Asleep at the wheel!


I’m sure that all of us at one time or another have had one of those ‘micro-sleeps’, when momentarily, on a long drive, we get tired, the eyes blink, and suddenly we realise we are a danger to ourselves and others.

Well, this is not about that!

I remember once travelling on a small car-ferry on a 25 min journey which I had done many times. I was tired so just stayed sitting at the wheel. A thick fog came down and I couldn’t have seen anything anyway. I fell asleep until there was a gentle bump as we berthed on the other side. Of course, I suddenly woke, looked out of the windscreen into a thick fog, imagined I was driving, and jammed on the brakes, terrified! It was only then that I realised I was perfectly still and safe!

This weekend Lady of the House, and I, have travelled quite a few hundred miles around the Lake District, and the Yorkshire Dales. We had been out one evening for a lovely meal and were returning , in the deeping gloom, to the farmhouse where we were staying. Classic FM was on and we were listening to a favourite piece, so we decided to sit in the farmyard, with the engine on and lights off until the piece was finished.

We must have been very comfortable sitting in this balmy situation and obviously both fell asleep for about 20 minutes! Goodness knows what anyone driving into the yard would have thought!

Have you ever fallen asleep, and wakened in a strange situation?


santa with reindeer

Santa is alive and well,  I can report!….can Christmas now be far behind?

At least he is (in chocolate form), at a Sainsbury store in the West of Scotland, where we went shopping tonight. Can I hear the distant tinkle of reindeer bells, and the smell of real Christmas trees? …Of course not, let’s not be silly…..that’s probably being prepared for next week!

Can you beat that?

Not Guilty!

So two lads, 16 and 18 year olds, who planned a ‘fantasy’ murdering spree at their school, have been found not guilty of anything….despite wasting their own time in a stupid prank, wasting police and public prosecutor time, involving a considerable expense of public money, and achieving their 15 minutes of fame.

Who do they think they are?…..I have seen no regret or apology from them or the parents, and no attempt to explain why they did this, but they and their legal counsel (presumably paid from public funds) managed to convince a gullible jury that it was only a harmless fantasy!

Do they live in the same world as us? Do they not see what is happening about them? These guys were old enough to know what they were doing. And they just want to get on with their lives!  They hoped that this would not affect their hope to join the army…..I can just imagine an RSM dealing with them, and putting the fear of death into them!……… there’s a phrase that they might learn to appreciate!

Up,Up, and away….at last!

Aloft balloon

A previous post  told of the postponement of a balloon ride for Daughter’s 40th birthday, accompanied by Lady of the House. After a number of attempts to re-arrange it, we at last heard from her that Saturday was to see it all come true.

At 11pm on Friday night she confirmed the good news that a morning flight would take place from Biggar near Lanark….the bad news was that we had to be there by 7 am!

Biggar is a pretty little town in the middle of the south Lanarkshire countryside, and working backwords it was established that Lady and I would have to be up by 4.30 am to pick up daughter at 6!…..and with another hour’s drive to Biggar!

But you know what happens when you have to be up very early….you don’t sleep very well, and I was awake at 3.45 am and at my cereal by 4am!

The journey there all went to plan and we arrived at the site on a lovely autumn morning with a layer of mist and low cloud. Even then there was some doubt about whether it would take place because of the wind speed limits and the low mist.

All was OK’d and the laborious task was started to unpack the balloon from a bag the same size as you see the round hay-bales in. It was a bit like unwrapping a tent, but of gigantic proportions! The noise of the fans and then the burners, to expand the envelope was ear-damaging, and the sight of seeing the pilot walking about inside the balloon, checking for leaks, as it was being blown-up, was somewhat surreal!

Prepare balloon

There were 16 passengers tightly-packed into the wicker basket….fat people would not have been able to clamber into the basket, never mind sit down with any degree of comfort!

I had been taking a video record of all the preparations, and was taking some final still photos before they took off. I turned round briefly to get the video out again, and when I turned back, they had lifted-off and were rapidly rising into the clouds!  The pilot was obviously not prepared to descend and rise again, just for me to get some more shots!….but hey, that’s just life!


My intention had been to follow the balloon by road, keeping visual contact, but I never saw it again, even when the sky was a perfect blue! I drove around some of the beautiful Borders roads, with my eyes gazing upwards. I had to admit defeat however, and return to Biggar. A mobile phone call told me that they had landed safely, and allayed my fears that they had disappeared into some kind of Bermuda Triangle in the sky!

balloon view


Theywere brought back for champagne and a chat about the events which happened when they spooked a herd of animals, and the farmer’s reaction!…but that’s another story!

But what do we give her for her 50th?


pig on a bike

Daughter is a member of Her Majesty’s Police Force…and when not on duty, she is actually quite a nice gentle person!

This weekend, she is the only WPC taking part on Saturday 5th Sept in a cycle ride from Edinburgh to Glasgow. It is some 65 miles, starting at Edinburgh Quay, and ending in Glasgow City Centre, via the towpaths of the Union Canal and the Forth and Clyde Canal.

Donations and sponsorship will be divided equally between two charities:-

………….Erskine was set-up in 1916 to care for the wounded returning from WW1, and still cares for those returning from the present conflicts, and

………….The Moira Fund which was founded by family, friends, and colleagues, in memory of Moira Jones, who was murdered in Queen’s Park, Glasgow in May 2008. It will make grants to individuals who have been bereaved through violent death, to provide specialist bereavement counselling, access to respite and retreats, and a support network.

Two wonderful charities who deserve our help so if you have not already contributed give it a thought. You can get more details on the appropriate websites, or donate directly….

GOOD LUCK, FOLKS….hope the legs (andbottoms) hold up OK!!!!