My Amazon Author Page

Find my Amazon author page via this link

"A Scottish Wind in the Willows on high end skunk."

"I enjoy Kate's stories..."
"A fun and spooky read..."

"The characters are so involving and
loveable that you do want them to really exist. It does read like you've
stumbled across someone's long lost diary from and alternate timeline/universe.
I quickly got into the story and loved every second of reading it...
total gem of a read by an author who deserves a lot more recognition."


Monday, 27 January 2014

Alan Bennett reads the Shipping Forecast

This was the highlight of Michael Palin's turn as editor of the Today programme during the recent Festive.  The shipping forecast and Thought for the Day are the two best things on the radio, as far as I'm concerned.  And sometimes Book of the Week.  

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Scottish Islands Explorer: From Ninety to None

Scottish Islands Explorer: From Ninety to None: The 148-acre Isay , in Loch Dunvegan, Skye, was home to 90 residents in 1841 and within 40 years there was none. That's how it is to...

Interesting - this island is in the part of Skye with which I'm most familiar, and I landed on it once when on a fishing trip.  Beautiful place, not particularly inaccessible.  I'm surprised (and quite glad, though that view won't be popular) an enterprising-type hasn't yet re-developed it.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Today's Walk. The Airlie Monument, Glen Prosen

the airlie monument sea penguin 23/01/14
Approaching the Airlie monument, complete with Lord of the Rings-style beacon

looking up glen prosen from the scott memorial sea penguin 23/01/14
Looking up Glen Prosen from the Scott Memorial

woods glen prosen sea penguin 23/01/14
Woods on the way up to the Airlie monument

the scott memorial glen prosen sea penguin 23/01/14
The memorial to Captain Scott and Dr Edward Wilson

scott memorial sea penguin 23/01/14
The Scott memorial

detail of scott memorial sea penguin 23/01/14
Detail of an inscription on the Scott memorial

the old fountain inscription sea penguin 23/01/14
From the former memorial to Scott and Wilson.

penguin detail from scott memorial sea penguin 23/01/14
Penguins on the Scott memorial

from the airlie monument sea penguin 23/01/14
View from the Airlie Monument

A drive up to the car park by the Scott Memorial in Glen Prosen this afternoon, followed by a walk up-hill to the Airlie Monument.   Captain Scott and his companion on two polar journeys, Edward Wilson, were familiar with this area and much of the final journey, on which they both perished, was planned here, when Wilson was researching grouse.  Their memorial is by the road and is only a couple of years old.  I liked the small block of stone from the previous memorial, which I gather was a fountain.  Lovely inscription. 'For the journey is done and the summit attained and the barriers fall.'  It's a quote from Browning's Prospice.
It's a lovely glen and it's well worth the short but stiff walk up to the Airlie Monument, which stands on top of a hill and can be seen for miles around.  It was built in 1901 in memory of an Earl of Airlie who died in the Boer war.
Planning to do more exploring in the area when I can.

Free Kindle Download (till tomorrow)

Sea Penguin Part Five:  Our Front Door has been free for the last couple of days.  I haven't promoted it at all, until today, as an experiment to see if anyone would actually pick it up - they have!  So I don't think that promoting it via Twitter or blog as I generally do, makes much or any difference at all, to the number of downloads.
Here is the link to Amazon, if you're interested .  The cover is by Barry Nicol, as always.
sea penguin part five cover by Barry Nicol (c) all rights reserved
Click on the picture to get to Amazon

Trinket-flinging is the New Black

We've gone trinket-flinging crazy here.   I decided just to go for it after Geoffrey's episode of selective deafness;  Hell Mend Him I thought, and I seized every knick-knack and trinket-y style object I could lay my hands on and threw them willy-nilly into a Lidls shopper.  Holiday souvenirs,  miniature horse brasses, broken biros, porcelain clogs filled with carpet tacks, marbles, and even the battling tops out of last year's Yuletide crackers that gave us HOURS literally HOURS of fun during the long dark days of winter - they all got swept off the mantlepiece and into the bag.   Then I ran to the cliffs and emptied the lot into the sea.   "Deafness is it?" I shrieked, into the howling gale, "I'll give him deafness."
Geoffrey joined in, of course.  He can't see 'green cheese', as the rather dreadful saying goes.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

New Story on Shortbread now available to read

I have a new story on Shortbread Stories this week - Suzy Day Care:  Why Bother Waxing if You're Not Going to Get a Spray Tan?   It's about the rather twisted staff and service users of a mental health day care centre.  And it's intended to be amusing.  Don't read it if you find swearing offensive.
I have completed Psychotweeter Part Eight, and it is now in the queue.  It will probably be published next week.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Walk of the Day - Loch Clunie

clunie 27/12/13 sea penguin
The road leading down to the church and loch.

loch clunie 27/12/13 sea penguin
Reed beds at the western edge of the loch.

clunie church 27/12/13 sea penguin
Clunie church, from the loch side

A walk round Loch Clunie to the church and Castle Hill.  It's a strange place, full of history.  When I first visited about twenty years ago I was chiefly interested in bird and wildlife watching, but I was also immediately aware of an odd atmosphere and I started doing some research.  At that time there was a sign on a stile leading from the car park to the loch stating that the site was managed by Historic Scotland, but it's long gone, and so is the stile, and I now have no idea who owns it or manages it.
I generally park just off the A923 and walk along the road that goes round the loch to the church and Castle Hill.  It's about a mile at most.  There is occasional traffic, but you get good views of the castle and island, and you often see deer, buzzards and small woodland birds, as well as a range of wildfowl on the loch.  The first building you see as one approaches is the former manse,  now a family home, and then the church,  a  rather dramatic Victorian Gothic structure which like many of similar age is on an ancient site dating back to pre-Christian times.  It has an interesting graveyard with lichen and moss-encrusted headstones dating back to the 1700s, complete with skulls, egg-timers and so forth.  'Here Lie the Dust and Bones...'  'Memento Mori', et cetera.
There is an engraving on a stone under the ivy* at the entrance gate, 'Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God', dated 1672.  There is also a small outbuilding by the church, possibly the remains of a medieval mausoleum. In summer it's full of swallows' nests**. 
As you head towards the loch you find on your right the terraced Castle Hill (see photo below), site of a hunting lodge which dates back to the time of Kenneth MacAlpine, the Scottish King who united the divided kingdom of the Picts and the Scots.  Edward I had a stronghold there.  The castle was taken down and the stones used for other buildings***, but some bits of it remain and can easily be observed if you climb the hill and walk across the flat top, towards the back.   I read somewhere that there is a hanging tree there, but I can't identify it, if indeed it still exists.  About half a mile from the loch and Castle Hill is another knoll marked on the O.S. map as 'Gallows Knowe', so perhaps there is confusion with that.
There's an overgrown path which leads down from the car park by the church to an odd wooded area with the remains of what seems to be a folly and hints of other man-made constructions.  I believe it was once a formal garden related to the castle/hunting lodge.  A few years ago there was a thriving colony of red squirrels.  I used to sit quietly under the beeches and watch them.  Once I saw a squirrel sitting in the bole of a holly tree, apparently sharpening its teeth on a piece of bone.  One of these occasions where you wish you had brought your camera.  However, like the swallows in the mausoleum, the squirrels seem to have vanished.  I've often seen roe and fallow deer there too, and buzzards nest in the trees.  And there are usually mallards in a pretty inlet of water.
I wonder if the squirrels have been scared off by some of the rowdier elements, campers who light fires in the trees and dump bags of rubbish in the water.
The loch itself is known for pike, I have read, and is popular with fishermen.  It's also a mesotrophic loch, and a SSSI.  Birds I've seen regularly on and around the loch include great crested grebes, goldeneye, wild swans, coots, and ospreys, as well as buzzards and the usual small birds such as finches, robins, wrens and tits.   In summer you usually surprise a pheasant or two, and there are lots and lots of damsel flies. Cormorants roost spookily on the trees around the already fairly spooky Clunie Castle, on the island, and remind one a bit of Noggin the Nog.  The best place to watch birds is from the top of Castle Hill - a wonderful place to spend a summer's afternoon, so long as you have the place to yourself.  All too often there are campers and fishermen, many of whom leave the place in a disgraceful state with fires, broken bottles, cans and lots of other revolting human detritus****.  On one occasion I saw a plane land on the loch, and take off again.
It's also worth wandering round the loch side to the remains of an old boathouse.  The island (which is actually a crannog) with its amazing ruined castle (or tower house) can only be reached by boat.  There are no boats on the loch now that I know of,  except those brought by fishermen.   Sadly the castle, which was the former home of a medieval (pre-Reformation) bishop of Dunkeld, burnt down in fairly recent years, and only a shell remains. Apparently there was a chapel on the island at one time, St Catherine's, and human bones were found there, so I presume there is also an old graveyard.  James Crichton, 16th century polymath and the inspiration for J.M. Barrie's 1902 play the Admirable Crichton spent his childhood there.
I visit Loch Clunie often and never fail to be aware of its many ghosts, even on the sunniest of days.  In winter, I think it is possibly one of the gloomiest places imaginable - but don't let that put you off.
castle hill loch clunie sea penguin 19/01/14
Castle Hill - site of Kenneth MacAlpine's hunting lodge, and a castle used by Edward 1st

inscription clunie church 19/01/14 sea penguin
Inscription at Clunie church gate

loch clunie 19/01/14 sea penguin
The island (or crannog) seen from the road - gable of ruined castle just visible

loch clunie sea penguin jan 2014
A very rainy Loch Clunie - the wooded island or crannog on right of photo

by loch clunie sea penguin 2014
A walk along the road by the loch


* the ivy has been cut down recently
** I haven't seen any swallows' nests in use there for two years at least
*** I now gather the stones were used to build the tower house on the island/crannog in the 1400s.
**** visitors/campers have increased dramatically during the last two summers and the resulting increase in mess and damage (to trees especially)  is at times distressing to see.  Fires are lit, broken bottles and all kinds of rubbish left. Paddleboarders and kayakers now access every corner of the loch leaving wildlife no refuge from human activity.  The loch has traditionally been a popular spot for visitors, it's easily accessible and attractive for camping, so clearly this will continue to be an issue.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Egg - Fugue in D Minor

Angel Olsen - Tiniest seed

New Short Story - the Mysterious Death of Clint Clanton

clint clanton by sea penguin kate
Clint Clanton

clint clanton toilet by sea penguin kate
Plan of toilet

dumper truck by sea penguin kate
The Dumper Truck
“The Old Asylum burned to the ground last night.  So I heard on the bush telegraph.”
“Don’t tell me Stinking Maggie’s been round already.”
“Round already and had two cups of tea and a shit.  Maybe the smell woke you up.”
Granny Mack was using one hand to crack eggs into a pan of bacon as she spoke.  The other hand wasn’t a hand at all.  No.  It was a hook.  Nobody knew how she’d lost her hand; everybody knew it was an off-limits subject.  Presently, the hook was resting on the shelf to the right of the cooker, with a smouldering cigarette skewered on the end.   Granny Mack was pretty dextrous with the hook.   She said she was so used to it now she wouldn’t swap it for her old hand even if she could.
The front door of the cottage was open, and a brown hen wandered in with its feathers fluffed up, pecking at the filth on the carpet with its broken beak.  One of its feet was swollen with some sort of ghastly hen-disease.
“High time that one was in the pot,” she said, taking her cigarette and placing it between her lips.  “We’ll wring its neck tomorrow and have a nice dinner.”
“Was anyone hurt?”
“Not to my knowledge, no.”
“Do they know who did it?”
A gust of wind blew the ram-shackle front door shut and then open again.
“People are talking,” said Granny Mack.
I took a handful of grain from the sack at the front door, and threw it on to the grass to make the hen go outside, which it did.
“People always talk,” I said, leaning against the jamb, and reaching into my trouser pocket for my tobacco.
“Don’t bother with that,” said Granny Mack,” Your dinner’s ready.”
“I said I didn’t want any.”
“I know what you said.”  She slid the bacon and eggs from the battered old frying pan on to a chipped dinner plate that had once been decorated with something akin to Willow Pattern .
I sighed and took the plate, and went outside to sit on the upturned cast iron bath by the front door.
”Knife and fork.”
“You’ll take some bread and butter as well.”
“Oh now…”
“Oh now nothing.  Come on lassie.  Body and soul.”
Granny Mack sat down beside me.
We ate in silence, apart from the sound of the gulls and the rushing of the sea against the rocks, which was such a constant that we barely noticed.  In front of us the hens clucked around the coal heap and the washing poles; a yellow-eyed ginger tom patrolled the cliff edge beyond, hunting for mice and fledglings among the hummocks of grass and the foxgloves.  Far out to sea sailed the eleven o’clock ferry  to the Outer Isles.
“Do you ever think,” I said, wiping my plate with a piece of bread, “That we’re in a strange place here?”
Granny Mack belched slightly behind her hand, and wiped her mouth.  “Everywhere is strange. “
“No, but I mean where we are, on the island.  We’re between the mainland and the Outer Isles.  We’re half-way between there, and somewhere else.  It’s almost like we’re nowhere at all.  The ferry doesn’t even stop here.  No wonder they built the asylum.”
If we’d walked half a mile up the dirt track which led up behind the cottage towards the metalled road that led to the town, and turned the corner beside the burn and the stand of stunted alders,   we’d have seen the smoking, blackened ruins high on the hill at the far side of the island.
Granny Mack pressed her lips together and stared at the horizon.  Her eyes were the same blue as the rain-washed sky at that time of day.
The ginger tom had returned, and jumped on to my lap.  I rubbed his ears and scratched the scabby, hard-to-reach bits where the fleas were.  He produced an obligatory purr, staring all the while at the doomed hen.
“Now now.”
“Well nothing.”
“Why did they build the asylum then?”
“I’ll tell you over a smoke.   Roll us a cigarette, and I’ll put the kettle on.  And remember…”
“What?  What?”
Granny Mack winked as she got up. “Back in a minute, “she said.
 She was still remarkably spry.  I had no idea of her age.  Granny Mack.  She wasn’t my granny, or indeed closely related to me in any way.  She was just Granny Mack, who had always been.
The cat jumped off my knee, and followed her into the kitchen.
I rubbed my hands on my trousers to get rid of his fur;  then I made two good, fat cigarettes, and put them carefully on the bath beside me.
 Then I leaned back against the grubby, white-washed wall and closed my eyes.  
"You were going to tell me about the asylum." Sometimes I didn't speak aloud. Sometimes I attempted to communicate using telepathy. Sometimes it worked, such as the time when I willed Granny Mack to use a new teabag instead of the one shrivelling on top of the marmalade jar that had been used four times. Or when I willed her to kill the white hen instead of the brown one that I liked. I was just developing it really.

On this occasion I spoke aloud, because I was afraid that telepathy might work both ways, so to speak. I didn't want her finding out about the three bodies in the black hut unless she absolutely had to.

"Yes. Well I don't think I can do it sitting here. There's an awful smell coming from somewhere."

I bit my lip and pulled at a strand of rye grass in what I hoped was a nonchalant manner. "Stinking Maggie must have blocked the toilet again," I ventured.

"Likely so. I told her before not to try to flush those rags. They've to be rinsed off in the burn and re-used. She tries but she's got no idea that woman. She's just not accustomed to mod cons."

I stubbed my cigarette out on the wall. "Coming inside then?"

"I'll be in in a minute. I just want to kill that hen with the diseased foot first. Get a pan of water on the boil, will you?"

As I headed indoors, I glanced across to the black hut. The hen was perched on the roof.

I decided to try telepathy after all.
"Do you ever wake up in the morning and feel like you want to fucking kill everybody?" I asked Granny Mack, in an attempt to divert her as she made her way towards the black hut.

"Och I used to feel like that every day," she replied, without turning round."But now I tend to think it's best to leave well alone, except for HENS!!"

Suddenly her right arm (the one with the hook) snapped out like a whip and before you could say, well, hook! or death! or kill! or anything appropriate with one syllable really,  the hen had been seized round the neck by the hook and was now securely but understandably rather glumly gripped under her oxter.

"That's tea sorted," she grinned, revealing her three brown and misshapen teeth.  "Now don't you think you should get rid of those four bodies?  The neighbours are going to start complaining and the nearest one's two miles away."

"FOUR bodies?  But I thought - I thought - "

"Yes four.  Did you really think I didn't know about that key in the manure heap? I added Stinking Maggie this morning.  Now fetch the dumper truck and get them shifted."

I did what I was told and went to fetch the dumper truck.  Driving back to the croft I saw a piece of torn paper with something printed on it fluttering on a fence post, so I yanked on the handbrake and skidded to a halt.  It  isn't often that you see a piece of paper with something printed on it, hereabouts.
I don't have much book-learning but I know a few letters and I always recognise a face.  I certainly knew this one, even though it was in black and white.
Clint Clanton!
That square-jawed, chisel-featured, stetson-totin',  nudie suit-a-wearin', geetar-twangin' sonofagun.  (Country and western singer, to the sane half of the population.)
I screwed up my face and stuck my tongue out as I spelled out the rest of the lettering, just the way Granny Mack taught me.  And she taught me good.
"CLINT CLANTON - MISSING.  There was a bit torn off after "missing", then REWARD £1, then another torn off bit.
I felt sure that the reward must be more than £1.  And I needed that money.  I needed it real bad.  It would help me to make a new life, away from Granny Mack and her hook and her three brown teeth and her half-witted homespun wisdom.
I revved up the engine and sped off down the track in a cloud of dust and sheep-droppings, rolling a fag on the top of the steering wheel as was my wont. 
In the distance the blackened walls of the old asylum still smouldered.  But I had no time to think about that now.
As I lurched down the dirt track I began to worry about that £1 reward.  How many noughts after the one? None, perhaps.  In which case,  why bother?  There'd have to be at LEAST one before I'd even think about considering looking beyond the end of my own boot.  For anyone - and that most especially included close family, or "clan".
I also began remembering (quite coincidentally!) what an utter shafter Clint was, according to what his drink-sodden rival Clant Clinton said in his tell-all autobiography, On the Road with an Utter Shafter...I'd found it in the skip behind the burnt down asylum some weeks previously...
I'd gone up there for a walk to get away from Granny Mack and her endless platitudes.  Oh yes, she looked the part, with the hook and the three teeth and the roll-up cigarettes and the hand-on-hip and the narrow-eyed stare, but her conversation!  God! it was like listening to an early 1960s edition of the People's Friend being read on a loop-tape.  Mind you, she HAD murdered Stinking Maggie and dumped her body in the black hut, with the others....or so she claimed...
ANYWAY - I'd found Clant Clinton's expose of the nastier side of life on the road with Clint Clanton in the skip behind the old asylum, just before it mysteriously burnt down.  It was a pretty racy read and only a shame that half the pages were missing.  I'd raked through the skip in an attempt to find them but there was only so long I could stand waist-deep in strait jackets,  used inco-pads, discarded syringes,  rubber clamps, polythene sheeting, blood-stained white coats, funnels, naso-gastric tubing, bottles marked "POISON" and these huge rectangular metal food containers that nobody ever cleaned because the food (usually liver stew) was so badly-burnt-on that they just binned them.  Anyway from the half I'd read it was pretty clear that Clint was a total shafter and Clant was a thoroughly decent bloke and the one with all the talent.
!!!!! CRASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BUMPITTY BUMP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Suddenly a half-clad body landed on the the truck  and immediately slid off leaving me with a burst windshield and a large smear of blood on the bonnet.  I hadn't even time to think as far as "What the -?" never mind slam the brakes on, and before I knew it I'd run whoever it was over.
I glanced in the rear-view mirror and saw - to my amazement - a blood-stained hand raising an equally blood-stained stetson.  Was it Clint, or was it Clant?  It had to be one or the other, but who knew?  Who cared?  And in any case I'd be doing whichever it was a favour by putting them out of their immediate physical pain.  I wrenched the truck into reverse and stepped firmly on the accelerator... ...meanwhile........

The lame hen had escaped Granny Mack's clutches by fluttering on to the top of the Black Hut and hiding behind the chimney.
And Granny Mack herself was up at the smoking ruins of the Old Asylum, with a large wheelbarrow.
"Sod the dumper truck.  I'm 93 years old and I can still manage to push three dead bodies - no, make that four - up a steep hill.  In a wheelbarrow.  A large one mark you.  Now I'm going to wheel them down again, just for the hell of it.  And I'll think up some fresh homilies while I'm doing it. Might even whistle a wee tune on my comb and paper as well.  One of Clint Clanton's mebbes.  Here goes.
Suddenly Granny Mack halted and wedged the wheelbarrow against a rock.  Niftily, she hefted the handles into the air and tipped the top-most body on to the turf, where it tumbled down the steep embankment on to the cliff's edge.
"Sorry Stinkin' Maggie.  I liked you, I really did, but I couldn't stand the smell a minute longer. The wind'll get up tonight, and you'll have a decent sea burial when the tide comes in."
Granny Mack continued wending her way downhill with the remaining three corpses.
Behind her, on the cliff-edge, Stinking Maggie opened a bloodshot eye, and began to growl......
"Ah wisnae always called Stinkin' Maggie," growled Stinkin' Maggie, as she hauled herself to her feet. "An' thon Granny Mack thocht she'd feeneeshed me aff wi' her poisoned cup of tea in the cracked cheeny cup.  But she didnae. Ah'm hard as fuckin' nails me."
Stinkin' Maggie pulled a clay pipe from her apron pocket and stuffed it with shag.
"When ah wis young - an' am no' that auld noo mind - ah wis oan Page 3.  Ah wis a Page 3 tapless stunner.  Page 3 o' th' Bunfettle Enquirer, that is.  Ah wis Tapless Stunner o' the Year 1982.  We a' took pairt in a competition at Bunfettle Public Baths.  We hud tae parade roon' and roon' the swimmin' pool, tapless, prancin' along in high-heeled mules like a right bunch of erses. Weel ah say "bunch", but there wis jist the twa o' us.  Me an' Granny Mack, an' she wis weel-pastit.  But try tellin' her that!
Onyway.  Stuff this fur a game o' sodgers ah thocht.  Nae mare prancin'.  Ma bunions are killin' me.  Ah deid-legged her when naebuddy wis lookin'.  Even if they WUR lookin',  ah didnae care.  She fell intae the pool heid-first an' cracked her face aff the flare.  That's how she lost a' her teeth.  She's hated me ivvir since. 
Ah dinnae hate her back tho'!  Ocht no.  Ah feel richt SORRY for the wummin.  Ah find sympathy is much more corrosive than hate.  Altho' the two do go rather nicely thigither.
But enuff aboot me.  How are YOUSE a' daein'?"

Stinkin' Maggie drew deeply on her pipe and cocked her head to one side.    Of course there was nobody else there…

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Blog/writing News

No really.
I'm quite bored writing this blog, but I'll keep it ticking over in case I think of something inspiring to put on it.

Meanwhile,  I've got last year's Saturn's Rings series of blog-posts somewhere, half-done, and I'll either post them here as a short story or Kindle them.

I have a couple of short stories nearly finished.  Unsure what I'll do with them.  And I'd like to do another Psychotweeter episode for Shortbread Stories.  I have a story in the editing queue there just now - Suzy Day Care:  Why Bother Waxing if You're Not Going to Get a Spray Tan?  which evolved from the old Suzy Day Care blog posts about life in a mental health day care centre.  I have more of that material in a crumpled pile of A4, which I need to transcribe and re-write.  It's quite foul-mouthed and not at all like the Tuppy and Geoffrey tales.

My Writing plan for 2014


Sunday, 12 January 2014

The Rolling Stones - It's Only Rock 'N' Roll (But I Like It) - OFFICIAL ...

Our kitchen due to Geoffrey's over-excitement with the Fairy Liquid.
Geoffrey's Christmas present

It's Only Fairy Liquid (but I Like It)

trees sea penguin 2014
Trees - with and without spreading propensities
I was sitting by the fire after breakfast, enjoying my favourite hobby i.e. staring glassily out of the window while stifling a poisonous outbreak of wind.  My gaze turned towards the tourist car park, and the Narks' ever-expanding yurt-collective, which they are trying vainly to mask with trees. Well, they say they're trying to mask it with trees, but knowing them I suspect it's the other way round and they are trying to mask US with trees.

'Why do some trees have a spreading propensity,  and others do not?'
'What?' Geoffrey popped his head round the kitchen door.  He was up to his armpits in bubbles, having squirted too much Fairy Liquid into the washing-up bowl.  We're accustomed to the Value label kind, which has almost no bubbles, even if you use half the bottle.  I got the Fairy Liquid for him as a Christmas present, but I knew he'd get over-excited at the prospect of using a high-end brand and sure enough he's gone too far.   The kitchen looks like the set of the Rolling Stones vid. for It's Only Rock and Roll (but I like It).
I sighed heavily.  I LOATHE repeating myself.  'Why do some trees have a SPREADING propensity, and others do NOT?'
'I don't know.  Shall I put the kettle on?'
'YES!  For pity's sake.'
'I heard that!'
'Bring the biscuits as well.'
'Fling the trinkets and yell?  Is that what you said Tuppy?'
'Yes, that's right.  Trinket-flinging and yelling is my latest craze.  Fetch me my trinkets so I can fling them.'

All five of my blog compilations are available via my AMAZON PAGE *shouts*

Some Photos of Favourite Places in Scotland

loch of the lowes sea penguin 2013
Loch of the Lowes,  Perthshire

loch clunie sea penguin 2012
Loch Clunie,  Perthshire

the old A9 sea penguin 2011
The Home Stretch - on the old A9 looking south towards Ben Y Vrackie

The Queen's View,  Loch Tummel Sea penguin
The Queen's View,  Loch Tummel,  Perthshire

Reekie Linn Sea Penguin
Reekie Linn waterfall, Angus

Loch Clunie Sea Penguin
Loch Clunie,  Perthshire

coral beaches skye sea penguin
The Coral Beaches,  Isle of Skye

loch rannoch sea penguin
Loch Rannoch,  Perthshire

lismore, sea penguin
Lismore, Argyllshire

Oban, Sea Penguin
Oban,  Argyllshire

appin sea penguin
Appin, Argyllshire

Sunday, 5 January 2014


Geoffrey and I were sitting together on the couch first thing, feet up on an old tea-chest, sharing the warmth of the old tartan knee rug before the dying embers of last night's fire.
'Make breakfast, will you?'
'No.  It's your turn.'
'If I lived in a city I'd be roaming the streets right now looking for a diner.'
'It'd have to be an American city then.'
'Not necessarily.'
'Where else do you find diners?  You do mean diner as in restaurant, don't you, and not diner as in diner - someone who eats?'
'Ummm....not sure....'
'What would you have to eat, anyway?'
'Bacon, pancakes with maple syrup, corn muffins and two eggs over easy.'
'Wow.  That sounds good.  I can't stand this.  What have we got in the fridge?'
'Nothing.  There's a tin of tuna, some goji berries and a packet of Val Nark's flapjacks in the cupboard though.'
'Is that it?  For pity's sake.  Have we nothing that can be fried?'