259. Rain!

I do not know why I find it necessary to mention that it has rained again, but I am doing.

The rain meant soggy pups who splashed and sploshed in the stream. They do not allow the flow of water to deter them from the splashing or the lying down to drink in Skye’s case either!

258. Home again, home again.

But no jogging!

Before I left the Holm to go home (see what I did there?), I toddled up to Dykecrofts to locate a new geocache. I have been half-heartedly planning a series up there for several years, but so far have not got round to actually doing it.
And someone has jumped in before me and placed a cache where my series would start. Theoretically.
I am not annoyed, other than perhaps with myself, as it just serves me right – but it is also a pity that this new cacher has not hidden another 5 or 6 at least up there, as there are several feasible round trips that would be enhanced by some hidden treasure. So I might still do it yet.

Anyway, back to today’s caching. I parked the car, and wandered up into the trees and located GZ in no time at all. And WHAT a disappointment. It is a lovely spot for a hide, off the path, plenty of sensible cover, sheltered from the worst of the weather, and in short, the perfect spot for a good size chunk of tupperware for TBs and swaps and stuff. In fact knowing where it was going to be I was really hopeful of dropping off a TB or two that I currently have in hand . . . no such luck. The container is barely larger than a film canister.
Such a wasted opportunity.
Hey ho.
I really must hide at least one new cache up there for myself in October, and make it a good size for TBs and the like.

The journey home was uneventful, the dogs were delighted to see me, and that was it really.

257. Dawyck.

I went up to Dawyck today to meet with S and Mrs W, two people I am very fond of. It was a lovely day, and the gardens are gorgeous and I fully intend to visit again when I get the chance.

Mrs W was on excellent form, walked a long way round the gardens, and in general a good time was had by all. I even made it right to the top to the viewpoint – which was a minor disappointment as you could not see much!! The seat is in the trees and you can see down the grassy path but that is about all – no panoramic views or anything.

In the evening I toddled down to the pub and had a very enjoyable time over tunes with E, D, D and C. Yes, the two Ds are both the same name, and the C is the same name as me!!! Lovely company, lovely conversation and a grand time playing.

256. Home of the Bannock.

Not of the only bannock ever, but the town of Selkirk does lay claim to the Selkirk Bannock.

On this occasion I did not have any – in general it would be bad for me anyway, all that gluten and stuff.
I visited a friend to deliver a couple of things, and we ate in a local restaurant / pub.

On my way there I had called in at Sainsbugs in Hawick and glory be, they had bras in MY size and I had enough credit on my Nectar card to afford them. Something of a relief. I am still not in the clear over bras, but I should be better able to cope now I have two more.
Yeah, it is important to ME, as I wear clean underwear every day thank you, and bras is underwear!!!!

Whilst out I had an email from E, telling me that other friends (C and D) were coming on Monday, and there would be a wee session in the Grapes Mon evening, as well as poss Tues afternoon and defo Tues evening.
I consulted my calendar, thunked a lot, and opted to stay one extra night (I told you I would explain!)
I would have loved to stay for Tuesday as well, but I have a dental appointment at 09-15 on Wednesday, and not even for a session am I getting up at 05-00 to travel home!!

255. The Southern Line!

Only the odd reader will ‘get’ that – but it is a song title from the previous Iain Thomson album. The song is about driving down from Glasgow via the M74 and M6 to Trafford Park. And back. In one trip with an HGV.
I usually manage to listen to it at least one when I am driving up or down those motorways, and today was no exception.

This time there was not welcoming chat from Y when I arrived – but her mother had helpfully lit the fire so the house was warm. Y is actually elsewhere just now, and tolerated me taking over her house lock. stock and barrel for a couple of nights (which became three, more of that in due course).

I scoffed some pasta and sausage as quickly as I could, and then legged it to the Grapes for a meeting.
I needn’t have worried.
We had only four of the committee there so were not actually quorate, and one of the four arrived for 8 pm thinking the meeting was at the usual time.
We discussed ‘stuff’ at some length, and I have to say that I think E did herself proud at that other meeting!!

The annoying part of the matter was that N arrived (late) and tried to treat me as though nothing was wrong. I do not know if he is genuinely so forgetful, or if he just thinks that he can say what he likes when he likes and no-one will hold it against him – either way his comment about me forgetting Ali is not one I will ever forget or forgive. His later threat to kill himself because he considered that I had MADE UP the comment about Ali is simply adding insult to injury. I cannot even look at him now without feeling sick, hurt and wanting to cry.

Why do some people behave like that?

254. Live!!!

Usually this blog is an account of my days. Today it is a review of Iain and Marc’s gig.

Iain Thomson and Marc Duff teamed up a few years back, and it feels as though they are the sort of friends who have half conversations because the other half is unspoken.

Iain had approached me a while back about any local venues, and the local village hall was chosen. I met him and his other half a couple of weeks back, and had distributed the posters he left from Balloch to Crianlarich! Sadly this did not result in a good audience, and financially the gig was not a success.
Musically it was a different story.

Last time I saw them was a few years back, and Marc had been having trouble with his uilleann pipes as they are very sensitive to temperature and humidity. Tonight he had no such issues. He also had with him a range of whistles, and also a bouzouki-guitar, an eight stringed and guitar shaped instrument, tunes as per a mandolin but with the top strings tuned down to D. His trusty bodhran was there was well, of course.
Iain used two different guitars, and I totally forgot to ask him about the tuning (I am sure he is very grateful I forgot to be honest, I bet musicians get sick of that sort of question!), and also an electric piano.
Both guys are without doubt very skilful and adept instrumentalists, but it is as a duo that they really come into their own.
Iain’s songwriting is vibrant, a living experience that captures real lives and real people. Not for Iain is the saccharine love story of so many contemporary folk singer/songwriters, but instead his songs ranged from one about fencing (wire and posts, not Zorro!), through ladies of the night, sheep shearing and ended with a personal and very intense evocation of realising where one ought to be. Marc’s playing complements Iain perfectly, he both underlines the highlights and provides a context and a texture to the overall pictures. In turn Iain also proves himself a responsive and generous accompanist, his piano or guitar being a perfect foil (no, I’m not back to fencing here!) for Marc’s whistle and pipes.

Iain and Marc have just released an album – No Borders (available from here – go on, you KNOW you want to – http://www.iainthomsonband.co.uk/new-cd-2018/ ), and as the promotional video he has posted on Facebook explains, it is a very personal and heartfelt experience in many ways.
Iain has been on the pointy end of the wonderful Argyll and Bute Council (I live in Argyll . . . ) and has finally concluded that he has to move on from his beloved Mull and is now emigrating to Sweden. Fate is Knocking at my Door is about this, and is a truly thought-provoking song that pairs perfectly with his earlier song (that he revisits on this album) The Long Road Home.

I am so glad that he played here, I am so sad that more people did not enjoy this fantastic evening, and I wish him all the best in his new life – and I hope that Marc continues to be able to get out of Falkirk!!

253. Catching up!

The power might only have been off for a couple of hours yesterday, but it set the whole day out of kilter, and so I arose this morning with the knowledge that I had a considerable list of things to achieve.

I managed about two of them.

I did manage to get the dogs out, and I did some washing which I put out and got to just about dry . . . then I dashed upstairs to do some work on the proper computer, and suddenly noticed that it was raining again. Not drizzle, not even ‘normal’ rain, but bucketing down as though we were heading for the next flood!
By the time I got the washing in it was so wet I had to put it back in the washing machine to be spun again!!

252. Splat!

Me, not the weather, although it rained and went splat rather a lot as well!!

I have no idea why I ended up so tired, but in honesty I have been sleeping badly for a while and the deficit is building up.
Today I listened to the grotty weather, read a while, then had a slow shower (the shower I use is not electric, this has relevance).

When I got down I was puzzled as to why P had not turned the lights on. Slowly realisation dawned – – – whatever this storm is called it had taken out the power supply!

No leccy limits the work I can do on the computer somewhat, and I unearthed the wool for my next loom knit project and got to work on that. I also did some reading.

E had a meeting in Edinburgh, and had been iffy about going but in the end decided to risk it. By lunchtime there were no trains back, and it was fortunate that she had taken an overnight bag and could stay at her father’s house!!

251. The iniquities of one size fits all.

Tuesday is the day that we have someone come in to do the cleaning. Our current person, D, is fascinating and one of the highlights of Tuesdays for me is when we find ten minutes to chat. D is Australian and intelligent. This means we can compare systems and talk politics and such stuff.

Today we were talking about the new campus school in Balloch, which her children attend. She liked the idea of one campus, and combining resources for three smaller schools – but she is less impressed that the site chosen for this grand project is a small one, with very limited outdoor space for the children and also with hardly any parking for parents collecting their little darlings.
You can argue that children should walk more until you are blue in the face, but there will always be a number of parents who either refuse not to drive or who have no alternative for various reasons. Not accepting this and catering for it is just a recipe for disaster, and having driven past the school at pick-up time I can report that the disaster is merely a matter of time.

We also discussed the decor and management of the move. D’s predecessor was L who has a wee laddie who is ASD. He has been moved from an older and familiar building with calmer colours and less noise, into this ‘wonderful new’ building. The new place is all primary colours, and is open plan so that it is never quiet. I am not at all surprised that L’s laddie is struggling. But the powers-that-be know best, of course . . .

250. Rain and not a lot else.

I told you that rain was becoming a constant!!

P had taken my car and burgered orff to the Lakes to see N and plot a thing they are up to, so unless I took his truck out I was housebound.

This meant I did some catching up on reading and research, and did some tidying as well – some much needed tidying!

P being away meant E and I dined simply on pasta with the red pesto that B had said she prefers. Well, nearly – I used free from pesto as the cheese in the normal stuff is Not A Good Idea for me.
Asda, bless their not-100%-cotton socks, now do ff pesto in red and green, and for a lot of pennies less than the sacla stuff!

I can conclude that the red pesto is rather nice. Good.