It’s a right pain!

Someone to whom we are very close has just come through many months of pain, medical tests, worry, taking of much blood, indecision by medics, and three intensive courses of chemo-therapy. This was then followed by a major operation! All this has been borne with fortitude with only the very occasional (and perfectly-understandable) complaint.

We have known this person for decades, and thought we knew them well, but the last few years have shown them in a sharper  light. Courageous, tolerant about the condition, brave, accepting of the treatment, helpful to others in the same situation and optimistic, all come out high-up in the list of descriptors which would apply.

No-one in their right mind would say that we should all have a dose of bad health, or bad luck, so that some alter ego could shine through ….because I think in a lot of situations it just would not work out that way! Many would become bitter, blame themselves or others, give up hope, and become introverted.

As we encounter the cutbacks in government and local services, with unemployment rising in both wealthy and deprived areas, it is going to require an immense amount of positive, courageous and original thinking from everyone in our society if we are to see through the tunnel towards the light. In fact, not unlike what this relatively-young person has had to imagine, meet head-on and now look forward to…….. a better future.

So is your glass half-full, or half-empty?

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Maybe I should retire here!

Headed-up recently into Argyll…yet again! A previous post was about a long weekend break when we could explore the side roads. However this time it was a quick day trip along roads familiar to tourists wanting to see the wonderful scenery. We used the A828 road between Glencoe (of massacre fame) and the Connel Bridge. A few miles south-west of Ballachulish there is a little hamlet called Duror which features in the history of the Stewarts of Appin.

 If you want to know more about the area, I am assured that the book ‘Kidnapped’ by Robert Louis Stevenson gives all the lowdown on the bloodthirsty history.

But this wasn’t the reason for our visit. It was to visit a little Anglican Church, which is so small that it could be missed behind the trees on the road. If you Google Street the phrase ‘Duror Argyll’ you will be right at the spot where the church is.

It has a delightful organ which was made in Germany (it is believed) in approximately 1683. If so, it is probably the oldest church in regular use in Scotland!  There is also a belief that perhaps George Frederick Handel had played it, but it is probably impossible to verify it at this distance in time. The present organist, Kerr Jamieson, temptingly suggests that the connection may have more to do with the fact that there is still a working handle to pump the air for the bellows!

They have a Community Choir, and with such beautiful countryside no doubt photography and rambling are all part of the life up here. It gets more enticing every day……maybe another long weekend is called-for!

Get out your English Grammar Book!

Sign seen on an over-head gantry, while driving along a motorway recently…..’full cars, less queues’ !!!  I wonder what foreign visitors must think as they see the glaring mistake.

What’s next?………text-speak?

Surely there must be people out there who can be employed to write properly!

What annoys you about the abuse of our wonderful language?