Monday, January 31, 2011

Walking with my lad

Just back from a morning stroll with sonser - the big yin. We dropped the wee brother off at school and headed straight down towards the shore. I took my camera in the hopes that there would be a nice photo to blog about but the weather was dire - overcast and drizzly. Now that we're back in the sun has burst through the clouds, bouncing light all around the place creating rainbows on the hills and water - argh!

It was lovely to listen to the waves crash and roll onto the beach as we walked along past the hotels with their sweeping lawns. We followed the length of the promenade then headed up behind the bay, past the old church towards home. Sonser is 6ft 6in so it's not just a walk to me – it's a work-out! The walk/jog was only about half an hour but enough to get the day off to a good start.

We all worked in the garden over the weekend, still more to do but the tubs and decking are cleared and grass raked over. I'm desperate for Spring to come but the forecast is for more snow later in the week so for the now l'll have to content myself with just buying the seeds.

The photograph below was not taken by me but is the same church that we passed today - looking as it might do again in a few days time.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Triumph for British cinema

Last night my husband and l went to our local cinema to watch, 'The King's Speech'. Although not a big fan of the Monarchy l had to admit that the film was inspirational and moving.

The leading actors, Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush had amazing chemistry and tension - their scenes together were written with fluency and verve. It was nice to see Colin Firth playing a different type of roll to the Darcy character we know and love- certainly a man of many talents!

The witty dialogue in the film brought roars of laughter from our audience and a rounding applause at the end. I would highly recommend watching this film if you get a chance.

Our old cinema has seen better days - it's a tired out looking place now with not very sympathetic seating and worn red velvet swags. There's certainly no digital surround sound or high definition screen but most locals don't see that as a set back -we're just glad to have a place to sit and watch the latest screenings, even if they are a few weeks behind, without having to make a long journey across on the ferry, etc.

I'm happy that the owner has kept the place open over the years - he certainly hasn't done it to make a profit. It's more than just a business - it's the atmosphere - the experience you get from going. When the lights dull down and the chatter melts to a low murmur there's that frisson of excitement and anticipation as you get ready to share the magic.

Friday, January 28, 2011


Somewhere in deepest, darkest Scotland there is a woman pushing a shopping trolley with a mind of its own - when she steers left it goes right and so forth. She's getting the shopping in for the weekend feeling a bit frazzled to say the least - fighting her way down busy aisles where people want to stop and blether for at least ten minutes or so. It's the only shopping place for miles around - a social hub.

She wrestles her jacket off and tucks it over the handle while checking the shopping list – mindful always of the fact that people behind are watching and waiting for her to move on too. It all moves in a slow procession and the heat in the place is unbearable.

Finally she reaches the drinks aisle at the far end, tempted now to buy more than usual given the fact that she is parched. Trolleys clink their way past each other heading for the checkouts.

Perhaps the supermarket should play some music in an upbeat tempo- would keep everyone moving along :)

Happy weekend folks.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Cold blows the wind

I've just put my first washing of the year out today- hung the line, wiped it down and got the wooden stretcher poles out of the shed. Perhaps a bit too early in the year but given that we were the only place dotted on the weather map with sunshine it seemed wrong not to take advantage, and anyway, it felt good - somewhat Springlike even.

While up back l noticed all the little things that need tidying - tubs that need moving, decking that needs swept and a touching up of paint on the southern side of the old wash-house. The place can really look quite bleak in January- even the birds seemed quiet today.

We've been feeding the wee garden birds all winter, breaking the ice up in the bird bath and putting out a good mixture of seed, fruit, nuts and fat. I've noticed that there tends to be a flurry of activity and eating first thing in the morning and then they go quiet- l think it's to do with conserving energy.

January really is a restless time of the year for me- I'm desperate to get out in the garden and for the days to grow longer. I don't like the closed-in feeling when you have overcast days and everything seems grey- bring on the snowdrops!

Update: Got the washing in just before dinner- think it might be even wetter than when l put it out! Can you hear the squeak of my pulley?

Scotland's 'washing forecast' : 'in, out, in, out and shake it all about!'

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I think l may have writer's block - perhaps l've been away too long.


If only l could say
a new thing, a thing
l've never said before.

Something small as a spoon
or big as a landscape:
as new as a baby.

Hope appears before me, flourishing
as a rosebush.
I pick one of its flowers.

And l look for what resembles
that spoon, that landscape,
that baby.

Nothing there. But the air
smells like a wild rose.
How pleasant its scent.

Norman MacCaig Dec 1988

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

40yr haggis ban - out of date!

Whatever you do, don't try to smuggle haggis into America for a Burns night supper - you could be arrested!

You might think it has something to do with the quarantine of this canny wee creature or perhaps the risk of its extinction given its rarity. You might even think it has something to do with the many 'secret recipes' involved in the cooking of it...and you might be right.

The US has banned food made with sheep lung since 1971 - ruling it as unfit for human consumption.

I'll admit that some are horrified by the dubious ingredients...awful offal

But you see, it's okay for Scots to eat it in Scotland but not for Scots to eat it in America. What if the same were true for the export of whisky? Now there's a thought!

Happy Burns Night to all- even if it's only with neeps and tatties.

  • I knew a woman once who packed her case full of sausages, strings of them and she made it through customs!! 1989 if l remember right. They must have had super nice ingredients.

Below is Eddi Reader singing, 'You're Welcome, Willie Stewart'
Burns poem 1791

Monday, January 24, 2011

Life Happens

Like a peeping Dormouse l've come out of hibernation.
It's good to be back after an unplanned absence.
Hello to all my old Blogger friends - sorry l've been gone so long.

Meet my darling wee Granddaughter.
She just had her 2nd birthday.
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