Sunday, 31 January 2016

Please, Please, Mr.Postman

Postbox in Dunblane, Scotland.

    They've been around since the 19th century in all the villages and towns throughtout the UK; some are built into walls and some are free-standing. No matter what shape, or size they come in, they're part of the British culture. What am I talking about? Postboxes.

    However, due to the decline in the art of letter writing, an old favourite of mine, this rare breeed is in danger of becoming extinct, which is kind of sad.

    The Post Office says that it isn't thinking of scrapping them just yet, but I've got a sneaky feeling that they'll soon be as rare as an dodo or a pterodactyl.

Please, Please, Mr. Postman keep taking my letters for me. 

P.S. Gold postbox to commemorate Andy Murray's Olympic win.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Copies in Noir


    I was watching a re-run of an old, Colombo, movie the other day and the shabby, much-loved detective was enthralled by a facsimile machine in one of the scenes. In fact the whole scene and explanation of how a fax machine worked amused me.

    While faxes are still used the Internet has pushed this piece of equipment, into the sidelines. But, watching the film made me wonder what the TV viewer in forty-years time will think of tablets, notebooks, laptops, cell-phones, or even social media when they sit down to watch re-runs.

    Even my old cell-phone could feature in Film Noir!



Sunday, 24 January 2016

A Man's a Man for A That

Inside Burns Cottage, Alloway, Ayr

    January 25th is the night the birth of poet and writer, Robert Burns will be celebrated throughout the world. I will be out this evening joining up with friends to pay homage to the great man and if you can't find a supper near you sit back with a small libation (if allowed) and toast the most celebrated writer in the world.

Burns Cottage, Alloway,Scotland

        Here are a few facts that you might find of interest:
  • The original spelling of Burns was actually Burnes. 
  • Burns toured Scotland and the North of England giving talks on his travels and discussing his views on subjects such as politics.
  • Words of poems and songs were used by the British Army in WWI to recruit soldiers from the whole of the UK not solely Scotland.

Found on Burns house in Dumfries

  • Burns fathered at least 12 children.
  • Burns skull was said to be bigger than the average man's.
  • July 2016 will be the 220th anniversary of his death.

  • 'Catcher in the Rye' John Steinbeck's novel title was based on 'Comin Thro The Rye' a poem by Burns.   
  • 'Of Mice and Men' was taken from a line contained in the poem 'To a Mouse.' 
  • There are more statues in the world of Burns than of any writer.
  • The first Burns Supper was held in his Cottage in Alloway approximately five years after his death.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Time Tables Can Be Nuts

    It's Squirrel Appreciation Day this week and I couldn't allow it to pass without mentioning my lovable rascal, or rascals as I have now found it to be, again.

    There are no fresh goodies for them to dig up at present, therefore I put a supply of monkey nuts out for them to munch on regularly. I can't help but laugh at their antics and I've found that they keep to a strict timetable which never really changes from summer to winter.

    Even although in the UK we turned back our clocks by one-hour in October they are still coming into my garden and leaving for the woods nearby at the same time as they did in the summer.

    I'm no naturalist but I can see why wildlife is so interesting.

#SquirrellAppreciationDay January 22

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Take Note

Tam o'Shanter

    As the hand-written word disappears from our everyday lives replaced by Wattpad, Word and a multitude of other applications available to us. I imagine that future generations will look at notebooks filled with writer's ideas and manuscripts in the same way as we look at cave drawings and Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic.

Tam o'Shanter, Robert Burns

    I agree we have to embrace change because it's important in our world. However, I can't help feeling a little sad when I think it's unlikely that future generations will be able to examine notebooks belonging to greats such as those we can see today in our museums.

#NationalHandwritingDay  January 23

The Notebook in the picture can be found exhibited in Sir Walter Scott's, Abbotsford House, Melrose

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Much Ado About Nothing

Today I want to do nothing
No, I don't want to do a thing
Today I want to do nothing
When I find a quiet corner to sit, I'm not going to do anything
Today I want to do nothing

I'll sit and look around at everything
And, today I want to do nothing
Yes, I could do something
However, today I want to do nothing

Tell me why is there so much ado about nothing?

#NationalNothingDay  January 16

Thursday, 7 January 2016

The Pot of Gold

    At the beginning of 2015 I told you I wasn't about to make any New Years resolutions I couldn't keep. Therefore, I resolved to fill my year with things that I enjoyed and stay positive.

    The whole idea was that by doing so I could generate happiness from within and keep on smiling, no matter what life threw at me. I'm glad to say that I did have a good year and I'm very grateful that I did.

    So, in this post I don't want to make a new resolution for 2016, but look back on 2015 with heaps of gratitude that life was kind to me and thank the people, places who contributed to making it happen. My pot of gold most definitely being the publication of my second book.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

A Bag Isn't just for Christmas


    I don't know what it's like where you live, but in Scotland in an effort to cut-down on waste we're charged for single-use carrier bags provided by retailers.

    The minimum five-pence charge was introduced in October 2014 in an effort to encourage the population to reuse bags, the funds are then redistributed to good causes throughout Scotland.

    There are a few exemptions, such as the one the butcher gives you with Sunday's roast in and the one the fishmonger packs the assortment of fish in that you plan to use for fish pie Tuesday night. I should say that there are other exemptions, but it starts to get rather complicated and my examples may have over-complicated matters already.

    Truly, I'm all for cutting down on waste and I carry bags with me at all times. Surveying the amount of gift wrapping that I had to place in the recycle bin following Christmas Day I had a real guilt trip.

    However, there is one thing I would like added to the exclusion list and that is clothing. That's because I'm getting kind of tired of having to wash new purchases. Wouldn't you agree that it's a real no-no, to put a new LBD in the same bag the leg of lamb was brought home in on Saturday?