Wednesday 28 July 2021


 Where have all the insects gone? 

There has been no real shortage of midges when the weather has been right for them ie warm, still and muggy. Fortunately for us humans those conditions have been few and far between so far this summer. However spare a thought for the poor midges. This is not the first recent Year of Few Midges.

What made me think about this was that I recently drove down to Glasgow and Penrith and home again and since then have been driving round the Island in hot, for us, weather (until yesterday!). 

During all that time I didn't have to clean my windscreen once of dead insects.

It doesn't seem long ago that I spent hours each summer cleaning dead insects off  windscreen, headlights, number plate and so on and I even had special spray-on fluid for the job. 

Has anyone else noticed the dearth of insects?

Saturday 24 July 2021

Dawn and Stornoway

My brother, CJ, is staying with me. His wife, Jo, arrives a few days into August. After a week of distinctly un-summery weather we've had a few beautiful days.  CJ was up for some reason or other at 4.58am on Friday. This was the view from my kitchen window:

We have had coffee a crossword in town most mornings. Today I actually stopped and took some photos in the town centre.

Saturday 10 July 2021

Not At Home

I'm away from home. I came down to Glasgow and The Beatson for a review of the drugs trial from which I am benefitting. It's also been a very good opportunity to catch up with some of my friends down in this neck of the woods. I've been staying with Anna (whom I first met in New Zealand in 2006). 

I passed my 'service' and the car has had its service too and new rear tyres.

Tomorrow I shall drive to Penrith and meet my brother and sister-in-law. My sister-in-law will then hand over her husband into my care and I will return with him to Anna's. 

Monday should be a good day for visiting a couple of Glasgow's museums and art galleries.

On Tuesday we will return to Lewis.

The most fascinating thing this week has been a trip to the opera. Scottish Opera were doing an 'outdoor' and socially distanced performance of Verdi's Falstaff. Why, in heaven's name they chose the one opera which Verdi wrote that he definitely should have left unwritten, no-one knew. My speculation is that it was guaranteed an audience simply because everyone was grateful for the opportunity to get out to see and hear a performance again.

Friday 2 July 2021


At some stage before this crazy week started someone mentioned names and how given names often differ from what one is called. 

My Mother was supposed to have been Christened Flora Irene. Unfortunately her Godmother Edith was so miffed at her not being named after her that she added it when asked "How do you name this child?" It, needless to say, caused a bit of a family tiff.

My father was Morris Thompson-Edwards. However my mother refused to marry a double-barrelled name so he appeared on the Marriage certificate as Morris Thompson Edwards sans hyphen.

I was named Graham Barry Edwards. My parents called me Barry but Barry Graham Edwards didn't scan. Since I was 16 I've been known by both fore-names. One of the reasons for my names was that they were not easily shortened. So my parents thought. At school I was usually Bas and in our road simply Ba. Today I'm also known as GB, Geeb and various other things some of which are completely unrelated to my given names and which I shall ignore (as I usually do).  

My brother was named Clive John Edwards and to our parents and some people from his youth, he was and is Clive. Everyone else including me and his wife and offspring only use John or CJ (so far as I know!).

The husband of one of my brother's daughters took her surname on marriage. 

My son Gaz was named Gareth Vernon Spencer Edwards and called Gareth or Gaz. Virtually no one knew his full name until he got married. In Scotland you have to recite your full given name when getting married. His contempt for his chosen names was shown when on signing the register he then signed a deed changing his name to Gareth Macrae Edwards. 

His wife was, and remains, Carol Macrae although uses the title Mrs. In Scotland the taking of the husband's surname only came into general use in the 19th Century. 

Their son is Brodie Edwards Macrae. 

I'm glad that I will never have to be researching the family history. 

However if they do then this public record, boring though it might have been to you, will be of considerable interest to the researchers.