Just another Sunday – 10 October 2021

It was sunny when we woke, but soon the clouds rolled in to dull things down again.

Scamp had done some washing in the morning and had hung it out too dry. That’s when the rain started. We guessed it was probably just a passing shower and put our coats on to go to the shops in search of some food for dinner. A chicken was to be the centrepiece with soup to start, the “Just Soup” from Friday and anything else we could find in the way of veg to fill the empty spaces on the plate. We came back with more than the bare essentials, but that’s always the case with us.

By the time we got back home all signs of rain had disappeared and lunch was on the menu. After we’d watched Andrew Marr take apart another Tory politician, I got dressed for the outdoors and took the Sony A7ii and the big heavy Sigma lens out for a walk. My target today was to be spiders, but I got sidetracked by the variety and quantity of fungi growing in and on the woods. It’s so easy just to shoot from a standing position, but much more interesting to shoot from the level of your quarry. I even went one better and shot from below one bunch of mushrooms. It wasn’t until I got the shot home I found the spider sheltering under the umbrella canopy of the mushroom, because it was raining again. Smart place to sit and keep dry while tending your web, if you’re an arachnid. That photo made PoD. It also ticked the box for completing my target!

After dinner and Scamp’s excellent pudding of Lime and Dark Chocolate Cheesecake. I doodled my answer to today’s prompt “Pick”. Remember, you can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose. A maxim to live by. It was only a doodle, but I couldn’t be bothered copying it into the official ‘concertina’ sketch book, so it stayed where it was on my Paperchase roughing sketch book.

We watched an interesting tactical race for the Turkish F1 GP. Good to see Bottas take the win and put Hamilton in his place for a change. The poor Fin has played second fiddle for too long.

After that we spoke to Jamie and were a bit put out when he told us that it was warm down south and he and Sim were sitting its the garden yesterday. We could have sat in the garden too, but we’d have ended up with a heavy cold after it. This country of Great Britain is ill divided at times.

No plans for Monday. Weather looks as if it will be much the same as today.

Climbing and Flying – 1 September 2021

The assault on Croy Hill, the reverse direction.

Scamp suggested we go and visit Silvanus, the Roman warrior’s head that stands on the edge of Croy Hill, and instead of walking the usual path from Croy itself, we could walk along the canal and up on to the old railway line and tackle the hill from the north. It was a beautiful morning with blue skies and sun, so the walk seemed like a good idea, but first I wanted a closer look at a plane.

We’ve seen and heard a Spitfire flying around the town and I wanted a closer look. With that thought in mind we drove up to Wardpark and past the airfield, but saw no evidence of the old warbird. Disappointed I drove over to Kilsyth and from there to Auchinstarry where we parked and put on sensible walking boots for the walk.

I’d forgotten just how steep the climb was from the canal up to the old mineral line, but thankfully once we had reached that path, most of the hard work was done and we were on level ground for a stretch. The statue of Silvanus was much further along than we remembered, but as we were walking I could hear the sound of the Spitfire’s Merlin engines although I couldn’t see the plane itself. I checked with Flightradar24 and found that the plane was almost over Carron Reservoir, about 5 miles away. The sound of the plane faded as it dropped behind the hills. We walked on and as we neared the statue we could hear it returning. This time, with the help of Flightradar I found it heading straight for us. I took a few photos of it before it banked and overflew the airfield before climbing and performing a neat slow roll. Then it turned and headed back with flaps and undercarriage down. A few more photos before it disappeared over the hill to the airfield. I wasn’t sure I’d captured it, but at least it was better than nothing. A little bit of research at home led me to its website. You can book a flight in this two seater Spitfire. £3,000 will get you a 30 min flight in this old lady, which is five years older than me. I may have to save my pennies for a long time before I book that flight!

We met a bloke at the statue who was a Kilsyth local and was impressed that he’d ID’d the Spitfire. He wasn’t a fan of the Silvanus head, but like us was pleased that it hadn’t been vandalised in the time it had been up on the hill. We said our goodbyes and headed up over the hill while he seemed to take a lower path. I must admit I was wary of the hill because we’d passed notices to say that the cattle were back on the hill for the winter. These cattle are big brutes, if I remember right and I don’t like cattle at the best of times. “The best of times “ being when there’s a fence between them and me. There are no fences on Croy Hill. However we didn’t meet any today and we took the ‘easier’ paths where they were available, missing out the tourist routes over the tops.

When we had passed the top and were coming down the other side I realises Scamp wasn’t behind me. I walked back, expecting to find her having a seat somewhere. She was nowhere to be seen. I shouted for her, twice, but no response. I changed to a wider path that was closer to the edge and there she was. Did she not hear me shouting? Yes, she had. That could have been a time to pick up a ‘black monkey’, but for some reason I didn’t lose it. I think I was just glad to see she hadn’t come to any harm. She said she was on the right path and knew I’d eventually realise I was on the wrong one. That could be the story of my life!

When we got back to the car it was absolutely boiling inside. Drove home with the air con on full. It was lovely.

I spent the afternoon cleaning the sensors of the two Sonys. They seem to be absolute dust magnets. They are a bit cleaner now. Not perfect, but a lot better than they were. After that I got a request from Jamie to fix a photo for Sim. It was a fairly easy bit of editing, made even easier by the new Photoshop. Scamp was cleaning up the leaves in the back garden and managed to scrape both arms raking leaves from under the blackcurrant bush. Then it was Guinness and Pimms time in the garden, in the sun.

Fish & Fried Potatoes with tomatoes for dinner. A new twist on Fish & Chips. After that we sat in the garden while I listened to the end of my Alan Parks book, Bobby March Will Live Forever. Good story with a poor reader. It was there I got PoD. I was looking at a wee single sweet pea flower backlit by the setting sun. It took a wee bit of editing to get it looking like my eyes saw it, but that’s what Lightroom excels at.

A quick practise tonight. Just about half an hour at the most, but we covered Tango, Waltz, Cha Cha and Bossa Nova in that time.

Tomorrow Scamp is intending to go for lunch with Isobel, June and Ian. I’m hopefully meeting Val for coffee in a different place, but at almost at the same time. Scamp and I will be able to compare and contrast our experiences!

Dancing and cakes and more dancing – 28 August 2021

The dancing on a Saturday is obvious, the cakes, maybe not so, nor the more dancing. Hopefully this will help

We drove through the usual Saturday morning traffic to the dance class in Bridge of Weir and on the way in, picked up a loaf and a chocolate muffin. These, and many other offerings are given away free every week. It’s still not clear, yet who provides them, but they are all nearing the end of their Best Before date and are free to a good home. Last week it was a cheese loaf – which tasted better than it sounds – and doughnuts. It’s a little sweetener (no pun intended) for the rigours of the dance class.

Today we started the class with a Saunter Together. At one time this was my most despised dance, now it’s just another sequence dance. Next up was Foxtrot which we thought we’d put to bed last night, but the teachers found various defects in the routine that we’ll try to remember how to fix in the coming days, all being well. Next, just to give our head a chance to assimilate that information, was the Bossa Nova danced to Iko Iko, a song we’ve been trying to remember since the last time we danced to it a fortnight ago. Then I was time for the Waltz and we are rank beginners at this. We only know the simplest form of Stewart and Jane’s version and even then we were making mistakes. The expression “Every day is a school day” was never truer then today! Finally we danced the Valentino Jive which we learned on a cruise ship in a different world, where masks were for Halloween and a vaccination was something you got when you were going on holiday to a far away country. That was a tough morning’s work, for us and probably for the teachers too.

Back home and with our heads clearing a bit after information overload, we had lunch. After that, I went for a walk in St Mo’s, in the sunshine while Scamp tidied up the kitchen and listened to some music. There was very little life about, certainly no animal life and very little insect activity … or so it seemed at first. Macro is such a strange land. I though I was taking a photo of a dandelion parachute which ended up out of focus or blurred because of the breeze but in the corner and reasonably sharp was a battle between a spider and what looked like a tick. I hope the spider won. PoD, however went to wild raspberry fruit. Just the one and a nicely translucent too.

After dinner, which was an instant curry from M&S, simply because we didn’t have very much time to cook today, we got ready to go to a 50th birthday party. We were surprised when Jacqui invited us to her birthday party in The Savings Bank in Glasgow. We’d planned it all out yesterday. Drive in to Concert Square car park, walk down to Buchanan Street subway and get a train to Bridge Street then walk to the venue. For once it worked like clockwork. The place wasn’t too busy when we got there and we snaffled two seats beside Jim Brown. In the time we were there we met loads of folk who used to go to Salsa. Sat and talked to a few of them and even got to dance … SALSA!! First time in ages we’ve danced salsa on a dance floor. Not a living room floor! I did manage to spill half a glass of non-alcoholic beer over Scamp’s lovely dress. I’m not sure I’ll be able to live that down, but apart from that we had a great time and left just after 10.30pm, in time to miss the subway train and had to wait the interminable 10 Minutes until the next one.  Even got a parking place back home.  Some special wee God was looking after us tonight.  Thank you.

Tomorrow we have no plans, except to have a long hot shower to ease those long forgotten muscles we’ve used tonight!

Go West – 27 August 2021

Off to the seaside today!

We were driving down to Troon, Scamp’s Happy Place. I’d booked lunch at Scotts for 12.45pm and the sun was shining. Drove down the M77 and by the time we’d passed Kilmarnock we could see that we were leaving the blue skies behind and driving into the black clouds. It looked like the west wasn’t the best today. However we passed under the black clouds unscathed and continued on to Troon without getting one drop of rain.

We were far too early for our lunch appointment, so we went for a walk over the ‘Ballast’, the big hill beside the saw mill, then along almost, but not quite into town. Then walked back by the low path. The Ballast is a hill, reputed to have been made from the ballast from cargo ships and also dredged material the was excavated when they were building the harbour. Its original purpose was to protect the new harbour. The great thing about it is that you can walk over the top, but on calm days like today, you can also walk round the edge on the sea side. Actually it’s a more interesting walk on windy days with crashing waves and the chance you’ll get soaked. Today the tide was out and the sea was behaving itself. We sat for a while in the car gazing out in the general direction of Arran willing it to emerge from the mist that was shrouding it. It didn’t want to play today.

We has a wee bit of excitement when we were walking round when two fast jets took off from Prestwick and did their screaming climb into the clouds. Scamp was not amused. I was!

Scotts was busy with no lunch tables available unless you’d booked. We were shown to our table and given the menus.
We shared a starter of Crispy Chicken Tempura which, then Scamp had Chicken Caesar Salad and I had Thai Spiced Breast of Chicken. We both had dessert. Scamp’s was Rhubarb and Apple Tart with Apple Ice Cream and I had plain and simple Ice Cream. The only upset was my debit card wouldn’t work in the machine, even before I tried to input my PIN. Scamp had to pay for me. Luckily the girl at the till had seen this happening before and directed us to the Bank of Scotland in the town where she said they would fix the problem. It’s quite a while since we’ve been to Scotts and I’m glad to say their standard haven’t slipped.

Found the bank and parked about half a mile away then waited to find out what was wrong. The teller asked me to put my card in the machine on her desk and saw the problem. She said she could fix it in the autoteller outside. I put my card in, it was denied, she touched a few buttons and all was well. When we got home I went to the petrol station and put some of that expensive fuel in the car and tested the work the teller had done, and of course the card worked. Let’s hope it’s a long term fix not a short term one like last time.

Checked the photos I’d taken, but there was nothing interesting enough to be PoD, so I took the Big Dog out to St Mo’s woods and found a couple of mating Crane Flies who posed for me and the PoD was sorted.

After a ‘discussion’ tonight I think we almost ready to dance the Foxtrot tomorrow, although we both agree that it might not be exactly right. I might even wash the car tomorrow if it’s a decent day.

Walking through Colzium – 26 August 2021

Another hot day. Maybe a tad cooler than yesterday, thankfully!

The day started with with a call from someone called “Unavailable.” Scamp decide we were too and cancelled the call. Five minutes later we had another call. I was going to answer and do some time wasting with the time waster, but thankfully we have Caller ID. It was Hazy. We had a good long chat about borrowing bikes, families, films to watch and lots, lots more. (Yes, we did watch Anneka, thank you. Interesting first episode. We’ll probably watch more of it.) Enjoyed the chat and catch up.

First thing we’d promised to do was to give all the plants a good feed of seaweed fertiliser. I did the back garden and Scamp did the front. It didn’t take all that long and I’m sure the plants benefitted by it.

We couldn’t decide what to do with the rest of the day and spent far too long discussing what we could do, to actually have the time to do it. What we did do was plan out how to get to the party on Saturday. Imagine, we’re invited to a birthday party on Saturday! Us, the oldies! It was great to be asked and of course we’re going. Now that we know where it is and how to get there. As Hazy reminded us, this is the second birthday party we’ve been invited in two years. Mind you, the first one in Irvine was done “in shifts” as she put it!

We finally agreed on a walk round Colzium. It’s not a long walk and we did an even shorter version of it today, but it’s fairly heavy going for a while with a stiff climb up the hill for the first part, then the easy bit that lulls you into thinking you’re past the worst, then the next bit long drag up to the top. However, the walk down is much more relaxing. I wanted to take some photos of the waterfalls at the top, but when we got there the water was just trickling down. No fun at all. We need more rain now. It didn’t stop me from climbing down the rocks and taking some shots. In the end, I wasn’t happy with them and they didn’t even manage a post in Flickr. The PoD went to a slightly edited version of the view of Granny’s Mutch, a shelter built to enjoy the view at the top of Colzium Estate. The Dictionary of the Scots Language defines a ‘mutch’ as “A head-dress, especially a close-fitting day cap of white linen or muslin, specifically such as used to be worn by married women”.

Walked back down the path on the other side of the burn, hoping there would be an ice cream van at the children’s play park at the bottom, but of course the schools are in here in Scotland so
No Children = No Ice Cream Van = No Ice Cream 😟

Dinner tonight was a stir-fry made, of course by Scamp, the expert Stir Fryer. It was delicious and I made myself a side of fried Padron Peppers, equally delicious.

Tomorrow we’re hoping for one last day of warm sunshine and a chance to go for a drive with a spot of lunch.

Curry – 20 August 2021

Today we were travelling to Hamilton for a curry

Traffic was horrendous on the M74 because of roadworks, but a short diversion took away some of the pain.

As soon as we reached the M74, heading south, we knew it was going to be a long haul. Traffic was crawling nose to tail and the sign said the roadworks were five miles away. Thankfully most folk were avoiding the inside lane because it only led to services. We took that road on purpose, not because we were heading for the services, but because we could drive through them, then out the other side and as a result, skip a good twenty minutes of painful first gear 10mph max driving. We turned off and I took the wrong turning at Bothwell, but I found a way through it to Hamilton after I remembered part of the scenery from when I used to work in Cambuslang over 50 years ago!

We were heading for the Bombay Cottage restaurant and got parked outside without a problem. Scamp had a Cauliflower Shimla Bhaji and I had Chicken Rogan Josh. We also shared an enormous Naan. The food was just as we remembered it and almost worth the drive through that terrible traffic. There’s not much worth going to Hamilton, except for a curry at Bombay Cottage, so we just drove home, thankfully through much lighter traffic than that on the southbound carriageway. We stopped at the shops on the way home for the usual essentials: Milk and a bottle of gin, plus a Sticky Toffee Pudding which might be for tomorrows dessert.

Since I hadn’t had a chance to take any photos today I went for a walk in St Mo’s later in the afternoon. The rain was still holding off, but it was really dull. Nothing I took looked worthwhile in the viewfinder and that’s how it proved when I saw it on the computer screen. The rain had started when I was walking home, so I gave it enough time to dry up and went to see if there was anything worth a click of the shutter in the garden when it was dry. That’s where today’s PoD came from. It’s a fern that’s growing from the brickwork of the back step. I liked the curve of the leaf and the way the individual leaflets changed size as they neared the tip. It’s almost like a fractal. In fact there is a fractal called a Barnsley fern! You live and learn!

No plans for tomorrow apart from the obvious dance class.

Out for coffee with Margie – 19 August 2021

But before that, there was the problem of petrol.

Drove up to Tesco to check if my credit card would work with what I thought was my PIN, after the debacle with another of my cards last week. If it did, I was intending to bring back a loaf and get petrol. It did and I got the loaf, unfortunately the petrol station was under reconstruction which was annoying because that’s why I’d gone to Tesco in the first place. However, I’d just have to go back to BP on my way home, which is what I did. Bought £40 worth of that liquid gold which according to my dashboard computer would cover me for just over 400 miles. That got me doing some quick mental arithmetic while I was driving home (who says men can’t multitask?) that meant a quid would get me roughly 10 miles of travel and that’s before you consider Road Tax, Insurance and depreciation. Maybe I should start cycling everywhere instead.

However, if Scamp and I were taking Margie out to Torwood Garden Centre for coffee and a cake, I’d need a tandem with a little two wheeled buggy behind for Margie if I was to change to the eco-friendly method of travel. I put the though aside to suggest it to Scamp at a later date – Oops, too late, it’s out of the bag now!

We picked up Margie (in the car) and drove to Torwood. While I parked the car, the ladies went in and found us a table. It was a great afternoon. We talked about loads of things and I was pleased that she included Tarri in the conversation, but in a realistic, matter of fact way. She is a very practical woman, Margie. After coffee and a scone each we went for a walk round the plants. I could see that Scamp was casting a searching eye over various flower pots and their contents. I think we may be making a return journey to the Garden Centre soon.

While we had been in Torwood, Scamp had asked one of the gardeners how to deal with her ailing 35 year old blackcurrant bush and had been told to prune it to open it out and also to clear away all the leaves from the ground underneath the plant. That made some sense to us and she got started when we got back. We’d dropped Margie off at her house on the way. While she was hard at work with that, I started to pin up our new fairy lights to the fence. They seem to work and are lit as I write this.

With that done, I left her to pruning and dead-heading and took the Sony out for a walk in St Mo’s. There wasn’t much to see on a day that had dulled down a lot from its promising start earlier in the day. Lots of flies on knapweed and one of them achieved PoD. I was trying out lots of different tricks and tips to make the Sony focus more accurately. I don’t know if the problem is with the lens or with the camera or, more likely, a bit of both.

Another practise session tonight trying to make sense of the Melody Foxtrot sequence dance. It must be one of the most complicated and totally useless dance sequences designed by humans. I think after about a dozen walk throughs we have a fair idea how it works (famous last words!). We also covered the second half of the Foxtrot sequence without anyone falling out with anyone else and almost no swearing.

Tomorrow we may attempt to drive to Hamilton, just for a laugh … and a curry.

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.

 

The Rain – 9 August 2021

But a snail before the rain.

I noticed the snail when I was loading the dishwasher this morning and thought it might look good in a photo. I just grabbed the camera and went out to take its photo. I think it had been having a quick drink out of the birdbath in the garden and I managed to get a couple of shots before it attempted to slope off into the pot that holds the young gooseberry bush. Now most of this you can read in the description on Flickr, but you don’t get the unexpurgated version which is what I tell you here!

The true story is that I did grab a few shots of the snail with the Sony and a macro lens. Macro lenses give great detail, however they do tend to decide for themselves what bits should be sharp and which should be softer. That’s why I always take three of four shots. Then I can take the best bits of one photo and bolt them on to the best bits of another photo. Sometimes it looks a bit more Monsterpiece than Masterpiece, but with care (and Photoshop) it can work. This is a case in point. I took the head of the snail from one photo and carefully stitched it onto the shell from another. I can’t see the join and I know where it is! That photo got PoD. The second confession is that in the Flickr story the snail wandered off “to look for breakfast.” Much though we like to accommodate snails, we don’t want them chewing through our young plants, so I carefully lifted this one and dumped it in a patch of wilting bluebells under the old blackcurrant bush. Slugs get a different treatment. You don’t want to know where they go!

With at least one photo in the bag I drove off to Tesco to get a loaf and some other essentials. It was looking like a decent sort of day and I was thinking we might go for a drive. It was when I was coming back that I saw the heavy clouds. Soon after that the rain came and it got heavier and heavier and we could now see how these flash floods appear. There must have been gallons of water pouring down the footpath at the front of the house. After a fair while the rain slowed to just normal rain and the sky brightened, but no for long. Soon it clouded over again and there was a flash of lightning and almost instantly a loud peal of thunder. Then the rain started again, just as heavy as before. This time, although it got lighter, it didn’t stop and it rained all afternoon. I think it might still be raining now at 11pm. I’m really happy now that I got that photo of the thirsty snail this morning.
According to the weather fairies it’s to be a better day tomorrow, but just for a day.

Scamp was feeling better today and has gone to bed early to catch up on the sleep she lost these last two nights.

Hopefully the man from DPD will come to take away my Panasonic GX80 tomorrow and it will travel down to Brighton so the man at MPB can give it to some lucky girl or boy as long as they’ve been good and have given him lots of money. Some of that money, the man will give to us. That’s called The Economy!

Also, hopefully, tomorrow a man called John Lewis will have a shiny new black Sony A6000 for me to collect in the afternoon! One out and One in.

 

 

Well, we asked for rain – 8 August 2021

Never happy. We needed rain for the garden, but now we’ve got it we want it to stop.

This wasn’t a day for going out. Scamp wasn’t feeling too good anyway and the poor weather put the tin lid on it. What I did do was pack up the Panasonic GX80 that I’m selling to MPB. All the bits are there and even the users manual is still in the box. Well, who reads users manuals anyway. Users only read them if they get stuck and there’s never an answer to your problem in there.

After lunch I was getting fractious, so despite the fact that it was still raining I put on my raincoat and shorts (Raincoat to keep most of me dry. Shorts because there’s less to get wet!) and went for a walk in the woods. Managed to get some photos of hoverflies on the wing using the Sony with manual focus. Quite impressed with the results. While I was out I found a wasp’s nest (called a ‘byke’ in Scotland). It was in a hole between two tree roots and looked as if it had been dug up, probably by a badger. Loads of wasps working hard to move the grubs and close up the torn walls of the nest. I got a few photos, but then the wasps were taking an interest in me taking an interest on them, so I left them too it. It’s the first time I’ve seen a wasp’s nest under the ground.

Dinner for me was two lamb chops cooked under supervision from Scamp who was feeling a bit better by then. I was also cooking her trout fillet and we shared some cabbage and the last of our first lot of potatoes.

Thankfully today was the closing ceremony of the Olympics so now the TV schedules might get back to normal again. We haven’t watched much of it. There’s so little that interests us.

I’ve signed up for a five day course on portrait painting using pastels. It’s free on a private Facebook page, but the pastels they are recommending amount to around £100 plus a further £30 for paper. I might watch the videos, but I’ll be using my ten quid pastels and my five quid paper!

PoD was a pretty wee hoverfly, but the wasps are on Flickr too.

Tomorrow looks slightly better than today, but I don’t think we’ll be going far.