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.

 

Rain, but an improving situation – 17 July 2019

Woke to the wet stuff this morning.  Oh well, at least we won’t need to water the garden tonight.

Since there was no Salsa class for us tonight because Jamie Gal wouldn’t be there and also, there was no 7.30 class.  It seemed pointless to travel in to Glasgow for just one class, and not one at which we’d be learning anything new.  With that in mind Scamp suggested that we take the bus in to Glasgow for Jive and Ballroom.  Also in her suggestion was that we could have lunch in Glasgow.  Sounded good to me, just as long as I got through the dancing part.  I don’t really mind  the different moves we’re learning, it’s just that the moves keep changing slightly depending on which of the teachers is teaching.  Also, just when we’ve got to grips with the Seven Deadly Spins, they start inserting other moves in between the spins.  People are becoming confused and I can understand why.  Anyway, we plodded off to Condorrat to get the fast bus to Glasgow.  That meant we’d got there early so we went for a wander round the centre of the town before we came to Blackfriars.  Free dance to get started and we tried a newer routine than the Spins then made a real hash of it.  Michael decided we should go back to the Spins.  That’s when they started changing the first of the inserted routines which left all of us confused and looking at each other.  This was glossed over and Michael seemed to decide he’d had enough and left to go to the physio.  Next up was Quickstep and that wasn’t too bad, in fact I managed the Pendulum and finally worked out  how the Double Lock and Check worked.  So, started off badly, but it became an improving situation.

Next to Blackfriars is a Scottish themed restaurant called Mharsanta.  We’d promised ourselves we’d go for lunch there one day.  Today was the day.  Glass of wine for Scamp and a pint of IPA for me to start with (benefits of travelling on  the bus!)  Chicken Goujons for Scamp’s starter followed by her leveller – Fish ‘n’ Chips.  First main course she has virtually anywhere.  I had Haggis Scotch Egg followed by Steak and Sausage Pie.  Both our meals were excellent.  However, we simply must go back some time because one of  the mains is Mince ‘n’ Mashed Tatties plus a Poached Egg on top.  The only people I’ve seen do this properly were my mum and Scamp.  Now there’s no way on this earth that they could cook it better, but I’d like to see how close they could get!

Got my hair cut in Nile Barber then coffee in Paperchase where they do a very good Americano and apparently a Latte too, before we got the bus home.  A fast bus, but not as fast as the ultra speedy one in.  That was the way the day went.  An improving situation indeed.  It rained all day.

The view from the restaurant made PoD.

Tomorrow I’ve got the dentist at midday other than that the coast is clear.

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.

A day in the toon in the sunshine – 12 July 2019

Today we’d decided to travel in to Glasgow on the bus and go to the Transport Museum on Riverside.

Got off the subway at Partick and walked along past the reconstruction that was going on by the Clyde until we came to the strange building that, from the air looks as if it’s been squeezed out of a toothpaste tube.  It looked very impressive with its glass frontage.  In the middle of July, it’s the middle of the Glasgow Beach.  Loads of weans building sand castles with pails and spaded on an area at the front of the building done up to look like a beach with tons of sand.  Everyone seemed to be having a great time, but we were itching to get in to see this wonderful new 21st century museum.

What a let down.  Yes, there were steam engines and tram cars, loads of tram cars and trolley buses too, but most of them were sealed off from the public by large perspex sheets.  This was a “Look, but don’t touch museum”.  One of the biggest selling points of the place, the revoloutionary Wall of Cars was the worst let-down.  Yes, there were a load of cars on shelves along a wall, like full size Dinky or Matchbox toys, but the problem was you couldn’t see into them.  They were too high up or too far away to see any of the detail.  The same was true for the Wall of Motorbikes.  Yes, they were there, but you could only see about two of the five layers of them. The rest were way up too high and you’d get a crick in your neck trying to see the details.  The bikes, especially seemed to be in a bit of a state.  Torn saddles and seats, suspensions not bolted to the frames.  It looked as if they’d just been placed there without any thought of restoration.  Worst of all were the cycles.  There they were, either sitting on or hanging upside down from a great circular wheel, hanging from the ceiling.  No description of what they were or why they were there.  Strangest exhibit was a Sinclair Cambridge Programmable Calculator.  I had one of those, away back in the 1980s.  At the time it was truly state of the art.  I bought it fully built and tested, but it was possible to buy it as a PCB with the components and build it yourself.  A friend of mine bought a Sinclair radio kit which was supposed to fit into a matchbox.  He got it built, but by the time he was finished it barely fitted into a suitcase.  But back to the Calculator.  Interesting though it was, what had it to do with Transport?

The building itself is striking, but there is a design theory that “Form Follow Function”.  In the case of this museum it’s more like “Function Follows Form”.  You get the feeling that they designed and built the building, then just stuffed everything they had into it.  Not impressed and wouldn’t go back.  Typical Council waste of money.

What I did get there was today’s PoD.  Probably the best, certainly the most detailed Oor Wullie I’ve seen so far.  You can get a better view on Flickr because by some miracle it managed to get into the site.  I personally think Flickr is now dead.  Today after half an hour of attempting to install the three images I’d uploaded, I got  the message that they had failed to upload.  Only to find out later that they had actually loaded successfully.  Since May, the site has been almost unusable.  Literally hundreds of complaints on the “official” help page and nothing being done about it.  I refuse to throw more money at such a failed excuse of a photo site.

Anyway, back home we got an hour in the sun in the back garden before I phoned Golden Bowl and uplifted a collection of Chicken Chop Suey & Fried Rice for Scamp and Special Chow Mein for me.  A good way to end a day in  the sun.

Tomorrow, strangely enough, we may go back to Partick again to go to a Farmers Market.

Crossing Paths – 11 July 2019

Today I was going for coffee with Fred and Val at 12.30. Colin was otherwise engaged.  Scamp was going for coffee with Annette at 1.30.  Inevitably our paths would cross.

Since we were both going to the same place at about the same time I offered Scamp a lift because her Wee Red Car needed two new back tyres.  That was also on the list of Things To Do today.  While she went off to window shop, I went to meet the boys.  As usual we had a wide ranging, free and frank discussion of topical matters.  That and a book exchange.  Found out from Val that John Walsh had died and his funeral had been yesterday.  Such a funny guy, John.  He gave me a lot of pointers when I was trying to be an author, away back in the late ’80s.  I never did sell anything, but it was good fun trying.

We were just getting ready to leave when Scamp and Annette arrived, so that put, as they say, ‘The tin lid on things’.  We left them to their toasted teacakes.  Val and Fred headed for home via Tesco and I went straight home to get Scamp’s car and drive down to the Village where I was lucky enough to arrive at a quiet time and got to be next in  the queue.  Took my camera away with me and went for a walk around Cumbernauld Old Church.  I really like this building and it has a very interesting history.  Just search for Cumbernauld Old Church on Google and be amazed at the history right on our doorstep.  I took some photos, but even the 14mm lens wasn’t wide enough to get it all in, so I had to resort to the tried and tested method of taking a bundle of shots and reassembling them in Lightroom.  Wandered back and found the mechanic just tightening up the wheel nuts on the Wee Red Car.  Parted with the £80 for the two tyres and was on my way after about 40 minutes from arriving.  Drove home and was walking down to  the house when Scamp appeared from round the corner.  “Inevitably our paths would cross”!

Switched cars and took the Red Juke out for a run up to Fannyside to look for dragonflies.  Didn’t find any, but it’s early days yet.  I just thought that the warm, clammy weather would have brought out the insects a bit earlier than normal, but that wasn’t the case.  Took a few landscape shots, but really wanted to do a time lapse of the passing clouds with the new camera.  I simply couldn’t find the setting.  I knew it was in the five menus and the eleven sub-menus.  Eventually drove to Tesco to buy today’s dinner which was Breaded Salmon on a Bed of Mash & Peas.  There was a fair bit of garlic in it too.  I hadn’t realised quite how much until Scamp opened the kitchen door a few minutes ago and the anti-vampire scent wafted through.  I’ll be amazed if you can’t actually smell the garlic from this blog post.  The dinner was really good by the way, although one of the ingredients looked a bit strange “A slice of crusty bread with the crust removed”.  Now, excuse my ignorance, but isn’t that just a slice of bread?

After dinner I fed the six frames of Cumbernauld Old Church into Lightroom and it made an almost perfect panoramic shot of the building and that became PoD.  I also found the setting for the time lapse.  Just in case you ever need it, it’s in menu 1, the last item on the list.

Tomorrow we may go visit the Riverside Museum in Glasgow.  Travelling on the bus.

 

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 Stitch in time – 4 July 2019

Today was dull. No sunshine. A very short sprinkle of rain. Nothing for it but to get the needles and pins out.

After breakfast I took the scissors and cut out the front of the waistcoat complete with all those strange wee triangles that stick out of cut out patterns. After consulting with Scamp and also after watching a few YouTube videos I was prepared to mark the darts with needle and thread. I’d also seen a video that recommended using a chinagraph pencil to mark out the lines. What it failed to mention was that when you iron the darts flat, the heat melts the marks made by the chinagraph pencil and they disappear. Numpty. I forgot the three rules of watching YouTube videos:

  1. Don’t believe anything you see here.
  2. Don’t try this at home.
  3. If you must ignore Rule 1 and Rule 2, test it on a scrap piece first.

Luckily the iron wasn’t quite hot enough and I could see the marks faintly glowing on the dark material. Then I used tailor’s chalk to complete the marking.
Later in the morning, I fired up the sewing machine and after a bit of jiggery pokery with Thread Tension, Stitch Width and Sweary Words, I’d stitched the darts to my satisfaction. Later I made a Welt (No, I don’t know what it is either). Exhausted, that’s where I left it today.

The DPD man came to deliver my new batteries for the new toy. Hopefully they’ll be more successful than the other lot and I set them to charge while I took the old Oly 5 for a walk around the pond. Not many beasties about, but I did get a moody shot of an old apple tree growing all by itself in the park. After a bit of work in ON1, that became PoD.

Dinner tonight was a delicious piece of smoked haddock with chips. Watched the tennis, well it was on everywhere by the look of things, and eventually managed to get the TV to respond to the Red Button to allow us to watch Andy Murray and his partner win their doubles match. Doubles is so much more interesting than singles. No long tedious grunt punctuated rallies. Much faster and good fun wondering what they were whispering to each other between shots of banging the ball over the net. Probably just deciding who’s round it is in the bar after the game.

Hoping against hope for a nice sunny day tomorrow to brighten up the end of the week and for a chance to take the OM D E-M1 (Now renamed Oly 1) out for a few shots of somewhere nice.

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.

Curry and a Bon – 29 June 2019

Today revolved around food. Most days do.

Today we decided that as summer had gone and winter was in the meadow we should go to Hamilton to cheer ourselves up with a curry. It worked. Vegetable Shimla Bhaji for Scamp and just a standard Chicken Rogan Josh for me. We know what we like and that’s the normal order at the Bombay Cottage. With a side of gigantic nicely well-done nan bread. Quite excellent. I think we managed to bag the last table for two in the place, because after we arrived they were sitting folk in the waiting area. Nice of them to keep a table for us.

Apart from the Bombay Cottage, there’s not a lot to interest us in Hamilton. Today there was “A Walk”. Not Orange in colour this time, but decidedly Green. It was a Hibs Walk but it did have a Flute ‘Bon’ (Band to those of a southern disposition). It was a small affair, not at all like an Orange Walk in Larky which stops the traffic for most of the afternoon. It’s strange to see these folk walking the streets dressed up in their regalia these days. There’s nothing like it here in the sanitised centre of the central belt. I didn’t take any photos. I fear I wouldn’t have been allowed back in to Larky if I did.

The weather today was overcast and ‘heavy’. Twice when we came home, Scamp thought she heard thunder. The third time there was no mistaking the rumble, and it grumbled its way around for an hour or so, followed by short torrential rain showers. I managed to get out for about five minutes to grab some shots of the rose you see above. Sheila’s Perfume.

Tomorrow it’s the Summer Ball. The weather looks slightly less than inviting, but I expect we’ll have a great time as usual.