1 EAGLETON NOTES: September 2021



Tuesday 28 September 2021

A Week Enjoyed

Another week out of Blogland and another 'selfie' blog post (sorry Bob). 

We have known each other for just under half a century. We came to the Island in the '70s - her husband and I to work for the local authority. For both of us it was short term. However, neither of us left.  Both of us stayed until our retirement. All of us loved and have very strong Island connections.

John and Sue left the Island after his retirement because their children had left the Island and Glasgow suited their travelling lifestyle better than Lewis. 

Sue and John were two of my closest friends from day one. Sadly, John passed away two years ago. We have shared half a century of experiences, fun and heartache. So when Sue came to stay for a week there was no shortage of things to occupy our time. We met mutual friends and had friends in for dinner. Sue went into town and met many of her own friends.

In fact I could write several posts arising from the visit (and may well do so). I should also get into the garden. However the weather today is vile - viscously heavy squalls coming through in between moments when butter wouldn't melt in Zeus's mouth. 

I also have an appointment with the optometrist. Actually I confess that I was not sure what the difference was between an optometrist and an optician. Apparently opticians are technicians who fit eyeglasses, contact lenses, and other vision-correcting devices. Optometrists are eye doctors who examine, diagnose, and treat patients' eyes.

Bye for now.

Yesterday's tomato crop:

Thursday 16 September 2021

Sod's Law

Being brought up in Liverpool we called it Murphy’s Law. However I read recently that anything referring to anyone that might in any way be taken to be derogatory is no longer allowed. Sod doesn’t have anyone to defend him (or was Sod a ‘her’?) so that’ll have to do unless you can come up with something better.

Today the peninsula on which I live has no electricity. That means there is no cellphone signal at my home because I get my signal from a local repeater mast. I have no idea if the wifi is off because…. This is where Sod plays his part.

My house can be reasonably independent of the electricity supply on a short term basis because I have a generator. My mains supply board has a Big Switch which switches the house supply off from the mains supply and allows the generator supply to take over. 

Every now and then I check the generator and run it for a while. I did this a week or so ago as soon as I got the first (of 4) letters from the electricity infrastructure company warning me that there would be no supply from 0900 until 1700 today.

This morning I went out early for my walk in the Castle Grounds and some visits and didn’t return from town until lunchtime. I turned the key of the generator starter and it refused to start. It was still refusing to start some time later and has consistently refused over the hours.

If next time I try it, it starts first time (as it usually does) I shall be less than amused.

Fortunately it’s been a pleasant afternoon and I’ve been in the garden and cut the grass.

I’ve not played bowls since the start of the season for various reasons but I decided that if the weather stayed good this evening I’d go and have a game before the season ends. The sun’s gone in and it’s clouded over but as I write this I’m still optimistic that the electricity will return so that I can post this and go off and play bowls.

Hopefully, tomorrow I’ll read some blogs too.

PS I’ve had plenty of coffee and soup because I have a gas camping stove for emergencies.

Tuesday 14 September 2021

A Little More Eco Friendly?

When I came to live on Lewis the township (England/Lowland Scotland/Wales = village) I lived in had a main road running through it (on which the house in which I lived was situated) and many side roads which had grown up in accordance with the shape of crofts and the need for access.

There was very little street lighting outside of Stornoway and we lived 7 miles from the town so we had nothing except the occasional light at a crossroads perhaps. Given that the midwinter hours of daylight were only about 6 or 7 that meant a lot of time outside the house was spent in the dark.  

That had the benefit of fabulous starry nights (reminiscent, more recently, of living in semi-rural New Zealand) and a highly visible Aurora borealis (in the case of the Hebrides).  

Now most of my readers will well remember that a torch with a bright light was likely to be a fairly bulky object with big expensive batteries. We all carried torches when we went out at night and, indeed, they were a very important part of life in the '70s. Then people grew hungry for street lights and if a Councillor could not get at least some street lights for his constituents he risked being replaced at the next local election. 

Houses also started having outside lights as a matter of course. Very tiny very bright torches and head lights also became the norm.

In the last 10 to 15 years it became easier to fit battery operated LED lights in difficult places outside. At the same time all my indoor lights have been replaced by LED ones and the total wattage in the house is probably less that the wattage in my living room 15 years ago.

Last Spring I started replacing the outside battery operated lights with solar lights. So now my house is  well illuminated outside by movement operated solar panel lights.  

When I was 3 and my Dad taught me how to wire 1½v  bulbs and batteries and switches in parallel and series and later how to deal with 13amp electrics I could never have believed that the outside of my house would be illuminated by solar power lights installed for little more than the cost of a year's supply of dry batteries. 

Monday 6 September 2021

I'm Back

How's that for an inventive title?

Good afternoon, on this windy, dull, wet, 11ÂșC Sunday afternoon on the Isle of Lewis. Apart from to feed the birds I've not been out of the house today so the weather is irrelevant except to the extent that almost everyone feels more cheerful when the sun is shining.

It's three weeks since I opened a blog of mine or anyone else's to read, write or do anything in Blogland. I'm pretty sure that must be the longest period of 'non-attendance' since I started blogging in 2007.

During the three weeks I developed a kidney infection and then had yet another few days in hospital pre-sepsis whilst they sorted things out. Given the inevitably of that happening again and again the consultant has embarked on a regime of preventative antibiotics. Here's hoping.  

My visitors of two months have now departed and I'm back to being in the state of being single that I have become very used to over the last 20 years or so. 

You would think that with three weeks 'off' I'd have a hundred ideas about which to blog. If nothing else I could take a leaf out of YP's blog and show you more of the wonderful island on which I live.  Or I could write about National Simplicity Day. Or I could just use what little imagination I have.

Monday morning. 

As it was I didn't even manage to finish the introduction and post just to let you know that I'm back. Well I am. But I have to be in town to pick up a friend who's car is going in for repair, That's at 9am. So I'm saying 'Hello' and I'll be back later. However, with thanks to Rachel for waking me up again, I shall post some photos from the last three weeks.

The first is my son's new tent. It has no poles! It's just kept up by inflated tubes. I was amazed. He, Carol and Brodie spent a weekend in the sun at one of Lewis's many beaches.

I called in at Tesco on Saturday morning. That's how I like to see a supermarket - no people but full shelves.

Gaz and Brodie came round for an afternoon. Brodie is 3½ and has every toy on the face of the earth. At that age I think I had a wooden giraffe my Uncle had brought home from some exotic place he was stationed in The War and possibly a. Dinkey Toy. The whole afternoon Brodie played with a helter skelter I bought for him well before he was able even to crawl and he's played with it ever since. Sometimes simple is just more enjoyable.

Every night the birds come down in their dozens to bathe in the pond. The fishes seem not to care.

I hope you all have a great week. See you later.