The rains came. Waiting for the thunder – 19 July 2019

Today was forecast to be a decidedly unnice day with rain and thunder in the forecast.  So went to Tesco in  the morning to avoid the rush.

We visited Tesco in the morning, just to provision ourselves for the coming of the Skye folks tomorrow.  Just messages really.  Plus some ice cream and a bottle of gin.  Also got a bottle of rhubarb & custard cider which I wont have again.  Yes, it did taste just like rhubarb and custard, but why anyone in their right mind would make that into cider, or for that matter why anyone in their right mind would buy it, I don’t know.  Be warned, it’s out there and it took a bottle of Proper Job and a wee glass of whisky tonight to take the taste away!

Back in time for lunch and to prune some of the roses that had finished flowering.  Then Scamp decided to feed the flowers with sulfate of potash before the rains came.  I did a bit of stitchery, finally deciding to do the stay-stitch (who knew that sewing was so complicated?) that had been bugging me all week.  It was actually quite easy, I think.  But I won’t really know until I finish the piece I’m working on tomorrow, or maybe later depending on how busy I am with other stuff tomorrow.  Anyway, it’s basted, stay-stitched and pinned ready for the next step (or stitch) whenever it comes.  BTW, Hazy, the kit you sent for the boxers was a piece of cake (egg-free of course) compared to this waistcoat.  Thanks for the making the introduction so easy.  Wish I’d known just how easy it was at the time.

Went out for a drive with the camera but came back with nothing apart from two burghers, two chicken burgers and a piece of salmon from the butchers in Muirhead. No photos.  Went out to St Mo’s in the rain when I got back and got today’s PoD of the mating Soldier Beetles.  Walked over to Condorrat and got a loaf, to go with the Fishy Jam (Marmalade) I got this morning and a couple of Frog Cakes.  They don’t taste quite as good as they look, but we both agree they are fun.

Weather fairies are predicting more rain and also some thunder during the night.

Tomorrow we are going in to Glasgow I think to see if the Skye folk are sober enough to come here for the night.   Before that can happen, however we two have to do a fair bit of tidying up.

No Fillings Today, Mum – 18 July 2019

No fillings, just a bit of grinding away at an old filling and then a coat of varnish on some well worn teeth.

Still, no fillings and therefore, no injections.  Totally painless.

Nothing planned for the rest of the day, but that was just as well as  the weather was what the weather fairies call “mixed” when they either don’t know or don’t want to tell you what they do know.  There was going to be some wet stuff, that was for sure.  Settled for cutting out the last pieces of material and preparing for the final assembly.  Then I got fed up with it all and after lunch I went out to take some photos.  With a bit more of a breeze blowing the clouds around today I reckoned I could manage to get a 60 frame time lapse shot in between showers, so I drove up to the parking place behind Fannyside Lochs and set up the tripod.  For a change, I used the Samyang 7.5 to get a wider view and therefore more drama in  the cloudscape.  Got everything set up and took the first set of frames.  It was when I was watching the movie on the screen that I realised I’d be in the shot because I’d gone for a walk instead of just standing around watching the frames count down.  Also, there wasn’t a very interesting landscape, so for the next set I moved the tripod to a place that was more sheltered, gave a more interesting view and where I wouldn’t walk into shot.  That one looked better, but  the cloudscape was better in the first one.  Just got packed up when the first spits and spots of rain came.  Drove to Tesco to buy the makings of dinner which was to be Crispy Paprika Chicken with Tomatoes and Lentils.

With that in the bag, I drove over to a wee back road to Kirkintilloch to try for version 3 of the time lapse, but it wasn’t quite right for the TL.  Instead I cobbled together a panorama using six frames shot in portrait format for later joining in Lightroom.  Happier with that, I headed home, knowing in my heart of hearts that the pano would make PoD and that perhaps the time lapse is now out of my system. Drove back through torrential rain.  Got to the house and the sun came out!  Dinner was a partial success.  I liked it and although Scamp agreed, she also made some suggestions for next time.  The key phrase is “Next Time”.  So it wasn’t a total failure, just a work in progress.  Thinner cut fennel slices and no water cress.  I think she might be right.

That was about it for the day.  Word had come in during the afternoon that Jackie and Murd will be staying overnight on Saturday, so some tidying up and general reorganization will be needed in the tailor’s shop upstairs.  That may take up a fair bit of tomorrow’s time. Other than that, we have no great plans for Friday.

 

Out to lunch – 5 July 2019

Dull again with the threat of rain. A Scottish Summer.

Didn’t have a lot planned today, in fact we both had nothing planned. Did a bit more to the waistcoat in the morning. Stitched the welts up and then stitched them on to the waistcoat front. Such a lot of faffing about just to make two fake pockets. I ask you. Do these designer people have so much time on their hands, they just make tricky things like this simply to make the sewing difficult? What’s the point in taking an hour to make a pocket that you can’t use? Nonsense! Ought not to be allowed, if you ask me. Anyway it’s done now and they do look good even if it’s just a place to keep your you odd 20p. If tomorrow is as inviting as today, I’ll start the belt up the back, if that’s not a rude expression!

Went out to Milano Express for a lunchtime pizza each. I had a ’Meat Feast’ and it was good, but got a taste of Scamp’s veggie pizza and it was really nice. May try that some time. Very tasty. Dropped Scamp at home and took the Juke for a drive looking for a view I’d seen from the motorway one day. It was burned in my memory. A yellow field on a hill with a small stand of trees at the top. Took me ages to find it and by that time, what good light there had been had disappeared and there was rain in the wind. Took the photo of course, but will try again on a better day, DV. Today’s shot is on Flickr.

Today’s PoD was taken on a walk around the block to get my 250 steps per hour done. It’s a dog rose (Rosa canina) or what’s left of it once the petals have fallen. I always think they look so much more interesting and ‘graphic’ with just the bare bones of the flower showing.

Highlight of the day was those pizzas in Milano Express. Cheap and cheerful.

Tomorrow we may go in to Stirling or Glasgow. Not too far anyway.

A New Toy – 2 July 2019

Ordered on-line yesterday, delivered free to the store today.  Impressive.

Ordered a second hand Panasonic 14mm lens on-line from WEX at lunchtime yesterday and got an email from them today, just 24 hours later, to say it was ready for collection in their Glasgow store.  Impressive service.  So, I drove in and picked it up.  I could have waited until tomorrow, but I was doing nothing else today and it seemed a pity for it to be cooling its heels in a store room when I could be putting it through its paces in  the sunshine.  Drove home via B&Q to get some black Sugru to try to fix the battery door on my old, but good Oly E-PL5.  However, as usual with this branch, they had blue, red, yellow and white Sugru, but no BLACK.  Left disappointed and drove over to the Antonine Wall and got some landscape shots of the hay bales under a blue sky.  The above shot made PoD.  I must admit I’m impressed with the lens.  In case you’re interested (I know you’re not). It’s a Silver Panasonic 14mm F2.5 Lumix G II ASPH Lens.  It came in its original box with the instructions and warranty still in their sealed wrapper.  Nobody reads instructions these days.  If in doubt, Google it.  What do you mean you don’t have a computer?  How the hell are you going to view your photos?  Take the disk in to Boots and ask them to print them?

While I was out doing the rounds, Scamp was at lunch with her pal.  She should have gone last week, but uncharacteristically, forgot.  By the time I got back, so was she.  Basically, that was the day.  Highlight for me was the new lens.  Highlight for Scamp was lunch and a natter.  We’re easily pleased, you see!

Tomorrow we’re probably going dancing in the afternoon at Michael’s Fun Palace, and he better be on his best behaviour or fur will fly! Then intending to go to Jamie Gal’s Salsa class at night.  Should be a fun day!!!

It Rained – 24 June 2019

It didn’t rain all day, but when it did, you knew about it!

Didn’t do much this morning. It was just one of those days. I ordered another camera strap from the Cordweaver bloke. He makes such a neat job of them, it’s simply not worth your time learning to weave the paracord.

In the afternoon I dragged myself out for a walk with the E-M1 to see if there were any beasties out looking for a photog to take their foties. They found me. Spiders were the prey today and some scary ones too. The yellow and black striped one was looking decidedly scary, but then black and yellow are the warning colours in nature aren’t they? Wasted lots of shots today trying things that would never work, but it’s just part of the learning curve with a new camera. I really need to catalog what the four storage areas are holding in terms of camera settings. I know what they do, but I need to use a spreadsheet to save the details of HOW they do it.

Drove in to Glasgow to Salsa through some really torrential rain. It didn’t last long, but it certainly was heavy. Even with the wipers on double speed they were struggling to clear the deluge. Salsa with the beginners class was interesting and fairly easy, but the advanced class were few in number and unlike last Wednesday, especially few in men. Jamie actually cajoled Megan and Andrew to join in as leaders. Last week’s twisty turny move got a new name: Boda. And of course there was a new, new one which hasn’t got a name yet. The advanced class is becoming a bit stale. New moves that very few people will dance at socials and too many new moves for my poor wee brain to retain. Maybe we just need a holiday in the sun. Yes, that would be nice.

Lightroom is being a bugger again. Forgetting where to put photos and forgetting which are its default settings. Tonight I reset the .plist and that helped a bit, but didn’t fix all the problems. It actually caused a few more problems! Most are fixed now, but since the main reason I use Lightroom is to catalog my photos, if it doesn’t do the cataloguing, then it’s not really much use. I’ll go search the InterWeb for a solution tomorrow. That’s what I did last time and I fixed it, so a solution is out there, I just have to fix it.

Tomorrow I have to sort June’s birthday prezzy and then it’s coffee with the boys.

Dancing and The Wullies – 19 June 2019

The dancing was in Glasgow and the Wullies were of the “Oor” variety and were everywhere in Glasgow.

Spent the morning making a set of Wales photos to go into a gallery on this website. They aren’t quit ready yet, but hopefully they will be soon. After lunch we drove in to Blackfriars for a torturing class of ballroom and jive.

It wasn’t that the moves were difficult, or even new. It was just that we’d had Wales and walks in our heads for the last week, with no time for dancing or dancing practise. Now it was all a blur again. At least that’s what it seemed like for me. Jive didn’t jell. Waltz didn’t flow as it should and although Quickstep was better than the other two, it too wasn’t “Our finest hour” as Scamp described it. A cup of coffee afterwards helped with the pain, but a lot of practise is needed before next week.

Then, there were the “Wullies”. They were everywhere we looked. They were painted “Oor Wullies”, made of fibreglass and larger than life size. After some research when we got home, I discovered there were 59 of them dotted around Glasgow and the West. The first one we saw, and my favourite so far is Oor Charles, modelled on Charles Rennie Macintosh. I got a few more, but Oor Charles got PoD. If this paragraph made no sense to you, then:

  1. You should read the Sunday Post, just the comics page though.
  2. Wait until we get to The Broons.

Salsa tonight for me was only about the 6.30 class. The 7.30 class was oversubscribed in leaders, so I was superfluous and took myself out to be doorkeeper. That’s where I wrote most of this blog. The Intermediate class at 6.30 were doing Pachangero which is one of Scamp’s favourite moves. They are a really good class and most of them are picking up the moves really quickly. Scamp drove tonight which made life a lot easier for me. Thanks S.

Tomorrow we have no plans. Maybe go for some messages!

Home Time – 15 June 2019

Time to say our goodbyes and point the Juke’s red nose north.

Up about 7am and got the last of the stuff packed into the juke’s boot. Wished everyone a safe journey home and headed for Aberystwyth one last time go stock up on essentials before we set the sat nav for Home.

Drove through some beautiful countryside I’m told, although I didn’t see much of it. I was two busy watching the grey asphalt run under our tyres. Saw a friendly group of cyclists going our way and a load of others with racing numbers on their bikes going the other way. I didn’t envy them their run through the mountains. Stopped at Chester services and grabbed two clean shots of an Airbus Beluga. It must be the ugliest aircraft ever built. Only had my iPhone to record the shot, but at least I got it. That wasn’t the best shot of the day. PoD went to a shot taken from the house looking up through the garden to Sim taking her last shots of the landscape round the house, and there was blue sky and sunshine too.

The rest of the journey was uneventful and we arrived home in sunshine at around 5pm

Tomorrow will be a lazy day. No driving.

Aberystwyth without the rain – 12 June 2019

It was a very different place.

JIC, Sim and Sophie were going for a long walk today. We didn’t fancy that. There had been a change of plan and we were making tomorrow’s dinner as well as Friday’s, so we needed some extra supplies. I suggested that we take Madeleine and Jaime in to Aberystwyth with us and go for a walk in what we hoped would be the dry, if not the actual sun, and that’s what we did.

The trio left and entrusted us with the main door key. Soon after that we too left. Aberystwyth was dry when we arrived after meeting a milk tanker on a narrow road with very few passing places. Luckily we met at one of those places or it would have been Juke Soup! These narrow country lanes are not meant for wide cars like the Juke and even less for hulking great milk lorries, but we both came through unscathed. We parked at the exact same place as yesterday and walked along towards the castle.

After investigating the ruins, we wandered past the University and in to town proper. Coffee in Nero, just like yesterday and then walked back along the prom past the statue of the Mary Poppins lady and back to the car. Next stop Morrisons to get the extra food needed for tomorrow’s dinner, then home.

After unloading the car I was deciding whether or not to go for a walk when I got in conversation with the man who owned the house and most of the land on that side of the road and he told me how the house was renovated. I’d thought the beams that held up the ceilings (and provided Jaime and me with so many lumps on our head when we forgot to Duck not Grouse) were Greenheart, but he said they were more likely to be Oak and had come from the masts of ships which had been decommissioned in the 1700s. He’d heard about Cumbersheugh, but had never been there. I told him that’s what I’d have recommended. Interesting talking to someone who has a totally different lifestyle to mine.

Not long after that, the rain started and we went our different ways. Then the trio returned with Vixen ‘covered in ticks’. Poor dog, I know how he feels.

Then it was time for the Trinny Trio to start making dinner which was Stew Chicken and Macaroni Pie. Immediately I smelled it, I remembered eating it in Trinidad. It tasted just as good as it smelled.

Apparently tomorrow morning is to be wet, but the afternoon will be better. We may be going for a walk somewhere not strenuous and without ticks. Good luck with that.

A day at the seaside – 11 June 2019

The young ones were off for a walk round a pond. We were going to the seaside

JIC, Sim and Sophie were taking Vixen for a walk around a couple of lakes with unpronounceable Welsh names. Madeleine and Jaime were staying at home. We were off to Aberystwyth. The first problem was getting the car’s sat nav to recognise Aberystwyth. It seemed to be fascinated by somewhere called Aberri… something. Finally tricked it into accepting the proper spelling and off we went into the rain. Driving around on these narrow roads with the high hedges was bad enough in the dry, but in the pelting rain it was a whole new challenge, but the sat nav lady did talk us through the rain and the narrow roads to get us to Aberystwyth, so it did know where we wanted to go all the time.

We went to Morrisons because it was the first supermarket we passed, then drove in to the town. We parked down by the harbour on one side and one of the beaches on the other side. Neither was very inviting in the torrential rain, but we zipped up our rainy coats and walked out into the wet stuff. About twenty minutes after we left the car, I discovered that my rainy coat was no longer waterproof. We ducked into a Nero for lunch and a chance to dry out.

When we came out it was drying up nicely, so we went for a walk up the main street and then back down towards the other beach, although it wasn’t really dry enough for a walk along it or a paddle in the water. Took a few photos of the headland and the funicular railway framed by grey sea and slightly lighter grey sky, and also the lady on the pillar that Scamp felt looked like Mary Poppins.

Our parking ticket was up, but we’d used up almost all of it anyway and so we drove off and found a Tesco the sat nav didn’t know about (ha!) and a very posh one too. Then we drove home through the rain that had returned.

Chicken on peas and leeks for dinner. Our chance to cook.

Driving, driving all the day – 8 June 2019

Left the house just after 10.30am. Arrived in Wales at about 6.30pm

Actually left the house at 10.15. Couldn’t remember if I’d lifted the MBP power supply. Decided to check. Thankful that I did, because it was still plugged in to the multi point socket in the livingroom. Finally on the road at 10.30, but without the Aeropress or the breakfast cereals or the beer, but we didn’t know that until around 6pm when we were 300 miles down the road.

Fairly easy run down until we reached junction 26 of the M6. Warning signs for the last 30 miles telling us about a 90min delay after junction 26. Decided to take a diversion through Liverpool. Lost our way despite using two phone sat navs and the in-car one. Finally drove along narrow lanes with 2metre high hedges on the outskirts of Aberystwyth and actually found the house with little problem after that. It was signposted just as the letter had said.

Dinner and chat for a few hours, plus a few drinks and bed.

Weather driving down was terrible for the most part with torrential rain, but for once, there were almost no roadworks.

We’re walking, not driving tomorrow.