Out to lunch 2nd time lucky – 13 July 2019

We drove in to town today to get some meat at a farmer’s market and to have lunch. We got the meat and had two lunches!

The first part was simple. We got the subway from Bucky Street to Kelvinhall and walked along to the Partick Farmers market. There were a few farmers there and a lot of would be marketeers. Got the meat I was looking for, it was Hogget. Older than a lamb, but younger than a sheep. Bumped into Louise with her mum. Louise looked shocked that we’d caught them in the act of buying some cider. Heavens, you’d have thought they’d been buying Buckfast or MadDog!

Got the subway back to Bucky Street which was thronged with weans parading before going to the TRNSMT festival. Scamp was not amused at the state of some of them. I didn’t mention that she, herself had had flowers painted on her arm at the Summer Ball a couple of weeks ago. But I suppose she was dressed more appropriately than some of the visions we saw.

Scamp offered me the opportunity to go to Paesano, but I knew it was a token gesture, she was looking for somewhere else, somewhere slightly posher. She chose Mediterraneo. We went in and got a seat right away, it wasn’t busy. As usual, before our bums reached the seats we were pestered for our drinks order. Told the waitress we needed a few minutes. A very few minutes later she was back. That gave us time to scan the menu. We didn’t need very long, because there wasn’t much that stood out as interesting. After a couple of sips of our drinks the waitress was back looking for our order. She didn’t get it. Scamp said we’d pay for the drinks and go. We have been there a few times in the past and the pizzas were really good. Today, all that was offered was Margherita with the option to add one meat and one veg topping. What were those veg and meat toppings? Who knows, because it wasn’t on the menu. Left, not intending to ever go back. Instead, we went to Paesano and had two excellent well-fired pizzas. Didn’t even have to guess what the toppings were, we just told them what we wanted and they arrived! That’s the way to keep folk coming back.

Drove home and while Scamp soaked up the sun in the garden, I took myself off to Fannyside to attempt some time-lapse shots. I got them, but the breeze wasn’t strong enough to make the clouds scud across the sky. Still, at least it worked. PoD became Remember Me rose from the front garden.

Another beautiful summer’s day. If it’s the same tomorrow we may go for a walk somewhere.

The day the rain came back – 9 July 2019

It had been away for a long time, but today the rain made its triumphant return.

In a way it was good to see the rain.  It was like an old friend you haven’t seen for some time.  It also meant we wouldn’t have to water the garden tonight.  It was a gentle soaking rain that seeped into the soil and made sure the roots of the plants got properly wet.

It took the opportunity to use it as an excuse to get started on cutting out the lining of the waistcoat.  The Not-Quite-Satin I was writing about yesterday was really slippery today after I’d tentatively ironed it with Scamp’s super-zoomer steam iron, but I persevered and got three pieces cut out. One for the outside of the back and one for each for the inside of the front pieces.  That leaves three to be cut out still.  One for the inside of the back and two that will make the belt up the back (No jokes please).  It really is so difficult to work with fabric that is so slippery.  Even the scissors didn’t seem to want to cut it properly, or maybe I’m just not doing it right.  I tried the wee Olfa rolly-cutter (technical term), but it didn’t want to touch it either.  I thought this bit was going to be easy.  Now I’m dreading the sewing up that comes next!  Hoping against hope for a good day tomorrow so I can go out and take photos instead of firing up the sewing machine.

After lunch I did take the plunge, grab my cameras and go for a walk in St Mo’s. In spite of the rain, I did enjoy  the walk, but came back with three photos.  Then I looked out the kitchen window and saw the hanging basket with fuchsias dripping with rainwater.  Surely there was a shot or two to be had there.  Actually there were 41 shots to be had there.  Most disappeared onto the cutting room floor after they went through my rigorous selection procedure, but a (very) few remained and from them, two went to Flickr and PoD became the little raindrop fish-eye lens you see here.  It’s a bit of a cliché, but even clichés have their place.  I’m just showing off now that I can do that acute over the ‘e’ like this é.  Right, that’s quite enough of that.

Scamp was making dinner tonight.  The rules of the game are that it has to be a new recipe and it has to come from the most recent food magazine.  Tonight it was Spicy Chickpeas with Sea Bass.  Except she mistook Haricot beans for the Chickpeas, but I thought it tasted great the way it was.  With a green chilli and a spoonful of chilli flakes it was fairly fiery.  I didn’t mind at all, because it was very tasty.  A choc ice afterwards went a long way to cooling down our overheated tongues!

Tomorrow we’re hoping to go dancing in the afternoon and at night, because next week with be Salsa free 🙁  Monday is a local holiday, so the STUC will be closed and Jamie G is off on his travels again on Wednesday, so we won’t be making the pilgrimage to Glasgow in the evening.

 

Sweet Peas, Cameras and Bonking Beetles – 8 July 2019

A late night last night and a late rise this morning finds you chasing your tail all day.

Scamp decided that it was time to cut the first of her home grown sweet peas this morning.  They looked so lovely just sitting there, I couldn’t resist the temptation to take a few photos. I needed a background, so rather than use my usual sheet of cartridge paper, today I found a piece of burgundy crushed velvet.  Probably not real velvet, but cloth with a fair amount of man-made fibre in it that gave the appearance of velvet.  It fitted the bill perfectly.  After a few failed attempts at getting the exposure right, I finally found the setting on the Oly 1 that made the EVF (Electronic ViewFinder) give me the view that the exposure settings were actually producing, not the one optomised for viewing.  The Oly 1 is such a complicated beast with so many settings, it’s easy to forget how to achieve things.  You have to work on the assumption that someone, when they were designing this camera, had indeed thought of every single thing that a prospective user would need.  Then they built that facility into the camera and buried the switch that turned it on, deep in that labyrinth of a menu.  After about five years, I’m almost certain I can find everything I need in the Oly 5 and the Oly 10, but the Oly 1 has some of its settings in another dimension, discoverable only if you know the magic phrase1.

The result of my work with the Not-Quite-Velvet and the Oly 1 is the PoD seen above.

All this was done while Scamp was out ‘getting the messages’. When she returned and after we had lunch, she went to wash her car and I went to puzzle out  the next part of the jigsaw puzzle that may one day become a waistcoat.  I was just getting to grips with the logistics of cutting the lining pieces from a wrongly shaped piece of Not-Quite-Satin when my phone reminded me it was time to get my Blood Pressure checked at the Doc’s.  Nothing really wrong with it, it was just a precaution because part of my medication had been changed.  BP was deemed ok and I was set free to go for a walk down the Luggie.  Lots of Bonking Beetles (Soldier Beetles) doing what they do best, but not a lot of other beasties.  One dragonfly circled me a couple of times before deciding that I was probably too big to be his dinner and anyway I’d be too heavy to carry away.  Saw a couple of hover flies pretending to be white tailed bees, but they were too skittish and flew off as soon as the big man came near them.  Ended up hot, bothered and disillusioned.  Drove home through some sporadic rain showers.  I think the rain was just practising for the big rain event that the weather fairies tell us is coming in the next two or three days.

Made a chicken and potato thing for dinner that seemed OK, but had fried crispy capers in it.  I wasn’t impressed with them and neither was judge Scamp.  Her turn tomorrow.

No dancing tonight as Jamie G is off somewhere sciency.  Tomorrow we have no plans, but like I say, the weather doesn’t look good.

 

 


  1. It’s “Izzy Wizzy Let’s Get Bizzy”.  At least, that’s what Sooty told me. 

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.

Recovery – 1 July 2019

Today we attempted to recover from yesterday’s dancing excesses.

In the morning we drove in to The Fort to see if they had any trainers in Sports Direct that looked as if they would last a week on my feet. They did have, but not in the right size. Saw a few others that might fit the bill, but need more investigation. We’ll see how far and wide I need to cast my net while still holding on to my basic rules:

  1. They must be comfortable.
  2. They must have a decent tread on the sole.
  3. They must be waterproof but breathable.
  4. They must cost no more than a tenner.

Ok, I’m flexible on rule 4. I realise that it’s probably not feasible to tick off the first three rules for a pair of trainers costing £10, so I will go as far as £15. Surely I’ll get a good pair for that!

Back home I farted around for a while doing nothing in particular for as long as possible. I did manage to clear the dining table for Scamp and also cleaned the downstairs toilet while she did the bathroom. I’d thought of going over to St Mo’s to grab some photos in the sunshine, but instead I just had time before making the dinner to get some photos of Scamp’s sweet peas which are just flowering and well ahead of my garden peas which are not doing very well at all. The PoD was one of the lilac coloured flowers on a dark background, but Scamp preferred this one, so it became PoB (Picture of the Blog). The dark PoD is on Flickr.  Dinner was spaghetti with pesto, and yes, I did wash my hands after cleaning the toilet before I made the dinner!

Ordered a 14mm lens from WEX and instead of paying to have it delivered here tomorrow, I’m having it delivered free to the WEX shop in Glasgow. That means we can pick it up of Wednesday after Michael’s Torture Class.

Salsa tonight was a killer after yesterday’s marathon. The ‘advanced’ class were re-learning Setenta Visa-Versa, and a few others of that era. Today’s new moves were Angel (named on my suggestion for the Angel Falls in Venezuela) and Gabriel. Now I realised at the end of the night that Angel finishes with a Setenta and Gabriel starts with a Setenta. Does that mean the we can seamlessly join the two together and call the new move Angel Gabriel? Is this Jamie Gal’s masterplan?

Tomorrow is supposed to be dry and partly cloudy. We have no plans for what to do with it yet.

The Rubber Ear – 26 June 2019

Went dancing today. Almost came home with a black monkey.

It was all going swimmingly to start with. We’d covered the Seven Deadly Spins, and the Timestep. We’d even almost completed the Clap Back. In fact, the Jive wasn’t giving us too many problems. Then came the Waltz which we thought we were doing quite well. Even when one of the other group stepped onto the dance floor, I managed to dance around them. We actually danced for a whole song without a stop and almost without missing a beat. Of course, Michael wasn’t watching us then. When he did decide to watch us we made a few mistakes that’s when he pounced. First he told me I wasn’t dragging my foot in the proper way the waltz. I told him I was. He ignored me. Next I was told that I wasn’t looking where I was going and needed to lift my head. I was getting angry now. I told him straight to his face that I was looking where I was going, that was how I saw I needed to take avoiding action in the last dance. He ignored me again. Michael is deaf in one ear, but I believe he uses that as an excuse when he doesn’t want to hear something. Next was Quickstep, but to be honest I knew he’d find fault in that too. I gave up and just agreed with everything he said then told Scamp I’d had enough.

I get annoyed when I make a mistake and someone sees it, most folk do. I get really angry when I get accused of doing something I know I didn’t do and then get ignored when I argue against it. Even Scamp was ignored when she defended me. In CassArt you can buy an eraser shaped like an ear. I’m going to buy one for Michael. Just in case his usual ‘Rubber Ear’ isn’t working. One thing he did let slip before I walked off was that we should enter his ‘Strictly’ competition with a rival teacher because after all the criticism, he said we are really good. Scamp reckons we are being groomed to be his star pupils for a competition. That might just be what all this serious nit picking is about. Unfortunately for him, it’s not going to happen.

As you can imagine, I came out blazing mad. Thankfully halfway up the hill to the car park we passed a couple about the same age as us. They were having an argument and at that moment I felt the wee black monkey I’d been carrying, leave me for another host! The sun shone even brighter and I felt much better.  Glad I’ve got that out of my system now!

The rest of the afternoon went much better. Went to Tesco to get the makings of a salad and then grabbed my camera and went for a walk in St Mo’s. Got a host of photos, most of which are destined for the bin, but a few ended up on Flickr. The best one of the day and PoD is the red rose Alec’s Red. My brother gave it to us as a wedding present, although I’d guess it was my mum who picked it as Alex would be about 11 when we got married. It’s grown in every garden we’ve had and it still flowers every year. The perfume is exquisite.

Sat in the garden with a beer after dinner soaking up the sun.

Tomorrow it’s a early rise and then out to go to the hospital for a routine check up for me. Hopefully it will be ok and the we will be able to enjoy another beautiful day.

Recovering – 16 June 2019

No dancing today. No driving today.

Just recovering from a week in Wales and a long day’s drive. Spent most of the day writing and posting the blog catch-ups and uploading photos to Flickr. Almost done now. Today’s PoD is of Scamp’s fuchsia bought in Morrison’s at Aberystwyth. Looking quite settled in its new place by the back door.

Tomorrow should see the catch-up caught up with a bit of luck.

Seven went for a walk – 9 June 2019

Seven became five, then five became two and a dog called Vixen.

We started out as seven, but then two dropped out and five soldiered on. After that the rain came on and showed no signs of going off, so another three walked back to the house while JIC and Sim tried to walk some of the energy out of Vixen.

We waited and waited and waited some more, but the rain didn’t want to leave us alone. Finally it dried up and I went out for a walk to take some pictures. That’s where today’s PoD came from. JIC and Jaime went to light the BBQ. I pitched in and eventually we got it going. Three grown men staring at a fire and occasionally throwing some more combustable material in and watching it burn. What’s not to like? Then the rain came back. It didn’t last long but kept going and coming until JIC decided he’d had enough and suggested that we finish off the cooking of the meat in the oven. Everyone agreed agreed.

Dinner was good. Lovely pork with spicy sausages. Scamp, of course, had salmon. Bottle of wine and more chat before we went to watch some crap TV.

I went out to try to get some star shots, and wished I’d brought the Nikon rather than the Olys. The Panasonic lenses don’t have manual focusing rings and that makes life difficult at 11pm, outside with midges and also, I think, bats flying around. Got some shots, but nothing spectacular.

Tomorrow, no real plans. Looks dry in the morning and wet after that.

New Boots and Panties! – 7 June 2019

It was one of those days when I couldn’t settle.  Eventually Scamp talked me down.

What I did do was to solve today’s Fiendish level Sudoku with the new method which I got from YouTube of all places.1 I’m really impressed with this method.

With that out of the way we wandered in to Glasgow to look for a pair of boots for me. Ostensibly to replace both the leaking pairs I have. Probably I’ll keep the Clarks pair which don’t leak quite as badly and ditch the Lafuma ones. They look good, they just leak like a sieve now. Rather than throwing them out, I’ll probably put them in the next Salvation Army bag that arrives. They may not be good for walking through puddles, but they will keep someone’s feet warm in the winter. Tiso was the first, and only stop. I tried on a pair of boots that were the right size and lo and behold, not only were they a fit, they were also a comfortable fit. I’ve been wearing them all night just to make sure they are the ones for me and I’m comfortably sure they are.

Sat down for a while and painted A Stone.  Well, actually it’s a dry stane dyke, but it does contain at least one stone.

Back home via Robroyston for a coffee in Costa and a chance to stock up on messages at Asda. Next stop was Tesco for a bottle of rum – well, it is Friday. Then home, where I decided to wash the car and rinse it off with water from Bobby Flavell’s outside tap. Such a great idea, having an outside tap. So much easier than carrying buckets of water and getting soaked trying to wash off the roof or the Juke. Also allowed me to hose out the depressions where the wipers sit. The hose makes short work of all the fermenting flower heads and general gunge from the trees overhead. Thank you Bobby.

With the car dripping, it was time to go for a walk in St Mo’s to get some photos. Not a lot to see and the light was quite low. Managed a better view of the scary fly from yesterday. Maybe not that exact fly, but certainly one of that genus. Hopefully someone on Flickr will be able to ID it for me. PoD went to the close up shot of the daisies. Both Scamp and I agreed on that.

That was about it for the day. We shared a fish supper tonight and for the second time “Well, it is Friday.” Suffering a bit for it now, but it was delicious at the time.

Tomorrow? I think it’s going to be up fairly early and out.


  1. This is really a marker for me so that some time hence I can remember where I found this time saving tip. 

Private lesson – 5 June 2019

Private lesson for two couples

Drove in to Glasgow through some torrential rain to find that there were only four of us, just two couples. We had a whole hour with teacher Ann Marie while the other couple had one of the experts, Heather. The great thing about Ann Marie is that she asks you what you want to do and then goes over that in detail. So, not only a private lesson, but an own design private lesson. We went over some of the Jive steps that were bugging us and then we ironed out my problems with the fish-tails and running steps in Quickstep. We also learned the Two Handed Cuff and improved on our Bumps in Jive. Came home after a coffee in Nero to give us some time to review the lesson.

Later in the afternoon I took a couple of cameras over to St Mo’s and everything fell apart. Not only did the camera start to vastly over-expose, but then it got itself stuck in electronic shutter mode and wouldn’t come back out again. Nothing I did would make it work. It all started when I stuck on the Samyang 7.5mm and the image started shaking and jumping in the viewfinder. After that, nothing would work again. Eventually I gave up and came home. Finally got it to do a full reset, after which it was back to normal and working well. I think the Samyang had messed with one of the esoteric settings I’d set up over the last week and the full reset put everything back to normal. Scary time though. I had visions of an irate phone call to Brighton followed by parcelling up the new ‘Toy off the Rack’ and sending back. Neither of these are now necessary … I hope. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.  So, no PoD from that visit to St Mo’s, but luckily I’d taken a walk around the block earlier in the day and got a couple of shots of Scamp’s alliums from the path at the back of the house and that’s what achieved PoD.

After the drama of the camera, I did some painting. Today’s challenge was meant to be Seashells, but the only shells I could find were snail’s shells, so that was what I painted. Even worse was that I only could find one shell, so it was one shell in two positions. Tomorrow’s target is Something Shiny.

It’s been a day of mixed weather.  Occasional sunny spells and occasional heavy rain showers, but for the most part it’s just been plain dull with heavy clouds.  Hopefully it will be better tomorrow.

No Salsa tonight because teacher Jamie is still down in deepest England doing sciency things at a science festival.

Out early tomorrow to give a few drops of blood to be sent over to Monklands hospital for checking by the consultant. Nothing else planned.