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Monday, 21 February 2011

roadkill art

Donated the roadkill art to Work, and my very clever sister noticed that I was holding it THE WRONG WAY UP! Therefore, I have posted it the right way up here, so that you can see how much better it looks!!!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

road kill art?

Whilst we were in Scotland, touring and looking at the scenery the Farmer turned his attention from the road to me briefly and said 'Just seen a painting in the road, shall I stop?' I thought he meant that he had seen a painting (piece of road art) actually daubed on the road perhaps as some kind of project. I wasn't that bothered about doing a Uturn to have a look, and said so. However, by this time he had pulled to the side, and achieved a commendable three point turn, and we headed back the way we had come. There in the road was a very large oil canvas! All alone, with no place to go, and no owner anywhere in sight, just laying there, minding its own business, across the white lines. As we were in the middle of a small forest it seemed unlikely that someone had hurled it from a window, and we could only think it had fallen from a trailer, or roofrack. Whilst we considered what we should rightly do another vehicle only just missed it, so I scampered from our car, and scooped it into our boot. Perhaps not to my taste, but it will always be a reminder of our little holiday, and our big boy's Fish School year.

Friday, 18 February 2011


The farmer and I popped off on a jaunt to Scotland to see the big boy, who has just celebrated his 20th birthday. We took him out for dinner on Wednesday evening. On Thursday he went to Fish School, and we drove an 80 mile circuit around the area taking in the views, and spotting two RED SQUIRRELS which we have never seen before. And they were lovely. We were blessed with a bright and sunny day. During a very pleasant lunch in a converted mill in central Dumfries, sitting at a window that overlooked the river which flows fast and furiously through the town, the Farmer turned to me and said he could see two otters playing in the water. Obviously I laughed like a drain, as I have fallen for his stories on too many previous occasions. However, driven by his expression I too found a position where I could see out of the tiny window, and there, diving and playing were two of the cutest mammals I have ever had the pleasure of watching.

We paid our shot quickly and rushed outside to the riverbank, and stood for an hour watching and listening to the otters' feeding and diving. Despite the fact that they were right in front of one of the busiest areas of the town, with scores of people strolling by, no-one else seemed to notice. How lucky were we? I was so excited the farmer thought I would drop my little camera into the river!

We left the otters still feeding and chasing each other up and down the river to meet the big boy, and enjoy a guided tour of the fish farm area of Barony College. We shared another evening meal with him and said our goodbyes ready for our early departure to return to England this morning.

Rather disappointinly we had a flat tyre this morning, so experienced some delay trying to leave Dumfries whilst we located a puncture repair shop. Never mind eh! £15 lighter we had a great drive home. The youngest and his lovely young lady had kindly dog sat. When relieved of their duties they made their way back to Leicester Uni and I have settled down to have a better look at the otter pics. Will put them all on Facebook if you want to see them. Tired and travelworn, now looking forward to a night in my own bed.

So, if you want to get up close and personal with a pair of wild otters make your way to central Dumfries and listen for their very distinctive call. Well worth the trouble! And the red squirrels were easy to see, galloping down the roadsides like rabbits. I kid you not. Feeling a bit like David Attenbrough tonight. What a wonderful couple of days.

Sunday, 6 February 2011


There has been a virulent outbreak of that terrible virus WINE FLU in this region. It is probably not connected in any way with the large 60th birthday party held last night at Irby in the Marsh. Not connected at all. No way. The farmer is suffering...

Saturday, 5 February 2011

sis in law's 60th birthday party

What an absolutely stormin' 60th for sis in law Maggie! At home in her very roomy barn of a house about 100 people wearing 'Glamour through the Ages' turned out in really awful weather to help her celebrate reaching retirement age!. Wellies, sandals, spats and bare feet all featured in the footwear department, and the outfits were just as varied. The vibe was chillin'! The birthday girl(?) sang as one fifth of the BOOBETTES in her conservatory, and the cheers could have been heard 5 miles away! A great party by anyone's standards. Happy birthday.

Reviewing the photos I'm beginning to wonder if you can tell that one member of the family is a dentist? The kids teeth are beautiful aren't they? Well done Helen. A gift to last a lifetime! Would have liked to grab a photo of the farmer and his three surviving sisters, but the rooms were SOOOOOOO crowded, and the tempeature so roasting that I couldn't manage it. Waiting for a cooler opportunity!

Friday, 4 February 2011

Godparenting surprise!

I accompanied my Pa to the funeral of one of his longest-standing friends yesterday. In itself it was not a sad affair, it was a celebration of a long and successful life. As the ravening hoards settled into the tea and cake afterwards one of the many grey haired gentlemen reached out to shake my hand, and introduce himself to me. He claimed he was my godfather! In disbelief I turned to my own Pa, who nodded his confirmation in some amusement. The new godfather went on to apologise for being somewhat less than attentive in his godfatherly duties over the past 50 years, and attempted to make good all his ill-deeds in the space of 10 minutes. Indeed, it has to be said that he rather succeeded. It turns out that he is the 1958 gold medal winner Commonwealth & British Empire (those were the days) indoor cycling time trial champion at 1 minute 12 seconds. I thought he was making it all up at the funeral tea. Surely someone would have told me that I had a Gold Medal Commonwealth AND EMPIRE Champion as a Godfather? No. When we arrived home I googled him (Neville Tong), and indeed, there he is, on the board of European champions, proudly named along with Chris Hoy etc. My godfather. I had to wait 50 years, but it was worth it!!! To complete the story his wife at the time was my Godmother, and has been somewhat more scrupulous in her attentions. She does at least know who I am! All was forgiven in a rush of hugs and laughter and I am very proud to call him my godfather. Hoping it won't be another 50 years before I see him again. Unlikely!!

So: losses - one mate of my Pa.
....gains - one godfather

The day was completed by a long and lovely cup of tea with my own longest standing friend (50 years - my entire life), and a even longer cup of coffee with my cousin and his family. It was a very tired and worn god-daughter, friend and cousin who wended her way home to bed.

The unlikely upshot of this interesting day is that I am hoping to coerce the Farmer to accompany me to Appleby Fair this year. (Its a long story). There will be photos.