It’s interesting at this time of year, when late Summer creeps towards Autumn, we seem to have more and more fog first thing in the morning.  This was my view out running at 6am.

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Very murky as you can see!  The plus side with this weather is that the spider webs take on a new life of their own.

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Actually as stupid as it sounds, I think fog is an amazing quirk of Mother Nature, and long may it continue!

Yet again the female panda at Edinburgh Zoo has been artificially inseminated and yet again it appears that she has failed to produce any cubs.

I’m not a fan of zoos and really not comfy with this idea of captive breeding.  I know some people would argue that it is the only way to prevent some species from becoming extinct, but is it really ethical.  I’m not sure.

What I believe to be unethical is Edinburgh Zoo’s deal with China regarding the pandas. The zoo pays the Chinese authorities £600,000 ($1million) per year for what is basically rental of these gorgeous animals.  That’s a huge amount of money which could have been put to great use for conservation work here in Scotland.

Up until a few years ago Edinburgh Zoo suffered badly from falling visitor numbers – it has been claimed that this cost the zoo £1million so it seems pretty clear that the pandas have been ‘rented’ to boost visitor numbers.

The zoo have denied this saying they would not use the pandas as a commodity – after all they are a registered charity.

But, considering the zoo charges £16.50 for an adult ticket and has seen visitor numbers rise by 200% since the pandas arrived, I find this explanation a little hard to swallow.

Week 26

miles completed = 19.25

miles to go =           354.46

 

Week 27

miles completed = 21.05

miles to go=        333.41

 

Another couple of weeks and I will be into the 200+ miles to go.  I’m getting there!

 

Here’s a definite sign that Autumn is now on the way:=

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I’m not sure how well you can see on this photo as it was taken with my I-pod, but the mist is starting to rise off the park just beside my house.  It was really beautiful although it has been noticeably colder the past few mornings.  Summer seems to be a very dim and distant memory already!

Work / holidays / real life has been encroaching into my running lately but I’m still putting in the miles:-

Week 24

miles completed = 18.13

miles to go =         399.83

 

Week 25

miles completed = 26.12

miles to go = 373.71

 

I’m getting there, and now fairly confident of finishing before the end of the year which would be around two months ahead of schedule.

There’s been some terrible flooding here in Elgin today.  Around two hundred households have been evacuated as a precautionary measure.

Here are a few random snaps which illustrate just how bad it is.

This is the main railway line looking up towards the station.  You can just see in the distance a train sitting at the platform.  The second picture is looking back down the line – absolutely no trains are running today, in either direction.

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Shops and businesses have been badly affected and left with an awful lot of cleaning up.

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And some roads have been completely closed to traffic.  I took these photos this morning and even now the roads are still closed.  The disruption  in and around the town is terrible.

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Apparently the storm was caused by the remnants of what was Hurricane Bertha.  I’ve never experienced a hurricane and I hope I never do – what we had last night was bad enough.

I’m up to week 22 and managed the following:-

miles completed = 28.77

miles to go          –  433.20

 

And week 23:-

miles completed =   15.24

miles to go        =    417.96

 

Almost through the 400 mile barrier, so that will be a nice boost!

 I’m a sucker for museums and today had my first trip to the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

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To put it mildly, it is awesome!  What struck me the most, apart from the size, was the absolute variation of objects on display.  For example:-

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This is a Gemini space capsule which was built in the 1960s and was designed to land in the desert instead of the ocean.  It is on loan from the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institute, USA.

And then for something completely different!

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A Formula 1 racing car from the Stewart Team in 1997.  As a big F1 fan it was really nice to see this close up.

The museum has everything from the natural world, to outer space, the evolution of communication and huge numbers of exhibitions on different cultures.  It has lots of interactive displays with buttons for kids (and big kids!) to press.  And in a world of overpriced entertainment, it is all completely free!

What’s not to love!?

 

I’m in Edinburgh for a couple of days – one of my favourite cities – and despite the fact I’ve been here loads of times there are always places I’ve never visited before.  One of them was Greyfriars Kirkyard which has been described as the most haunted cemetery in the world.

Burials have taken place here since the 16th Century and some notable Edinburgh figures are buried in the cemetery.

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It was a nice sunny morning when I visited and the cemetery was as pleasant as a cemetery can be.

However Greyfriars Kirkyard is haunted by the story of the Mackenzie Poltergeist.

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This is the Mausoleum which contains the body of one George Mackenzie who, in 1677, became the Lord Advocate (Chief Legal Officer for the Scottish Government).  He earned the nickname “Bloody Mackenzie” due to his persecution of Presbyterian Covenanters during this period.  He died in 1691.

In 1999 a homeless person broke into the Mausoleum one night and since then there has been a whole range of strange incidents from people being scratched and suffering cuts and bruises, to actually passing out.  The theory is that when this person broke in he disturbed something which should have been left alone. Of course this is only a theory because, as yet, no-one can actually prove the existence of ghosts!  It’s quite a compelling story however with hundreds of people reporting having had an “unexplained” experience in the cemetery.

A ghost tour runs through the graveyard at night so maybe I will be very brave one day and decide to go on it.  During the day it is a pleasant enough place to visit but I’m sure after dark it takes on a new and less welcoming atmosphere!

 

 

 

I’m away for a couple of days next week so thought I’d post what I managed for week 21;

miles completed  = 32.80

miles to go          =  461.97

I won’t get a lot done next week but I’m really pleased how it’s gone so far.  Long may it continue!

 

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