Donald Ford Images - Scotland's golf and landscape photographer

Well.....at least the ideas were good!!

From an utterly selfish viewpoint, this has - without doubt - been the worst summer that I can EVER remember. I don't believe that, over June, July and August, Scotland ( with the possible exception of the far north-west and Outer Hebrides ) enjoyed two consecutive days of sunshine or warmth. I cannot recall ever experiencing such Jekyll and Hyde conditions over sixty-plus years.....perhaps the movement southwards of the jetstream is something to which we should now become accustomed; certainly, the signs from the Arctic Circle are not at all promising.

Photographically, the plans for 2012, made - as always - with SUCH enthusiasm and anticipation in January, are in tatters. Planning ahead for the best light in the seasons and locations selected has been a total waste of time. Snatched hours here and there, depressing "hangabouts" in some far-flung spots, long, tiring journeys to no avail and, crucially, nothing like the availability of the conditions which have made Scotland such a joy and privilege to capture on camera, have summed up a pretty lousy year.

Nevertheless, there HAVE been a few bonuses. Sunrise over Gourock, Wigtownshire, Raasay and Badenoch ( previous blogs ) have prevented 2012 from being a complete washout. Most recently, an early morning departure to catch sunrise over the terrific golf links at Fraserburgh ( see WS926 ) was well rewarded; the adventure thereafter down the Buchan coast to see, for the first time, the wonderful dune structures around Rattray Head and its charismatic lighthouse ( see attached image) was a real treat. More often than not, however, the expectations were dashed as one reasonably hopeful weather prediction disappeared without trace after another. However, as I said in my opening sentence, these are dreadfully selfish observations.

Like never before, the 2012 Olympics, Paralympics and, of course, Andy Murray's magnificent performance in the United States, have lifted the spirits of everyone. From that aspect alone, my complaints fade into total insignificance; what an inspiration these sporting heroes and heroines have been to the younger population of the UK. I hope that thousands of them now grasp the opportunity to improve their own recreational futures; perhaps they won't all reach gold medal standard......but what an incentive to have fun, compete, make new friends - and improve both body and mind. At least they won't be wholly dependant on the weather being kind to them!

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