1 EAGLETON NOTES: October 2016



Monday 31 October 2016

My Beer is Isotonic

I rarely drink beer these days. However, when I was down on The Wirral, my brother and I called into the Irby Mill pub  on the way home (I'd been drinking too much coffee and needed the pub's facilities and CJ wanted to photograph the pub's sign). We decided to enjoy the pub's ambience 

and I decided to have a non-alcoholic beer. I rarely drink beer these days and non-alcoholic beers that I've sample have not been to my liking apart, I should add, from a John Smiths bitter that ceased production aeons ago. I was given a 

which turned out to be rather enjoyable.

However the fact that it was a 'refreshing isotonic drink' had CJ and I wondering what the relevance of isotonic was. The usual meaning of the word relates to a solution having the same osmotic pressure as some other solution, especially one in a cell or a body fluid. We all know from our biology lessons that osmosis is a process by which something passes through a semipermeable membrane from a less concentrated solution into a more concentrated one. So if the pressure was the same surely the liquid was about to drink would just pass straight through me without permeating any of my digestive etc organs and therefore couldn't have any effect on me. 

Thinking about this I discovered that sports drinks (I've never had one) are isotonic as well but they are all supposed to be good and energy-giving and that presumably requires the transfer of goodness through my bodily membranes.

I'm confused. Can anyone enlighten me.

Tuesday 25 October 2016

Amazon Reads Minds

We all know that with cookies etc set Amazon knows every thing that we have ever looked at on the Amazon website and tailors our Amazon home page and any marketing emails accordingly.

This morning I looked at Facebook on my phone and what did I see?

Now I'm sure you are wondering why on earth that should surprise me. The answer is that when I was with my Goddaughter and her partner and their young son (aged 2½) at the weekend  I mentioned that I'd taken young Catriona (at that time not yet a teenager) in NZ to see a film a few years ago but that I couldn't recall it's name but that, nonetheless I had actually enjoyed it. (Partly, I think, because it was my first 3D film experience since the days of the red and green glasses).  They went on line and produced a list of family films from that year and I immediately recognised the film: The Croods. I've certainly never mentioned it to Amazon though.

My dear brother commented that the Amazon appearance was scary on two counts: that Amazon could read minds and, more weirdly, that it was able to read my mind. It's a good job I love my brother.

Monday 24 October 2016

Another Place

In September Yorkshire Pudding ventured into the alien territory of the Red Rose and one of the results was a rather moving poem  about the Antony Gormley figures at Crosby beach. 

I spent a lot of my youthly social life in Crosby. Amongst other friends was a friend with whom I had a particular affinity who lived with his parents in one of the splendid villas which now look out over the Gormley sculptures:

It was some years since I had been there but my brother and sister-in-law were keen to go earlier in the week. It was a spur of the moment decision when we were in Birkenhead near the Mersey Tunnel and we didn't think to check on the state of the tide.

The sculpture entitled 'Another Place' consists of 100 cast-iron, life-size figures spread out along three kilometres of the foreshore, stretching almost one kilometre out to sea. I saw it when the tide was out and it was amazing although I don't think all the original figures were visible even then and they certainly weren't this visit. Having said that there are more in the photo below than one can see at first glance although I had the advantage of the original photo and a digital loupe.

What saddened me though was the huge amount of detritus lining the water mark:

Saturday 22 October 2016

Christmas 1/4 of a Year Away But....

Last week before I came away I received in the same post my first Christmas card and my Boots offers for Christmas purchases. I also received an email from Marks and Spencer suggesting I might want to order my Christmas food. I'd already been to the Maybury Garden Centre where Alison had her Christmas display out. I actually bought some stuff.


Thursday 20 October 2016


On Tuesday CJ, Jo and I went to Wales; to a place that has been special to me since my childhood; to a place that I used to go in my late teens to escape from the world. 

I first went to the Glyn Valley as a toddler. I remember two holidays in Glyn Ceiriog when I was very young - one in a house we rented and one in my Uncle's caravan - and my brother recalls one. As his memory of these things is invariably more accurate than mine it seems that the caravan holiday was when I was older because my brother recalls that holiday. Nevertheless as I only have one picture of me and my Uncle's caravan that's the one you're getting! Where it was actually taken is anyone's guess. My mother's brother is on the left and my Dad is holding me.

About then and on many visits to the valley after that I became acquainted with the small village of Llanarmon Dyffryn-Ceiriog with its two hotels The Hand and The West Arms

I'm not sure whether I've ever been into The Hand. I first recall staying at The West Arms when I was about 17. I rode out there on The Hippogryph

The Hippogryph was my steed for several years: we went all over The Lake District (where the above photo was taken), Wales and I popped up and down to London after work on a Friday (which astonishes me looking back). 

The West Arms was a wonderful retreat from the 'real world' for me.

On Tuesday we went for lunch and it was like going into a time warp. I walked into a place that has hardly altered (in my memory at least) in over half a century. 

Perhaps one difference was the food. I don't recall the food from the early sixties but I do recall the lunch we had on Tuesday.  I had whole prawn scampi with home made tartare sauce and perfect crisp on the outside and fluffy inside chips. This was not pub grub. 

I hope that one day I will make the journey from the Outer Hebrides to Llanarmon once again and spend some time at The West Arms in the Land of My Fathers.

Tuesday 18 October 2016

To The Woods

When I first went to live on the Isle of Lewis I thought that I would never get used to living without trees. I'd been brought up in a city but a city with lots and lots of trees. After that I'd lived amongst trees in Cheshire. So when on Saturday night I stayed with friends in Evanton it was a wonderful opportunity to step out of her back garden into the Evanton Community Woodland. Steve and I went for a good walk (thank you again medical team for my new knee) round the woods on Sunday morning accompanied by four paws.

Setting off
"Right you can catch me up!"
Autumn mists
Would you believe mating slugs?
Art in the woods
More art in the woods
Classroom in the woods
Fun in the woods

Thursday 13 October 2016

Thankful Thursday: Fifteen Years

Scriptor's and my father, Morris Edwards, died 15 years ago today.

In the past I have posted photos of Dad. Today I might post a photo but I thought that I would relay some of my memories of him.  

I can only recall two occasions when Dad got annoyed with me (there were probably lots but if there were he never showed it). One still strikes me as bizarre. I ate anything that was put before me as a child. Until one day at dinner celery appeared.  I remember nothing about how or why celery appeared (I can't imagine that it was a usual food 65 years ago) on the dinner table but it did. I wouldn't eat it.  Dad asked me to leave the table. The fact that it was so unusual can be demonstrated by the fact that I can still recall it.

Another memory is of climbing Moel Fammau as a youngster with Dad. I must have been very young because my brother wasn't with us.  We were descending from the summit when a squall with very strong wind hit us and I was blown off my feet and at danger of being blown down the hillside. Dad did a rugby tackle lunge to catch me and keep me safe. It was a long, wet return home!

Dad was also a very calm person. During the war he was in a reserved occupation so couldn't join the forces. I recall someone saying to him "Ah but you weren't in the war were you?". To which Dad's response was "Being a fireman on the Liverpool Docks with bombs falling all round you wasn't exactly a bundle of laughs." And that was that.

Dad probably never recalled any of those incidents once they had happened. They've stayed with me for well over half a century.

Mum and Dad leaving Childwall Church on their wedding day.

Monday 10 October 2016

The First Time....and The Last

I have a problem. By inclination I am vegetarian. I do like some meat and I do eat it. I like fish. I can catch a fish, kill it, gut it and cook it. If I do, though, I can't eat it. I much prefer it if someone puts fish on a plate for me. Today I decided to have a frozen breaded fish for dinner. So far as I can recall it's the first time I have ever bought frozen breaded fish. It will certainly be the last.

One would expect from the packaging that what one was purchasing was predominately fish.  Does 54% fish constitute predominantly? It is, marginally, the largest constituent in the package but not what I had expected.

 It was certainly the least appetising form of fish that I have ever had placed on a plate before me.

I ate the 'missing' bit. The rest made its way into the bin: not even the compost heap merited its presence.

Friday 7 October 2016

Success - So Far Anyway

In August I posted about the Transocean Winner an oil rig that had run aground on the West Coast of Lewis. It was re-floated a while ago and towed round into Broad Bay.

Yesterday she was floated onto Hawk. Hawk is a very large heavy lift ship which can be ballasted down so that huge things to be transported can be floated onto her carrying platform. She then is discharged of ballast and carries her cargo. In this case the plan is for the rig to be carried to Turkey to be broken up.

The number of vessels involved in the operation was considerable:

The story in pictures:

Oops. Grounded.
Hawk: heavy transport ship
As Hawk tales on ballast the cargo deck drops below the water
The support vessels all in place for the floatover
The situation (hopefully) explained
The oil rig on the deck of Hawk after she has de-ballasted