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Showing posts from May, 2014

At last - a bit of warmth!

We have had a spell of cold and disappointing weather.  Sadly, May has not been a month that has come up to expectations.  It is usually pretty good in Scotland.  But, with one more day to go before we find ourselves in June and half way through the year, today was warm and sunny.  Tilly and I went to the beach.  It was heavenly with a wonderful sense of space, no-one around, gentle blue seas and a sky full of song from the skylarks.   Tilly had a dig in the sloppy-sloppy sand.  You can just see North Berwick Law and the Bass Rock in the background.   And of course, the waves.  Mesmerising as always.   As we walked back along the salt marsh there was a shimmering heat haze!  Haven't seen one of those for a while.

Maya Angelou

There will always be individuals who, in their lifetime, achieve a staggering amount, usually against all the odds!   It is sometimes easy to feel diminished by their journeys, set against one's own, but that would be ungracious and mean-spirited.  We have to give thanks for having had the opportunity to share the planet with them for a while, for these people enrich our lives and, I think, Maya Angelou is one of those characters.   I mourn her loss, and thank goodness I have my copy of ' I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings ' to read and re-read.  It's one of my favourite books.  If you haven't read it, you must! Radio 4's Last Word has paid a good tribute to this amazing lady.  As well as everything else, she had a wonderful voice and so much to say.  Have a listen.


Here is another example of lunacy.  I've signed up to this petition too.  Why wouldn't you?

I've become a verge warrior

Actually, I have.  See here : This is what the road looks like at the end of the drive, at the moment. Where there should be billowing clouds of cow parsley, beautiful and dreamy in the month of May, instead we have ZIPPO.  To say I am angry and upset would be the understatement of the decade.  I am raging.  I have emailed East Lothian Council, Highways, and sent them photos.  I haven't received a reply yet, but, like my mother before me back in the 1960s when Hampshire County Council repeatedly got it in the neck, I am on a mission. The decision to cut the verges at this time of year is governed, I understand, by the fact that this is a bit of downtime for the farmers and their workers.  They are waiting for stuff to grow in the fields, so having been awarded the cutting contracts by the council, they get their big machines out and destroy the countryside.  They are supposed to cut to a depth of one metre and at an angle.  If

Down the rushy glen, and beyond

We have been away, in a green and mossy world, one sandwiched between Loch Fyne to the west and the Trossachs to the east.   The Cowal Peninsula.   We have been staying in a holiday lodge yards away from Pucks Glen, a bewitching and atmospheric place which looks more like a theatre or film set for Lord of the Rings. We all know that it’s wetter in the west!   The air is softer, the grass is greener and the mists swirl and drench.   Walks through the woods and glens, along trails and paths, are to spend time in a world of green.   The climate encourages varieties of mosses too numerous to count.   They smother everything that doesn’t move.   In fact if we had stood still too long to consult the map we would probably have started to sprout feathery green bits, and before long we would just be two tall mounds, softly rounded off at the top, looking down on a small, perplexed rectangular green shape at the end of a lead.    Towering above are colossal conifers, ranked up the steep

Spring is busting out all over!

Tilly and I walked round the block late this afternoon.  It was such a magnificent light, clear, brilliant and the colours in the surrounding fields were positively zinging - with a capital 'Z'.  There are two rapeseed fields in full bloom along the lane.  I have been waiting for the time when they would both be in bloom, knowing it was going to be quite something on a bright sunny day.  There is yellow everywhere!   I love dandelions.  They are one of the first flowers you learn about when you are very young, loving to blow the dandelion clock. The leaf buds on the ash hedging are still resolutely shut .  Although the plants are not yet dressed they still seem to be up for a party - they look to me as though they are in a carnival procession! I love the colour yellow but I have to admit that I find these fields of rapeseed to be painfully bright, the dayglo yellow jarring with the subtle colours of the countryside.  Looked at individually the flowers don't see