1 Eagleton Notes

Sunday, 3 November 2013

A Sudden Realisation

Yesterday was an Interesting Day (with apologies to Sellars and Yeatman).  It was to be a simple day.  I wanted a polarising filter for the new camera and a new camera case (I'm keeping the Sony for the time being) and some Guerlin Lilia Bella perfume for Wendy in NZ.

I got the perfect camera bag in Merchant City Cameras - a wonderful and unassuming camera emporium - but no converter needed for the camera to take a polarising filter.  It has come to something, though, when all the rest of the photography shops I went into suggested I buy one from Amazon.  The perfume has been discontinued.  We met various friends for 'farewell' coffees though.

I was looking at the television news recently when the UK's Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Education and Childcare was speaking.  I thought how young she looked.  Policemen have looked young for decades but somehow I still except members of the Government to appear a little older  than someone not long out of uni (even Merton College, Oxford).  In reality she's not that far off 40.  Several years ago my brother pointed out that I was not that far off my allotted three score years and ten.  Suddenly I am realising how correct he is.  However I'm firmly of the view that 70 is the new 55.   Good job really given that future generations may well not be retiring until the age I am now.

I am now sitting airside in Glasgow Airport with about 20 minutes to the flight being called.  It's been a full and enjoyable few days with a golden wedding thrown in for good measure. What has suddenly become scary though - harking back to the last paragraph - is that it's my generation that is celebrating its golden weddings.

The Emirates route is Dubai, Melbourne and then Auckland where I should arrive 1400 hours local time Tuesday.  Then it's just a short hop to Napier where I should arrive 'home' 1745 hours Tuesday.

And then my Kiwi resumes.

Bye for now: see you in a couple of days.

In the meantime this is what I will be doing a lot of:

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Glasgow (well almost) Day 1 and Thankful Thursday.

It's Thursday evening (Ah Thankful Thursday!  I nearly forgot) and I am pleased to say that I am now ensconced in Anna's in Bishopbriggs.  I usually say Glasgow because anyone outside of Scotland is very unlikely to know where Bishopbriggs is.  

I pass through quite a lot of security checks in my travels and in the past the one I dreaded most has not been LA (bad though that may have been for staff incivility) but Stornoway where the level of incivility by the security staff had been taken to an artform.   So today I was pleasantly surprised to see that the staff were pleasant and efficient.  I was also surprised to be tested for banned substances.  I can't ever recall being tested for banned substances anywhere else in the world on my way into a flight (come to think of it I've never been tested on the way out either).  It's a good job they didn't test my money because two customs officer friends have told me that a high percentage of high value notes are contaminated.

The flight from Stornoway to Glasgow was bumpy to say the least.   Not everyone survived unaffected!  The chap next to me and I regaled each other with personal tales of travel incidents we'd had and took our minds off things. We also had a good rapport going with the stewardess who was wondering why she did the job on flights like that and was glad it was the end of her day! We also had a laugh when it came to disembarking: the plane had to be emptied from the rear because it was rear heavy and could have tipped up if they’s emptied the front first! We were the small ones at the front!

So today I'm very thankful to have had such an enjoyable first leg of my journey to NZ.  Three sleeps here and then the Big Flight. 

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Memories of a Lewis Day (so far)

Tomorrow morning I leave for Glasgow and the start of my journey to my Other Home in New Zealand.   Looking at the weather forecast for the rest of today and tomorrow we are promised strong gales and torrential squally showers and rain.  I took these photos within the last half hour but already the skies are lightening as the sun rises but darkening at the same time as the grey rain clouds come across from the west (these photos are taken facing east).  This is one of the reasons I love the Hebrides: the unpredictability of the view from my window.

The three photos were taken in a sequence about 10 minutes from start to finish as the sun rose over the horizon.

Within a couple of hours the wind had risen to gale force and the sea at The Braighe when I went into town was quite rough:

I met Gaz for coffee and lunch at The Woodlands; my favourite watering hole in Stornoway's Lews Castle Grounds.  Believe it or not it was very busy but everyone is behind us.

In the afternoon I popped over to Pat and Dave's for a coffee.  Their eccentric cat Misha wanted first to go out and then to come back in.

This evening a friend is popping in and by the time I get to bed the cases will be shut and I'll be ready to roll in the morning.

Monday, 28 October 2013

It's a Very Small World

I'm sure that I must have posted about this before: probably many times.  

It occurred to me this morning that yesterday I spoke on the 'phone to friends in Canada, New Zealand (2), England, Scotland, and on the Island.  I was Skyped by Jamie in China and passed on a message from Jamie to New Zealand.  I received emails from every continent.  I read blogs from all over the place but the nature of blogging made the places irrelevant because Blogland encompasses the world (or much of it anyway).

I was born in Liverpool and people from Liverpool ended up all over the world because it was a sea-faring city with links to everywhere.  I came to Lewis decades ago and found people who knew countries and places I'd hardly even heard of.  In particular many from here went to the Southern Hemisphere on the whalers and I've met a few old-timers who were well acquainted with Napier and many other places in New Zealand.  It's pretty much the same today with so many young people going to sea and working on the rigs and oil industry all over the world.

This, however, is just the human element of the small world we inhabit and share with other creatures.  The migrations of the Monarch Butterfly and the Godwit almost make our efforts look insignificant by comparison.  We use our brains to enable us to make the world smaller and they use their bodies so I suppose they can't really be compared but even so.....

So today I've been relishing the sun and mild weather to clear up the last few outside jobs before I leave for Glasgow and then New Zealand on my annual migration (assisted by the efforts of many thousands, perhaps millions, of brains which created all the means of transport etc that I shall be using to achieve the journey).  I feel for those in the South of England who are clearing up after the terrible storm they've just had.  Having lived through three hurricanes on the Island where we are adapted for such weather I cannot really imagine how bad it must be in some places which are clear not so adapted.

As a reminder that all days are not as calm and sunny as today this was my garden pond a few days ago: