Orkney holiday May 2019

Pre-Orkney – The long drive before Ferry trip.

Stayed at an Airbnb near Wick (The Croft – a room with a view) the night before ferry departure.

We drove with temperatures at Slioch summit dropping to 3 degrees! This was topped with temperatures in Caithness dropping to 1 degree with us driving in sleet and snow.

Lovely place to stay. It had its own little lounge and bedroom upstairs above the owners Chocolate factory. The owners kept racing Huskies, although most elderly and probably retired.

Day 1 – Saturday

Ferry from Gills Bay to St Margarets Hope. Lunch at Robertsons CoffeeHoose at St Margarets.

Stopped at Tesco in Kirkwall for supplies and felt like a tiring trip so straight to holiday cottage to settle-in.

Day 2 – Sunday

Visit to the Ring of Brodgar in strong bitterly cold winds.

A short drive to the Maeshowe Visitor Centre to get their mini-bus to Maeshowe burial chamber.

After tea we went to storytelling evening at Via House for 8pm, not leaving until after 11.

Day 3 – Monday

Drive to Skara Brae & Skaill House.

Then a short drive to Birsay Tea Room for Orkney ice creams. Stopped into Skaill Bay beach for Jas to get a run.

Day 4 – Tuesday

Trip to Farm Museum West of Dounby to find they were about to close for lunch, and they advised that we should come back.

Still looking for something to do to fill in time, we drove to a wildlife centre near Tingwall, but missed our turn at Finstown and ended up driving for 10-15 minutes before turning back, then guess what – wildlife centre is closed on Tuesdays & Wednesdays, which seems quite common on Orkney.

Looking for a place to eat we drove to the hotel at Dounby only to find that they stopped serving hot food 10 minutes ago. With a co-op accross the road Gail got a salad and I had a sannie.

Day 5 – Wednesday

Italian Chapel then on to Sandi Beach. Jas loved the sandy drop to deep water with the thrashing waves.

A short drive up the East Coast took us to The KirkCafe for a lovely lunch (thru had gorgeous toilets!).

Then on to The WoolShed past Evie, and managed to get some Swannie bears just after the brewery shop had closed.

A short drive to Scara Brae to get a coffee, then North again to Birsay to walk the causeway across to Birsay Brough – we missed the Trust’s opening times, but sat for 20 minutes till they shut and walked over for free.

Day 6 – Thursday

Short drive through back street in Finstown to a car park below Cuween Hill Chambered Cairn.

Ref: https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/cuween-hill-chambered-cairn/

A short crawl in on our hands and knees. Gail bumped her head on the way out.

We continued on up the hill to a large number of not-so Neolithic standing cairns, supposedly made by folk visiting just laying a new stone.

Our guided talk at The Ring of Brodgar was at 1pm so we have about an hour to kill – soup at The Standing Stones Hotel we though. We were just parked at side of Building when we were asked to move to let two tour coaches in. By the time we moved and parked we were beating to the hotel by the tourists.

We drove on and Gail had spotted an ice-cream parlour at roadside. A great find as they done great Orkney ice cans and coffee.

Onwards to the free guided talk at the ring of Brodgar. Talk was great, very informative but we had to leave just minutes before the end as we were meeting gails cousin at 2.30.

Another short drive to Birsay and we met Gails cousin David and his wife Joan for coffee at the Birsay Tea Shop. Both Jas and David’s dog Frankie got on well and we had a short walk along the north coast.

The ice crane were so good that Gail wanted soothe, so off we went again to the ice cream parlour.

Day 7 – Friday

Visit to St Magnus Cathedral, the Wireless Museum and the Orkney Museum. We met up again with David and Joan and took the dogs to the beach next to the airport.

Day 8 – Trip Home

Ferry meant to be leaving at 11.30am with last check-in at 11. We got there for 10.50 and found that the very was late in arriving. On top of this, there were 4 maybe 5 lorry storage containers that we unloaded to be hooked up with awaiting cabs.  There was also a container to be loaded.

All-in, the ferry was about an hour late in leaving.

We stopped in Aviemore at the Winking Owl for a coffee. There was snow getting dumped on the high Cairngorm Munros, with snow level about a 1/4 to 1/3 the way down.

Another stop at Pitlochry as Gail had fancied a gluten free fash supper, but there had been something dropped in the frier so the fat was contaminated. We ended up with gluten free fash fingers and chips form the Co-op to cook when we got home.

Sidlaws walk – me & Jas and Iain – Sunday 16/12/2018

Another outing to the Sidlaws. Saturdays weather was horrendous with mostly very heavy rain and wind in Forfar, but snow elsewhere. The intended walk was to be the Airlie Monument, but saw so much snow behind Forfar when I was leaving to collect Iain that I thought it wise to avoid any snowy roads.
On arrival, the Balkello car park was like sheet ice – the sun was out and probabljy causing the glaze over the snow.

Iain thinking about the climb ahead… or a modelling career maybe!
Iain modelling off my Trilby before the climb

Once we hit the hills, the snow that was lying in the paths/tracks was mostly turning slushy, although some places were harder snow and slippy, and made for very difficult walking.

Iain on Balluderon Hill modelling off my Trilby

We only done Auchterhouse Hill & Balluderon Hill then back to the car but all in the snowy walk I feel was more physically challenging than doing all 3 tops in good weather.

Some selfies (since Iain likes them so much)…


And finally some noce photos during the walk…

Finding Grid References for Maps

To find the OS National Grid Ref use wheresthepath, and either  use control key with mouse wheel to find your point of interest or click the Binoculars Icon to Enter a Place name, then click the finger pointing hand to give the NGR.

Another way is to use freemaptools but this system is not to accurate as uses the WGS84 co-ordinate system, whereas we should be using  OSGB36 co-ordinate system.

MagicMap is another good mapping tool with many different mapping options and overlays.



Maspie Den then on to East Lomond Hill – 18/11/18

Date of Ascent: 18/11/18

Parking: Centre For Stewardship car park

Car parking Landranger Grid Ref at: (NO 247 074) KY15 7AF

Car parking Landranger Grid Ref: NO 2472 0747

Car parking OpenStreetMap: 56.25375, -3.21654




Grid Ref: (Bing Maps): NO 24409 06203



Time Taken: 2 hrs 30 mins


1st time to what is a hidden gem at Falkland village. Accompanied by Iain & Jasper (the Border Collie), we parked at the Centre For Stewardship car park.

A very busy car park and a very busy route. We passed a lot of walkers, and stopped numerous times for Iain to a posing photograph, and were overtaking many times.

1st stop was the the dark tunnel,

dark tunnel


then a little further on by a bridge, a nice little waterfall with a long fallen tree lying across it.

Iain posing at fallen tree
Jas taking a big drink

The highlight of the Maspie Den walk is the 2nd  waterfall – Yad Waterfall, that has a path behind and underneath it and very impressive – I would think partly natural, partly man made!

Iain posing under the Yad waterfall

A short climb up hill after this 2nd waterfall the path split, the right split taking most of the crowd back to the car park and the left split heading to the car park between East & West Lomond hills. We took the left split head into the car park. Just before the car park we came out onto the road then decided to take a toilet break at the car park anyhow.

Then on to East Lomond – a nice gradual incline until the base of East Lomond is reached, then it gets a bit more challenging. Room at Marker Point on top of the hill for Iain to get some more photo shots!

From the top, it is a steep descent all the way back to the village. The initial descent is really steep and Iain enjoyed seeing the not-so-clever mountain biker fall-off his bike numerous times!

We arrived back at the car park and Iain wanted to take a look at what looked like an old ruined building a short walk from the car park. We found in fact, not a ruin but a Mausoleum and quite impressive.

A short drive from the car park and we finished off at the Lomond Inn in Falkland for a bar lunch (3.30!). Iain wasn’t to happy as the Steak Pie he fancied from the menu outside wasn’t on as they never got their daily delivery or some reason. He chose the roast beef instead and wasn’t impressed with what looked like roast beef taking from a Tesco packed and covered in gravy.

He was impressed though with the Mars Attack cake that he got a short drive later from Kingsway Farm in Dundee. I was robbed though as the gorgeous looking (dummy) cheesecake had sold out!

All-in-all, a very goo day out though for myself , Iain and Jasper.



Craigower Hill, Moulin by Pitlochry

1st time up Craigower Hill. With Gail on Jas as we were on holiday at Log Cabin near Killiecrankie. A cold but gorgeous late Autumn day with amazing views at top looking down Loch Tummel with a snow-topped Schiehallion South of the loch.

Walk was approx. 2 hours.

Stopped at Moulin Hotel after for Ploughman’s and a real ale.




Visit to Evelyn’s to help with WiFi.

Router was not ltting phone connect/get an IP.  Disconnected the phoen from router and reconnected given the router password again. OK Now. Power cycled phone and still .

She also had a problem with logging on to OneDrive on her Kindle (Fire ??). I reset teh Onedrive password and would still not conenct, saying that the device was not connedt to WiFi /Network. AFter googling seems to be common problem on Kindle and Microsoft were to fix.  Shall leave 2-3 weeks then google again and maybe go up to Evelyns to have another go.

Also, a problem with Facebook on her Windows phone – was insatlled and opened up ,but has not updated since June this year.  App had no wasy to log here off, in fact no settings at all. May have to take a tablet and try to reset her Facebook pwrod online – note that this will cause a connection problem on her Kindle too.


Sidlaws walk – me & Jas and Iain – Saturday 20/10/2018

Iain back from Glasgow and staying with mum. He asked if I still go hill-walking – not near as much as I would like to I’d replied!  We arranged an afternoon walk up the Sidlaws, starting at Auchterhouse Hill, walking over Balkello to Craigowl.

A funny day weatherwise, starting grey then getting dark with the sun starting to poke though the clouds as we were heading back to car. It was windy all through the walk.  It Stayed dry though, whihc was the main thing.

After dropping off Craigowl heading to car park, we had to cross a field of cows. Jas was a bit wary, an there was a young calf in the field with a mother looking a bit nervous with us peeps  barging through their home, so we took a wide berth.

Some pics of the day taking on Iains iPhone….












Change the Application Name of a VB.net solution

Project1 = existing projects names
Project2 = new name

Rename the Project1 folder where the .sln file resides.
Open the .sln in Nodepad++ and rename all project names instances from Project1 to project2

Rename the Project1.vbproj to Project2.vbproj

Open the .sln in Visual Studio and right click on Solution Properties in Solution Explorer

Change Assembly Name & Root Namespace to the new Projects name.

Upon building VB Designer will complain, as old Project1 name will still be referenced. Do a Search/Replace for Project1 to Project2 throughout the Entire Solution.

Should be ok to do Build – Clean then Rebuild.

Check in appro. Bin folder for build type that the .exe name is correct.

Davids PC – Restored backup on his Gamer desktop – Update

David had said that his games were failing – all running slow. I stopped in after work and disabled the On-board Gfx card. He also had to change a setting in a game ‘settings’ file back to the way it was previously,  as he had made a change to try and force the game to use the NVidia card – which obviously did not work.

Anyhow, all was well on leaving with a high frame rate and no jerking.