Life in Fife


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deep thought

Me. Probably buying shoes on Ebay, from Office, Schuh, Dr Martens, M&S ...

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08.06.10 Back home after an unbelievably wonderful weekend in Luxembourg, at Kerry & Ross's wedding.  The ceremony took place in the walled garden of Chateau Bourglinster, and the whole day was so very, very memorable.  The full story will be written up at the weekend, but suffice to say here that the combination of joy and (happy) tears will not be forgotten.  Colin said it so well when he sat on my knee and told me how seldom one is given the opportunity to express in public how much one's family means to one.  It's not often that words fail me - anyone who knows me will appreciate the truth and irony of this statement.  Just being able to turn around and see sisters, nieces, father, nephew, aunties, cousin, and extended family for whom the niceties of "in-law", "once removed" or "sister's husband's brother's wife " do no justice, was glorious. 

Oh, and I broke the wall in the trattoria. 

20.05.10 Crikey, another long day at work. Why does it always crank up so during the middle months of the year?  Anyway, your correspondent was the only one who could do the plank at Pilates tonight.  God knows why, but my back, long the scourge of my existence, seems to have taken on a new life as the star of the exercise class.  Not my legs, which give out when faced with that softy ball thing, or the abs.

We are making preparations for Kerry's wedding, plus virtually holding Fiona's hand as she grows the baby.  Can one family cope with this much excitement?  Had a flash back to the late 70s, Colin balancing babies on one hand held high, and them giggling like mad.  Elspeth told me not to say that.

Songs that stick in your head becasue they have effective hooks are not necessarily great songs, but when I'm out in the club and I'm sipping that bubb then you're not gonna reach my telephone.  And I cannot text you with a drink in my hand eh.  Yes, it has been an incredibly hard day at work.  Time to give my wedding shoes a work out.  Props to Sarah who is going to assist with the missing diamante issue.

Playing Mr Blue Sky/ELO, the song I danced with Fiona to, when she was 18 months.  Rubbish grammar intentional.  And Emma will be home soon!!

15.05.10 Panic over, shoes acquired, thank goodness for the interweb.  It has been so busy at work that I actually find myself sitting here with nothing to say except "Wibble".  

11.05.10 So David Cameron is now PM.  This website does not enter into political discussion, but I just thought I would make a note. 

I still have to find shoes for Kerry's wedding!!

01.05.10 Taking time out from trying to synchronise the kitchen calendar, my diary, the band diary, my work diary and the Google calendar.  It's Bank Holiday weekend so hooray for the rubbish weather. Might tootle up to Vane Farm to see which birds are about, before booking a space behind the sofa for the second part of the Weeping Angels Dr Who story.  I was relieved to find out how many grown ups found last week's episode to be very scary. 

18.04.10 Here is a better, that is to say, not so funny, picture of A8M, plus others from BA 2010.

17.04.10 Commiserations to anyone reading this because they are stuck without a flight.  Here is a picture of After 8 Mince falling off a log.  

We had a brilliant time up in Blair Atholl, then went on to the Highland Wildlife park, and up Cairn Gorm.  Will put up more pictures tonight.  Oh, ok then - 

09.04.10 No sleep 'til bedtime! Had another dedicated session of Pilates yesterday as there were only two of us in the class.  Jabbered about it on the phone to everyone so there's a tip, don't ring me on a Thursday.

05.04.10 Finally lost it today, went all round wee Tesco making my carefully selected purchases, only to arrive at the checkout and discover that I had left my purse at home.  Rescued big style by Marie and John, who had only come over to offer me a lift back up the road, and ended up paying for my messages.  How cool are they? 

02.04.10 Oh my word, an art exhibition devoted to Tunnock's.  

01.04.10 Sitting quietly after an epic day at work, and after a big rehearsal last night.  Wishing you all a happy Easter, hope that everyone has the opportunity to have some me time, along with any family celebrations.  

Go quietly into that good night.  

Possibly not the most appposite quote, but that's the way I am feeling; listening to Beth Nielsen Chapman and thinking about what Easter actually means.  Chow down on your eggs on Sunday.  

Oh, and did I mention that there is a new Doctor on Saturday? Countdown starts now !!!!!

21.03.10 By complete fluke I have managed to upload some pictures from my phone.  A lot of them are just for the dedicated, but here are some which worked. My site, my rules.  Plus, if you have not see Smithy's skits for Sports Relief, have a look.  They are genuinely funny. 

14.03.10 Back from another lovely weekend in Beadnell.  We had a grand time meeting up with our chums from the Norwegian cruise in 2008. 

Pictures here

New Doctor BBC1 3rd April.  Cannot wait.  Will not say a word until Carol & Roger are back from Oz though. 

28.02.10  Went to see Jennifer Batten on Friday, at the Inn at Lathones, great wee set up they have there, you can stay in the Inn and walk the 10 yards to the gig.  Admittedly it was 10 yards through the wind and snow, but that just made it all the nicer to arrive.  Word of warning,  leave plenty room in your tummy for breakfast.  Shame we had to be up so early and leave, but the car had to have a thing done to its plenum chamber at 10 a.m. in Dunfy.  VW were paying, so we sat inside drinking free tea and coffee, reading free papers and were then handed back a sorted car which had also been vacuumed and washed!!  So props to the guys at Specialist Cars, Halbeath.  Hope your hoover is still working, cos that footwell was toting a fair amount of dirt, glaur and mank.  Next, over to Edinburgh to see The Beauty Queen of Leenane at the Lyceum.   A very good play, well acted, just wish they could have spoken up a bit.  I think the set might have dampened some of the acoustics.  

26.02.10 Here's a thing. If you work in a shop, and you have a very bad cold, please tell your boss that I say it's ok for you to go home.  This will be infinitely preferable to having to give me a newspaper you have just sneezed on.

21.02.10  total bonus - an episode of The Woodentops on FaceTube!  I thought they had all been lost.  This was my all time favourite Watch With Mother programme when I was wee.  Monday Picturebook, Tuesday Andy Pandy , Wednesday Bill & Ben, Thursday Picturebook again and Friday The Woodentops.   Picture book had the 3 Jolly Jack Tars, and Busy Lizzie, who had a magic daisy on her dress that gave her three wishes a day.   (As I recall she went on to have her own show).  It also featured Sausage the dachshund, who wore a different coat every week, and could speak a bit.  So you see, Pixar, it's been done before!  Anyway, have a look at this clip, and if you can keep a straight face when Spotty Dog, my first love, the hero of the hour and a pivotal influence on my pre-school awareness, starts singing, then you simply do not deserve this golden nugget of the early 60s. 


07.02.10  Here's one of our recent visitors.  I have found a programme on this new PC that allows you to compress picture files for web pages, which means I can nick Paul's pictures now for banthewasp.  His camera takes pictures which have a file size so large, gentle reader, that he has a separate hard drive for them.  The down side of this is that the compressed files cannot be embiggened. So don't bother double clicking.  And yes, I do realise that the old PC would have had a similar programme, but this one actually says"compress pictures for web pages".

Blue tit 30.01.10  taken by Kirsty with Paul's camera cos my batteries weren't charged. Yes, haha, my camera batteries...


30.01.10 Did you know that any paper format book tokens will no longer be valid from April this year? Spend them now!

28.01.10 Have been to a pilates class.Anyone who knows me will understand the momentous impact of this statement.  Having spent my schooldays amongst a terror of women who believed that all sport and PE was for the competitive only, I eschewed it as far as possible.  Tonight I enjoyed an evening of gentle stretches designed to help my spine.  Cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to next week. A veritable first for me. (07.02.10 made rude noise with the physio lacky band on 2nd visit but all is well, am still going back.)

10.01.10 Still freezing. Still snowing.  Still got heat and food.  Still cannot upload pictures from phone.  So, we went up to Vane Farm today and we saw the sea eagles!!!  Majestic in flight, almost as big a golden eagle, with an eight foot wing span, able to direct their flight by turning just the very tippy edges of their wings.  At the bird tables in front of the farm cafe, we saw yellowhammers, blue tits, tree sparrows and bramblings, coal tits and blackbirds.  People, if you want a wildlife display in your front garden, put out some food.  This weather is a crisis point for wild life.  Goodness, it should have been this cold in Norway, 2008.

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Paul en route to hide. 

01.01.10  Happy New Year to everyone and here's hoping the blooming snow goes soon.

29.12.09 Had most excellent Champagne Tea yesterday at the Old Course Hotel in St Andrews, with Diana, Kevin, Caroline, Nigel, Emily, Julia and Paul. This was our final(?) celebration for our annus mirabilis, all the SHS girls being 50.  But it's only a few days 'til Caroline's birthday, so we can start all over again.   I was so shocked at the fact that our car was valet parked, that I forgot to lift the camera from the boot.  So now I need to load up the thingy that lets me upload pictures from my phone.  Never mind that, it was just grand to have a big blether. 

28.12.09 We finally managed to have Christmas lunch yesterday with the family. Driving wasn't a whole load of laughs but Paul managed very well, and Ali and Les put on a magnificient spread when we arrived in Edinburgh. I know I shan't be eating again for a week. 

Here's someone who probably will, though.

Nick 1 271209.jpg (220464 bytes)  Nick 


24.12.09 What a grumpy git I am.

Have taken very hard decison not to go through to Stirling and Falkirk today to pick up Dad and Aunty Net.  I feel like the Grinch, but we're all agreed that it's the right thing to do.  Sometimes right does not equate with easiest.

23.12.09 Massive snowplump here in Fife.  I will not bore you all with the trials and tribulations of the journey to work and home again, except to say - PLEASE will the people who find it necessary to bemoan their lot in the train station, as if they are the only people who are inconvenienced by the weather, just take a look around and think for a minute.  Everyone else has made it there through their own set of woes. We don't need to hear about yours.  Yes, that is why the woman next to you goes "Oh....," and slams on her headphones. She is me.

22.12.09 BACK ON LINE!! We had to buy a new PC box, and adopt Windows 7. Paul has been beavering away to resuscitate Frontpage, and by jingo he has done it. The boy is a genius.  

Banthewasp would like to wish everyone a tremendously Happy Christmas. Wherever you are, and wherever you are going, we wish you a safe journey.  We hope very much to see you in 2010.  Jingle Bell Rock. 

06.12.09 Always a tense moment in Camp Chandler - the hard drive has been acting up ever since Paul put together a new pc for his dad, which involved much swapping of parts.  So, everything has been re-installed.  As I use Microsoft (ack! fooey! koff!) Frontpage 1976 to deftly craft this jibberish, we have to find it, and then find the files, and oh it's a long story but I always have visions of banthewasp floating off in cyberspace, a bit like at the end of 2001.  I would start a blog but it's not the same. Anyway, the house looks like a proper tip now, the Wrapping of Gifts has begun and I don't see it ending until this time next week.  

Anyone seen the preview of Dr Who on the Xmas BBC idents?

22.11.09  This website is currently recovering from the fact that Scotland just won two of something in a row. 

19.11.09 Good evening to everyone in the rain-sodden nation. At least there is a Wallace and Gromit retrospective on t.v. tonight.  (7 p.m.) We've nearly recovered from Dr Who on Sunday, only to know that we're going to be in bits again at Xmas. 

Hmm. Might have been last night. 

09.11.09 Next Dr Who this Sunday 15th November at 7 p.m. on BBC 1. Be there. 

08.11.09 Thanks to Sooz for pointing out the date error.  I have just looked at Ebay, part of my Sunday ritual of patrolling my e-manor.  Were I to lose any modicum of common sense, I could buy a Jedward t-shirt.  I could also rant about this, but the fact that it took us two hours to complete a twenty-five minute train journey last night has sapped me of bile. 

07.11.09 Various factors had put our annual trip to Slaley Hall in doubt, but we're just back, and as ever we had a terrific time.  We do take with us all manner of diversions but end up spending most of the evenings blethering, plus on the train I had with me the Ipod, DSi, DVD player, and radio phone, but we both simply read our books or watched the glorious east coast scenery.  Northumbria blazed in its autumn coat, one day we will see this favoured county in the summer!  We managed without the car.  But here's a suggestion to rail companies, a quiet coach is already provided, how about one for passengers who want to pick fights with each other?  To start it off, all the seats could be reserved but give all the passengers reservations which don't match.  That was piloted yesterday and it worked ....

31.10.09  Last weekend we took Paul's new camera lens to the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh . The sheer size of his picture files precludes their inclusion on this website so you'll just have to make do with mine.  The John Hope Gateway is now open on the west side, you can catch the Wych Elm project just now. If we'd had a spare eight thousand quid we would have bought the Edinburgh cabinet, it was superb. 

29.10.09 So the dark nights are with us again.  Hunkering down by the fire and watching the tv with rugs on our knees. Certain issues in Chteau Holmes mean that we are not able to venture as far afield during daylight as we would normally. But we have many jaunts to look forward to, nonetheless.  

18.10.09 Anyone who knows me will realise how excited I become about visitors to the Forth. Click here for the Queen Mary 2, back to see us again after a five year absence.  This picture (and 34 others) taken from the Forth Bridge around 11:30 a.m..  Can I just say how different the Saturday train passengers are from we commuters - we may be de'il tak' the hindmost but at least we don't faff about. And to the lady who gave me the evil eye all the way to Edinburgh, I had my own reasons for grabbing that seat, and trust me, they were better than yours.  Oh, it's great to be perfect.

11.10.09 Yet again I have to put out a plea to the world at large.  If I am in your way, and I can't see you, please just say "Excuse me".  I will happily shift.  Do not stand there glaring at me in the hope that I will divine this by telepathy. And, never, never, ever shove me, because  I will then have to kill you.  Small child in ASDA lucky to be alive today. 

Other than that, we are playing with the Wii and getting to know its idiosyncracies. It has many. 

06.10.09 We've just ordered a Wii. And bought into the regime.

24.09.09 Rieko has written a new book which you can see here.  It features a picture of Paul on page75, under Scottish Kilts. 

11.09.09 Just back from Paris and London.  Both stunning cities which we had not visited in a very long time. The famous Parisian disdain for all things touristique was noticeably absent during our stay, maybe that's an upside of the credit crunch?  Anyway, we stayed in a beautiful old-fashioned hotel in the fashionable 16me arrondissement (it says here) which was just around the corner from the Tour Eiffel and three minutes walk from Arc de Triomphe.  We had glorious sunshine which frankly was a bit too glorious once the temperature got up past 30, but most of the time we simply trotted around and displayed our mastery of the English language by going "Oooh," "Wow," and "Blimey!" a lot.  Some pictures here but as always far too many to upload.  There are also some on Facebook.  Pictures here.

We trundled across to London on the Eurostar train, and stayed in Euston Road right next to the British Library.  The articles on display here are phenomenal, for example the originals of the following - Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bront, (left open at "Reader, I married him...") a violin piece by Beethoven, with scribblings out, Scott of the Antarctic's diary, the Magna Carta - each item left me wondering how it could be bettered by the next.  Out into the courtyard we went to recover, overlooked by Paolozzi's sculpture of Newton and an installation by Anthony Gormley.  Our hotel had a wonderful view over London from the 14th floor.  

We also went to the Science Museum in South Kensington; as we exited the tube station Paul immediately recognized the buildings opposite from the siege of the Iranian embassy back in 1980 when the SAS stormed the building.  The museum itself again has so many exhibits which reach out, tap you gently on the chest and say "Look at me. I changed history."  

There was also a small dog

09.08.09  "If you're feeling kinda tedious, if life is seriously mediocre.." The High Life is back; previously only available for a shocking price on Ebay, this DVD of Air Scotia's finest can be found on Amazon.  It's possible that the dvd release, after 22 years, of Tutti Frutti  - hooray! - has sparked this.  

02.08.09 Yesterday we journeyed all the way to the end of the street to wave "Bon voyage" to Rosemary, as she sailed along the Forth on board the Boudicca.  As usual these days it was only a matter of time before the weather became rough, and we know that the lady herself was very sensibly at the dinner table by the time the ship actually passed us.  We did wish that we were on board too.

The beach also had the usual DB denizens (yes, I do like that word); dogs, children, crows, oyster catchers and a curlew.  Given that the conditions for photography could not have been much worse if we had been inside a tornado, I'm quite pleased with these.  My website, my rules.

28.07.09 In Glasgow we went to see the Dr Who exhibition at the Kelvingrove Gallery.  Our pictures here.

27.07.09  A weekend in Glasgow, of which more anon.  In the midst of it all, sitting in a shop on Sauchiehall Street which sells salads and pianos,  we heard that Harry Patch had died.   I read Harry's book earlier this year.  If you can, catch the poem written for him by Andrew Motion.  Harry was the last Tommy from World War I.  

12.07.09 Been a busy old week, we were at a wedding in Blair Castle last weekend, at which we saw many of the family.  Torchwood has been running at 9 p.m. each week night, and miraculously I was only five minutes behind the curve by the end.  Anyone who knows my complete  and total failure to cope with any lengthy tv series will be impressed by that.  T in the Park is on this weekend, yesterday was a scorcher but this morning it's cold and wet.  

Had a meal here which was most enjoyable - very French.  

04.07.09  I've been quiet because it's been hot.  Not as hot as where Emma is, though.


Emma Fraser at work in Guidam Roumji, Niger

20.06.09 Today I went to the cashline and took out some money.  There was a gang of teenagers behind me and as I punched the buttons I was very interested to hear their speech patterns. "So, Ah was, like, and she was, like, and then she said, "Eh, no way!!" an Ah'm like "Ahr ye gonnae say that?" an then ah'm like "Nn-i-i-i"*, and she's like," etc. So entranced was I, that I neglected to collect the money. Young lad ran into the post office after me to give me back the notes.  I'm not going to say that this has restored my faith in the youth of today, because I have never lost it. But, young man, you are worthy of mention here. 

* A linguistic device impossible to render on paper without a degree in the subject.  It's a noise made at the back of the throat, ejected via the nose, and it means - well, in our house we understand it to mean "The answer to your question is no, and the fact that you have asked it leads me to doubt your sanity." 

06.06.09 I have noticed a trend recently whereby people announce their intention to steer clear of products "stuffed with chemicals".  Everything has chemicals, is made from chemicals, and unless you are a vacuum you cannot get away from this fact.  I know that what they mean is that they wish to eschew pollutants or carcinogenics, but oh, how I wish they would just say that. 

31.05.09 So the heat got to my brain yesterday and I proved that yet again I cannot tell west from east.  Corrections made, before you all start phoning me to crow about it. 

30.05.09  Very hot yesterday, consequently Deep Sea World was relatively quiet when we went there with the Burgess family.  In the afternoon we set off to find the western WW1 gun emplacements, which we did not visit last time.  They are not as visible as the east set, but we took some pictures on the walk anyway.  Note to self, wear sensible shoes next time.  Walkers do not care whether you look pretty.

23.05.09 I now have the two 2 coins for 2009 although I was beginning to despair, so I ordered them from the mint. I think people make a habit of saving these, the cost on Ebay is ridiculous but they do seem to be in short supply.  

Our guide dog Chlo has graduated, hooray!  Now we have a new one called Ollie, a German Shepherd pup.

16.05.09 You don't need to know what I dreamed about last night.  

New sculpture park opened near Kirknewton, could be worth a visit but they are understandably fairly prescriptive about who turns up when. 

15.05.09 Stuck inside with hideous cold, last night when I did sleep I dreamed of huge lists of numbers rising up at me and spreadsheets which locked up the data.  At one point I had on fleecy pjs, the winter duvet, two blankets, two hot water bottles and I still could not get warm.  My talent for rhetorical hyperbole is legend, but that one's true.

10.05.09  Oh we did enjoy that film.  Have been looking at Ebay of late, finding some fairly random articles for sale.  There's good money to be had for authentic vintage Sindy dolls.

03.05.09  Tension mounts in Chteau Holmes as the launch date for the new Star Trek film draws tantalisingly closer, it says here.  To stave off cultural drought until that time, we raided the world cinema section of HMV yesterday, realising that for the price of 2 cinema tickets (without trough of popcorn (bleurgh) or vat of cola) we could buy 5 dvds.  Nothing will ever stop us enjoying the real cinema experience, with a cup of tea or coffee (I never said we were minimalists) but until I retire*, there is no independent arty farty cinema nearby and the sort of films we would like to see are not always on in Dunfy, unless you sit up until midnight on a Thursday. Not an option on a school night. 

*when I retire I am going to look into setting up a local film society.  Must start thinking of a name for it since DBFC is already taken, twice (Folk Club, Football Club).  

17.04.09 Guess that's all the excitement over then, I have had my birthday lunch, which was a grand affair, and we have been to Amsterdam for a look at the tulips.  Turned out we were not the only people with that single vision, which when you think about it is not surprising.  Highlights for me were: seeing huge fields of riotous colour from the bus; eating poffertjies while watching avocets and spoonbills; seeing young gorillas and orangutans; and seeing the silverback running to scare off a tapir, beating his chest like a wee laddie in the playground.  The hotel was good, handy for the station and the scarily punctual trains. The staff could not have been more helpful and there was a posh lounge with beautiful views of the city skyline.  Pictures.

10.04.09  I never want to be this cool.  Had a lovely day yesterday in the office, my desk had been decorated for my impending birthday, there were cards, gifts and a few tears.  Having organised and taken part in so many presentations over the years, it's weird to be on the receiving end, but it was good.  People asked me if I am bothered about turning this great age, but I'm not, and anyway I've just found a plook, which proves I can't be that old yet.

Looking forward to my extra big birthday treat of a Dr Who special on Saturday at 18:45.  At least that's when I get to watch it, the rest of you have to wait. 

28.03.09 Played an interesting night in South Queensferry scout hut yesterday, if you can call a beautifully kitted out hall, with extra tent drying facility ,on the shore of the river, in the middle of a marina, a hut.  The girls thrashed the blokes in the quiz, and the audience, if noisy, were most appreciative, which does us no end of good since it's hard pouring out your soul to a pool table in rehearsals.  And we all were given a bottle of beer.

21.03.09  So, Dalgety Bay - too posh to be on Google Street View, eh? Never mind, I have spent many happy hours already, looking up and down various avenues, boulevards, gaits, axes and err, streets.  What does puzzle me is how they managed to find so many sunny days in Edinburgh. 

Go here to read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Scots.

14.02.09 As you will know, our nephew Nick is on his travels just now, he has just spent some time on a detour to miss Cyclone Hamish down the east coast of Australia.  I was quite disgusted to have to dig fairly deep into the news to find out anything about it, had it been in America it would have been all over the papers.  Anyway, Hamish was bigger than Katrina, so we're glad he avoided it. 

The giant stag sculpture is now outside Murrayfield stadium, painted blue and white. I tried to film it from the train but it didn't come out very well, which is probably no bad thing as there is major incompatibility between this ancient web builder software and any mpg files.   (Yes Sooz, I know you gave me Dreamweaver thingy ages ago but I can be a bit of a Luddite still.) 

02.03.09 If only I'd known it was so easy to achieve.

01.03.09 Just back from Beadnell, Northumbria, where we met up with everyone from the Discovery holiday.  It was just excellent to be able to pick up from where we left off, after bidding our farewells in the Discovery Lounge back in August 08.  (DL was the scene of our many quiz triumphs, btw.)  Rosemary put us through our quiz paces again, after a terrific buffet chez Carol and Roger, and we had a happy time exploring even more of our favourite (my Lancastrian mother-in-law will argue with me on this point) English county.  Next time we meet up we hope that Jean is fully recovered, but it was much appreciated that everyone was able to be there.  

Our pictures of dinner last night are not very flattering of anyone, but here they are

On Saturday we went here, to the Alnwick Garden. It's brill.  There are so many very interesting places to visit in the vicinity. We are taking Carol's viewpoint though, we don't want to tell you about them. Hmmph.   

27.02.09 Nick is now in Cairns, Australia.  And we are in another Japanese book on Scotland, written by our chum Rieko Ishii Tanaka.  This book details her journeys around Britain by public transport.  

Rieko Green Book.JPG (448241 bytes)  Double click on the picture to see book on  

Can't believe it's nearly March and no sign of the new 2 coins in my loose change.  At this rate I'm going to have to buy them from the Mint.  

14.02.09  Yesterday I went to Gregg's for my lunch, having forgotten to lift my wee pasta box from home.  I steeled myself not to fall on a sausage roll, I usually buy a wrap.  Wrap of choice is sweet chilli chicken.  There were none left, so I bought a chicken pesto one (it was very late on in the day and options were dwindling fast).  Dining al desko, I was halfway in before I realised that it was in fact a sweet chilli chicken number, someone had put the wrong sticker on it.  The problem I have now is whether to feel annoyed or not.

Scotland has a unicameral legislation.  And let's spare a thought for Mary Slessor who has been unceremoniously bumped from the Clydesdale Bank tenner, on their new banknotes.  There is one woman out of five people being commemorated

05.02.09  Unbelievably bad day at work.  The only comfort, if you can call it that, is that it was the same for everyone.  Mincers' practice last night was not too bad.  We are very keen to see Val and Mike return, circumstances have kept them both away for a while.  I just cannot wait for the weekend but there's Friday to be endured, and that's always a hump day.  Pooh.  Going for a wee glass of wine now. 

03.02.09  Link to one of my favourite John Martyn songs, which has Eddi Reader on backing vocals.  She waves about a bit, but you just have to imagine me on the 07:46, listening to this while I read the Hootsmon, and fulminate at the writing therein. Oh, and they can't spell whisky on YouTube.  RIP big man.

31.01.09  Here is a link to Alan Alpenfelt's work in Italy.  He's a busy lad. Meanwhile Nick is busy exploring Africa. We wish them both well. This afternoon we saw Slumdog Millionaire.  A very good film, awfully scary in parts but it was all endemic to the subject matter.  

16.01.09   Back in the harness at work, and having weird dreams.  I am into quoting Bare Naked Ladies just now, so it's "La, la, la, I can't hear you," if you have found me from another dimension. It's been a long week.  All the best to Nick, off on his travels around the world. You better send us postcards, boy. 

For some intelligent, rocking, lyric-led music that doesn't sound like a load of rubbish ...  and who just happened to win the Mercury Music prize for 2008!!!!!!!!  Ha. Look on my works ye mighty and despair.   Umm, perhaps not. 


The new 2009 coins are in circulation now so if you see any of these, and you are not collecting them yourself, let me know and I'll arrange a swap.  For your bright, shiny, practically untainted piece of numismatic history you can have some coins of equal monetary worth that have been around the block a bit.  Please form an orderly queue.

I already have the new coins based on the Royal Shield of Arms and if you are not careful I will make you look at them. 

2 coin to mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns 2 coin marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin as well as the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species. 2 coin "commemorating the outstanding success of the London 2012 bid and the official Handover Ceremony." (Text from )


50p celebrates the 250th anniversary of the foundation of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.


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