Off to Hospital – 9 December 2021

Not for me, Scamp’s visit to Hairmyres.

We left in plenty of time for Scamp’s 10am appointment. I made sure she got to the correct area of this gigantic building. Actually a much airier building than many of its like and with Christmas decorations on all the doors, it was more welcoming than most. After that, I headed for the shopping centre, just to be nosey and to compare it with our megalithic atrocity. It won by a mile, no, make that a hundred miles. Clean, well lit and with many more shops. Very few shuttered shops and no closed off areas. Yes, this was a shopping centre, not a disaster area. Only sore point was that you had to pay to park, but a quid wasn’t going to break the bank for an hour’s stay.

Took some photos of the outside of the building and tried not to compare with the collapsing Town Centre we have. Then I found my way to Calderglen Park. The last time we were there, the place was a mess with ongoing works designed to mess up the traffic flow. Nothing had changed. The last time we were there, there was no notice to show you where the entrance to the park was. Nothing had changed there either. It seems that North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire are joined by more than their surnames. In other words, both as crap as each other. But there was a shining light in the park, the wee cafe, the Courtyard Cafe to give it’s full name. I had a roll ’n’ sausage with fried onions and a mug of coffee for just over six quid. I was pleased with that. Good roll ’n’ sausage, award winning fried onions and, ok, the coffee was a bit of a letdown, but you can’t have everything. There was blue sky when I had arrived, but when I left the clouds had rolled in and it looked like rain was on the way.

I was just thinking I should head back to the hospital when Scamp phoned to say that she too was having coffee (but without sausage or fried onions) and then she told me she’d have to wait at least 10 months for the operation. Almost a year to wait for a cataract removal! Is it any wonder that people are going private? Apart from that, she seemed satisfied with the consultation and of course because it was NHS, we’d already paid for it with our NI contributions. But still, at least 10 months. Factor in the uncertainty with Covid restrictions and what are we talking about? 18 months? 2 YEARS?! Who knows.

Drove home discussing the implications of what she’d heard today and wondering where it took us. Back home and after lunch I had a look at the photos and although I’d taken a few at Calderglen, it was the architectural ones from the EK shopping centre that were the most interesting to me. It’s one of them that got PoD.

We’d brought the tree down from the loft yesterday and today was the day to put it up. That’s really Scamp’s job. Even with her present limited vision, she is far better at lighting and dressing a Christmas tree. With some Christmas cards hung up and some decorations, the place is looking quite festive. All I did was put batteries in the little strings of lights that are scattered round the living room.

I phoned Virgin Media tonight to sort out a problem with accessing some websites. As far as I can see there is something different in the DNS coding/decoding of the relatively new modem we have. After being on the phone for half an hour or so, I managed to convince the lady on the other end that something was awry. She agreed that it would be best to send out an engineer (possibly to get rid of me). He/she is coming on Sunday. We’ll see what they can suggest. Knowing my expertise with modems it will be a simple fix and it may cost us £25 if there is no fault with the hardware. It’ll be worth it to be able to access websites properly and at least we don’t have to wait ten months for someone to fix it!

One last thing.  I saw this on FB today, attributed to Chris Riddell political cartoonist on a sketch of a certain British Prime Minister:

I’m really sorry that the British public found out about the party that didn’t happen last Christmas, but the person who laughed about not being at the party that didn’t happen has resigned and I have appointed someone who might have been at that party that didn’t happen to investigate … Now please wear a mask the way I don’t …

Hoping to meet Alex tomorrow in Glasgow. I intend to drive in that means I don’t have to sit on a bus or a train with the great unwashed. Don’t know where we’ll go. It’ll be a surprise!

 

Like being on holiday – 13 November 2021

Back to our regular Saturday class, in a different venue.

Breakfast in the restaurant of the hotel. Just like being on holiday in Lanzarote or Fuerteventura, but just a tad cooler. Not self service either, but the same food choices. Tinned fruit cocktail for each of us, then a choice of eggs, sausage (veg and pork) hash browns, beans, tomatoes and bacon. I suppose you could have had all of the above if you wanted, but we restricted ourselves to what we felt was appropriate. Restaurant was busy, but we got the chance to share a table, strangely enough with two of the folk who had been at our table last night.

After breakfast, Scamp and I went for a walk through the town that was just waking up. Strange to see Perth at this early hour. We walked down to ‘The Ship’ which is really the viewing platform. A curved platform that cantilevers out over the river and gives you the feeling that you are indeed on a ship. Walked back to the hotel ready to start the class.

The lesson today was the Vogue Waltz. As usual, it looked impossible when the teachers danced it through. Then we had the step by step walk through and it began to look possible. Danced the whole thing and the individual figures began to fit together. The problem, as always would be when we tried to dance it again after an hour or so.

Afternoon was free time. We went for a coffee in Nero then walked over the middle bridge of the three over the river to the gardens on the other side. Bright sunny autumn day. Beautiful colours in the trees and we found a couple of ponds with great reflections of the church. Walked down as far as the railway bridge and then walked back through the gardens to the upstream bridge. Watched two punters, one in a kayak and the other on a paddle board making light work of the rapids below the bridge. Got some coffee, tea and a replacement plunger for my Aeropress at the Bean Shop. By then we decided it was lunch time and I suggested a pizza in Pizza Express. I had a pizza, Scamp had a chicken salad. Both filled a wee space! Time to go back and get ready.

Posh frock and suit for dinner. It was meant to be a black tie event. I had a black tie, but no black suit, so my dark grey one would have to do. Dinner was much the same as the yesterday’s. Service was even slower than usual. Waiter seemed to stomp of in the huff when a bloke at our table complained of a draught from the door into the kitchen. He didn’t seem to want to serve the coffee after the meal. Eventually Scamp had to ask for coffee and he did serve it, if reluctantly. You just can’t get the staff these days. We were a full complement at the table tonight with a couple from Dundee taking the last two seats. Bloke as a bit of a pain, complaining that they shouldn’t have same sex couples on Strictly and that they needed a man and a woman as presenters, not two women. His wife was extremely condescending and just wanted to talk about herself and her family. Nice dancers, nasty people. Glad when they had to leave early.

We danced all night, completing another two salsa routines with Peter and Gillian. Was that ‘completing’ or ‘competing’? I’m not too sure! It was fun whatever slant you take.

Dragged ourselves off to bed just after midnight.

Today’s PoD was that reflection of the church I mentioned.

Just an hour’s ‘tea dance without the tea’ tomorrow. Then it’s the long road home.

Walking in sunshine! – 9 November 2021

Out photographing with Alex.

I’d watched the weather predictions for this week and Tuesday looked like the best day. Alex and I agreed that we’d go and walk round Baron’s Haugh which is another name for the Dalzell estate on the outskirts of Motherwell. It dates from around 840 when it was a Royal Hunting Forest. Today it’s a maze of roads and paths with lots of odd buildings dotted around the grounds. We walked round the south side of the park, taking the path between the wildlife pond and the River Clyde. Lots of evidence of flooding with the path having been swept away recently.

After we reached the end of the path and after Alex had consulted his Photographer’s Ephemeris app, he decided that the light would be just right for some decent photos of the Big Hoose, Dalzell House. On the way we passed the Japanese garden and made a mental not to go back and photograph the Japanese maples there after we’d photographed the house. We did get a few shots of the house, trying for the best angle to capture the light on the building, but lose the cars in the carpark. We were just finishing when a bloke came out of one of the cars with a tall monopod with what looked like a GoPro on top. It was a telescopic monopod, as most of them are, but this one extended to about 15m! Although there was very little breeze today, there was enough to cause a bit of a sway at the top. He seemed to be using a phone to control the camera. I hoped he had set a fast shutter!

We walked on because the best of the light had left the building and we walked back to the Japanese garden. Talked to one of the gardners who was sweeping up those red maple leaves. It turned out he was in charge of a group of volunteers who were cleaning up the garden and the burn that runs through it. He was happy for us to photograph the trees gave us free rein to take photos.

By the time we had finished there and said goodbye to the gardener, the light was definitely on the way to the horizon and it was time to go. Dropped Alex off at his house and drove home with really dark clouds ahead of me and the prospect of rain that didn’t appear.

While I was out with Alex, Scamp was out for coffee with Shona so she could hand over our house warming present. Yes, Jamie, it was towels!

Dinner tonight was Scampi chips and tomatoes. Scampi, which was baked in the oven, we agreed was just ok. Not sure we’d have it again.

PoD was one of the views of the Big Hoose after some delicate Lightroom work to remove offending cars.

Tomorrow looks a bit like today as far as the weather is concerned. Perhaps not quite as much sunshine.

Family Photography – 24 September 2021

Today I was going to Glasgow on the train, to meet my brother. Unfortunately the Wee Red car wouldn’t take us to the station.

A rattle from the starter made me think it was a flat battery, except the battery was only a year old. Starter motor? I had a look under the bonnet, but there was nothing to see. Nothing loose, battery connections tight. Not sure if the RAC would come to the house, because we don’t have Home Start. The simple answer would be for Scamp to drive me there in the Blue Micra, but she’s only driven it once or twice a year ago. However, she stepped up to the plate, locked the red car and got into the driver’s seat of the Blue Micra. She drove me to the train station and I had plenty of time to get a ticket and get on the train. Meanwhile she texted me to say she had parked at Tesco.

I wandered round Bucky Street, because I was a bit early and it was a lovely clear morning, which was a change from the soaking Scottish drizzle at Croy station. I sat on the steps of the Concert Hall and took a few 18mm photos down Bucky Street to St Enoch at the bottom and on to the M74 in the distance with just the hint of Queens Park on the South Side. I was wearing a red carnation so he’d recognise me, but I spotted him first. Even from the back he was recognisably Alex. We met halfway up the stairs and after a quick hug we walked up Sausageroll Street.

Alex wanted to photograph some architecture and I suggested St Aloysius church on Rose Street. I really like this building and did a pen sketch of it some years ago. I can’t remember ever photographing it though. Maybe I did, but it’s so tall and there is no room to get distance to it, I don’t think any of my lenses could have coped with it. The 18mm managed it today. From there we walked down towards the motorway and more importantly the beautiful wedge shaped ex-bank on Shamrock Street. Glasgow’s version of the ‘Flat Iron’ building. While we were photographing it an older lady stopped to ask if we were interested in the building. She told us she lived in it and gave us a bit of its history. Built in 1909 and designed by architect Neil C. Duff. She said it was good that some people were interested enough in the building to photograph it. We thanked her and said our goodbyes.  Today’s PoD was a view of the front door of the ex-bank.

From there Alex wanted to photograph some modern day graffiti on the Chinese Supermarket across the street. Then we went for a coffee in Costa and compared notes. Next stop was Union Street for a bit of tech shopping, but the actual purchase didn’t happen because the queue was far too long. More graffiti on Mitchell Street (the lady picking people off the street), then a delightful tea and cake in the Willow Tea Rooms on Bucky Street. Never been in there before, but would go back again for the carrot cake!

All too soon it was time to go. We’d had a fairly comprehensive walk and photo shoot around central Glasgow. I got the bus home and Alex headed for the train. We’ve vowed to meet up again soon in two or three weeks, depending on the weather. I thoroughly enjoyed today. We will do it again.

Back home I brought tonight’s dinner. A small fish supper for Scamp and a single large fish for me. I needed that after a day of sugar overload. Found the battery in the car was completely flat. It’s been lying dormant for a long time, so maybe it needs to keep its wheels turning, or maybe there’s something more wrong. I’m suspecting a flat battery caused by a dodgy alternator, but we’ll get a charger tomorrow and try that first. One step at a time. That might be the theme for today.

No plans for tomorrow except charging a battery.

Brough Castle revisited – 11 September 2021

First day walk about.

We drove into Kirkby Stephen which is the nearest town and parked at the main carpark beside the auction mart. Carpark was really busy, even for a Saturday, but we found a space. The church bells were ringing and we assumed it was a wedding. Lots of well dressed people heading for the church and that’s what initially gave Scamp the inkling that it wasn’t a wedding. They weren’t dressed for a wedding apparently. It turned out it was it was a memorial for a woman called Joan Johnstone who was an important local Councillor.

We walked over Frank’s Bridge. Not a clue who Frank was, then around the cricket pitch looking for the path to take us up to the viewpoint on the hill which sort of overlooks the town. Eventually found that I’d led us the wrong way. How strange! 😏. We walked back, but couldn’t find any place to have lunch. Everywhere was full or closed. Presumably so the owners could get to the memorial service. Scamp got ten allium bulbs from the same shop we bought last year’s bulbs from and they turned out so well. With that done we chose to drive to Brough to see if it was open today.

Brough wasn’t nearly as big as Kirkby Stephen. It seemed to comprise of two streets at right angles to each other and a whole host of scarecrows. Lots of the houses had these, sometimes creepy, statues outside. We didn’t stop, but we did find a sign pointing to Brough Castle which we’d visited many years ago. When we stopped there on the way home from a visit down south we had lunch at the tea shop there and today we were happy to see it was still there. There were loads of scarecrows in the surrounding streets too, but not as creepy as the ones in Brough. After coffee and a warm, but not hot, panini each we went for a walk round the castle. The views from it were excellent and all under a blue sky with bubbly clouds too. I took lots of photos and so did Scamp. We walked round the village next and took in the Scarecrow Festival, because that’s what it was.

PoD was a view of Brough Castle with a few sheep and a horse to fill up that empty green space.

Jamie and Simonne were cooking tonight. Beetroot falafels with a green salad – we must try that.

Watched the strange new qualifying for F1 tonight understood it a bit more than last time.  Then we watched a few episodes of Spitting Image which was repeats on Britbox and therefore slightly out of sync with life in 2021, but still funny.

Tomorrow we may go for a longer walk along the viaduct path.

 

Walking through Colzium – 26 August 2021

Another hot day. Maybe a tad cooler than yesterday, thankfully!

The day started with with a call from someone called “Unavailable.” Scamp decide we were too and cancelled the call. Five minutes later we had another call. I was going to answer and do some time wasting with the time waster, but thankfully we have Caller ID. It was Hazy. We had a good long chat about borrowing bikes, families, films to watch and lots, lots more. (Yes, we did watch Anneka, thank you. Interesting first episode. We’ll probably watch more of it.) Enjoyed the chat and catch up.

First thing we’d promised to do was to give all the plants a good feed of seaweed fertiliser. I did the back garden and Scamp did the front. It didn’t take all that long and I’m sure the plants benefitted by it.

We couldn’t decide what to do with the rest of the day and spent far too long discussing what we could do, to actually have the time to do it. What we did do was plan out how to get to the party on Saturday. Imagine, we’re invited to a birthday party on Saturday! Us, the oldies! It was great to be asked and of course we’re going. Now that we know where it is and how to get there. As Hazy reminded us, this is the second birthday party we’ve been invited in two years. Mind you, the first one in Irvine was done “in shifts” as she put it!

We finally agreed on a walk round Colzium. It’s not a long walk and we did an even shorter version of it today, but it’s fairly heavy going for a while with a stiff climb up the hill for the first part, then the easy bit that lulls you into thinking you’re past the worst, then the next bit long drag up to the top. However, the walk down is much more relaxing. I wanted to take some photos of the waterfalls at the top, but when we got there the water was just trickling down. No fun at all. We need more rain now. It didn’t stop me from climbing down the rocks and taking some shots. In the end, I wasn’t happy with them and they didn’t even manage a post in Flickr. The PoD went to a slightly edited version of the view of Granny’s Mutch, a shelter built to enjoy the view at the top of Colzium Estate. The Dictionary of the Scots Language defines a ‘mutch’ as “A head-dress, especially a close-fitting day cap of white linen or muslin, specifically such as used to be worn by married women”.

Walked back down the path on the other side of the burn, hoping there would be an ice cream van at the children’s play park at the bottom, but of course the schools are in here in Scotland so
No Children = No Ice Cream Van = No Ice Cream 😟

Dinner tonight was a stir-fry made, of course by Scamp, the expert Stir Fryer. It was delicious and I made myself a side of fried Padron Peppers, equally delicious.

Tomorrow we’re hoping for one last day of warm sunshine and a chance to go for a drive with a spot of lunch.

Only available in silver – 6 August 2021

Not only that. Silver was twenty quid more than black.

We had a rather lazy morning with me reading Merlin Sheldrake’s book on fungi. I never knew they were so devious and also interesting. The section I was reading today was about lichen. Amazing things. I already knew about they really were a symbiotic relationship between fungi and algae, but I didn’t really understand what that meant. Now I do. I also found the word “mitochondria” and I wanted to shout out “Hey! My son knows about them!” This Merlin bloke treats this whole book like a thesis with all the references that entails. Heavy science for me, but absolutely absorbing in a literal sense. Who knew that lichen can absorb rocks!

Finally I had to leave the world of lichen, fungi and other things of that ilk and get up and face the day. We’d said we’d go in to Glasgow today and that’s what we did. As we were driving along the M80 in the general direction of Glasgow, we saw the CITRAC signs warning about surf water. Now the CITRAC is notorious for getting things wrong, so we ignored the warnings. Hmm, then we saw the spray on both carriageways ahead. A few seconds later the rain hit us, literally hit us. I did consider turning off and going back home, because the wipers weren’t really clearing the screen and cars on the outside lane were leaving wakes from the wheels. Then as quickly as it had come, it stopped.

Parked no problem in Buchanan Galleries and I walked into JL while Scamp went off to Boots. I was looking for a camera, but they only had it in silver. I wanted it in black, and I was going to take the black one when the bloke said that the silver one was twenty quid more expensive. Twenty quid just for a silver camera and lens? I think not. I ordered it and paid for it. It will be available for collection on Tuesday.

Met Scamp and we walked down to Paesano for a pizza lunch. She had Tomato sugo No garlic, oregano, Evoo (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) plus Spinach and Mushroom. I had a basic number 5 which is Prosciutto with mushrooms, tomato sugo, mozzarella and Evoo. Both were delivered double quick and mine had that lovely, slightly burnt crust. Delicious! The next time you are in Glasgow, you but go!

I walked round to Cass Art for a browse. Scamp found a dress shop to investigate. When I came out of the art shop it was bucketing down, absolutely hammering it. Scamp had texted me to say she was trying on a dress or two and I agreed to meet her there. That meant I’d to try to get into some shelter first before I got soaked. I found a lot of folk sheltering under an extended roof of an office building that gave me a good view of others sheltering under the portico of the GOMA. Instant photo that became PoD.

Found Scamp and we agreed the first dress was a possible but the second was a definite no-no. She wanted to leave it for a day or two to think about the ‘possible’ and I suggested she join me when I go to collect the camera on Tuesday, all being well. After that we found the quickest and shortest way from Queen Street to the Buchanan Galleries, but we were both still soaked by the time we got there.

By the time we were leaving the car park the rain was almost off, but traffic was jammed up everywhere. That’s when Scamp’s knowledge of Glasgow came to the rescue as she directed me back on to the motorway. I didn’t think we’d missed the rain. I was almost certain we were going to drive right into it again and I was right. A few miles out of Glasgow City we drove through it again, and again, by the time we arrived home it was almost dry. The rain did catch up with us again once we were in the house and we had some thunder too, but no lightning yet.

In what was left of the afternoon I found all the bits and pieces of the camera kit I’m going to sell to help pay for the new camera. We’d always agree that this was a ‘One in, One out’ deal and I’m happy to stick to that.

A short practise tonight, then a study of the video before another shorter but more useful practise almost prepared us for tomorrow. Hopefully we won’t look as if we’re totally lost this time.

Tomorrow’s weather looks much like today’s, so it will need to be another early rise to be there for 11am.

 

 

“I have seen the future …” – 3 August 2021

“… and it works.” Reputed to be the words of Lincoln Austin Steffens after he had visited Russia in 1919 and had seen the new Soviet society in operation.

We did travel east today, but not as far as Russia. We went to Embra. We wanted to ‘expand our boundaries’, travel on public transport and live like ‘ordinary’ people. We survived the adventure. One of the places I wanted to see was the new St James Quarter with its roof that isn’t really a roof and its multi-storey shopping extravaganza. But first we had to get off the train at Haymarket, walk through Ladyfield (where today’s PoD came from) to Cafe Nero on Lothian Road, because that’s what we used to do when the world was a different place. The last time we were in Embra was in January 2020, by the way!

After the coffee and feeling suitably refreshed we walked round past the Usher hall and up on to the Grassmarket. Strange to see it without any stalls but with cars and buses driving past. Lots of tables set out where the stalls usually are, so the cafés and restaurants were in business. From there up the hill and round to cross the Royal Mile, then down The Mound (not the pile of turf beside Marble Arch, but the real Mound) to Princes Street Gardens. On that walk I got this shot of an old joke. Scrawled on a sign beside some scaffolding. It made me smile. Back at the stroll through Embra, we walked through the gardens and finally reached The St James Quarter which is quite impressive on a first viewing. But anything would be impressive compared to the old St James Centre which always looked like it was based on the design for Cumbernauld Town Centre. Yes, that bad!

We had a wander through one of the levels, marvelling at the amount of shops some with names we’d never seen before. Some with names we’d seen in foreign climes. Some we feel sure will last 6 months and then be replaced with shops that people will actually buy stuff from. I wanted to have a look at the ‘toys’ in JL, the new six storey JL. Why do they put the best stuff on the top level? I saw, what might be, my next camera. One version up from what I have now, but light years ahead in tech. I did say at the start “I have seen the future …”. Scamp wandered round the lower levels but didn’t buy. However she gave an ultimatum that she was looking for a new dress. I got the impression that the shortlist has already been written.

We exited the bit glitzy glass building and found our where we were. We were heading for Valvona & Corolla, only to find that it’s not there any more. We were definitely in the right place, but it wasn’t! We walk on along Rose Street to find our second choice, but it was closed. At least it was still there. Eventually we gave up and walked back up the Grassmarket and waited five minutes at Petit Paris for an outside table, because it was still a lovely, fairly warm day. Scamp had Salmon Rillette followed by fish of the day, Coley with a Basil Sauce served with mash. I had Countryside Terrine followed by Chicken Supreme with Forestière sauce, and Hazy, we hadn’t brought the voucher, but we asked if it was still valid and the reply was “Of course! Bring it next time.” Lesser restaurants would just have said no, but the trio of French blokes are better than that. We’ll know for next time.

We retraced our steps from the morning and after almost exhausting ourselves climbing about a million steps to get up from the low Kings Stables Road to the Castle Terrace, then marching down Morrison Street we managed to catch the train home with a couple of minutes to spare.

A great day. It was almost like it was before the world turned upside down.

Two days of eating out. We need to get back to cooking and eating our own food tomorrow! We might even get some rain.

Down the Green – 1 August 2021

We went for a walk this morning.

It’s been ages since we’ve been down Glasgow Green. It used to be a favourite place for a walk, but we’ve been staying closer to home recently. Maybe it’s time we stretched our boundaries and found some new places to walk and also remembered old ones. Today we remembered old ones.

The park had changed a lot since the last time we’d been down there. The boathouse that stands on the banks of the Clyde just before the weir is under renovation, as is the riverbank from there to the weir. Not sure what they are doing and there are no signs to say what work is being undertaken, so maybe it’s going to be a secret submarine base or something like that. Much more information about the restoration of the boathouse which is now going to be a community hub of sorts with other areas inside, not just storage and repair areas for boats. Might be a good thing to give a wider section of the public a chance to use this space, not just the rather elitist rowing community.

We walked on and watched a man feed the ducks and saw the frenzy of wings as the gulls tried to steal everything white in the water. Most went for the bread, but some fought for a piece of white plastic bag. Each gull sure that it was theirs until another flew in to steal it. We walked on to the suspension bridge but there was little to see there. The university boat club who own the upstream boathouse were going out in fours, but we got bored waiting for them to do their downstream run.

I wanted to go for some photos in The Barras so we headed over there next. It’s just a shadow of its former self, but there was certainly more activity today that the last time we walked there. Good to see the trade in knock-off DVDs and CDs is still good and folk are making a dishonest bob from it. Scamp was half looking for a new kitchen carpet, but there weren’t many worth buying today. I got a few decent street photos, but very few were in focus. The Sony A7ii is noted as being particularly poor in the focus department. Some day I’ll trade it in and maybe get an A7iii, but not this week!

Back home Scamp went for a walk to the shops while I tried to fix the fairy lights on the back fence. The solar panel seems to be charging and the battery is holding a charge, so I suspect a break in the cable. Not easy to find and not easy to fix either. Cheaper to buy a new one.

When Scamp came back, we emptied the Tattie Bag and got enough for two dinners from it. We might empty the second bag next week, all being well. We might need to water it too, because the one we emptied was bone dry.

Dinner was a burger for me and a salmon fillet for Scamp. Both served with fried onions and our own potatoes.

I went over to St Mo’s for a walk, but didn’t get anything worthwhile. PoD went to a photo from The Barras of a group sitting having breakfast in Gibson Street.

Watched the carnage at the start of the Hungarian GP, then saw Hamilton attempting and almost failing to pass Alonso to come third to Ocon who won an amazing victory. I think the unlucky Verstappen was tenth after being caught up in the stramash at the start. If it wasn’t for bad luck he wouldn’t have any luck at all.

All in all, not a bad day. Tomorrow we may ‘stretch our boundaries’ if the sun shines.

Shopping at The Fort – 23 June 2021

Today Scamp wanted to visit The Fort in Glasgow. I went along to have a browse in Waterstones.

I also wanted to have a look for a new pair of trainers. My old, much maligned Merrills are beginning to fall apart. That seems a common occurrence for me and Merrills. The boots are heading the same way, in fact they are leading the race to the tip. I didn’t see anything that inspired me to pull out my wallet and commit some of my hard earned cash to JD Sport or any other footwear purveyors. Not a total surprise to Scamp or I.

I did have a browse around Waterstones and noted a few book titles that I might add to my reading list. However, I’ll probably wait a month or so until the prices come down to something more like reality. The price of books these days!!

Met us with Scamp again and went food shopping in M&S. The till was run by someone who looked disdainfully at all these shoppers waiting for her to scan their miserable food items. Eventually, when the time came to pay she attempted a smile, but I think she needs more time in front of the mirror, practising it.

When I was wandering around this fortress earlier I noticed that almost an entire row of premises were closed and boarded up. Or, as the sign said, just ready to become “New stores you’re sure to adore”. It’s the effect of the pandemic on shops. Topshop, TopMan, Dorothy Perkins, Wallis, Evans and Burton all closed for good. Only one left in this block.
Who’s NEXT?
This retail disaster became my PoD. After a bit of manipulation in Photoshop, the three frame panorama looked pretty much how I’d seen it.

Back home and after lunch I started to cut down a rogue tree that has appeared between us and our next door neighbour. I asked her last week if she was really attached to it and she said no, so today I took the loppers and with help from Scamp we got about half of it cut down, chopped up and dumped in the Garden Waste bin. Thankfully it should get uplifted tomorrow, because it’s nearly full now. Scamp went off to visit her sister and while she was away I potted up a sickly looking chilli plant and half a dozen aquilegia seedlings. I had just finished and left her a note to say I was off to St Mo’s when the lady herself returned. There was nothing of note in St Mo’s. I’d seen a Fire Bug yesterday and was hoping to be able to grab a shot of it, but it was nowhere to be seen. Maybe tomorrow.

For dinner tonight Scamp made Pulled Chicken and Chipotle Black Beans. The last time she made it, there was very little chilli heat. There was tonight! Hope the remainder doesn’t get hotter for lunch tomorrow.

A quick dance practise tonight and I think we may have ironed out one of the sticky bits in the Slow Foxtrot. It’s all to do with a little twist before the second Whisk. That probably means nothing to you, although JIC may know what I’m talking about. It’s really just a little reminder to us that might explain how we’ve solved the problem.

No real plans for tomorrow. We had some rain tonight and we’re expecting more tomorrow. The gardens need it.