DSC_8709- blog

Fish and Monkey Glands – 19 December 2017

Out early and drove to Linlithgow to get some fish to fill the freezer.

We had to go early because my coffee mountain was being delivered in the afternoon. Got the fish and also got some gin that John had recommended at Aldi in the town. Also got a couple of steaks, one of which will do for Christmas dinner.

Came home and after lunch went to dump some empties in the bottle bank, but not before photographing them! Discovered I didn’t have my phone with me. I’d intended getting more photos when I was out, but that wasn’t going to happen now. Came home to find Scamp dressed ready to go out. Her aunt was stranded at Monkey Glands (Monklands) hospital in Airdrie. As it was getting dark now, I offered to drive there with her. Came home and dropped Isobel at her house and drove home. Still no more photos, so the old bottles would have to do as PoD.

That’s about it. We now have some parcels under the tree, at last.

Tomorrow it’s coffee with the boys.

DSC_8709- blog

New Eyes – 23 June 2017

Phoned the opticians at midday today to check if my new glasses were ready, and they were. New eyes for me.

Earlier I’d spoken to Hazy on the phone and then Scamp had squeezed every last bit of information from her about her new nephew. Good to hear that they too are experiencing more comfortable temperatures.

Drove to Larkhall and got my new glasses which I am now wearing to write this blog. Don’t they look good? When I had picked up and paid for them, I drove down to Millheugh and used that as a basis for today’s SoD. I was careful in my description there, because it seems that someone has decided to build a salmon ladder up the far side of the waterfall (locally called ‘The Boards’). It looks as if it’s still in the construction stage yet. It may be some time before it’s completed. The SoD does not include the salmon ladder, because it’s basically a building site with loads of scaffolding and massive concrete precast panels at present. Ugly is not the word for it.

Drove home the long way and stopped off at a wee garden centre to see if they had any of the massive pots we need to pot up Scamp’s pieris. They did, and at a bargain price too! Got two for the price some garden centres were asking for one. Also found hanging baskets planted with strawberries (that’s what you see above). Had to have one of them, if only to repay Scamp for slaving over a hot stove re-boiling yesterday’s strawberry jam to make it thicker. She’s a perfectionist.

That was about it for the day. I had ordered a book on urban sketching from Amazon yesterday and it arrived at lunchtime today. It looks like one of he best, most concise books on sketching architecture I’ve read. Now I need to put it into practise.

Tomorrow we may go in to Glasgow so that I can start that practise.

It’s been very windy today, but not a lot of rain. Tomorrow we keep the wind and apparently we get rain too. Oh well, the garden needs it.

DSC_8709- blog

Perf

comboToday, unaccompanied, I rode with the grey hairs on the bus to Perf. It took longer than I would have taken in the car, but I didn’t mind, because for the second day in a row, I wasn’t driving. I had freedom to do what I wanted, get sloshed if I felt like it (I didn’t, feel like it, or get sloshed) and spend my time however I pleased just as long as I got back to the bus station for 2.10pm for the bus back. It was a pleasant enough journey both ways except for one two old dears on the way back who complained about the cold draft from the air conditioning. It was a bit cool, but today was an exceptionally hot day, so I didn’t mind, and if I don’t complain about cold, it wasn’t cold – ask Scamp!

I went for coffee and tea at my favourite coffee bean shop. The tea is better in my favourite tea shop in Embra, but maybe that’s a middle class problem 😉 Since I was on my Jack Jones, I could wander unhindered into shops that demand a bit of time. For instance, there’s a decent Oxfam bookshop in Perf where all sort of bargains are to be had if you have the time to winkle them out. I winkled for a while and came away with a bargain.

After loading up on coffee and tea (tea, just in case I don’t get a chance to go to Embra any time soon), I went for a walk in the park. Lots of fancy dresses flouncing about a real fashion parade of girls AND boys. Apparently it was Perf races today. The great and the good were certainly making a day of it, and what a day it was, twenty something degrees centigrade. Isn’t it great not to be working! One of the gainfully unemployed.

Back to Scottish weather tomorrow with temperatures in the ‘teens, the low ‘teens. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

DSC_8709- blog

One year ago – 13 August 2015

A year ago today this was published. The first post in my embryonic blog, and I have my daughter to thank for that. Without her help and knowledge it wouldn’t have happened. The 13th of August may seem a strange date to begin a blog. Surely better on your birthday or on New Year’s Day. August 13th 2014 was the date I should have been going back to work if I hadn’t retired on the previous June. So you see, this blog has been a record of my first year as a free man! Hopefully I’ll manage to keep blogging my tales for a few more years, still as a free man.

Today dawned bright and sunny with a blue sky and white fluffy clouds. I couldn’t believe at first that the weather fairies had got it right again, but it was true. Blue skies and sun. Temperature only just making it into double figures though, but set to rise we were told and they were right again. Spent the morning clearing up my extremely untidy painting room and stretching some old, but excellent paper for painting.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter lunch Scamp and I went shopping and I bumped into my cousin who IOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA had been meaning to phone for ages. The chance meeting replaced the phone call, but made both of us later than we should have been.  When we go home, Scamp wanted to do some gardening and I wanted to cycle. Since Scamp doesn’t cycle and I don’t garden, we had reached an agreeable compromise. Again, I used the quite excellent one bike carrier to take my Kona to Auchinstarry where I parked and set off for a run to Twechar by the old railway then OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAback along the canal past Auchinstarry to Dullatur and then turn back along the path to the car. Managed a few shots of old guys fishing inOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA the quarry before I set off. Don’t know what they are fishing for – must ask the next time I’m there. Got some flower and insect shots along the way. On the way back, I passed a group of weans with the usual Bucky bottles under the road bridge.

Him “How ye doin’ mate?’
Me “I’m alright how are you?”
Him “Aye, we’re no bad mate. Jist huvin’ a wee spliff know?”
Me “Yeah, you look all set up there.” – He’s got a home made bong made from a lemonade bottle.
Him “Ye want a go at the bucket?” <laughs at his excellent joke> (BTW Bucket = Bong)
Me “Not me. I’m a bit old for that”
Him”Ye sure ye don’t want a go on the bucket? <laughs again and repeats ad nauseum>
You will lose the humour in this conversation if don’t hear it delivered in the Ned patois which is a nasal monotone.

What made the conversation even funnier was the fact that there they were with their hash, hiding under a bridge, when across the canal, the Dullatur elite were drinking their vastly overpriced craft beers at the Auchinstarry Marina. Who are the real dafties? Anyway, passed the happy crowd on both sides of the canal and finished the run. Got home and made a rather unsuccessful Chicken Jambalaya for dinner.

The magic weather fairies say it will rain tomorrow. 🙁