Today was Saturday.

Saturday used to be The Weekend. These days the week has no beginning and therefore no end. The only thing that makes the weekend different from the rest of the days is that the individual weekend days start with an ’S’.

We went for a walk today. That’s where the PoD came from. Down to Broadwood, avoiding the loch, because everyone was out there walking their dogs or cycling in a wobbly way along the footpaths in a very un-social distancing manner. Instead we walked down past a soakaway ‘water feature’ and back up underneath the Craiglinn Roundabout and on to St Mo’s by way of the now well worn path behind St Mo’s school to the actual St Mo’s. A cursory inspection of the ‘pollothywogs’ (tadpoles – ‘Some Fishy Nonsense’ poem by Laura E. Richards). We walked home. It was cold for most of the walk because of the wind, but when we were sheltered from that wind it was quite warm.

Met the window cleaner when we got back home, just in time to pay him with the last fiver we had! Spent a long time reminiscing about times at CHS in ‘the olden days’.

I wanted to pot up a couple of the chilli plants that have been growing on the kitchen window sill since October last year, in a different world. They look a lot happier now with room to flex their roots. Scamp was busy too cutting and pruning. On the way home we ‘found’ a few cuttings of Berberis and she planted them too. I remember my mum pausing by a wall when we were out walking in the summer and ‘finding’ some cuttings of something she fancied. It must be a family failing or just a family ‘finding’.

Dinner tonight was Chicken Thighs on a bed of peas and leeks, with Jersey Royal potatoes. Very nice and even better because it’s a tray bake, so very little prep and a one-pot meal.

A little dance practise tonight.  I chose ballroom, so we did Waltz1, Waltz2, Quickstep and Foxtrot.  Then Scamp wanted to practise a new sequence dance, the Melody Foxtrot.  It looked very complicated, but she assured me it wasn’t.  I’d tend to disagree with that, but we did manage to get it right a couple of times.  Maybe part of it will be in muscle memory by the next practise session.

PoD was a field of Coltsfoot Daisies setting seeds with a nettle in the middle. No reason for it, I just liked it. Today’s sketch was a metal whisk. What a dull thing to draw, but it made Lockdown Library No 34.

Tomorrow we have no plans and it’s weekend day number 2 which would make it Sunday!

Just another sunny day – 5 May 2020

It was one of those unexpectedly good days. Expected it to be overcast and right from the start it was lovely sunshine.

Possibly it was because of that sunshine, but neither of us did very much in the morning. Scamp was reading and I was struggling through today’s Sudoku. Cup of coffee each and a bit of cake. After that we agreed that we needed milk and bread, so off we trotted to the shops. Big queues everywhere except The Food Factory, so that’s where we went. They didn’t have as much as M&S or Aldi, but we weren’t looking for much, so that sufficed for our shopping.

Back home, lunch for me was a panini wrapped round some tinned red salmon and lettuce. Ages and ages since I’ve had salmon of the tinned variety. It has a totally different taste from ‘real’ salmon. Makes you wonder what it’s made from. I doubt if there’s much fish in there. Scamp had tuna with lettuce on a panini and declared it fine. There again, tinned tuna is nothing like fresh tuna. Hardly the same colour and nothing like the taste. What is it really? To finish off lunch we had a piece of banana cake. It was truly delicious. I had two bits and I think Scamp had the same.

I’d a bit more work to do in the back room. I’m thinking about making a light box to photograph my drawings in and I was scrounging around for some cardboard to make it. I think I’ve managed to find enough. May start construction tomorrow after the plans are drawn up. I’ve been watching some folk making them on YouTube and they don’t look too difficult. We’ll see.

Got fed up and decided to take the Big Dog out for a walk in St Mo’s and Scamp decided a walk would do her good, so off we went. Went round the pond twice and that’s where I got the picture of the baby coot looking really straggly and scruffy. Strange how the area around their beak is like orange fur when it will later become the iconic white plate. They were deep in the horsetails and were difficult to spot and even more difficult to get a clear shot of. I shot about 20 frames, but it was the very first one that was the best and that made PoD.

We had a bit of a dance practise tonight and covered some of the sequence dances with Scamp trying to teach me a couple of new ones she’d seen Stewart and Jane doing in their little Lockdown Videos. Really appreciate them taking the time to do them.

Tomorrow I may go cycling, just may. It was warm in the sun today, but the east wind was cold. Tomorrow is to be warmer apparently. We’ll see.

A seat in the sun, a painting done, a bike to ride and Chinese food besides – 25 April 2020

All done within twelve hours of the hottest day so far.

Started the day by talking to Hazy. Always a good start to the day. I’ve now got instructions for making a Fat Quarter mask. Not like the one Isobel made with 8, yes EIGHT, layers of material. Her daughter asked if she could breath through it, to which she replied “No, I’ve got to take it off to breathe.” Methinks this defeats the purpose of a mask. Found out how everything was going down south and good to know that the ‘Nancy Pretty’ is growing well and starting to flower in foreign climes.

Next thing to do was to test the coffee maker and see if there are any improvements / alterations I can make. Found some interesting hints and tips on the Gaggia site, but nothing that really related to what’s going wrong with mine. Eventually gave up and made a slow cup of coffee that really tasted good. Maybe good coffee just takes a long time to brew.

Next thing on today’s agenda was to find out how to get the autopilot to work on the Garmin 530 navigational computer on the PC12. I got some useful hints and tips on a website last night and today I put them into practise and they seemed to work. The plane followed the flight plan I’d fed into it. One thing ticked off! Time for a seat in the sun just for a chance to catch some of those 20º rays. It was very pleasant sitting there with just a gentle breeze that didn’t seem to know which direction to come from, so came from them all.

Now I needed a painting for yesterday and possibly another for today. I started with a copy of the Bob Ross painting I’d watch him complete yesterday in less than an hour. I set to to repeat the process using acrylic paint on a canvas, although now I suspect he was using oils. Surprisingly, the finished art work passed the critical judgement of my panel, Scamp and Fred. Both agreed it worked, although both suggested different improvements that could be made. I ignored both, of course and just did what I wanted to do. Second drawing was a pencil sketch selfie done looking in the mirror. It’s not bad, but it looks like the artist as a young man. Slightly dishonest, but still there’s a hint of me there.

We thought we might do Golden Bowl for dinner tonight and I pumped up the tyres on the Dewdrop and took it over to Condorrat to find out if it was truly open. Spoke to a young Chinese lady who was checking for customers and they were indeed open for business. Phone orders only and there was just one person waiting for his collection. Cycled home and phoned in the order. It was on the way back that I got today’s PoD. The outdoor gym machines tied up with red and white tape to decree them off limits. A token gesture.

Half an hour later I cycled back to collect our meal. About ten other hopefuls were waiting too, but it wasn’t long before I took my chance and asked for my collection. Paid for it cash, which in itself is unusual these days. Chicken Chop Suey and Fried Rice (x2) was great after having cooked for ourselves these last three or four weeks. The bike ran well, but I think the front wheel bearing needs some attention. It’s either that or the front disk brakes need alignment. Enjoyed the run in the sun.

It seemed as if the next door neighbours on our left were having a party tonight. Scamp reckoned it was someone’s birthday. They’d sneaked in the back way and Angela had let down a ladder so they could climb up into the garden. Isn’t it a shame that people feel the need to go to such lengths just to meet up with family. In a way these restrictions are taking away people’s human rights. If a family want to be together to celebrate a birthday, they should be allowed to do so as long as they realise the risk they are taking. We are moving towards a police state these days and some folk think that’s a good thing. Some folk in power, that is.

We did a wee bit of ballroom practise tonight and then to round the session off, two Salsa tracks to see what we could remember.

Well, the best of the weather looks like it’s past. Next week we run the risk of rain and single digit temperatures. Oh well, it was good while it lasted and it lifted our spirits too. No plans for tomorrow.

Just another glorious day – 15 April 2020

Long may they last.

More sunshine and more warmth. Gentle breeze that didn’t really cool things down dramatically.

I walked down to the shops to get some basil for dinner and a couple of limes to make Mojitos. As it happened, the basil was used for dinner, but we both agreed the Macaroni with Bacon, Peas and Basil was promising a bit more flavour than it was producing. More, or stronger, cheese and a bit more of the creamy sauce was both our suggestions. The limes weren’t used, however. Maybe at the weekend we’ll have a couple of Mojitos to let us pretend we’re in sunny climes. I went for limes and basil, but returned with wine (never a bad thing) pizzas (they were cheap) and chicken goujon things which went into the freezer to be discovered some day when we’ve nothing in our mind for dinner. Sat in the garden and soaked up some rays when I came back from the shops. The shops were fairly quiet for a change. No need to queue at M&S!

Earlier in the day we were working in the garden. Scamp got the front grass cut and I’m sure she’ll feel better for that. She managed to do the whole grass, yet still avoid the delicate looking little Stock flower that was growing through the grass. Now that’s skill. I planted some more peas (Ambassador) in little planters this time. I also planted some teasel seeds in a tray. We brought the seeds up from our visit to Hazy in January, when N-D was off in Goa. Not sure they’ll thrive here, but I’ll try.

While I was on my way to the shops, I took a detour through St Mo’s and got today’s PoD of a ladybird taking the high road over the edge of a leaf. First ladybird I’ve seen this year, a Seven Spot.

Had a short dance practise tonight.  Jive was the subject, but we couldn’t remember how to do one of the moves, the Whip Throwaway.  It was never a favourite, but now it seems to be lost in both our heads.  Maybe a night’s sleep will bring it back.

Weather looks dull for tomorrow, but we can’t complain because the past few days have been glorious. No real plans for tomorrow. Today’s sketch was a poor rendition of an apple. I must do better tomorrow.

The day that never really began – 2 April 2020

Some days are full of things to do some are not. Today was in the latter group.

It was a cold day with strong winds in the morning and early afternoon. It didn’t lend itself to gardening or to photography, so Scamp resorted to dusting the bedroom furniture. I started tidying up the back bedroom, but soon tired of that. Spoke to Colin on the phone and found that he didn’t do “the what’s appy thing” so I didn’t go as far as trying to talk him through Zoom™. Did find out that his son-in-law is volunteering to deliver folk’s Click and Collect groceries in the surrounding villages. We agreed this was a very useful task, but only if you can actually get a C&C slot. The problem seems to be people block booking slots and the supermarkets are unable (or unwilling) to do anything about it. Still, an admirable use of time and labour.

After lunch, Scamp wanted a loaf, so I offered to make one, rather than wait in a long queue to get one loaf and feel foolish, having waited all that time with just a loaf to show for it. I knew I’d end up buying a basket of stuff we didn’t need. We have loads of flour, some of it getting close to its Use By date, so this was an ideal way to do something useful with it. Made the dough and left it to prove then went out for a walk just in case there was anything interesting out in the Coronavirus world, because although there were scattered clouds, the wind had died down. I did get a few pictures of some dogwood branches with the buds just opened and the leaves caught in the transmitted light of centre-jour (backlighting). Interesting, but not brilliant. It was only when I got home I saw a wee daisy just starting to shut down for the night because the sun was dipping down behind some houses. That became PoD.

Scamp made a lovely Chicken Stir Fry for dinner. No sticky chilli sauce, just veg, rice, chicken and a great deal of skill. A little soy sauce just as extra seasoning and it was perfect.

We had a dance practise tonight. Foxtrot, Quickstep and New Waltz with some jive routines we hadn’t practised in too long a time. Really enjoyed it. Sometimes it’s the practise at home that burns the routines into your memory. At least it’s that way for me. I won’t claim that I got it all right, but the majority of it worked … eventually. Before that we joined a straggling few at 8pm to clap for the NHS. Not nearly as many as last week.

Watched the national news tonight and oh my they are so depressing. Such a difference from the Scottish news who are quite upbeat by comparison. Scamp thinks it’s because the geography is so different in Scotland in that we have a lot of open space around us, unlike London where everyone lives in each other’s pockets. Whatever way it finally turns out, we can only look after ourselves and try our best to keep healthy.

Tomorrow, getting colder according to the weather folk. Maybe even snow.  Probably stay in and eat the bread I made.

Shopping, the new way – 31 March 2020

New day, new rules.

Drove to Tesco today with Scamp, only to be told that the rules had changed:

  • One trolley per household.
  • One person per trolley.

Scamp had the shopping list in her head. She hadn’t committed it to her phone or a notepad, so she got to be the one to enter the golden portal to do the shopping. I went back to sit in the car and enjoy the sunshine, because the sun was shining quite brightly this morning. When she arrived back at the car, her trolley was brimming with stuff. All useful and mostly edible stuff too. Biggest shop she’s done in a long time, she said. Given that there was a bottle of whisky, another of gin and three bottles of wine, plus the groceries, I’d say we did not too badly from our big spend. Lots of folk were spending much more. Those were the ones with the extra large trolleys. I’m sure some of them had a forklift truck parked in the carpark to get their stuff home.

After all the stuff was put away, and after lunch, Scamp went out to ‘clear out the bin shed’. The bin shed is where lots of the gardening stuff is kept and it occasionally deserves a good clean out. By the time I’d changed into my painting togs, she had everything out of the shed and on the path. It was probably getting in poor Bobby Flavel’s way. He lives at the corner house and is never happier than when he’s got something to do. He’d already dug his garden, swept the path and then swept the road outside. No kidding! Now he was cutting the grass for Angela (next door) who is off work and self isolating. Not only cutting the grass, but also edging it too and doing a great job. Me, I had already scraped the front sill and started painting it. The external acrylic paint is great stuff, especially when painting on warm concrete. It dries almost instantly. So, it was like the old story about the Forth Bridge. When they’d finished painting it, the went back to the start and did it all again. Once I’d finished the 2.5m length of the front sill, the bit I’d started at was dry and ready for a second coat. Two coats should do. Next the back window that I did yesterday, but wasn’t satisfied with. I’d already scraped it too and gave it a fresh coat. Maybe one more coat for it will do, maybe tomorrow.

Would I? Wouldn’t I? Eventually I did go out for a walk in St Mo’s. Walking through the woods is perfect for isolation. Usually nobody and nothing there to bother me. Today was different. Turned a corner and less than 20m away was a Roe deer, a doe, happily grazing. Luckily I had the right lens on for once and got one shot. Then its head went up and away it ran. Took another shot, but I knew it was too soft. First one looked good though. I think it was the sound of the shutter that startled it. Next time I’ll remember to use silent (electronic) shutter. If there is a next time. This is the first time for months I’ve actually managed to get a decent shot of a St Mo’s deer, or any deer for that matter.

Walked back and took some shots of strange wee flower things on a little larch. They didn’t work, but I’m hoping to go back tomorrow and have another go, weather permitting, because we’re due some gales on Thursday. Possibly snow on Friday.

I did get one more shot and it became the PoD. A little clump of Coltsfoot Daisies growing beside the footpath on the way home. Lovely flowers, they bloom just around Easter every year. They always remind me of my dad for some reason. That’s not a bad thing at all.

I’d made stew for dinner tonight and it was lovely. Of course it was under the strict tutelage of Scamp, the number one stew chef in this house. I stewed a couple of sausages in it for good measure and they were the stars of the show. Left just enough to have for lunch tomorrow.

Practised our dancing routines tonight. We’re probably building in a lot of mistakes and short cuts I realise, but Kirsty’s not the perfectionist that Michael was, so it will be ok. What Michael did do, and did well, we both agree was teach us how to Jive and those moves are hard wired into our heads now. We reprised them too. Actually we remembered a lot of them we haven’t danced since about November last year. He might have been was a pain in the backside, but he did know his jive steps.

Tomorrow we have no real plans. Must get the upstairs sills cleaned down and maybe a coat of paint on them too. Must also get something done about staking the apple tree. Depends if we can get some wood from B&Q.

With the Trolley Dollies – 26 March 2020

Scamp’s prescription was ready to collect. An excuse for us to go for a drive as far as the chemist and Tesco.  Scamp offered to drive and I accepted.

When we got there she went to the pharmacy queue and I went to the Tesco queue, agreeing to meet at the car. Both queues were equally long, in fact mine was probably longer, but more efficiently managed. Everyone was being careful to keep the required 2m from the person in front. It wasn’t until I was in the queue that I realised I didn’t have any bags with me, neither did I have a hat or gloves. The bags would be in the car, but not my car, Scamp’s. I could have walked along and borrowed her car keys, got the bags and taken the keys back, but when I looked behind me, the queue was even longer than when I’d joined it. So I just pulled up my hood, plugged in some music from my phone and waited, occasionally shuffling along while maintaining that 2m distance. Then I noticed everyone else, apart from me, seemed to have a trolley. I’d missed a trick there too. Not to worry, there wouldn’t be much in the store and I had only a small shopping list.

Finally got into the store, grabbed a basket and sanitised it. Compulsory it seemed. First check the pasta shelves. Glory be, they had pasta. Loads of it. Grab a bag, maybe two? No, that’s greedy, one will do. Looked behind and they had rice too! Loads of it in a couple of versions. Rice was on my mental list, so two bags of Basmati. Now, they wouldn’t have toilet rolls, would they. THEY HAD TOILET ROLLS!!! I took just one pack of nine rolls, don’t want to look like a stockpiler. Eager to get out of the store with my ill gotten gains, I forgot to get a tin of tomatoes or beans to put in the Food Bank box. Just get these essentials, and also some flowers for Scamp and go.

Then I realised I didn’t have the car key. Went looking for Scamp but I couldn’t see her in the queue. Looked inside and there was the red wooly hat. There aren’t two hats like that in the world. Walked back to the car and waited. Eventually she arrived carrying a bit bottle of medicine. We drove home and I unloaded my goodies. Oh, the excitement of unpacking, not only macaroni and rice, but also Toilet Rolls. How our lives have changed in a mere three weeks.

Tesco seem to be on top of the rationing and their systems are beginning to respond to the excessive demands of the greedy few. It’s good to see that at least someone is taking charge of things.

Toyed with the idea of going out to St Mo’s for a walk and to grab a photo, but PoD had already been taken with today’s shot I’d got of the of trolley dollies queueing outside Tesco. Instead of walking and photographing, I pinned a piece of Galleria Acrylic quality paper to my drawing board, mounted the board on my easel and proceeded to slap some acrylic paint on it in a representation of a landscape I shot at the start of January, when the world was still young. Tomorrow, when it’s dry I may slap some oil paint on top in a method recommended by the portrait artists of the year hopefuls. It won’t be a beautiful picture (it might), but it will make me think of other things than self isolating and social distancing.

While I was painting, Scamp was writing out the moves for seven sequence dances, one for every day of the week. That’s her substitute for painting. Whatever get you through the day. Spoke to my cousin Margaret in Lesmahagow tonight. She and Billy are also self isolating, but she said we’d all meet up again, probably next year “when this has all blown by”. That will be something else to look forward to.

At 8pm, on the dot the clapping started from somewhere in our square.  I think it was  the bloke who lives along the road at the corner, Wullie.  I’d forgotten that someone had decided we should all go outside at 8pm and applaud the nurses, doctors and in fact anyone in the NHS who works so hard to keep us safe and healthy.  So that’s what we did, we added our applause to the folk that were making their thanks heard.  There were even some fireworks too.  It was a sign of solidarity I suppose.

Tomorrow, beside a possible day in the art room, we may do a bit of dancing.

Breaking the rules – 25 March 2020

We walked to the shops today, but I broke the rules by going out for a second walk later! Rebel!

We didn’t need much at the shops, which was just as well really. Like Sim has been complaining, no flour to be had anywhere, and of course, no toilet rolls. Well, not at the new shops anyway. They did have milk and they did have pancakes. They also had salt which has been in short supply too, so we got all three. That was about it. Walked back through very fine rain. That terrible wetting rain that just soaks you without you noticing it. It wasn’t cold though, the weather machine said it was over 12ºc for a while, so I gave my big Bergy jacket a rest and took my rainy coat instead. Much more comfortable and a lot lighter than the Bergy with all my odds and ends in the pockets. While we were at the shops, I saw a VW Campervan with two surf boards on top! I kid you not. Where were they off to I wondered? Maybe Tiree to catch some wild waves, or maybe just driving around looking cool.

I made a sort of pizza for lunch. It was the remains of yesterday’s flat bread dough, with some fresh flour, yeast, salt and water added. I think Scamp was right, I should just have made a proper pizza and been done with it. As it turned out, it wasn’t all that great. A bit doughy in places, but excellent in others. Baked it in the microwave using convection oven setting for about 12minutes at 220ºc. I’ve written that so I will remember it the next time I want to make a pizza in the microwave. I might not remember it, but I’ll know where to look to find it. That’s one thing Google has taught me.

After lunch I got itchy feet again and went out looking for something interesting. Yes, I know you’re only supposed to be out ONCE a day for a walk, run, jog or cycle, but I’m a rebel and I was going to tear up the rule book and put it in the bin. I wasn’t going to throw it away, I’m not that much of a rebel. I found a use for all that rain, it gave me a chance to capture today’s PoD. Just a little grass stem holding all those raindrops on its hairy surface. It would only work with that fine rain we’d been having. Heavy rain would have wetted the surface and prevented the surface tension on the raindrop from forming a shield for the enclosed water.
Then when I was coming back, I spotted a little ladybird, the first I’ve seen this year nestling under the cover of a leaf and spotted with raindrops too. Two good subject in one day.

We did a bit of a dance practise later in the afternoon. Waltz Nº1, Waltz Nº2, Quickstep and Foxtrot. Not all perfect, but adequate, considering that this is the first practise of the Isolation. Possibly Jive tomorrow.

No real plans for tomorrow, so if you’re reading this Boris, I don’t expect to be breaking the rules tomorrow. I’ll be a good little prole and not go for more than one walk.

Lockdown – 16 March 2020

It was a day of narrowing opportunities.

Planned for coffee with the auld guys. First Val called off, with a bad cough (Not Coronavirus he said). Then Colin said he was “Socially integrating with greenhouses, garden and garage”. In other words, too busy. Fred, the final invitee, asked if the coffee shop would even be open. I hadn’t thought of that possibility. That’s when I decided to cancel the whole daft idea.

Gems met and decided that they weren’t taking the risk of catching the virus by singing at Abronhill church. With that being so, Scamp made the decision to cancel practises for the foreseeable future. I know it was a hard decision to take, but when Scamp decides on something, it stays decided. She says she’ll phone the person in charge of the church group tomorrow and explain her decision.

I went to the butchers while Gems were in session. Just for some stew and sausages. I got some Thai Chicken Stir-fry too, that’s for tomorrow’s dinner. Saw nothing worth photographing while I was out. I went up to my parking place at the back of Fannyside and watched the rain float in from the west and gradually swallow up the landscape. Saw a hill catching the sun away to the east and still haven’t quite decided what it is. I thought it might be Berwick Law, but that seems unlikely now. Must take my laptop with me the next time and try to pinpoint it. Just for something to do.

Went dancing at night in Kirsty’s class. Tidied up the original waltz routine and almost go the new waltz routine working, but not quite. To Scamp’s delight we did the Sally Ann Cha-Cha to “Fireball!” I think that might be our last class for a while.

Boris’s doom-laden statement at 5.30pm today was him setting out what life is going to be like for the next 12 weeks and it’s not good. It is, however slightly more flexible than that announced on Sunday with all persons over 70 confined to the four walls of their house for 16 weeks. At least, now, we are allowed out for a walk, as long as we stay a good distance from anyone else. We may take them up on that.

Today’s PoD was captured in the rain as we left the dance class. It’s entitled “Cumbernauld. Where the streets are paved with gold.”

Tomorrow, we may go for a walk.

A new toy – 9 March 2020

I got the email this morning that my new tripod would be delivered today to the WEX shop in Glasgow. So I knew what the day held for me at least.

First, Scamp was off to Tesco to see if there was any food left on the shelves. Thankfully there was still some cold meat and there were bags of rolls, so lunch was sorted. While she was off on her food hunt I did the hoovering and cleaning that’s become part of Mondays for us.  A parcel arrived with the final bag of coffee that Hazy & Neil-D gave me for Christmas.  I haven’t started it yet, because I’m just finishing off the last bag which was very nice.  It took me a while to get used to the taste, because it was much lighter and fruitier than my usual ones.  I will give you an honest opinion when I’ve tried it. The email from WEX to say that the tripod was ready for collection appeared just after the cleaning business was completed.

After lunch I had a chat with Margie and she gave me an honest critique of my sketches and paintings from EDiF. It’s refreshing to have someone who paints and draws and who also has no axe to grind, tell you what you already knew. Sometimes I delude myself into thinking I’m better than I know I am. I’m not an artist. I never will be. I’ve seen real artists working and know that my work sometimes looks decent, but nothing more than that. Some of it is just plain crap and I cringe when I look back through old sketchbooks and see what I thought then was brilliant. Some of it is good though. I’ll take good, any day.

When the full complement of Gems arrived, I made my excuses and left for a drive to Glasgow. As I left the house the rain was just starting, but when I reached the motorway it was on full blast and on for the rest of the day. Picked up a far lighter tripod than I’d anticipated. This was going to be portable after all. Drove home through more rain and hauled the tripod out of its box. No instructions, but hey, it’s a tripod, how difficult could it be. Well, according to the majority of the reviews I’d read it could be very difficult. It’s been likened to “wrestling with an octopus” and “controlling a drunken giraffe”. Actually I thought it was simplicity itself to work with. Bear in mind, this was in a bedroom in a house, not in the teeth of a gale on a blasted moor, so maybe it will be difficult when I actually have to deal with it ‘in the field’. That wasn’t going to be today. Still raining.

After dinner we drove up to the dance class. I was thinking when I was driving home from Glasgow “Thank goodness I don’t have to drive in to Glasgow and back out again tonight for salsa.” It was a bit of a wrench leaving the AdS, but there were parts of it that were a total pain. Like driving into Glasgow in the rain in a traffic jam. Ten minutes up the road and we were parked and in the dance hall. Brilliant. Tonight was almost entirely devoted to a new routine to bolt on to our existing Waltz routine. It was a bit more demanding, but that’s to be expected, we are moving on after all. Scamp and I took lots of videos of the different ‘figures’ and how they are put together. Neither of us was perfect tonight, but it will get better, I’m sure.

PoD was the BENt BOlt that gives the Benbo it’s name. Apparently based on the pivot of a WW1 gun carriage!

Hopefully tomorrow I will get a chance to get it dirty in the wild world!!

Final bit of news. A dental practice in Cumbersheugh village is temporarily closed as a precaution after as positive case had been identified there. I didn’t know there were any pangolins in Scotland!