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Showing posts from August, 2010

Procrastination and the next blog button

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Hullo ma wee blog,

I had stuff I really should have been doing of course. I had a dozen things in a mental list; two loads of washing, empty the dishwasher, vacuuming and dusting, stuff for the recycling center, old clothes for the charity shop, half a dozen gardening jobs, the library needing a good sort out, some job adverts to follow up on, that piece to write for my course. I mean it's not as though I had to go looking for something to do, but here I was sitting at the laptop just mucking around basically. I'd already checked through any postings from blogs I follow, made a comment here and there, checked my own blog for comments and had a look at where people had come from to look at the blog. I could hear my little voice telling me to just take half an hour, to have another coffee and chill for a bit longer. Breakfast had been finished about twenty minutes ago and the dishes were sitting on the draining board by the sink waiting to be dealt with. It was early, not even …

Breakfast and A Nice Wiff.....

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Hullo ma wee blog,


Sunday breakfast. Coffee, croissants, unsalted butter, jam.

The lovely G is struggling with the jam lid and after much straining hands it to me to try and open. I try for a bit and exasperated go to the cupboard and get out another jar.

She then says "Mmmm, you should try this. It's got a lovely wiff!"

To which I reply, "No thanks, I already have one...."

Ta.....DAH!!!!!!!!

One thousand brownie points to me.

I thankyouverymuch.............

see you later.

I wish I'd Looked After My Knees.........

Hullo blog,

When I was small I ran everywhere. Like many children, walking was too slow, too boring, too often connected to adult conversation and a mothers controlling apron strings to be comfortable, especially on our traditional Sunday afternoon family walks. To run was to be free, to feel the rush of wind on my face, cool rain on skin or long grass swish against bare legs and to feel connected to the hard road or soft earth as I hurtled over it. The dash to get to the next excitement and away from my parents loving but restrictive presence was as exhilarating as the breath that gave me strength to run on faster and further until called to heel.

As I got older I continued to run. I had special routes; favoured paths in the village, over roads, through fields and woods, along river banks, hillsides and rough ground across the whole local area. I knew each one like the back of my hand. After a while I had times to be matched on each route. Granny Robertson's house was four minut…

Edinburgh Days/Camera Daze........

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A Scots 'close' is a narrow alley between tenement houses.They run off the Royal Mile like ribs off a spine.In old Scots a close might also be called an entry, wynd, court, vennal, gate or gait.
Hullo ma wee blog,

I recently posted some reflections on being in Edinburgh during the festival and said that I would have to take my camera in with me for a bit of a hoof about the sights of our wee toon in full tourist mode. Although the weather today wasn't the best to show off the town in, being a bit dull and overcast with only occasional glimpses of blue skies, I decided to give it a go as who knows what next week may bring. Although I didn't get round everywhere that I had hoped I took a fair few photo's and it should give some idea of what the place looks like just now. Hopefully I'll get a chance to catch the Grassmarket and Cowgate areas some time next week.

The population of Edinburgh doubles in August as visitors flock in to see not just a festival but the f…

As 'The Few' Get Fewer.............

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Hullo Blog,

The 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain was yesterday marked by a reading of one of Sir Winston Churchill's most famous speeches and a fly-past. Actor Robert Hardy read extracts from Churchill's "so much owed by so many to so few" speech, precisely 70 years after the address in Parliament. The reading outside the Churchill War Rooms was followed by a Spitfire and Hurricane fly-past over Whitehall. To hear him and see the flypast go here.

The RAF defeat of the Luftwaffe as an offensive force was a key turning point in World War II and there have been a number of commemorations this year as the remaining few are generally now in their 90's. You can see a joint flypast with a Lancaster and Spitfire in commemoration here and a lovely look at the qualities of the Spitfire as an aircraft in this short trip by BBC correspondent Evan Davies in a restored Spit by clicking here.

see you later,

listening to Supertramp 'Take The Long Way Home'

Edinburgh Book Festival 2010 - Ian Rankin

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Hullo blog,

 As this gig is an immediate sell out on release of tickets I'm glad that my level two membership of the book festival let's me buy before general release as for me the Ian Rankin event at the festival is a must see every year.  It's not just that he's revered by the Edinburgh Book Festival going public and indeed by Edinburgh itself who claim this working class Fifer as one of their own, or that I've read every one of his world famous Inspector Rebus novels, that I share the characters love of pre-1978 rock music, malt whisky, or even that I love that Rebus inhabits a highly familiar Edinburgh landscape even if he has made it one of the world's murder capitals and therefore, fictionally at least, not particularly safe for us mere mortals. It's not either because I'm particularly captured by crime novels other than in a convenient easy read kind of way, at least most of the time, although I really love the need for a tight and hopefully inn…

Edinburgh Book Festival 2010- Christopher Brookmyre

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Hullo blog,

Last night my brother-in-law Leonard, AKA Leen,  stepped into his ill girlfriends shoes {nice heels by the way, Leen}  to come with me to The Book Festival event with Christopher Brookmyre, another of my all time favourite Scots authors and raconteurs. It's been a great festival so far and tonight held firm promise of this continuing as Chris has never failed to impress on any of the dozen times I've heard him speak at this kind of event in the past. Chris is a very different proposition compared to authors like Ian Banks or Ian Rankin being a scathing satirist with very firm anti-authoritarian/establishment and anti organised religion views. His books are breathtakingly sharp, bloody and irreverent in the extreme. They've been labelled  'Tartan Noir',  are certainly not for the faint hearted or easily offended, yet are both excruciatingly funny and uncomfortably insightful when looking into the abyss of those corrupted by power, greed or even the mode…

Edinburgh Book Festival 2010- Ian Banks

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Hullo Blog,

Tonight it was back to Edinburgh and the book festival for one of my favourite authors, who also happens to be one of my favourite raconteurs; Ian Banks AKA Ian M Banks. Ian's a novelist in both mainstream fiction and sci-fi, where he uses the Ian M Banks moniker. Unusually for the book festival, tonight there was no reading from an existing book or a work in progress, merely an extended interview and extended Q+A session.  The evenings event was sponsored by Highland Park malt whisky so free samples were on offer as you came in the door, but as I was driving - and had already had a beer with our dinner beforehand - I declined, or more accurately - postponed - as I have a small one beside me while I'm writing this.

Ian was on fine form. In fact he was so animated and so different from his laconic self at previous events that I think he had perhaps tried a few samples of his own before the off. {who can blame him - sip - it's lovely stuff and he is an aficiona…

Edinburgh Book Festival 2010 - Michel Faber

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Hullo ma wee blog,

Yesterday afternoon The Lovely G and I went to the first of this years book festival treats. For the last several years as part of my birthday present she has bought me a membership to the book festival, allowing me to pre book events with my favourite authors, usually in the format of a reading by the author, then an interview and finally a question and answer session with the audience, all of which takes about an hour. As an avid bookworm it's a time I look forward to eagerly for months beforehand, impatiently waiting for the event brochure to land.

Yesterday was a bit different as I booked for us to kick off the festival with Michel Faber, one of The Lovely G's favourite authors, although not someone I know well, having just finished reading a collection of short stories in preparation for the event. I did find his work intriguing though so was looking forward to hearing the man himself. I found his stories very well written, humane and thought provoking.…

The Reluctant Gardener........

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Hullo ma wee blog,

Yesterday, with uncharacteristically perfect timing, I spent out in the garden. {Uncharacteristically perfect timing because it rained during the night last night and looks like it might do the same today} The garden has been a tad neglected of late what with the effects of flu and my intermittent - and usually limited - desire coinciding with the occasional rain shower which gave me the chance to opt out with reduced - minimal even - impact on my somewhat underdeveloped sense of guilt. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy, appreciate, envy even, a lovely garden, but as I have said often enough times before, I am not a gardener. My garden is almost lovely though, more through the creativity of the previous house owners than any effort or talent on my part I'm afraid to say. It has a natural charm and because of the fruit trees it looks productive on first glance and that hides a multitude of minor sins. If pressed, I would describe the look as 'shabby chic',…

A Festival Begins..........

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Hullo ma wee blog,

I left home at two to pick up my Lovely G after her course had finished at half past three. I left early as I had an errand to run returning a faulty cake stand that a been a birthday gift for her a couple of weeks ago. The trip to Edinburgh was sunshine and sea on one side and grey and driech on the Lammermuir hills on the other, a typical Scottish summers day in these parts. Loud music is my preferred accompaniment when I'm in the car on my own and today was no exception, it being the turn of  The Flaming Lips to keep entertainment at a suitable level.

I love the drive to Edinburgh, I love this small city with its grand claims and aspirations looking to the world stage yet determined to keep a firm grip on its parochial underwear at the same time, with its selling of Tartan Scotland and its everyday ' but we still have to live here too' approach of modern bars and restaurants, even if they do fall prey to the oft misguided summer belief that its poss…

Some more about the holiday

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Beringen, Kanton SchaffhausenHullo ma wee blog,

Although I posted a few snaps from our recent holiday to Switzerland I had intended to do it a bit more justice, but unfortunately man flu got in the way. Now I feel that it finally really is on the way out perhaps this is the time.

I suppose I should really call it a trip rather than a full blown holiday as it was only for 5 days including travel. We have a holiday to France coming soon and the reason for the Swiss trip was to attend a family get together celebrating Uncle Richard's birthday, nephew Fabian's return from his 1 year student exchange to Washington and to see cousin Veronika { called Vroni } who had brought her two sons from New Zealand to visit their Grandparents on an extended holiday. It was just too good a chance to let slip. As it does these days, money had to be a major consideration and we were happy that we wouldn't be doing anything other than just spending those few precious days with family. To make t…