1 EAGLETON NOTES: January 2017



Sunday 29 January 2017

Working: And Enjoying It

It's a beautiful morning - again. We've had a few recently but I've not been able to take full advantage because I've been working at the house that my son is building 15 miles away. It's in the very final stages and he's hoping to have it almost ready for the cleaners to be called in during February so that the carpets can be laid and it can be called home. Even the groundworks outside are taking shape. 

It's a long time since I worked an 'organised' six-day week and I am thoroughly enjoying doing physical labour (even though a lot of it cannot be called strenuous). However Gaz said the other day "I'm looking forward to the day when we can retire Dad." [Just from doing the house full-time you understand]. I echoed the sentiment. Gaz returns to his ship in about 10 days so we are having a final push. Having said that we are off to Inverness on the early ferry tomorrow morning to get things for the house and have a one-night mini-break.

When Gaz goes back to his ship I'm off gallivanting to Glasgow again.

I'm telling you this just so that you know that I haven't abandoned Blogland and I'll hopefully be back writing and commenting soon. In the meantime I'm still reading blogs when I can.

In the meantime I'm trying not to get depressed by the most unusual happenings in world affairs.

It looks like spring is on the way but this is Scotland and anything could happen in the next few months (and it probably will).

Tuesday 10 January 2017


I love walking. I always have done. The areas I loved for walking as a young man were North Wales and The English Lake District. There was an openness and a closeness to the countryside because of the smallness. Scotland is wonderful and grand but many of its mountains could not be climbed by someone living on Merseyside (as I did until I came to live in Scotland) half a century ago without taking a holiday for the purpose. However I could get into the car and spend a day or a weekend on the Lake District fells. And I often did. One of my favourite places in the sixties was Borrowdale and, particularly, the little village of Grange-in-Borrowdale where I used to stay at Riggside. This is the post office in, I think, 1970.

The wide open treeless fells were often used for hound trailing. Unlike hunting a man ran with a scented lure tied behind him and the hounds set off later.

Like Yorkshire Pudding, one of my principal loves when out walking was taking photographs.

I wrote this because of a recent post by Librarian who writes frequently about her wonderful walks and recently showed us a walk through coniferous forests. I love deciduous forests but I cannot walk alone through coniferous forests without becoming hemmed in with claustrophobia and a real feeling of dread. What is odd is that I don't feel like that if I have a companion. Out on the fells though there is no such feeling at all. One is free.

Sunday 8 January 2017

2017 So Far

It's 14 days since I posted on my Blog.  I think (though I could be wrong) that is may be the longest time since I started blogging  that I haven't posted on this or my New Zealand Blog. I haven't run out of topics nor have I run out of photos (although I haven't taken many for a while). I just seem to have succumbed to a mental greyness which is rather like the weather here when it's not blowing a gale or storm force winds.

In the days before my New Zealand life started I just hunkered down in the winter and did winter things. The long nights and 6 hours of daylight didn't put me up or down. Then came nearly a decade with no winter. Last year I had a 6 week break in New Zealand just about now to look forward to and that glorious 6 weeks and a Lewis summer kept me going....until a few weeks ago. Then my current house projects completed and Christmas dinner over (the first one I had ever cooked) and a break from working at Gaz and Carol's house have seen my mind slip into a sort of grey area longing for New Zealand, the sun and croquet. It's not that I haven't got lots of things to do. I have. Being physically active isn't a problem. However I'm finding being mentally active very hard.

I wrote a New Year post only to find that I wrote the same post last year. I couldn't believe it. What amused me, though, was that two of my regular readers (you know who you are) would immediately have remembered my previous post even though I hadn't.

For a lot of reasons I am not contemplating a New Zealand trip this year. That makes me very sad so I try not to think about it.

On the plus side I have been writing far more letters and cards and planning my next couple of projects. Before too long I shall be making another trip to the City where it is possible to ride the Clockwork Orange (although I rarely do), meet up with friends and enjoy the Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Perhaps when I return I shall be more alive and ready for Spring.