The day that the rains came down – 8 June 2022

And stayed all day.

I decided that I’d let the day simmer along and hopefully the rain would stop or maybe I’d find something useful to do. The latter came first, but ultimately the former happened.

I had at least half a dozen boxes of bread ingredients that have been sitting on a unit in the living room for, well, ages. I picked the bottom one and started mixing up a loaf. The actual loaf was a Swiss Farmer’s Loaf and it started out as a sticky dough and ended up looking nothing like the picture in the booklet said it would. I think this is only the second failure I’ve had. I say failure, but it was perfectly edible, it just didn’t look like the book said. Probably my fault more than theirs. It was a good way to while away an hour or so of a day when I’d no intention of going out anyway, so no real loss.

After lunch it began to look as if the sun might just make an appearance, but there were no guarantees. Scamp had started making a couple of sultana cakes. She was halfway through the process when the mixer made a strange noise. When we let it cool for a while and tried again, the problem was still there. Another one with no user serviceable parts inside, so it was down to hand beating the mixture. Of course, I couldn’t do that, so Scamp did it all by herself. Probably better really. I’d just have made a mess.

I went out for a walk in the drizzle with the Sony. Thankfully the rain soon dried up and left behind clouds of little flies that got in my eyes up my nose and into my mouth when I was walking. I did get a photo of a much less invasive fly. It just sat on top of a desiccated weed and allowed me to photograph it. It also gave me a chance to use some of the more esoteric functions of the camera. Only available if the correct buttons are pressed in the correct order. That’s the Sony way! The fly became PoD. It was really tiny, about 3mm long. Got home to find Scamp’s bread coming out of the oven, smelling lovely.

Dinner tonight was Fish ’n’ Oven Chips. So much easier than deep frying and almost as good.

It was really dull for most of the day, but tomorrow looks a bit better. Hopefully I’m taking Scamp’s wee red car down to the village to get a new exhaust, then we’re booked for taking Shona to Falkirk. That’s where the planning ends. We’ll see what happens.

Time to tidy up – 1 May 2022

Scamp returns today and that means the kitchen must be returned to its pristine condition. Oh dear.

As it happened, Scamp didn’t return to around 6pm which gave me plenty of leeway to make an even bigger mess of the kitchen by attempting to make a dozen English Muffins as advertised by Simon and Garfunkel in Punky’s Dilemma. Water, sugar, salt, yeast, flour, melted butter. What could go wrong!? Well, the answer was “Not much, actually.” It all went quite well considering how long it is since I’ve done any baking.

With the dough made, I left it to its own devices while I loaded the washing machine with stuff and set it to work. Then I went into the garden and planted some seeds. Teasels and a sort of Cowparsley or Hogweed called Ammi majus. The first is now in the greenhouse and the second is in the raised bed.

Lunch was another of Hazy’s “Crimpits”. This time the filling wasn’t so successful. I used grated cheese, cooked ham and beetroot. Maybe I overloaded it. Maybe it was because I was using white ‘Thins’, rather than wholewheat. Maybe it was because it was Sunday and Sunday should be a fried lunch. Anyway, I’ll try another mixture of fillings later in the week.

The dough was having a lazy Sunday and needed a bit of a talking to, so I gave it a last warning and told it to get rising or it would get kicked out, then I left it to consider its future while I took a camera and a couple of lenses to see what was hiding in St Mo’s woods.

There was a deer hiding there, but it saw me long before I saw it. It was last seen heading in the general direction of Glasgow at a fair rate of knots. PoD was a shot of a larch branch with fresh green needles that had captured some of yesterday’s rain and was holding on to it. I liked that.

Back home the dough was more than doubled in size. It’s amazing what a threat will do. I chopped it up into 12 little 77.33g balls and rolled them until they were smooth, flattened them and dusted them with a mixture of flour and semolina before cooking six of them in the frying pan (without oil),then baking them in the oven. As usual with our gas oven the timing was a bit hit and miss, and more miss than hit in this case. Some worked ok, some were underdone. There are another six in the fridge chilling tonight. Hopefully I’ll be more successful tomorrow. I suppose it doesn’t help that in Scotland we don’t eat many English muffins, so I didn’t really know what the texture should be like.

Halfway through the cooking and baking I got a WhatsApp from Jamie asking if we could do a FaceTime from New York. I explained that Scamp was still on the way home from St Andrews, but I was available. The next thing I knew, I was looking at Jamie with skyscrapers in the background. It felt such a surreal thing to do, to talk to someone I knew, thousands of miles away and in real time. I know this sounds incredibly old fashioned to some folk, but I’ve never had the need to do Face Time over a long distance before. It quite took my breath away. Thank you for that opportunity Jamie. Such a pity Scamp couldn’t have joined in too. And then he was off to catch his train to the airport to fly home. Safe flight home Jamie.

Scamp arrived about half an hour later, with lots of interesting foody things. Duck eggs, Ginger and Leek sausages, an interesting looking quiche, a jar of garlic piccalilli and two sticky cakes that we’re keeping for tomorrow. The sausages and a duck egg with some bacon became my dinner and mixed well with the piccalilli. Scamp said the quiche was ‘just all right’, but the pastry was lovely.

It’s great to have a bit of freedom, but its even better when you’re back home again. Lots of stories still to tell, I’m sure.

Somebody is coming to see us tomorrow to invite us to swab our throats and noses, then ask us those difficult searching questions.

We asked for rain and got it today – 12 April 2022

It was dry for a while in the morning, then the rain came … and stayed all day.

Not the best of days weather wise. It was just a wet day. All day long the rain continued. Sometimes lighter, sometimes heavier, but always there in the breeze.  The garden need the rain, so we shouldn’t complain too much.

Since we weren’t going anywhere important today, I got some thread and a needle and started sewing on a pair of elbow patches that I’ve been promising to fix for at least six months, probably more. They’re supposed to be iron-on, but the glue isn’t very strong, so it’s much better to stitch them on. Finally with the help of a needle threader that Scamp had, I managed to get both of them sewn on. It’s amazing the things you do on a wet day.

Lunch was a highlight. Hazy had given me a “Crimpet” for my birthday. It’s a two part press device for making sealed little bread parcels using bread ‘Thins’. I’d never heard of ’Thins’ before, but Scamp had and we bought some yesterday from Tesco. Basically you put one slice of ‘Thin’ in the black bottom tray of the Crimpet, then load it up with your chosen filling. My first one was cheddar cheese, chopped tomatoes and wafer thin beef. Next put another ‘Thin’ on top. Place the yellow Crimpet part on top and press down firmly. What comes out is a beautifully sealed bread parcel that can be toasted, fried in a frying pan or baked in the oven. We toasted ours (Scamp’s was cheddar, tomato and turkey breast) and we both agreed it was a winner. I don’t know where Hazy gets these amazing gadgets from, but this is one of her best so far. Thank you my dear. I think we may try dry frying them tomorrow to see how that affects the taste.

After lunch we went down to the shops in the rain to get some messages and the makings of tonight’s dinner which was to be Stir Fry. It really was a miserable day, but when we got back, I took the camera out into garden in the drizzle and got a few photos. The best one, if slightly out of focus was Scamp’s sweet peas growing in a tray in the greenhouse.

Tomorrow we’re off on our travels taking Shona to the hospital in Falkirk where the orthopaedic surgeon wants to have a look at a wee bone she broke in her arm. It happened last week when she had a fall.

We might go for a coffee at Torwood while she’s at the hospital.

A busy musical day – 11 March 2022

Music rarely has a place in the blog, but it has today.

The day started with Scamp driving us to Tesco. Just a usual Friday shop. Basics and a bottle of wine. Unfortunately, the wine wasn’t for us but for friends we were visiting later.

Back home I started making dough for a loaf. I usually take a loaf to Crawford and Nancy in Larky. Scamp reckoned a small loaf would be enough for four of us and small loaves are easier to hand knead, so that’s what I did.

After lunch I went out for a walk and a hope for more frog photos, if they were still there. They were, and the photos were taken. They were taken with my big clunky Tamron 70-300mm lens. It was a great lens some years ago when I first bought it for my Nikon D7000, then things started going wrong. The Vibration Control would sometimes take a day off and just refuse to work. Focusing too was a hit and a miss. I got it repaired, and it worked for a while after that, but it really wasn’t to be trusted. Now I’ve got a Sony and a Nikon adapter which allows the lens to work in manual mode only and without VC. I don’t use a long lens very much and this one covers the times when I need a lens that’s longer than 105mm.

By the time I came back the dough had risen quite well and was ready to go into the little cane basket for its second prove as I looked through the photos from today’s shoot. Surprisingly, some were better than I’d expected. In fact one of the m made PoD.

That had given the bread time to puff up a bit and I bunged it in the oven for the required 25 mins. It came out almost as flat as a pancake. I decided we’d try it tomorrow, but there was no way it was going to Larky.

Time was getting on and it was nearly time to drive over to the the Town Behind the Wall. I was taking a ukulele and a steel strung guitar, because Crawford wanted to have a jam session with him playing uke and me playing guitar. I wasn’t looking forward to it all that much, but it was a really great evening. Both instruments were tuned together and we ran through many of his old favourites, but songs I hadn’t expected. I was very rough to start with, but as the night progressed, I started to settle in to the chord sequences. What I did find was that the finger tips of my left hand were painfully tingling. It’s been a long time since I’ve sat for an hour and a half playing a guitar.  While we were singing and playing, the ladies were in the sitting room blethering.

We left just after midnight, so as you will have guessed by now, this is a catch-up. A small glass of rum as a nightcap because I was driving to dance class in the morning, then it was off to bed.

Tomorrow we’re going to the first dance class in about five weeks. Hope we can remember which foot goes first!


A walk in the wilds – 7 March 2022

My first walk in and around Fannyside for a while.

Scamp was out to lunch with The Witches and I was like a knotless thread. It was another beautiful day and I didn’t want to spend it in the house. Nor did I fancy sitting in a car going somewhere, only to find I had half an hour there before driving back home. I chose to go to Fannyside Moor. Lots of big sky and silence. Not total silence, you understand. No, there was the soughing of wind in the pine trees and the distant sound of cars and vans on the single track road across the moor itself. There were sheep bleating somewhere and most joyous of all, I listened to a lark ascending. Not the Vaughan Williams piece, but a real lark, really ascending into a clear blue sky.

I’d parked at my usual place, on a rough bit of earth by a gate, but not blocking the gate and between two stands of Scots Pines. It’s on a ninety degree corner, but off the road. Just as well, because this is a single track road, just wide enough for a van or a tractor, but not nearly wide enough for two cars to pass without one or other losing a wing mirror. My kit for today was Sony A7iii with 105mm macro lens (just in case), kit lens and 18mm super wide. Actually that’s almost all my lenses. I’ve got others, but they are mainly mounted on adapters and that’s more to carry, too much.

I walked roughly east first almost as far as the farm, but not quite. Farms = dogs = trouble. Best avoided if possible. Halfway along the road I met a grumpy looking woman driving what an old Australian pen pal called a Ute. A four wheel drive go anywhere beefed up jeep. A utility vehicle. I climbed the verge to let her through, but she didn’t acknowledge me at all. I think she thought she owned Fannyside. Maybe she did. She slowed right down to have a good look at the Blue car, then drove on for a bit and stopped again. I think now she was checking that I wasn’t dumping rubbish, fly tipping. I hadn’t. I walked on, she drove on. I got some photos of lichen that covered some of the old fence posts. I also took some landscape shots. Then another car came the other way. Another Ute, another woman driver, but this one gave me a cheery wave as she passed. I’d walked as far as I wanted. Took some sheep photos then walked back.

Turned 90º and walked south until the cold north west breeze got a bit of an edge to it and I walked back to the car. Not far from it I spotted what looked like a pebble on a fence post and examination showed it to be a ladybird, a dark brown one with white spots. I remembered seeing one here before. I tried a few shots, but there was nothing to lean on or to give me some support. A walk back to the car brought a tripod. The flexible Benbo. Hated by many, but loved by those who persevere with its idiosyncrasies. It’s a steep learning curve getting the best out of it, but it’s a great bit of kit. Almost rock solid on most surfaces, todays thick matted grass was a challenge. Eventually I used it as a monopod and got the shots.

Back home, Scamp had returned from the lunch. I decided it was time the Blue car had a wash and as the day was still warm out of the wind, I took brush and bucket and got rid of the road muck from the last few weeks. I even gave Scamp’s wee red car a scrub too.

Fired up the computer and got the shots processed. At first I thought I’d captured images of a Cream Spot Ladybird, but then after a bit more investigation it turned out it was. Striped Ladybird (Myzia oblongoguttata). It was more a maroon colour than brown and it’s fairly clear to see that they are indeed stripes and not spots. Something new learned today.

Scamp didn’t need any dinner, but I baked the second Fougasse so she could try it while I had the leftover stew from yesterday. Unfortunately, on her second bite she cracked another part of her damaged tooth. Tomorrow she’s going to bend the truth a bit and get the dentist to fix it. Something he should have done months ago. If he won’t do it, I think we might go private again. It’s the way the country is going these days.

I was quite please with my ladybird photos and it was one of them that made PoD.

Tomorrow after we hopefully resolve the dental problem we may go out for a walk.

The middle way – 6 March 2022

Another beautiful morning that turned into a beautiful day.

It seemed a shame to waste such a beautiful day sitting in the house wondering where to go, or sitting in the car driving to somewhere that would be full of other folk out doing the same thing. The ‘doing the same thing’ wasn’t the problem, it was the sitting in the car that was just another way of wasting a good day. We took the middle way. We drove over to Kilsyth, to Colzium estate and walked round the various paths in this once private estate. So many different areas in what is really quite a small park. Enough steep climbs to make your legs ache and then the gentle descents to the sound of rushing water. Then there were the woods to walk through with their banks of snowdrops just beginning to fade, but with the promise of daffodils to take their place. Just a Sunday morning in the fresh air.

Back home I was planning to wash the car, but that did not come to pass. Instead, after lunch, I did a bit of gentle pruning of some of the rose bushes. It was a first prune with the chance of a more aggressive one after the risk of a late frost is gone. I also cut back the pieris which had been battered in the winds of a couple of weeks ago and become quite ‘leggy’. It seemed a shame to cut it back when it was just coming in to flower, but hopefully some of that energy will go into making new growth later in the year. I went looking for a basin to help with washing yesterday’s mud off my boots and in the process found half a dozen seed potatoes we’d bought weeks ago and forgotten about. They are now chitting on the window ledge of my room. After that, Scamp asked me to make a loaf and as I’d a kit for making a Fougasse which is a fancy French flatbread containing caramelised red onions. Unfortunately, our red onion was a bit smelly, so I substituted a shallot instead and it worked! The kit I had made two, but I only baked one. There’s one waiting in the fridge for tomorrow. With the fougasse dough proving, I got started on the stew for my dinner while Scamp hung out the washing, rejoicing in the fact that the sun had come round fare enough to shine on the sheets on the Whirly! Then she was off with the secateurs to dead head the Spirea. I never did find enough time to wash the car. Maybe tomorrow.

Spoke to Jamie later and found out that it had been more of a restful week than it has of late. That’s good to know. I’m glad they are getting settled into the new house.

Scamp is off to meet the rest of The Witches for lunch tomorrow. I might send out an invitation to the extended Auld Guys to see if anyone is free for coffee. Other than that, nothing much planned, except maybe a bit of splashing on of paint on a canvas, perhaps.  By the way, the Fougasse was delicious

Another rainy day – 7 February 2022

Just a miserable day with a smirr that never really became ‘real’ rain.

We spoke to Hazy in the morning and she sounded good. Neil was off school today with what was probably a virus, but certainly NOT COVID. She reminded us about a film that her sister-in-law is in on C4 tonight. We’d forgotten to add it to our recording schedule, but Scamp did that later. Good to hear that there is likely to be a sequel to Around the World … You can always rely on Hazy to know these things. We all agreed that David Tennant played his part really well.

Drove up to Tesco in the morning to get milk and Scamp’s meds. Got the milk and bread and rolls and bananas but drove home without the pills. Had a coffee to see if that would help then went back to Tesco and got the pills. The chemist is next to Tesco, you see. On that second drive up the hill to the shop, the rain had formed into a mist that just seemed to cling to the pine trees by the side of the road. In a way I was wishing I’d brought my camera to maybe get some etherial misty shots of the bare trees, but as soon as I was in the mist, I came out again. Very localised. By the time I was coming home it had all but cleared, but that was probably because the wind had changed direction and was causing it to thin. No point in getting the camera and going back. Anyway, I’d been up that road twice. I wasn’t going back to get a photo of some mist.

Roll ’n’ Banana for Scamp’s lunch. Roll ’n’ Corned Beef for mine. Tried reading my latest book, The Ugly Bus, but couldn’t settle. Kept waiting and hoping that the wind would rip a hole in the clouds and the sun would poke its head through. Then that is exactly what happened and I wasted no time in getting properly shod and dressed for a cold day and took some bread to feed the ducks.

Rather than feed the greedy swans, I scattered some bread as I was walking. A couple of crows scoffed a few slices and I also broadcast some of the bread among the trees beside the path to the shops. There, on a tree, I found a little painted plaque hanging with this message painted on it:
“Stay close to people who feel like SUNSHINE”.
I thought that was worth a photo and it’s now on Flickr. The swans DID grab most of the bread, but the good stuff went to the ducks, geese and coots. The swans got the ‘hard tack’.

PoD was a wee bit of whin bush, although you may call it ‘Gorse’. It looked fierce with its jaggy spines and its flower buds starting to show. Soon they’ll be yellow flowers.

Today’s prompt was Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go. Not the most thought provoking track you’ve ever heard and difficult to work with as a prompt. My offering is the alarm clock that sits on my bedside table and has done for more years than I care to remember. I don’t use it as an alarm much now. I’ve got a phone that can do that if needed and a watch that can confirm the need to rise and shine, but the alarm still reminds me of the days when I had to get up at 7am to Go-Go to work. The yo-yo is a mere figment of my imagination, but it’s in the lyrics. It’s years since I touched a genuine Lumar.

That’s me seven days in. First quarter is complete!

Tomorrow, Scamp has an appointment to get her hair cut in the morning. I’ve an email and a letter to write and we may go looking for an eye clinic in the afternoon, just to make sure we know where we’re going next week. If we pass anywhere offering a decent lunch, that will be a bonus!



Off the leash – 24 January 2022

Scamp was heading out for lunch with the rest of the Witches. I was given free run of the house.

After she was picked up by Jeanette I did think of driving out somewhere to get a few landscape photos, but the sky was that moody overall grey and without some directional light I’d be struggling to make a landscape look interesting, so I chose to wait for a while. I thought about starting a painting, but couldn’t decide what to paint. These dull days make it difficult to find an interest in anything. I did for one foolish moment toy with the idea of clearing up the back room, but one look at the enormity of the task was enough to disabuse me of that task. Instead, I had lunch. Beans on sourdough toast. Earlier I’d picked up Jamie’s transatlantic plane on Flightradar 24 and lunchtime gave me a chance to check his position. He was about halfway across the Atlantic as I was scraping the last of my beans from the plate.

I’d a letter to finish off and once I’d done that, it looked like the sky was brightening up with a bit of movement in the clouds, so I got my boots on and the camera sorted and went out for a walk in St Mo’s. The woods were looking bare. Bare trees, dried up grass and not a lot happening. I did try to grab a few shots of lichen and moss and also a few late season fungi, but nothing new. Nothing exciting or interesting. The most interesting was a leaf spread over a fallen log and worn almost transparent by the elements. That might look good reduced to monochrome. I walked further than I’ve gone for ages, across the boggy grassland almost beside the slip road from the motorway, but the landscapes were all the same. I’d taken them all in the past. However, when I came out of the woods the sky was definitely clearing and Jamie was heading south towards the eastern edge of Canada at about 38,000ft.

Heading back towards home I got a decent shot along the length of the boardwalk with the 18mm lens sporting its washed and clean lens hood. Also I took two shots looking towards the breaking sky over the pond. Both were taken in portrait format, one to make the most of the sky and the other to show the silted up edge of the pond. I intended to join them together in Photoshop. That was it for the photography and it looked like Jamie was now even higher at 40,000ft and crossing the border into the US. I hoped he was actually on that plane and had managed to get up for that 4am taxi!

Scamp was home by the time I got back and we compared our day. It would seem that the Railway Inn is worth a visit some time judging by the praise it was getting from Scamp. It would be good to start going out to eat again, now that the restrictions are being relaxed. We might even get to go back to salsa with a bit of luck!

Scamp’s lunch was Macaroni with Chips. My dinner was Tagliatelle with a meat Ragu. More in the pan for tomorrow or to go in the freezer to be discovered some hungry day.

I watched as the Airbus turned on its dogleg to final and landed in a place I’ve never been and am never likely to see with my own eyes. I hope you get to read this Jamie and aren’t too bored with all the photography talk. Enjoy your visit to the Big Apple.

The PoD is the two part picture, assembled and manicured in Photoshop then finished off in Lightroom. The others I took today are on Flickr.

We have no plans yet for tomorrow. Sometimes that’s the best way.


A busy day – 21 January 2022

Today we continued with the cooking and baking for tonight’s dinner.

Started early, making the dough for the bread. It was to be a full size loaf, and to save time (and effort), I made it in the mixer. That did most of the work, but the dough still needed more flour to be worked in because it was too wet. Actually I’d have been better making it by hand because you can feel whether the dough is too stiff or too wet and make adjustments as you go. Eventually I was happy with it and left it to prove.

By then it was nearly lunchtime. After that I took some time to get the ingredients organised for the main course. Rice weighed out, onions chopped and likewise cabbage. Scamp already had the fish defrosting.

With the prep done, I went for a walk down to the shops to get some beer for the visitors. I took the camera with me, of course but nothing really caught my eye. My favourite shot, and PoD was of the afternoon light illuminating a hogweed seed head. It wasn’t until I had the shot home and was inspecting it in Lightroom that I noticed the little ladybird tucked neatly in between the branches.

Beer bought, I headed home and helped set up the table. My ‘help’ really only meant I helped pull the table out and lay the table cloth. Then it was time to put the bread in the oven. It had risen well. It was when I was turning it out of the wicker basket on to the baking tray the whole thing deflated. A flat as a pancake loaf is not what I wanted for tonight. In a fit of pique, I bunged it in the bin and started again. If I’d thought about it, I’d have knocked the air out of it completely and set it for another prove. I didn’t stop to think. Too hasty sometimes, that’s me. Anyway, I made a smaller quantity, hand kneaded it this time and set it to prove. That gave me time for a coffee and to make a start on today’s Sudoku.

This time the dough rose much better than last and it went into the oven to bake, it had fallen slightly, but reinflated quickly in the hot oven. It came out fine. I’d just started the main course when the visitors arrived. I left Scamp to do the entertaining while I fried the onions and the rice and veg then added the fish stock and bunged everything into the oven which was just at the right temperature to bake the risotto for 20mins. That gave me a chance to have a beer with Crawford and chat to Nancy. After some time I checked the timer, only to find that I’d set it, but forgotten to start it! I needn’t have worried, my inbuilt clock and Scamp’s hint about “How’s the risotto doing?” saved the day. Basically it all worked fine. Later when Scamp and I discussed the day, we agreed that the combination of a heavy soup and far too much risotto had made the dinner a bit heavy. Her Sticky Toffee pudding and my second loaf had been the stars of the show.

It was early morning before we got to bed after half the dishes had completed their cycle in the dish washer and that’s why this is another catch-up. First one for a while.

Tomorrow we need to be up and out early for the first dance class for a long time.

Another day of swearing – 6 January 2022

Swearing at the printer and the coffee maker, making a loaf, taking a few photos and making the dinner. My day in a nutshell.

The printer was being bad. It was as simple as that. It would print perfectly, then stop, chuck out the next two pages and then put on its red light to show it wasn’t happy. After trying lots of different things that you aren’t interested in hearing, I did what I should have done ages ago and removed it in its entirety from the iMac. Then I reinstalled all the stuff I’d taken off, and it worked perfectly for the rest of the day!

The coffee maker was being bad. I cleaned the portafilter, checked the filter itself and made sure it was clean. I checked the little hole in the filter cup wasn’t clogged. Filled it with coffee and set it to work, except it didn’t. It just held its breath and grumped, not releasing any life-giving coffee. So in true John Cleese fashion I gave it a damn good thrashing. I took the filter cup upstairs and used a nail and a cross pein hammer to enlarge that tiny little hole. No coffee ground is going to get stuck in there now. Maybe a coffee bean might manage to get lodged, but no coffee grounds. It would probably have been better to use a 1mm drill, but I didn’t have any. It worked perfectly after the thrashing.

The loaf knew better than to mess me about. It just worked, perfectly. I let the mixer do the hard kneading work and at the end of the process, a perfectly baked and slightly odd shaped loaf graced the cooling rack. Nice to know that some things just do what they’re told.

Scamp had taken the Wee Red Car out for a spin in the morning, just to make sure its battery was well charged, and also to get some messages. Fruit, veg a half price Christmas Pudding and a packet of tooth brushes were here prizes today. Oh yes, and I can report that the wee red car is looking very pumped up after its run. Pumped up and sparkling, actually, as you can see!.

It had been a very dull, wet and cold day with not a hint of sunshine until about 3pm when the sun broke loose from the clouds and shone on Cumbersheugh! On with the boots, camera in the bag and out looking for photos. I managed to grab a few shots of a couple of Coots before the swans came, demanding to be fed. Tomorrow I’ll take them some of the bread I made on Sunday. They won’t come asking again. They might not even get to the other side of the pond before they have that sinking feeling. It was a heavy loaf.

Dinner was Chicken Curry made with real chicken dated August 2021. Last year’s chicken that had been hiding at the back of the freezer. That poor cooker. It had all its four rings burning brightly. It’s a wonder it didn’t melt! One ring for the curry, one for the rice, one for the flat bread and one for the leftover chicken that couldn’t be re-frozen or put into the fridge while raw, but could go in after it had been cooked. Maybe it was because I couldn’t stand the heat, but I was finding it hard to keep my cool in the kitchen. More swearing ensued. Finish the day as you started it, that’s my motto!

Tomorrow there is snow forecast. In fact as I look out the window, it’s arriving early. We might manage a walk tomorrow, it depends if we get snowed in or not!