Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year dudes!

Sorry I've not posted much lately. I've been a bit like a Conservative MP in that I've been spending more time with my family!

Christmas was fairly simple this year. We both decided we didn't want much so our presents were token and fun.

And our big family lunch in town, with all branches of my husband's family, proved to be quite poignant in that my MIL came along for the first time in about 20 years and she sat down beside my FIL. They are both almost 80 and have been separated for over 10 years, so it was a touching moment.

It proves that even dementia can have an up side, in that all the anger and bitterness seems to have just melted away. But what a shame that we always seem to leave these things until it's too late.

Colin has given me my poems back and I surprised and delighted to find there's not too much needing to be changed, so I'll get down to it next week, when hopefully I will have some much needed peace.

I'm always a bit ambivalent about New Year, it brings out a maudlin streak in many Scots, which is never a pretty sight and I hate all the resolution tosh and the papers being full of all the poor sods who will not see another year. (Am I alone in wondering what my second date will be? It sneaks past every year with no clue of when it will fall.)

The older I get the more New Year feels like an arbitrary line in the sand. It's not that I don't like a party, but I think I'd rather be a pagan and support the winter solstice and our slow return to the light.

But I do wish you all the very best for 2008!!!!

May your worries tiny and your debts small!

Here's Dean to sing for you. Now spin the bottle someone and see whose doing the next turn! I'm off to medicate the dog before the fireworks start and to get a G&T on ice before the bells.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Christmas

The purity of a boy soprano/treble voice is one of the wonders of the world.
This is Christmas for me. The King's College Christmas Eve service always reminds me of my brother as a young choirboy.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


It is absolutely Baltic here.
I think it fell to -8C last night.These picture were taken at 15.10 or so this afternoon and when it was all but dark. Tomorrow is the Winter Soltice. I worry that some tender things,like my fig tree,will be badly affected - although it tends to hate late frosts when the sap has risen.

Hopefully it is more or less dormant just now, but I won't know what damage, if any, has been done till the Spring.

Been a difficult week, our credit card got ripped off and while the card company caught it very quickly we are without a replacement until after Christmas - which is a complete pain. It is not the victimless crime people make it out to be, we're left having to change a whole host of arrangements at the busiest time of the year.

And some kind soul stole N's disabled driver pass from her car, while she was parked in a hospice car park visiting a dying friend. There are some sweethearts out there!

And the freezing weather killed of my car battery and I've had to stump up for a replacement, again at a really lousy time of the year.

So not the best of weeks!

But I managed to keep my commitments\appointments despite the loss of the car for almost couple of days.

Colin thinks I've got a collection in the poems that I've written over the past 18 months, so I look forward to getting his editor's notes to work through in the
New Year. It will be interesting to see if the more recent material is stronger, ie if I've progressed!

The second site survey of the garden went very well, although we were out in white out/freezing conditions for almost two hours and my feet have only just defrosted.
There will be loads of work to do early in the New Year writing up our bids etc.

Tomorrow I'm going to see a couple of exhibitions in town and have lunch with an old friend.

Can't say I feel very Christmassy. I am looking forward to enjoying a meal with the family, but Boxing Day is always my favourite day of the holidays. I make good turkey broth and everyone helps themselves to cold cuts and soup and I get to put my feet up!

I hope to get round all my fav bloggers before Christmas Day, but if I don't manage it please know you're in my thoughts and that I hope you'll have a happy and peaceful few days.

And here's a site worth looking at: "We are living on a dust mote suspended in a sunbeam."

It goes on:

"In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."

Well said I say.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Quickie

Well I've been an active apprentice, since I last posted I've:

1)Finished painting the bathroom. I ran out of paint and had to go to town to get more mixed. As ever I'm now left with a can that 90% full.

2)I've done the first site visit in the big garden with the bio diversity officer and a tree surgeon. So now we need to rush around costing stuff and writing a bid before 18 January. It's a ploy to reduce applications I think that 3 funds for 2 different charities I work with have opened the chance to bid for funds in Nov and have a closing date in January, it's like the bloody football transfers window!

I was freezing yesterday wandering rough pasture in a gloomy, cold garden. We have another one to do next week with a rep from the Botanic Gardens.

3) I'm sorting out poems for a collection. It's been a big task making sure titles match file names and fine tuning some. I'm meeting Colin next week to talk about what I've got.

4) I've been doing Christmas things like buying presents and ordering supplies and food. Best bit was getting the tree from a lovely farm which had fantastic views of the hills. Still bereft of ideas for my husband. Son is getting him the Led Zepplin album.

My very late Christmas cake is in the oven, I'd better go and check it. I did soak the fruit in Calvados for three days so it should be good.

Friday, December 07, 2007


I heard Terry Jones singing this on the radio today and it really made me laugh. So if you feel the need to lighten up please play it.

Still toiling to catch up with everyone, I think it must just be the time of year. But my projects are progressing well. I love it when you put people in touch with each other and something good result's. This has just happened with the Edinburgh charity I work with, I suggested we write to someone and it has now grown into the prospect of a really worthwhile project. Can't give details here for obvious reasons, but it has really made my week. Yesterday I went over the bidding document with the charity's director and it sounds really good.

I've also helped to nudge the "big garden" project forward a wee bit and we have an expert horticulturalist coming to give us some free gratis scoping/costing help so we can bid for the restoration of a couple of areas.

Voluntary work is a slog, but the rewards are really good when you start to achieve things.

Sometimes I miss my old job, but this way I can put my former skills to best use while still being able to balance my own health and well being. It will never make me rich, but that's no longer important, so long as I can pay my way I'm happy.

Dog sitting today for N. Her granddaughter is 5 tomorrow and I have presents for her to take to the party. I'm going to a friend's choir concert in our lovely St Mary's, where the acoustics are sublime.

Despite the short days life feels good. Monty Python always makes you get things into perspective! They should be given on prescription lol :)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Alexander Technique?

I'm sending off my cheque for my speeding ticket, but I think I may enclose a wee letter saying that I did not knowingly speed and that I'm very, very sorry. That should do the trick and the cheque is sure to come winging its way back uncashed!

Colin Will lent me a great book called Atoms of Delight, a collection of Scottish haiku and short poems, which includes some of his work. I found this section called one word poems, where the title is long and the poem is literally one word. My favourite one of these is by Ian Hamilton Finlay and is about peewits, the Scottish word for lapwings.

The Stones of the Field are the Birds of the Air


The photo is from my visit to his home, Little Sparta, earlier this year.