Friday, 31 July 2009

A Ramble back in Pensby

At the moment I am working on the following lists:- shopping; housework; mending; decorating; gardening; computing; visiting; health-care; e-mails; letters; blogs; sorting photos. When I say working on the lists I mean creating them – not actually carrying out any of the things on them!

For me, one thing that never stops – whatever else is going on in the outside world – is reading books. If I’m ill it helps to take my mind off things. If I cannot sleep then what else to do but compute or read. If I’m well, what better way to escape the cares and worries of the world than by curling up with a good book. If it’s sunny one can take a book into the garden and snatch a few pages between weeding. If its cold and wet and miserable what better way to amuse oneself than by curling up in front of the fire and escaping to a hot climate in a book?

As some of you will know I have a book blog on which I review everything I read. Currently it is about six books behind my actual reading and I’m enthralled by ‘A Guide to the Birds of East Africa’, a novel by Nicholas Drayson.

The weather is fairly ‘yuck’ at the moment and I’m waiting to get out into the garden. (Yuck being defined in this case as wet and breezy and not conducive to gardening.) Once I do so I may get lost so if you don’t hear from me for a couple of weeks send a search party. It’s only a little garden but the plants have grown enormous in the three months I’ve been away.

Well, enough of this rambling – there’s lists to be compiled... Have a good week-end.


Friday My Town Shoot-out - Outdoor Food

It's been a hectic week and the weather has not been conducive to any form of outdoor food so I hope you'll forgive me if I settle for these - taken on the journey down from Scotland to Cheshire:-

My apologies to Girlichef if I haven't done her suggestion justice this week.

If you'd like to join the Friday My Own Shoot-out please visit the gang's blog.


Thursday, 30 July 2009

I am home

Don’t ask me what day it is. I wouldn’t have a clue. Don’t ask me how long I’ve been back home. I’ve got a vague idea it’s a couple of days but I couldn’t guarantee it. I can recall the feeling one had, in those pre-retirement days, upon returning to work after a fortnight’s holiday. The slight disorientation and the catching up. But that was as nothing compared to arriving back home after three months away. All sorts of minor changes and breakdowns have occurred in my absence. I’m having to get used to the desktop computer again. It is my preferred computer but that doesn’t alter the strangeness of using it after such a long time on the laptop. Now where has the Delete button gone? And why is the screen a funny shape? And it cannot be serious when it tells me I’ve filled the hard drive with all my new photos... Can it?

There’s housework to be done; there are DIY jobs needing attention; there is enough paperwork to create a substantial bonfire; and the garden has disappeared...

I managed to get out between downpours for a brief trip around it this afternoon. The sun shone and the birds sang and I could even see a tiny bit of sky between the nursing home and the patio. But the plants have gone berserk. Willowherbs have adopted one border. Cow Parsley another and Nettles have taken over a third. Hedges have spread until they almost meet in the middle and the ponds are hidden under blankets of duckweed. There is about six weeks of hard work ahead of me just to get the garden recognizable as a planted entity rather than a plot of wasteland. Here and there a flower can be seen poking out of the greenery and some of them are the new plants I put in this Spring which is quite exciting.

Hopefully I’ll be out again if the rain stops and I’ll show you a photo or two. In the meantime I’d better make a list – or two – or three...

P.S. I am very grateful for everybody’s good wishes after my feeling extra ill over the last week. I’d like to be able to report that I’m fighting fit but... However, I’m almost back to my version of normal apart from my angina hitting me quite hard since I’ve been home. A couple of months of living without stairs did not prepare me for running up and down them back home.

Alchemy Print - Penrith


Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Coffee at Robert Menzies - Dunkeld

On the journey down from Lewis.... Coffee at Robert Menzies - Dunkeld.


Monday, 27 July 2009

I'm back - in one way

I'm back - in one way. That is. I'm back blogging (briefly) but I'm not back home yet. I leave in a couple of hours on the 7 a.m. ferry and we are stopping tonight in a B & B in Dunblane. I just wanted to let you know I'm feeling human (if tired) for the first time since I let the side down by collapsing on Thursday. (I also wanted to add a little extra thank you to Jo who - with her own current health problems - didn't really come all this way to spend an evening worrying about what her partner's disappearance from the conscious world!)

Perhaps she should just leave me on the Island - after all, it has every facility one could need -


Sunday, 26 July 2009

My Holiday Thank You

I can't believe I've been away from home since 1st May when Partner-who-loves-Tea first chauffeured me down to stay with Daughter-who-takes-Photos and Friend-who-loves-Otters.

Then Brother-who-Blogs took me from Devon all the way up the Isle of Lewis to stay with him.

Partner-who-loves-Tea has come up to Lewis this week and we leave the Island next Monday. It will be July 28th when I get home.

Three months away. Three months during which Partner had big health issues to cope with; the television packed up; the drains collapsed and various other crises occurred back home on Merseyside. I love the Isle of Lewis and I'm not anxious to go back but it will be good to see Son-who-watches-Films; the garden; my desktop computer; the pollution; the traffic; the weeding; the doctor; and all the bills that have come in..... Well, the first three of those!

I shall miss -
The people.
The sea.
The sky.
The flowers.
The insects.
The birds.
The boats.
And so much else that the Isle of Lewis has to offer.

So, a big thank you to all those who made me so welcome in Devon and then up here in the Outer Hebrides - especially, of course, my hosts: Helen and Ian and GB. I am pretty reclusive by nature. (Actually I'm not pretty at all - just reclusive.) When GB moved to the Western Isles 35 years ago I remember feeling horrified that people didn't have doorbells or knockers; neighbours or visitors just opened the door (never locked whether you were in or out) and called out ' Hello' as they came in. Nowadays doors are often locked when you go out but that is more to satisfy insurance companies than to actually prevent crime. In other respects the neighbourly system remains the same. Over the last couple of years I have not only grown used to it but actually find it enjoyable. The folk who drop in are friends and neighbours of GB's who I am now also pleased to call friends.

And, most important of all, an even bigger thank you to Jo for allowing me the freedom to play for three months. Despite working hard while I'm enjoying myself, Jo has been pleased on my behalf that I've had such a good break. It's quite a special thing to have a partner who lets you do these things; and it's even more special having one who does so uncomplainingly and with such fortitude and even takes you to and collects you from your destination; coping with all the issues that running a house, keeping down a job (or jobs!) and looking after a youngster involve. So a very big

Saturday, 25 July 2009

I've had better days...

"I have a new philosophy. I'm only going to dread one day at a time." - Charles M. Schulz

Rumour has it - my conscious self wasn't around at the time - that I collapsed on Thursday night. Appropriately enough I passed out at the computer. But this may mean this blog is erratic for a few days... See you soon.


Friday, 24 July 2009

Friday My Town Shoot-out - Reflections

Thanks to Audrey in Edmonton for a great choice of assignment.

If you'd like to join the Friday My Own Shoot-out please visit the gang's blog.


Wednesday, 22 July 2009

So much Rambling

So much going on - trying to show Jo the island in a space of a couple of days... Especially when the weather does not co-operate. Still, lots of things to blog when the time makes itself available. Watch this space, as they say.


Last Request


Dunkeld Bridge

The bridge over the Tay at Dunkeld was designed by Thomas Telford and erected in 1809.

There was a male Common Merganser (Mergus merganser) beneath the bridge when we were there in May.

And the Mayflies were swarming in huge numbers. The original of this photo - i.e. at 2592 x 1944 pixels - shows hundreds and hundreds of them.


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