Keeping Time – 30 June 2021

You have to watch what you’re doing all the time these days.

Scamp thought she’d nicked her ankle on a thorn yesterday on our walk through the Drumpellier woods, but this morning it looked more like a bite. It didn’t prevent her from going for a walk with Veronica, but when she came back she was sure it was a bite and Veronica who’s a retired nurse agreed that she should have it looked at.

We drove up to Boots and the pharmacist agreed that she would be best with a course of penicillin, just in case. Because she was such a brave girl, she go to sit with her legs up in the sunshine in the garden while the waiter brought her a glass of her new Bramble & Raspberry Gin ’n’ Tonic.

I have been complaining loud and continuously about my Fitbit’s screen being unreadable in bright daylight, let alone sunlight. I’ve been looking for a smart watch for a few weeks and at the weekend I found what I was looking for. Checked it out in Which and read reviews. It’s a Huawei GT2e and yes, I realise it will send all my details to China. The spy satellites will be focusing on my every move. I bought it from Argos who also will have all my details and if they ever get a satellite, I’m sure it will be following me too. As will Currys and JL. I didn’t know I was so popular! Anyway, the watch looks as if it will do everything I want it to and then some. Best of all, it tells the time in bright sunlight!

I know it tells the time in bright light because I took it our for a play test in St Mo’s once I’d finally discovered how to pair it with my phone. My lens of choice was the kit lens for the Sony. I though it was excellent when I got the camera, but now I’m beginning to see why my brother favours prime lenses. Nothing to do with Amazon, a prime lens is a fixed focal length, or to put it another way, it’s not a zoom. Zoom lenses are a compromise. They are Jack of all focal lengths and master of none. Primes only have one focal length, but they usually are much better at that one. On my visit to Argos at The Fort, I took my 18mm ultra-wide prime lens and got a few shots (5 shots, all keepers). This afternoon I got fewer ‘keepers’ from more shots taken(10 shots taken, 4 keepers). Sometimes less is more. It was one of the shots taken with the 18mm lens that got PoD, Johnston Loch with the fishers just visible in their rowing boats.

A short but quite accurate dance practise tonight.  Just  the new Queen of Hearts Rumba (Where do they get these names?) and the Foxtrot routine.

Tomorrow we’re hoping to go looking for flowers for one of Scamp’s elevated flower displays if her leg is up to walking.


Driving and meeting old friends – 22 May 2021

We couldn’t decide what to do today. We did think about going up the east coast to Kirkcaldy, but then thought better of it because today was a Saturday it would be busy. Instead we waited for the postman.

The postman brought a big parcel for Scamp. She already knew it was coming so it was not a big surprise. Inside was a long green box with a recipe and ingredients to make a cake. JIC gave me the present of a bread making subscription for Christmas. It’s been great, encouraging me to bake breads I’d never have tried otherwise. Scamp’s green box contained a similar thing, but for cakes instead. I did think, after I bought it, that it was a bit cheeky, sending a brilliant baker like Scamp a baking kit, but I’m hoping that, like me she’ll discover interesting cakes to bake. Ones she’d never have considered without that little push. Also, hopefully, I get to taste the results!

With the parcel opened and the on-line signing up done we set off for Bishopbriggs to get another USB drive to back up my photos on. It’s part of my complicated back up regime for ‘easy’ retrieval. It always amazes me that every time I go to buy an external drive I can get twice the storage space for the same price I paid for the last one. It’s something akin to Moore’s Law (Google it).

It was at the retail park that we bumped into Mhairi and Robert who used to go to Salsa with us. We spent a good twenty minutes discussing the effect of the pandemic on small businesses like theirs, some good and some bad. Good to speak to folk we hadn’t seen for a long time, years, in fact.

On the way back we stopped at Lidl in Kirkintilloch, hoping to get a bottle of Hortus Gin. Unfortunately they only had the flavoured varieties and I wanted the plain and simple one. What amazed us when we arrived was the queue to get in to the drive-through at McDonalds. Who, in their right mind, would queue to get a hamburger that’s never seen any ham? Maybe the clue is in that phrase “in their right mind”. How many of them have actually tasted real meat? We drove on to Kilsyth where there were ample supplies of Hortus and no Mickey Ds. Obviously much more sophisticated tastes in Kilsyth

Back home we went for a walk in St Mo’s and just managed a glimpse of the new cygnets. They were off with mum and dad to get some food over in the reeds at the far side of the pond. I’m guessing it was their equivalent of a walk to the shops. I hadn’t really managed a decent shot today, so I bolted on the macro lens and photographed the Strawberries and Cream Aquilegia that sits at the front door. Beautiful flower. Instant PoD.

We had a practise of the Cha Cha tonight. Who knew it was so exhausting? Then to cool down we did a couple of Rumbas. Things fell apart and tempers frayed when we tried the waltz with its Stewart’s clumsy addition of a spin where there shouldn’t be one. We agreed to continue on to the Catherine Waltz. Then to save bloodshed we put the living room back into a living room again rather than a dance floor and a war zone!

Yesterday’s sketch has appeared and its title is Spice Jars. I don’t know where it could have been hiding 😉. Today’s prompt was Dice, so today’s sketch is titled Lucky Sixes!

Tomorrow looks wet. Some baking may be done by one or both of us.

Another beautiful day – 18 May 2021

It was another beautiful morning. Too good to stay in bed and even too good for a morning coffee. That kind of good!

Scamp had booked a table for her and Margie for early afternoon, so a walk, not local, but not too far was the request. I thought maybe the walk along the canal to Twechar would probably be too long for today and the short version with the shortcut across the plantation would be too short. Maybe Colzium. It’s a week or so since we’d been there and there were a couple of little waterfalls I wanted to investigate in the park, so there was another bonus. So it was that we drove out through Kilsyth to the once private estate that is now open to the public.

We have worked out a decent route around the park with some short hill climbs and interesting scenery past rushy streams and walks through the woods. Just to make it a bit different I chose a path we hadn’t walked before, not knowing it had a long climb in it. It took us to a bridge over the Colzium Burn. I thought we’d crossed this particular bridge before, but Scamp disagreed and she was right. When we walked down the other side of the burn we came to the bridge I was thinking about. That’s where I got today’s PoD. Again it was Scamp’s observation that brought the heart shape hanging from the tree branch to my attention. I was quite pleased with the composition, positioning the heart against the white of the falls. We walked on down.

We walked down the wide avenue from the ‘Big House’ to the old curling pond. Some of the rhododendrons were in full flower, but most were like our own and just coming into flower. The trees, though, were glowing with colour. Strangely it was autumn colour, but it seemed to work with the green around it. We drove home.

While Scamp went off for lunch with Margie, I started today’s sketch. As usual, some of the prompts are slightly random. Today’s was An Interdental Brush. I decided to be generous and sketched both of mine, one with its holder. It’s amazing how useful these little wire brushes are. My friend, Fred, describes them as miniature toilet brushes. I’ll leave that thought with you!

Next task was a bit of technology (That’s your five minute warning JIC). Lightroom is having problems with the new Mojave OS and it simply won’t run on the new laptop. With that in mind I’m thinking about moving to the new Lightroom/Photoshop package from Adobe that is a subscription system. To do that I need to create a new Adobe account. Now many years ago Adobe was hacked and my email address was one of the ones that was sold off by the hackers. Despite changing my password as soon as I knew, I eventually had to shut down that address. Just in case the same thing happens again, I created a new email address for the new account. For some reason it was simplicity itself to set up on both machines. Maybe Apple are making improvements with these new operating systems. Now that the email works and has been checked, tomorrow I’m ready to sell my soul to Adobe for a Lightroom for the 21st century. (OK, JIC it’s safe to come back.)

When Scamp returned I was putting the finishing touches to the Interdental Brush still life and she pronounced it good enough to post.

Spoke to Fred tonight and we discussed politics, Rangers supporters and how boring life is these days. Then the conversation turned to cars before touching down for a while on painting.

That was about it for today. Tomorrow we’re hoping to get out for another walk, because it may be the last dry day for a while.

Haircut a new laptop and a fish supper – 30 April 2021

The day started with an hour or so’s shopping at Tesco and ended with me just about swearing at Catalina.

Scamp wanted to get some stuff for tomorrow when we are hoping to go to a belated birthday Party. It’s Peter Wilson’s birthday. We’ve known him for a while because he and his wife are enthusiastic salsa dancers, and ballroom dancers and tango dancers. In fact they’re just enthusiastic dancers in any and every form it takes. I don’t know if they’ve done Soca yet, but I’m sure they’d excel at that too. We’ve been invited to a very special afternoon tea at their house. Because of Covid you can’t have a party in the house, so Gillian has divided the day up into three, two hour slots with two couples invited to each slot. That way there are only six people at any one time at the party, but it means he gets to see a dozen friends over the two days. Ingenious. We were shopping today because we needed a present for Peter, but also for Gillian because she had done all the organising.

Scamp was driving today and we were also dropping off two big bags of duvet covers and sheets into the Salvation Army collection bin. With the parcels delivered and sufficient bottles of alcoholic beverages for the couple we drove home. Last night we had had a long talk about a replacement laptop for my ageing MacBook Pro. I had thought about getting a PC, because they’re cheaper, but I like the Apple system and although they are expensive they last longer than a PC. I’d chosen the one that best fitted my needs (wants) and we’d agreed that it was probably worth paying the extra to get the Mac version rather than the PC. Long story short, I drove in to Glasgow when we got back to get the Mac if it was in stock at JL. Apple only seemed to have the widely criticised M1 chip. I wanted the tried and tested Intel i5 chipset. Drove to JL and sealed the deal, then went to get my hair cut. Best tenner I’ve spent in a long while. It only took the bloke about ten minutes top and it’s a lot neater than I can do.

When I came out, I noticed a ‘ghost sign’ across Bath Street. It was for William Brechin & Son. I grabbed the shot and it became PoD. I liked the idea that the flat above William Brechin’s shop, which had sold ‘spirits’ (quite apt for a ghost sign) was being used as a beautician’s and advertised Electrolysis and Nails. I wondered what he and his son would have made of that when they set up shop in 1903!

On the way back from the barbers, I picked up a plain brown box that concealed the normal white box holding the new MBP. When I phoned Scamp to tell her I was on the way home, she suggested we get a fish supper tonight for dinner. That suited me perfectly. I knew I’d suffer for it later, but it would taste like a Friday night when I was eating it.

It took a lot longer than I anticipated to get the MBP set up with all the extra security that’s onboard these days. Almost everything you do needs a confirmation six digit code sent to an iPhone I don’t have any more. Heavens, it even asked me to confirm my login pass to my old iPhone. Security gone mad. Finally I was finished and although it wasn’t quite as fast as the iMac, the flexibility Apple devices have with sharing files is impressive. Also all the apps I’d bought on the App Store were still available to download. Only one downside so far, Lightroom doesn’t work on Catalina. It’s not a deal breaker because I was intending leaving it behind anyway. Capture One can do most of what Lightroom can do and is a better photo processor.

Enough, you don’t want to know any more about my Apple Fanboy experience, I realise that. I’m happy with today’s purchase and that’s the end of it.

Tomorrow Scamp is getting her hair cut in the morning, but not a No 3 on the sides and a No 4 on top like I got. She has to look her best for the party tomorrow.

Chasing Butterflies – 29 April 2021

The butterflies almost won.

Scamp was off having coffee with Annette and I had intended to start a watercolour practise piece in preparation for Every Day in May, but then I though it would be a good idea to give some of the plants their freedom and planted out half a dozen peas and the same amount of kale. The peas were grown from last years peas, but the kale was bought as plug plants. With that done and a cup of coffee I started yesterday’s Sudoku. I was just getting to the sticking place with it when my Fitbit reminded me that I needed to get off my backside.

It was dry and the sun was shining, but I knew from my gardening that it wasn’t all that warm out there, and of course there was the risk of a wee April shower, so I dressed appropriately for a walk in St Mo’s.

A lot of the fruit trees in the park were beginning to show off their blossom and I took a few shots of them, then I went looking for damselflies to photograph, but there were none. It must be almost time for them to crawl up the reeds, shake off their shuck and fly away. However there were none today. Further into the woods there were a host of butterflies. This time of year, late April and early May is the time to catch the Orange Tip butterflies. That’s what I started chasing. However, every time I got near to one it would fly off, leaving me empty handed. Finally one landed on a dandelion flower and I did get the chance to shoot a few frames of it. It was one of them that made PoD. Lunch was beckoning and I headed home.

I hadn’t been in the house five minutes when the rain started battering on the window. That was lucky. I’m not usually as lucky. I’m usually just thinking about coming home as the first drops start falling. The first drops of a downpour.

Scamp arrived just after I’d finished lunch and I went off to go shopping in Tesco. I saw a good deal on true headphones and treated myself. It took me ages to get them paired to my phone. They paired right away to the tablet and to Scamp’s phone, but point blank refused to connect to mine. Then, suddenly they were working and at full volume. I think I’ve manage to get the better of them now and they are behaving quite well. Time will tell if they are as useful as I think they’ll be.

I’m still thinking about getting another MacBook Pro, because although I got the old MBP to run Mojave after a little tweak, it won’t run the new editing software, I’m guessing its because the processor in the MBP isn’t quite up to the task. I’ve seen what I’d like now and Scamp agrees with me, but I’m still not sure. I’ll sleep on it, at least for tonight.

With that in mind, I’m off to bed. No real plans for tomorrow, other than buying a bottle of something for a man who has everything. No JIC, it’s not you, although you do almost qualify!

A day in the Toon – 28 April 2021

We finally got to go into a shop that wasn’t M&S, Iceland or Tesco.

We drove in to Glasgow and walked around JL. Well, where else would we go as our first stop. Saw a lovely MacBook Pro 13”, i5 processor, 16GB memory and 512GB SSD storage. All for a mere £1,555! However I’d prefer the Space Grey version with 1TB storage for £1 short of Two Thousand Quid! I looked, smiled and walked away. I did look at reasonably priced used PCs, but that would be a backward step too far. I’ll buy a lottery ticket this weekend instead.

From there we walked down Bucky Street, staring in admiration at the tough nuts who were sitting outside a restaurant drinking champagne. It was 6ºc today, but they do say champagne should be served chilled! Apple were obviously doing good business with queues both sides of the door and two security staff keeping out the riff-raff. We walked on.

‘Every Day in May’ is about to start on Saturday and I treated myself to a box of watercolour tubes and a watercolour palette. When I came out of the art shop Scamp was waiting for me and she suggested we try to get a seat in Paesano for a first sit-down pizza this year. Surprisingly we got a seat right away and Scamp had her favourite No1 – Tomato sugo no garlic, oregano and rocket. As you can see she had to get a photograph of it on Facebook right away. I had a No 5 Prosciutto cotto (Italian cooked ham) with mushrooms, tomato sugo and mozzarella. No photograph! Just as filling and delicious as usual.

After an early lunch we walked down Miller Street to shake our heads in amazement at the folk queueing along Argyle Street and up Miller Street patiently waiting for a chance to enter the hallowed halls of Primark. I have never understood the attraction of Primark, although I did buy a baseball cap there a long time ago and it’s still wearable yet!

We walked back up Bucky Street and drove home. When we got in there was a Blue Envelope waiting for Scamp. That’s the envelope that gives you the date and place for your vaccination. This was Scamp’s second jag. The date was 3rd May, the time was 2.15pm, the place was East Kilbride!!! She went ballistic. It’s not often I’d describe her like that, but she was. We tried to go online to change the appointment to somewhere sensible, but there were no appointments available anywhere else … in the world, I think. Eventually we agreed that we’d just keep it at East Kilbride. Later in the afternoon I went through the whole shouting match again, this time with Fred who was also going to East Kilbride for his jag. He had found the same wasteland of “No Appointments” online, but he’d tried phoning. He got through to the appointment office and got a message “You have reached the vaccination appointment office. The mailbox is full. Goodbye.” This is the caring face of NHS Lanarkshire. I don’t know how you could get from Cumbersheugh to East Kilbride if you don’t have a car. You’d definitely have to take a flask and pieces!

PoD was a picture of Glasgow under a lovely cloudscape, taken from the JL bridge. It was an interesting, but at the same time disturbing visit to Glasgow. Interesting because it was good to see life beginning to return to normal, that much misused word. Disturbing because many of the shops are closed, some for good. Debenhams was the most disturbing because I’ve never been to Glasgow and not seen someone coming or going through those doors. The doors that are now locked. But nothing stays the same forever. Things will change. Places will open again. Someone, somewhere is planning right now to fill one of those empty spaces.

I’m writing this on my old MBP which seems to be happily running MacOS Mojave which it legally can’t do, but it does! That brings a smile to my face! Tomorrow, Scamp is hoping to go for coffee with Annette who has just returned from her first visit to her caravan this year. I may get started with those new paints.

We asked for rain – 27 April 2021

Today that rain was delivered.

The delivery took all day to complete, well at least I hope it’s complete although there could still be some of the smaller parcels of rain waiting to be dropped off in the next few days.

Scamp was off walking with Veronica again today. This time it was an anti-clockwise walk around Broadwood Loch. It was a bit wet, but that didn’t put off these hardy adventurers. While they were out I listened to a bloke telling me even more about catalogs in Capture One and then I cleared up some of the rats maze of cables that lie on the dining table to trap the unwary. They are now sorted into Micro USB, Mini USB and the catch-all, Assorted cables.

When Scamp returned we had lunch and afterwards she did the ironing and it was my turn to get wet. I took the Sony for a walk in the rain. Once round St Mo’s was enough today. By that time I had five photos and was wet through. Although, I did have my new leather boots on and my feet were dry for the first time this year on a rainy day.

I was thinking of retiring my old MacBook Pro. It’s twelve years old and beginning to fail. The card reader stopped working years ago, but plug in replacements are cheap to buy. It can’t be upgraded (legally) past OSX 11. The iMac is currently running MacOS 14 and there are another two levels available above that for newer machines like the iMac. I could do an illegal upgrade, and may yet do that, but you never know what little nasties you’re squirting into your system as a result. Finally, the touch pad is now beginning to fail and the second replacement battery is losing its power rapidly. I had a look to see what was available and was surprised to find there’s nothing anywhere in the Apple range that uses the tried and tested Intel chipset. Apple are only producing machines with their own M1 chipset. I read a few reviews from sensible sources and they were not at all complementary. Biggest problem seems to be that the machines run well with Apple apps, but less well, or not at all with the majority of commercial, non-Apple apps like Lightroom. I don’t want to go to a Microsoft machine, but maybe needs must … Difficult decisions.

Today’s PoD was a bunch of Cowslips growing in the wilderness (ie, the bit the council don’t cut and call a ’wildflower garden’) in St Mo’s. Thank goodness the Sony and its lens are weatherproof, which hopefully means waterproof too!

A half hour of dance practise tonight rubbed some more of the rough edges off the Waltz, Tango and Rumba and went some way to building the Bossa Nova too. We did finish off with a Salsa, but Oh my Goodness, the amount of stuff we’ve forgotten in just over a year! We need to get to some Sunday Socials once normality returns!

Tomorrow we may hasten that normality by taking a run in to Glasgow. Just to see if we can remember what shops look like!

More frost, more snow – 11 April 2021

Where has spring gone? It seems like we’re back in the gloomy days of winter.

I’ve always thought trees had a hidden intelligence. They don’t produce leaves until the last frost is over because the frost damages the delicate leaves. Biologists now know that trees can communicate through their roots. When I see trees starting to put out leaves, I know that the ground and the air are warming up, even if I don’t feel it. Something seems to have gone wrong this year. The trees are spreading their leaves, but the temperature last night was around -4º along the Central Belt of Scotland and much colder than that up in the north. Have the trees just held off and held off until they simply had to get the leaves out to convert the minerals from their roots into the sugars and starches they need to grow, despite the temperature? Perhaps that’s so. Perhaps they know that the temperature is on the rise and will continue to rise into summer. Let’s hope so, for our sake as well as theirs.

We kept looking out the window today and saying “It looks nice, but open the door and you’ll feel how cold it is.” It was cold and I was glad I’d put a plant fleece on the rosemary bush in the garden. Poor rosemary is a Mediterranean plant not used to the rough winter weather in Scotland. Like the trees, it had just begun to produce new leaves when last week’s frost burned them. Hopefully the fleece will keep it safe until this spell of cold weather abates. We didn’t move much until after lunch today, and even then, Scamp found jobs to do in the house rather than come out for a walk with me. I got dressed for the cold and went for a walk in St Mo’s. My target was that big horse chestnut tree to grab some shots of the buds bursting into leaves. I got better than leaves, some of the buds contained the flowers, the candelabra of flowers that mark a horse chestnut. One of them made PoD.

Back home Scamp was battering a couple of chicken breasts to make Chicken Milanese. Flattened chicken breast dipped in egg and then breadcrumbs and fried until golden and crispy. Served with potatoes and a salad. Perfect Sunday dinner. She’d also made soup as a starter. Such a clever girl, Scamp.

Dancing tonight was an extension to the Waltz which kind of messed with both our heads until Scamp got it sorted out and taught me! Then the last part of the Tango which also caused us a bit of bother, but after the teachers had gone over it a few times it became clearer.

JIC had given me a birthday prezzy of six months worth of Audible books. I wasn’t sure about the practicality of listening to books rather than reading them, but after listening to The Sandman by Neil Gaiman for an hour, I’m sold. Not just one person reading the story, more a whole play with different people playing the characters. I understand the reason people listen to audio books now.

Spoke to JIC after the dance and heard about he and Sim’s first 10k run today. Watches and horses played a part in the discussion and also houses.

I am still trying to work out how these three post-processing apps can best be used and which of the two full price ones is best. Just now I’m still banking on Lightroom to win the day, but that is by no means certain.

Tomorrow we have a Tesco delivery scheduled for the afternoon, so any walking activity will have to be in the morning.


Happy Birthday, Birthday Girl – 24 March 2021

Up and out fairly early.

Had to get up and go out to get the makings of today’s dinner which would be Cod and Prawns with Fennel and White Wine. Sounds really posh, but is fairly easy to do, successfully. However, it does require Cod and Prawns as main constituents and I’d forgotten to get them yesterday. Also, pudding would be Panna cotta which really needs double cream and whole milk, also on the ‘forgotten’ list. So a quick run up to Tesco was in order. Because the ‘birthday girl’ enjoys the odd glass of Kraken dark rum, and because of a price reduction of the same in Tesco, it seemed the right thing to do to add a bottle to the list. Managed to curb my spending to those essentials, and drove home.

After a light lunch and with the panna cotta cooling, we headed off for a walk round the Broadwood Stadium, route, because the clouds were gathering and it would have been pushing our luck to go the full Broadwood Loch path. On the way there, we saw a young deer buck happily grazing by the side of the path. I grabbed half a dozen shots of it before it loped off a few yards than stood in open ground staring at us and looked like it was saying “are you still there?” Spoke to a couple who were walking the opposite direction and agreed that the animals seem to be less frightened of us humans. Probably a side effect of Covid because a lot more of us humans are invading the animals’ space. Not only heavy cloud, but also a cold wind when you were exposed to it might have encouraged us to walk that little bit faster round the Broadwood paths.

When we got home I thought I might have just enough time to go round St Mo’s a couple of times to augment my deer photos. I visited the ladybirds still hibernating in the woods and grabbed a few shots just to remind me of when I’d last seen them, because they will be leaving soon. Nothing else interesting poked its head out to see me.

Back home it was full tilt into prep for dinner. One thing I’ve learned from Scamp and from my one day at cookery school is mise en place, or ‘setting up’. I’ve tried to use it more and more in my recent cookery. Just getting everything at least ready, if not measured before I start. It saves time when the gas is turned on!

Starter tonight was Pizza Bread Bruschetta. Main was Cod and Prawns with Fennel and White Wine. Pudding was Panna Cotta with Raspberries. All worked out well and were deemed a success.

Hazel and Neil had organised a Zoom call tonight with Jamie and Simonne for the Birthday Girl. We had an enjoyable hour talking to them all. What a wonderful idea Zoom is. Not quite as good as face to face meeting, but better than a simple phone call. Great catchup you people. Thanks for organising it.

Well, that was a busy day. PoD was a photo I took of blossom on a fruit tree near Broadwood Stadium. Those who are observant will notice that the blog is now HTTPS after I eventually set up my security properly. I don’t think it will make any difference to your connection, but if it does, drop me a line. Tomorrow, relaxing I hope!

Deep breath and here we go – 22 March 2021

Today I left Sierra behind and found Mojave.

I’ve been running Sierra on the iMac since I bought it about four years ago. It’s been getting slower and slower all that time. Finally, today, after making another backup and filing away some important passwords, I ran the Mojave installer and went to have my lunch. I fidgeted and paced the floor like a dafty on and off for about half an hour after that. Actually, the time scale the installer gave was almost correct and after an hour I had a new, responsive operating system. I’m quite impressed with it and have learned a lot in the process. The main thing I’ve learned is to let the computer and the code I’m injecting get on with things and don’t poke about in it. I’ll try to remember that when things go wrong as they did about half an hour ago when my memory usage was red-lining and one app was taking up twice as much physical memory as I have installed. Don’t ask me how that’s possible, I don’t know, but it just is.

It was a dull day, so I suppose it was the perfect day to do this kind of messing around. It didn’t actually rain, but it looked like it wanted to. Scamp was busy doing housework while I was pacing the floor and swearing at anything that got in my way. Eventually, I closed the computer down, grabbed my camera and went for a walk in St Mo’s. For the last week the weather has been really like spring, but today it was as if we’d returned to winter. Cold wind, grey sky and not a lot of light. However I was out. I did two circuits of the pond and then came home with a few photos, two of which got red spots, which means they were good enough to post on Flickr. PoD went to the photo of the red flower with the zig-zag stem. I also took a few shots of desiccated weeds. The structure of weeds is really interesting. As someone who used to make a living drawing structural steelwork, these featherlight vertical structures are amazing. They can sway in the breeze and not break. They have evolved to cope with wind, rain, snow, sun and ice. If you study them, they are incredibly strong for their light weight. Anyway, as I photographed some weeds a line from a George Gerdes song popped into my head, “Seeds that I’ve sown were all a bunch of weeds”. When I got back home I searched for George Gerdes and found that he had died of a brain aneurysm on January 1st this year. He was 72. We heard him sing at a Loudon Wainwright concert in Glasgow away back around 1974. RIP George. I loved the humour of your songs.

We had a quick attempt at the figure we learned yesterday, The Five Step, but after Scamp trod on my toe and I trod on hers, both by accident, we decided to call it a day and try agin tomorrow.

There will be some worried faces in the SNP party tonight since Nicola Sturgeon was cleared of ‘breaching the ministerial code’, which is legalese for ”She didnae dae it!” That means all those who had their daggers drawn ready to take her down will be keeping a low profile for some time to come. I’m not saying she’s vindictive, oh no, I didn’t say that. I’ve always said she was the best leader we’ve ever had. Ahem, I think I got away with that.

Tomorrow looks reasonable weather wise, but we may get some of the wet stuff.