Off to the big city – 19 May 2022

Today we set off to visit the big city – Portree.

As usual on our first full day on the island, we set off on an anticlockwise tour of the island. The first half is the most scenic, hugging the east and north coast of the island on mostly single track roads. We met a few ‘Zoomers’ as usual. The ones who want to travel at 20mph to get a good view of the scenery, completely ignoring the signs that suggest that you use the passing places to allow faster travellers to pass you. They are just lazy or are so entranced by the views that they forget that other people behind them may need to catch a ferry, or be in a certain place by a certain time. Worse, though are the ones who own the road. They too ignore the passing places and just drive straight towards you and try to hustle you off ‘their’ road. They are the dangerous ones. We met both kinds today. We also met a herd of cattle, not ‘Highland’ cattle, just ordinary beasts with their calves running around their heels. Some tiny wee calves too. “Dog sized” was Scamp’s description and it was very true, they must have been fairly recently born.

We did the full circuit of the island and stopped at Jan’s Vans for lunch. It was extra busy today with many people walking round this hardware emporium holding buzzers that would call them when their table was ready. We didn’t have too long to wait until ours buzzed and we got seated at table 10. It was a 20 minute waiting time for food, but that didn’t bother us because we weren’t going anywhere in a hurry. I ordered “The Works” which is the middle sized All Day Breakfast. I’ve never been quite hungry enough for The Full Works. Maybe some day. Scamp, of course had Macaroni ’n’ Cheese with chips. We did have to wait about the full 20mins, but it was worth it. We followed it with coffee for me and peppermint tea for Scamp with two of the worst pineapple cakes I’ve ever had. Extra thick pastry base and a tiny teaspoon of pineapple and an equal amount of cream. Not good enough, Jan’s Vans!

Three German blokes asked a waitress for the wifi password while I was in the queue for the coffee. The girl rattled off the “TheRedBrickCafe” and was about to turn away when one asked her “Could we have that in English now?” Luckily she laughed and wrote it down for them. We forget just how quickly we speak in Scotland. There were three American ladies in front of me in the same queue, all asking questions: How hot is the chilli? Is the salad vegetarian or vegan? What kind of coffee do you use? Then a man sidled up and I thought he was going to jump the queue, but in a mid-western drawl he said “I hope you don’t mind, I’m with them.” pointing to the ladies. I said Ok, I’d trust him … this time. He half smiled and said “I have to authenticate”, and showed me his credit card. He was paying!

After we left with a couple of new cups and two microwave safe bowl for breakfast, we went to the Co-op and then home by the usual east side road. Stopping at Staffin Slip to check out the new hardcore that’s been added to the slip to provide a base for a new terminal there. Took a few photos there, but there are so many mobile homes parked there now, it’s difficult to get a clear landscape view. Driving back to the house, we caught a glimpse of the marquee that’s been erected for Saturday.

June and Ian arrived tonight after having had dinner with Jackie and Murdo. Scamp and Jackie had a long discussion about dresses and fascinators an combination fascinators and hats. Strange concoction!

Later Mairi who owns the house dropped in with a cake and some fresh eggs. Again we sat and talked. When she left, I took the two Sonys out and got today’s PoD.

Not sure what’s happening tomorrow. No firm plans made.

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.

Sensible Shoes – 10 May 2022

We were going in to Glasgow today to get me a pair of sensible shoes. They would make a change from the black Ghillie brogues I have just now. The brogues themselves are actually quite comfortable, but the long laces criss-crossing the knee length kilt socks are awkward things to tie and uncomfortable after a while. I thought I’d try a pair of brown brogues instead. The first shop I tried had a pair that seemed to be what I was looking for. Foolishly I didn’t try them on, but went looking to see if there was anything else in a similar style.

There were loads of shoes in a similar style, but none that caught my eye. One pair looked the part, but when I tried them on, there was something just not right about them. Scamp noticed the creases in the leather that showed that they have been tried at home and returned as not suitable. They weren’t suitable for me either. There were brogues in dark brown, tan and even yellow. Brogues made from leather with tartan patches, some with tweed patches. Some were definitely meant for tramping the peat bogs of Wester Ross, weighing in at about a hundredweight each and others so thin you could spit peas through them. M&S had a great selection in every size under the sun … except mine. Eventually, after a coffee and a croissant in Nero I made my decision to go back to the first shop and try on that pair. They fitted perfectly. The looked like I wanted them to look. They were solid without being too clumpy. I bought them. The assistant wanted to put them in a machine that would spray them with some undisclosed liquid that would make them waterproof, stain-resistant, crease resistant and self ironing. She seemed quite disappointed when I said I’d polish them myself with shoe polish.

We drove home after Scamp had picked some cosmetics to make her look even more beautiful than she already is, if that’s possible. On the way to the car I grabbed a couple of photos from the JL bridge. One of them became PoD after some gentle toning and tweaking in Lightroom.

Lunch was a piece ’n’ banana. Fresh bread and a banana. The only thing that would make it better was a sprinkling of sugar, but I decided to forego that pleasure. Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. I took a walk over St Mo’s later, but there wasn’t much to see although I did get one decent photo which is on Flickr.

Scamp was off to choir tonight, so I was going to be a salsa helper all by myself. The class was much the same as last week. We went over the same moves as last week and then Jamie added in Damé then, just for the hell of it, Damé Dos. It’s about a level 3 move, but the folk all enjoyed it. Really, it could have been carnage, but it didn’t. Great fun.

When I got home and pressed the button to stop the engine, all the lights in the car went out and it wouldn’t start again. The car wouldn’t lock and the boot wouldn’t open. Inside my car’s key fob there is a hidden key. I used it to lock, then unlock the car. Then I started it as normal, well nearly normal. It appears that the trip mileage had been reset and also the mpg was reset. The second time this has happened in the last couple of weeks. I’m taking it to the garage tomorrow.

Tomorrow, apart from a trip to Stirling we’re both hoping to go for coffee. Me with Val and Scamp with Isobel.

Stuff – 3 May 2022

Stuff was due to arrive today.

A parcel from Amazon was due and another from the Bean Shop in Perth.

Unusually for both, the parcel from Amazon was arriving just after midday and the Bean Shop parcel wasn’t coming until around 7pm. Usually they are the other way round! Oh well, we’d be out dancing or is that teaching dancing when the coffee from Perth was due and as it was coming DPD, I could arrange for it to be left in the bin shed, or “The cupboard beside the front door” as it was phrased on the instructions to DPD.

The parcel from Amazon arrived right on time. It contained a ‘new’ camera bag in the shape of a rucksack. A very versatile one according to all the reviews. It was disappointing then to find that, although the cardboard box was intact, the seal on the polythene bag holding the rucksack had been broken. Even worse, inside one of the pockets of the camera bag was a birthday card! Obviously, the rucksack had been been an unwanted birthday prezzy for someone who then returned it to Amazon and then it was sent on to me without being checked. It was going back again, with the birthday card in the pocket.

Actually, the procedure for returning unwanted goods to Amazon is very, very simple and straightforward. Fill in an online form, get a QR code in an email from Amazon. Parcel up the package and take it to a Post Office. At the PO, they weigh the package, scan your QR code and print a sticky label which they stick on the package and give you a proof of postage note. Very impressed with that.

Walked home via St Mo’s and took some photos mainly of plants and flowers, then went home to find Scamp deep in conversation about weddings and planning with her wee sister. That gave me a chance to have a look at the photos while the sisters blethered away in the background.  The dandelion clock won PoD.

After a quick dinner of ravioli, we drove over to Bishopbriggs to ‘help with the beginners’ again. Tonight the ‘helpers’ almost outnumbered the beginners, but that meant we were getting more stuff done than we’d managed last week. After we drove back, Scamp was off to choir to give June some vocal support. She has just arrived back and apparently almost the entire choir needs some vocal support. Jamie, she said she bumped into Mrs Dunn the teacher when she was there and she was asking after you.

While Scamp was out, I took the opportunity to watch the first episode of Life After Life, Hazy. Confusing at first, but by the end, bits of the story were falling into place again. It seems an awful long time since I read that book.  Also, I started a new jug of cold brew coffee.  I’m hoping I have the proportions of coffee to water right this time.  It’s also been an awful long time since I last tried to make some, but since then I’ve discovered the delights of Café Freddo.

I’ve ordered the camera bag tonight from WEX who I’ve dealt with before. It’s an updated (and up-priced, of course) model, but the improvements will be worth it, I hope. It will be delivered to their Glasgow shop in a couple of days.

No firm plans for tomorrow as yet, although a ‘Fascinator’ may be required by someone for one of the weddings.

Last full day – 18 April 2022

Our last full day at the house and we wanted to cram everything we could into those 12 waking hours.

It started off with a walk round the garden and the outside of this remarkable house and also some time for interior shots. I was glad I’d brought along the 18mm wide angle lens. Really useful for showing off the odd shaped rooms. Flowers, oh yes, lots of photos of flowers, but also photos of plants in Jamie’s greenhouse. Not just the immediate environs either, but also the church next door, St Mary’s. A few shots of that too. I’d thought I might get a last walk through it and down to the wee bridge, but there just wasn’t enough time.

Jamie drove us to look for some plants at a garden centre. The first place we went to had some plants they wanted and bought, but no compost which they needed. The second one was more like a retirement home for ill and dying plants. Not worth the name of a garden centre. The third one did have plants, compost and seeds. They didn’t want the seeds, but we did. I wanted Teasel seeds, but I also grabbed Yellow Rattle, Basil and Rocket micro greens. Scamp bought me a packet of Ammi majus which look like Cow Parsley, so hopefully I can have some in the garden, to save me walking to St Mo’s to capture hoverflies in the summer. Thanks Scamp!

Then we were off again, being driven to Bury St Edmonds to go for a walk through the Abbey gardens. Clever planting in the gardens with good colour combinations. We took more photos of the ruins in the gardens, but time constraints didn’t allow us a chance to visit the actual abbey. Maybe another time, if we’re allowed back. Outside the big ornate front entrance to the gardens there were a bollard and a post box that had been yarn bombed. I don’t know what I liked best, the Easter bunny or the flower garden with the bee. Both fun additions to the street furniture.

We had a rather high cholesterol lunch in Cafe Nero. My favourite being a Chouxnut which Jamie called a Croconut because that’s what they are called in the US where he’d seen them first. It is a soft choux pastry filled with white chocolate mousse topped with caramel biscuit fondant and crushed biscuits. Delicious and very fattening, but who’s counting when you’re on your holidays! I haven’t seen them up north, but maybe that’s a good thing.

Then we were driven back to the house, because Jamie wanted to show off his latest acquisition, a petrol driven lawn mower. Not a ride-on one, although that may come. Scamp was the first to try it out and found it a little bit more demanding than she’d anticipated. I have a video! I was a bit more cautious, since I’d had a chance to watch Scamp’s antics and realise that you don’t just go full speed all the time. I don’t do the ‘grass hoovering’ at home, but I can see how much of a boon this must be when you have such a big lawn on a slope.

Jamie wanted a head and shoulders shot for his profile page and I took a few shots when we were finished playing with the new toy. After a bit of cosmetic adjustments in Lightroom he was satisfied with the result.

After that it was time to start stuffing all our clothes into our bags, and for me, finding places to store cameras, lenses and all the assorted paraphernalia that photogs carry about with them. We had a final drink and then it was time for bed.

PoD was an ingenious lock on a little shed which holds the gas canisters that provide the means of cooking in the house.

Tomorrow is the long journey home.

I have good news – 6 April 2022

… and I have bad news.

We drove to Stirling today. We had a baby present to buy, for a baby, strangely enough. Just to make it more interesting, I took us up the Tak Ma Doon road past Carron Bridge and on to a wee draw-in near Loch Coulter. Well, the ‘draw-in’ was actually the entrance to the Loch Coulter fishery and there were signs that may have read NO PARKING but I didn’t see them. It is so quiet up there on the high moorland, I could hear a lark then we saw two curlews and a very low rainbow, scraping over the hills. Just so good, especially at this time of year. As I was taking the first photo, a bunch of rooks lifted off from the tree near the farm. I thought I’d caught them, but I missed. While I was in the middle of photographing the landscape, I got the phone call from the garage to say that the car was ready to pick up. We drove on to Stirling.

When we parked at Waitrose in Stirling, I checked my mpg as I usually do and found I had a new best mileage of 82.2mpg! My previous best was 66.6mpg. The secret, I think, was that we had a strong tailwind from Loch Coulter all the way to Stirling and the road surface was quite poor, so my speed wasn’t very fast. Still, it’s now saved into the display and I doubt I’ll ever beat it.

M&S in Stirling provided the baby present then the shop also provided a new dress for Scamp. When we were done, Cafe Nero provided lunch for us. We walked back to Waitrose and bought a few quids worth of messages to pay for our free parking at Waitrose and we drove home. All good.

Parked at the shops in Cumbersheugh and walked down to the garage. Before we paid for the repair, the boss of the garage told us the bad news. The wee Red car is on its last legs. To pass its MOT in November it will need two new shock absorbers and a serious amount of welding on the chassis. He suggested that we need to start looking for a replacement by the end of the summer. Strangely enough we had been talking about exactly that scenario, just the other day. It was bad news, but in our heart of hearts we knew this day would come. So, it was a day of mixed fortunes.

PoD was that photo of the farm up on the moor above Stirling. After I came home and looked at the photos, I found that in two of the later shots I HAD managed to capture the wheeling rooks. It was a fairly simple procedure to cut them out in Potatoshop and paste them into the landscape. You might not be able to see them here, but they will be more visible on Flickr.

Tomorrow we may be going to a tea dance in Paisley.

Early rise – 5 April 2022

The alarm went off at 7.30am and just to rub it in, it played its little tune again five minutes later. I got the message.

We both got the message. Got dressed, yawned and drove the Red car down to the garage for the car doctor to have a look at it. We walked back to the house in the rain. Breakfast at 8.30am is unusual for us and even more unusual when we’re fully dressed and sitting in the living room, instead of in jammy’s and in bed. However, we were up and fully awake, so the day started here.

We were out again at just after 10am to go and pick up Isobel to go for coffee. Usual rubbish Costa coffee. I had the small cup of what they describe as americano. Weakest americano I’ve had in a long time. I must try their espresso to see what It’s like. The ladies were having lattes. Don’t ever watch latte coffees being made. Half a pint of warm milk and a teaspoon full of coffee. Latte is coffee for folk who don’t like coffee. But we weren’t there for the coffee (thankfully) we were there for the banter, the repartee. Isobel just keeps the conversation going, never repeating herself and always injecting that sarcastic humour that delights me. Nobody is safe, especially her listeners. Soon she and Scamp decided it was time to go and we drove her back to the Village. Scamp reckons she was going to meet another of her friends and would share some of what we’d been talking about with her!

We drove home via Tesco for rolls and petrol. I don’t know what was going on with my pump, but it was delivering its expensive fluid very slowly. Maybe it was just thinking we should savour the liquid since it’s become so expensive these days, £1.58 for a litre. It’ll soon be cheaper drink beer rather than petrol – in joke!

Back home is was lunch time. For Scamp a roll ’n’ scrambled egg and for me, substitute two slices of bacon for the egg. Both seemed to hit the spot. Then for me a roll ’n’ jam as a lunchtime dessert.

With the Sudoku done and the Worldle word found, admittedly the latter took me six tries today, Last Chance Saloon territory. With that done I took the Sony and the 50mm macro lens out for a walk in St Mo’s. I’d noticed the big chestnut tree that grows in between the scrawny bushes of the wilderness area in front of the house was starting to produce flower buds. It’s a lovely tree, but the background to any photo would be windows, doors and brickwork but I fancied I could find an equally good looking tree with better background in St Mo’s.

Sure enough, there it was with its branches at a decent height for photographing and the flower buds were almost bursting. Beautiful textures on the and one of them made PoD. Just a solo flower bud on a tree, but beautiful in its own way. I read up on the tree later and discovered things I hadn’t realised about the sticky resin stuff that coats the buds. It’s amazing what you find out about things these days on the internet. Some of it unbelievable but true, other things are believable and total lies! Caveat Lector.

While I was post processing the photos the garage phoned to say the car doctors had taken the car for a test drive and discovered the noise was caused by a stuck brake calliper on the driver’s side. It will need replaced, as will the pads, and after we pay for it, the car will hopefully be ready tomorrow.

That was all the excitement we could stand for one day. Dinner tonight was a Cod Chowder which was ok, but not as good as it usually was. Scamp didn’t like the lardons and I didn’t like the fact that I’d burnt some of the veg. Must try harder.

PoD was indeed the bud from the Horse Chestnut tree. I’m hoping to get another shot later once it’s unfurled its leaves.

No plans for tomorrow apart from getting a wee Red car back to its rightful place in the parking space.

Sunshine and snow showers – 30 March 2022

Typical Scottish weather, but only two seasons in one day.

Beautiful sunshine in the morning and it looked great until you went outside, then you did believe what the thermometer said. I don’t think I even ventured out in the morning, preferring to concentrate on the important stuff that had to be done, like the Sudoku and making coffee. Jamie, I’m beginning to agree with you about Perth coffee. I’ve been getting Sumatran beans for years now and know what the coffee should taste like. Now it’s beginning to be a bit flat. Strong enough, but lacking in flavour. It was pointed out when I got a bag of the ‘coffee of the month’ earlier this month. It was Papua New Guinea and would probably be fresher than most of the beans in the shop. It certainly tasted fresher. It had a totally different taste to anything I’ve had recently. I’ll keep some for you if I can resist trying it again! Could it be that some of his sacks of beans have been lying too long? Maybe. I’ve a lot of coffee in the freezer. Once it’s used I’ll try something else. Sometimes you need someone to point out the obvious to you!

After lunch I got a WhatsApp from Alex with some photos of his new grandson, Ollie. He has been having a hard time since he was born on Sunday night, but he’s in the best hospital for neonatal care in the region. I feel sorry for Alex because Carol goes in to hospital tomorrow to have the knee operation she has waited a long time for. That means he will be solo cook and bottle washer for the rest of the family for a few days. Spare him a thought, and while you’re at it, spare a thought for wee Ollie.

Fred phoned me later and we had a good half hour on the phone, talking about nothing much in particular and everything in general. He reminded me that the new Ben Aaronovitch book is coming out next week. I may use some of my book tokens to get that.

Later in the afternoon, Scamp got the Dyson out and that was my cue to get my boots on and go for a walk. I wasn’t sure what I was looking for, but I’d seen a wee patch of daisies the other day and they might look good with the Lensbaby. However, it didn’t look as if the weather gods were going to play ball because big black clouds were rolling in. After my second circuit of St Mo’s pond, the sun poked its head out and shone nice and brightly, so I got my shot. The lens produces some strange effects in the areas in front of the mains subject. This one looked almost like a nest for the flowers. It got PoD. Other contenders were a full unopened can of Coke, but I was rushing and didn’t notice that the horizon was tilted and the can was not. I might go back and reshoot some time if I get a chance, although that original can will be long gone by then. A full unopened can of coke? In St Mo’s? No chance!  Ten minutes after I took the photo of the daisies, there was a snow storm!  Luckily it didn’t last and the snow didn’t lie.

A short dance practise tonight of the waltz we’re learning. We can now stumble through the entire routine without too many mistakes. What’s the betting the teachers will change something “… to make it easier …”. It never is easier. They know that. We know that, and worst of all, they know that we know that!

No plans for tomorrow although a trip to the shops may be in order.

 

 

One out, one in – 15 March 2022

DPD were working overtime today.

My Sony A7ii was being collected this morning to go to MPB in Brighton. Later in the day I was expecting a box of coffee and tea from The Bean Shop in Perth. One out, one in.

The DPD man came to collect my camera right on time and off it went with a sticker on it that had the same number as the sticker that’s fixed with a magnet to the fridge door. One down. Not long after I got the message to say that my driver would deliver my parcel just after midday. Sure enough, the bloke knocked the door and photographed me lifting the parcel from the mat. I will drink tea and coffee today!

That left the rest of the day free. It’s a while since we’ve been out for a walk together. Scamp sometimes walks down to the shops herself and I often walk round St Mo’s myself. I suggested to her that maybe we should both go out together today. Just a walk round Broadwood Loch. She agreed and we walked down towards the loch, but she wasn’t interested in doing the round trip, so we chose the shorter version, over the plastic boardwalk and down round the new water management drainage ditch (first time we’ve been round that) and then round the exercise machines before stopping at the shops for oranges and milk. I did think of going for a circuit of St Mo’s pond, but decided just to go home as I’d a few shots that looked interesting.

Dinner tonight was Creamy Chicken, Mushrooms and Rice. Another Scamp favourite. She thought it needed salt and pepper. I agreed on the salt. It was actually fine without it, but the salt just gave it a bit more taste.

Heard the news from Nick the Chick that we have to wear face masks in shops and on public transport until the beginning of April. A bit disappointing, but that’s just the way her head works. Belts & Braces are her style and you have to believe she’s doing it for the good of our health, rather than to look good to the great unwashed as some other politicians do.

We had a quick practise at the new waltz and I think I can tentatively say that I can complete the first section without too many mistakes. I’m not sure I’ll be able to say that again tomorrow, but maybe the dancing gods will look down and smile at my attempts.

PoD turned out to be a shot I took with the A6000 from the boardwalk. Actually, it’s gone through a fair number of changes since it landed on Lightroom this afternoon. A lot of changes, but for the better.

It’s my turn to go for coffee tomorrow. Meeting John and Val at Costa in the morning. The rest of the day is our own.

 

Just chilling’ – 13 March 2022

A lazy start to the day and a lazy afternoon too.

Actually quite a bright day although it started off very dull. I’d finished my book “The Second Cut” by Louise Welsh yesterday and had nothing worthwhile to read. So, for once, it was me who got up first after breakfast in bed – I did say it was a lazy start to the day.

It wasn’t long before the sun found a way through the clouds and shone brightly. It didn’t encourage either of us to go out and test the temperature. Instead we just sat and talked for a while. Then it was time for lunch.

After lunch, Scamp was ready to do some ironing and as I’m allergic to it, I took the Sony out for a walk in St Mo’s, but not before I’d ordered some tea and coffee, invited the Auld Guys to a coffee morning some time this week then finally, sold the old Sony to MPB and arranged its pick-up. Lots of boxes ticked on my To Do list.

I didn’t get many interesting photos on my walk, but there were a lot of sycamore seeds sprouting through the leaf litter in St Mo’s woods and one of them made PoD. Just because I liked it, I added another wee plant I’d photographed a couple of days ago to Flickr. I don’t know what it is, but the dark brown seed pods are never touched by any creature or bird. I must assume then that they are poisonous. I might look them up on my wild flower book to see exactly what they are.

Dinner tonight was the remains of yesterday’s roast chicken, although not all of it, because there’s more sitting in the fridge for tomorrow. Served with roasted beetroot and potato wedges. Very nice, especially the beetroot.

Spoke to Jamie and heard about the problems of being a boss and also of starting up a sports massage centre in a new village. Not him doing the massage, I hasten to add. That’s more Sim’s line of work. We’re looking forward to seeing the video of the mattress doing its automatic unpacking routine.

That was about it for today. Lots of stuff done, but in a lazy way. It works for me! Tomorrow Scamp is out in the morning to meet Isobel and I’m hoovering (Dysoning) the hall and stairs!