Ceud Mìle Fàilte

Photography Nature Technology Food
Movies Music Politics

and life in the Highlands.


Thank you for dropping-by, I hope you enjoy your visit. The main content is to be found in the blog where I discuss everything and anything but topics including photography, nature, technology, food, movies, music and politics make regular appearances.

I commonly write reviews of movies (or films, if you prefer). Some movie reviews are short, others will be discussed in more detail. The scope covered will be mainly mainstream English language movies from the 1930s until the present day.

About me

My name is Iain MacDonald and I live in the Highlands of Scotland (although I have lived elsewhere in the past). I am a big fan of Free & Open Source Software which I use both professionally and at home.

Computing and technology tend to infuse themselves into my other interests, as once you learn some skills in one area it is convenient to use them to solve problems in other spheres.

When not tinkering with computers, I am likely to be found repairing things because living in the countryside you learn to be resourceful.

Of course, man doesn't live by SSH tunnels and kerosene vapour burners alone so food, as a subject, makes regular appearances too. Did I mention I used to work in hospitality?

Latest Life articles

My most recent ramblings.

  • Feeling sheepish

    I went for a walk along a forestry style track, yesterday. Ahead of me was a ewe, with two lambs. The ewe felt nervous about my approach, and started to trot away from me. The lambs were, of course, following her closely. However, the sheep didn't trot away uphill or ... [Read more...]

  • Regatta Hydrafort Matt Jacket

    I needed to buy a waterproof jacket for use when working. I also have a Gore-Tex jacket from Craghoppers, which is excellent, but I didn't want to ruin that jacket by using it for working every day. I have a few other Regatta products which are well made, so, for ... [Read more...]

  • Highland Life and the Coronavirus

    It is quite extraordinary, I've never experienced anything like it. We are now a couple of weeks away from Easter, which is normally the time when the summer tourist season starts. The roads would see increased traffic, and the tourist hotspots would start to be busy. Not this year. [Read more...]

  • New Manual Coffee Grinder

    I was without my vintage wooden Zassenhaus, so I rushed out and bought a new manual coffee grinder. The one I got is from Maison & White, and it is amazingly good. It is adjustable from very fine to coarse. Grinding is done with ceramic burrs, and the rest of ... [Read more...]

  • Push or Pull?

    A couple of days ago I saw these two boats coming up the canal towards us, as we were doing the daily dog walk. It was clear from a distance that the two boats were very close together, and I assumed the first boat was towing the second. [Read more...]

Click here to view the whole Life section.

My latest Mastodon posts

Mastodon is a microblogging app that is part of the decentralised web known as The Fediverse. See this article for more details.

Fitheach (@fitheach@mstdn.io)

Sun, 27 Sep 2020 08:35:27 +0000

My all-time favourite tree (the tall one, to the right of the photo). I have photographed this tree more than any other.

Scots Pine - Giuthas-Albannach - Pinus sylvestris

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Sun, 27 Sep 2020 07:25:33 +0000

This exploration of shared words with different meanings got me thinking about words which have never crossed the Atlantic.

For instance, I've never used (except in an ironic sense) the words "honey" or "baby" when referring to a partner. Perfectly normal in North America, but effectively unused in British English. That said, I've never used the term "darling" either. I'm not sure why exactly, perhaps because it seems old-fashioned or because it has been luvvied.

Sun, 27 Sep 2020 06:46:04 +0000

This change in language enables the often unintended, funny innuendo.

The most famous example (which I've never seen) was the TV cookery demonstration by husband and wife team of Johnnie & Fanny Craddock. Johnnie's closing remarks became the stuff of legend:

"May all your doughnuts turn out like Fanny's."

Sun, 27 Sep 2020 06:28:19 +0000

The 1944 Gainsborough film "Fanny by Gaslight" was, not surprisingly, renamed for the North American markets to "Man of Evil".

In the intervening years British English has also changed, and the original film title wouldn't be used in the UK now (for similar, but slightly different reasons).

Sat, 26 Sep 2020 21:22:35 +0000

The Siberian puppy photo came from a pets-for-sale website. I was astounded at the current prices for buying dogs, both puppies and adults.

was bought for £400. The current starting price for any dog breed is £2,500. More exotic breeds command prices several times more than that.

Has Lockdown increased dog purchase prices?

Sat, 26 Sep 2020 20:06:05 +0000

Idyllic places to live #237.

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