Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sunshine, Volcanic Ash, Rainbows and snow

As always the Scottish weather was undecided as to how it would best display itself to the returning visitor and general populus.

This year was slightly different, in so far as we had the unexpected introduction of Iclandic Volcanic Ash clouds passing over on their way to circumnavigate the globe.

Another reminder of how the Earth is still in charge no matter how big humanity gets.

Check out this Volcanic Ash Sunset.

We enjoyed seeing the remnants of the snow and heard our host's stories as to how it had been and that was enough for us. We were thankful to have missed the rigours of an unusually difficult Scottish winter.

There were the remains of a snowman in the back garden but that was gone in a couple of days. There was also snow to be seen on the more distant hills and mountains. From the cloud formations, one could imagine snow falling above 500m.

There was rain about but these were very localised and had a blustry feel to them. They also produced the most stunning rainbows, which made for some good snaps.

For most of the vacation we enjoyed the best of weather and on all the occasions that we had family staying over, the weather was at it's best. The sun was shining, the patio was in good use, cool drinks proffered and an early start was made on the summer suntan.

Where else would you be?

The red wine shown is an excellent 1995 Brunello di Montalcino DOCG from the Italian vintners, Castello Banfi and produced from the marvellous Sangiovese grape.

The Sangiovese grape is also used as a component of the popular Chianti Classico Reserva: Sangiovese, Canaiolo Nero, Cabernet Sauvignon.

NB: Never settle for a mediocre Chianti, always seek out a good Chianti Classico Reserva with some age to it.

The Crystal Decanter
The decanter shown is an early 20th century plain crystal glass decanter with ER enscribed on it and a crown symbol above it. NB: the ER symbols are translated as Elizabeth Regina; signifying the item is the property of the present UK Queen or a department of her government.

The Decanter was not allocated to lowly staff members but was possibly used by local UK government or diplomatic officials at board room or executive level. This was back in the days when your bank manager or tax accountant would offer you a cheering glass of sherry or port when you popped in to see him.

We bought it in the local charity shop for £2 + a donation to the UK Help the Aged Charity. Slainte!

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