Waiting, waiting, waiting – 23 March 2022

For the postman to arrive. Hopefully bringing a parcel.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Dancin’ – 27 January 2022

Out photographing in the morning sun, dancing in the afternoon and fish ’n’ chips for dinner. Does life get any better than this?

I knew that most of the afternoon would be taken up with driving and dancing, neither of which I mind, but it was a lovely clear day and probably the only good day we’ve had for at least a week. The only way out of this and out in the fresh air was to go early, and that’s what I did.

I only had an hour or so out in the wilds of St Mo’s, but the light was good and bits and pieces of colour are appearing now. Green shoots are appearing, maybe a bit early, but the trees are preparing next years greenery already. However, it wasn’t the greenery or the trees that made PoD it was an alien looking landscape that was moss fruiting bodies in the morning light.

Back home, a quick lunch and we were off to Paisley, Sunny Paisley today. Still the same convoluted traffic system with a multitude of traffic lights. But we got there, a little later than anticipated, but we got seats too, although we didn’t sit on them much. I think the longest I was sitting was when the tea was served and when they played two line dances (if you can call ‘Waltz across Texas’ a dance. It’s more a walk around the floor with a grumpy face) back to back. The rest of the time we were on the floor for a waltz, every sequence dance, tango, salsa. Basically, you name it, we danced it. Some better than others, some for less than a minute before we admitted we didn’t know what we were meant to be doing.

We’d agreed that we would leave half an hour early today to try to avoid the worst of the traffic going through Paisley town centre. It worked. That half hour early must have cut at least an hour off the drive home.

I went for a walk to the shops when we got back, well, it is Thursday and traditions must be upheld. I didn’t take a camera with me because I was sure I’d enough in the bag from the morning walk, and so it turned out. It was a pity in a way, because there was a glorious sunset, all reds and golds.  Came home to the smell of home made Fish ‘n’ Chips.  Definitely the best fish and chips I’ve had for months.  Scamp’s expertise again.

Tomorrow doesn’t look anywhere like as good as today with wind, and rain forecast. If we manage to get out for a walk we’ll be lucky. Have a good flight home, Jamie.

 

 

Johnny Frosty – 4 January 2022

Some folk have Jack Frost, but my mum always called him Johnny Frosty, pronounced “Joanny Froasty”

Joanny Froasty definitely was about this morning. He’d been up early to cover the cars with a crisp white coating. The temperature was still sub-zero when Scamp went to make breakfast. It was her turn. We chose not to rush to get up because it was warm in bed and we both had good books to read. Let those who wanted to go to work, go. We’d stay and mind the house.

We did eventually get up and since it was such a lovely crisp morning, I suggested a walk. Maybe just a short one around St Mo’s pond. Scamp wasn’t sure. She’s not too keen on walking when it’s icy and we were pretty sure it was going to be icy. It was. We had to walk on the grass most of the way over to the park and then again on the grass until we were up the hill and under the cover of the trees where there isn’t ever much standing water to turn into ice. The rest of the fairly recently laid tarmac was an ice rink. A sloping ice rink that threatened to slide you down into the pond itself. Luckily the grass was still boggy and gave a better grip. Next time, if it’s still icy, we’ll dig out the Yak Trax. I was just reading last years blog yesterday about how we could crunch across the icy paths with these steel shod feet. What clever folk Mr Yak and Mrs Trax were.

I took some photos as we walked round the pond and they looked good on the camera screen, so I was content to limit our walk to just the one circuit. Scamp agreed and we walked back, sticking to the grass where we could.

After lunch it was time to take down the decorations, the cards and the tree. Now they are all bagged and boxed and waiting for me to put them in the loft until next year. The place did look a bit bare, but not for long.

I wasn’t impressed with the photos taken in St Mo’s once I’d downloaded them from the camera and decided there was just enough time to grab some more before the sun set. It was much colder than when we had our walk this morning. The sun was low now and not nearly as warming as it had been, however I did get some shots I liked and was heading home when I saw three different skeins of geese all travelling west. Probably heading for a grassy field not far away which seems to support many groups of geese on their journey south. It’s great to watch these flights of birds and even better to listen to them calling to each other. I often wonder what they are saying. But the cold was beginning to bite now and I headed home.

These photos were much better and I actually got three good enough to go on Flickr. My favourite, and PoD was the one you see here of the weed with the ice melt forming balls of water, with setting sun behind them.

My next task was to find out how much MPB would give me for my hardly used Oly E-M1 Mk2. The good thing about selling through them is that you get an instant quote, based on your estimated condition for the camera. I was happy with the quoted price and downloaded the form which never prints properly the first time. I finally got it printed, filled in and signed. Then I had to find all the bits and pieces that had to go in the box along with the camera. With it all boxed up it was time for dinner. Scamp was making a J&S speciality, Bacon and Borlotti Beans. Great recipe, beautifully cooked.

Last thing to do was to wrap up the parcel to be uplifted by DPD tomorrow. I was a wee bit sad to be sending that lovely camera away, but I hadn’t used it for months and it seemed a shame to just have it sitting there when I could get some money from it. Of course I have a way for that money to go!

Tomorrow I’d like to get some photo paper and we need a wall calendar too. Scamp has volunteered to wait in for the parcel.

Happy Christmas – 25 December 2021

Christmas Day and the sun is shining. How did that happen?

After the presents were opened we both booted up and went for a walk in St Mo’s. Scamp went once round and then left to get the cooking started. I went round for a second try for a PoD, and also to get used to my new wooly hat which I needed today with the temperature just above zero. The wooly hat worked, but the PoD now so much, but at least I had contenders.

While I was out dessert had been made. We had just enough time left for a quick lunch and then an equally quick shower before our Zoom meeting with the other pairs. We ended up about three minutes late, but who’s counting. Jamie and Sim had a few problems with their webcam, but once they had it working, the took the rest of us on a live tour of the house and the garden. Both Neil and I were really impressed with Jamie and Sim’s wireless connection as they wandered round the garden showing of the surroundings as well as the garden. Vixen slept through the entire Zoom call, apparently after tiring herself out playing with the new Kong that Hazel and Neil had sent. All in all, we thought it was a great virtual visit. Almost like being there. Maybe that will happen in the new year.

A little G ’n’ T was required while the chicken was in the oven. That gave the cook a chance to relax and gave me the chance to have a first look at the photos.

Dinner was:

Starter Prawn Cocktail
Main Roast Chicken with Roast Veg
Dessert. Lime Cheesecake

Of course, we both had too much to eat and possibly to drink and it took a while for all that excess to settle down.

I’d originally though about making bread for today, but it’s been postponed until tomorrow … at least. PoD turned out to be a nearly mono photo of an old bramble bush.

Rushing now to get this blog finished and posted before Christmas Day is done for another year.

Thank you Hazel and Neil for organising the Zoom meeting. Thank you Jamie and Simonne for the virtual tour of the house and thank you Scamp for being a brilliant chef for the day.

Tomorrow we may get some snow! Whether we go for a walk or not depends on the weather really, and whether we can walk after a day of over indulgence.

 

Another beautiful autumn day – 3 November 2021

Beautiful, but cold.

About 11am I finally relented and we went out for a run to Torwood garden centre. Scamp wanted a bag of compost, a pot to transplant the sempervivum collection and some autumn grass feed. I was just going along as driver. On the way back I suggested we go for a walk round Colzium. It’s a big house in a fairly large estate on the outskirts of Kilsyth. It’s famed for its Acer displays, especially at this time of year. We parked in the ‘car park’ which is a flat area of compacted earth, served by a dirt track road with pot holes that are more like bomb craters. Really, they are a danger to springs and shock absorbers. I really wish we had a council, one that works. NLC is BER.

Anyway, we went for a walk. I think every photo I took today had a tree or a leaf in it. The sun was shining and the trees were glowing in every autumn colour you could think of. Glory Be, even the walled garden was open! That indeed is a strange occurrence. OK, the cafe was shut, but it is November and a weekday. I don’t suppose there is much passing trade in Colzium. PoD was a low viewpoint photo of some acer leaves, just glowing in the sun. An against the light shot that made them sparkle. I just beat a panorama of the curling pond for first place. Go to Flickr and you’ll see the state of the curling pond, reputed to be the first curling pond in the world, now a silted up wasteland. NLC again.

On the way home we dropped in at Lidl to get some things and the makings for tonight’s dinner which was going to be quiche. Oh yes, and also a bottle of gin! I like Lidl gin, but keep it for weekends.

Back home and after lunch Scamp did think about going out and feeding the lawn, but it was cold and the temperature had reach its peak of about 9º around midday and was now starting to drop away. I don’t blame her for leaving it for another day. I was no better, I was happy to sit in the warm and finish a tough Sudoku. What exciting lives we lead sometimes.

The first attempt at the quiche was a disaster as the eggy mix started to leak through the bottom of the dish. Shouldn’t have used a dish with a removable bottom. Gave up took out the smoked trout and broccoli and binned the rest. Started again with a solid dish and that one worked well.

Watching a recording of Bake Off tonight I wondered why these people put themselves through it. All that faffing about just to get your face on the telly. The ignominy of getting it all wrong is fine when you’re at home, but in front of the viewing millions? I think not.

That was about it for the day, except on FB I read that the Aurora was visible in Glasgow tonight, possible something to do with COP26. Unfortunately now it’s gone quiet again. I’ve got the app now, though, so I’ll be checking for it.

Tomorrow were off to East Kilbride to see a man who will hopefully help Scamp to see better.

 

Another early one – 28 October 2021

Taking the wee red car to get its yearly checkup. Always a case for heart in the mouth.

Drove down to the garage and waited. It was supposed to open at 9am, and although one of the mechanics appeared, it was still locked up. Eventually we left the car key with him and just at that moment someone arrived with the key to the garage, so we headed off home for breakfast, stopping at Tesco on the way for milk and bread. Unfortunately it was still before 10am so the other essential (alcoholic beverages) weren’t available.

A while after breakfast I eventually decided that it was dry enough to risk a walk in St Mo’s to get some photos. If the day brightened up later I’d get some more, but that looked unlikely to say the least. I did get some photos, but none of them were really contenders for the PoD.

Came home and we had lunch. Finished today’s Sudoku and started investigating the possibility of getting my phone to get itself an upgrade. I’d put a dodgy piece of software in it about a year ago that would prevent Samsung doing upgrades every second day. Now that software had disappeared, but its effect was still there. Eventually after consulting with the inter web I found that it hadn’t really gone. It was just hiding deep in the settings. When I too the plunge and switched it off the updates screen lit up. BUT I needed the phone because that was the number I’d given the garage, but once I got the word that the car was ready to pick up, I’d start the installation.

Hazy phoned not long after and she and Scamp had a long discussion about dresses for weddings. You will notice that the ‘wedding’ word is in the plural and it’s no surprise then to discover that the ‘dress’ word is also in its plural form. After the fashionistas had completed their discussion I managed to get involved in the conversation too. We talked for a while about family stuff, just catching up, really. Then my phone rang. The car had passed and been serviced, so was ready to collect. We talked to Hazy for a while longer then said our “cheerios”. Drove to the garage, paid our dues and drove home.

When I was driving back, the sky was definitely clearing from the west. By the time I got home blue sky was visible. I waited for Scamp to return then took my camera for its second walk today in St Mo’s. It was quite warm with beautiful light and I did manage to get a PoD. It was just a little weed that had been washed for days by the torrential rain and all its neighbours had been washed clean at the same time. They really sparkled in the late afternoon sun.

Dinner was Bubble ’n’ Squeak, a long time favourite of mine, but something I haven’t had for years. I even learned to make it myself a long time ago. I may have to relearn it.

The prompt for today asked for ‘Crispy’. I gave them a Crispy Cake. Made with Corn Flakes or Rice Krispies, it fits the bill for me. One of the few cakes Hazy can eat. It mush have been your phone call that put it in my head.

Tomorrow I go to see the health centre vampires who will want to take some of my blood. It’s almost Halloween, so it’s quite fitting.

Down the Canal – 11 October 2021

Out fairly early since there was a fair amount of blue sky.

By the time we were actually on the road most of that blue was replaced by grey and an ominous amount of clouds rolling over from the Campsie Fells, but we got parked easily at the Hebo House and walked along the side of the Forth & Clyde canal in the general direction of Twechar. We met hardly anyone along the path. A few cyclists and that was about it. After my lucky spotting of a kingfisher last week with Alex, I was hoping we’d get lucky and see one today, but there were no sightings of that blue flash. We did see one of Mr Grey’s family on the far bank, but he was almost invisible among the reeds.

As we were about to cross the road and head back on the path of the old mineral railway we saw a man with twa dugs. As well as the dugs, he was trailing a long lead and I mean LONG. I’d estimate it to be about nine or ten metres long. He crossed the road and I had visions of the lead getting tangled in a car going in the opposite direction and he with the dogs being dragged along behind it. Unfortunately that never happened. I’m guessing it was a running lead to let the dogs get some exercise, but he really should have been more careful.

We spotted loads of fungi on the way back along the path and I took the opportunity to photograph a few. We also saw a ’workie’ in full workie gear sitting near one of the barriers keeping pedestrians away from the Never-ending Story that is the upgrade of the paths along that stretch. For once there were no notices telling the public (ie, us) what was happening now to these excavations, tree felling, tree planting and general works that seem to have been going on for about three years with little sign of completion any time soon. However we did see one of the mythical workies today. Rarer that a kingfisher.

I got PoD along the path. A pretty little pink flower of the genus Impatiens glandulifera or Himalayan Balsam. It’s a large annual plant native to the Himalayas but is now present across much of the the UK and is considered an invasive species in many areas. I don’t think it does nearly as much harm as the workies and their upgrades. Right, I think I’ve said enough on that subject.

We did manage to complete the walk without getting wet. In fact as soon as we closed the car doors, the first raindrops appeared on the windscreen. Drove home, had lunch and Scamp went out to work in the garden, repotting some flowers and planting new bulbs for next year. Meanwhile I cooked some steak and kidney, some of which will hopefully be my dinner tomorrow. The rest will go in the freezer to be a welcome dinner in the future.

Today’s sketch was to be Sour. I sketched a lemon from the fridge and faked a slice of lemon behind it. Splashed some watercolour on it and that will be another day completed in Inktober. Not the finest painting or sketch I’ve done, but it’s been posted. Inktober is not nearly as full of participants or sketches as it was last year, but then Flickr is much the same.

That was about all we did today. No plans for tomorrow. Weather looks like an improving picture.

Shopping in Stirling – 18 August 2021

We were away for the messages.

Scamp had mentioned that she fancied going to Sainsbury’s for the messages this week. The nearest one, that didn’t run the risk of five miles of queues because of road works, was in Stirling. As far as we knew, there would be no problem with folk digging up the road there, so off we went. We drove through the Raploch, once the worst housing estate in Scotland, now very up-market and the worst place to drive through in Scotland. Every few yards the road surface changes from tarmac to concrete to granite tiles. Speed bumps everywhere, and in the tiled areas they are colour matched to the tiles which makes driving very tricky, but ensures you keep within the 20mph limit. We found Sainsbury’s without any problem and I discovered I’d a message from Jamie with some very good news.

Lots of interesting things to buy in Sainsburys. First supermarket I’ve been in where they sell watches! Whatever next. But it felt like we’d gone back in time a year and a bit, because a lot of the shelves were empty. Not enough delivery drivers we’re told. Well, some of you silly buggers voted for Brexit and swallowed every fairy tale you were told. It looks like reality is coming home to bite you now that there aren’t enough low paid foreign workers wanting to come to the UK to work.

We’d found an interesting historical artefact when we were checking out the road to Sainsbury’s. There’s a Beheading Stone on a hill near the supermarket. We’d half intended going for a look, but as far as we could tell, there were no beheadings scheduled for today. Maybe another day then.

Back home we potted up the echinacea we bought on Monday. We’d bought a clay pot for it and Scamp had had it soaking in the bird bath for a few days. You have to do that with clay pots because otherwise they will draw water away from the compost and allow it to evaporate into the air. After we’d potted the plant up we gave it a good drink of pure rain water we’d collected during the heavy rain last week. Then it got to sit in the sun for a while at the front of the house, while a rose that had sat there all summer went to the back garden to rest a while.

I finally chopped and sawed down the remaining trunk and branches of the tree that had been growing between Angela’s garden and ours. The loppers did most of the work on the branches, but I had to resort to a panel saw for the trunk. I’d been talking to Fred before that and he was telling me that he recycles all his tree branches with a shredder. I don’t think we have enough trees to warrant the purchase of a shredder, but it would have been useful today. However, it all went into the brown bin today and it gets lifted tomorrow.

Went for a walk in the woods of St Mo’s later and got today’s PoD. It’s a little ball of moss on a dead tree branch. I liked the way the sun was just catching the moss. Not everyone’s favourite, but I liked it which is the reason it got PoD.

A longer and calmer practise tonight trying to put together the ‘back end’ of the foxtrot routine. Sometimes if feels more like a ‘backside’ rather than a back end, but it’s coming together slowly.

Tomorrow we are intending to take Margie out for coffee somewhere.

One out, One in – 10 August 2021

Hopefully moving forward in the process.

It was a lovely morning after all that rain yesterday. Scamp encouraged me to go out for a walk and I’m glad I did. She was feeling a lot better, but had things to do in the house. Also, we didn’t know when DPD were coming to pick up the GX80 camera I was selling to MPB, so someone had to stay in the house.

I was hoping that yesterday’s rain and today’s sun would have freshened up St Mo’s pond to the extent that there might be some dragonfly activity and that’s exactly what had happened. Not one, but two pairs of dragonflies doing circuits of the pond. One pair were blue and big and they never stopped to rest. They just kept flying round and round. The other pair were much smaller, probably Common Darters and they were much more relaxed, stopping to rest every few minutes on the kerb of the boardwalk or sometimes even on the boardwalk itself. I grabbed a few photos just incase they flew off and, like those big blue beasts, started flying circuits. I’d just found a little Leafhopper when a gang of chattering women came down the path from the woods. We said our “Good mornings” and then I recognised one of the last to pass. She was the librarian at the school and had retired the year before me. We asked each other if we were well and I found out that the ladies were in a walking group and did this walk every Tuesday morning. I replied as my mum would have said “Half kiddin’ and hale earnest” that I’d have to avoid coming this way on a Tuesday morning. We parted, both saying “Not missing It a bit”. The ‘It’ in question didn’t need to the explained.

I wandered on into the woods and tried to find the wasps nest from yesterday. There was still some activity there, but a lot less than yesterday. It looked like a lot of the hexagonal cells had been closed up since then and only a few wasps were still working. I’d read a bit about wasps and their nests and found the entrance and exit holes quite easily, but was amazed at the distance they were away from each other and from the excavation that had uncovered the nest. The triangle they formed would have fitted into a circle about a meter in diameter. That’ was a big nest that nobody had noticed until a badger got hungry one night. I took a few shots of rowan berries that are now colouring up nicely before I headed home to drive in to Glasgow to pick up a new Sony A6000. A compact little camera that would take the same lenses as the big A7m2.

I drove in to Glasgow and picked up a very small box which contained the camera. Surprisingly it has almost all the facilities its big brother has, only the sensor is not quite as big. It’s an APS-C sensor which, without getting the technospeak that at least one person hates, is only two thirds the size of the one in the ‘Big Dog’, so images are a little bit grittier than the ones from a full size sensor. Most of the cameras I’ve owned have had an APS-C sensor or smaller. It’s not such a big deal these days. One big deal is the weight. This camera tips the scales at about half the weight of the A7M2. It should be easier and lighter to carry around for day to day photos. I’m still testing it out, but in a quick shoot in the late afternoon it did not a bad job.

By the time I got home, the DPD man had come and gone with the parcel. Now I just have to wait to see if MPB agree with my evaluation of the camera and lens.

Dinner tonight was Katsu Curry from a ‘kit’ with the Wagamama name on it. We both agreed that the chicken done in panko breadcrumbs and even the rice were good, but the sauce. Oh, the sauce! It tasted bitter and a bit spicy, but that was the end of the taste test. It wasn’t a gravy, it wasn’t a curry sauce. It lacked body. Basically it added nothing to the taste of the meal. Scamp has had a Katsu Curry in Wagamama and says this brown liquid is nothing like the curry sauce you get in the restaurants. I don’t think we’ll bother with another ‘kit’ with Wagamama’s name on it.

PoD was taken with the new camera, but that’s not why it got that position.  PoD is awarded on merit, not on the hardware that is used.  That’s what I say, anyway.  The PoD is a couple of Dead Nettles (Lamium purpureum) which are not related to stinging nettles, but may have evolved to look like stinging nettles as a protection against being eaten by animals.  Y’see, every day is a school day (Sorry Neil D!)

Tomorrow we may go out for a drive in the rain.  I may even take the Little Dog.

 

In hot water – 29 June 2021

It wasn’t just the water that was hot, the thermometer was reading nearly 20º just after 8.30am

Yesterday we had a problem with the water boiler that is our kettle. The switch that’s meant to release the lid wasn’t working and the lid wouldn’t open. After poking around inside the lid, it seemed that the spring that lifts the lid had broken. To fix it would mean disassembling the entire boiler. The only thing to do would be to get a new one.

After a bit of browsing, it appears that water boilers aren’t all that popular. We bought the original one about ten years ago, we think. We thought they would be ten a penny now, but it seems that only Breville sell them, at least in the UK. In Australia they really are ten a penny (or Australian cent 😉). However, we both really like the idea of a kettle that delivers just one cup of boiling water, so we ordered one from Currys in Coatbridge. That gave us the opportunity to spend some time walking in the woods of Drumpellier while we waited for the text to say that the Breville was ready to pick up.

It was a lovely day for a walk in the woods. Warm with just the hint of a breeze. Definitely shorts and tee shirt weather and that’s what we were both wearing. We walked a few of our well trodden paths and basically I forgot all about Currys until we were walking back to the ice cream van and from there to the car with an ice cream cone each. Then I noticed we’d been told we were good to go.

Picked up the box from Currys and then stopped at M&S in Coatbridge to get some stuff to make dinner tonight which was going to be either two small quiches or one large one. It turned out to be one large one and one small one. Salmon, Broccoli and Potatoes in the big one and Bacon, Cheese and Tomatoes in the small one. We’ll be eating them all week, probably. We stopped at Aldi on the way home, because Scamp had tasted Bramble and Raspberry Gin at the witches day yesterday and liked it. I got a bottle and also a few cans of beer, because, as Scamp said, it was a beer day.

Back home we plugged in the water boiler and filled it up, then rejected the first two litres, refilled it and Scamp had a coffee from it. Later I had a cup of tea and it was awful. Chemical, or maybe more correctly, plastic tasting. I washed the reservoir out a few times and the taste partly disappeared. I hope it’s still gone tomorrow or Currys will be getting their Breville back.

I went for a walk in St Mo’s with the macro lens on the Sony. Took about 80 photos of beasties, half of which were rejected in the first cull. Then a few more littered the cutting room floor after a second look. PoD went to a Common Blue butterfly. You may wonder where the ’Blue’ comes from. It’s only when it opens its wings you see that the inside surfaces are a beautiful blue. You might notice that it’s dicing with death because there are quite a few spider webs spun between the flowers. Oh yes, and I got a bonus greenfly too.

When I returned we assembled the two quiches and while they were baking in the oven we headed out to the garden and had a glass of the Bramble and Raspberry Gin. It tasted to me like an alcoholic mixture of Vimto and Ribena. That’s the closest I can make it. Quite refreshing on a hot day like today, but as this is a weekday, only one glass was allowed.

That was about it for today. Hopefully the One Cup water boiler will settle down and the taste of plastic tea will be but a bad memory.

Tomorrow, Scamp is booked for a walk with Veronica and I may take the bike out.