Thursday, 29 May 2008


Apparently today is Everest Day. It is 55th anniversary of the Sir Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay's first ascent of Mount Everest.

The mountain is named after Sir George Everest, the surveyor-general of India who mapped the area in the mid 19th century. The Great Trigonometric Survey of India established the first published height of Everest in 1856 at 29,002 ft (8,840 m) (when it was known to the surveyors as Peak XV.)

"It is not known whether or not George Everest ever laid his eyes on the great mountain that bears his name, but his triangulation network was extended and used to locate the summit by Andrew Waugh, Everest's successor as Surveyor General in India. Waugh's admiration of Everest's achievements led to the naming of 'Peak XV'.

After its discovery by his team, Waugh, wrote: "... here is a mountain most probably the highest in the world without any local name that I can discover...", so he proposed " perpetuate the memory of that illustrious master of geographical research ... Everest." "*

I only discovered this because of the arty Google logo on the homepage.


* From Surveyhistory web site here.

Aerial view of Everest. Picture taken by Kerem Barut, source: Wikipedia.
Mount Everest from Rombok Gompa, Tibet. Photo by John Hill, source: Wikipedia

Wednesday, 28 May 2008


Cicely Berry, voice director, Royal Shakespeare Company was talking today on the BBC Radio 4 Midweek programme, hosted by Libby Purves. Audio link is here.

She stated that one of her favorite quotes is from Thomas Kyd’s play The Spanish Tragedy which is an Elizabethan play of the mid 16th century:

“Where words prevail not, violence prevails.”


Woodcut and title page from The Spanish Tragedy, Wikipedia.
Statue is on the bridge in Kelvingrove Park, outside the Art Gallery on Kelvin Way, October 2007

Tuesday, 27 May 2008


Tudor's funeral was on Saturday. Alastair drove up from Vancouver to attend. It marks the end of an era for our family - a door finally closed.

Back on our side of the Atlantic, other doors open.

Here is Ishie going into her new home, namely, the house we built 40 years ago. That was in the days before IKEA, Homebase or B&Q!

Moving day ... Mairi - The Gaffer - and Iain - Chief Packer In of All that we Possess.

The best thing about moving is getting rid of stuff and also salvaging family cast-offs in the form a large blue sweater.

Destination: Helensburgh. This is the gate at the entrance to Larchfield, a former private school. The apartment we are renting will be our temporary abode while we look for a house to buy.

Saturday, 24 May 2008


Just in to check emails while we wait for BT to hook up our internet global whatsiz so we can move the computer(s). It's like getting a 'fix' just now as we rush off to attend ever more details of setting up house in a new location.

Actually it is more like living on a boat except there are 2 cabins! Luxury for us!

Actually, we are being very careful not to rush around too much. To that end we had coffee with Bill this morning, as is our habit of a Saturday morning over the past winter. No scones; just oatcakes and Louise's Dingwall marmalade.

These are more of John's lovely photos of Coll. A joy to the eye!

Friday, 23 May 2008


We're on the move today - heading to Helensburgh in a hired van. Time to check out the internet cafes until we get re-connected to broadband in our new location.

In the meantime here is a photo taken by John of one of the Coll local residents. It calls for a caption, but just at the moment I can't think of one!

Monday, 19 May 2008


Tudor died yesterday and his funeral will be on Saturday, May 24th in Salmon Arm. Alastair will be going as we will be unable to attend.

They are not dead,
Who leave us this great heritage of remembering joy.

They still live in our hearts,
In the happiness we knew, in the dreams we shared.

They still breathe,
In the lingering fragrance,windblown, from their favourite flowers.


Their memory is warm in our hearts, comfort in our sorrow.

They are not apart from us, but part of us,

For love is eternal,
And those we love shall be with us throughout all eternity.

Photo: White rhododenrons from Anne's garden.

Sunday, 18 May 2008


Tudor died today.


Photo: Mairi and John's wedding photo, August 2006.


Tuesday, 13 May 2008


Birthday card from Mairi and John ...!

Sunday, 11 May 2008


Lovely weather has brought on the flowers. The last of the trees are turning green and the spring flowers are appearing everywhere.

Saturday, 10 May 2008


There is a Beatles song that comes to mind today. Click here.

Will you still need me? Will you still feed me? When I'm sixty-four!


This blog is one year old. Thoughts: It is really about keeping a diary using photos as the basis. I have, indeed, managed to keep it up fairly regularly and if I couldn't it was because I was away from the (or any) computer or ill. Lack of material has never been a problem. Mostly I use photographs as the starting point. I like the work of preparing a blog; I never quite know the direction a topic will take me... much of the time I happily head 'off at a tangent'. Maybe this reflects a grasshopper mind. I like to think it is more about curiosity.

With those few words I am now offf on another tangent, i.e. to Colin's concert at the Cathedral. It's my birthday treat.

Beattles record sleeve:

Friday, 9 May 2008


Having sold our house to Mairi and John and the 2 babes, we are planning to move to Helensburgh (sur mer).

So down-sizing has started (the first step being to get a flat and then take time to look for a smaller place to live).

I checked out a flat that seemed to fill the bill - Iain is away in the Outer Hebrides and out of radio and phone contact - so Mairi (our Property Baron) and Maggie (on the mobile) and I made an executive decision: go for it!

It will be a 6 month let in Larchfield, Colquhoun Street, Helensburgh. The building is actually Lomond School, built in 1858, which has been converted and the Headmaster's rooms are the ones we will occupy. They are the lower right corner. If one can live on a boat one can probably camp out in a smallish flat. At least the car, well, our 2 cars actually, will be off the street.

Three blocks from Helensburgh Central train station and the 'downtown' meets the necessary bottom line. Now I am off to look for a Pashley (Miss Marple wannabe) bike.

Helensburgh is going to be perfect: a cross between Vancouver (with its setting on the sea) and Salmon Arm (small town, i.e. community with a heart, or centre, as opposed to the suburbs).

Wednesday, 7 May 2008


Evening cloudscape at 8:30 pm when driving home when, for once, the camera was handy in the car. Photo taken from the Tickled Trout pub carpark with two astonished fellas looking on at this daft female jumping out of the car, camera in hand!

"Skies must and always shall with me make an effectual part of the composition." wrote John Constable in 1821. "It will be difficult to name a class of landscape in which the sky is not the key note, the standard of scale and the chief organ of sentiment."

John Day, known round the world as The Cloudman writes about the earth's great skyscapes and gives Ten Reasons to Look Up in order to use our inner eye to perceive.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008


Out into the garden next door (view looks back our house).

Out with the tea-trolly loaded with Sandy's scones, Margaret's plum jam, using my 'Bad Boy' coffee beans from Commercial Drive, Vancouver and Lesley's red and white napkins.

That is a real, genuine, high latitude blue sky (minus the Emirates jet heading for Glasgow airport).

A solitary apple blossom.

Monday, 5 May 2008


Time to slow down and smell the flowers, or at least, sit on Adam's bench and view the flowers with my morning coffee, toast and marmalade.

To see ourselves, or rather our property, as others see us.

Loads of lovely flowers from these two bushes.

Friday, 2 May 2008


This red rose sitting in a jam jar with some weary daffodils has given me months, quite literally months, of pleasure.

It was presented to me as part of a bouquet of red roses as a Thank You from the Kilmardinny Music Class, i.e. Alastair C. and co., when I offered the use of my living room for our last class in December as the water was coming through the ceiling of our Kilmardinny House classroom.

Alastair said he bought them at Morrisons en route from Millport, the day of the class which was December 14th. I duly put the bouquet of 12 roses in a vase of water and placed them in the porch. With the central heating on flowers do not last long.

Well they stayed in perfect condition until about the end of February when I started to remove them one by one. But the remaining ones were still there mixed in with another bouquet and giving colour in the grey days of winter.

Finally in the second week of March, Mairi was tidying the flower vases as I was ill in bed. She gathered up the last of the flowers and placed them in little vases around the house. This one ended up on the kitchen window ledge. To my amazement there was still one remaining red rose!

So there is the proof – my compliments to Morrison's stores, and most particularly to their supplier of supermarket flowers!