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Monday, 7 November 2011

Single malt

Such a pleasure to bring, as a present to my mum, a 15 year old single malt, Dalwhinnie from Lochan na Doire-uaine.
"Whew!" she said after one sip "that goes right through my body. Beautiful."
"The angel's have had their share of that" I said, tasting the warming bitterness, the sun dazzling through the windows, creating long shadows, speckling surfaces, leaking into the house - searchlights showing glistening dust motes. I walked beyond my usual orbit diverting from one forest path and working my way, with Lulu, up an old fire-break strewn with long fallen spruce coming out above the tree line to gaze over the landscape from Ben Wyvis... the north overlooking a patch of the Moray Firth to the greater part of Strath Nairn, Brin Rock, my marker.
Coming down my path dried up and I had to push my way downhill on my back and stomach through the needle bed below close standing spruce, which gradually thinned until I could stand and holding branches, head...

...where the trees were wider spaced, emerging onto a familiar forestry track to walk back to Brin Croft by the Farnack.
Yesterday I cycled a short circuit down to Inverarnie, over the Nairn at Balnafoich, along the road towards Flickerty, but turning east at Tordarrroch to Farr and home stopping often to gaze.
Tordarrroch; by his horns...a Highland Shorthorn cross?
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Lest it be thought I'm engaged in covert product-placement, I'm leaving clues for google-bots, Trojan horses and other malware to see how far despite, various measures to block such surveillance, I'm being automatically reviewed. Fascinating subject. [See also ICO, and Campus Legal Services]
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Thanks to Jim Potts for passing on via Corfu Blues latest news from beloved Greece and the possibility that Lukas Papademos (CV) might become the new PM of the Hellenic Republic:

Greece's political leadership will on Monday name an interim government and end a crisis of confidence that threatens to derail a €100bn bailout agreement crucial to the eurozone's survival. Socialist prime minister George Papandreou and conservative opposition leader Antonis Samaras met for almost 90 minutes under the auspices of the country's president. A communique issued after they broke off negotiations for the night said they would name the caretaker prime minister and cabinet the following day. The new government's agenda would be the ratification of a €100bn bailout for Greece which the eurozone approved last week, and the implementation of an austerity programme attached to that bailout. It would then take the country "immediately" to a new general election, the communique said.  Papandreou has said that he will be stepping down as prime minister in order to facilitate the formation of such a government. His resignation has been the key demand by Samaras, who has reiterated it every day for the past three days. The prime minister's brother, Nick Papandreou, told The New Athenian that George Papandreou took the decision to resign on Friday....
George Papandreou, Karolos Papoulias and Antonis Samaras
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9 November'11 - back to the future - negotiations around the formation of a new government continue and Papademos seems out of the running having set conditions for accepting the position of PM which the others involved could not accept...I should just wait and Koukiadis? Faites vos jeux?
Φίλιππος Πετσάλνικος
ATHENS, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) According to the latest unconfirmed reports in local media, amongst front-runners for the office was former Vice President of the European Central Bank Lucas Papademos and current European Court of Justice President Vassilis Skouris. According to local media, other candidacies included Speaker of the Parliament Filippos Petsalnikos, former Speaker of Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos.
[Back to the future: A player in these negotiations from which he made a display of walking out is Georgios Karatzaferis, Γεώργιος Καρατζαφέρης, leader of the rightist People's Orthodox Rally, Λαϊκός Ορθόδοξος Συναγερμός (ΛΑ.Ο.Σ), with 15 MPs and nearly 5% of the vote in the 2009 general election:
George Gilson, Athens News ~ 10 Nov: The George and Antonis show was upset by Karatzaferis, who stormed out of the presidential palace with the intensity of Maria Callas playing Medea, because Papandreou and Samaras were discussing the new government without him. He demanded that banker Lucas Papademos – who is widely viewed as the best choice to be interim premier due to his clout in EU power and finance circles – be appointed prime minister anyway. The Laos leader’s well-staged scene managed to force Papademos’ candidacy to return to the forefront, and talks were going on between the banker, Papandreou and Samaras as the Athens dailies were going to press. So the ultraright may become the kingmaker that brinks a banker to power.]

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Simon Baddeley