I stand outside where I’m working and savour the coffee in the cool of the evening, letting its heat and dense flavour work out the kinks that have grown unnoticed over the last few hours. It’s been a hard shift and this is the first chance I’ve had to stop even for just a drink in several hours. The garden is cool and tranquil in the late evening light and I linger there away from the house which has absorbed so much heat from the day.I notice a cloud of tiny black flies gathered under the eaves at the nearest corner just under the roof, perhaps drawn by some warmth escaping into the night or reflected by the pale stone of the building. They twist and turn in the last of the sunlight until suddenly three swallows come tearing round the side of the house banked steeply on their wingtips and cut through the swarm. The moment is imprinted in my mind like a slow motion high definition movie and I see the birds’ creamy bellies flash crimson as the last rays of the dying sun hit them perf…
Dedicated to blogger pal Eolist Petite and her grandson with thanks for the perfect photo.
As soon as Fred gets out of bed,
his underwear goes on his head.
His mother laughs, "Don't put it there,
a head's no place for underwear!"
But near his ears, above his brains,
is where Fred's underwear remains.
At night when Fred goes back to bed,
he deftly plucks it off his head.
His mother switches off the light
and softly croons, "Good night! Good night!"
And then, for reasons no one knows,
Fred's underwear goes on his toes.
Well, it's here at last! My favourite time of year in Edinburgh - festival time!
I had the chance to spend a couple of hours in town the other morning so I took along my camera to see what was going on. These are some of the photos. I never got the chance to spend much time there and the sky was very overcast which blew out any detail in it so not much of the wider views' I focussed mainly on the performers who were giving out flyers and trying desperately to attract attention for their shows in the main tourist area of The Royal Mile.
Enjoying the show
Press photographer in the way.
I see you - get my best side will you.....
See you later:
Don't worry - I'm not thinking of killing any poor avians. I happened on one of those 'On This Day In History' pages which mentioned the battle of Dupplin Moor: a medieval punch-up twixt us and our dear neighbours. I seemed to remember writing about it at one time but couldn't think where.
Found it eventually. It's only the most popular post in the last three years.
So - as I feel a bit lazy today - here it is again:
The story of 'Black Agnes of Dunbar'.
Dunbar Castle today.
Agnes, Countess of Dunbar is well known here in East Lothian for her role in defending Dunbar Castle against an English army in 1338. There's not much left of the castle now but what there is seems to rise fully formed from the red stone of the local area like it's part of the rock itself. In any case what little still remains around the harbour today isn't Agnes' castle of 1338. That earlier stronghold was later 'casttit doune' on…
This is the Night Mail crossing the border,
Bringing the cheque and the postal order,
Letters for the rich, letters for the poor,
The shop at the corner and the girl next door.
Pulling up Beattock, a steady climb:
The gradient's against her, but she's on time.
Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
Shovelling white steam over her shoulder,
Snorting noisily as she passes
Silent miles of wind-bent grasses
Birds turn their heads as she approaches,
Stare from the bushes at her blank-faced coaches.
Sheep-dogs cannot turn her course;
They slumber on with paws across.
In the farm she passes no one wakes,
But a jug in the bedroom gently shakes.
Dawn freshens. Her climb is done.
Down towards Glasgow she descends
Towards the steam tugs yelping down the glade of cranes,
Towards the fields of apparatus, the furnaces
Set on the dark plain like gigantic chessmen.
All Scotland waits for her:
In the dark glens, beside the pale-green sea lochs
Men long for news.
As I drive along behind a top of the range mercedes, I watch the driver throw rubbish out of his window for the third time in ten minutes and muse that according to science, the world is made up of protons, neutrons and electrons.
Silently, I add morons to that list.......
........and wish out loud for Bond-style machine guns mounted in the front of the car..........
see you later.
It was late afternoon when my Lovely G smiled at me and said, "Tonight I think we’ll have fishcakes, boiled potatoes and peas for dinner."
I smiled in response to her voice and replied, "That’ll be nice" and returned to whatever I was doing at the time. A couple of hours later I was in the library engrossed in some photography magazine that I had recently purchased and was working my way through some of the free hints and tips CD that had been included when I realised that time was marching on and our normal time to sit down to an evening meal was rapidly approaching. Feeling a bit thirsty I walked across the hall and into the kitchen to get myself a drink. As I poured the water from the tap something registered in my subconscious and I found myself turning and looking around the kitchen.
No quiet hum came from our electric fan oven to indicate that something was cooking inside. Nothing on top of the gas hob either and across the room the dining table c…