We had a great evening!

Despite the cynical views of barbecues I gave on last blog, we had a lovely time last weekend when the choir got together for an end of season get-together.

The evening was not exactly balmy, but pleasantly mild; the cooking was, as one might expect, superb (from your’s truly); the preparation, presentation and consumption of food and liquid went as planned; the conversation flowed well with no-one left in a corner; the midges had gone away for their holidays; and the evening finished with a good old ‘sing-song’ round the piano (as you would xpect from a choir).

So when are we going to do it again, before the winter sets-in!

So far and yet so near

Brother, who is married and lives in Australia, has just had his 60th birthday, and, as requested, has sent me a very nice family photo including his wife and children. I was almost tempted to ask him why the photo did not come upside down, but that is too corny even for me!

He went to the antipodes on UK Decimalisation Day (probably to escape the horrible word, PENCE), and thinks nothing of the long flights back for funerals. It is strange to note that even with being so close as children, who played well together, we have spent most of our lives as far apart as is presently possible, and have built-up relationships, and pursued careers unknown and un-connected to one another.

Yet when we do meet again, we seem to just settle-in again as if nothing had happened.

There is one other interesting point. When writing the obituary for our mother, I e-mailed him to see if there were any specific points or memories he wanted brought to mind, and he sent me over his version of our childhood. There were some important points on which the facts seemed to differ from my recollection and diary, but at this stage in our lives it makes no difference, but does show that we can observe happenings from different viewpoints, and carry that view all our lives.

We still hope that we might take the long journey over, and resolve who was right about the various parts of our childhood, if someone could knock me out for the 36 hours of travelling!


So I gave you a few extra days to rethink, but I have to  congratulate the last commenter, Daffy, on being right. It is the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle, and not Lindisfarne (lovely as it is) as it is further north. We have never been over to Lindisfarne as we have always just missed the tide, which covers the causeway.

One place (plaice) worth visiting near there is Craster, a tiny fishing port with a marvellous smokery and fish restaurant. The above was a simple offering we had one day….no bottle of vinegar available!

We stayed at the old coaching inn, the Mason’s Arms, in Rennington, again quite close,….well worth the journey to stay in the marvellous outhouses converted into suites.  British accommodation and catering can be tremendous!

So I award DAFFY a personal driver to Northumberland, a slap-up meal at Crabster, and a weekend at the Mason’s Arms….and off course, a framed photo, on the wall, of her favourite Angel!

What a Picture!

The header picture above just shows what a beautiful country Scotland is. It was one of a series of photos taken in an early Spring morning from our room in the Green Park Hotel in Pitlochry. I was intrigued by the movement of the cloud across the hills and this one showed the effect of the reflection off Loch Faskally…fabulous!


When we were at Aberfoyle on Sunday, a few of us took some photos of St Mary’s church and, of course, the assembled choir, for use in the local Church Newsletter. This will be retained in the archives, and, probably, occasionally looked-at over the coming years.

We all try to preserve a written or photographic record of outstanding events in our lives, and rightly so, but what about the not-so-important ones? I have been keeping a daily diary since 1958, and have been slowly reducing it to an autobiography. Not from some narcissistic wish to remember my life, but to record something for the children and future historians.

What I found interesting was the number of bits of information I had kept, like my wages, the price of petrol, what we paid for our first house, what we ate for breakfast nearly 50 years ago, bus timetables, when we stopped getting milk in bottles, the video out-takes from weddings…… All were not tremendously exciting at the time in the writing, in fact mundane. But from a historical point of view, someone will find them interesting.

So can I appeal to you to record not only the things which are important to you, but also those which might turn out to be important to your children, and your children’s children.

My parents and most of my uncles and aunts are dead, and there are now many questions I wish I had asked them, but didn’t. So ask that question now, and take your camera everywhere   ……..Because you rarely get a second chance!