourced, low carbon impact as no plastic packaging or refrigerated transport.

      #CmonTheReds

    69. Derek says:

      Oh aye, the rats. What’re they called, the ones with those ears? I forget…

    70. Lindsey says:

      Seeing your pics of squirrels I remembered when I worked in Black Forest and would walk up into the mountain forest. If you put nuts in your pocket the squirrels there climb up your legs and search in your pockets to find them.

    71. Willie Jay says:

      ““Is there a point to any of this, […]?”

      Well, to me it is a valuable and very uplifting post indeed. I have now been housebound for many years, long before the plague, and I take a great delight on seeing proof that there is still a worthwhile world beyond my enclosing walls. Before ill-health placed great strictures on my mobility I travelled the world for work and sometimes leisure. Now I get to the end of the ginnel once a week, at nightime, to deposit my refuse/recycle bags at the kerbside and even that is a huge struggle.

      I have downloaded all of your beautiful pictures to a file on my bedside Tablet and will take pleasure in looking at them again, many times over.

      My sincere thanks for *all* of your posts.

    72. robertknight says:

      Thanks Rev…

      A breath of fresh sanity in an increasingly crazy world.

    73. Iain Donald says:

      Bath looks like a really beautiful place to live. Don’t think anyone would begrudge you staying there even when Scotland becomes independent.

    74. Mac says:

      Probably a bit low on Vitamin D then Rev.

      Wonderful meditation watching animals. They have such a natural dignity, they are so perfect. We could learn a lot from them.

    75. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Oh aye, the rats. What’re they called, the ones with those ears? I forget…”

      Dumbos.

    76. Jim F. McIntosh says:

      Many thanks for your photos Stuart.I am lucky enough to live in the countryside and the land and wildlife always manages to keep my spirits up especially over the last couple of years. I hope you are right and sunnier days are ahead for Scotland and its people. PS maybe your next career could be a wildlife photographer if we get to the promised land.

    77. katherine hamilton says:

      Calm before the storm right enough. I share your love of common wildlife. Took a run up to Glenshee a week ago after the road opened. Red squirrels when I stopped in a lay bye. Further up young red deer jumped out in front of the car. Simple stuff but fair cheers you up. The Beavers of Perth next on the list. Found a tree last week well gnawed. Come the summer nights a vigil might pay off.
      You’re right. After last week it’s good to be reminded of gentler things and that life goes on.

    78. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Bradford upon Avon the night after, too. I like the canal interchange in between the two towns.”

      A few years back a girlfriend and I went out for a wee Sunday wander to The George at Bathampton. It was such a glorious day we ended up spontaneously hiking the 10 miles or so to Bradford-on-Avon. Beautiful walk. Got the train back, obv.

    79. Molly's Mum says:

      @Ian Brotherhood
      ‘Look bawjaws, time’s nearly up, we have a report to do, so just spare us the waffle and answer the questions.’

      If only they had used this beautifully worded phrase to Mr “Give me the money” Murrell I think my life might have been full of sunshine then

      I loved your pictures Rev, but your words of wisdom at the end made me feel more blessed than I have for many months

      Let’s hope we are singing a chorus of Hallelujah soon, because my frayed nerves need something to splice them back together

    80. Strathy says:

      A very enjoyable post. Great photos.

      Hopefully, we can have more as the weather improves.

    81. Lene says:

      Swans and current events in Scottish politics make me once again think of my favourite compatriot poet and writer of fairytales: Hans Christian Andersen who famously authored The Emperor’s New Clothes. Lovely story with a deep message: https://andersen.sdu.dk/vaerk/hersholt/TheEmperorsNewClothes_e.html

    82. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Dyrham Park, just a mile or so short of the motorway, with trees, grass and Fallow Deer”

      Went there once and a whole herd of them charged across the grass maybe 30-40 yards in front of us, like that scene in Jurassic Park. Amazing and slightly scary.

    83. Margaret Lindsay says:

      I’m glad to hear that Stu, give her a cuddle for me.

    84. NEIL A BRIMSON says:

      No kingfisher pic Rev.

      Walking along the Avon you smile for at least an hour after seeing one.

      Hard to photograph unless you are lucky.

      Enjoy the early spring.

    85. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Bath looks like a really beautiful place to live. Don’t think anyone would begrudge you staying there even when Scotland becomes independent.”

      As lovely as it is, it’ll be back home for me at that point.

    86. Milady says:

      Those swans aren’t wearing masks, are you trying to fool us with some photographic trickery!

      Seriously though, nice pics.

    87. Boyd says:

      You are such a fantastic writer Stu, I am taken in a journey that I know the conclusion to is going to be on damn good, but how you take us readers there, is a joy that’s seldom see . Thank you this has made my otherwise grey day immeasurably brighter.

    88. MaggieC says:

      Thank you for these photos and I’m pleased that you were able to get outside and enjoy your day . It’s been grey and dull here all day but hopefully the sun will start to shine for all of us this week .

      PS , It’s three years ago today here in Scotland that we had the first snowfall from the beast from the east .

    89. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Those grey squirrels are excellent in a stirfry…”

      Racist.

    90. Craig Murray says:

      Stuart Campbell

      Re your comment on magpies “Beautiful things. Been trying to get a good pic of one in the park for months, buggers just won’t sit still.”

      Apparently the trick is always to look to your left.

    91. Sharny Dubs says:

      I didn’t know magpies/crows/ravens did that, must keep an eye out!

      Saw my first flower this year in the garden made me check the fruit trees and yup green shoots!

      Must get round to building that bird table!

      Cheers Stu

    92. willie says:

      A rather uplifting piece Rev Stu, and some lovely pictures too.

      One thing your readers may not know about the Georgian architecture of Bath is replicated in New Delhi in India where Connaught Place is modelled after Royal Crescent in Bath.

      Of course in New Delhi they don’t have the urban or peri urban foxes that you’ve shown in some of your photographs here. But they do have urban monkeys in Delhi – and they scamper up buildings!

      Mind you we’ve some urban monkey’s up here in Edinburgh and an infestation of them in fact in the Scottish Parliament building in fact. Quite feral too. But that’s another story, some of them will be rarer than pandas quite soon.

      Lovely piece about Bath. Thoroughly enjoyed the read. And yes, I do think there is cause to look up.

    93. oneliner says:

      Thanks for the pics and memories of Bath, Rev Stu – please give my regards to Shakespeare Street.

    94. Beaker says:

      Great pictures. Squirrels are mental.

    95. JBS says:

      Refreshing, springlike post. Liking the names of the new Separats.

    96. Glen Clova says:

      Great read. Obviously too much of that crowdfunding money is being diverted to these creatures – that last fox looks very well-fed.

    97. I remember someone on the Jimmy Young radio show sayin that Magpies were the skinheads of the bird world,

      there`s a crew of about 16 to 20 in a nature park/estate near where i stay,

      they eat eggs and small birds and fleglings,

      even the dugs are scared to go near where they are.

    98. Mac says:

      I understand St Vincent Crescent in Glasgow is the second longest crescent in the UK after Royal Crescent in Bath. Just thought I’d throw that in there.

    99. `
      `they eat eggs and small birds and fleglings,`

      for clarity that`s the magpies no the skinheads.

    100. Desimond says:

      Right you’ve had your fun..back to it!

      Nice to see such pics after i have spent a full February hospital and bed bound with BPPV and eye masks.

      Hope your batteries fully recharged as I suspect that the works just about to start

    101. Geoff Bush says:

      I’m a vile separatist like most of us on here, but I lived in England for about 30 years and know the country almost as well as I know Scotland. Stuart’s post puts me in mind of a song called “Both Sides of Tweed” by Dick Gaughan (maybe by Robert Burns originally) which sings the praises of both countries and their people. There’s much to love about England and it is good to be reminded about that. For me, Stilton Cheese, The Peak District, the Norfolk Coast Youngs pubs in London, and The Harpenden Arms in Hertfordshire serving Fullers London Pride, 2 of my daughters and their husbands, and all 3 of my grandkids. England, maybe a bit more true to itself, will still be there when we are independent.

    102. Ruby says:

      I love these!

      I’ve really missed your photo-essays on Twitter.

      Are the photos taken with an iphone?

      Very impressive.

    103. Frank Waring says:

      “Dexey says:
      28 February, 2021 at 6:30 pm

      Aren’t they rooks rather than crows?”

      Rookery nookie, then

    104. Republicofscotland says:

      You sound optimistic, did Jegitt tell you the news?

      Anyway my local park in Glasgow has at least twenty Green Parakeets living in it. The large pond has seen visits from Grey Lag geese, fish eating ducks called Goosanders, and all the usual UK fauna, throw in a bit of sunshine as you say and they do wonders for your mental health.

      One of my favourite things in Spring or Summer is to take my wildlife book (Its full of UK flora and Fauna) and ues it to identify trees I don’t know, in the process I’ve spotted a few Treecreepers.

      Last I looked Glasgow has over 90 parks, thank God for that.

    105. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Are the photos taken with an iphone?”

      Nearly all. A few are with a decent-quality compact camera.

    106. Mike says:

      Nice article and lovely to see you stepping away from your desk and soaking up that early Spring sunshine – it’s been magical here in Edinburgh too this weekend.

    107. Not for me to say says:

      But that was a great post. Humanity needs nature.

    108. dropthevipers says:

      wish I could be more hopeful about this coming week, but…If the evidence comes out then NS et al is utter toast, which means that the stakes are as high as possible-ergo everything redacted to duck and softball questions means she gets off scot free. Ta Da!

    109. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Obviously too much of that crowdfunding money is being diverted to these creatures – that last fox looks very well-fed.”

      Last summer when there were seven foxes and three badgers they were eating me out of house and home, to the tune of about 50 quid a month. Fortunately we’re down to three and two respectively now.

    110. Terry says:

      Fabulous photos. Thank you.

      Is the West Awake in Bath? Or is there a West Port to unhook? Sounds like a great place to visit with some excellent wildlife. ?

    111. Jason Hoffman says:

      And we also need to remember that there is a real life beyond the doings of our politicians.

      This is maybe one of the best WoS posts.

      Surely even Pete Wishart can’t find something to lose his shit over on this one? Can he?

    112. Dave Sharp says:

      *picks up article, peers at it, turnS it around, looks underneath*
      “NO POLITIX”!!??

      *Storms off in a huff muttering…*

    113. Sarah says:

      @ Geoff Bush: is the Harpenden Arms in Harpenden itself? I was at school in St Albans with fellow pupils from Harpenden. And a neighbour up here in W Ross worked at the Rothamsted horticultural research station nearby. Small world.

      Your point about England is right – England and the English are lovely on the whole. Just spoilt by a few and misled by the press. My father [English born of diaspora Scots] spotted Murdoch as a wrong un decades ago.

    114. Jacqueline McMillan says:

      There is something afoot.

      Going to be a good thing for us.

    115. David Earl says:

      Excellent stuff Stu. Nothing comes close to sunshine, the outdoors and natural wildlife. You cannae beat it. It clears the head, clears the lungs and gives you a mental boost. Stimulates the senses too. Talking of which, keep an eye out for bears blocking the railway line and delaying the 10:45 express from Bristol

    116. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      ““NO POLITIX”!!??”

      READ BETWEEN THE LINES, DAVE.

    117. tartanfever says:

      Always enjoyed these posts of yours reminding me of so many wonderful times in Bath. Lived in the Chew Valley, but when a decision had to be made on which way to move, it was into Bristol for work – (plus mid nineties – Massive Attack and all that, drumnbass, it was a great scene) but always had a love/hate of Bristol. Liked the waterfront, working class areas before they got gentrified as opposed to posh Clifton.

      But as you say, the 10 minute train ride was nothing and many glorious days and nights spent enjoying Bath, usually catching a gig at Moles.

      Along with some of things you mentioned, we always enjoyed trips up to Westonbirt for a days walk, or into the Mendips. Camping in summer in North Devon was glorious ( chuck your stuff in the car at 6pm Friday and be there an hour later setting up camp) or over to the Wye Valley and Brecons. It’s such a great place to be based.

      Hope you do more of these posts as the weather improves, love seeing whats going on in old stomping grounds. Fond memories.

      Winter was crap though, endless grey and rain.

    118. Since we’re doing nature stuff, I’m hoping to see a sturgeon hooked, reeled in and filleted very soon.

    119. Westviews says:

      Kilted splendour “these are rooks”
      Don’t rooks have greyer beaks?

    120. Derek says:

      Dumbos, of course! Thanks; I’d got as far as Mickey but not made the obvious step.

      @Republicofscotland says:
      Anyway my local park in Glasgow has at least twenty Green Parakeets living in it.

      Are they there all year round? I haven’t noticed any in Edinburgh yet.

    121. Ruby says:

      The first photo of the squirrel is really great.

      The squirrel is super sharp and background soft. I believe it’s called differential focusing. I really like that.

      I like looking into reflective surfaces ie the squirrels eye to see what secrets I can find.

      Am I correct in guessing that you’ve used fill in flash?

      I love photographs but I never take any.

      If I did it would probably be still-life I can’t cope with things that move.

    122. Southernbystander says:

      Great post. I spent quite a few holidays in Weymouth as a kind in the ’70s and all along the south coast – Blackpool Sands / Stoke Fleming is wonderful (nothing to do with Blackpool) and on the north coast of Devon, Woody Bay near Lynton & Lynmouth is sublime.

      Wullie B @ 7:21
      Really jealous of your job! Have had a dream for years to go to St Kilda. Dunno if I ever will. I have been to Foula, which was quite an experience!

    123. Jacqueline McMillan says:

      So said Joanna.

      And Alex .

      Something is afoot

      Jeggit too.

      And Iain

      Well ..god bloody bless you all and thank you

    124. Dan says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell says: at 7:42 pm

      Racist.

      Maybees aye in some folk’s minds. but in my defence it’s not a common occurrence.
      Eating food to sustain one’s existence is just an unfortunate consequence of being a human.

      Big questions need asking on how we continue to produce our foods though, as many of the current production methods are only viable due to a massive reliance on burning fossil fuels and other hellish practices.. looking at you Scottish Salmon farmers.

      The 50 acre field behind me is still getting carrots lifted from it. The numerous huge tractors that ploughed, then furrowed, then seeded, then sprayed with chemicals every few weeks, then spread hundreds of straw bales over the carrots to protect from minus 20 deg C temps, and now the harvesting processes burns huge amounts of fuel.
      Because of lifting the carrots in the recent inclement weather there is also hugely damaging soil structure disturbance that destroys the soil ecology and releases yet more carbon, and this will require further passes with machinery to re-level the field before yet more ploughing for whatever the next crop is to be.

      I choose to source much of my own food locally and seasonally either through growing my own or catching it.
      I’ve just finished a tasty bean stew made with some of the pounds of beans I grew and saved from last year.
      It’s a total piece of piss to grow them and a great source of protein.
      I really recommend folk take the time to grow some of their own food. It is hugely satisfying and good for the soul, as it connects us and helps us to respect the land we, and the wildlife you picture have to live on.

    125. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Am I correct in guessing that you’ve used fill in flash?”

      Nope, that shot was taken with a bog-standard compact with a zoom lens, default settings.

    126. JB says:

      I have squirrels (red) living around my flat.

      Bloody annoying in the morning if/when the start screeching outside the window. It hasn’t often happened, so possibly only during the mating season?

      As to eating the greys in England – I’m all for it, help the red tufties increase their numbers!

    127. Republicofscotland says:

      Derek @8.27pm.

      Yes Derek they are, when I first saw them I was astonished that they were full time residents in Glasgow, a wee look on the web, told me that they originate in East Africa, and that London also has a healthy population of them.

      Some say they escaped from an aviary or zoo, in England, and they managed to weather the climate and thrive in the UK. They make a distinctive high pitched call, that’s easily identified.

      Here’s a wee story on them in Glasgow.

      https://www.glasgowlive.co.uk/news/glasgow-news/heres-colourful-wild-parakeets-been-18196337

    128. Robert Louis says:

      REVSTU QUOTE “..and it’s just possible that the joys of spring are a little bit closer than we think.”

      What a tease.

    129. Andy Ellis says:

      I honestly don’t know how you do it day to day Stu; good to see you having some displacement activity tho’! I’ve got to the stage of backing off until we see what transpires over the next few weeks. I’m beyond scunnered wi’ it all to be honest, the inquiry, the SNP eating itself, the prospect maybe of nothing of substance changing until 2026…..

      So, rather than let it get me down and dwelling on it I’m finding other stuff to do….going out cycling, using the turbo trainer in a (probably!) vain attempt to get fit, duolingo classes. Back to work tomorrow after a week off, so doubt I’ll be able to follow events as closely as I did last week, which is probably better for my blood pressure anyway.

      Spring is coming. Let’s hope the promise of renewal and rebirth isn’t just in the realm of nature. We could all do with something to look forward to.

    130. Ruby says:

      Not a lot of wildlife where I live.

      There are rats and on a Thursday (out with lockdown) there are lots of politicians & journalists.

      I expect there will be quite a few around next Wednesday.

    131. Republicofscotland says:

      JB @8.38pm.

      You’re lucky to have Red squirrels in your area, the Reds have been replaced in many cities in Scotland by Grey squirrels though an attempt to stop them wiping out the Reds in the Northern half off Scotland has been ongoing for a few years now with varying success.

    132. Mac says:

      Thoughts out to Craig Murray as well.

      Currently waiting one month plus for the judgement on a 90 minute court case.

      The man is innocent.

    133. Jim Bo says:

      Refreshing, in more ways than one. Thanks.

    134. Robert Louis says:

      Ruby 827pm

      The way in which a camera lens can be used to place objects in the foreground focused but create a soft-effect (blurred) background, is called bokeh (pronounced ‘bow kay’). A japanese word. Just use a low f stop (wide aperture), or a zoom/tele lens. How aestheticall pleasing the blurring effect is, depends upon the quality of the lens (how good is the bokeh). Good ones are quite astonishing.

      Lots of camera phones now let you select ‘bokeh effect’ – which is the same thing.

    135. Jerry Carroll says:

      Man,I miss the bear patrols ?

    136. Ruby says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
      28 February, 2021 at 8:35 pm
      “Am I correct in guessing that you’ve used fill in flash?”

      Nope, that shot was taken with a bog-standard compact with a zoom lens, default settings.

      It’s very good.

      I guessed wrong! I thought the white + blue blob in the squirrels eye was a flash.

    137. Fionan says:

      Beautiful photos and a lovely virtual walk through Bath – I can see the attractions. There is just nothing like a wander through the natural world in sunshine to bring us all back to some form of sanity and equilibrium again. It has been lovely and sunny here in upper Donside at the verge of the Cairngorm National Park after weeks of REAL snow and frosts down to -24C, and I must say, for all the hardship it caused, the beauty of the snow landscape beats grey drizzle any day. So even though Bath may have higher temperatures and perhaps more sun overall in a year, I think we here have the edge on Bath, we also have squirrels galore (beautiful red ones), and we have hedgehogs and wild geese and raptors including red kite when the gamekeepers don’t poison them, and a couple of years back I had a beautiful white ermine stoat regularly visiting my bird table – so much more beautiful and regal than the moth-eaten ermine of the greasy old codgers in the HoL sinecure. Thank you for this virtual stroll, so calming and such a lovely harbinger of better times to come.:)

    138. Sharny Dubs says:

      I used to get the fuzzy surround by using a telephoto lens and screwing it down to a few feet. Then you would get a depth of field that was about 6”.

      Was my fav for portraits.

    139. kapelmeister says:

      Squirrels are almost as adept as Murrells at stashing away.

    140. Meindevon says:

      I don’t know Bath at all but my other half and I had a spontaneous weekend in Bradford upon Avon about 4 years ago. It was really lovely. Beautiful canal trip, lovely hotel, beautiful weather. Will put Bath on my list of post CV cities to visit.

      Today was glorious in the sun but still chilly in the shade, even in lovely Devonshire. Got a nice bike ride in (Ebike as have reached a certain age and spouse a bit of an expert on 2 wheels) to local farm shop (mainly because we had been given the heads up that Exmouth seafront and Exeter Quay were choc a bloc with folks out enjoying the sun & we are still trying to be careful in the hope of a visit home soon to see the last of my family in Paisley after my dear old mum died before Christmas) and then lots of gardening.

      My pet robin (I like to think of him as mine) was constantly beside me looking for the odd tasty worm or bug. They are so trusting and his mate was around a bit too. They have such a lovely song.

      Ah…anyway, enjoy it Mr C, you have a busy week coming up.

    141. Dave Russ says:

      The other great thing about you coming off twitter is that I no longer have to read your fitba pish.

    142. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “What a tease.”

      Wasn’t meant to be cryptic. Whatever Jason McCann and some other folk have been talking about, I have no idea what it is.

    143. Ruby says:

      Robert Louis says:
      28 February, 2021 at 8:55 pm
      Ruby 827pm

      The way in which a camera lens can be used to place objects in the foreground focused but create a soft-effect (blurred) background, is called bokeh

      Ruby replies

      Back in the day when you took your spool to the chemist and got back a packet with real photos and strips of negatives it was called differential focusing.

      OK bokeh it is from now on.

      Thanks for keeping me up to date.

      If you’re handy with the pen tool in photoshop you can do all sorts of bokeh effects without having to get too hung up on what lens or f.stop you used when shooting.

    144. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I don’t know Bath at all but my other half and I had a spontaneous weekend in Bradford upon Avon about 4 years ago. It was really lovely. Beautiful canal trip, lovely hotel, beautiful weather. Will put Bath on my list of post CV cities to visit.”

      Yeah, love a summer daytrip to BoA, wee punt around the Tithe Barn and lunch at the Lock Inn. Not a huge amount to do there tbh, but that’s why you just go for a day.

    145. Helen Yates says:

      Nothing better in life than walking among Nature, I love all animals but I have to admit to real fondness for Squirells, I have quite a few visit my garden but then my garden is like a menagerie very day, costs me a fortune but worth every penny.
      As for politics well I just know something big is coming I only pray it’s what I expect it to be.

      Great photos and I’ve always believed myself that anyone who appreciates animals is someone worth knowing.

    146. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “It’s very good.”

      I think it was a Fuji FinePix with 10x zoom, only cost £120 or something, great wee camera for the money. Took the damselfly shots with it too.

    147. Alan Mackintosh says:

      Nice to see you went for a look at Imber. I was there for a wee bit during my time at Warminster. We were eh… “working” and got to see a bit more of the village than you were allowed to… FIBUA

    148. kapelmeister says:

      All those fine Georgian buildings in Bath. You can walk around and imagine yourself in the world of Jane Austen.

    149. Bob Mack says:

      I live 5 minutes walk from the River Tay. Saw a massive 30 lb plus salmon today resting up before it went heading upstream.

      The local fish ladder and weir are always amazing to watch, and so much wildlife is visible here. It calls and soothes.
      I have regular visitors including feral cats who are very friendly to me but terrorise any dogs which pass by. Red kites ,otters,beaver,deer, all can be seen from my front door. Even an eagle who does a fly by on occasion.

      A time to renew I suppose.

      We should do likewise

    150. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

      Makes me quite reminiscent Rev, as Sunday night was always Bath night when I was a bairn.

      Nice photos, echo others that being out in nature fair cheers you up and you’ll also have got a good dose of free Vitamin D as well (which helps the old immune system).

    151. Unlimiter says:

      I went to Bristol once (well twice if you count flying to Dublin via Bristol Airport – I lived in Cardiff at the time) to audition for 15 to 1. Didn’t make the cut – I answered Cory Aquino instead of Benazir Bhutto (don’t remember what the question was).

    152. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

      Aye, and those greys will be free range and organic too @Dan says at 8:30 pm

      Elvis liked his with peanut butter so maybe try a satay next time.

    153. Les Wilson says:

      What we really need is another Indy party to vote for (not the greens) That is the problem we currently face, there is no other place for us to vote except the SNP, who might right now be flapping a bit.

      So who is going to start the genuine Indy party, when and how quickly, the SNP have served their purpose, we need more Scotland dedicated people and we need them now.

      A party the whole YES camp can get behind. If there was a clearout, the SNP would get the votes. But despite everything that might not happen. Time for others to step up.

    154. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Campbell Martin is in tomorrow’s Scottish Sun, explaining the background to his Only Game In Town films.

      I always make an arse of the archive thing but you’ll see it cropping up soon enough.

      The man has put years of work into this – hopefully his efforts will now get the recognition they deserve.

      North Ayrshire & Arran residents cough up a million quid a month to pay for 4 schools, and that’s every month until 2038. Tip of the proverbial. Stinks to high heaven (one Leslie Evans heavily involved too!) but Police Scotland still say ‘nothing to see here’.

      Aye, right…

    155. Ruby says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
      28 February, 2021 at 9:16 pm
      “It’s very good.”

      I think it was a Fuji FinePix with 10x zoom, only cost £120 or something, great wee camera for the money. Took the damselfly shots with it too.

      Ruby replies

      The detail on the red dragonfly’s wing is beautiful.

      I love your enthusiasm from photography.

      It’s probably one of the main things you need to get good photos.
      That and a good imagination, an eye for composition & a steady hand which you seem to have in spades.

    156. Boaby says:

      Great pictures, Love the canal ones as we once had a week on the leeds liverpool, and a week on the norfolk broads at wroxham and oulton. Happy memories.

    157. Dan says:

      Ian Brotherhood at 9:41 pm

      Campbell Martin is in tomorrow’s Scottish Sun, explaining the background to his Only Game In Town films.

      I always make an arse of the archive thing but you’ll see it cropping up soon enough.

      Good reminder Ian, as have been meaning to pass those links on to a several acquaintances.

      The Only Game in Town (42minutes long)

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paLSPNPfQXM

      The Only Game in Town Part 2 The Cover Up (36minutes long)

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19kng8RjBXg

    158. Glenn Boyd says:

      Hi Stu and thanks so much for the stunning, heart-warming photographs. Love the foxes best though. Recall some years ago a woman telling me that she had seven big foxes come and sit all in a row on top of her garden wall, waiting to be fed. Her husband thought she was crackers feeding them but she – very wisely – ignored the miserable sod!

    159. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Dan (9.48) –

      So far as I can tell, the online article doesn’t mention Leslie Evans’ involvement in the original process. Perhaps the print version will? In any case, the film has been viewed a lot recently, esp the last 7/8 minutes of Part 2, so plenty of folk will make the connection.

      😉

    160. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

      “Campbell Martin is in tomorrow’s Scottish Sun, explaining the background to his Only Game In Town films.”

      If so @Ian Brotherhood says at 9:41 pm does this mean it will suddenly hit the MSM and be given the oxygen of publicity (assuming a Scots Gov angle and BritNat Cooncil not mentioned)?

      If so LA is fucked and not before time, wonder who else she’ll take down?

    161. Gerry Parker says:

      McDonald &Dodds tonight had some great aerial shots of Bath, looks like a really nice place to stay Stu. Good to see you’re getting out to enjoy the Spring weather, I’ve turned my attention to my garden meantime, great therapy.

    162. Dan says:

      @ Ian B

      I guess we best dump this link in while we’re at it then…

      http://www.kidsnotsuits.com/fake-news-how-public-lies-begin/

    163. wee monkey says:

      Bath and Chester, two places I didn’t get to visit during my contracting years down south.
      Thanks for that write up Stu.

    164. Derek says:

      Republicofscotland says:
      28 February, 2021 at 8:38 pm
      Derek @8.27pm.

      Yes Derek they are, when I first saw them I was astonished that they were full time residents in Glasgow, a wee look on the web, told me that they originate in East Africa, and that London also has a healthy population of them.

      Some say they escaped from an aviary or zoo, in England, and they managed to weather the climate and thrive in the UK. They make a distinctive high pitched call, that’s easily identified.

      Here’s a wee story on them in Glasgow.

      https://www.glasgowlive.co.uk/news/glasgow-news/heres-colourful-wild-parakeets-been-18196337

      I knew that they were plentiful in Surrey, Kent, London and so on, but had no idea that they were established this far north. Victoria Park? That reminds me; it’s been pure ages since I had a look at the Fossil Grove. One of my mum’s friends took us there when we were little.

    165. Ottomanboi says:

      The truth about those cute squirrels ie rodents.
      http://squirrel-attic.com/diseases.html

    166. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Cheers Dan.

      😉

    167. Doug says:

      Seriously, thank you for this post. Possibly the best tonic I could have had tonight and a lovely palette clenser.
      Have a good night!

    168. Jacqueline McMillan says:

      Dan says:
      28 February, 2021 at 10:01 pm
      @ Ian B

      I guess we best dump this link in while we’re at it then…

      http://www.kidsnotsuits.com/fake-news-how-public-lies-begin/

      Yes Leslie Evans has form

      Is she known to the polis????

    169. Effijy says:

      Talking of squirrels – Nicola faces interrogation on Budget Day.

    170. Ian Brotherhood says:

      What’s scarier – Bath bears or Glaswegian budgies?

    171. Dramfineday says:

      Strolling with Stuey and the bear patrol…I used to enjoy those tweets.

      Maybe the Bath Tourist Authority could publish them…if such a site exists (wink).

    172. Dan says:

      @ Ian B

      Nae bother at aw.

      OT but wildlife related.
      I’m polishing off the merlot ce soir which hinders my initial judgement and ability to spot spoof pics, as confirmed on Friday nicht… 🙁
      As a result I am currently wearing my alert reader badge at half mast, but this 17 second vid looks like that big colourful squirrel from a few weeks back has shagged a blackbird and produced these lively crazy critters. There’s possibly been some photoshopping going on.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PSzFJMRrDQ

    173. Lenny Hartley says:

      Only been to Bath once in 1977, was at a wedding nearby, i loved it, it even has Roman Baths ? , think i may take a wonder down that way when Covid allows got a bunch of pals from the world of Classic Sidecar Racing from Swindon and surrounding area, and always wanted to see Stonehenge.
      What I do remember from Wiltshire when I vistied (yes i know Bath isnt in Wiltshire) was the amazing pubs and great beer. One thing the English do better than us is pubs, looks like were in for an interesting week and the weather looks good as well.
      Enjoy.

    174. BoredHousewife says:

      When I lived in Bristol, we referred to Bath as the ‘posh cousin’ and WSM as the ‘black sheep’ of the family.

    175. Graf Midgehunter says:

      Never been to Bath unfortunatly (it’s on the list); I did however live for a few years in Buxton in the Peak Distrct National Park. It’s a bit similar to Bath but not quite so grand. 🙂

      It’s where I met and got engaged to my future German wife..!

      Karma, or as they say in German Schicksal. 🙂

    176. Tommo says:

      If you see a rook its a crow
      If you see a load of crows-they’re rooks

    177. Graeme Hampton says:

      Well that was a lovely post. I’ve taken to walking myself lately to help get over some ills and been aided by the Active 10 app. The pictures were great too and I do miss the bear posts on Twitter.

      I must admit I am desperate for some sunny uplands and I think I’ve seen some small signs myself. The only disappointing thing in the whole piece was finding out Bath was not in Scotland.

      It raises a serious question though. Does it mean that the unionists who harp on about your town of residence are actual anti English racists? Certainly makes you think.

      Cheers Stu

    178. President Xiden says:

      Lovely post . ?.?..?..?..

    179. Fairliered says:

      The reference to Tyneham prompted me to revisit some of the old World of Stuart pages. A cheery relief from Sturgeon. Nostalgia aint what it used to be.
      http://worldofstuart.excellentcontent.com/tyneham/tyneham.htm

    180. Wee Chid says:

      Tut, Tut – feeding non indigenous grey squirrels – that’ll be you in trouble again. Glad you had a nice relaxing day. Sunny here too -and it makes such a difference.

    181. Fireproofjim says:

      Yes the English do better pubs than us , but I yield to no one in our better stone circles.
      Callanish on Lewis and the Ring of Brodgar on Orkney are better than Stonehenge any day.

    182. Louise says:

      Reminds me of that song…the sun has got his hat on and is coming out to play hip hip hip hooray

    183. Brunswickian says:

      Interested to know why you will only come home after secession. Surely must have grated to have had to live amongst the blue-eyed devil oppressors for so long.

    184. CyberMidgie says:

      A change is definitely as good as a rest. I enjoyed that article, photos and all. Thanks, Rev 🙂

    185. L.U.T.B. says:

      Lovely piece & photos.

    186. Graf Midgehunter says:

      Iain B

      “What’s scarier – Bath bears or Glaswegian budgies?”

      I’m still laughing… 🙂 🙂

    187. Lawrence says:

      Or to add to Ian Brotherhood’s observations,,,

      “Glezga, where men urr men, and the sheep urnae feart”.

    188. lumilumi says:

      Methinks the Rev is being quite interactive and mellow.

      Interacting with lots of BTL commenters in a friendly, polite way.

      Has something happened? Apart from Alex Salmond’s master class in the Holyrood inquisition?

      Need sweary words, it’s too weird Rev Stu being all nice, sharing things. I feel disorientated.

    189. A2 says:

      Squirrels are complete and absolute bastards, they tried to burn my house down and I had to get it re-wired, don’t be fooled by their fluffy coats.

      Come to think of it, that reminds me of someone.

    190. auld highlander says:

      Peace and Tranquility for today but tomorrow will start off calm with wind strength increasing to gale force as we get further into the week. From Wednesday we can expect violent storms and hurricane strength winds accompanied by widespread damage and devastation.

    191. MWS says:

      Well I must admit that post was a much needed tonic amongst all the political intrigue stresses. Great photos. I was out in the garden today for the first time this year. Quite therapeutic. Bath is definitely on my must visit list once all this covid malarkey is over.

    192. Derek says:

      I’d forgotten about the Tithe Barn. It’s quite a thing.

    193. Robert graham says:

      Well that’s a nice change from the shite and bile that’s been thrown around recently , I agree with a lot of people lots of interesting places all over this Island , I have never subscribed to the all English people being the Devils spawn , we have the same obnoxious people up here , England doesn’t have a monopoly on tossers and idiots , the only difference I notice is maybe English and American people tend to be more vocal, in comparison Jocks are usually a bit quieter .

      This whole idea everyone who supports independence therefore hates and despises everyone from England is far from the truth and not to be confused with sports football , tidily winks , ludo you name it I would support Scotland against England every time and any other country playing against England that’s just the twisted bloody Jock in me , it’s a national Trait oh well that’s life eh .

    194. Robert graham says:

      Auld Highlander
      Thanks for the Weather Forcast
      Looks pretty accurate to me
      HA HA

    195. William Mclaughlin says:

      This post only goes to show what a nasty horrible person Stuart Campbell really is. Very divisive subject – these creatures are pests and don’t let him tell you anything different. He is to blame for all the vermin in Bath and probably the whole of the UK. Please save yourselves DON’T BE TEMPTED TO READ!

    196. AWhiteLife says:

      Beautiful photos, its been lovely to see the sun & hear the Birds singing. Krankie will be pulling her legs hair out by the roots and kicking her beard around with her enormous feet. What national emergency will she arrange to avoid answering questions I wonder?. Ten more non deadly strains of rona perhaps.

    197. lumilumi says:

      A2 says:
      28 February, 2021 at 11:42 pm

      Squirrels are complete and absolute bastards, they tried to burn my house down and I had to get it re-wired, don’t be fooled by their fluffy coats.

      Come to think of it, that reminds me of someone.

      Maybe you’re thinking of the imported North American grey squerrils. The big, greedy ones.

      The indeginous reds are endangered in the UK. They’re twapennyhafapenny where I live. Semi-urban and I can see several “reds” every day. You can’t put a bird feeding table without a red squirrel stealing bird feed.

      Our reds aren’t even red during the winter. They’re grey, with big tufty ears and tufty tails.

    198. Doug McGregor says:

      Pedants Corner , Bathstone is limestone , Edinburgh is sandstone. They’ll have you for that!

    199. sog says:

      @ Lenny Hartley

      You mentioned Stonehenge. It’s impressive, you can see all of it from one place and it’s known worldwide. But you get to walk around at a distance.

      Then there’s Avebury, where you walk where you chose and can get close, touch the stones, marvel at how big they are. You walk on the surrounding bank and get some idea of how big the site is. Though you never see all of it. There’s an avenue of stones going off into the distance which would have been notable by itself. And on your way home take a look at Silbury Hill. That’s built by the same people.

      You can guess which I’d suggest.

    200. lumilumi says:

      og says:
      1 March, 2021 at 12:16 am

      @ Lenny Hartley

      You mentioned Stonehenge.

      What about the henges elsewhere? Like Gallanach in Lewis in Scotland; or other henges in Scotland. That don’t fit with the narrative of England being… uhm… ancient..? Jerusalem??!?

      The national delusion of the English subjects.

    201. Beaker says:

      @Jason Hoffman says:
      28 February, 2021 at 8:11 pm
      “Surely even Pete Wishart can’t find something to lose his shit over on this one? Can he?”

      I think he is preoccupied…
      https://twitter.com/PeteWishart/status/1365947714282938368

    202. ITB71B says:

      lumilumi says:
      1 March, 2021 at 12:37 am
      og says:
      1 March, 2021 at 12:16 am

      @ Lenny Hartley

      You mentioned Stonehenge.

      What about the henges elsewhere? Like Gallanach in Lewis in Scotland; or other henges in Scotland. That don’t fit with the narrative of England being… uhm… ancient..? Jerusalem??!?

      The national delusion of the English subjects.

      Do you think they knew it was England at the time?!? ?

    203. Duncan Clark says:

      Thanks for this.

    204. SOG says:

      I really need to check all of this. But I must have lent the celestial book to someone about forty years ago.

      ISTR the bank around Avebury is the second-biggest historic earth structure in England. From the centre of it one can just see the top of Silbury Hill, which is the biggest such. I might have these the wrong way round by size.

      Reading about Stonehenge yonks ago, in a book suggesting celestial alignments, Callanish featured as a Northern equivalent, aligned on moonrise (and moonset?), Stonehenge being where other alignments met at a right angle. The two were parts of a whole system, across these islands, observing rising and setting of the sun and moon as they changed thru the year and thru the 19-year cycle.

    205. JamesS says:

      You stupid, stupid fool.

    206. SOG says:

      I think you guys missed something significant. Lenny H commented on visiting Stonehenge. I suggested an alternative, with reasons. I thought a little local knowledge might be appreciated.

      I’ll leave you to argue amongst yourselves.

    207. Kiwilassie says:

      WoW! Stu, thanks for these lovely photos. Gosh! you’re lucky to live amongst so many varieties of wild life. As beautiful a country New Zealand is Scenic wise, we don’t have the wild life you have in the UK.

      Your right in saying photos such as these calms you down. I would add they sooth the soul.

      As for better times ahead If my gut feelings hold true, folk are in for a very nice surprise.
      Living in NZ & having been here over 50 years, I’m surmising what’s coming, reading between the lines of what’s been posted.

      I could be completely wrong, but if I’m right, within the month of March things will be let known & whether it’s raining or snowing, it will feel as though the sun has come out.

    208. Hatuey says:

      It must be a temptation for Rev to start a new party and name it the Bath Separatists… I’d probably join, if he did.

      Anyway, it’s looking like the Tories are really going to for

    209. Hatuey says:

      Oops…. crash on the iPad… apologies…

      It’s looking like the tories are going to go for a vote of no confidence in Swinney. And they seem to really mean it. Apparently it’ll all hinge on whether he imposes redactions on the evidence the committee asked for or not….

      Sounds like a fun day tomorrow :]

    210. Brian says:

      I had a wee chat with you before about Bath on Twitter. It feels like Edinburgh in Many way. I used to live in Caerphilly. G/fs parents lived in Dursley so we spent loads of time around Bath, Bristol, Wells and even Weston.

      Barry Island is cracking and I have friends from there.

      Not sure if you’ve been to Tintern Abbey? Famous for being in the Iron Maiden video for Can I Play With Magic?

      Anyway I am also not on Twitter. You call one Tory a cunt and they get all upset or was it something about Farage? Cannae mind.

      More of the Bath photos please.

    211. Al-Stuart says:

      .
      Obi Wan Stu Ken Obi,

      Will he no come back home to Scotland please? There’s been a wee bit snow, but a lot of sunshine for weeks on end. Yon global warming is sure heating the nether regions around the sporran. It’s made o’ fake fur. Nae foxes nor squirrels had their fur shaved nor bits nipped in the makin’ o’ these kilty kilty cauld bum accoutrements.

      I moved over to the east coast of Scotland 14 years ago to be near to the grandkids.

      For many years the mantra was we Weegies get just as good a weather as you Dundonians. But I had to concede.

      I swear the east coasters get more than their fair share of warm and sunny weather.

      There’s a special cloud that sits over Dundee Law. But Angus and Perth are Bonnie, as is Dundee. Billy Connolly did a famous piece to camera from Dundee. He walked round the top o’ the Law and got FIVE different sorts of weather in eight minutes. Sun, wind, rain, fog and snow. By the end of the piece the BigYin was doubled up wi’ laughter.

      ‘Mon Stu., take the High Road or the Low Road. We’ll have the flags out afore he.

    212. ebreah says:

      Thank for the photos Rev. I guess this is the calm before the storm. I am very much partial to Georgian architecture and everybody who loves it knows Bath. Personally I prefer the Scottish because I think the proportions are better.

      Re damselflies, according to my mother (who spent her entire working life with them and the dragonflies), they are predators and eat other insects. Here, they are particularly useful because they prey on hoppers, which are a major pest in rice fields.

      If any of you get the chance to rear a dragonfly/damselfly from a larva, please do. The transformation from a larva to an adult is just as breath-taking that of a butterfly.

    213. Breeks says:

      Lenny Hartley says:
      28 February, 2021 at 10:26 pm

      …One thing the English do better than us is pubs, looks like were in for an interesting week and the weather looks good as well.

      I know where you’re coming from, but I disagree. In my younger days, back when Murrayfield had terraces, I enjoyed many a good night in Edinburgh pubs after a rugby International, that were fantastic places to be, and the beer was awesome too.

      I know there are nice pubs down south, but even in London, I’ve never found anything with the same class and sense of place and occasion as Edinburgh with all the tiles and mirrors etc. And the lighting was spectacular. Happy times.

      The one thing I do concede the English however is their mastery in brickwork. Somehow England manages to turn it’s brick cottages and walls into places of immense character and charm, but Scottish brickwork just looks grim and nasty for some reason. I think Scotland has always looked down on brick as inferior to stone, which is fair comment I think, but I think the English can appreciate bricks potential better than anyone. English brickies seemed to have truly loved what they were doing, and it shows. Scottish brickies, meh, not so much.

      The tragic thing is ‘modern’ construction both English and Scottish does away with all this local vernacular and character, and I think it’s been close to 100 years since Scotland has added anything new or significant to it’s reserve of beautiful buildings and architecture. Scottish Parliament building? Pass me a sick bucket.

      Our modern architecture is now arshitecture, and when we lose traditional stone built properties to “progress”, (and that’s everything from farm steadings to inner city stone tenements), what goes up in it’s place seems grossly inferior and characterless compared to what was there before.

      We are currently losing ourselves to banality. People now fawn over architectural salvage, but so often, the architectural salvage is all that remains of a wonderful stone built property built by true craftspeople which has since been flattened by a bulldozer… but joy of joys, they saved the Belfast sink and a doorknob.

    214. Breeks says:

      … Notable exception = Scottish Dynamic Earth building.

    215. Kingu says:

      Lovely pictures and words @ Stuart. Think we all need a wee bit of calm before the week ahead. Thank you for your commentary, otherwise I’d be struggling to make sense of it all. Fingers crossed that this spells the end for Sturgeon and her husband. I’m getting increasingly angry at the many post I’ve seen from people blaming Salmond for tearing down the party he built and losing Indy for a second time. These people have forgotten that this Alex could have been sent to prison for the rest of his wife’s life and his. Revenge is his to seek as Sturgeon ain’t delivering Indy anytime soon. Thank you for all you do. Keep enjoying the local wildlife.

    216. christine says:

      Thank you Stuart for an inspiring and visual journey through Bath and environs, full of love and beauty and horizons and the joy and appreciation of our natural environment and landscape and wildlife.

      I especially love the sight and sounds of birds. The skylarks rising vertically from the grasslands and salt marshes in East Lothian, effortlessly hovering and singing from a great height before parachuting down to earth. Their long complicated, beautiful song-flights can last up to an hour. It always lifts my spirits. Seeing a kestrel hanging as if by a wire, motionless in the air, as it searches a tussock for a vole. The range of beautiful sea ducks, like works of art. My binoculars reveal life and I have been transfixed by the beauty of the world through their lenses.

      Heartfelt thanks to you Stuart for your unstinting support and love for Alex Salmond, on our behalf, who shone brightly on Friday, a memorable day for me and never forgotten.

      “ Imagination disposes of everything; it creates beauty, justice and happiness, which is everything in this world. “. Blaise Pascal 1623-1662 French scientist and philosopher

    217. Village Idiot says:

      Can’t believe you’ve left out mentioning the many, many delights of Chepstow and Newport.

    218. Clavie Cheil says:

      There is a small henge just to the west of Elgin for those interested in such.

    219. Ross Matthews says:

      Thanks for posting these. I spent the weekend round at my parents in the garden doing a bit of maintenance so they can enjoy it in the spring. I put up a few bird boxes as the maw has taken to feeding the birds (robins, sparrows, an assortment of tits, the occasional chaffinch) and watching their antics. I hope we are in for a lovely spring, both in climate and politics.

    220. Tommo says:

      Many excellent pubs in the Borders which is my favourite retreat from Snowdonia
      Without wishing to make any political point its sometimes hard to know if one is south or north of the border itself
      Beer in the UK has improved hugely over my lifetime. In the late 70s when the rugby bus wound along the A-roads of the south of England it was depressing how often the inn signs displayed an illuminated Watneys Red Barrel or Double Diamond sign. Gone now. That seemed to linger longer in Scotland though with various dreadful 70/- (And was it 50/- ? ) keg beers. I thought maybe that’s why the Scots so often took a pint with a ‘chaser’-to rinse the mouth out! Vastly better now I am delighted to say

    221. Nigel (Niall) says:

      I am glad you posted this, Stu.
      I lived in Pewsey next to the Kennet & Avon canal for a few years, to the east of you. Loved going to Bath.
      Now back in SCO.

    222. McLaurin says:

      Another Scottish export and a favourite of mine (from Sunny Dunbar) has it like this:

      “Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of nature’s darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but nature’s sources never fail.”

      Anyone who gets this gets life. And as has been noted above, anyone who’s kind to animals is a great human being.

      Ta for the wildlife tonic. Hope the sun’s out again for you today.

    223. Robert says:

      Totally off-topic (for which I apologise), but does anyone have a time and a link for today’s meeting of the Fabiani committee?

    224. Jock McDonnell says:

      I’m sure the fairly reliable spring & summer are adequate compensation for winter Stu.

    225. cynicalHighlander says:

      @Robert

      Wolfe Tuesday now I believe

    226. Dorothy Devine says:

      McLaurin , thanks for the reminder.

    227. Menstruator says:

      @Beaker says:
      1 March, 2021 at 12:40 am

      “I think he is preoccupied…
      https://twitter.com/PeteWishart/status/1365947714282938368

      Pete bemoans “the constant attacks on the SNP” but doesn’t seem to think that the current leadership of the SNP might have brought it on themselves. Women looked at the party’s defenestration of Joanna Cherry for standing up for our rights and have walked away in large numbers. I’m one of them.

    228. EdinScot says:

      Whatt a great advert for Bath and it’s surrounds. Thanks for that. A fantastic read and a welcome much needed breather from stressful events. Espec6for you. A nice recharge. Always heard about it’s Roman baths and great architecture. Never been to that part of the world.And a Tears for Fears claim to fame! Must change that and head there.

      I recall my childhood at my parents caravan in East Lothian. The surrounding farmland where it sweeps down to meet the sea. The peacocks strutting around in all their Technicolor glory with very early morning wake up cries to the incredible and much varied birdlife all around us, above us in the skies and on the land. The freedom. The fresh air of the changing seasons the wind the rain the sunshine. The great outdoors.

    229. Cuilean says:

      Oh, thank you Stu. I needed that.

    230. MaggieC says:

      Call Kaye on Radio Scotland discussing Alex Salmond and the Harassment and Complaints Committee .

    231. Hatuey says:

      Pete Wishart
      @PeteWishart
      ·
      28 Feb
      The only people who can beat us now are ourselves. The only people who can beat us now are ourselves. The only people who can beat us now are ourselves. The only people….

      ——————

      Most here agree. Some of us have been thinking like that since the disastrous General Election campaign of 2017. Nicola Sturgeon’s response to that disaster — which she caused — was to put independence on the backburner and go after Salmond.

    232. Hatuey says:

      Call Kaye defending Sturgeon and more or less ridiculing people who say they’re interested in the scandal.

      They have Angela Haggerty on hand to back her up and tell confirm that nobody is interested in the story, despite the fact that 5 out of 6 ‘Most Read’ articles on her (The Herald) website are articles about the Salmond scandal.

    233. SOG says:

      breeks – Logie Steading is an architecural joy, if you’re ever passing. It’s in Moray and is re-used now for shopping. 1920s, ISTR.

    234. Lulu Bells says:

      Up here in Buchan, 2 weeks ago we were snowed in. This weekend past might actually have been our summer. Normal autumn-like weather returning soon though.

    235. Effijy says:

      O/T
      I can’t believe U.K. border control has let someone in
      to the country who has the more dangerous Brazilian
      Covid virus but they have no way of tracing them?

      They found out last week and only now it gets mentioned?

      They say the person arrived on the 10th of last month
      I’ll give you a couple of days to have their test results returned
      so who had the results for 2 weeks before the vaccine minister
      was informed.

      I was never top of my class but would all media announcements
      2 weeks ago looking for someone who returned from Brazil on the 10th
      have delivered this person to the health authorities.

      Who’s to say they haven’t spread it to hundreds of people now.

      The sheer incompetency of this Tory government of this crisis is breath taking.
      Who have these people been so good at stealing Billions from us as we watched?

    236. Brent Crude at over $66 per barrel,

      `Government revenues from oil and gas production in 2014 prices since 1970 on a barrel per oil equivalent basis`

      per barrel UK State takes 11%

      per barrel Norway State takes 30%

      Uk State ,up to 2014, has taken $470 billion,

      Norway State ,up to 2014, has taken £1 trillion 198 billion.

      tinyurl.com/5fd7hdr9

    237. Hatuey says:

      Effijy: “The sheer incompetency of this Tory government of this crisis is breath taking.”

      Either you believe Scotgov decided to shadow UK coronavirus policy or you believe they really have their own strategy.

      Either way, I’d guess most of the many thousands of Scots who have died would agree the handling has been a disaster in Scotland too.

    238. robbo says:

      Some good pics there . Only went to Bath once good few years ago with an old girlfriend .I could hardly afford to stay longer than a day or she would have bankrupted me. Nice place but not the cheap. More for the gentry types, no? lol

    239. Robert graham says:

      I would imagine the SNP nodding heads on the Committee will follow the instructions of don’t mention Nicola Sturgeon avoid all questions that might link her to the obvious fk up , that one part is beyond question it was a total balls up , we know that because we are having to fork out more than half a million pounds to cover the cost of this little mistake .

      Nicola Sturgeon was ultimately in charge when this occurred she was in control of the Scottish government therefore its her problem.

      The defence she I imagine will offer is a attempt to re run the criminal trial in some form as not to fall foul of the committees guidelines but I think that will be pushed with the aid of the usual suspects , they have to deflect any further attention from Nicola Sturgeon and directly on the Alex Salmond his character his morals and these poor women who Princess Nicola is attempting to protect all done with the best of intentions with absolutely no malice involved , Aye Right ok .ffs

    240. Ghost of General John Bell Hood says:

      A bit unfair on Bristol, Rev. Went down to south-west Ingerland for a short holiday 2 years ago and stayed at Bristol rather than Bath because there was a bigger choice of hotels and at less expensive rates.

      Actually preferred Bristol, especially the Waterfront restaurant area carved out of the old docks. Better leave it at that lest some woke type starts lecturing me about the historical connections with slavery.

    241. Willie says:

      Sunlight is indeed the best disinfectant.

      So maybe we should have a new name for you Mr Campbell. How does the handle of Sunlight Stu ring. Your huge level of blog views most certainly suggest that SS Campbell would not be an inappropriate monicker.

      And hoving into your rear view mirror is another blog that from a recent standing start is now attracting big numbers. Not as big as the esteemed Wings – but is the excellent blog Yours for Scotland by Iain Lawson. Attracting 180,974 views last month this newcomer certainly shows that there is a big market for good well researched commentary – or should I say sunlight.

      And Sunlight used to be, still is a soap. And like it’s cousin Harpic, cleans round the bend!

    242. Lenny Hartley says:

      Breeks, get what your saying about brickwork but to me it looks half finished without Harling!
      I also get what your saying about pubs in Edinburgh, the most anglicised City in Scotland 🙂 i lived there for three years in the seventies and having got hold of a guidebook of all the Cities pubs , we had at least a couple of pints in every one within City limits.
      As good as they were (are) imo not a patch on English ones, my favourite I guess is not technically a pub but an old Inn built in The late 16th Century or Early 17th! In Haywards Heath, Sussex, no doubt its been modernised now , I used to go to Haywards Heath on business and was taken there for lunch, low oak beams , in places even I at 5” 7” I had to duck, model steam traction engine turning a rotisserie Loaded up with chicken over an open fire. Great food and beer.
      I enquired about rooms on first visit and was surprised that they were about half the price of the modern hotel I was staying in, so in subsequent visits thats where I stayed, rooms were basic but who cared when the Pub was so good.
      Then you see a cold dismal concrete carbuncle in the middle of a scheme and I know which one I would rather have a beer. Having said that I stumbled across one such pub in Stirling adjacent to Cornton Vale and had a great craic but a very sair heid the next day with the dodgy very cheap spiced rum they had on special offer ?

    243. Effijy says:

      Hatuey

      No! Let’s be clear, Scot Gov didn’t let 250,000 attend
      the Cheltenham Race Festival as it would make money
      for Tory Stake Holder Dido Harding.

      Nor did they allow in 10,000 Spanish fans to Liverpool
      while the virus raged in Spain.

      Scot Gov has absolutely no way of funding the very much
      delayed Tory Furlough Scheme.

      The never informed U.K. PPE manufacturers not to sell over the border.

      Never had a full year opportunity of closing the border.

      Never haded out Billions in rogue PPE contracts to party supporters.

      Never spent billions on Dido’s world beating track and trace system that still
      doesn’t work as we have seen today.

      Never retained anyone who broke the travel restrictions like Cummings.

      Never totally focused on Covid by forcing Brexit through.

      Scot Gov didn’t pay a Spaniard £21 Million to be middle man on a PPE order.

      Pro rata Scot Gov has 50% fewer Covid deaths.

      Other than that sample, yes pretty much the same???

    244. Dorothy Devine says:

      Well done Effigy – I wish the FM had been as precise and concise on the Sky interview when she was told that ‘Scotland performed worst in the UK on Covid.’by Sophie Whatserface.

    245. Fraser says:

      Oakham Treasures is a fantastic place. I’ve never fully got on with Bath, probably because I’ve normally been there on Saturdays in high-summer, or at Christmas when it turns into a hellish scrum.

      Is Carters Steam Fair your thing Stu? I always visit for that.

    246. Cudneycareless says:

      Effijy says:
      The Scottish Government spent the whole year concentrating on stitching up an innocent man , trying to be just a little bit different in their response on Covid to blame the “English ” and flying the EU flag.

      Hardly a shining example

    247. Gif says:

      Bath was allegedly built within 7 hills like Rome. Well that’s what they were spouting to us at school,
      when I was there, many, many years ago. Lovely place but wouldn’t rush back to live there. They’ve sucked the original life from the place and replaced it with a more hygienic, watered down version of its former self! Just saying ?????

    248. David Caledonia says:

      Lovely place, never been in bath, but will certainly have a swatch if I’m ever down that way.
      Been in weymouth twice, going to the channel islands and back, parked my car there for 2 weeks on a hill, bump started it and just got going , phew what a relief that was lol.
      Post more of this stuff when you have it, I for one enjoyed every second of it

      Thank you

    249. Dexey says:

      I have fond memories of Bristol.
      I saw Otis Redding and the soul greats in the Stax Volt tour of May(?) 1967 in Colston Hall. A few months later he was dead and the music stopped.

    250. The Dissident says:

      @Effijy,

      In the matters that the Scottish Government is responsible for, I really don’t think its record is much better:

      They let 65,000 attend a rugby match in Edinburgh the weekend after the virus was detected at the Nike Conference in the city.

      And allowed an INDOOR concert at the AECC (over 10,000 I think) shortly afterwards.

      And don’t forget that Sturgeon had decided to keep Calderwood in place after her transgressions were publicised (she announced this at one of her monotonous press conferences). She wasn’t sacked on a matter of principle, she was eventually sacked because she was becoming toxic to Sturgeon. Her motivations were exactly the same as Johnston’s over Cummings but, as always, she finds it easier to throw others under the bus than take responsibility for unpopular decisions.

      And they could have closed the border any time they wanted. Public health legislation allows the Scottish Government to construct cordon sanitaires anywhere they damn well please. Avoiding the political backlash that this MIGHT have created was more important to them than preventing the virus getting in.

      And, pro rata, you’d better not compare Scotland with virtually any country outside of the UK otherwise you will understand JUST HOW CATASTROPHICALLY this has been handled here.

      And funny how the criminal trial of Salmond was happening just as all this was kicking off. You don’t think they were distracted by something do you?

    251. David Caledonia says:

      Who the hell visits a place because of its pubs, not me, I am to curious for that, but each to their own I suppose, best country I have visited , well I have two favs, The Philippines and Turkey
      Antalya in Turkey, great city, the whole area around it is a walk through roman history.
      Abuyog in the philippines is my fav place ever, the people are so nice and friendly, it draws me back all the time to see all my friends there

    252. David Caledonia says:

      Forgot to say kamusta……………. hello

    253. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “They’ve sucked the original life from the place and replaced it with a more hygienic, watered down version of its former self!”

      Struggling to think of any city that isn’t true of. Edinburgh was a fucking tragedy last time I was there.

    254. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Is Carters Steam Fair your thing Stu? I always visit for that.”

      Never ever miss a funfair. It’s only a few minutes’ walk from my house. (Although to be fair, in Bath nothing is more than a few minutes’ walk away.)

    255. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “A bit unfair on Bristol, Rev.”

      Not unfair, just how I feel about it. I’ve given it 30 years but I just can’t warm to the place.

    256. stonefaction says:

      The Crows are definitely Carrion Crows.

      If you enjoy reading about wildlife in Scotland* (birds mostly, but not exclusively) and/or enjoy looking at photos of Scottish* birds and other wildlife then can I rather shamelessly plug my blog, if that’s OK, Stu?

      https://stonefactionbirding2014.blogspot.com/

      * Sometimes trips to Northumberland included though for obvious reasons most of the last year is rather limited to Dundee.

    257. A pleasure to read this Rev. Amazing pics. You should copy or share some of the best science about how Vitamin D3 from the sun lifts our spirits between April and late Sept. Vitamin D deficiency in Scotland is widespread as the sun is too low to boost our natural D tank, hence the effect of colds and flus over the winter are directly related. 84k science papers on this. PLus deficiency is associated with 80 different chronic illnesses. Eradicate the deficiency of Vitamin D (worse in Scotland than in Bath) and you help to reduce 80 chronic ill WOULD GIVE OUTnesses…..If anyone replies with pish like its just a Vitamin! Switch yer brain on and study the science before making a stupid answer. If the current SCOTTISH GOV GAVE A DAMN ABOUT THE VULNBERABLE THEY WOULD GIVE THEM FREE VITAMIN D. Soundbite posturing doesnt save lives! For the ignorant check http://www.drdavidgrimes.com and all the science papers in Pubmed

    258. Derek says:

      “Not sure if you’ve been to Tintern Abbey? Famous for being in the Iron Maiden video for Can I Play With Magic?”

      “Nothing But A Heartache” by the Flirtations was filmed there too, I think.

    259. Derek says:

      P.S. “Can I Play With Madness”, no?

    260. Boudicca says:

      Stonefaction, what gorgeous pics on your blog. As I’m just a bit up the coast from you I’ll dig deeper and maybe find some lovely walks with birds to see. Thanks for sharing.

    261. Brian says:

      Derek. You can play with madness ….if Suggs lets you.

    262. Annie 621 says:

      Then again…
      “it’s a shite state of affairs Tommy and no amount of scenery is going to change it.”

    263. Derek says:

      @Brian says:
      1 March, 2021 at 5:24 pm
      Derek. You can play with madness ….if Suggs lets you.

      Aye, I’ve an idea for a cartoon along those lines. Sadly, I’m rubbish at drawing non-technical things…

    264. SOG says:

      I have to warn people – don’t go to Dyrham Park expecting to see Fallow Deer. Bovine TB affected too many of them, despite all efforts at control.

      There are hopes to re-introduce new stock in a year or two, once the bTB has faded away.



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