Tidying up loose ends – 16 May 2022

Lots of stuff to do yet, but it’s getting clearer what’s needed and what’s not.

It was a wet morning and Scamp was out to Tesco, which gave me a chance to tidy up the back bedroom and clear a space to work on. When she came back the settee was cleared and ready.

To save time we just drove to The Fort. We were parked right next to another blue Micra. Exactly the same model and style. Twins! I wanted a book at Waterstones and she was looking for cards and gift boxes for yesterday’s gifts. I hate that work, ‘gift’. It’s so lacking in definition and emotion. I’d much rather say ‘Prezzy’, but I don’t suppose you can go into a shop and ask “Where do you keep the Prezzy boxes, please?” So that vanilla word, ‘gift’ will have to do. In Waterstones I managed to find both the books I was considering, sitting on the rack next to one another, so I bought both. One with a gift voucher (there’s that word again. I’ll call it a book token next time) and one with real money. The books were “May God Forgive” and “Bad Actors”. Met Scamp on the way back from the book shop and we drove home.

Back home it was lunch time and also time for a couple of chapters in my new Robert Pobi book “Under Pressure”which looks like another page turner. (Hazy, I don’t know if Neil has read this one, it’s the next in the sequence after “City of Windows”. Maybe you could mention to him.) I gave myself a limit of reading until 2.30 and then I had to start sorting things out after. I ended up with the settee covered again with clothes ready to go into cases. After I’d done all I could do, I grabbed a camera and two lenses and walked over to St Mo’s, hoping for some damselflies again, but there were none. The rain from the morning had disappeared and it was actually quite warm. Much warmer that the 10ºc we had going in to The Fort. I did find a big spider tending its web just by the side of the boardwalk and it became PoD. Not much light though, because those heavy rain bearing clouds were still hung overhead, so I took that as a sign to take my lucky spider shots and go home.

Dinner tonight was a bit of a mix up. Boiled some spaghetti, then cut some shallots and red pepper thin and fried them in some oil before adding some passata. While it was cooking through, griddled some slices of courgettes, aubergines and mushrooms in my ribbed pan. When the pasta was cooked I added it to the sauce and served the veg as a side. It was different and it seemed to work. This chapter is a reminder to me of how I made it.

We had a quick refresher of the “Baby” waltz, the Sweetheart Cha-Cha and the Fishtails from the quickstep.

Tomorrow is the last day of the short salsa class in Bishopbriggs. Who knows what Jamie Gal will throw into the mix!

Back and Forth – 11 May 2022

After yesterday’s strange behaviour of the Blue car, I was hoping for some resolution, or at least an explanation.

Before that could happen, there was some coffee to be drunk and some stories to be told. Before even that, Scamp was out to get her hair cut. With that done successfully, we headed hesitantly to the Costa in the Town Centre. Nothing untoward happened and the blue car behaved very well.

I met Val and we had Flat Whites and a cake each. He was telling me he’d had a fall and showed me the bruises to prove it. He has been renovating a 1946 radio. Val loves a challenge and this was certainly that. Of course, something of that age doesn’t have transistors inside, it runs on valves. Glass valves with all sorts of coils and things inside them and a multitude of pins protruding from the base. I told him I remember my dad taking the valves out of our old radio and cleaning all those fine pins with emery paper, dusting them off and carefully putting them back in place. It was a wonderful thing when he could tune into radio stations in faraway places and hear folk talking in foreign languages. Nowadays we just take without thinking that you can see and hear what’s happening all over the globe, instantly on TV or on your phone even. I admire Val’s ability to rebuild these old devices.  I showed him the photos in a photobook Scamp and I had had printed of our long weekend in Old Newton.  Jamie and Simonne, he was very impressed with the house and garden, as was Isobel when she saw the book.

I had a word with Isobel who was with Sheila in a different part of Costa’s. She looks so much younger now that she doesn’t need glasses after her cataract surgery. A very independent woman she delighted in telling me that she manages to put her drops in by herself.

I drove Val home because he’s feeling a bit stiff after his fall and also because he’s lost a bit of his confidence. Then I went and filled up the blue car before picking up Scamp and Isobel then took the lady with the new all seeing eye back to the Village.

Drove to Stirling, ready for a fight, as Scamp described it. The young bloke on the desk listened to my story and started telling me they didn’t have any free appointments today, then when I said I needed the car for next week he relented and managed to get me a slot at 4pm today. I thanked him and we drove home, had a bit of lunch before hoovering up all the sticky tree buds that always appear at this time of year. When I thought the car was looking at least a bit tidier than it had been I drove to Stirling again. Dropped off the keys and sat down to read my Kindle which I’d been bright enough to bring with me. Just over an hour later the young bloke came over and showed me the printout from the computer the blue car had been connected to. He agreed that there half a dozen different failures the test had thrown up. The mechanic had cleared all the fails and re-tested the car and it came up clean, so it was safe to drive. I thanked him for getting me the slot and for dealing with it so promptly, and I was on my way back home, through the rush hour traffic. I’d hate to have to drive through that every day. Fish and chips for dinner. Just what I needed after a stressful day.

The weather today was wild! Gusty wind blowing in heavy rain showers and then blowing them away again to let the sun shine though. PoD was a shot taken in the garden. It’s an azalea that lives in a sheltered corner of the garden and is flowering beautifully just now.

Tomorrow we are hoping for a more relaxing day, although it looks like rain for at least some of it.

Photo Album – 4 May 2022

Photo albums were so much easier in the olden days.

Today we spent a bit of the morning and half of the afternoon making up a photo book of our recent trip down south. In the olden days, you took your film to the chemist who developed and printed it and handed it back to you in a neat little cardboard folder. Then you bought a photo album and a packet of Lick and Stick corners and used them to hold the photos in place. Usually this meant that the next day when you opened the album the photos all fell out. Either that or the pages had become stuck together by the Lick and Stick corners and then you tore the page when frustration took over.

Now you simply have to upload all your photos to an online company, decide what format of book you want and how many photos you want to add, then the hard work of arranging them is done automatically. The problems come when you want to move things around. No longer do you simply unclip them, replace them with another photo and then find a new place to put the old one. Now you have to consider the size and shape of every photo and sometimes the AI automatic formatter gets it a bit wrong and portrait shots get chopped into landscape and vice versa. It all seems to take a lot longer than the happy smiley company video shows it. That’s why it took us about three hours, with a break for lunch, to get things the way we wanted them. The book is to show off a new house to the folks up in Skye, because books are so much easier to look at than a tablet, aren’t they? Hopefully it will be printed and in their hands in no time.

After that collaboration, we split up. Scamp went to the shops to get stuff for tonight’s dinner and I headed over to Condorrat to post an envelope. Of course I took my camera with me and caught a fly with its beady little glass eye and that became PoD. Just an ordinary fly, because I haven’t seen any damselflies yet and very few hover flies.

It was a cold wind today, but if you found shelter, the sun was warm.

Oh yes, and May the Fourth have been with you today!

Tomorrow we’re booked to go and see Margie. Also hoping my new camera bag will arrive at WEX in Glasgow without a birthday card for a stranger in it this time!

Well, it is my birthday – 8 April 2022

Today I was in charge, but I was warned it was only for today!

After opening the cards and the parcels and marvelling at the imagination of my family, it was breakfast in bed served on a tray with a carnation in a bud vase!

I suggested we drive to the station and get the train to Glasgow. Scamp agreed, and she drove us to the station. She got a bit flustered getting the tickets and asked the bloke in the ticket office for a return, but didn’t say where to! The standard reply to “where to” is generally “back here of course!” Got the tickets, train arrived and we were soon in Glasgow on a fairly busy train. Just walked across to the underground and got two all day tickets. Scamp got through, but I didn’t. Tried three machines and each one said “Cannot read card”. The way it works on Glasgow subway, your plastic “pensioner’s ticket” gets updated with the amount you want to put on it and becomes like an Oyster card. Except, mine didn’t. The woman at the ticket desk checked it and all was well at her end. Eventually a bloke came, checked my card and buzzed me through with his “Let Me In” gadget.

We took the train to Kelvinbridge were, of course I had to go through the same procedure again. This time it was explained to us that they are having some problems with this method of travel, but only with some (ie the North Lanarkshire) Concession Cards, that’s the posh name for Pensioner’s tickets. He buzzed me through and gave me a paper ticket that would get my back to the rail station. Isn’t it nice when technology just works … until it doesn’t.

We went to La Lanterna – West End. It’s a tiny little Italian restaurant with only about a dozen tables. We’ve been there before and the food was good. It was almost empty and we got a table easily, but only after I’d been reminded by the head waiter to say “Good Afternoon” first. It’s an Italian thing that you have to say “Bonjourno” which means “Good Day”, before you start any conversation or ask a question. I’ll remember next time.

Scamp had Arancini (deep fried rice balls) as a starter and I had a pretty little trio of bruschetta. For a main Scamp had a green pesto risotto with asparagus and broccoli. I had Pollo alla Milanese (Chicken fried in breadcrumbs) with Neapolitan Spaghetti. For once, I was the one having a glass of red wine and Scamp, the driver, had sparkling water.

When we left there we went to check that the old STUC building, where we used to go to salsa classes, was still there. There had been rumours that it was going to be demolished. Apparently not, but it is being turned into student flats. At least the building will be saved.

We walked along Gt Western Road to the Botanic Gardens against a cold westerly wind. We went in to the Kibble Palace which is a beautiful place to wander round and best of all, it’s a giant heated greenhouse that holds lots of exotic plants that need to be kept warm. It was also holding lots of folk sheltering from the icy blast.

Next stop was Waterstones for the new Ben Aaronovitch book “Amongst Our Weapons”. They didn’t have it. It’s only a tiny little shop. However the bloke behind the counter said that Argyle Street had some copies, so we headed there. We were just about to got out empty handed when there was a hail storm, or it might have been “frozen rain”. It looked like hail, but the frozen balls were like snow. Strange weather.

Got the underground down to Argyle Street and got the book in Waterstones, then made our way back up Bucky Street, via a posh shower gel shop, to the train station and just managed to get on the Alloa train to Croy and then Scamp drove us home.

There was a parcel waiting for me. The postman had handed it to one of our neighbours. It was a birthday prezzy. Another one. I have a great family. It was a great birthday. I really enjoyed my day in Glasgow. As well as all the foregoing, we stood on the bridge over the Kelvin watching folk ‘Magnet Fishing’ and a song kept buzzing round my head. A song without a name by a singer whose name I couldn’t remember either. With the help of Mr Google I’ve remembered the song as “Wire Burners” from the album “Glasgow” and the singer as Findlay Napier. Do yourself a favour and listen to it. Although the best track is the first one ‘Young Goths in the Necropolis’.

We had a few glasses of wine later, Scamp and I and a thin G ’n’ T before dragging ourselves off to bed. I posted today’s PoD on Flickr before that. It’s a Pelargonium we saw in the Kibble Palace.

Tomorrow we’re up and out early to navigate our way through the roadworks to a dance class in Brookfield. Morning will come early.

Of course, this is a catch-up, but the gist of yesterday is fairly correct.

I’m busy doing nothing – 28 March 2022

That’s how today felt.

Scamp was out to lunch with Nancy today which left me the run of the house.

It was a beautiful day again, possibly the last really warm day for a while, so after I’d changed the battery in the solar powered light ball that hangs on the tree in the garden, I went and sat on the front step and read my new book for a while, until lunch time, in fact. After lunch which was a chicken, mushroom and red pepper omelette, I continued my sunbathing and reading, although I did change to shorts and a tee shirt because it was really quite warm. I got a warning from Scott the taxi driver that I should have sun cream on and thought that was a wise precaution, so I went in search of sun cream. Finally found some, slapped it on and grabbed a beanie hat to complete my rig out. Possibly not the most elegantly dressed gent in the estate, but certainly the most comfortable, because now I’d taken a folding chair out. You can only sit for so long on a step before your bum starts to complain. I know I should have been sanding down the woodwork of the bin shed, but you can’t put a good book down! The book was All That Lives by James Oswald, in case you’re interested.

When Scamp returned I thought I’d give her some space and too the camera and the Lensbaby out to get some photos of the flowering cherry that grows in the depths of St Mo’s woodland. I got a few shots of it and am beginning to come to terms with this strange contraption. It does produce some very arty effects, almost painterly. That’s what produced today’s PoD of the flowering cherry tree.

That was about it for today. My work on the light ball lit up tonight and is now off again. The little Ni Mh battery does a good job and gives two or three hours of light. I’m hoping there will be enough sun tomorrow to charge it up again. Apparently it’s going to get a lot colder in the next few days with a wind from the north and talk of that white fluffy stuff falling from the sky!

One more thing.  I made Pasta Carbonara tonight for dinner, with a difference.  Two kinds of cheese, Pecarino and Parmigiano-Reggiano and NO CREAM!  Instead I tried Val’s recipe with an extra egg yolk instead of cream and it did taste better.  Must try it again some time.

Tomorrow Scamp is out again. This time it’s coffee with Shona. I’ll hope for a morning of sunshine.

 

Waiting, waiting, waiting – 23 March 2022

For the postman to arrive. Hopefully bringing a parcel.

It took a while for the postman to arrive with the parcel and two cards. Scamp had already been down to the shops and back, leaving me to wait for the parcel. I did spend my time wisely, going out into the sunshine and photographing the Forsythia bush with my strange new lens. It’s a bit cumbersome and difficult to work with. If I’d put the camera on a tripod and then adjusted things, it would have been better. However, like most things photographic, the instructions that come with it are only a starting point. Mostly you learn by doing.

After lunch we set off for a walk in Drumpellier park. Scamp got to choose the paths this time, because it’s her week. She wanted to try a path to Bishop Loch. The sign pointing out the way seemed to think it was 1.5 miles to the loch. We followed its path until we came to the main road. There was a another signpost there telling us to go left. That was strange, because I was sure Bishop Lock was right. Also, the distance to the loch was now 1.75 miles. We both though the signs were just leading us a merry dance and we went back the way we’d come.

We hadn’t walked far when I got a call from the lady who asks us questions and gives us cotton bud things to stick down our throat and up our nose. Not out in the wilds of Drumpellier park, you realise, but back home. We agreed a time and walked a shortened version of our original route. A route that took us past the ice cream van, where we stopped for a ’99’, or as I said “a 99 with a flake”. Silly bugger. We found a seat by the loch (not Bishop Loch) to sit and watch the world go by as we ate our cones.

On the way back we stopped at The Fort. Scamp went to browse clothes shops and I went looking for a book in Waterstones. I came out with two books and still with a fiver in my book tokens to reduce the price of the next book I fancy. I’d hoped to get a birthday card for Scamp too, but Waterstones didn’t have any and I didn’t want to run the risk of Scamp spotting me going in to a card shop.

Back home, we still had an hour to spare before the Covid Survey lady was due to come, so I grabbed my camera bag and told Scamp I was going over to St Mo’s to get a few more pictures. Instead I walked down to the shops and got a card there. I’d also intended getting a bottle of Bramble Gin, but the queues in Aldi were ridiculous, so I gave up, put the bottle back on the shelf and walked home. Sorry Scamp. IOU a bottle of Bramble Gin. On the walk I did find something to photograph. It made the cut too and is on Flickr. It’s another bunch of seeds from a Silver Birch, lying on the ground. A boy on a bike watched me as if I was mad. Had he never seen a man on his hands and knees photographing a bit of stick lying on the ground? These are exactly the antics that get photogs a bad name!

The lady came and we told her some lies variations on the truth, but mainly truthful. We shoved the stick down our throats and gagged a bit. We stuck it up our nose too, both nostrils. Note! It’s really important that you do the throat first, not the nose. Think about it. There are some things you don’t want to put down your throat!  The last question they ask you is always “Have you been out of the country in the last 28 days?”.  We always look sad at that point, but today the lady did a little dance and said that she was hoping to get out of the country and go to Teneriffe next week.  She looked so excited I forgave her for making us feel worse!  It’s nice to get an interviewer with a sense of humour.  Actually most of them have been fairly happy folk.

Dinner was Easy Fish and Cabbage Risotto. The oven does all the work and nobody will be able to tell that you didn’t spend half an hour feeding hot stock into slowly thickening rice starch.

Hoping to go for lunch in Falkirk tomorrow, then a visit to Torwood Garden Centre.

 

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.

 

 

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.

A foggy day – 19 January 2021

Fog in the morning that seemed to disappear, then returned.

We had intended going for a walk in the morning because the weather fairies said it was going to rain in the afternoon. Unfortunately, they didn’t mention the fog that lingered for most of the morning. Luckily for us we didn’t go out, because we had a long phone call from Hazy. Thanks for the link to website, Hazy. Interesting way it presents your reading data. Also looked at Murderbot Diaries.  Look forward to seeing the circular weaving.  Video was very interesting.  I imagine I wouldn’t have the patience for that sort of creativity!

Ticked off the first of my list today by lugging the last of the Christmas decorations up into the loft an by then it was time for lunch, which was the last of Scamp’s “Just Soup”.

It was still a bit miserable outside, so Scamp decided to forego the joys of a damp walk in St Mo’s for the questionable entertainment of River City on the TV. I chose St Mo’s and walked round the back of the school to get today’s PoD which was some dewdrop sparkle on a cow parsley plant courtesy of the morning’s fog. It’s up on Flickr now, but joining it is a photo from exactly a year ago. A macro of some moss on an old tree branch. I thought it might be an interesting idea to post some old photos of the same day but a different year, starting with 2020 in January and hopefully 2019 in February and see how far back I get. I see a lot of folk doing similar things on Flickr. Mostly posting holiday photos, paired with photos of the dull lockdown lives we are leading now. Let’s face it, we need something to cheer us up.

Scamp had made Cauliflower Fritters for dinner. This is the second time she’s made them and they are really delicious. They were the starter and a fiery veg curry was the main. Boy! It was hot. We both needed ice cream to cool our mouths after that. It was hot, but strong on flavour too, so no real complaints from me.

Back to the list and then next thing to do was get rid of the heavy beard. It’s great on the cold days because it does keep my face warm, but it’s just not me, so it had to go. Only took about ten minutes to prune it back to its usual goatee. I feel so much more like myself now. “Buzz the Fuzz” was its name on my list of things to do!

A little more than a year ago a company called Affinity gave away 90 day ’trials’ of its software to encourage people to be more creative during Lockdown 1. One was a DTP package. One was a photo editing package very similar to Photoshop. One was a vector graphic design app. All of them were very good and also good value because they dropped the price by 50% if you wanted to buy them after the 90 days. I bought the photo editor because my Photoshop is really old and behind the times now. I don’t really have a need for vector graphic editors and besides I’ve used a couple of open source ones in the past quite successfully. However I don’t have a DTP package, so I bought their version today and it’s very capable. Much better than Apple’s Pages app which is what I’ve been using up until now. If you need any of these apps, Affinity is worth a look. They work on Mac, PC and as far as I can remember on iPad too. I’ll put a link at the end of the blog.

Well, I had five things on my list today (odd number and a prime number too) and have scored all of them off. No list yet for tomorrow, but I’m sure something will come along. Maybe a painting with those paints Hazy. Also on the cards soon will be a gingerbread house, JIC.

Tomorrow is still forecast for snow and rain. What a nice mixture. We may go out for a walk if it stays dry long enough.

Affinity (used to be called Serif) – https://affinity.serif.com/en-gb/

The postman only knocked once – 6 November 2020

But that was enough, at 8.15am, to get me out of bed.

He was just walking away as I opened the door, having left my parcel on the doorstep. He gave me a wave as he headed back to his van and was off before the door shut. It must be really hard for delivery men and women these days, working such long hours and with tight schedules to keep. The parcel contained a used tripod head I’d bought from WEX in Norfolk two days ago. It’s a bit scuffed in places, but is a solid piece of kit, better quality than the one I was going to buy in Glasgow. Best of all, it cost a fraction of its value when new.

I made our breakfast while I watched two blackbirds, one cock and one hen, having their early morning bath in the garden. Took the breakfast back to bed and we read for a while, waiting for the day to brighten up. I’m now on my second last Slough House book, having finished “To be taught if fortunate”. It got four stars Hazy because of the ending and because of the inclusion of 30 pages of her first “Wayfarers” novel. Thirty pages too much padding.

After our dragging ourselves out of bed and having a cup of coffee, Scamp went out to tidy up the garden and I took the Sony out for a walk in St Mo’s. There was blue sky for a while and even some sunshine, but I had the feeling the weather just wasn’t trying too hard today. Nothing really struck me as interesting enough to make a PoD.

No lunch today, because we were heading out later in the afternoon for a late lunch at The Cotton House in Longcroft. Since we were booked for 2.30 we were eating off the a la carte menu instead of the lunch menu. We didn’t mind, because we realise that the lunch menu is a sort of loss leader, but the a la carte is where they make their main profit. Also, there would be things in there we’d never had before! as it happened we didn’t end up being all that adventurous. Scamp had Thai Fish Cakes for starter followed by Chicken Chop Suey with Fried Rice. I had Gyoza Dumplings as starter and then Salt and Chilli Chicken with noodles. Once you throw in the Prawn Crackers, this was a fairly substantial lunch and one we both enjoyed.

Drove home into a beautiful sunset that would have made an excellent photo if only I had brought one of my multitude of cameras. Besides, we’d had a lovely afternoon and it would be a shame to waste it by boring Scamp to tears with me wandering around taking sunset shots.

I’d ordered an adapter to allow the tripod head I’d received this morning to fit onto my tripod. It hadn’t arrived when we got home and when I checked, it was due to be delivered about 5pm, just about the same time the Tesco order was due to come. You guessed it, they arrived at exactly the same time.

Just to test out the combination of tripod + adapter + tripod head + Sigma 105mm macro lens, today’s PoD is an Alstroemeria flower taken with a 4 second exposure at f8. It’s not brilliant, I know, but it shows the combination works and it’s a lot better than any of the shots I took this morning. That probably tells you just how bad they were.

No plans for tomorrow.