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Showing posts from June, 2010

A Good Deed, a Solitary Lunch and a Jackaw in a Bath.......

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'ARE YOU LOOKIN' AT ME?'
Hullo ma wee blog,

This morning I took a friend to hospital for a small operation which meant a full anaesthetic, so driving home tomorrow is out of the question. Also unfortunately, the hospital is more than 50 miles away, so - after early car washing duty - I picked up my friend and headed off for the hour and a half 's trip to bypass Edinburgh in rush hour and get to the hospital in good time. It was a beautiful sunny day here and we had a good chat about life, the universe and everything as we drove through East Lothian in the bright light of  a summer morning, passed into Midlothian to skirt the City Of Edinburgh and on towards Glasgow on the motorway for a few miles before turning off and heading to the hospital. On dropping off my nervous passenger and double checking pick up arrangements for tomorrow morning, I turned the car around and headed back homeward, although by a different route to avoid the motorway which always reminds me of …

Weekend

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Hullo ma wee blog,

On Saturday I went to pick up The Lovely G from her office at 2.30 so we could spend the rest of the afternoon together. We went a few miles west of Edinburgh to a country mansion which has a number of art installations in the grounds. Although the skies had been clear and the weather hot when I left home, just a few miles away in Edinburgh and beyond the skies were grey and the temperature distinctly cooler. None the less we spent an enjoyable couple of hours walking through the woods and grounds of the country estate as we explored the large sculptures and other exhibits.













After our walk we came back to Dunbar and had a bar supper in the Volunteer Arms pub near the harbour. A nice straight forward and inexpensive supper. As usual G had the chicken while I had the fish - and a couple of our local beers - before I was driven home.

Sunday saw us take a drive further down into the Borders to Moffat, a couple of hours away. I had stayed there for a month when I had a pr…

Cheese - and Whine.

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Hullo ma wee blog,

It's a bit daft really. I've got loads to do but done none of it today. I've spent the day mainly in the garden. Sure, I've justified it to myself by saying that I should make the most of the weather while its here and I have done some weeding and minor odds and sods around the garden but in reality most of the day has just been me goofing off, enjoying the sun and the fact that the grass - never a lawn - is looking good simply because its the shortest it's been for weeks, which hides a multitude of sins. In my delusional mode I call it 'organic' or 'natural' or even 'wildlife', but I'm fooling myself as its really none of those, even if it is teeming with well fed birds thanks to an intensive feeding program. I enjoy a garden but I'm not a gardener. So it's been me at the patio table, book and sunglasses to hand, the odd glass of dry white wine to help wash down some crusty bread, nicely juicy pears and a pie…

A wee drop of inspiration for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday.............

Hullo ma wee blog,

I found this in the house of many pleasures that is Jono's 'e-clecticism' Blog. I recommend it for a peek or two when you are in need of  diverson away from the trials and tribulations of daily life. I have no idea how he find some of these things.  I'm only glad that he does.

Today this made me think, smile and be positive. I hope it does the same for you.

see you later.

Listening to The Kinks 'Waterloo Sunset' {still} but only in my head.

Sleepless in a Haunting of 'Waterloo Sunset'

Hullo ma wee blog,

3.15am on Sunday morning and I'm being haunted and kept from sleep by this track pounding round and round in my skull. I know what's done it because it's a song heard on the radio today and one of those iconic tracks of a particular summer in my childhood. It was released by ' The Kinks' in 1967, when I was just 8, and it was a song that was always on the radio.

When going on holiday, we always at that time went to a small fishing village called Helmsdale in Caithness on the far north-east coast of Scotland and always with my Mums glamorous younger sister and her husband as Uncle Bob and Dad were great fishing buddies. If at all possible, Gordon or I would always try to engineer at least part of the trip in Uncle Bob and Aunt Agnes' car. They didn't have any kids and always had a newer and better car than we did and anyway, Aunt Agnes looked like the singer Lulu and was to young boys, always much cooler than our Mum. Best of all though,…

A short diversion........

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TOOT - a road sign I like.
Hullo ma wee blog,

Just taking a quick break from working in the garden this afternoon. It's hot and I need a drink and a seat out of the sun for a moment. Us Scots aren't used to sun you see. As I've been scanning through some photo's uploaded recently I thought I'd lazily just post a few while I'm relaxing. A flavour of the village and locally.

Top - TOOT - a road sign locally urging motorists to toot their horn at a blind corner on a very narrow road - near Abbey ST Bathans  - I've never seen another like this anywhere.


A sparrow feeding on our old pear tree.



The village Kirk - the round tower dates from the 14thC.


The Kirk hall.



Old house in the village.
This is in a dilapidated state and I ache to have the money to buy and restore it the way it deserves.

Traprain Law {hill} From Dunbar clifftop walk.
Traprain is one of several volvanic plugs in the area - Bass rock, North Berwick Law, Edinburgh Castle Rock are all similar.

Public ben…

Whiskers at Dawn........

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From the bedroom window.
Hullo ma wee blog,

A paw lands softly on my thigh. I look down from the laptop where I sit blogging away insomnia and am met by two huge luminous green eyes engaged in unblinking human contemplation in return. She is beside my chair here at the kitchen table, illuminated by the glow of the lamp which is the only light in the room. She stands on back legs, holding herself erect with her right paw against the chair seat, leaving the other to deliver a gentle tap to the top of my thigh which is feather soft  yet by its very softness, reminds me that there are claws behind it which can be deployed against tender flesh if needed.  The eyes narrow and a pair of whiskered white cheeks move as they funnel a quiet, soft and manipulative miaow in my direction as she repeats the movement, emphasised by a slight deepening of those same green eyes, an act which only seems to increase their concerned impact.

Jess has arrived. I left her sleeping beside The Lovely G a couple…

In the footsteps of others.........

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Cloth Hall, Ypres, Belgium.
Hullo ma wee blog,

I looked out of the car window from my seat in the rear as we drove across Belgium to Ypres and Paschendaele. For mile after mile the country all around was flat and open, gently undulating, the road occupying a consistent slightly raised position as it crossed a land which was fertile and full of farmland, a throwback to early history perhaps when roads had developed on the higher ground as the drainage was better and open view helped wary travellers see any approaching threat.

Gordon and his wife were in the front of the car, the lovely G and I in the back. The holiday had initially been planned as a boys get away, something we have done for a couple of years now, and originally intended to have been a battlefield tour following in the footsteps of our Grandfather who had served here in WWI, but our plans had changed to include our wives and we curtailed our plans to a broader itinerary. This trip was going to be our one chance to spen…

Music! Maestro, please.............

Hullo ma wee blog,

It's  part of its strange and fantastic power that you can listen to a piece of music or look at a painting or sculpture and find yourself both moved emotionally and your thoughts veering off in a completely different direction from whatever you happened to be doing or thinking at the time. It happens to me a lot, usually with music as that's the art form I have contact with most. I can be taken to far away places or different times and find myself wondering what moved the composer to create those sounds, what experience or emotion, what need, what vision dictated such a response. I find it incredible that someones experience translated into music can communicate to me down the years, even down the ages and elicit something that is vivid, unique and deeply personal in return. A direct connection between composer and listener, sometimes separated by centuries.

Sometimes, of course, we know what the stimulus was - a visit to a place or some recorded upheaval …

Is it SOOOO hard to do?

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Hullo ma wee blog,


Jings - this last week has flown by and I have hardly posted anything, which is a bit unusual for me. It's been nothing spectacular - a bit of gardening, a bit more of job hunting, a bit of writing and my usual bit of frustration with Job Centre Plus, although this time not over insurance form completion. As you may know I have an ongoing jousting match going on with this Government dept handling unemployment as they don't in my opinion have any role in helping you find suitable employment but instead are focused on getting you off the unemployment figures via any job - suitability unimportant - and in checking that you don't try to avoid finding a job as it's obviously your fault your unemployed in the first place/ you're a lazy toe-rag. {Sorry but I'm bitter and twisted on the subject}

At my last meeting with them the week before going to Holland I had let them know I was going to be out of the country on holiday and they had advised that …

Bass Rock Gannets

Hullo ma wee blog,

Here's a nice film of the Bass Rock Gannets. I went back to the previous post and added a couple of links that I should have included - one on more info on the rock and one for the Scottish Seabird Centre's live feed web-cam in the gannet colony itself if you want to have a look.

see you later.