1 EAGLETON NOTES: April 2019



Saturday 20 April 2019


Coming home from time away always means a lot of faffing around catching up and getting things straight. It's been that sort sort of week. Add to that my telephone landline was faulty and my internet connection was thus interrupted too. I managed to beat the lawnmower into submission and it eventually roared into life and the grass has been cut. With two windless days of glorious, warm sunshine I managed to clear eight builders rubble sacks worth of vegetation etc from the garden in addition to a large wheelie bin of grass cuttings. The pond has been cleaned and the stream is flowing and aerating the water and allowing the birds once again to drink and bathe. 

This morning I popped into town for odds and ends and a coffee at The Woodlands. Afterwards I was in town looking at the bikes for the Harris Tweed Bike Ride 2019 when I met friends. We stayed chatting for a while then decided to go for coffee at The Hub at BeSpoke Bicycles. Excellent coffee in excellent company. The rest of my day was equally ordinary and enjoyable. 

So I have arrived at this evening feeling that the week has been one of happy achievement. Can one ask for anything more?

You, too, can play the bagpipes on the back of a tandem
A bevy of cyclists?
What no lycra?
Now I've never seen a bike like that before.

Tuesday 16 April 2019

A Heartwarming Welcome

I arrived home last night after a good drive up the A9 and across to Ullapool and a good sail over The Minch. I arrived in Ullapool to find that I wasn't on the manifest for the evening sailing and that it was pretty full. Fortunately I had the emailed booking on my phone so all was well. However moments like that are always a bit heart-stopping. What if I had booked the wrong day? What if....? The chap marshalling all the vehicles seemed surprised that I wasn't annoyed at Calmac's failings. It hadn't actually occurred to me to be annoyed - relief being my principal emotion.

Today has been spent trying to sort out all the shopping I brought back (for me and for others) and unpack, attend to mail and all the other odds and ends that need doing after a fortnight away. 

I went into town and the shopping having been done (ablative absolute) I decided to visit The Woodlands for coffee and a cream donut and to write a few notecards. The place was packed. Jean Anne, one of the wonderful young staff there, remarked on my absence and asked if all was well. I explained that I'd been off the Island for a couple of weeks. To which she responded that they had missed me and that she was glad that I was back. Well that truly happified me. I've felt on Cloud Nine ever since.

After I arrived home from town I managed to get the recalcitrant lawnmower working. The grass hadn't been cut since last September because I was away and when I got back it was too wet and has remained that way until just before I went away when the mower, despite having been overhauled, displayed it's usual Spring obstinacy and refused to start. The sky was promising rain so I set forth and spoke sternly to it and it roared into life and I filled a large wheelie bin with grass clippings. 

I'm hoping to return to Blogland again this week. I've really missed you all.

Post script: I've been wondering how the saying "On cloud nine" originated. It would seem that a commonly heard explanation is that the expression originated as one of the classifications of cloud which were defined by the US Weather Bureau in the 1950s, in which 'Cloud Nine' denotes the fluffy cumulonimbus type that are considered so attractive. It sounds a good explanation to me. 

Wednesday 3 April 2019

A Friend

I have been away from the Island since last weekend.

Yesterday I lost a friend:  a friend with a capital F.

We had been friends for over four decades.

We had also been colleagues. John had professional and personal integrity of the highest order. He was a man with a disorganised desk and an organised mind.

He had a sense of humour which was sometimes a little macabre, sometimes a little offbeat, sometimes downright obscure but always cleverly thought out and considered. He was also a master of anagrams (Western Isles = Wetness riles).

John was a man with considerable generosity of spirit.

John was a family man: his family were everything to him and his life revolved around his family. John and his wife formed a partnership without which John would not have been complete.

John has now escaped the cruel cancer that consumed him.

My heart goes out to those he has left behind.

I may not be visiting Blogland much for a little while.