Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Quirks from a ....versatile blogger nominee!

Thank you Annie ( for this lovely nomination I can't remember the last time I was nominated for anything and the feeling is wonderful!

I sat back when I read your nomination and pondered (blogging is great for pondering I'm finding) on versatility which I associate with being adaptable and flexible.   Yes I thought I am those things when I'm in work and or indulging in the things I love such as travel; hiking and pointing the camera at something of interest.  

It's lovely to now link this description to my blogging which I would have described up to now as
' the randomness of a toy shop window".

Of course being nominated comes with responsibility as following the instructions from Annie I have to identify 5 other potential nominees as well as own up to 5 personal quirks.

On the nominations front I must be honest and say that I have not been very good at exploring the world of co-bloggers - this will be put to rights over the next month when I will explore with gusto in order to pass on 5 nominations so watch out if I visit your blog it is with a hidden purpose - oh I feel like a mystery shopper!

Turning now to the quirks - well my mind went blank and so I shared this task out to friends and asked them to come back to me with what they believe are my quirks so in no particular order:

My inability to go into a bookstore without buying a bookthis is so true I don't blink at spending £££ on books and do blink and splutter when it comes to clothes and other things.

My apre-walk ritual - of taking a warm long soak in the bath fortified by a large whisky and whatever book I'm reading at the time.

When the ironing basket gets full - I can only face it with the help of a good black & white movie to transport away from this most boring of tasks.

My face speaks before I do - I've never quite got the hang of 'masking' what I'm thinking much to the amusement of friends and colleagues alike who bring this to my attention - always after the event!   Ah well.

Never wearing skirts - and if the need arises floor length is my preference

So there you have it quirks and all!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Rambling a salve for big thoughts...........

Today I awoke to a beautiful bright if slightly misty November day.   What better way to celebrate its loveliness than to go for a ramble.   My chosen spot is not too far away from home just past the next village Inverkip and is a combination of the Overton Trail and the Greenock Cut.   This provides a 6/7 mile meander which looks down over the Firth of Clyde and on days like today the views take you over towards the Arrachar Alps.   I enjoy this walk and come up often to clear the head or just to use the space to work things out.
Looking over the Firth of Clyde towards the hills
My head today was puzzling over - poverty; what is the difference between then and now.   This and related thoughts have been running round my head after I enjoyed a theatre weekend in Inverness at the Eden Court Theatre to see Men Should Weep | National Theatre of Scotland.   
The play is set in Glasgow tenements in the 1930’s and paints a picture of the hardship and poverty of the time.   As I listened to the language and the portrayal of life my thoughts were reflecting ...... is poverty the same then and now?
On my ramble my thoughts started to make comparisons high unemployment – then and now; the cost of feeding families.   Then there was the ‘mission’ where families could make the case for hardship and be given food / clothing.   Today we have growing food banks which distribute donated food to struggling families / individuals.   The impact within the family of the daily grind of putting food on the table; the men trying to find work; the women working two cleaning jobs to bring money home; the stress of living causing arguments and escape through alcohol.
Social attitudes have changed between then and now especially in terms of the role of women and access to and the importance of education.   Although a quote from one of the songs sung during scene changes “ ye canna hae such refinements when ye’r struggling fir yer bread” makes me think are we going backwards will potential students choose work (any work) over the cost of education?
The songs were sung by Arthur Johnstone a well known Scottish folk singer who I first came across 30 years ago when he was part of a group called The Laggan.  Their songs uncompromising and reflecting life of the workers of the world from America; Australia; Spain and Scotland were delivered clearly, strongly and with passion.   Songs like ‘I am the Common Man’ and ‘Jamara/Bandiera Rosa’.
This is certainly a hard hitting play and one which has left an impression and while there is no doubt that we have moved on in this 21st century through technological and information access as well as social changes and improvements it strikes me that there are resonances between then and now.
Thank you Ena Lamont Stewart for bringing real life to the theatre then and for the impact the play continues to make. 

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

A full on visit with Rebecca

Last week I had the joy of being visited by my granddaughter for a few days and what a credit she is to her Mum and Dad.   We filled our time with exploration of rock pools and collected a suitable number of shells which were taken home, washed and carefully set aside for the trip down south.
We also took a trip on the Rothesay Ferry which was the first time Rebecca had been on a boat.   There was too much going on for her not to be a good sailor.   Like her Granny she enjoys taking pictures and was armed with her camera to take pictures for her friends back at school.

We also baked up a storm with muffins, scones and pancakes adding to the larder and then just had a cuddle.   How enjoyable these cuddles are.