1 EAGLETON NOTES: December 2019



Saturday 28 December 2019

Cup Half Full and 40 Miles

I tend to look at everything in a positive way. Probably because I've been one of life's fortunate people in that so far I've woken up every morning and gone to bed every evening for the last 27,601 days. That's a lot of days and even more when you realise that it's 39,745,440 minutes minus what's left of today plus the number I lived on the day I was born.

I'd love to know what makes us essentially positive or essentially negative. Nietzsche and Voltaire aside (they only had the raw material to speculate about) some of us are definitely glass half full and some are glass half empty. I've always been the essential optimist even when I've faced the terrible things in my life. There is always someone who has had a worse experience who has come through to be a role model. I think it's what has carried me through. 

It's not, however, something of which to be proud or to boast about. It is simply a fact of who you are. I'm not even convinced that it's nurture although I'm sure that helps to mould our nature. My Mum was the eternal optimist but my Dad was a more cautious pessimist (at least that's how I perceived it). 

What's all this about? Well I was actually thinking about something so mundane and trivial that it made me think about the remarks I'd heard today about the winter and the weather (we're Brits so that's a mighty important topic and I live on an Island so it's a matter of ferries and to travel or not to travel and is quite a real part of life.).

My first thought is that the nights are now getting shorter but the person to whom I was talking said that it was a long time to the longer days and we still had the full winter to contend with. She pointed out that the weather today was atrocious. So it was. However Christmas Day was cloudless blue skies from start to finish. Ah yes she said "That brought the icy conditions". C'est la vie.

On Christmas Eve I took some photos of the mainland. To give you an idea of perspective Canisp in the first photo is 40 miles from where I was standing.

Canisp and Suilven

The township in which I live surrounded by nothing but moor. It looks better in the sun.

Tuesday 24 December 2019

Happy Christmas

They say copying is the sincerest form of a flattery. Flattery, however, is insincere. This copying is a very sincere compliment to YP.

Graham GB Geeb HebrideanKiwi

The photo was taken on Christmas Day 2010 at The Big House above The Cottage in New Zealand

Tuesday 17 December 2019


I dislike disruption. I suppose that we all do. Midday Saturday and I'd just finished having coffee with a friend at The Woodlands. I'd been right as rain and twice as wet as the saying goes. I stood up and immediately felt the early signs of an onset of sepsis. I've had it so many times now that I'm pretty well attuned to the symptoms. It's just become part of normal life but it is disruptive because there is absolutely no knowing when it will strike. Anyway the Nurse Practitioner and Member of the Society of Master Bumjabbers had given me antibiotics to take should I be unable to get to an A & E (Emergency Room) in reasonable time. So I decided to try and stave it off at the pass and within half an hour of the onset I had taken my first tablet. 

I had friends coming for dinner for the Final of Strictly Come Dancing (good result but I did so want Anton and Emma to win) so decided to see how it went and rely on the oral antibiotics. The meal was already in the slow cooker (Moroccan Lamb if you're interested) so I went and had a sleep. I woke feeling quite reasonable so decided against A & E.

At 1.40 am I woke with rigours which were so bad I actually had difficulty phoning for an ambulance. Hospital. The usual cocktail of intravenous antibiotics. Brilliant care and attention (thank you once again NHS) and last night I was home again. Wabbit but well.

The disruption? Ah yes. Sunday had been allocated to getting my UK cards done. Monday was the day for icing the 5 Christmas cakes I still have to ice.

So now, after a fabulous and solid sleep, I'm playing catch-up. 

But first I have some Thank You notes to deliver.

Hopefully I'll get some blogs read this evening.

Monday 9 December 2019


On my phone I have an App called Life360. It is a location-based family networking app designed primarily to allow friends or family members to share location with each other and to communicate with each other in a closed group. It enables my brother to ask if I'm in hospital visiting or as an emergency patient (he'd know if I was going in routinely)

It's also a useful app if you have a family member who is directionally challenged. It makes finding them, telling them they are driving 25 miles down a motorway in the wrong direction and giving directions about what to do. I hear you say that you thought that's what sat-navs are for. It is. However that's perhaps not a route to go down at this moment (no pun intended - originally). 

Today I looked at it to see if CJ had gone down to Heswall (which would, prime facie, indicate a 'good day'). As I opened it I got an unusual message:

In itself the message was not unusual in that all the free app developers have a trade-off or price for being free. What is unusual in my experience is the open honesty and clarity with which the developers have named all 128 'partners' and allowed you to choose ones with which you do not want your information shared.

Friday 6 December 2019

Art? Really?

Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan’s work, Comedian, a piece of fruit duct-taped to a wall, has been snapped up at Art Basel in Miami for $120,000. One in a series of three, a second version of the piece has also been sold for a similar price.

Am I the only one who remains unconvinced?

Sunday 1 December 2019

A Winter Canal Walk

A month or so ago when I was down in Bishopbriggs we went for a walk alongside the canal. It was a driech morning. Yesterday we repeated the walk on a bitterly cold but beautifully sunny afternoon.

Berthed at The Stables pub in an iced-over canal
We walked under the bridge to the left of the photo and towards Kirkintilloch.

Pleasure cruise canal boats were operating.

Homeward bound into the setting sun

The reward back at The Stables.