The story of the new fridge-freezer is turning into a veritable saga. We ordered it a fortnight ago and were told that delivery would take 5 to 6 weeks. So as you can imagine we were delighted to get a phone call last week to say that delivery would be April 4th ie tomorrow. Their engineers even phoned up to check access and dimensions of doors etc as it is a larger than normal appliance. All week the excitement has been building, I even took a recorded phone message to say that the fridge would be delivered tomorrow and to expect another phone call confirming the time.

Half an hour later I received a call from the Carriers to say that the fridge had been found to be damaged and they would therefore need to re-order from the manufacturer. What a disappointment. And what a suspicious mind I have – for instance if they had to take the doors off for delivery did they damage it themselves? I did try the – if it is only damaged slightly, externally for instance perhaps it would be acceptable – but apparently nothing less than perfection is acceptable to the makers.

It reminded me of a washing machine we had ordered whilst we lived just outside Stornoway, in the Western Isles. We had chosen a machine and it was duly ordered. This was in the days before mail order or internet so we had visited the electrical shop to select one. The retailer told us the shipment of machines was coming on the ferry on a certain day. Unfortunately the day of the ferry crossing arrived and it blew up to near hurricane force. We were not surprised to receive a phone call telling us that our washing machine had been damaged. Fortunately we found out it was only a slight dent in the side casing, so with a discounted price, we ended up very happy. The washing machine worked well for many year.

Back to the fridge – it must be more seriously damaged. And there is nothing to be done. But, Yes, I am disappointed. We will have to institute a treat of some kind in the morning to make up. Not that I need much excuse to go on an outing of some kind.

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April jokes

With the best will in the world I have never been able to understand so called April Fool jokes or japes, especially when presented by the media. So today I have avoided newspapers, TV and radio. Someone always presents a story and I end up feeling stupid when I discover it is not true. Wikipedia gives a detailed explanation about it being a festival dating back to Roman times. The truth is that some people like making idiots of some other people. Grrrr . . . . . . .  why am I so gullible?

The Guardian has published a list of probable April Fool capers; I presume this is just for people like me. Anybody been taken in?

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End of the month

The Birthday Month has gone very well and very quickly. I did briefly consider having a Birthday Year but decided it would be excessive. Instead we shall simply continue to enjoy what each day brings. That is always good advice. This week we are awaiting delivery of a new capacious fridge. Plenty of room for ice cream, and fruit and veg as well. Next week, HBTW will be enjoying his Driving Experience treat at a race track in Fife. Misty and I are going along for moral support and hopefully to take photos.

The 2:5 Fast Diet is going ok – since 4 March I have lost 1.3kgs which is almost 3lbs. Not bad for a quirky type of eating. It helps to remember that I can always eat what I want the  next day, though to be honest, the diet gives an understanding of food which more or less precludes over-eating. There is a kind of knock-on effect. However, this is a long term project and is all the better for being taken slowly, one week at a time.


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Be gentle on the souls of your loved ones,
and be gentle on your own soul.
For then the world will learn compassion and everlasting love.
And there will be Peace.

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Spring Washing

Yes – It’s that time of year. You can see how dirty the campervan is. We’re looking forward to our wanderings this coming year. Who knows where they will take us? Certainly not us.

B2014 CampervanwashI could only watch long enough to take the photo, in fact I was torn between being on hand in case I was needed or hiding in the house. I eventually chose the latter.

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Birthdays and new birth

Birthday Flowers – still blooming away – giving pleasure. And some photos of Hannah at nine days old. Granddaughter #8




HannahanddaddyHannahWhat a wonderful day it was when we went to visit. This was an exceptional Birthday Month treat.

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Wednesday Wisdom

This jumped out at me from Sacred Space today; if only each person could think for the common good, the world would be a better place.

Have I grasped the heart of my religion.
Do I concentrate on loving God and my neighbour?
Is there more love in the world because of me being around?
In the evening of my life I will be examined in love,
not the outer aspects of religion.

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Orthotic clinic

Son #3 uses a special splint on his left leg – this is as the result of an injury in a car accident in 1995. The splint is moulded to fit his calf and foot and is kept in place with special bindings. Today I went with him for an appointment to check out why it was causing trouble.  In actual fact an ordinary NHS appointment turned into a good outing.

The technician was a young woman who was obviously well skilled in the details of her profession; as she examined his gammy leg and foot she was able to assess areas of poor circulation and swelling. Indeed she quickly worked out that he needed a new appliance, in particular he needed a bit more support and a bit less flexing in the foot, so she decided that he needed a new splint, which meant she would need a plaster cast.

I was fascinated by now, and impressed at the best that our Health Service can deliver. Fortunately, Son #3 was her last appointment of the day, so she had time to do the mould then and there. After a bit of a flurry to collect all the materials she spread out a paper sheeting on the floor – she was keeping up a flurry of chatter and comments to which beloved son was responding as only he can to a pretty woman.  I was expecting him to have to put his foot in a bucket – how antiquated are the workings of my mind. Instead, she first produced a slip-on tubular stocking. Inside that there was a long, channeled plastic tubing. I was puzzling out whether a liquid was to be poured in, but no, it was the same principle I suppose as a plaster cast for a broken bone. (I hadn’t had one for my broken ankle last year, so that’s my excuse for not knowing what was to happen.)

The next step was to run hot water – by the by she had to use a plate as a basin stopper, apparently Oban Hospital just doesn’t have sink-plugs. My guess is that it might be to do with germs and cross infection?  Anyway, a large roll of pre-prepared bandage was duly soaked, then she ran across the room to wind it onto Son’s leg, smoothing down the emerging liquid plaster as she went. Another big roll sufficed for the foot, and she finished off by smoothing the whole leg down. As a finishing touch, she made a series of mysterious markings which looked like outlines of either bones or muscles.

The whole process only took about fifteen minutes, by which time the cast was set and ready to be removed. Then the blue channelling came into its own, it was the base for her to use as a guide for her blunt scissors to allow remove the cast, leaving a perfect impression for the lab to work on. She wielded the special scissors with skill and there was no point where I even wondered if she was going to slip. Son #3 was grinning throughout, making jokes and thoroughly enjoying himself. To top it all, the technician asked what colour he would like the new one to be. He asked for red, of course, as he is an Aberdeen supporter.  She told him that some of the children had football stickers on their appliances, and he even looked disappointed when she said he was a bit old for that.

So – a perfectly ordinary appointment turned into a happy occasion. We’ve even another to go to, when the new splint will be checked and fitted. And I was pleased to be able to feel proud of our NHS – there are too many times when I hear of things going wrong.

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Back home from almost a week away – and it has been a sunny, cold, windy, beautiful day. I even managed to hang out a washing to dry. There is something special about clothes dried outside – they smell and feel better than tumbled or those dried indoors.

It set me off remembering the clothes whirlie I had in the Western Isles. If you look closely at the photograph you will see the device folded up on itself for winter. This wild view shows how great a position it was for drying, at least as long as clothes were pegged on securely. We even used to buy special pegs.

It also gives an idea of the siting of the house – on a hill overlooking The Minch.

B2014 Dryersheshader

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Sunshine on Leith

B2014 DvdsunshineonleithLast of the Birthday treats with Son #1 and family was a take-in (Pizza) and a film on a big screen. I had been wanting to see Sunshine on Leith ever since the first reviews came out. I love The Proclaimers and the film is a  musical to their songs so it couldn’t lose for me. It is very much in the genre of Mamma Mia but set in Edinburgh. The photography of the city is stunning, but then the capital has an iconic landscape anyway.

There was no main star, though I couldn’t take my eyes off George Mackay because he seemed to enjoy the singing numbers even more than the others. It is a film to watch with friends and family and provides laughter, pathos and a definite feel-good factor. I am not sure how well it translates into the rest of the UK though or even abroad and would be very interested to hear.

Oh yes – I give it a 9 out of 10

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