Thursday, 18 March 2010


I spent the morning with Alastair at the Mother and Toddler group in New Kilpatrick Church. The 2 hour morning session ended with a short sing-along. We sang the usual 2 year olds' favourites. Then I took it upon myself to lead the singing of "Shortnin' Bread" ... a song I thought everyone knew! (You know "Mama's little baby loves shortnin', shortnin' etc" See below). Wrong..! Not one mum (30 year olds) knew it! Now there's a cultural statement!

Short'nin' Bread - the way I remember it!

Two little chil'un, lying in bed
One was sick and the other 'most dead
Call for da doctor, da doctor said
"Feed those chil'un on shortnin' bread."

Mama's little baby loves shortnin', shortnin'
Mama's little baby loves shortnin' bread
Mama's little baby loves shortnin', shortnin'
Mama's little baby loves shortnin' bread

Put on the skillet, slip on the lid
Mama's gonna bake a little short'nin' bread
That ain't all that your mamma's gonna do
She's gonna make a little coffee too.

Slipped in the Kitchen, slipped up the lid
Slipped my pocket full of shortnin' bread
Stole the skillet, stole the lid
Stole the gal to make shortnin' bread

Caught with the skillet, caught with the lid
Caught with the gal makin' shortnin' bread
Paid 6 dollars for the skillet, 6 dollars for the lid
Spent 6 months in jail eatin' shortnin' bread...

After playgroup finished we went and had a picnic in an archaelogical site: the Bearsden Roman Bath House which is just around the corner from the NK church hall. (Photos taken on my iPhone.)

Friday, 12 March 2010


We're on the move...! No... we are not dragging anchor!

We now have, as they say in NASA-speak ... kitchen capability! My old gas hob with its 4 burners has emerged! I last saw it 2 years ago; it is now hooked up to the copper pipe under the new worktop! Am I glad!!!!

Another discovery I made this week: my copy of Handel's Messiah. I was lurking in the back of my music cabinet which I am now packing off to Mairi (to join my old piano as we have no room for it).

Every day now I load a few more things into the car. Today ... kitchen utensils and the old pottery jar that holds them. I bought this jar 30 years ago at the pottery shop on Loch Creran.

It was Mark Twain who said:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover!

Photo: Rockall. Taken by Barrie Waugh in Zubenubi. He goes out there (alone) to check the position of the radio beacon.

Thursday, 11 March 2010


Work is continuing very well and we are now preparing to move in 3 weeks' time. John is helping to move things along by building a low retaining wall along the west side of the driveway. It is very hard labour as the ground is rocky not far under the topsoil.

Now that we have a definite date for moving in mind we are wishing that time would pass quickly. The weather has been particularly good, though very cold at night, so progress is as good as can be expected.

Monday, 8 March 2010


Magenta is the only color that does not exist as a single wavelength of light. It is an “extraspectral” color. Sir Isaac Newton noticed that magenta did not exist in the spectrum of colors from white light when he played with prisms. But when he superimposed the red end of the spectrum on to the blue end, he saw the color magenta.


Spectrum information source:

Sunday, 7 March 2010


I treated myself to an evening with a bed for the night at Ross Priory on Loch Lomond. Being private (Strathclyde Universtiy's country retreat) I knew it would be a haven of refuge after a weary week.

Katharine holds a musical soiree every month and this month it was "From Russia with Lev".

Lev Atlas plays the violin and Stephen Adam plays the piano (no photo available, unfortunately) They are professional musicians; both employed in orchestras in Glasgow. Lev is Russian (graduated from Gnesin Institute of Music in Moscow) and Stephen is Scottish (from Stirling and RSAMD graduate).

The evening's performance was held in this room. And this is what he played: click on link here to view the Utube video. A quite wonderful pair playing classical and Russian pieces and also pieces for which Stephen has written the parts.

The opposite side of the room looks on to Loch Lomond. Dinner was held beforehand followed by the hour long concert in the main function room.

This is the same view as through the above window (taken the following morning).

Katharine is very diligent about the seating plan (about 40 people) and I was seated with a group of people I did not know but who she knew we would all enjoy each other's company. She was quite right! As the wine flowed so did the chat ... or should I say ... chatter.

Anyhow, it lead to a slight problem: I had difficulty making out what my table mates were saying some of the time (and I - still!- have good hearing). On talking to the charming gentleman across from me about the fact that we both supported various charities, I asked "So what charities do you support?" "Moan"... "Pardon?" sez I ... thinking it must be an acronym MOAN .... Men's Organization for Amputees of Nepal or some such group. And again he says "Moan". Embarrassed I asked him yet again as I really didn't know what he was referring to! "My Own"! And he explained how he operates a trust which gives money to causes which meet the criteria he has set up. I was very impressed. However it seems it is a great deal of work and new legislation makes it such that it costs much more nowadays for auditors and such like (to combat fraud).

The next morning the loch was quite stunning in its colours and relfections.

Memorial benches facing the loch at the top of the slope.

Lev Atlas photo source: