I think, Yes, I am pretty sure, I have sorted all the festive mailings, both terrestrial and cyber. I do know I haven’t yet hovered over the Eastern Orthodox Christmas greetings for January. A few friends who do celebrate it, seem very happy to be greeted twice, from west to east and east to west.

My cards, packing and parcelling were started later than usual. I really do like to have a couple of weeks total breathing space from it before the actual festivities. I have kind of caught up but, it has been too intensive for me. The energy of youth is not in its first bloom from where I am sitting.

Storm Deidre barrelled through here and was extraordinarily bad from Saturday afternoon and also fearsome throughout the night. There will have been major disruption. 

The idea of relaxing in the calm after the storm, (literally) and what felt like Mrs Clause’ marathon without the assistance helpful wee elves, is not easy to adjust to. I must accept that I can give myself permission to sit and read my neglected books. Yay!!!






Sunday 27th May 2012, was not a day to be hidden away indoors. We travelled to the West side of Scotland’s coast. Temperatures a bit higher than where we live, had been forecast. No siree, we were not going to miss this wonderful day. It was hovering around 39 degrees inside the car, a signal that the air conditioning was needed. That does not happen very often. I plastered my exposed body bits with factor 20 cream before we left home and reapplied the cream a few times more during the day.

I am loathe to expose this place of beauty, in case hordes of people descend upon it. However, being that am a community minded person, I will share it.

The small car park with its sign to the beach had one or two spaces left. On the short path to the beach, we passed fields with Ewes and their lambs.


At a heat of 26C who needs a really big woolly coat. The lamb, with a lightweight covering was doing fine. I marvel how close to sand and sea we, and all these other creatures, live. The grass was lush and good for the livestock to munch.

At the bridging point of meadow and shoreline, a dog was going potty, trying to retrieve stones that were thrown for it to retrieve from the relatively shallow water. I don’t think the dog’s people had realised how frustrated the dog would become, trying and failing to get a stone. Every time he put his head down, he got huge mouthfuls of water. The dog was not going to be easily commanded to ‘come back’ without succeeding the challenge set.


I watched for a bit. The water was very clear, coloured by peat. There was a fascinating underwater scape and I noticed an upright plant. You might see it. All the pictures can be clicked on to enlarge.


Just across the bridge and round the grassy dune was this:


It was not just the brightness of the sunlight that glowed. The beach had its own spitting golden lights, aided by nature, (and the mica schist in the stone).


“Not all that glisters is gold”, comes to mind. I once found a small brown stone in a pool near the Balmoral Estate, it was ‘coated’ in mica schist, when it dried off, the stone was not so attractive. I experimented with applying a little clear nail varnish. I brushed another two coats of clear varnish on to the little stone. It has glittered away ever since, and for me, makes an evocative paperweight.

A couple of tourists stood at edge of the entry to the beach, clicked away with their cameras, then wandered away.


Other people arrived, obviously having the same idea as us and they stayed.


A beach party was developing.

From a cluster of rocks that descended into the sea, another sandy cove could be seen in the distance.


This place is so beautiful, and I felt very privileged to savour its treasures.

The boat was being expertly manoeuvered over and through the surf, and the young lad in it, who was kitted out in a life jacket, was obviously revelling in the ride. The boat was taking a wide circle to return and start all over again.


There are many rocky outcrops along the coast, with their definitive upthrust signature. It is vital that seamanship is respectful of them. In this case, the knowledge would be from experience and local knowledge.


…And finally;


Playtime for all ages and people grabbing wholeheartedly the chance to relax. There was no doubt here, there were a number of happy feet!


As the door opened you could hear a droning, five…four…three…two… then the door shut before the final number was counted. The shop mail was hastily placed on the reception counter and the flustered-looking postman rushed out, without even a greeting to the staff in the shop. The urgency was to get back to the delivery van, press the off switch before the count of ‘one’ was complete.

The post delivery round is in a remote rural area, covering various villages and their businesses, the businesses get priority for the morning delivery over domestic post. No doubt, the postman had to get to the other villages and businesses on the route, each time, being counted out of his van with the individual deliveries and then being counted back. No two places have their counters or mail boxes in the same place.

Five seconds is a hellish and unrealistic time scale to work to per mail drop. What if it is not possible to park the van, (leaving the engine running for quick departure, which is illegal) close to where the mail needs to go. The postman is forced to double park as close as he can get. Other road users be damned! What if the conditions underfoot are slippery? We tend to have very inclement conditions; it can be icy in Winter; if there is a gale blowing, a regular feature of our climate, that can be another obstacle to timed speed deliveries. It is, in my view a recipe for an accident, it is also a recipe for developing, amongst other things, health problems.