New Year at Loch Ness, and some other Snowy Scenes
The year began for me with a dash up to Scotland for the New Year weekend, so technically this is probably a 1994 activity as well as 1995.
What I remember of the trip is that it took a long time to drive there on my own, it was snowy when I arrived and we nearly got snowed in, and we were staying in a log cabin on the west side of Loch Ness. The rest is a blur.
I also remember on the way back I was due to go pick up a friend from Perth and it proved to be a bit dangerous because the weather was still cold and the washer fluid in the car had totally frozen up, so I basically couldn’t see diddly out of the front window.
Continuing the wintery theme I went out one cold clear afternoon early in the year to take these photos around Willen Lake.
During the spring I went skiing at Serre Chevalier. This trip was notable for the fact that there wasn’t a lot of snow when we arrived. Also, my skis set off home on a different bus from myself. There was a mix-up in the hotel lobby during the loading process.
Multiple Visits to Melaka and Singapore
So why did I call this post “Asian Adventures”? Mainly because my job role at the time involved some work with a well known Malaysian oil company, and I made three visits over to their new refinery at Melaka to meet up with some of my old friends from way back when and to do some work on refinery planning and scheduling.
I’m not sure why I ended up going. Quite frankly, the way that piece of work was designed was nothing to do with me. Maybe it’s just that I was the one most willing to say yes. On reflection, I wasn’t the only one from the team, but I seemed to go for longer. Three trips for a total of 8 weeks, if I remember correctly. I still possess a load of the tough plastic coat hangers that the hotel used for returning ironed laundry.
Anyway, back at the plot, Melaka is a small town halfway up the west coast of mainland Malaysia, and it was at one point in its past a Dutch colony. A number of the key public buildings and streets still have their Dutch names. However, the overall aura of the place was very much Asian-tiger. New growth and modern, even if the back streets were taking a little while to catch up.
During at least one of those trips I took time off to visit old friends in Singapore – a shortish 3 hour drive down the motorway. It was a great place to spend the weekend. I remember on one of those I was very much flavour of the month with one of my work colleagues who rented a flat in central Singapore city. Why? Because I’m not Malaysian and not Singaporean and was therefore allowed to take my Malaysian registered car into Singapore.
Singaporeans aren’t allowed to because, essentially, the Singapore government likes to put fairly punitive taxes on locally bought cars (it’s not a big place). This caused the richer locals to simply pop over the causeway and get themselves a cheap Malaysian purchase to bring back. A legal ban was set up rather than an import tax. So I was able to give said colleague a ride all the way home just because I wasn’t entitled to live in either country. In return I got to stay in his spare room for the weekend.
I remember I was going there often enough that I booked a holiday with workmates to go and visit Flores but ultimately I didn’t go because my employer cancelled the trip that was paying for me to get to Malaysia.
I spent much of the summer also studying an Open University foundation course in computer architecture.
An autumnal week in Devon
And after all those adventures I finished off the year with a very autumnal trip down to Devon. I think it may have been just a few days before Christmas when we went. Anyway, it was wet and windy most of the time.