The runaway wean – 15 May 2022

Today we went for a walk round Chatelherault park in Hamilton.

It was my choice to go there today. We could have gone to Drumpellier, but Sundays are really busy there, even if you avoid the ‘conveyer belt’ and walk into the woods. Besides, it’s been a while since Scamp and I have been out for a walk in Chatelherault. Then I found out that there was a Craft & Design fair there today. That would make it a bit busier, I thought, but we’d still manage a walk round the many miles of paths in the park.

A Sunday morning drive and a walk in the park. That would be good. When we got there it became obvious that the C&D fair was a bit attraction because the main car park was almost completely full, but we knew of a better and much quieter parking area and it was almost deserted by comparison. Parked and walked up to the ‘Big House’, and I was right, the place was jumping. Lots of stalls and hundreds of people. Scamp found the stall she was looking for and they had the exact things she was looking for. With the deal sealed, we stood and talked the the husband and wife who run the stall and who make most of the articles themselves. We’ve known them for years and always catch up, finding out how their families are doing and updating them on how ours is getting on. We said our goodbyes to allow them the space to bring in more customers and I suggested a walk down past the steel sculptures my brother photographs so well. From there I was fairly sure we could do a circular walk to bring us back to the Big House again.

We walked down the path to the sculptures and passed a couple with a little girl on what looked like her first two wheeler bike with stabilisers. She was having a bit of bother getting the bike to stay on the path and the dad was giving instructions while he worked with his phone. When we were about half way down I could hear the mother shouting at the girl to slow down, but with the rattling of the stabilisers, it seemed that the wee girl was accelerating. There was no way she knew how to stop, she was just hanging on and she was going at quite a speed. I reckoned I could stop her without tipping her over the bars, so I stood right in her path and grabbed the handlebars as she rode right into me. Got her stopped and asked her if she was OK. She said yes! The mother was racing down the hill and caught up with us, out of breath. She apologised and just kept thanking me. The bloke was still standing at the top of the hill, still reading something on his phone. He said nothing except “You should have pulled the brake”. Some folk shouldn’t be allowed to have weans.

We got some photos of the sculptures, of David Livingstone, William Wallace and Robert Owen. Impressive looking chunks of rusted steel, but the numpty who decided they should put a seat behind them and spoil the effect was obviously not a photographer or an artist.

As I suspected, there was a circular path that took us back to the Big House and it was a lovely walk through bluebell woods. I took a few photos of the bluebells, but it was a single Celandine growing out of the path that got PoD.

When we got back to the Big House it was Scamp who found another line of stalls, but there was nothing there to interest her. We bought a couple of coffees from a van with a proper coffee machine installed and while I was waiting for them, Scamp bought a couple of pieces of fish from another van. Drove home with the air-con on full for the first time this year, I think.

Stornoway Black Pudding and an egg each for lunch, then I gave the car its first wash for ages. I used a spray to remove seagull crap and it worked a treat. Then a quick soapy wash and a rinse with water from Bobby’s outside tap.

My dinner had been defrosting since we went out this morning. It was 500g of really nice stewing steak, Scamp had brought back From St Andrews. Carefully cooked it under Scamp’s instructions while she did the washing and hung it out to dry. It was a strange day. It was really quite warm, but occasionally there would be a sprinkling of rain that never really got anywhere.

Dinner was lovely. Scamp was going to have some of the fish, but settled for Ratatouille instead. My stew was maybe a bit over cooked, but still tasted like the quality meat it was.

Spoke to Jamie later and heard all about their walking holiday in Yorkshire. It did sound interesting, but quite strenuous too. Another big week for him this coming week.

No great plans for tomorrow. Not intending to catch any runaway weans!

 

Huntigowk – 1 April 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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