Another day too good to waste

Up fairly early and out for a walk in the woods.

Scamp drove us to Drumpellier where we joined the conveyer belt of folk out for a walk in the sunshine. It really was a beautiful day and there were literally hundreds of people in the park, all carefully socially distant. How many times have we walked on that same conveyer belt but never investigating the woods? What an opportunity lost. This was our third trek into the cool shade of the trees. Lots to see if you look. Today we saw a Jay. Years since I’ve seen one with its bright blue band on its wings. Almost got a shot of it on the wing and looking as if it was heading straight for me, but it was out of focus. I did get a static shot of it and, although you can see the blue stripe, you can’t quite see its head because it was in shadow. Pity. We walked on and tried a new path, but found it just lead on to the road backtracked and found a path we’d been on before. Followed if for a mile or so then chose a new one, just to see where it went. It turned out to circle the cricket pitch we’d found last time. From there, all the paths were ones we’d already investigated. Walked back to the car and stopped for an ice cream on the way. The place was even busier now. There was even a bloke busking to a pre-recorded backing track. Never seen that in Drumpellier before. He didn’t seem to be making much.

Back home and after lunch Scamp got the folding seats out and set up in the sun. It seemed a sensible way to spend a warm afternoon on the last day of May. The month started with us driving down to Irvine to go to the first High Tea of Peter’s two day birthday. Along the way it had been a month of stretching our wings, getting gradually further away from the house and the walks round Broadwood, although the weather hadn’t always been great. Wettest on record some said, but it was dry today and the sun was out and I was listening to Rebus on my headphones.

Later I went out for a walk because I wasn’t sure I had any decent shots from today’s walk and could hardly believe that there were two dragonflies circling the small pond the boardwalk crosses. They were busy making more dragonflies, so paid no heed to me, but were far too far away and too fast to catch with a camera. I did see a couple of damselflies too, but they were too skittish, probably avoiding the bigger dragonflies. The best shot I took was just a branch of May blossom. It looked ok.

Dinner tonight was a salad with tuna pasta and curry rice which was just ok. Scamp had boiled the rice earlier and I added the curry powder and some curry paste, but it didn’t taste like I expected. However the pasta was lovely and worked so well on a warm day. We sat outside for a while to soak up some extra rays, but I nearly fell asleep and we retired to the house to tidy up and for me to get started on the last EDiM drawing of 2021.

Today’s prompt was your computer mouse. Rather than draw my usual mouse I drew an old corded mouse. It works when no other mouse will. It’s not as flaky as the Apple Magic Mouse 2 and it doesn’t use batteries that fail when you really need them, like the Logitech ones. There’s a place for old tech, even these days.

Tomorrow we’re hoping for another good day and we’re hoping to get out for a walk.

Off on our travels again – 19 May 2021

Another beautiful morning. Scamp suggested we do the ascent of Barr Hill or drive to Dunfermline for lunch. I thought if we went to Dunfermline I might get a chance to play with try out my 6 stop ND filter at Torryburn on the way home. That seemed to meet with her approval, so I bundled two cameras in the car (the tripod was already there) and off we went.

Parked at Pittencrieff Park and with the Oly in its old brown bag slung over my shoulder and the tripod left to look after the Sony in the car, we walked over the park. Trees were beautiful carrying a full head of blossom. We walked down past the big glasshouse which was locked as expected due to Covid restrictions and round the formal garden which looked well maintained although hardly any of the flowers were blooming. Just too early in the year for that. Lots of primary kids on activities week running races and having shouting matches in the big empty spaces of the park. Two folk were doing a meditation under a bit tree. I don’t know what kind of tree it was, we weren’t close enough to do an ID, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a Bo tree!

We walked over to the aviary and found one shy peacock that would strut along the outside of the fenced enclosure, take a look at us and hurry back. It did this three or four times. All the peacocks and peahens had names and identity rings on their legs. Two old guys were discussing them as if they were family members or friends they met at the pub. Today’s PoD came from there and was just a lucky shot, catching the bird with that “What you think you’re looking at?” look on its face. We said goodbye to the peacocks and the peahens and headed into town. We went in to Nero and I had the best coffee I’ve tasted (except my own) for about a year or more. After the first wave of the pandemic, Nero started selling coffee in takeaway cardboard cups and seemed determined to fill the cups to the brim, diluting the coffee so much it was undrinkable. Today’s coffee, while not up to my or JIC’s standards was certainly a much more palatable drink than those watery waste of taste cups from last year. Even better, the coffees were served in real cups. Surely a sign that things are returning to normal.

We both wanted to get a cheap Hoodie, just to keep in the car for emergencies. Right next door to Nero was Primark. Less than £20 for two hoodies seemed like a bargain. They’re not top quality, but they will serve the purpose they were bought for. We walked back to the car, not stopping to count the boarded up shops that won’t open again for some time. Some shops that have been in the town for years have now disappeared. That’s sad. Dunfermline was a bit of a ghost town before Covid hit, but not even the ghosts have gone, it seems. Maybe it will rise from the ashes, but it might take some time.

Drove back via Torryburn where I was hoping for high tide, some heavy clouds and a bit wave movement. Unfortunately, the tide was right out, the sun was shining and you couldn’t even see any waves. We didn’t even get out of the car, we just drove home.

Stopped at Tesco to get yet another birthday card (count back 9 months from mid May and that might give a clue to the reason for those births 😉). Scamp got herself a pair of leisure trousers.

Scamp had bought me a tray of Calabrese yesterday, so when we got back I planted a row of them in the raised bed and watered them in. I don’t really think they will need watered, because we’re due some heavy rain tomorrow. I also completed today’s prompt which is “The View From Your Window” That was tough. I’m not totally happy with the result, but it’s finished and it’s uploaded now, so I’ve completed today’s challenge.

Tomorrow, because of the weather forecast, I think we might go for a drive if we’re going out at all. I don’t think a walk will be on the cards.

Chasing Butterflies – 29 April 2021

The butterflies almost won.

Scamp was off having coffee with Annette and I had intended to start a watercolour practise piece in preparation for Every Day in May, but then I though it would be a good idea to give some of the plants their freedom and planted out half a dozen peas and the same amount of kale. The peas were grown from last years peas, but the kale was bought as plug plants. With that done and a cup of coffee I started yesterday’s Sudoku. I was just getting to the sticking place with it when my Fitbit reminded me that I needed to get off my backside.

It was dry and the sun was shining, but I knew from my gardening that it wasn’t all that warm out there, and of course there was the risk of a wee April shower, so I dressed appropriately for a walk in St Mo’s.

A lot of the fruit trees in the park were beginning to show off their blossom and I took a few shots of them, then I went looking for damselflies to photograph, but there were none. It must be almost time for them to crawl up the reeds, shake off their shuck and fly away. However there were none today. Further into the woods there were a host of butterflies. This time of year, late April and early May is the time to catch the Orange Tip butterflies. That’s what I started chasing. However, every time I got near to one it would fly off, leaving me empty handed. Finally one landed on a dandelion flower and I did get the chance to shoot a few frames of it. It was one of them that made PoD. Lunch was beckoning and I headed home.

I hadn’t been in the house five minutes when the rain started battering on the window. That was lucky. I’m not usually as lucky. I’m usually just thinking about coming home as the first drops start falling. The first drops of a downpour.

Scamp arrived just after I’d finished lunch and I went off to go shopping in Tesco. I saw a good deal on true headphones and treated myself. It took me ages to get them paired to my phone. They paired right away to the tablet and to Scamp’s phone, but point blank refused to connect to mine. Then, suddenly they were working and at full volume. I think I’ve manage to get the better of them now and they are behaving quite well. Time will tell if they are as useful as I think they’ll be.

I’m still thinking about getting another MacBook Pro, because although I got the old MBP to run Mojave after a little tweak, it won’t run the new editing software, I’m guessing its because the processor in the MBP isn’t quite up to the task. I’ve seen what I’d like now and Scamp agrees with me, but I’m still not sure. I’ll sleep on it, at least for tonight.

With that in mind, I’m off to bed. No real plans for tomorrow, other than buying a bottle of something for a man who has everything. No JIC, it’s not you, although you do almost qualify!

Busy, Busy, Busy – 26 April 2021

Actually a fairly relaxing morning. Afternoon not so much.

In the morning I worked at the computer for a while. I wanted to see if I could handle the programming of the catalog for the new photo app. It looked remarkably easy in the tutorial, but, as with most ‘easy’ things, there were a few twists and turns on the way to success. However, after an hour or so’s work I think we have a more elastic, less restricting framework of a catalog. I still need to tweak some things and work out how to implement others. Let’s say it’s a work in progress and leave it there.

It was a dull day with the threat of rain. Actually the rain didn’t appear until late in the afternoon, but by then we were well into the biz. First to appear was the Tesco delivery and I must say we are getting into rhythm unpacking the crates and then distributing the contents to the various storage places around the house. Scamp wanted to clear out a cupboard next. It’s the one where we keep the extra duvets for visitors as well as the ones we use ourselves. Hard to believe that there are TOG 10 duvets in that cupboard. We usually restrict ourselves to a TOG 1 from late spring until early autumn, with a TOG 3 or 5 in the coldest winter weather. The heavier duvets were earmarked for the tip along with a bag of deflated pillows which were well past their use by date. In all three black bags full and a small bag of electrical odds and ends. I drove to the tip and dumped them.

Back home we were visited by the girl who encouraged us to stick a swab down our throat and up our nose. If we did it properly without choking or gagging too much we got to answer her questions which were carefully phrased so I didn’t have to admit to being in another house for 15mins. That was the visit to Val’s two weeks ago and she was only interesting in an hour long visit in the last seven days. I did tell the truth, but not the whole truth. With that done it was wander around for a while time before the next big visit.

The big visit was to Muirfield Centre near the Town Centre for my second anti-Covid vaccination. They really do have it very well organised now. No messing about. You go from one testing station to the next to a row of cubicles to ensure social distancing, then to the doctor or nurse who administers the jag. That when it went a bit wrong. I answered my name, DOB and postcode for the first time, elected to have my right shoulder punctured and then the doctor looked at the ampule bottle and said “Oh, this one’s a dud.” It was only part full, so he had to go and get another one. I was going to ask him if this was a common occurrence, but by that time it was all over and he was pulling up my shirt sleeve. All done.

You know that feeling you get in your jaw after you’ve been to the dentist and the anaesthetic is beginning to wear off. It’s a kind of dull not-an-ache feeling. I could feel that sensation just as I was driving out of the car park. Now the bloke who gave me my jag was wearing dentist’s scrubs and I don’t know if this was psychosomatic, but it was strange. Maybe something to do with the release of stress or something or maybe I’m just that kind of zoomer!

Back home, all done and dusted. Scamp had taken over the Monday dinner but kept it to pasta, the way it should be. It was Mac ’n’ Cheese. Lovely! Afterwards I did a quick walk round the garden for a suitable PoD and found the apple tree almost ready to flower after today’s rain. That would do nicely.

Tomorrow, Scamp is off walking with Veronica. I’m hoping to be experimenting more with Capture One or making fancy bread.

 

Walking in the woods – 24 April 2021

The woodlands of Coatbridge. Not the first thing that springs to mind when I think of Coatbridge.

Coatbridge used to be a centre for heavy industry with a dirty old dilapidated canal running through it. Now it’s cleaned itself up quite a lot and most of that dirty old canal has been drained or filled in and where that failed, it’s been gentrified. We used to restrict ourselves to a wet walk around the pond whose name is really Lochend Loch. The path was really a conveyer belt with people in both directions, keeping left and stubbornly completing their exercise for the day. It was only recently we discovered the paths into and around the woodland that covers the majority of the park. The forests are a mixture of deciduous and coniferous trees and the paths are wide and winding. Some gentle climbs and some slightly more demanding. All easy walking, really. It’s difficult to get lost with the park being bounded by a railway line, a road and the pond, oops Loch. Wandered round today and chose a new path we hadn’t travelled on before and found a cricket ground. A cricket ground in Coatbridge! Who knew? The walk finished with an ice cream cone which seems to be becoming the icon of this spring’s warm days.

Back home I fashioned the remains of yesterday’s pizza into another shared pizza. It wasn’t quite as memorable as yesterday’s, but it filled a wee space. After that and after a cup of coffee, Scamp seemed determined to tidy things up an I got my shorts and boots on and went for a walk in the woods of St Mo’s. I’d tried a few shots of blossom and horse chestnut flowers in Drumpellier, but I reckoned there was better to be found in St Mo’s. Actually it was the blossom from Coatbridge that got PoD and a little mini tree got second place. None of the chestnut tree pictures got a sniff at the place on Flickr. Maybe once the candelabra flowers open up they will get their place in the sun and on Flickr.

Dinner tonight was a disappointing curry from Bombay Dreams. Pakora was only just warm and my Chicken Tikka Bhoona had too much ghee and too little flavour. Scamp’s seemed to be a bit better. Not their best offering.

Tomorrow may be the last of the warm spring days and we might go for another walk somewhere interesting and not too far away.

 

Another cold day – 6 April 2021

What has happened to spring this year? We seem to be back in winter.

Another lovely day … as long as you were in the house with the heating on. Once you stepped out, you found out what the Arctic feels like. Of course, I speak from experience. We both stepped out, but only as far as the car. We drove up to Tesco and while Scamp waited in the queue for the chemist to get her meds, I wandered round Tesco picking up the makings of lunch and dinner. Then it was a drive home through a snowstorm. I kid you not, this weather has only got worse since Donald Trump was chucked out of the White House. Bring back DT, Make Weather Great Again.

After lunch we agreed that we should go out again, but this time we’d be walking. Twice round St Mo’s pond without a photo being taken. Then to lengthen the walk we followed the path down in the general direction of the shops, but turned left before we got there. Walked down to the underpass that would take us to Broadwood Loch, but again turned left and went back up to the house. While Scamp was admiring a Magnolia bush, I was looking at some yellow flowers nearby. I took some photos, but they didn’t make PoD.

After a coffee and while Scamp was reading, I went for a walk in St Mo’s. Yes, it was cold, but not too cold, especially if you were out of the wind and in the sun, which I was for a while taking photos of Larch flowers, the aptly named Larch Pineapples. I named them that, you won’t find that description in Wikipedia. Even they didn’t make the grade for PoD.

I walked across what is usually a swampy mess past a small pond. Today with my new waterproof boots on, it wasn’t really all that wet, but it did give me a chance to test the grip from the Vibram soles, and they did get a bit wet. I felt better. They now looked ‘lived in’. Found my little ladybird still sleeping away the cold weather in its little crevice in the ash tree and grabbed the best photos yet of the insect.

<Technospeak>
Back home I squirted all the photos into Lightroom and decided the ladybird and the larch pineapple were the best of the bunch, so I used a new processing app on the iMac to do an auto adjust of the two shots. The results were interesting. The larch pineapple was worse after its dunking in the auto adjust bath. Highlights blown out colour just not right. The ladybird looked a lot better after its magic processing. I can’t explain it. It must be something to do with the basic colours of the subject and the browns and oranges of the ladybird pic work well with the algorithm for tuning the adjustments. Finally decided that the ladybird got PoD and used the new Capture One processing, but processed the larch pineapple with Lightroom.
</Technospeak>

Watched a BBC 2 programme we’d recorded last week about a Scottish painter James Morrison who painted wonderful landscapes from the North East of Scotland. Beautiful enormous watercolours and oils. If you have the time and inclination, watch “Eye of the Storm” on iPlayer. Quite stunning work and a great old man who died soon after the film was made, aged 88 I think. I have to thank Fred for telling me about it.

Tomorrow, Scamp is hoping to go for a walk with Veronica and I’m hoping to bake something interesting for her to come back to.

The North wind did blow – 5 April 2021

And we did have snow.

Thankfully not a lot of the white stuff, but the evidence was there, on the cars and on the grass. It soon melted in the sun. A beautiful looking morning with blue skies all around and bright sun. However, one look at the outside temperature told a different story 0.7c is pretty cold, even for early spring. I thought we might stay in the warm for a while before we risked going out for a walk. Just to give the world a chance to warm up.

An hour or so later some clouds were arriving from the north and we felt it was time to go out and stretch our legs. Out of the wind, it was quite pleasant, but facing into it, you really did feel that icy blast. No more snow, but a bitter cold. We walked down and round the end of Broadwood Loch, over the dam and down the long winding path past the exercise machines then up the hill to the shops. Not a lot needed today. Just some mozzarella cheese and some fruit and veg. Then it was back home to make lunch.

Yesterday I’d made paella for dinner and as usual I made too much. Scamp had the idea of making some arancini with it. Little balls of left over rice and peas stuffed with mozzarella, dusted with flour, dipped in egg then rolled in breadcrumbs before being deep fried in oil. Scamp was doing the making of the balls and the stuffing with breadcrumbs, plus the dusting with flour. I was doing the dipping in egg and rolling them in breadcrumbs until I had enough to slide into the pot of hot oil. We had about three or four each and that was more than enough for a lunch. They were tasty, but if I was making them again (and I hope we will) I’d use a bit more mozzarella next time.

The lovely sunshine and blue sky kept calling me, especially as the clouds had cleared away again, leaving a sparkling day. However it only took a moment to remember that cold wind that would blow away any enjoyment of a walk in St Mo’s. Anyway, I had enough photos from the morning’s walk I thought. I spent the afternoon watching a tutorial for a piece of editing software I’d got a free, not time limited, copy of. It’s a cut down version of the full editing package which costs an arm and a leg. It must have been one of the best video tutorials I’ve seen. Hardly a stumble in the guy’s explanations and everything clearly presented. No histrionics either. So many people, mainly americans, have to shout at you and dance around when they’re supposedly teaching techniques. No, this was an adult, confident in his ability. He did do a bit of soft selling at the end, but didn’t push the full price version. I was impressed.

It was spaghetti with a tomato sauce for dinner, but the star attraction was home made Sticky Toffee Pudding with loads of sauce and custard. Delightful, Scamp!

Today’s PoD was a branch of blossom caught on our morning walk. I could get used to this morning walk regime. It means we have to get up fairly early and get out. It also leaves time for me to go for a photo-walk later in the afternoon if time and weather permit. It’s so easy to just vegetate on cold days like today. I should have gone out in the afternoon, but my time wasn’t totally wasted. The PoD was processed in the new software which is called Capture One. I knew you’d want to know that JIC.

Another brightener today was seeing the first swallows and this is week 14.  Fairly late this year, but what a welcome they had, flying all the way north from Morocco and arriving into a snow storm!  Whatever would they be thinking?

No great plans for tomorrow, but if it’s as cold as today which seems likely, I may do some fancy Tear and Share bread baking.

 

Today was dull, just dull – 25 March 2021

Not the most interesting of days. Dull grey morning with the promise of rain later.

Spent most of the morning searching for a paintbrush. Arty paintbrush, I don’t bother much with the decorating ones these days. Eventually found it in the last place I’d look, where it should be with a load of other brushes in a cup on the wardrobe. That’s the thing about putting stuff away after you’ve used it, you have to remember where ‘away’ is.

I eventually dragged myself out for a walk to the shops. Instead of going the direct route, I walked down the path Scamp and I had walked yesterday, hoping to get another view of the deer. Unfortunately the deer had other places to go today. What I did find was a whole tree’s worth of catkins. I’ve never seen so many all out together. A small section of that made PoD.

Back home I began baking. Yesterday we had panna cotta for pudding. It was meant to have a tuile on top. A round wafer thin biscuit curved into a cylinder. Tuiles need to be very thin, so I’d watched folk making them on Monsterchef and they scrape the mixture over a template to get the initial round biscuit batter onto the greaseproof paper. In the morning I’d made these templates. Now I was going to see if they worked. Surprisingly they did and although the baking process was a bit hit and miss, we had a tuile each with tonight’s panna cotta. I’ve learned what my mistakes were from Scamp and will try again soon. Ingredients were:
Soft Butter
Icing Sugar
Plain Flour
The whites of two eggs (sorry Hazy)
All the above in 50g quantities and mixed in that order. Bake for 4mins or so at 180ºc, just in case you fancy trying it.

Scamp had spent the afternoon and some of the morning making Carrot & Lentil Curry. It was very good too. We both agreed it was quite spicy hot, but Scamp was adamant that no chilli powder had been added, just Garam Masala which isn’t spicy. A mystery.

Spent the evening trying to work out how to get a video to play using chapter marks in any of Win 10’s video players. Eventually gave up, installed VLC which, although clumsy, did work. I hate Windoze.

It’s raining quite heavily now, but it’s forecast to be clear tomorrow for a while. We may go somewhere for a walk. If we leave it too late there is the chance of ‘wintry showers’. Brrrr!

Happy Birthday, Birthday Girl – 24 March 2021

Up and out fairly early.

Had to get up and go out to get the makings of today’s dinner which would be Cod and Prawns with Fennel and White Wine. Sounds really posh, but is fairly easy to do, successfully. However, it does require Cod and Prawns as main constituents and I’d forgotten to get them yesterday. Also, pudding would be Panna cotta which really needs double cream and whole milk, also on the ‘forgotten’ list. So a quick run up to Tesco was in order. Because the ‘birthday girl’ enjoys the odd glass of Kraken dark rum, and because of a price reduction of the same in Tesco, it seemed the right thing to do to add a bottle to the list. Managed to curb my spending to those essentials, and drove home.

After a light lunch and with the panna cotta cooling, we headed off for a walk round the Broadwood Stadium, route, because the clouds were gathering and it would have been pushing our luck to go the full Broadwood Loch path. On the way there, we saw a young deer buck happily grazing by the side of the path. I grabbed half a dozen shots of it before it loped off a few yards than stood in open ground staring at us and looked like it was saying “are you still there?” Spoke to a couple who were walking the opposite direction and agreed that the animals seem to be less frightened of us humans. Probably a side effect of Covid because a lot more of us humans are invading the animals’ space. Not only heavy cloud, but also a cold wind when you were exposed to it might have encouraged us to walk that little bit faster round the Broadwood paths.

When we got home I thought I might have just enough time to go round St Mo’s a couple of times to augment my deer photos. I visited the ladybirds still hibernating in the woods and grabbed a few shots just to remind me of when I’d last seen them, because they will be leaving soon. Nothing else interesting poked its head out to see me.

Back home it was full tilt into prep for dinner. One thing I’ve learned from Scamp and from my one day at cookery school is mise en place, or ‘setting up’. I’ve tried to use it more and more in my recent cookery. Just getting everything at least ready, if not measured before I start. It saves time when the gas is turned on!

Starter tonight was Pizza Bread Bruschetta. Main was Cod and Prawns with Fennel and White Wine. Pudding was Panna Cotta with Raspberries. All worked out well and were deemed a success.

Hazel and Neil had organised a Zoom call tonight with Jamie and Simonne for the Birthday Girl. We had an enjoyable hour talking to them all. What a wonderful idea Zoom is. Not quite as good as face to face meeting, but better than a simple phone call. Great catchup you people. Thanks for organising it.

Well, that was a busy day. PoD was a photo I took of blossom on a fruit tree near Broadwood Stadium. Those who are observant will notice that the blog is now HTTPS after I eventually set up my security properly. I don’t think it will make any difference to your connection, but if it does, drop me a line. Tomorrow, relaxing I hope!

Deep breath and here we go – 22 March 2021

Today I left Sierra behind and found Mojave.

I’ve been running Sierra on the iMac since I bought it about four years ago. It’s been getting slower and slower all that time. Finally, today, after making another backup and filing away some important passwords, I ran the Mojave installer and went to have my lunch. I fidgeted and paced the floor like a dafty on and off for about half an hour after that. Actually, the time scale the installer gave was almost correct and after an hour I had a new, responsive operating system. I’m quite impressed with it and have learned a lot in the process. The main thing I’ve learned is to let the computer and the code I’m injecting get on with things and don’t poke about in it. I’ll try to remember that when things go wrong as they did about half an hour ago when my memory usage was red-lining and one app was taking up twice as much physical memory as I have installed. Don’t ask me how that’s possible, I don’t know, but it just is.

It was a dull day, so I suppose it was the perfect day to do this kind of messing around. It didn’t actually rain, but it looked like it wanted to. Scamp was busy doing housework while I was pacing the floor and swearing at anything that got in my way. Eventually, I closed the computer down, grabbed my camera and went for a walk in St Mo’s. For the last week the weather has been really like spring, but today it was as if we’d returned to winter. Cold wind, grey sky and not a lot of light. However I was out. I did two circuits of the pond and then came home with a few photos, two of which got red spots, which means they were good enough to post on Flickr. PoD went to the photo of the red flower with the zig-zag stem. I also took a few shots of desiccated weeds. The structure of weeds is really interesting. As someone who used to make a living drawing structural steelwork, these featherlight vertical structures are amazing. They can sway in the breeze and not break. They have evolved to cope with wind, rain, snow, sun and ice. If you study them, they are incredibly strong for their light weight. Anyway, as I photographed some weeds a line from a George Gerdes song popped into my head, “Seeds that I’ve sown were all a bunch of weeds”. When I got back home I searched for George Gerdes and found that he had died of a brain aneurysm on January 1st this year. He was 72. We heard him sing at a Loudon Wainwright concert in Glasgow away back around 1974. RIP George. I loved the humour of your songs.

We had a quick attempt at the figure we learned yesterday, The Five Step, but after Scamp trod on my toe and I trod on hers, both by accident, we decided to call it a day and try agin tomorrow.

There will be some worried faces in the SNP party tonight since Nicola Sturgeon was cleared of ‘breaching the ministerial code’, which is legalese for ”She didnae dae it!” That means all those who had their daggers drawn ready to take her down will be keeping a low profile for some time to come. I’m not saying she’s vindictive, oh no, I didn’t say that. I’ve always said she was the best leader we’ve ever had. Ahem, I think I got away with that.

Tomorrow looks reasonable weather wise, but we may get some of the wet stuff.