Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Oh Happy Day!

No. This is not a post about a hymn. 

Yesterday my New Zealand Family arrived for a visit. Okay not all of them Eldest and Girlfriend came a couple of weeks ago. Now its Wendy and Martin and Catriona (with whom those of you who followed A Hebridean in New Zealand will be well acquainted). So that just leaves the two intermediate children yet to visit but that won't be anytime soon.

The weather is not looking particularly promising but Wendy and Martin lived here so they know what to expect. You don't come to Lewis for hot, sunny weather. You do, however, get peace and quiet (unless the wind is above Force 10).

Their plane was last yesterday evening so by the time we'd finished dinner and a sat and consumed a reasonable amount of cheese (I'm not even mentioning the gin and tonic, Rioja and cognac) it was well after 1am. It was as if the intervening months since we last met face to face just hadn't existed. 

On Thursday Gaz, Carol and Grandson, Brodie return. They have been sorely missed. Is it really only three weeks they have been away. Don't Grandchildren grow up quickly?

So I am here and manageing to read blogs. I even wrote a whole post on the subject of The Peats and then Blogger threw a fit and the post, which had been saved and worked on for several weeks just disappeared from my Dashboard. Well, to be exact, the content of the post. The actual heading and one photo remained. Sometimes I do wonder what happens behind the blogscenes.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Duvet Decisions

When I was a child we had sheets and blankets on our beds. The top cover was either a rug or an eiderdown which was easily discarded in hot weather. What is an eiderdown? It's a quilt originally filled with down from of the eider duck and used on top of the blankets.

In 1964, just 6 years before I married, Conran introduced duvets (otherwise known as 'downies' or 'continental quilts' in the UK , 'comforters' in the US and 'doonas' in Australia). We bought our first duvet in Edinburgh before we married. I have never slept under anything other than a duvet since.

The only slight disadvantage to duvets over blankets is that one has to keep a variety of different warmths (ie tog ratings) for different weather. I'm fortunate to live in a well-insulated and generally warm house but I like a cool bedroom.  I use a 13.5 tog duvet in the winter and a 4.5 in the warmest weather (ie at the moment). 

Okay, so this is looking like a really boring post. Indeed it is a really boring post. The excitement comes when guests are arriving. Which duvet should I put on their bed? I can choose from togs 4.5, 7.5, 10 or 13.5.  Now there's a First World decision for me.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Calm Sea

The Minch at its calmest.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Crossed Legs

I was brought up in a family where good manners and consideration for others were paramount. I never, well hardly ever, put my elbows on the table, I never started eating before everyone was served at table, and so on. I always raised my school cap, and later my hat, to ladies (I usually still do to some extent). On a pavement/sidewalk I walked on the outside of a lady. I certainly never ate my peas off the front of the fork (ie with the tines upwards like a spoon) - not even when no one was looking.

I was encouraged not to cross my legs because it was bad for blood flow.

It was my duty to help infirm people across the road or run errands for elderly neighbours and offer one's seat on the tram or bus to a lady or an elderly person.

In other words I had a 'good upbringing' from that point of view. And, just for the record, in most other ways too I'm fortunate to be able to say.

Early in my working life I did a lot of protocol work so had to be aware of a lot of diplomatic and royal protocol. In those days it seemed really to matter.

At my maternal grandfather's dinner table as a child I never spoke until I was spoken to. In my Mum and Dad's house, however, we were encouraged at mealtimes to say what we had to say. Protocol/ manners were changing and I think that at the tender age of about six I realised that that things were changing and that things would always be changing.

It was when I first went to France that I realised how quaint people thought the way Brits ate their peas was. Now, except where I'm on my best behaviour I eat my peas using the American way and turn my fork over. Sorry. Standards are slipping.

What prompted this post was seeing a headline a few days ago which said that The Duchess of  Sussex had 'disrespected the Queen' by crossing her legs in the Queen's company I realised just how much these things no longer matter to me and, I suspect, to most of the rest of the world. And just how bad some news reporting is. I think my Mum and Dad would agree with me.

By the way there was no disrespect at all by the Duchess. The reason legs are not crossed by Royalty is simply so that photographers don't get photos of their underwear.