Dancing in the Sunshine – 19 June 2022

None of yer Slow – Slow – Quick – Quack – Slooow, ballroom dancin’. Dancin’! Reely dancin’. Salsa dancin’.

Spoke to Hazy in the morning and thanked her for her very funny card (No, I wasn’t offended, I can improve in the resit!), and her Father’s Day present. It’s official now, I’m an Artist! I’ve got the mug to prove it! Good to know that you didn’t have too much trouble with thunderstorms down south.

It was a lovely morning and I’d actually planned to go for a walk in Colzium estate, but left it too late, as usual. Instead we took our time over lunch and then got ready to drive down to Glasgow Green for today’s main event. Shannon the salsa teacher had organised a Salsa Picnic, bring your own blanket and food. We got there just as things were heating up and after meeting folk we hadn’t seen for years, we did manage a few dances. Then more chatting to old friends, then Shannon started a Rueda where we dance with a partner in a big circle and the leader calls out the move and everyone performs it at the same time. Then we change parters when we’re told to and so it goes on. That’s the theory, anyway. In reality it never works quite as smoothly or as simply as that. Some folk had never danced a Rueda before, others thought they knew, but didn’t. It was what it usually is, a car crash. But, and this is the most important thing, but it was a good humoured car crash. Nobody fell out with anyone else, everybody, even me was kind and considerate to everyone else.

However, dancing two Ruedas, one after the other and energetic couple dancing too takes it out of us ‘oldies’, so we excused ourselves and went for a walk round Glasgow Green where there seemed to be an early Gay Pride meeting for teens. We walked round it but didn’t buy into it. We’ll wait for the real Gay Pride procession in Glasgow on Saturday. So much more, I don’t know, maybe just grown up!

We walked back to the Doulton Fountain where the salsa was going on. We had another dance and then found more folk we hadn’t met face to face for years. I took a few photos, but my favourite and PoD was one of an Indian group having a big family picnic on the grass of The Green. One of the salsa dancers had brought his drone along and was filming the dancing from an elevated position. However, my little brain was full and I’d danced almost all moves at least twice. That’s what happens when you don’t practise every week, you just remember the moves you like the best. We drove home.

We sat in the garden for a while with a good book each soaking up some sun and watching the busy bees. Since it was Father’s day, I got to choose my dinner. I chose Mince ’n’ Tatties and Scamp chose ‘Rats’. It’s nice to get real (not posh, not fancy) food.

Spoke to Jamie later and told him I appreciated the ’Scottish’ Father’s day card from my ‘Wane’ not ‘Wain’ as some say or ‘Wean’ as it should be. Good to hear that they are bat free at present. If you have any more problems with the bats, just call in Hazy and Neil, they have experience dealing with the flying rats!

A few more minutes out in the sun, then it was time to call a halt, because that east wind was becoming a bit cool, so it was time to bring the seats in and shut the back door.

That was a good day. I thoroughly enjoyed it. So did Scamp. So nice to have a dance in the sunshine and to have such a clever and thoughtful family behind you.

Maybe going east tomorrow and maybe on the bus.

A more relaxed day – 18 June 2022

After yesterday’s busy day, a more relaxed attitude was required.

Up fairly early and showered, then when I was getting dressed, Scamp said there was no rush. I said “I know” because I was well organised this morning, dressed and ready well before our 10am start for the drive to dance class. Then she said that not enough people were available and the class had been cancelled late last night but she hadn’t noticed the message coming in. That put a whole new complexion on things. Actually I was in two minds about it. Pleased, because I hate driving through the road works on the M8, but sad because, despite my protestations, we are beginning to move better on the dance floor and we’ve missed a lot of classes recently. It would not surprise me if the teachers called a halt to the Saturday morning class in the summer, simply because there are fewer and fewer people available at this time of the year. Oh well, it would be a more relaxing day than we had planned.

So after changing back into shorts and tee shirt, I sat around for a while and didn’t do anything useful, while Scamp read. I’m pleased that I chose the Fitbit after all. It’s got a ‘get up and move’ feature that buzzes you if you’ve been sitting too long and tells you to get up and get at least 250 steps completed within a time limit of 15 minutes. That seems a long time to complete the 250 steps, but believe me it is so easy to say “Oh I’ll just sit for five minutes and then complete the steps” then find 16 minutes later that you’ve not done it. So I did do it when I was told to. At least once today!

After a grand lunch of tea and toast with beans, because I for one had eaten far too much yesterday, we planned the rest of the day. I wanted to get a sketch book from Hobbycraft at The Fort and Scamp had vouchers to use in Boots.

Neither of us could believe the crowds at The Fort. There are three gigantic car parks and each one seemed full. We were lucky and got a space right away, but there was a constant stream of cars prowling around looking for an empty slot. I got my sketch book and Scamp got her perfume. Neither of us were all that keen to say, so we gave up our parking slot, which disappeared before we’d driven round the corner, and drove home.

When we got home the rain started. We could see it coming across the hills when we were nearly home and Scamp managed to get the clothes in off the whirly just in time before the rain appeared.  Thankfully the blustery wind today had dried them well.  I took a few shots of flowers in the garden in the drizzly rain and the PoD by a nose was the new Hydrangea panticulata whose flowers actually do change hue as the seasons change, but the Shooting Star seedpods were a close second.

Dinner tonight was a reheated yesterday’s Chicken Cacciatore with some Jersey Royals added for good measure. Even better today, I thought, because the sauce had thickened even more.

Tomorrow we may go dancing at a Salsa picnic on Glasgow Green if the weather is kind to us.

Making an impression

Scamp, not for me.

Scamp was out this morning to the dentist, to get an impression made of a tooth that needs replaced. This has been an ongoing saga for many, many months, probably since last year. Many excuses have been made for the length of time it’s taken. Covid has been the main whipping boy, being blamed for everything, but a government that sits on its hand, rather than making decisions is a culprit that is never mentioned, but is always there in the background. Don’t get me started!

When she returned and after she told her tale of woe, she went out to get some things for tonight’s dinner while I drove in to Glasgow hoping to find a new phone that would connect consistently using Bluetooth. I tried most of the shops in the city centre, but although most of them had phones on display, many were dead with a pasted on picture of what a screen might look like, but they were not powered, probably had no innards and besides they were glued down to the stands. The ones that actually worked were the most expensive, of course, but on closer inspection, there weren’t any boxed phones visible. John Lewis, one of my favourite browsing sites had hardly any available for purchase. It’s nearly always the case now that you look, you pay and you get the tech sent to you. That’s not the way old folk like me like to work. We like to touch, lift, and play with these ‘toys’ before we pay for them, then take them away in our pocket. We don’t want to wait for a delivery from a white-van-man. Even worse, we don’t want to get home and find an email waiting for us, the gist of which is “Sorry. The article you bought is out of stock. Sucker!”

Back home the sun came out for a while. Not a long while, but enough to encourage Scamp to go and sit in the garden. I joined her and together we sat with a glass of wine and watched the bees feeding on and at the same time, pollinating the Honeybell flowers. We must have had about half an hour of peace and quiet, watching the bees and waiting for the oven ready chips to cook, taking turns at shaking them ever ten minutes or so to make sure they didn’t burn. Then Scamp went inside to fry the Giant Fish Fingers to go with them for dinner. Fish Fingers, egg, chips and peas. A decent dinner.

PoD was going to be Honeybells and Bees, but instead it became the flower heads of the fluffy Thalictrum. The flower we bought in Cambo last year.

I don’t believe we have anything planned for tomorrow.

Flash dance class – 4 June 2022

We got a message today to say that due to the small numbers in today’s class, the time would be reduced from 90 minutes to 60 minutes.

I was delighted. Sometimes the dance class goes on for too long and an hour seemed just about right, but by the time we were finishing up, I could have happily worked on for another 30 minutes. However the teachers are the bosses here and we’d added a new Cha-Cha to our dance list. The Charnwood Cha-Cha uses a lot of moves we’ve learned already with just a few differences. I wouldn’t say we had it off pat, but most of it was there. The other dance we did was the ‘Baby Waltz”. So called because it’s a shortened routine. Most of the time I got it right, but towards the end my brain was lagging a bit and I kept making the same mistake, time after time. Eventually we agreed. I was over-thinking it and when I just went with the flow it worked again.

I wanted some stuff in Cass Art in Glasgow and Scamp suggested we go for lunch in Doppio Malto, an Italian restaurant and beer shop. We’d been there before and the focaccia was the best we’d had anywhere. Today Scamp had a Bean Burger with chips and peppers. I had Supreme of Chicken. Not quite the supreme of chicken that I’d had last week at Laura and Ross’s wedding, just a bit more rustic. With grilled aubergine slices, courgette and peppers and served with hand cut skin on chips. And of course we had that super focaccia with rosemary and salt. Just as good, if not better than the last time.

We went to Cass Art but they didn’t have what I was looking for. When we were walking back to the car, Scamp suggested that we go to Hobbycraft as it’s almost on the way. We did, and they had what I was looking for. Also they had dark chocolate chips which I wanted to try making Cantucci (little hard Italian biscuits) what my uncle Jimmy White would have called Hard Tack!

Back home it was really warm but with a gentle breeze to cool things down. I put on my shorts and a tee shirt and took the Sony for a walk in St Mo’s. There I got today’s PoD which was a Green Orb-Weaver Spider, sometimes known as a Cucumber Green Spider.

When I got back, Scamp was already ensconced in the back garden, reading but only with a soda water and lime. I joined her and we had a beer each. I’m now reading Bad Actors because I finished Under Pressure by Robert Pobi. Brilliant book.

Another setback Hazy. The post office in Tesco was closed today because of a strike by postal workers. You couldn’t write this! I might be quicker driving down and handing you the memory stick! I’ll try again tomorrow.

No plans for tomorrow, except to try to post a parcel to Chessington!


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.

Out on the town – 6 May 2022

Meeting my brother for a walk around Glasgow.

This time we were heading for Glasgow Cathedral to see what difference there was between it and Paisley Abbey. Both of them are really big, grand buildings. I’d imagine that the cathedral is bigger than the abbey and I thought it would be grander, but the stonework was quite dark by comparison with Paisley. Balancing that was the total amount of rooms and the different areas, including the basement rooms. Of the two, I preferred the Paisley Abbey. However, a shot of the Cathedral made PoD.

We tried to find somewhere near the cathedral to get a cup of coffee, but the clumsily named St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art was closed as was a cafe on the other side of the nearby Glasgow Royal Infirmary, so we walked back to Glasgow City, in the rain.

We finally settled on a roll each and a bottle of juice from Greggs and ate our lunch in George Square, surrounded by pigeons keen to remove any crumbs. They also scoffed bits of chicken that Alex dropped. I tried to explain to them that was cannibalism, but my protestations fell on deaf pigeon ears. I must admit it was good to sit and eat our lunch in the open air and in the sunshine, even with the pigeons.

We took a walk down Queen Street to get some photos at the GOMA. Then we walked down to Cafe Nero in St Enoch’s and finally had that coffee. I had a flapjack, but I think my brother maybe later regretted his Raspberry and White Chocolate Chouxnut. I do hope you were ready for your dinner Alex.

We walked around St Enoch’s taking a few shots in the late afternoon light before heading for the bus station and home. A good day. It was the first test for the ‘new toy’, the Tenba camera bag. It performed well with a fairly full set of camera gear. Heavy, but not uncomfortably so. Still to test the new Lensbaby Sweet 35 optic. Maybe tomorrow. Also I got a shot of Alex’s new 85mm f1.8 lens. It may go on the shopping list.

Tomorrow we’ll probably be doing a bit of dancing in Bridge of Weir, but the rest of the day is our own.

A busy day – 5 May 2022

Things getting delivered, things to be collected, people to see and hair to be cut, but not in that order.

A message in the morning to say that my camera bag was at WEX in Glasgow and ready to collect. That’s exactly when it should have been ready. One of the good things about dealing with WEX is that you can have your items delivered from Norwich to their Glasgow shop in a couple of days, free and usually on time. I had a little Lensbaby lens on order too, but it was to come to the house by the despicable Parcel Force. Due to be delivered tomorrow, but realistically by Monday. That’s why I was surprised when I checked their delivery page to find it too was to arrive today. Unfortunately it was to arrive between 2.30 and 3.30 when I should have been visiting Margie with Scamp. The last thing on today’s list was a haircut ready for a couple of weddings that are in the offing. Would I manage to fit them all into my day? Read on and find out!

Drove in to Glasgow in the morning, before I’d even had my coffee. Parked at Buchanan Galleries, right in the middle of town and walked to the barbers and was out of there half an hour later. Fifteen minutes for the bloke in front of me and fifteen minutes for me. Only one barber in today. Much tidier cut than I can manage, even with some help from Scamp. Walked up Bath Street to find the new WEX shop. I started at about number 10 and the shop was at number 240! So it was going to take a bit of time. Finally climbed the hill and down the other side was the WEX sign on a shiny new shopfront. Picked up the bag and told the blokes behind the till the story of the last bag with its extra item for the ‘Babe’. It gave them a laugh and they immediately guessed the unnamed retailer was Amazon.

Walked back up the hill and down the other side, stopping to take a shot looking down Bucky Street from the Concert Hall to St Enoch’s at the bottom. PoD was in the bag.

Drove out of the car park listening to Alan Cumming reading Baggage. I pressed the phone button on the steering wheel to tell Scamp I was on the way home. Selected Scamp from the list and the screen went blank. Remember I was still driving. Tried to play Alan again, but nothing happened, although the screen had returned to normal. Tried the phone again. This time it rang before the same thing happened again. Gave up and listened to Jazz FM.

I got in just in time to say “Hello” and “Cheerio” as Scamp left to visit Margie. About an hour later, a knock at the door signalled the delivery of my LensBaby lens. Unpacked it from its battered box and made sure it was the right one, then left to visit Margie.

Margie was on good form. Telling us about the problems of riding a Stannah Stairlift and getting it to stop in the correct place.  We discussed sketching and painting and “fishtails”.  Margie danced a lot when she was younger and understood lots of the techniques she and Scamp were discussing.

Soon it was time for us to go, but there were lots of stories to listen to.  Best one was about the family searching for an electrician who she was sure was called Shakespeare, only to find he was called Macbeth.  Close, but no cigar.

I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening trying to get an old Huawei phone to work.  In the end I gave up and might have to consider replacing my ailing Samsung.

A quick waltz and quickstep practise tonight brought some of it back, but not a lot.

Tomorrow, Alex and I are hoping to go and visit Glasgow Cathedral.

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.

Drivin’ and Dancin’ – 7 April 2022

We were going to a tea dance today.

Yes, tea was served as was a tea loaf. For the philistines there was instant coffee.

First we had to work out the quickest way to get there. The community hall that’s used for the tea dances is deep in darkest Paisley. It’s a different one from the one we go to in Brookfield for dance class on a Saturday, very different, but both have good floors for dancing. The problem with getting there is that the motorway has roadworks for a few miles on the M8 and the speed limit is 40mph which is fairly slow for a motorway. It wouldn’t concern me greatly, but there are average speed cameras for the full stretch of the roadworks, and in case, just in case they are actually switched on, most folk are travelling at about 38mph. This slows everyone up. Then, once you’re free to travel at mind blowing 70mph, you have to leave the motorway to work your way through the devious traffic system in Paisley itself. It takes ages.

There is another way. I found it a long time ago when we started this tea dance caper. It’s the one that the Nissan app recommends. Anything the Nissan app recommends is usually to be avoided. When you ask it for a route between two places it firstly gives you the route and the time it will take if you’re walking. This from a company who specialise, not in walking shoes, but in selling cars. I digress. Today I thought we might just try the route from the app. Surprisingly, it was a much less stressful route than the M8, then the slow crawl through Paisley. I’m not giving Nissan all the glory for finding this route, I checked with Google first and they agreed! We were late arriving at the hall, but we much earlier and much calmer than if we’d gone the Paisley route. We also used it coming back and the only problem was the queue to cross the Kingston Bridge, but that was driver error. I should have gone with my gut feeling which was avoid the Kingston Bridge at all costs.

Lots of sequence dances today and we learned a new one. It’s got the usual sequence dance silly name and is an amalgam of various other dances. We tried the new waltz routine and it was a shambling mess to start with, or I was making a shambling mess, which is nearer the truth. However by the time we got to the Last Waltz it was coming together nicely. Tango was a work in progress. I’m sure we were cutting corners somewhere, but where exactly, I couldn’t say. We tried and failed at the Cha-Cha. I thought the music was too fast, and despite Scamp’s best efforts, we didn’t finish it.

We were sitting with a good crowd, most of whom we’ve met before and we seemed to get on well with them. The numbers were down today, but, as Scamp said, a lot of folk our age are grandparents now and have kids to look after during the school holidays.

Back home I changed into ‘normal’ clothes and went for a walk down to the shops via the well worn path behind St Mo’s school. Today’s PoD is a macro shot of a rotting fence post with a few clumps of moss growing in its hollow top which I found beside that path. I quite liked the picture and cropped it square, then gave it a white rebate. Looks a bit like a Polaroid now.

Tomorrow we may be going in to Glasgow for lunch, it being someone’s birthday.

Huntigowk – 1 April 2022

It may be April Fool’s day, but I saw no sign of it today. I think the world is so war and virus weary that there’s little time for fun this year.

I’d suggested that we go for a walk round Glasgow today. I’d no ulterior motive, just a walk round town and a chance to drop off a bag of books that had been languishing in my room. Scamp said we might go in on the bus, but we’d have been too late to catch the fast bus and neither of us fancied the X3 which takes nearly 50 minutes to trace 20 miles. Then Scamp said why didn’t we go in the car and she’d drive. She meant her car. I eventually agreed and we piled into the car. I tried to get the boot to open, but there was a softness at the switch that made me think the switch mechanism had come adrift and it really is an terrible faff to get in via the back seat. However, we didn’t really need to use the boot, we weren’t carrying much and weren’t intending buying much either. Halfway along the road the car started, what Scamp calls, ‘whistling’. It sounded more like screeching to me. As she was driving it gave me time to work out what was happening. Eventually I settled on a dried out wheel bearing. By the time we got to Glasgow it was getting loud and alternating from side to side. Two wheel bearings, both front? When we were waiting at lights after leaving the motorway, I could definitely smell burning, like overheated metal. We got parked and walked away and the car just sat there no clicking like you get with overheated metal, so maybe I was imagining things.

Took the bag of books to the Oxfam shop and they were again happy to see them. That was my main task completed. With nothing to do, Scamp suggested we walk to Glasgow Green. That sounded like a decent idea, because the sun was shining and there weren’t too many folk about. Then I realised I’d not brought my woolly hat, in fact I didn’t have anything to keep my head and ears warm. That’s what happens when you decide you don’t need your big heavy Bergy jacket whose pockets are filled with everything you might need, including a woolly hat. However we walked round the green and at the front gate I got today’s PoD which was a Lensbaby shot of some cherry blossom. I also got a second conventional lens shot of two folk walking through the cherry trees. That’s on Flickr too. Scamp prefer that one to my arty-farty flower photo. On the way back we did nip into M&S for a cheap woolly hat to shut me up.

Lunch was in Paesano and, as Scamp was driver for the day, I had a glass of red wine with my No 3 pizza. Scamp had her standby No1 – no garlic. We were halfway through our pizzas when we were joined by four weans of the female persuasion. Their combined ages were about 40, but they were probably younger. They all seemed to talk at the same time, then all pick up their phones and silently type madly into them, probably sending messages to each other. Then they discovered another group of four further along and started verbal, and probably digital, conversations with them too. I can’t stand weans, and these looked like snooty, posh weans and they’re worse. Thankfully we were leaving soon.

We both took a waltz round JL, me window shopping and Scamp buying, then we headed for home. The noise from the bearing started right away and by the time we reached Cumbersheugh it was deafening. I told Scamp to turn off onto an alternative, quieter road and stop when we’d a fairly straight stretch. That’s when I heard the ticking of metal cooling. I got out and tentatively touched the nearside wheel, but it was just warm. The offside wheel was too hot to touch. That settled it, at least a new wheel bearing needed. We took it easy the rest of the way home and the smell of overheated grease lingered for a while. The wee Red car will need to go to the car hospital to get the work done and in the mean time I’ll see what I can do about the boot switch.

When we arrived at the house there was a big box of flowers waiting for Scamp. There was no message with it and no indication of who had sent it. Scamp did some investigations and worked out who it might have come from. She spoke to her sister in Skye later and confirmed her suspicions. Somebody at M&S is going to get an earful for not including that birthday message.

Early rise tomorrow because it looks as if the dance class is on and as there are still roadworks on the way to Bridge of Weir, we’ll need to be out a bit earlier. Other than that, no plans.