For anyone who started visiting here recently I should point out that most of my efforts are not time-specific and some of the more useful historical pieces appear early on, such as the Juni expedition and the story of the Ralli II, although I've also recorded events that seemed significant as they occurred, such as the stranding of the HMS Astute, surely now one of the most unlucky and certainly the most inappropriately named ship in the Royal Navy of all time (astute- shrewd, sagacious, wily). Personally I hate these things and think that the World would be a better place if they all got stuck, but preferably not in the Kyles. As for aircraft carriers with or without planes for them, don't start me.
Thinking about names reminds me of my late dear friend John Gardner explaining the origin of La Belle Poule. Apparently there was a tradition in the French navy to allow the commander of a new ship to supply her name and in this case he had provided "La Belle Pauline" after his wife, but something went wrong with Admiralty communications and the result had rather a special meaning around the coastal towns.
John Gardner has inspired a lot of what I've posted here and his images have resulted in numerous hits. I intend to do what I can to keep his memory alive and share his images. Being of a generous disposition his family do not seek compensation for the non-commercial use of his images, but if anyone who appreciates his work would like to send me a message I'll pass it on.
Blogging is an odd activity, which of course no-one had heard of until recently. Indeed I remember when I got the first computer in my office back in 1985, a huge ugly expensive box of tricks installed by so-called experts, but who in a previous incarnation would have sold second-hand cars or insurance policies. My old secretary was sure that the lines of gaudy green text glaring out at her like messages from Outer Space would affect her fertility (she was then about fifty and unmarried) so she turned the screen towards the window and continued touch-typing as before, with interesting results. I never imagined for an instant that we were seeing the start of perhaps the greatest development in letters since 1450.
Scottishboating started as a spin-off from my scottishislandsclass blog, which in turn was started to record the history of those lovely yachts with the general intention to produce a book in due course, which is still an ambition. It's grown to produce a nice little cyber-community with 35 followers and about 41,000 page views to date. I'm sufficiently realistic to understand that most of them probably come here by mistake, but there's a good solid nucleus of readers who sometimes email me with information, occasional guest posts or just encouragement, so I'll keep going.
|better with a little dark chocolate|