Longing to get past the shortest day

Another day with almost no daylight.

It becomes tedious. Day after day with no directional light. On Friday I drove to Fife and spent half an hour there in glorious sunshine. I might have to head east again to get another dose of vitamin D. Today was so dull, I swear the sun didn’t rise above the ground at all.

Scamp drove away to meet her big sister for a coffee. She told me she was going to take the long way round to the town centre, just to give the Wee Red Car a good chance to fully charge its battery and basically get everything moving again. It seemed to work, because when she came back she was smiling. It’s good to be independent and not rely on others. I’m just glad the battery held its charge, but I think it’s just the cold weather and Scamp not being able to drive for a month that allowed the battery to discharge. Or it could be that the wee car is getting fed up with all those dull cloudy days too.

While she was out, I started the tidying up of the back bedroom. It’s going to take more than a morning’s work to get it back in business, but today was a start. The sofa is almost cleared and the table too. I chopped up that enormous packing box from last week. We eventually found we could do without it. There are a couple of fairly large expanses of corrugated card that might hold a coat of gesso and fit on a drawing board, so I could paint on them. The rest of them will go into the paper shredder at the skips. If I get things sorted I can maybe get my sewing machine out and take up the second pair of lined walking trousers. Maybe!

When Scamp returned she brought me a bottle of gin, a present from June. A birthday present for my 70th last year! Typical June. When she says she’s going to do something, she does it. Maybe not right away, but it’s there in her head and she is a determined lady when she puts her mind to it. Scamp even sang Happy Birthday to me from June. What a lovely surprise.

We’d a lot going on today. Your parcel was picked up right when DPD said it would be and it’s now winging its way to you, pair, Hazy and Neil. The lady who does the Covid survey was coming in the afternoon to take samples and ask us questions. A mysterious parcel was dropped at the door by the Amazon man, but now it’s disappeared! With all that going on and with the lack of light, I’d no real opportunity to get out for a walk and some photos. Instead, I got the Benbo tripod out of the car and took some photos in the garden. That way I could use as slow a shutter speed as I wanted to get the low ISO number that would ensure I didn’t have ’grain the size of golf balls’ as we used to say back it the ‘wet film’ days. The best one, and PoD, was a low level shot of a Christmas rose, one of Scamp’s favourites called Christmas Carol. There are others too on Flickr.

I toasted June with a G ’n’ T tonight and Scamp had a glass of wine. Well, it may be dull, but it’s nearly Christmas.

Tomorrow we may go out somewhere for a walk or maybe a stroll round Glasgow.

 

Dancing Central – 25 October 2021

But first the doc’s.

Drove Scamp to her appointment with the doc. The doc shook her hand, gave her a prescription for some pills and said she hoped Scamp would feel better. It was a blustery day with occasional rain showers that came thumping down, seemingly from nowhere. We drove to the chemist which is conveniently next to Tesco and while she was in the chemist, I went to get some messages then we drove home and it was just after 10am! Unluckily for Scamp she had just missed the Parcelforce man who was supposed to be delivering a parcel today. Now she’ll have to wait until tomorrow.

We had a late breakfast and I messed about with the computer for a while, bought The Hidden Palace by Helene Wecker. Yes, Hazy, you talked me into it and I needed something well written after having ploughed through the latest John Connolly. I used to like his stories, but too much padding, too much history and too little story in this one. After that we watched yesterday’s F1 GP from Austin. Quite and exciting race for once with lots of action and a good finish.

After lunch it was a case of pack up your dance shoes and drive to another tea dance. This one was in Falkirk, in Central Region, hence the cryptic title to this blog. We’d been to a tea dance in Falkirk before the first lockdown, but only one, then everything shut down. That one had been in the Council Offices, but today’s was in a church hall in the centre of Falkirk. Lovely looking church with a reasonably sized hall but the bonus was the live music. A bloke playing an organ, not a keyboard, but an organ with foot pedals and stuff. Apparently he’s an opera singer, but makes a bob or two running tea dances in local churches. He was good, but hadn’t quite got the mark of the clientele. Twice he tried to get people up to dance Scottish country dance tunes. Once couple got up for the first one, but nobody did for the second! Just a bit embarrassing. We did all the dances that I was sure I knew and one or two that I was a bit rust on. Big bonus of this tea dance was that they actually had tea. Gorbals didn’t and that was a black mark against them. Extra big bonus, they had Tunnocks Caramel Wafers and also Snowballs. Scamp was peeved that she didn’t get a snowball. The company was a lot less friendly than other places we’ve been too. Insular or maybe inbred, difficult to tell, but none of the dancers spoke to us. Black mark against them, then.

We had got soaked walking from the carpark to the church, but when we came out the sun was shining. Not so shiny was Falkirk Main Street. If this had been America, there would have been tumbleweed rolling down the streets. Shop after shop was closed and boarded up. These days you only need one or two big shops to close and you’ve started on the slippery slope. It was really depressing. There were a lot of smaller shops on some of the streets off the main street, but some of them were almost certainly on a short let. The only shop that was busy was the big party shop. People were queueing all the way down its frontage, almost all with children in tow, desperate to get their Halloween costumes. We drove home and agreed that we’d go back to the next tea dance in the church, all being well.

Back home there was just enough light to allow a safari to St Mo’s. I got today’s PoD of a spider there. I think that was the last of the light just disappearing.

Dinner was Saturday’s soup with croutons and a pizza to follow. Today’s prompt was ’Splat’. My sketch of a splatted egg got Scamp’s approval with a couple of suggestions that I agree with, but by then it was too late to change things. The sketch this time is drawn on an A2 sheet of cartridge paper. A bit bigger than my usual A5! No eggs were harmed in making this sketch, only virtual ones!

Tomorrow Scamp is booked with the Witches for lunch. I have a few jobs to do in the house and also a prospective drive into the country if weather permits.

 

 

Curry then a walk – 15 October 2021

We did find that Indian restaurant in Hamilton.

The restaurant was the Bombay Cottage. Convenient parking just outside for the princely sum of £1.60 for three hours. As I’ve said before “Who would want to stay in Hamilton for three hours?” We had no intention of doing that. I had Chicken Rogan Josh which was very mild, too much oil/ghee and lacked salt. Scamp had Cauliflower Shimla Bhaji which was too salty. Two chefs with different tastes? Still the naan made up for the main courses. We left feeling that we’d been well fed.

We were entertained by a wedding group walking past the restaurant with their photographer in tow, heading for the car park of the Townhouse. Then they all trooped back again, walked through the main car park and out through another exit. By the time we were leaving the photographer was taking photos of the happy couple posing in front of a white minibus in the main car park, and everyone else crowded round him taking photos with their phones. I wish I hadn’t left my phone in the boot! What a photo that would have made! We drove slowly past the group with folk crossing in front of us like we weren’t there. Maybe there’s an unwritten law that states if you’re in a wedding group and get knocked down, it won’t hurt you. One woman nearly got the chance to try it out.

We drove in brilliant sunshine to Barons Haugh for a walk through the trees. Lighting was lovely and the path was interesting for a mile or so, then we turned a corner and the path went in to shadow and wasn’t nearly so interesting, so we turned back and although we were walking into the sun, the lighting made it so much more photographic. PoD was a photo of a yellow leaf that had found itself hooked onto the branch of a sapling.

Drove home with the sun still shining. What a difference a day makes. Headlights on when we left the house yesterday morning and brilliant sunshine and blue skies today. Tomorrow the weather begins to revert to Dull October again. However, for today the sun was still with us and I wanted to get more low sun pics in St Mo’s. I think I just missed the best of the light, but I still got a few decent shots.

Sketch for today was “Helmet” and I chose my bike helmet. Really demanding thing to draw with all the curves and cut aways. Also lots of air holes in it. I hadn’t realised just how many there were until I started it. I was beginning to think that a helmet is just an expensive bag of holes held together with some plastic. However it is essential when you’re on a bike.

Tomorrow is back to dance lessons, but with the possibility of a run to the coast if the weather permits.

Walking round Broadwood – 12 October 2021

It was such a dull day with the ever-present threat of rain … again.

We were sitting doing nothing all morning when Scamp declared that she was going out for a walk. I was told I could join her if I wanted to, but if not she would go herself. I didn’t see it as a challenge, exactly, but decided I’d tag along for the walk. I’d been yawning most of the morning and needed the exercise. So did my A6000 and my TZ 90 that I’d recently hoovered out to get rid of most of the dust between the elements of the lens. This would be a good chance to see if it had worked.

Broadwood was Scamp’s choice of venue. It’s certainly not mine. It’s just a big manmade pond that had great potential as a watersports venue, but the council refused to fund it, so they left it as it was and by doing so, called it a wildlife area. It does have a path round around it and an extension of the path into the woods is at least slightly more interesting. However, we weren’t going into the woods today because after a few days of rain the paths get flooded and too muddy to walk through without wellies, or better still waders. Today we were just doing the circuit. I did manage to take a few photos, but not too many as the sun never really got its act together and the clouds broke, only to reform again in heavier clumps. PoD was a shot of a cormorant on what used to be called Swan Island, but which is now owned by the cormorants and mallards. It was taken by the TZ90 and seems to be proof that the clean up worked, at least on a dull day. The big test will be when the sun shines. Then the remaining dust spots will show themselves.

Back home and after lunch the rain that never came was still threatening, and since I had a potential PoD I started processing the photos I’d taken. I also did some research for today’s sketch which was “Stuck”. I’d already decided what it was to be, I just needed a picture to get the angle of the shoe correct. As usual, Google Images came up trumps. Finally I phoned Fred and arranged a meeting for coffee tomorrow morning. We should have been going to Margie’s in the afternoon tomorrow, but she has a trapped nerve in her leg and called off. I understand just how painful that can be now.

Steak and kidney for me for dinner with potatoes and cauliflower. Scamp substituted lentil based veggie mince for steak and kidney and both plates looked remarkably similar.

Tomorrow morning Scamp is booked at Tim Hortons for coffee with Jeanette and I’m hoping to meet Fred at Costa.

Crossing the Forth – 8 September 2021

It was a lovely morning and we weren’t going to waste it.

We had a few places in mind for today. Culross (just look away and roll your eyes, Hazy), Dunfermline and Kincardine were three of them. We settled on Kincardine and drove over to Fife and parked in the free car park beside a ‘new’ Coop building. The parentheses are because I still don’t think it’s a new building. I’m pretty sure there was a residential home on that spot a few years ago, probably the last time we were there. If you looked closely you could see the outline of windows that had been bricked up, given a new coat of render then painted. Fancy wood facing to the building completed the transformation. A quick look on Google Street View when we got home confirmed the makeover. It was a nursing home that used to be on that site. You can’t kid us!

We walked down through the old part of Kincardine where all the houses seem to be dropped into place and then roads are added as an afterthought. We found or way down to the path that runs along the side of the Forth, noting on our way the big bramble bushes with a healthy number of fat berries. We’d collect some of them on our way back.

Walked along past the, now redundant, piers that originally carried in coal to the Kincardine power station, now razed to the ground. An electrical substation now occupies part of the site. Not the most scenic of views past on the right, but great views across the Forth to Airth on the south of the estuary. The Forth is tidal at this point and the tide was out this morning exposing the mudbanks on both sides.

We walked under the Clackmannanshire Bridge, an elegant structure with a really clumsy name. Some bright spark renamed it the Clacks Bridge which trips off the tongue much more easily than its sixteen letter official name. We sat for a while on a seat kindly provided by the council with a plaque to tell people how thoughtful they are. NLC, there’s things you could learn here. From the seat we could look over to some buildings that looked like a farm and a ruin that turned out to be Kennetpans Distillery, allegedly the first commercial distillery in the world.

We sat soaking up the sun for a while before we headed back the same way to the car, stopping on the way to make good our promise to pick some of those black brambles. Unfortunately we didn’t have any poly bags with us, so Scamp used one of her shopping bags which got squashed later in the boot of the car, spreading bramble juice over everything. Back at the car we were heading for that terrible place that Hazy hates, may its name never be spoken in her presence. It was mobbed. We trundled through it with two cyclists who insisted on travelling so slowly they were in danger of losing their balance (it’s the gyroscopic effect of the spinning wheels that allows bikes to stay upright). Eventually we found a parking place off the road with a vacant picnic table where we could have coffee and crisps (and a chocolate biscuit) and christen our new flask. Then it was time to drive home.

I had intended going out on Dewdrop to get more brambles but the warm weather and the chance of a midweek beer put paid to that idea. Instead I finished a pastel painting I’ve been struggling with and then joined Scamp in the garden.

Dinner tonight was Neil’s Pulled Roast Chicken with Rice. Very summery and a fitting end to a good day out. Such a pity the good weather is forecast to end tomorrow, but we enjoyed it while it lasted.

PoD went to a picture of the Clacks Bridge taken from below to make the most of its curves.

Tomorrow we may go out to lunch.

Rain at last! – 6 September 2021

It rained all day.

This was the day we’d planned to go somewhere scenic where I’d get a chance to shoot some landscapes, instead of macros around St Mo’s. Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with macros and St Mo’s has been a life saver for us these last two years, but I just wanted to get out and take some photos in a wider landscape. However, it would have to be another day.

It was a dismal drizzle that was the main feature of the weather today. All the spiderwebs in the bushes across from the house were holding more than their fair share of moisture and, while very photogenic, I knew I’d be soaked to the skin if I even tried to get near them. I’ve done it before and I wasn’t going to be tricked into it again.

What I did notice when I was making my morning coffee was the little blue tit sitting on my pea frame. I stood there for a while watching it feeding on something invisible to me. I guess it was finding insects and maybe spiders in the nooks and crannies of the frame. When I’d finished my coffee and returned to the kitchen there were two blue tits this time on the pea frame. Both busy acrobatically feeding on the canes and wooden slats that make up the frame. This time I grabbed my camera and took a few shots through the window. I knew that although they seemed totally engrossed in their search, as soon as I put the key in to unlock the door they’d fly off, so I just had to be satisfied with a few shots through the window (thankfully recently cleaned). At least that would be two or three shots in the bag for today.

We drove up to the town centre as the drizzle turned to real rain. Scamp was going to Tesco and I was going looking for a decent pair of trainers in JB Sports. Not surprisingly, I didn’t find any. It would be a miracle if I was to find a Pair, far less a pair that I’d spend money on. Most of the boxes were empty or only had one shoe in them. It must be a shoplifter’s paradise. I came away empty handed, but still wearing my battered and torn Merrell Moabs. Comfortable now, but leaky as a sieve. Scamp was waiting for me in the car and we drove home through the drizzle to Bubble & Squeak and an egg for lunch.

I browsed the internet looking for trainers that I’d actually pay money for, but found little. Eventually gave up and when Jackie phoned Scamp I went upstairs to get a painting out of my head and on to paper. It was a pastel painting I was attempting. It’s part finished, but I don’t see it getting much further than tomorrow before it heads for the bin. Checked out the blue tit photos from the morning and they really weren’t all that bad. One of them made PoD. A little blue tit sitting on the cane at the top of the pea frame, looking as if it’s singing its wee heart out. It entitled “Singing in the Rain”.

Dinner tonight we shared a Giovanni Rana meal for one of Gnocchi with a Tomato, and Basil Sauce as a starter. Main course was another Giovanna Rana, this time Mushroom Tortellini. Giovanni is a clever man. The gnocchi starter was nuked for four and a half minutes and the tortellini was boiled for two minutes. That’s fast food, but not fast-food if you understand me. That hyphen does a fair bit of damage!

A gentle practise of the Foxtrot, Waltz and Saunter Together tonight worked well. No great mistakes by either party.

I think the rain may have stopped now and we’re hoping we might get out somewhere scenic tomorrow.

A lazy day – 30 May 2021

A day to enjoy the sunshine.

Today we didn’t go anywhere, we gave the car a rest day, we didn’t even have a dance class. What we did do was a bit of planting and rearranging in the garden. We also did a fair bit of sitting around, occasionally moving the seats to catch some more rays.

In the afternoon I took the Sony with the macro lens for a walk in St Mo’s and found a red damselfly fresh out of its exoskeleton, hanging on to a reed while unfurling its wings and pumping the blood into them before trying them out for the first time. It must have enjoyed the attention I was giving it, because its first flight ended with it hanging on to my arm. Then it flew back to its perch to dry out those delicate wings. I said my goodbyes and walked home, pretty sure I had a PoD. I did, although I hadn’t managed to get as close as I’d wanted. Maybe there will be other chances tomorrow.

We decided that, as it was a holiday weekend, we’d pass on the dance class tonight. We’re still not sure if the class went ahead without their star pupils, but I’m sure we’ll find out next week.

Spoke to JIC and found out about Vixen’s dentist’s visit to repair a damaged canine. A canine with a damaged canine? How strange. I wonder what she thought when she came out of the anaesthetic.

Sketch tonight was A Pack of Playing Cards. I chose UNO because it’s the only game Scamp can trounce me at. I must have won maybe one or two games in all the games we’ve played which must number about fifty now. I just don’t seem to be able to break that jinx!

Tomorrow we’re hoping for similar glorious weather to today’s offering. We’ve seen the promises, but we’ve had promises before that didn’t live up to the hype. Maybe it will this time!

Driving – 29 May 2021

Another beautiful day dawned and we were going out.

The plan was to go to Perth. That was the focal point of the run, but there were lots of other places we could visit along the way, or afterwards. As Driver, I chose Amulree as a place to visit along the way. I’d been looking at some old photos on Flickr of the church at Amulree and fancied taking some photos of it with the newer technology I now had. We plumbed Amulree into the sat nav and off we went.

The sat nav took us by a strange route, away from the very busy motorway and up into the hills. Then a twisty turny series of direction changes through Crieff before exiting into the hills again. By then I was completely lost and was just following the route blindly. However, about half an hour after we left the motorway, we drove down into Amulree with the church looking resplendent in the sunshine.

Scamp chose to stay in the car while I plodded off with a camera and a tripod to see if the church looked the same. It did. It had been painted since the last time we’d been which had been a few years ago. Other than that, not much had changed in the church or the graveyard. I don’t like taking photos in a graveyard, even if the headstones are not my prime interest, but for some reason I don’t have a problem at Amulree. I took about forty pictures and two of my favourites are in Flickr. Hopefully I’ll get more posted in the next few days. My PoD was the landscape shot you see here. I had just finished when another four visitors arrived, not photogs, just tourists. They didn’t give me any bother and were just looking around. Saw a wee painted stone on the entrance to the Kirk. I think it was one of the painted stones that people left lying around to be found when Covid was at its peak last year. It was neatly tucked away waiting to be found.

We drove on and found that we were only about 20 minutes away from Perth. Ah! This was the road I remembered. This was the way we came the last times. Back on to the A9 and heading for Perth we joined the queue dragging its heels along at 40mph through five or six miles of roadworks. It felt like a lot longer than that! I eventually got fed up and took a slip road off the wagon trail and followed my nose until we arrived in Perth. Finally found that half the car park had been turned into a Covid-19 testing place. Not only that, the attendant’s box had been removed and replaced with four parking meters. Paid our money and went for a walk in the town. For many years the old church in the the town has been falling into rack and ruin. Only pigeons seemed to live in it. Then scaffolding was put in place and chain link fences closed it off. Now it’s been gutted, really gutted and is in the process of being turned into an open air market. Great idea. Although part of it seems to have been removed, the remainder has been consolidated and even the clock in the tower is at the right time. Got some coffee and some tea and also a loaf from the Italian bakery. Scamp got a tee shirt.

Next stop was Glendoick garden centre on the Dundee road. We got some Calendula plants, a Prima Ballerina rose, a Gypsophila plant and planter to put them in. Then we were on the way home again.

It was a beautiful day with really high temperatures. The thermometer in the car was reading 27c on the way home.

Dinner tonight was a slice of yesterday’s frittata with chips I got from the chip shop in Condorrat.

Today’s sketch was a stapler. I drew my staple gun. A heavy duty metal one that has served me well for years.

Tomorrow is forecast to be the same as today, if not hotter. We’ll believe it when we see it.

The man who worked in the garden – 28 May 2021

We couldn’t decide whether to trust the weather or not. NOT won.

It wasn’t a terrible day, but it wasn’t looking like it would stay dry all day, so we chose to work in the garden instead. Lots of things needed fixing, moving, cutting and filling, so there were plenty of jobs to fill our time. I started by strimming the back grass. There wasn’t much grass to strim, but just like a bad haircut, it’s the little areas with the long strands that make the place look untidy. I’d done most of the grass and weeds when the plastic cable on the strimmer broke. When I thought I’d reassemble the cutter again the drum flew off and the plastic strands became tangled into a birds nest. Ten minutes and a bit of swearing later it was working again … properly!

Scamp meantime was rearranging the flower pots. Because of tree roots in the back garden, many of the pots sit at odd angles and today it was the pieris that was causing problems. I thought it might benefit from some bark underneath it as a cushion and levelling agent. The problem was that the pieris itself is really heavy and fairly bushy, so it takes two people to manoeuvre it into place again after it’s been moved. I think it looks better now that it’s on an even keel, but I’m not sure Scamp agrees. Only time will tell once it’s settled in its place. I dug out some compost from our compost bin and used it to cover the sprouting potatoes in their bags, after I’d filtered it for slugs which were promptly despatched to the brown compost bin to go to the council recycling facility. Scamp was also adding a load of trimmings and rubbish into the same brown bin for recycling. All in all an hour and a bit’s work made the whole back garden look so much better and gave us an appetite for lunch.

After lunch we went for a walk round St Mo’s, but again, no damselflies, although the cygnets were out with mum and dad. Last night after posting the blog I was reading last year’s blog and found that a year ago yesterday I’d photographed the first damselfly of the year. So, rather than being a bit behind this year, we are actually ahead of last year’s hatch. The walk brought today’s PoD which is a snail sheltering under a leaf. I wondered, as I was taking the shot, if that snail knew more than me and perhaps rain was on the way.

Dinner tonight was Frittata. Fry up a couple of leeks with any veg or meat you fancy in an oven proof pan. Beat up eight eggs and half a cup of milk and pour over the leeks/veg/meat mixture. Cook for about 5 minutes then bake in the oven at 180c for 15 mins(ish). Done. Serves four or serves two for two days. Sorry Hazy, obviously not for you!

Today’s prompt was for “Your Car, Any Car, A Matchbox Car …”. I chose Scamp’s Wee Red Car. I took some photos of it today and tonight I attempted to draw the car from those reference photos. Trying to get realistic curves in perspective is much harder than drawing an extension cable, even a four gang, switched, three pin UK one. Believe me. However, it’s done!

So, although the majority of Scotland is now in Level 2 or below, Glasgow has to remain in Level 3 until next week at least. I feel sorry for all the restaurant owners and publicans who can’t open their doors because a fairly small section of the community can’t obey the rules. Another case of ‘one bad apple’, or so it seems.

Tomorrow we may go on the road again, somewhere, whatever the weather. That will mean filling the Blue car’s tank again. That will be the fourth time in five months! I’m not sure we can afford this luxury!

Another dull day – 26 May 2021

However, brighter days are on the horizon, we’re told.

Scamp was off to Calder’s for lunch with Annette and I was left to my own devices. Always a dangerous thing to do. As it happened I didn’t really do much damage today. I hoovered the painting room because there was a lot of those sticky covers from the buds on the trees. They stick to you shoes and then transfer to the carpet later to be ground in. Luckily the Dyson knows how to deal with them. Didn’t do much else with my freedom, other than try to find a way to partition an NTFS drive on a Mac. Apparently it can’t be done without a lot of work and I wasn’t going to waste more time on trying.

Just before Scamp returned, I gave up and took the car out for a run with two cameras in the boot. I was hoping to give the Sony with the Sigma macro a chance to show what it could do with the new damselflies, except there didn’t seem to be any of the flying creatures around today. There were lots of Wolf Spiders wandering along the boardwalk. I chose to annoy them instead. Saw a spider on spider fight that was as good as anything Hollywood has to offer and probably more violent than is allowed on the BBC. These guys, and it was guys, were throwing everything into this battle. They actually rolled across the upstand of the boardwalk and fell off into the water of the pond. Can spiders swim? I hope so, or at least I hope they are quick learners. Soon more arrived to fill their place. It was mating time again I think. One lateral shot of a female wolf got PoD. Not the prettiest face I’ve seen, but beauty they say is in the eye of the spider who won the fight and learned to swim.

After the photo session I drove to Kilsyth, more exactly I drove to Lidl. Bought a lemon to replace the mouldy one at home. Then a host of more fattening things that took my eye. The lemon along with its other three yellow buddies is going to make Limoncello. Sugar, Vodka and the best lemons you can find. That’s all there is to it, that and a fair bit of work. Maybe tomorrow I’ll start the manufacturing process. It worked the last time and I’ve just finished the last bottle, so it’s time to start again.

Today’s prompt was Something You Collected Outside. I couldn’t think what to draw, but then I remembered I used to pick up old empty snail shells, especially small ones. They are so fine and delicate and to think that some creature creates this shelter for itself. What does it create it from? How does it form it? Probably, like so many things these days, the answer is but a click away. I’m talking here about land based snails, not cockles or winkles or any of the sea snails. Their heavy thick walled shells didn’t interest me.

Tomorrow we may go out for a run. Tesco are delivering tomorrow night, so we can’t be away too long. Of course, all of this is dependent on the weather fairies getting things right!