It is time

b2016-autumnbridgeEverywhere one looks or listens or searches . . . . . . it becomes clear that there are many people who are scared witless about what is going to happen in the future. Of course there are others who party away, perhaps like a Russian, (thanks to Robbie Williams) determined not to worry as long as there is enough food in the fridge. But what about the ones who don’t have a fridge . . . . . families accommodated in a Bed & Breakfast or that difficult young man sleeping on a friend’s sofa? What about those whose benefits have been sanctioned through the vindictiveness of a cash-strapped clerk who is trying to up their own bonus at the end of the month? Even worse, how would you like to be scared that the powers that be will take your house away because you have too many bedrooms and not enough income? And in these cold days, what if the already iniquitously expensive electric or gas pre-paid card swallows up more money that you have to last  till the end of the month?

Do the people with their millions care? Yes, of course some of them do and they are an example to the rest of the wealthy. But how dare a professional political party of millionaires stigmatise a whole class of our fellow human-beings who need looked after? It is all about lies. Lies, lies, lies. We have been fed a tirade of lies for months and the result is that the lies start to grow feet, then they run on and on never challenged or stopped until someone has the courage to say they got it wrong.

And what about me? I have been saying for weeks that I get scared at the thought of being attacked online / trolled. To be honest, the inequalities in life for those who are not those and such as those, makes me thoroughly sick.  I am nearer the end of my life than the beginning. Much of the time I feel fragile and unwell and the sheer nastiness of many politicians puts me into a state of quiet anger. And if there is one thing I remember from Pastoral Care at Uni it is that suppressing anger leads to depression or maybe even a big hole in the road.

b2016-benchautumnOne of my closest allies in the school of life would be telling me right now, to slow down, take stock and work out what can realistically be done and what cannot be done. There are good politicians who are working for their constituents and there are good people who work to ease inequality. Just because I am older doesn’t mean I have to lose hope. I can take the anger, the disappointment, the raging at injustice . . . . . . . bundle them up and send them spinning where they will catch the imaginations of people like myself who are sick and tired of the threats and intimidations, the lies and the half-truths. That bundle can grow bigger and bigger until more people stand up for those who are having a bad time.

Spirit of the Universe
We, who call you Lord, God, Allah, Yahweh,
We who don’t have the comfort of belief
And those of us who do
Look to our comforting places
And feel your cloak of gentleness descend.
As we sit and wait we know
That there is hope – always.

Blessings from Dalamory

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Looking for the good

Web autumnriver

Everywhere you turn these days there are more forecasts of gloom, doom, increasing debt figures and signs of confusion over how to deal with the UK leaving the EU. It is as if news columnists and commentators can’t get their heads around what has been happening to us. It doesn’t take much imagination to come up with a whole long list of all the bad things happening at home and abroad. The world all of a sudden, doesn’t seem a very stable place. And people are at odds with the views of neighbours, friends and family.

As you can see I am still at odds as to how to cope with the negatives all around. So the last few weeks have involved making a concerted effort to find ways to concentrate on the good things in life. As it is Autumn, the home knitting and crochet of myself and a friend have been passed on for delivery to parts of Africa where they are badly needed.

b2016-charitystuffThis is the summer’s total, assembled for delivery. I can vouch for the soothing influence of wielding the crochet hook and concentrating on the needs of others – particularly small children. Lorries of collected home-mades travel the length of the country and on to their destinations in unstable countries. They help only a little. But it is a start.

Over the weekend HBTW, Misty and myself went to a 50th Birthday Ceilidh. It was unique and very special. Not just because it was in a Cathedral, albeit a small one, but because of the mix of ages and the live band – The Last Tram tae Auchenshuggle. 14680577_10207471626657282_112919644361927541_n

St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral refers to itself as – open, inclusive and welcoming – and that is truly what it felt like. Perhaps I should mention that they achieve the same sense of welcome in their services as well. Such a recommendation from a dyed in the wool Presbyterian is all the more pertinent.

Misty enjoyed wearing a party jacket and making lots of new friends. Apologies for the quality of the photo, it was from Himself’s phone. I was too busy meeting people and catching up with friends to take photos. A friend recently commentated on the tendency of Christians to have miserable-looking faces. I had to agree that by and large older church-goers could look a bit sad and craggy, though I think it is probably more due to age and gravity than disposition. Well, there were no sad faces at this birthday celebration.

The choir chairs and altar were removed from the front of the church to make a large area for the dancing. Light drinks were served from one side at the back and food was available at the other side. There were chairs and tables scattered about and people arranged themselves there or dotted in amongst the pews.  The lighting was dim, with fairy-lights twinkling round the ornate “screen” near the front. (Sorry for not knowing all the technical names of things.)

I find myself reflecting that heaven might be a bit like a ceilidh – boisterous, lots of laughter, food and drink and pleasure in people being together. I used to say to people that heaven was whatever you enjoyed most, or whatever you wanted it to be. My view now tends to be rather more mystical, but a heavenly ceilidh is a good idea. Not too boisterous of course, and come to think of it not too much alcohol. Oh dear, maybe I am turning into one of those miserable faces after all.

OK enough of the mystical or non-mystical musings. Other ways to try and be positive have involved some lovely walks in the beautiful Autumn weather.

b2016-dubhlochWe found some new places to walk the little dog and we have enjoyed several picnics. Picnics by the way always have to include hard-boiled eggs and a twist of salt. They make all the difference and are a kind of tradition. Whenever Misty sees the thermos being taken out of the cupboard she starts getting antsy. She knows a Day Out or even a Half-Day is bound to follow.

Much to my surprise the weather has been mostly pleasant for the last few weeks, so the inside activities have been put on hold. Now that I have put this into the ether, as it were, we will no doubt get some wind and rain. Then it is time for the artwork and writing. How are you, dear Reader, getting on with your Autumn? I would be interested to know. And of course if you feel like sharing your views on heaven, then that would be fascinating too. (I’ll duck in case you feel like shouting – Heaven! Don’t be ridiculous.)

Blessings from Dalamory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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An ideal picnic

b2016-09-idealpicnicA neighbour was lamenting how fast the year had gone by. Of course what he meant was that the summer was long gone. We stood round as elder-people do, commenting on the fact that time flies past more quickly with each succeeding year. I came home conscious of the fact that I had not done a blog post for a number of weeks; rectifying this has been one of the main things on my agenda for today. Hence this photograph. For me it represents the ideal picnic. Misty is included, we are warm and dry enough to sit outside and all is right with the world.

The trouble is that so often these days it is hard to concentrate on the good things in life. Newspapers scream of the latest atrocities in Aleppo or in the Scottish Parliament and positive items seem to get forgotten. I have dreams of writing opinion pieces on this blog which will lift spirits or somehow bump political heads together, then I crash down to reality as I come to terms with the horrible truth that as an individual I can make little difference. I think back to illustrations I have used in sermons about tiny drops of water wearing away concrete or stone, or snowflakes landing on the branch of a tree until the branch breaks. And I think of the medics in Syria and other war-torn areas struggling to make a difference, often under bombardment themselves and faced with shortages of even basic medical supplies and equipment. Then I feel ashamed, because it is all very well talking about practical help but quite another to roll up one’s sleeves and get on with it.

I’ve spoken before about my timidity in saying things as they are, because I am anxious about becoming the target of cyber-trolls. Then I get a measure of comfort because after all, people reading What’s the Story. . . . ? are more likely to be seeking a spot of whimsy or pictures of dogs or the beautiful Highland countryside.

My guess is that a lot of people cope by switching off the news or closing the paper. And in all honesty, who can blame them? People still have to earn a living, or find a purpose in each day or simply do the chores and feed themselves or loved ones. It’s difficult to do that whilst wallowing in empathetic  grief or helplessness. So I forgive myself and like a friend said to me today – think positive thoughts – a kind of prayer if ever there was.

Blog Gran3generations

This photo of the three generations of women (my mother, grandmother and self,) illustrates what my inner world has been like these last few weeks. Don’t think for a moment that I have gone quiet or been in sleep mode. I’ve been concentrating on the Dalamory Memoirs, and have reached the time just a few months before getting married. It has involved writing about some very difficult issues. Let’s face it, the relationship between mothers and daughters is often fraught with tantrums, disagreements and misunderstandings. Let me assure you they are not all mine. Anyway, it has also concentrated my mind in particular on the changing role of women in the world over the last fifty years or so.

Women suffer in all sorts of ways, just as women know great joy. But in these times of war crimes, death and destruction it seems to me that women and children bear an unequal burden. As a teenager I failed to understand how my parents’ generation could have allowed the tragedy of concentration camps. As a retired elder-person I know how it happened. It must have been a kind of helplessness coupled with a disbelief that people could be so cruel.  It is like that now. So somehow we have to grasp every day and live it the best way we can. And if we have a bad day, then we pick ourselves up and try to do better the next day.

That brings me back to the seasons slipping past. Autumn is here and inevitably it will be winter sooner that we think. Every September at the start of the new academic year I used to enjoy making pretty diagrams of plans for study and enjoyment and learning new things. Why should it be any different for a retiree?  I’m not so clever with my computer and pie-charts, but I could have a go at learning. As the nights draw in – and they are already – indoor hobbies and occupations become important. Perhaps I need a timetable for all the things I keep promising myself to do. This week’s big achievement is to get back to regular piano playing. There is a story there but it is for another time.

If you have managed to read this far, how about sharing something from your winter to-do list? Or your thoughts on how to cope with world events.

Blessings and positive thoughts from Dalamory to you and yours.

 

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When is Autumn?

B2016 ApplesontreeThey are getting bigger everyday. And there are nineteen of them. The above is one of those presents that brings special pleasures every year. Son #3 gave me this apple tree a number of years ago. The only trouble is that the presence of these beautiful apples makes me think about Autumn – again. No matter the fact that the Autumn Term has started in Scottish Schools, in my heart summer is June, July and August; while autumn is the latter part of September, October and part of November –  the time when the leaves turn gold and start to fall. That is what comes of having been brought up in the South of England. And I have never got used to HBTW‘s attitude of Autumn being in August, because in southern England temperatures are still in the twenties centigrade. I know that the opposite is true in the north of Scotland, but I feel like stamping my size four and a half, and shouting, “Oh no – summer can’t be over already.” Still, this is what happens every year after our Wedding Anniversary – I should be used to it after 51 years.

So I suppose that rant is over and I can go with the precious summer days that are in my heart. At least I can today, because it has been a warm sunny day with swallows still swooping and peacock butterflies lazing on the wildflowers.

B2016 FredaStAndrewsWe have been making the most of the weather to enjoy several outings. This was a day out in St Andrews, spent along with reminiscences of my time there as an undergraduate – rather a mature one, but someone who was pleased to make the most of the gift of three years of study and research. It was a busy time and I knew at the time that it would pass all too quickly. To be honest, I looked forward to being qualified and becoming a full-time Parish Minister. The only thing that really surprises me is how quickly the years have gone since I have been retired.

B2016 RobinGlebeGardenIn fact, we don’t have to go far for days out. The above is Himself with a glass of lemonade in the Community Garden. Less than a mile away from the house. Other treats and outings have included the following:

  • A day to the Kelpies at Falkirk.
  • A tour of Fife on a wet day.
  • A few days spent with Son #1 and his family and the Olympics on TV.
  • Loch Lomond and a picnic at Luss.

Time seems to rush past and I am grateful for the health and energy to be able to enjoy living in such a beautiful part of the world. On wet days I dream about all those indoor pursuits I am intending to catch up on; there is the ongoing task of writing up my Memoirs – it is coming on slowly because I keep getting diverted into ever more detail. Housework is not quite at the bottom of the list, but dusting is never a priority.

B2016 KelpiesAfter all, who wouldn’t rather wander round these iconic sculptures than stay indoors with a mop and a duster?

If asked to sum up this rambling blog post, I reckon it would be about making the most of the latter days of summer, though in truth we would do well to always make the most of the here and now whenever possible. I spent so many years writing sermons that I am tempted to go into the range of possibilities of all the things that come along, good and bad. But this isn’t a sermon, and the last thing I want to do is to preach at you, Dear Reader, what I want for you (and me) is more happy summer days and a gentle acceptance of the crisp beauty of autumn, when it comes.

I just don’t want it to be too soon.
Blessings from Dalamory.

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Positive vibes

B2016 BettyJaniceSandyIt was a fine day as far as I remember. I was eight years old and sitting in the back of a car. That was unusual enough, because our family had no vehicle and we only knew two people who did. We were in a neighbour’s car and I sensed that this day was one I would remember all of my life. Funny how such a young person can know momentous when it is simply there before them. I looked out of the window at the blue-grey sea and saw the ship sailing down Southampton Water. My Aunt and her two children were on the vessel bound for the other side of the Atlantic. They were sailing away to a new life, looking forward to joining my Uncle in Canada.  I felt lost, missing them already.

They had spent the last few weeks with us, waiting for confirmation of an embarkation date. It had been a special time, especially as I was an only child; being one of a gang of three all of a sudden was a revelation. Auntie B was my Mother’s older sister and during those few weeks there was more laughter ringing out than I had ever felt in my short lifetime. She devised special tasks and games for us three children and we somehow knew we were blessed. After the potatoes were peeled – the mainstay of any meal in the 1950’s – we were all allowed to stand round the basin and peel the peelings all over again. I can remember self-righteously saying that my Mummy would have peeled the peelings so thinly that  there would have been no chance of peeling them all over again. My cousins looked at me pityingly and my Aunt simply laughed knowingly.

That was the essence of the difference. My Mother was the serious one, always worrying, always trying to scrape the last bit of margarine off the paper, always wanting to make things right. Yet, even she melted in the midst of the sunshine of Aunt B’s smile. There was a softening and a whole summer – or so it seemed – of visits to the playpark, picnics in the garden and dancing to the tunes on the radio. Of course, Auntie B was full of the knowledge that she would soon be setting off to join her much-loved husband. . . . . . . and a new beginning in a new land.

There were tensions around the enlarged family that summer, possibly to do with the younger sister seeing evidence of a love of life that she had somehow lost. My poor Mother had married on the rebound; her decision to marry my Father was to mean moving away from home – Scotland – going 400 miles south to the big metropolis that was London. Unfortunately her marriage was clouded by stresses that I could not even begin to understand. In the main, she focussed on a wish to return to her homeland, and I guess that this featured in the evening talks the two sisters were able to have whilst my Father worked late. There would have been comparisons drawn between Auntie B and 3500 miles distance and the relatively easy commute between Glasgow and London.

No wonder it was such a significant summer.

Over the years, the Canadian cousins became five – four sisters and one brother. Letters were the only means of easy communication, and my parents split up and eventually divorced. In the fulness of time Aunt and Uncle came to Scotland for a visit, spending time with my Mother and then with my own family. Perhaps B’s example helped us on our way to growing a family of four sons. The youngest was only weeks old when the Canadians came to the backwoods of the Outer Hebrides. How we landed up there is a whole other story, and at the rate that my Memoirs are coming on, I may never get it written up. B was still the special person I remembered and her spouse was as complicated and charismatic as ever.

Over the years and now into the internet age and through easier travel, the Canadian cousins feel very much part of my life. The photo above, taken aboard the ship in 1952 was sent to me recently by one of my cousins. I cannot possible overstate the joy it gave me. Somehow it filled in a gap and showed me how my memories squared with reality. Sadly, those two sisters born before World War II are no longer with us. Their legacy remains.

When I posted at the end of June I was much occupied by Brexit – the vote to leave the European Union – and the shock it had engendered. Politically things have been changing fast and furious. This beautiful photo has been like an antidote. Much needed and greatly appreciated.

May you find your own form of positive vibes.
Blessings from Dalamory.

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Sunset to soothe the soul

B2016 SunsetThis sunset is an anonymous one – to be honest I can’t even remember where it was taken or when. My suspicion is that it is out of the front window at Dalamory and judging by the lack of leaves it might be winter. So why put it centre-place on my blog today? I have the feeling that a lot of people in Britain are feeling bewildered, confused and upset – as many as those who are triumphant, relieved and empowered. The papers and news media are wall to wall with analysis and downright mischief and unless I switch off from it soon, I shall end up ill. The sunset is an illustration that the world is still a beautiful place.

If that sounds a tad dramatic, then please excuse me. You see I have been very quiet on the blog front, in the main because I have been getting more and more disturbed at the tone of the campaign to leave the EU. It is such a momentous decision that I ended up thinking it would be better to write about it after the vote. Then, when the result was that we are to leave . . . . . . . . .  well to be honest I was absolutely gob-smacked. Excuse the language. But – it is a totally unexpected outcome, one which I never even thought likely. Of course, Scotland had an overwhelming result to remain part of the EU. But – the way that democracy works we are supposed to mutely accept that the great majority have voted otherwise and so shall it be.

Scotland being Scotland, things are not quite like that. First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon has already set in motion the permissive legislation that would make a second Referendum on Independence possible on the grounds that there has been a significant change in circumstances. I listen to all the arguments and counter-arguments and start to get all wound up . . . . . . .   and then pick up the crochet squares to make some more blankets for charity. I pray that bridges can be built and fences mended and that Scotland will be able soon to build the kind of society where everyone is valued and looked after, one where resources are shared more equally. If that sounds like a Utopia, I make no apologies.

Blessings from Dalamory.

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The Essence of Retirement

B2016 BenmoreRedwoodsIt is a truism that people often say, “I don’t know how I ever had time to work . . . . .”  The days slip by so pleasantly that I find myself thinking the same, however, this past week is a good example of how time can be expanded to achieve goals and objectives as well as treats and fun-time. My main concern right now has been to actually sit down at the computer and get writing. Perhaps I should say Writing with a capital W. I think it has been a surprise to those who know me, that the promised book has never appeared. Today I found myself explaining to someone how eleven years of retirement had passed me by with very little to show for it, other than the blog posts and a few facebook entries.

Retirement was thrust upon me due to ill health. I’ve told people that so often that it kind of trips off the tongue. But the point is, that now I am feeling better than many a long year. Ok I know that could be seen as tempting fate, but it is worth saying it again. I have space in my head to gather thoughts and form words and actually get serious with my trusty computer. And it is a lot more healthy than concentrating solely on newsprint and other media, especially with so much vitriol and nastiness to add to the awful fact of war, violence and crime. I know it is important to be well read, particularly with the decision we all have to make in the UK about Europe and the EU, but. . . . . . .. life is about good things as well as difficult and dark things. I know several people right now who are determined to make the best of really hard situations. The least I can do is to write the wretched book I have been promising for years.

Of course, I expected to write the grand novel, the one that everybody is supposed to have in them. But a bringing together of memories for those close to me, is every bit as good. As well as being easier. For instance I sat down today and two hours disappeared as I flew back in my mind to rationing and postwar London. And I realised I am grateful to have had the life I have had.

B2016 BenmoreEckriverAnd today’s life is pretty good too. During this past week, HBTW Misty and I took advantage of the good weather and declared a Day Out. This pretty river is at the boundary of Benmore Botanical Gardens where we wandered, very happily like the three old codgers we are, for several hours.

The Redwoods at the top were planted in 1863 and are already 40 metres high, well on their way to becoming enormous guardians of the garden. There are over 300 species of rhododendrons, many azaleas and a huge variety of trees. But the restored Victorian Fernery was, for me, the icing on the cake. By the way I had an iced empire biscuit at the cafe and very good it was too – that and a pot of Earl Grey tea.

B2016 BenmorefountainMy point is, that life is a mixture of all sorts of things: good, bad, indifferent, hurtful, disappointing, joyful, wonderful and all sorts more. To take enjoyment in the day and to live it to the exclusion of everything else is a rare gift, one which is to be celebrated. I remember so well how difficult it was when my sons (4 of them, by the way,) were young. But the secret then was to do things that they could not help but enjoy. Things like, jumping down giant sand dunes, damming streams, collecting hens’ eggs, playing with puppies, all the sorts of things we used to do before computers and social media. I’m not saying technology is bad – but it is different.

B2016 BenmoreferneryBack to Benmore Gardens – I had to struggle up some very steep and winding steps to actually get to the Fernery. And it meant braving a dark and forbidding looking entry which was the equivalent of being at forest-floor level beneath the high canopy of trees in the rain-forest. Himself and the dog had to wait outside, though HBTW had his own tour while I recovered in the sun with Herself.

B2016 BenmorefernerystepsThis week has been a lesson in how to make the most of life. I know I am in a fortunate place health-wise and that others are less able. I know that the weather has been incredible. And I know it is easy to be cheerful when the sun shines. The hope is that if and when a dark day comes along, we will have built up a reservoir of spare capacity. And more than anything, I hope we can share some of the good experiences with others.

What’s been good in your life this week?

Blessings from Dalamory

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Homecoming

B2016 GardenThis is just to prove that when we get good weather in Dalamory, we really do get good weather. Indeed Argyll – mountain, glen, loch and seashore becomes a magical place. It is only a week since we came back home after a 6-day break in the pretty Border village of Newcastleton. We used to live there back in the 1980’s.  Our sons went to school and uni and for six years we enjoyed the slower pace of a village that has a mind of its own.

The photos on the link above are much better than any of the ones I tried taking; my excuse is that the weather was a bit iffy though it didn’t spoil our enjoyment. It was our first proper foray into Holiday-Cottage-Land and we had a great time, (so did Misty.) There was also a family garden-party to attend, so we met lots of friends and relatives.

It all set me off thinking about family folklore and stories from those days. One of those tales was the subject of some hilarity with Son #3 recently, so it is worth the retelling. Will I say which son was involved in servicing his bicycle with a car foot pump? Of course I will, it was indeed #3 himself. He was about 8 years old at the time and no doubt thought it would be a good wheeze to acquire Father’s foot-pump from the car or maybe garage, to lessen the work of pumping up his bike tyres.  He leaned the bicycle up against a tree in the village square right outside the house. Grandma and Mother happened to be looking out of the window and were watching proceedings with interest. He fiddled about a bit and managed to connect pump and tyre with relatively little bother. Then, he proceeded to pump his foot vigorously up and down with a look of intense concentration on his face. I can see him now in my memory – what a pity there were no handy mobile phones then.

Suddenly, there was an almighty BANG . . . . . . . . .  Said Son leapt in the are and then ran away, looking extremely frightened. Eventually, when he realised he had not blown up the village he wandered back sheepishly. Mother and Gran collapsed in giggles. Of course the best bit was that he had no idea he was being watched.

These are the kinds of tales that have to be included in the Memoirs. Now I simply have to get on with the task of somehow setting them in context. I’ve not settled recently to any serious Writing, we have been far too busy. I know, I know, I have to make the time or the days will slip away. I actually enjoy sitting at the computer sharing stories, thoughts and dreams, so I do believe it will happen. If I’m spared and well as my own Granny would often say.

It is good to have lots to keep body, mind and spirit occupied.

Blessings on you and all your activities. By the way, has anyone got any good memoirs stories to share?

 

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Bluebells and other things

B2016 Mistycarbackseat“Ok,” says the Little Dog, “where are we going today?”  It is amazing how quickly she has adjusted from travel in the motorhome to travel in a car. The same goes for us Oldies too. Maybe the novelty will wear off soon, but right now all that has to happen is that someone says, How about a Day Out . . . . . . .?   and we are soon ready and off with a picnic to follow our hearts. After all, we have to make the best of the weather.

B2016 RobinkylesviewSo far we have covered around 1200 miles, so projects at home would be put to one side you might think. Sort of right – I’m not so inclined to sit at my computer or do blog updates – sorry about that. But I have managed to do some work on my Memoirs and the standard housekeeping tasks are more or less up to date.

Re the Memoirs thing – it has surprised me how much emotional energy it takes. I am discovering new things about myself and the whole process of writing. I had always intended to take up a writing project when I retired, but the time just didn’t seem right. Attempts at novels have fallen by the wayside and the years roll by. It led me to think what we all wanted when we set off with trepidation into the world of blogging. Way back in the early part of the century – yes, it nearly is that long ago – a blog post was usually a short paragraph, in my case, about what was going on in Dalamory. Sometimes it was a thought, sometimes more serious and at other times it was simply designed to amuse. As the years passed, changes took place. The style evolved into longer stories or homilies. I tried to avoid sermonising, at least in a negative way, and yet I also wanted to be reflective and honest about life and the universe.

Ten years ago in May I simply posted a photo of you’re-bound-to-guess-who   – and felt no need to add in any text at all.  Five years ago on a Wednesday in May I published under the heading of Wordless Wednesday and if you click through you will see another photograph that could almost have been taken today. (Except that thankfully I am a couple of stones lighter and probably in better health.) Thus it seems that my themes are often the same in a recurring pattern of spirals and pictures. Just over a year ago it was a post about Dancing and a photo of a tea-table. Photos therefore are important in the production of a post.

Nowadays many blogs are opinion pieces. Serious bloggers have been taken notice of by news media, and some have a regular slot. Many are unpaid of course and that has enabled the genre to explode. My own blog, though dear to me, is not read by a huge audience and in a way I am quite relieved. I have little need to worry about trolls or cyber-bullies. Come to think of it the WordPress anti-spam programme probably takes care of that. Long may it do so. Thus, it is likely this spot will remain a snapshot of a life lived in rural Scotland in the early decades of the 21st Century. Did you notice the way I said – decades – thereby inferring a long life?  I hope it is merry too.

B2016 Bluebellwood

Happy Bluebells and Blessings from Dalamory.

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Spring Catch Up

B2016 Locheck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This has been a week for being out and about. Spring has come and almost gone all in the space of a few days.  After a lot of faffing about we decided on a change of car and that has resulted in several Days Out getting used to it. We have been able to put aside the loss of the campervan and enjoy the relative freedom to go on smaller roads.  The photo above is of Loch Eck and you can see that the leaves are not even on the trees yet. The last few days have seen a difference, so the canopy of green will come soon. I’ve heard a cuckoo, another woodpecker and seen sand martins, so all bodes well.

Catch up:

  • The dreaded visit to the dentist went really well.  HBTW confessed he had never properly realised how nervous I was of any dentist, and as he had made the appointment he felt quite badly. However, I managed fine and was suitably reassured.
  • As well as a rural outing we did some retail therapy at a Dobbie’s Garden Centre. More to look than to buy, though we succumbed to some kitchen equipment in their hosted Lakeland outlet. The main point of the journey was to get an electric sonic scrubber to clean round difficult areas in kitchen or bathroom. Guess what? They had sold out.
  • Dance Class seemed to be more energetic than usual; what with the Cha cha, the Samba, the Quickstep and a Waltz my hips felt as if they belonged to somebody else and my knees felt as if I had left them at the dentist.
  • Household chores have been left undone for the last fortnight – Oops.
  • We had an unexpected visitor and caught up on all the news. All the better as there was no preparation to do except to add in another burger and some extra oven chips.
  • New project on the go is to think about how to write my Memoirs. That sounds terribly grand, but it is not really the case. I was interested in an article in a magazine which recommended organising one’s thoughts to leave as a legacy for coming generations. I have enlisted some help from a member of the second next level of family, so that there is someone with a listening brief who can try to keep me on topic. As you, Dear Reader, will know, I have a tendency to wander off into the byways of the mind.
  • Oh yes – I’ve been enjoying all the documentaries about the Queen who was ninety this week. She has been Queen since I was eight years old so has been the kind of background to most of my life.

Right – that is you more or less up to date with what has been going on in Dalamory. I do hope things are good for you and yours. I would love some ideas and thoughts on sharing memoirs and stories of old, particularly if you have had a go at writing your own.

B2016 Kiasoul

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