Thursday, 19 June 2008

Oh Dear, Oh Dear

After having spent far too much time watching daytime TV in the last few weeks I have finally dragged myself away from the set to try and get my life back on course. Maybe it's my age or possibly it's a by-product of my accident but I feel an even stronger desire, than before, to highlight the world's wrongs. You may think I have lost a bit of my decorum in the process but it is possibly necessary in order to get my point across.
A prime example is "Big Brother"
I can only stand so much of the goings-on of the IQ minus contestants but I did enjoy the companion programmes.
Not any more.
Russell Brand has long since stopped doing the late night programme and now "Big Brother's Little Brother" has gone to the dogs due to the departure of the lovely Dermot O'Leary.
And most of the blame has to be lumped on the, not inconsiderable, shoulders of new "presenter" Zezi Ifore. She has curiously adopted a very dated 1980's "yoof" style despite only having been born half way through the decade!
Although I find it morally reprehensible, I hope she got the job through some sort of "casting couch" style interview. I would hate to think she was hired because someone thought she was even vaguely capable of doing the job. I recently asked a friend if she could find a practical use for Zezi. After much thought she replied "I suppose you could use her as a paperweight, although she might take up an inordinate amount of desk space due to her bulk".
Dermot was a cheeky chappy who was well presented, witty, funny and fitted his clothes nicely. Zezi is......different.
Why not visit her blog and "marvel" at the outpourings of an alumna of Oxford University. If you manage to crack the code and translate it in to intelligible English, please let me know! You can find her at

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

I'm Back

Just a short note to let you all know I am back at the helm. I had plans to go over the wall at night, or even dig a tunnel, but the hospital authorities let me out through the front door on Friday afternoon. They even provided an ambulance to take me home. Still no blue flashing lights but I'm getting used to it by now.
I am currently camped out in Chez Hester with my walking frame, grabber and a small tipple to keep my throat moist. My days are filled with watching TV, writing and reading. Most relaxing, if somewhat limiting.
This morning provided slightly more excitement though. I had a visit from Margaret, the district nurse. She came to remove the staples which were put in to hold my wound together. It was a bit painful at times but the whole thing was soon over. The sad thing about this whole episode is that my bikini wearing days are now over. I can't see it, but I must have a scar about 10 inches long running down my left thigh!
It's good to be back and I look forward to getting my teeth back into my blogging.
Take care my dears.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

as bright as a new pin

Well I'm back here to give you all an update on Marteen. She was in the operating theatre for several hours on Wednesday and now has a brand spanking, shiny new hip.
When I saw her on Wednesday evening she was very groggy and in a lot of pain which the medical staff were trying to alliviate for her. I was quite concerned about her that night as she didn't seem to know where she was and was quite confused. By the next morning Marteen had bounced back into the land of the living, when I say bounced it was more sort of hopped as she wasn't allowed to put any weight on the new joint.
Over the last couple of days Marteen has started to improve and we are both relieved to find that both her legs seem to be the same length again, the fractured one had shortened and we had visions of her spending the rest of her life walking round in circles.
She must be getting better, she has started moaning about the hospital food and I have had instructions to take something nice in for her so this afternoon will see her enjoying a bowl of strawberries and cream!
I'm really looking forward to her release and being able to spend some quality time together especially now the weather has picked up.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Who's the daddy?

Hello all again, the title may have you wondering what's going on. It was a question I was nearly asking Marteen, and at her age too!
As I mentioned in my first post Marteen is having a series of tests in hospital and yesterday's test was an ultra sound scan. You can imagine the mileage she got out of that one, being wheeled down to the maternity department and being surrounded by a large collection of pregnant women. She is not pregnant, which is hardly surprising given her age and me not having the relevant equipment to provide such a situation. She did get a few funny looks though, given that a woman of 63 gave birth not so long ago.
We don't know why they did this test but the results were fine. The weirdest test she has had was the person who came in, measured round her ankle and up to her knee on her good leg, then left. Answers on a postcard for that one please!

Sunday, 4 May 2008

nothing to do

Hello again, Marteen has been getting bored in the hospital and yesterday in a fit of enthusiasm she wrote a post on some paper which I am now going to post for you all.
I quote.....
Hello my dears.
In a strange quirk of fate I am writing a guest post on my own blog. I am more than happy t0 pass the reins over to the more than capable Hester whilst I am out of circulation, but I couldn'tresist the temptation to get my teeth into one of my old favourites, "The McCann circus".
Should you have been taking a gap year in some part of the world where electricity has yet to be invented, you might not be aware that 12 months ago a little girl vanished, and the global press went bonkers. For many months the world's scriptwriters and dramatists have been observed to tear their hair out in large clumps whilst wailing "God why have you forsaken us? How can we compete with such a glorious plot?" On the back of this affair, thousands of the world's journalists have grown very fat on the rich pickings available. My continuing issue with the McCanns has taken a new twist given that today (or at least it was when I wrote this) is the anniversary of the little girl's disappearance.
So how are we to celebrate the occasion? I suppose bunting and balloons are out. Maybe something like releasing "Madeleine the Movie", which is surely in production if not actually completed. My much more tasteful favourite choice, given the current lunatic fashion, would be for the McCanns to show their respect by observing a 12 month silence! If only! So if you really want to do something useful, why not follow the McCanns advice and leave a porch light on.
As I write my head is filled with images of some of the bright young things on BBC 1's Apprentice this week. One team was so passionate about green issues that they wanted card companies to turn the odd forest or two into greetings cards so people could pass on the ecological message. You might just detect a slight flaw in their plan, but they are still a bit wet behind the ears.
So what might these munchkins make of the McCanns wasteful proposal? Like me they are probably having an appoplectic fit! Thank God there is still some sanity left in the world. If I were to discover that Boris Johnstone had taken over London or something like that then it would all be over. Oh dear!

Friday, 2 May 2008

Excitement? Just fed up's Hester here, at least I hope it is if I've managed to press the right buttons, so you may notice a different style to this blog.

I have decided (under what Marteen calls encouragement, I call pushiness) to write a guest blog to inform all her readers of the plight she is currently in.
As you are all aware Marteen took a nasty tumble at the beginning of March and damaged her leg. Just when things should be improving a whole new saga starts.........

On Monday evening I took Marteen to the doctor's so that she could acquire a new supply of drugs and a further sick note to appease her boss. This was yet another new face for her to see, due to the retirement of the previous GP, and he decided that she should get an X-ray - "just for piece of mind" he said, I suspect otherwise and that he had his own suspicions but I digress. Anyway early Tuesday morning, having phoned my work to say I would be late, saw us first in the queue at the X-ray unit and this was when they discovered the reason for Marteen's continued agony. She has a fractured hip!!
When they discovered that she had in fact been to A & E TWICE and no X-ray had been done they were appalled and suddenly things started moving. She was to be transferred straight away to the orthopaedic department of the local hospital, yes the same one that houses the A & E department who don't X-ray, and an ambulance was summoned. I of course had to phone my work and book a holiday day as there was no way I was going to make it into work after all. Marteen was placed on a trolley and moved into a side room where I was allowed to sit with her while we waited for the ambulance. Around half an hour later an ambulance arrived and "two dishy paramedics" (Marteen's words) expertly transferred her onto an ambulance trolley and into the ambulance. I think Marteen quite enjoyed that bit as they kept calling her young lady! As the ambulance set off Marteen got a bit upset because they didn't put the flashy lights and siren's on.

At the hospital Marteen was again expertly transferred onto a gurney and wheeled into a cubicle. Strange how for weeks she has been told it is muscle damage and to keep moving her leg now all of a sudden her feet haven't touched the floor. I was allowed to remain with her and several hours passed while various nurses and doctors came and poked, prodded, pricked, jabbed, stole blood and asked many many many questions. Eventually a porter appeared and told her she was on the move, he then pushed her through miles and miles of hospital corridors with a nurse and myself in tow until we reached the ward where Marteen is now residing.
Marteen is now undergoing a series of tests so that the surgeons can decide the best course of action to take, a hip replacement either full or partial has been mentioned but we just have to play the waiting game for a few more days yet.

I am now on hospital visiting duty every night after work, trying to keep her spirits up but they wouldn't let me take any in for her! Only joking but if truth be told I am worried about her and I miss her being around at home but don't any of you tell her that.

Well bye bye for now and I will try to keep you all posted of her progress.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Help Wanted (Apply Within)

Two posts in three days! I've broken my writers block at last.

I have been doing a lot of thinking during my enforced leisure time. Some of it has been directed towards this blog. I seem to have lost my way a bit, or as Austin Powers would put it, I've lost my mojo! Those of you who read me regularly will know that my life has been in turmoil these last few months. My mother passed away at the end of last year, I think I've finally found the love of my life (although I will always hold a torch for George Clooney) and I have injured my left leg so badly that I've not been able to walk for two months. Certainly turbulent times. It has dented my confidence and I am not sure what direction I am going in any more. Hopefully I will soon be back on an even keel, but until then I will probably be all over the place, for which I apologise.

With all that's been going on with me recently I haven't felt the urge to comment on the world around me like I used to. I have therefore decided, at least for the moment, to concentrate on the personal diary aspect of this blog and pass the "social comment baton" onto someone else. I had hoped Robert would take up the mantle but it seems he is too busy burying his head in his encyclopedia and going train spotting. Hopefully I will find somebody before the"McCann Circus" arrives back in town to celebrate their first anniversary later in the week. It's too good an opportunity to miss. Applicants should also be keen to deride The Apprentice on BBC TV. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Publish or be Damned

It seems the title of my last post is very apt. Although it only feels like a short time, I have been a lady of leisure for nearly eight weeks now. That is to say, because of my current inability to walk, I have not been able to go to my work. I have not been totally idle though.
In the last few days, for instance, I have spent many hours trying to contact BT. I arranged to transfer to another Broadband supplier before I hurt my leg and this went through in the first week of March. Despite this, BT have billed me up to the end of April!
So, if you are stuck indoors on a rainy afternoon some day, here is a cheap way to keep you amused for a while. Phone BT on 0800 800150. Imagine that, like me, you have been overcharged for Broadband. You will find you are presented with endless menus from which you will have to make choices. You will also be asked to type in your full phone number on numerous occasions. When you find yourself in a loop, as you almost certainly will, change one of your choices and see what happens.
Award yourself 1 point for A) Every menu you encounter, B) Every minute your call lasts and C) Every time you type in your phone No.. If you actually get to speak to a human being before you accumulate 100 points I will probably die of shock. My current record is 26 for no result and I had to ring off in order to preserve what is left of my sanity.
Happy dialing.

Monday, 31 March 2008

Time Flies

Can't believe it's a fortnight since I last wrote! Hester has been on holiday for 10 days so I am going to blame her for distracting me. She will probably have other ideas when she reads this.
We spent last week in Edinburgh. It seems to be our karma of late to commute between Hester's flat, my flat, and my late mother's flat. We have become modern day nomads!
Although our recent stay in mum's flat was productive in terms of sorting out her paperwork (a nightmare) and tidying up some of her effects, I was unable to do certain things. I had the phone line disconnected a while back so I couldn't surf the Internet. Disaster. I have fallen in love with my Broadband. Hester's Dial-Up (which I am using now) is soooo painfully slow but no connection at all is too much to bear. I am sure it is responsible for the rash I am currently suffering.
Sadly my leg is still far from recovered and I was unable to climb the stairs up to my own flat. Good old Hester came to the rescue though. She also went to the bank and payed all the outstanding bills for both flats so I now have no fears about the utilities bashing down either of the doors in order to disconnect gas or electricity supplies.
As you have probably guessed we are back at Hester's place in Darkest England now. I am signed off work for a further month so there is no hurry for me to return to Edinburgh. Hester is back at work so I am going to spend my time checking out the blogosphere and catching up with my own paperwork. But first I am going to watch Loose Women. Need to get my priorities right!

Monday, 17 March 2008

Supplies Running Low

Day 18 in Hester's House (best pronounced in a Geordie accent). Fortunately the management have kept the Newcastle Brown ( my new tipple) flowing or I would have gone stir crazy by now. Is it me or does this post have a North-East flavour to it?
More concerning is that I have run out of clean knickers! I had a rummage through Hester's drawers (make what you will of that) and am currently wearing a pair of frilly purple ones. A bit too flashy by my standards but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. I hope Hester doesn't mind.
All going well she will be driving me back to Edinburgh at the weekend and staying for a few days. Between one thing and another I will be seeing her most days this month so there is an upside to this episode.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

A Spot of Culture

I went out to the theatre a couple of nights ago. The students at Hester's college were performing "Kiss me Kate". First time I have experienced such culture for a long time and I enjoyed myself.
I have now been staying with Hester for ten days or so and this was the first time I had been out of the house other than for a visit to the local Accident & Emergency Department! She drove me to the theatre, and back, but I was able to hobble in and out of the building under my own steam. I have got a couple of walking sticks from Hester which means I am at least partly mobile.
The kids put on a very good show. Thinking about their average age it struck me that I am old enough to be a grandmother to most of them. A bit disconcerting. Unfortunately I shared this fact with Hester and I suspect she will be casting it up for a long time to come, and me a poor invalid as well!
My leg might be a bit gammy but my fingers still work fine so I will still be able to share my experiences with you, even if I can't post any pictures for now.
Take Care.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Oh Dear!

It seems my wicked ways have caught up with me again. I see myself as a victim of circumstances, although I do admit some blame.
I have been having to get a coach between Edinburgh and Lockerbie recently because of line works at the weekend. Then I get the train the rest of the way to Hester's. When I boarded the coach a Virgin employee asked me if I would like to transfer to the one behind which was going to Carlisle (the next train stop down the line). This meant a chance to see some different scenery and it probably was a good decision, the way things turned out. When we got to Carlisle station I checked the departure board and discovered my train had been cancelled.
By this time my already dodgy legs had turned to the consistency of jelly.
And that was when I made my fatal mistake. I should have decided not to have any sherry for fear of making them worse. But instead I knocked back some I had secreted in an old juice bottle in the hope it would calm my nerves on the consequent bus and then train journeys.
By the time I got to Hester's station I needed her help to get off the platform. And worse still, when I got out of her car at the house I promptly fell over. How undignified.
Sunday afternoon saw us spending a "jolly" two or three hours at the local Accident & Emergency. Hester had to take me in in a wheelchair which was a further mortification.
The nice young doctor who examined me proclaimed that I had pulled a hamstring in the top of my leg and that I should take lots of painkillers and keep it moving.
Sorry no pictures, because I forgot to take my camera with me. The hospital wasn't very interestingng looking anyway. It seemed to be inspired by the World War II Pillbox school of architecture.
So here I am in Hesters house pouring out my sorrows whilst she is away trying to knock some drama into a bunch of reluctant teenagers. It is going to be days before I can walk well enough to go home so I have lots of time to contemplate my position. Hester, in one of her rare masterful moments, has banned me from drinking sherry. Probably for the best but sherry is sooo nice.
I am an eternal optimist and the upside of all this is that not only do I get even more TLC from Hester, but I also have lots of time to visit all the blogs I have been neglecting.
So long my dears.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

A Bit Behind

It seems my brother has pre-empted me. I will sort him out the next time we are in touch. My focus has been on Hester recently, and we have had some very good times. I should also add that our (Robert and I's) recent loss of our mother has meant that both of us have been involved with family matters, rather than blogging.

Hester and I had a Chineese Buffet meal on the Sunday night with her brother and his wife. It was fun although some of the food had probably been around since lunchtime, and it showed.

I remembered that JK Rowling started writing Harry Potter in a cafe in this street. When we left we saw newspaper cuttings which said the place we had been in was converted from the cafe JK used to visit.

Will describe our museum visit in detail soon, but here is a taster.

Here is a picture of my beloved in a space suit. I think it is very becoming. She has other ideas!

Sunday, 10 February 2008

More Crooked

I am still dining out on my visit to "The Crooked House" inn with Hester last week. I have shown lots of people the pictures I took. I was a bit upset about her imposing a sherry ban on me. In hindsight she was probably right though. You can't really see it in the interior pictures but the floors are all over the place in the same way the walls are. After a few glasses of my favourite refreshment I very much doubt I would have been able to navigate my way to the door. That would have been very unseemly and embarrassing for a lady.
Still trying hard to do the paraghraph thing. Robert can be a pedantic nerd at times.
I took the above picture in Morningside, which is a posh district of Edinburgh. I also took some pictures of pillar boxes for Robert shortly afterwards, but he can tell you about that himself. If you look at the vertical face of the buildings on the left and then the top of the roof of the building in the distance you will see there is something wrong with the angle. There is an underground stream to the right of the building and it is sliding in to it. Maybe Robert would like to start a new feature on squint buildings but I am done with the subject.
Hester is staying for a few days and we will be out and about snapping away so I am sure I will have more pictures to share with you soon.

Monday, 4 February 2008


Before I went down to see Hester on Saturday I took a couple of pictures when I was delivering. On the right you can see Swanston Village. I have made a mistake with the colour balance but I think the "blueness" enhances the coldness of the scene. It was very slippy, the dark patch at the bottom left of the picture is sheet ice, which I nearly fell over on, seconds before the picture was taken.

I posted a picture taken ages ago by Hester when the re-thatching was in it's early stages. All it really needs now, to be finished, is for the ridge at the top to be trimmed and then capped.

Another blueish picture on the left. Not too clear, but it is a Jacobs sheep. They, unusually, have four horns, two curly ones, which you can't see, and two sticky uppy ones. From this pic I am pretty sure this girl is the one that has only one of the sticky uppy ones in the herd.

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Grand Weekend Out

This week is my turn to visit Hester. I ended up taking a later train because I was delivering to Swanston and Damhead despite having changed my duty this week. Because of engineering works on the line the journey is much more complicated. I had to get a train from my usual station to Edinburgh Waverley. From there it was a coach to Lockerbie, about sixty miles south. Finally another train to Wolverhampton, and a meeting with my beloved. I took the above picture somewhere near the England /Scotland border. As you can see it is very "winter snow scene" up my way.

Today Hester and I did a bit of Sunday motoring. It was cold but dry and a bit windy. She took me to the above Inn first. As you can see from the name it is a bit squint. There is local theory that this is caused by subsidence. Hester and I are much more of the opinion that it was built this way. Make up your own mind.
This interior shot gives you another perspective. When I sent it to Robert he said the builders might have lost their spirit level, what ever that is.
The last call of our trip was to Bridgenorth station on the private Severn Valley Railway. Sadly they have been subject to major storm damage and they need a lot of money to re-instate the damage done to their tracks. We saw some smoke coming from the engine sheds but it turned out to be just a brazier. You can see Thomas the Tank engine in the foreground. I thought Hester was joking about there being a full sized one. Couldn't see any Fat Controller though!

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

New Horizons

This is the van I use on my new duty. I have also invested in a new camera and love using it. Will give the van a name but I have not thought of one yet. All polite suggestions will be respectfuly considered.
I am still getting to know the good burghers of Bruntsfield. They are a mixed bunch. There are lots of students who live there, which is great. They rarely get up before noon so I don't have to go upstairs to deliver to them in the early morning.
I forgot to say that the van has a "Postman Patesque" look about it. Maybe I should get a black and white cat!
Those of you who now feel the need to do "pussy" jokes can give it a rest. I am above such stuff.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Grand Day Out

OK, it is the middle of winter, but Hester and I spent far too much time indoors last weekend. It's such fun to get out and explore. We both love travel and I hope we can do lots of that together in the warmer months to come. We are already planning a coach tour to Ireland. Hester has never been there and I was very young the last time I visited.

Have to keep up the paragraph thing or Robert will be on my back again.

My first pic is of the Pentland Hills as seen from the southern extremities of Edinburgh. The white strips you see are artificial ski slopes. Many years ago when I lived in the area there was only one, now there are three. The lines across the picture are high voltage power cables.

It's not easy to realise from the picture that these animals are Scottish Highland Cattle. They have "Long Horns" which is unusual in this country, and they have very long coats. Again unusual.

Sadly they were quite far away from the fence and my zoom lens was not able to bring them much closer.

You know I love equines. Young horses and ponies in particular. So my last picture will be no surprise. It is so cute. Hester was very moved as well. He was such a cutie.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Fond Farewell

My life is going to change. Next week I start a new duty at work. I have opted to go part-time, because I want to spend more time winding up my mothers estate. There are other advantages too. I will work Tuesday to Saturday. This means that when I visit Hester I can have all day Sunday with her and she can drop me off at the station on her way to work on Monday morning. Unfortunately I will have to wait about 2 Hrs for my train because that is the one where I can get cheap tickets. But I still get home in the early afternoon.

Sorry, I forgot I am supposed to be doing paragraphs at Robert's instruction. It's so tedious.

Given what I have just said I have been doing a nostalgia (it's not what it used to be) trip. I will probably visit them again at sometime, but I have been saying goodbye, for now.

Today was "Famous Author Land". I have had some good times, culminating in the visit with Hester to Alexander McCall-Smith. I know, but won't admit it, that I am star-struck with famous people. I know Hester has clocked me. She is very astute.

On Friday I do Damhead. So many memories. I told you about Arlene recently. I hope Hester and I can catch her eventing in the summer. It would be such a good day out.

I want to wrap this one up now. My life is going through a significant period at the moment. I hope you find the happiness I think is around the corner for me. I want all the best for my readers. You have very good taste.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Damhead Day

Was doing another route last week when I should have been out in Damhead so it is over a fortnight since I have been there. They were starting to forget what I look like. Probably not as bad as it sounds, all things considered.
Sadly my little van, which I showed you pictures of in "Damhead Revisited" recently, is a bit poorly. I was sitting in a que of traffic waiting for a truck to do a maneuver when it was hit from behind by a taxi and was punted into the car in front. Thankfully yours truly was uninjured but SW6, which is her official title (you will see she has that above the windscreen in yellow letters if you look back at the previous post), was damaged at both ends. Consequently we had to hire another van. I have therefore been "White Van (Wo)man" today. I have tried to break every Highway Code rule, which is mandatory for the drivers of these vehicles, but it has been difficult. I am too mature and have too much conscience to get fully into the role. And too little testosterone to carry it off.
Something that came much more easily was thinking about Arlene. I haven't mentioned her before but she is very significant to me. I had some letters for her house and I exchanged a few words with her mother who was in the yard as I drove in.
Although I like to "mother" Robert a bit I do it because he can be a bit socially inept at times, and he is older than me anyway. Arlene is in her mid twenties, and is therefore of an age for me to be motherly to, and she is the only person I have felt about in that particular way. That is why she is special to me.
We also share a love of horses. She has a beautiful piebald called Patch which she does eventing with. She once told me if it was a choice between a boyfriend and Patch, the horse would win out. Equines just get some people that way. Her ultimate goal is to be in the "Horse of the Year" show in London. I would happily go and support her and probably be in floods of tears most of the time.
What a silly old sausage I am.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

More Comment

Now that Robert has found his blogging feet I am going to let go of my matronly supervision of him. But sometimes you have to nurse the little dears, for their own good, don't you.

I have taken note of recent news stories and there are a couple I want to comment on. I have been a bit wrapped up in goings on in my own life recently but I am now feeling like taking an interest in other peoples again.

You will also note that I have taken notice of Roberts comments about the lack of structure, paragraph wise, in my writing. Not that it will last!

The big story for me has to be the one about the twins who were separated at an early age and ended up marrying each other. It raises so many questions. And I love questions. I ask them all the time. On the downside I have to be critical (so no change there then) about a system that splits up siblings. I may have a shrinking family myself but that does not stop me believing that keeping familys together, as much as possible, is good for our society. I really feel for those two people. Where do they go from here? Guess I am in matronly mode again!

The other story that grabbed my attention is the one about the police dogs. It seems we, in Britain, don't breed the best dogs so we have resorted to importing them from Germany. Unfortunately these animals don't understand English commands which has caused problems. Handlers have had to learn German commands such as "Grabben ze creeminal bitte" (Grab the thieving bastard by the nuts, please) and "Peese on ze buggers Porsche" (Piss on the twats German metal). I am so glad that policing has embraced the 21st Century!

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Bob the Bloger

It seems like a silly title but that is what my brothers new blog is called. I have included a link in my Roll of Honour. If you like pillar boxes this could be the blog for you. I believe he will be doing train names soon. I can't wait! But please indulge him. He doesn't get out much, the poor soul.

Post Scriptum

Sorry about the small typeface in that last post. I don't normally like to use the same colour twice in a row either. Oh dear, I really messed that one up. And I can't find a way to change it. I also forgot to mention that I have finally talked big brother Robert into starting his own blog. He is already planning a series entitled "Pillar Boxes I Have Known". He intends to feature a picture of a different box each time. Should be riveting, so he tells me. I will keep you up to date with the news, as and when it breaks.

The Leith Police Dismiseth Us

I am really getting into this photograph thing. Once again I have to thank my sweet for her nifty lenswork. More on that in a minute. Some of you will no doubt recognise the title. It is a world renowned tongue twister. Try saying it out loud and you will see what I mean. My titles are sometimes witty, or so I like to think, but they are always apt. Leith, although it has it's own identity, is technically a suburb of Edinburgh and is the location of the above building. The question is, or was, where in Leith? It featured in a TV programme a couple of years ago. Part of the series called "Grand Designs". I think that was the name of it. I am sure, you know who, will correct me if I'm wrong! We had both seen the programme and were intrigued by it and wanted to find the building. So on our way to visit Ocean Terminal shopping centre recently we did a bit of house hunting, so to speak. I might be a bit straight laced in some respects but I do have a sense of adventure. And I love a good puzzle. I bought a 1000 piece jigsaw recently entitled "Empty Sky". That was quite a challenge I can tell you. But with the help of a pair of scissors and some glue I finally got it all fitted together. But I digress. We both had our theories about it's location so we tried them first. Nothing. So we had to resort to quartering the whole area. As we passed down Saxe Coburg Street for the second time I happened to glance sideways and got a view of it. We turned into a cul-de-sac (That's French by the way) and there it was. I was so excited that I couldn't resist the temptation to go up to the front door and knock on it. Hester was horrified, she would never do such a thing, but I reckoned the worst that could happen was that they would say "push off", although possibly not in such polite terms! It may not look much from the outside but the interior is exquisite and was rebuilt from scratch. I was keen to see it for myself. As I was standing on the doorstep the local busybody put his head out of his door and said "they're out". No shit Sherlock. I'd never have thought of that. We had little option but to get back in the car and drive off. But we have this one pic and the memory of our successful adventure to savour. Priceless. Hopefully we have many more to come.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Damhead revisited

As I haven't mentioned Damhead for a while I thought this would be a good time to remind you all about the rural run. Despite the fact that Hester is staying with me at the present time, I took the opportunity to do some overtime yesterday and delivered to my beloved countryside run whilst she visited her pal in town. I was disappointed that the llamas were not to be seen, and the weather was so bitter that they were probably huddling together for warmth, out of sight.

The above picture is my little van I use to deliver to Damhead. I don't have a black and white cat but otherwise Postman Pat and I are very similar. Except my nose is not quite so big, despite what Hester says, and I deliver to a lot more people than he does in his 20 minute programmes.

A different angle in which to view my van, Hester can be a bit snap happy at times, but I love her for it.

Wishing all my readers a Happy New Year!

Bitter Sweet Symphony Part 2

Same script as last time. The "bitter" is the murder of Benazir Bhutto. There are others who are better to comment on the situation than me. They are much more informed than I am. I can only say I admired her and am very sad about her demise. I worry about the implications for the whole world that this event poses. Pakistan is a volatile area at the best of times. It has a great significance in current world politics.

I said who represented "sweet" in part one. I want to extole her virtues.
But I have a story to tell instead.
She has been dropping hints for weeks that she wants a copy of Alexander McCall-Smith's latest "Scotland Street" novel.
Last Friday I bought her the last copy left in Kay's bookshop.
I also happened to have a package to deliver to Mr McCall Smith in "Famous Author Land" , and a plot hatched in my mind. I would take the book along and ask him to sign it. Hester is too shy to do such a thing but I am forward enough to do it.
When I got to the door and his wife answered I thought the deal was off. I told her my hopes and she said leave the book and she was sure when her husband returned in a couple of hours he would sign it and I could pick it up later.
As it happened, Hester picked me up from work that day. On our way back home we stopped outside his house and I invited her to come to the door with me. I expected to pick up the book, and we would leave, but things took another twist.
His wife came to the door, and this time asked us into the house. Shortly afterwards Mr McCall -Smith appeared and invited us into his study where he writes his books.
Not only did he discuss his books with Hester but he signed the copy of his latest "Scotland Street" novel I had bought. On top of that he signed and gave to her a number of his other novels.
Neither Hester or I are materialistic. I am sure we will both treasure the experience for a long time to come. For everything else there is crappy Mastercard, as the ad goes.