It's raining today - a really cold, sloppy sort of rain. It's been raining pretty much straight since Monday or maybe even Sunday. The temperature has gone down this week so that it's often just around or above freezing overnight and around 8 or so degrees during the day. It's been snowing on the higher hills and so the mountains around the inn are now topped with snow, as you can sort of see in this picture that I took of the moutain straight across the loch just at sunset.
When the weather gets a damp chill to it like now the Scots describe it as Baltic. I think it's a brillant sounding word for it, but I really don't know if the weather feels like this in the Baltic states. Actually, every time I hear the word "Baltic" I think of Monopoly first and Eastern Europe is an afterthought.
With the colder weather we've been keeping fires going all the time and my hands are getting stained from coal in the cracks of them and I can't get it out from under my nails all the time which is somewhat annoying as it doesn't look so good to be serving food with blackened hands. Even wearing gloves doesn't seem to keep the coal from getting on them. I was out to shovel coal into the buckets and for some reason the act of shovelling coal makes me feel very historic whereas burning coal doesn't so much. It seems very Dickensian to shovel coal (It's not easy stuff to shovel either - I wouldn't want to do it for a living all day or anything.). When I was in Edmonton my office mate Aaron said that we Maritimers were Dickensian for burning oil for heat as it's natural gas that's burned in the West. I guess everyone has their own definition of what is behind the times - for me it's coal.
I'm taking an indoor rock-climbing class down at the Benmore Outdoor Centre which is 3 km down the road inside the Botanic Gardens. It's a three week class on Wednesday night and I missed the first class because I didn't know about it but I got up to speed this past Wednesday. I heard about it when some men who were taking the class came by the Coylet after class for some drinks and were telling me about it. Anyway, once I finish the class that gets me certified to use the climbing wall facility on the practice nights every Thursday. That will give me somewhere indoors to get some exercise when it's dark and rainy over the winter. Climbing is something I've wanted to do for some time and I enjoyed it the night I was there. It's nice to do a sport that also involves my arms since I seem to be leg heavy.
There's also a fencing club in Dunoon that I just found out about but I've just heard that it's a kids club. There's a possiblity of them setting up some adult fencing activities, or if they need some help teaching kids I'll be up for that. They only fence foil which isn't so great but if I'm desperate enough I'll pick up a foil again.