The sat nave is plugged into my computer not only taking charge, but also making a meal of updating itself.  One hour and twelve minutes according to the magic timer, long enough to gulp a re-energising first and second course electrical feed.


So, here I am pondering.  A bit of plugging in to an energising surge would do me the world of good too. 

P1030465 light sticks

This morning I ‘mislaid’ a towel which was placed near the washing machine to remind me to add it to the wash load. When the time came, I just couldn’t find it.  The wash load was done minus the towel.  I discovered it some time later.  It was wrapped round a freezer pack which had been easing a sore point on my back!! 


My excuse…..yes I do have one; this was the morning after the night before: this morning in particular, was too early to be awake thinking about anything. I was even too tired to expend energy being grumpy.  Why?  You might well ask.  Twice during the  night I was was abruptly disturbed out of my slumbers.


* “Golden slumbers kiss your eyes, smiles awake you when  you rise….”  Oh, were it true.*(Brahms Lullaby)

Just Checked the satnav update progress. It looks like it’s charging up for an all night session.  The progress bar has regressively jumped from forty minutes to fifty minutes…..zzzzzz.





Hubs has been feeding up the local bird life – mostly, Rooks just now – with lots of luscious fat balls. He leaves the fat balls hanging in net bags on the bird feeder. The Rooks spend a bit of time untying and unhooking  the net bags containing the fatty feast.  Once the fat ball bags have fallen to the ground, the Rooks nip at them. The fat balls are pushed and rolled around on the grass using their beaks and the odd clawed foot or two. It’s like watching a bird version of  croquet.  For them, it’s not enough to just peck at the goodies through the wide gauge netting, these birds want the food unencumbered.  Any missed morsels to be found at the base of the bird feeder, or, in the grass, are picked up by a few smaller birds that sneak in. They know the Rooks will not bother them as the Rooks have the bigger prize.  The smaller birds also know that  being amongst the Rooks will provide protection for them from any marauding predatory birds.


Fat Balls

We’ve had the first few days of bright breezy drying weather for many weeks. As cold as it is, (balmy highs of 4-5 deg C with wind chill) you take advantage of it to get the laundry out on the washing line to dry.   As a thank you for hubs tender loving care and forethought in providing delicious fat balls, the Rooks have  copiously shat all over my washing.  About 90% of it.  Of course, they waited for the day I pegged out big stuff like bed covers and sheets!

P1020105 Sands Hotel Burray Laundry blowing





Well I never! It’s not every day when I go shopping, my purchases on the check out belt generate laundry tips  from the check-out operator.  He had tried it himself, he said, and it worked.  A quick bit of advice on the amount to use as he handed me my change, and “only with clear vinegar mind, definitely not malt vinegar, ( perish the thought) and no detergent”;   “If you do it like I said, your cotton towels will come out of the wash nice and soft”.  It’s amazing what you learn at the checkouts, I said, as I was leaving.  Giving me a thumbs up sign, he assured me again it really worked.




Dear  all…

Dear everyone…


Emails have always seemed to me to be a very informal method of sending mail.  The minuscule ‘Hi’ and the nondescript ‘Hello’ definitely do not suit all situations.  Very occasionally, ‘Good morning/Good afternoon….Mr/Mrs’  turns up; it’s easy enough to similarly respond, if I know of the writer, though not if it is mail from the business.  Business emails are business communications like any that are delivered by postal mail services. They just do not look like it, or, maybe, it’s just they do not look like the business mail I have been used to.

If it’s a formal communication conventions state I should respectfully open with, ‘Dear Sir’, or, ‘Dear Madam’  or, a combined version of both;  I have never considered any particular business entity  dear to me, nor  anyone in it with whom I may have developed a working business relationship.  (Oh dear).  Looking at terms of endearment, I am no further forward in creating alternative salutations for the purpose.


Pavement Poetry

I might feel less inhibited if I felt free to open with something nicely terse at times. Huffing and puffing, I might just consider dropping terms of endearment and  begin, “Sir”, or, “Madam”.   It’s the worst I can allow myself to do.   Undoubtedly, this is exactly the reason for beginning a written correspondence in a traditionally, accepted, mannerly, style,  at all times.  The moment your thoughts turn to ‘dear….’ the system structure draws you into its conventional framework.  And dropping ‘dear’ to a curt ‘Sir or Madam’ only frames a much more formal, but  still a conventionally acceptable mailing.   So be it.

The written word speaks volumes.



Twelfth night is meant to be the time for clearing away greetings cards and festive decorations. In my book, some superstitions are best ignored.  As I don’t receive some mail till early January, mostly from abroad, my cards stay up longer and the last to arrive are the last to disappear.  Thus, I span the Western and the Eastern festive dates.

P1100010 copy

My decorations are the cards people send me.  Switch on candle glow (LED’s) provide an atmospheric friendly warmth.  The little candles (tea lights) have been  tucked away.  A couple of stocky gold coloured ones have not.  They glitter and look quite pretty when daylight turns into twilight, even if they are not lit.

P1100012 copy

Tomorrow we have a recycling collection. The bulk of the cards – not the late arrivals – have been sorted between those that will be a keepsake, (just a few) or those needing  some attention. The others, will provide material for recycling.  Our collectors do not want anything with metallic finishes, which includes glitter. Lots of cards have those pretty finishes. The best I can do is to separate re-usable bits of a card from those bits that are not. That was late morning……..


….Even later morning, I seem to have spent hours sorting out a small area of desk. The quarter truth is, some of the space on the desk has been created by shoving some stuff to the right of it, (probably, should be ‘right off it’). I am trying to be tough on myself…about bits of paper (cringe).  I know it will be worse before it gets better.

Early afternoon……hubs interrupts my bits of paper throw away flow.  “Are you having any lunch?”

P1030338 copy


On Boxing Day, (26th December 2017) a National Bank Holiday, I was sitting at the centre table of  a row of three tables for two, in a busy village coffee shop, we consumers were all in close proximity.

On my right was a very delightful little girl with her daddy. She was amusing herself with a game and also talking with daddy.  Quite a number of ladies stopped to talk to both of them and she told them she was three years old.

As me and hubs started to sip our coffees I heard………….

Daddy may I go to playgroup this afternoon? […. may I……from a three year old. Wow!]

I commented to dad on his little’s girl’s remarkably good manners.

Dad.…..Oh, we have the Manners Book at home don’t we, and we like reading it.  She nodded

MeHave you got the ‘why’ book……Dad….No   

Meyou’ve got all the answers then? ….

DadNo…..and looking at his daughter….. no,we haven’t have we?

3 year old.Yes you have. …….

DaddyNo I haven’t …

3 year oldYes you have.

DaddyWhy do you say that?….

3 year old….Because you’re a grown up.

Daddy….Oh, I see; grown ups don’t know everything.

3 year old…… uhm yes.  You’re not mummy are you.





A new year and I feel as if I have lost the art of succinct writing, or, neatly saying what I mean.  I envy just a teensy weensy bit, the writers who can encapsulate a major thought, or a vital description into a few apt words.  To paraphrase an historical giant of the written word, I feel, if I become tired of writing I will be tired of observing and participating in life. That would be just too immense an emasculation of  my senses to contemplate.

Perhaps it is the gentle warmth of spontaneous creativity I want.  You could say that writing anything, be it a business letter, or business email is being creative. They are hardly communications for which you would usually create poetic prose: but, why shouldn’t they be?  An answer to the question is, it rests on the purpose for which they are written and how the communications flow.  The writing voice depends whether there is a demand upon you to write as opposed to  responding to a natural urge to write.



A couple of  ‘newsy’ things this week caught my attention:

We now know why bubbly tastes better in a glass.  Research at both The University of Texas and University College London UK, explains why plastic and polystyrene cups just will not do for your Prosecco, Asti-spumante, or, Champagne. I can feel the regal Marques des Champagne curling their toes and gritting their pearly teeth at the thought of …plastic….polystyrene!!  According to a study, the bubbles behave differently in plastic and polystyrene cups than they would in glass,  The bubbles stick quite strongly to the plastic and polystyrene for longer and as a result grow bigger before they lift off, which, in turn, alters the taste of the drinks. They [the bubbles]   are on their best behaviour drunk from a glass.  Presumably, the small free flowing bubbles maintain the desired taste of the ‘bubbly’

While we are discussing drinking alcohol;  an offence with interesting variations.  An electrical engineer was caught over the drinks-driving limit, on his way to a police station to service their…….breath test machine!  The driver had been seen by police driving erratically on a very bendy stretch of road.  In court he was found guilty, fined and banned from driving for a year. At the trial, the police said the case presented them with a dilemma, because of the unusual circumstances.   It was felt there could be a ‘conflict of interest’,  given that the man serviced most of the intoximeters  in the country.  The prosecutor shared their view.  A urine sample was therefore taken for testing.

In defending his client, the defence lawyer claimed the police had not followed correct procedures in taking the urine sample.

The Sheriff when pronouncing sentence said, that the matter had been handled correctly and by the book.




I have, at last, finished reading a book which has opened a Pandora’s Box of uncomfortable feelings. It is no overstatement to say the story is, in a perverse way, an engrossing and powerful read.  I took a break from the book just over half way through it to restore my inner self to its familiar, more comfortable state. Though the writer is giving us the power of our own free will to be involved, he is also rendering the reader  to be actively powerless.  Being disempowered is an extremely uncomfortable place to be. And this is the position in which, swathes of the world’s population reside.  Selection Day by Aravind Adiga,  published this year, is not a read for the faint-hearted. It is a very clever writer who can connect a reader to almost participate in the linking destructive events that lead to the final denouement.


I have  read one other book by the same writer, it was the Man Booker Prizewinner 2008. The White Tiger.  Adiga later admitted that he had had to watch his back after exposing in this book a variety of  cultural norms within a society he knows well.  The White Tiger is a very good, high quality and exciting read with superb pacing.  I found myself being curious about the the effects of the breadths and the depths of the social and economic corruption he unwrapped in his story, and its global reach.


Coming back to nearer home, I have just started reading Ian Rankin’s very first Rebus book, Knots and Crosses.  I thought it might be a good idea to introduce myself to an Edinburgh writer, a writer who has grown in stature.  I am hoping that introducing myself to his literary characters will create another interesting link with Edinburgh…….we’ll see





Shall We Be Nudged?

I do miss the Word Press email notifications of  the replies to comments I used to receive. Consequently, I also often miss the replies that wait on my Word Press site.  Not without reason has this alternative comment system developed.  For one, people with my kind of irregular ‘footfall’ are meant to be nudged more frequently in the direction of the blog site; it ups the traffic onto Word Press, which is a valuable asset

The bloggers I follow are regular contributors.  I reckon the old email notifications nudged me to connect to Word Press much more frequently than I do now.  For me, to quote a lovely quaint apt adage….. out of sight is out of mind.

Does anyone know a way to restore the original individual notifications without receiving all comments?


Nesting Swan