Tales of Home [7]

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Post by Mrs Figg on Mon Nov 23, 2020 2:07 pm

is it fresh water or salty? as in do you get sea fish or lake fish.
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Post by halfwise on Mon Nov 23, 2020 2:48 pm

If it's like the Hudson bay it will be salty in the bay, with decreasing saltiness going up the river. The salinity in the river will change with the tides.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:13 pm

{{ Yeah its salt water at this end, its open to the ocean so its sea fish and salt water marine life, get the odd whale time to time (humpback and occasional Orca) and dolphins and loads of seals. The lochs around the Firth are also salt water, such as the Holy Loch where the US navy was based and where I grew up, and Loch Fyne which is the largest of the sea lochs.}}

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Post by Mrs Figg on Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:29 pm

oooh dolphins, I would love to see them in the wild, how cool is that.
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Post by halfwise on Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:38 pm

I'd love to see wild dolphins, even more than whales. I recently found there's regular whale watching trips from New York city - take a boat out for half a day. Haven't done it because whales are about as interactive as a cat on a fence. But dolphins would get me out.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:48 pm






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Post by Mrs Figg on Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:57 pm

not sure about orcas. Shocked
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Post by Lancebloke on Mon Nov 23, 2020 8:06 pm

halfwise wrote:I'd love to see wild dolphins, even more than whales.  I recently found there's regular whale watching trips from New York city - take a boat out for half a day.  Haven't done it because whales are about as interactive as a cat on a fence.  But dolphins would get me out.

Having seen both, I would definitely go for whales!
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Post by halfwise on Mon Nov 23, 2020 8:12 pm

I struck at how briefly they breathe. It's like they're just taking a little nip of air now and then, like a quick drop of whiskey to freshen things up during a meal.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Nov 24, 2020 1:00 am



{{{0:11- the carpark built by the US Navy. The main US base was directly across the road from it, but more on that shortly.

0.22- the main pier used by the US Navy to transport people back and forth to their ship- there were three served there at different times when I was growing up- the Holland, the Hunley and the Simon Lake. Once a year they had an 'open day'where locals could go over and get to wander round certain parts of the vessel. I was a bit luckier as my Dad worked for the Navy for most of his working career so I got to go a few times when it wasnt open days and see stuff you didnt normally get to see, such as the massive drydock the submarines were brought into, the Los Alamos.
The white building at the pier end is a rebuild of the original Victorian pier building, when the Navy used it there was a similar but slightly larger building there which acted as a security check and housed a jail cell. Armed Shore Patrol were also stationed here.

0.57- that pointy structure in the middistance behind the yachts is Lazoretta Point, a War Memorial and where as kids we used to go swimming. We scattered my Grans ashes there.

1.40- tides vary in height by a lot in the loch, here its very low tide but it does mean you can clearly see the small river that runs into the loch, at high tide what you see of it here is completely underwater. That river originates high up in the hlls and runs  through the grounds of the village Church before pouring out here into the sea.
As it comes down from the hills it cuts through deep gullys, some 40 metres or so deep with rocks below, I once spent a terrifyng day after deciding to climb up one side of a gully and got stuck halfway, unable to find a way back down or a viable route up. It was not a wise move! I honestly dont think Ive felt such sheer terror to this day as I did then.

2.15- looking this way you are looking towards the heart of the village. The long brown building with pier was built by the Navy and was their main supply depot. My dad ran it and worked there for many years, from its building till the Navy left. But before it there were several piers here and the boatyards of Sandbank were famous for producing world class yatchs and racing boats. Most had gone by time I was a kid but roughly where the current pier is, now a Marina, was Morris and Lorimers and they had a wonderful shop that sold all sorts of stuff including parrafin for heaters. But it was the interior I loved as a kid as the shop was like a nautical Alladins cave, nets hanging from the ceiling, old ship wheels spun, brass was everywhere and a massive anchor.
Behind the brown building you can see a white block of flats, Fin Bracken, which is an anglised version of the villages old name. The village shops are located there too. And if you are very keen eyed just along to the left of those flats, poking through the trees, you can see the older brown stone of the Church. If you follow the river from the shore with your eye you can see where it goes by the Church and up the hillside by folowing the trees which grow thickly either side of it.

3.10- That litte huddle of new loking houses on the shorefront is built on top of what was the Naval Base. In that small space were admin offices, a bowling alley, indoor gym with basketball court and even bleachers, squash court, a cinema, laundrette, cafe and two officers clubs. I spent a lot of time there firstly as my mum worked there as a cleaner when I was small, and later as a teenager we played indoor football in the gym. It was also a source for US milkshakes and burgers, as they brought all their product in it was the only place you get the real thing. We also regularly raided the vending machines for Mountain Dew, Dr Pepper, Sprite and Hershey bars, none of which were sold in the UK at that time. We also used to go down to the entrance across from the pier looking for green new arrivals who we would get to exchange our Scottish pounds for US dollars, at rates ridiculously favourable to ourselves so we could spend them on the vending and arcade machines. And a few found themselves the owners of rathr expensive, and completely made up, Haggis Hunting Licences.

4.15- that square housing scheme on the middle left, which it actually up a hill, is where I grew up, known just as 'the scheme' I first lived in the bottom row of the white houses, though they werent white then. Third one in from the left and was there until I was about 11/12. The smaller grouping of brown houses immediatly behind was where my grandfather lived on my dads side. Though much improved now those houses were damp and freezing when I was a kid, heated from a central coal fire, in winter thick ice would form inside the windows and when you poked your head out from under the several layers of blankets you needed you'd see your breath in the frigid air. My mornings before school were a mad dash to grab clothes, leap downstairs to where the parraffin heater was in the kitchen and where my mum would have put the cooker oven on at full blast door open to heat the kitchen, where I'd dress, eat breakfast and read. I read the hobbit and the entire chronicles of Narnia huddled in front of that little parrafin heater, among many others.
When we left there it was to move a few rows up- if you look at the top row of white buildings, right in front of them is a row of bungalows and thats where I spent my teenage years living.
Apart from the scheme itself our playgrounds were the fields and woods immediatly around. If you look to the far right of the image over the fields you will see a farm on the hillside, this is where I spent many a happy summer helping with the lambing, further up the hill out of picture was an old reservior but halfway between it and the farm was a stone hut, built for the workers when the reservoir was still in use- and that was our hut- we dragged a couch and two armchairs all the way from the scheme up that long road to the farm, then finally up the old dirt road up the hill itself to that hut. It had a fireplace and we filled it with supplies and spent many a happy day and summers night staying in it- got my first snog in there!

4.17- the other side of the Scheme. In sensible hobbit like fashion between the scheme and the other farm you can see there was the aptly named 'the field' and to the top of it in that almost circular looking open space was the '2nd field'
The 2nd Field was used by the Americans, there were no biuildings in it then but there was an assault course for training and a full baseball pitch with catchers nets and bleachers. Theyd hold events there and have free food of burgers and hotdogs, with old oil drums filled with ice and cans of coke, pepsi and the like for the taking. For us kids it was brilliant.
The farm at the side of 'the field' was a pig and beef farm, but it was Victorian so it once had a large tennis court in front of it, long abandoned except by us kids, that was our football pitch. You cant really tell from this angle but it was elevated at the top of a hill so from there you could see right down to the head of the loch over the village. I have fond memories of summer nights spent up there hearing parents trying to call from the scheme telling us it was time to come home, and pretending we couldnt hear them to capture that little longer in the growing dusk beneath the stars.
'The field' itself was full of cows, and you had to check carefully when crossing it at certain times of the year as the bull would have been let out into it for breeding.
The woodlands around lead directly into Hafton woods where I have made the rambles vids, and sadly you can see just how much of the wood is now gone making way for the rows of caravans. When I was a kid they didnt exist and you could go from the scheme all the way to Dunoon without ever leaving the trees.

4.40- You get a good idea here of how the loch shelves off in a huge cliff-edge into the depths, we were always warned never to swim or as you can walk out there at low tide when its like this, go beyond that edge- theres a horrendous tow current there that once in you wont get back out of. That cliff edge runs from where the Marina is right along the rest of the loch.

And thats the stomping ground I spent my youth in. Not a bad place or time to grow up in it has to be said. }}

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Post by halfwise on Tue Nov 24, 2020 1:46 am

Why is that video not named "dunoon"? Is there more going on in that Ardnadam Argyl title that could use some explanation?

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Nov 24, 2020 1:59 am

{{ Because its not Dunoon- Dunoon is a mile and half away by the 'High Road' and about 2-3 miles by the Shore Road. Its the village I grew up in Sandbank on the banks of the Holy Loch.
Ardnadam is an older name for the area, the farm I used to help out on is called Ardnadam farm.
Argyll is the region, which is much larger and includes Dunoon and many other places. Part of Argyll and Bute (Bute being an island that includes the town of Rothesay).
The Ard part means 'Headland'. The Adam part was probably added at some point for religous reasons as Kilmun, directly acorss the loch from Sandbank was a very early Chritain site. The loch probably gets its name of Holy from this time too. So Ardnadam could be translated as something like 'The Headland of Adam'.
At the point in the video where I talk about the farm I used to go to, if you look in the large field immediately to the left and below it you will see a small grouping of trees, this small hillock has a chambered neolithic cairn on it known as 'Adams Grave'. (pictured below)
Argyll itself is- Argyll, Earra-Ghaidheal.    "Arne's valley", from Norse. Arnish, (Lewis), Àirinis; (Raasay), Àrnais. "The coastland of the Gaels". Mid Argyll is Dal Riada, named so after the territory in Ireland where the Scots settlers originated. At its greatest extent, historical Argyll stretched from the Mull of Kintyre to Loch Broom, the area to the south of Ardnamurchan Point being known asan t-Oirthir a Deas, "the south coast", with the northern section called an t-Oirthir a Tuath, "the north coast". A by-name for Argyll is Dùthaich Mhic Chailein, "the land of the Duke of Argyll". Argyll and Bute together are Earra-Ghaidheal agus Bòid. }}

http://www.historickilmun.org/history/timeline

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Post by halfwise on Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:25 am

I can't hear of Argyll without thinking of the Queen of All Argyll. This is the woman I'm holding out for. Nod



I saw these guys in concert back in college. Incredible humor and rapport with the audience. Taught me so much about what it means to be a performer.

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Post by halfwise on Tue Nov 24, 2020 1:49 pm

So Petty - you talk about the base selling hamburgers and it was the only place to get the real thing. A hamburger is pretty basic - is there really that much difference between what passed for a hamburger at the time and the real thing?

Granted, a perfectly performed hamburger is a thing of beauty, but it's not that difficult to get right, especially if you have good ground beef.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Nov 24, 2020 2:03 pm

{{ Ah well such strange oddities as cheese that came in thin slices and looked like plastic were not sold here then but were on your burger. So there was a novelty factor to it all.

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Same went for many of the burger relishes, back then we had tomato sauce or brown sauce and that was about your whack, so it wasnt so much the meat bit as the rest of it that was unique in taste, also they tended to be about double the size of a UK burger roll (all American food seemed huge in fact, hot dogs were longer and thicker, crisps/chips came in bags four times the size of ours). And it was all cooked in the open air on massive grills which was also pretty uncommon here back then so they were flame grilled. Added together it was a unique thing you only really got through the US Navy, and then combine it with an infinite supply of free coke and pepsi, and sitting stuffing your face on bleachers watching baseball with your American friends while 80's rock music blared across the fields and when your ten thats a pretty good day out.
Burgers at the base itself weren't quite as good, but still had all the weird cheese and relish stuff, so still pretty good and still huge, and they did really good thick milkshakes you could eat with a spoon. }}

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Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:20 pm

that food sounds lush and its making me hungry for a McDonalds blow-out.
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Post by halfwise on Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:40 pm

No, McDonald's is NOT a proper burger, worldwide success notwithstanding. The meat needs to explode with juice when you bite into it.

There is something to be said for American cheese product (don't call it "cheese").  It has this unmatched meltiness and carefully calibrated tang.  

Nowadays of course you can find proper burgers world wide, but back then America was as insular as the UK you describe - even Mexican salsa, ubiquitous these days (I don't know about other countries), was hard to find.  We had white bread and 5 cheeses: American/velveeta, Cheddar, Monterrey Jack, cream cheese and Swiss.  Swiss cheese was very exciting to us back then, with all the exotic holes.  Other types of cheese were nearly unheard of.

Thankfully the world exploded across the markets in the 90's.

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Post by Lancebloke on Tue Nov 24, 2020 4:47 pm

It is amazing how much food is still very specific to places though. Certain types of food have become popular though these massive chains that appeared (McDonald's, KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut etc) but in the grand scheme of all food these seem to be a minority.

For example, I dont understand why the funnel cake that I had in Prague is not just eaten by all people at all times!

Some of the food i had in China, like the ice cooled pork that the closest I can think of here is sweet and sour pork, Hong Kong style. That isn't crunched up by putting in ice though.

I can understand why chicken feet and guinea pig aren't more commonly eaten though. They can both fuck off.
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Post by halfwise on Tue Nov 24, 2020 6:19 pm

We have funnel cakes at fairs, but no place else I think because people realize just how horrible they are for you. Awfully fun at the moment but you feel it later.

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Post by Lancebloke on Tue Nov 24, 2020 8:37 pm

I totally meant chimney cake, not funnel cake!
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Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:29 pm

ugg chicken feet, I had that in Spain in the Pyrenees about 40 years ago. They were distant relatives of mine, my step-grandad being from Barcelona. We went to a tiny hamlet called Olp up in the mountains, they had a farm with a large grain grinding stone with a large white horse turning the stone in the courtyard, they were dirt poor but very happy people and they gave us soup with chicken feet floating in it. I was only about 6 and a bit confused and disgusted but even at that age I knew not to make a fuss. I remember they were so poor that they bought us bottles of Coca-cola to drink and they were watching us drink every mouthful because after when we left they could have some, as it was a special treat, so my mum told me not to drink any of it and leave it for them. One little girl was called Angel and she loved the Coca-cola. Unfortunately that meant we had to drink the water and when we were coming back to Barcelona in the car I fell sick with dysentry, went unconscious and was nearly pegged out. what larks. Laughing
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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Nov 25, 2020 7:41 am

{{ We were never as poor as your relations thankfully Figg (when my Dad started working for the Navy he was just at a gas station and providing for a family of four, which is why my mum worked parttime too cleaning at the base - yeah they even brought their own petrol in which was much cheaper than ours) but even so a can of coke was back then a 'treat' not something that was common or regular, one of the reasons getting it free at the events the Navy hosted was such a big deal to us kids.
And despite your suffering, at least you did so for a good cause, I can imagine how happy they were to get the coke you didnt drink. Good on you. Thumbs Up }}

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Post by Lancebloke on Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:34 am

I think the last 10 years have probably been unparalleled in the "western" world for standards of living.

I remember getting around the place with my parents in an old Fiat Panda that had holes in the floor that you very easily lose some substantially sized items.

Getting a KFC when I had an accident (which I still have the eyebrow scar from) when I was little was a trear after several hours and what felt like a few pints of lost blood later.

Getting an orange in a Christmas stocking as something we looked forward to!!

It took a lot of saving for us to go on our first proper (and only) international holiday to Kenya (we had family in Germany so that bloody long drive didnt count). I wonder if I would love Africa so much and have been back several times since if we hadn't done that as kids.
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Post by halfwise on Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:43 pm

Africa has a second magic beyond the landscapes - once you get past the culture shock you find the people are so warm and welcoming to strangers.

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Post by Lancebloke on Wed Nov 25, 2020 2:55 pm

Totally agree! That is one if the reasons I love going there.

To be honest, in most places I have been the general population are warm and welcoming (even you Yanks) but probably the parts of Africa I have been are the best examples.
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