1 EAGLETON NOTES: March 2023



Wednesday 29 March 2023


I arrived back from my Mainland trip with an old friend with whom I stay when I'm in the Glasgow area. We originally met in 2006 in New Zealand when our respective Families had barbecues. We have been good friends ever since. After a week visiting mutual friends she left on the plane yesterday evening and I am catching up with visiting those of my friends who are now house/bed bound. 

Age cometh not alone.

The medical aspects of my journey South all went very well and hopefully that is me sorted for another 4 months. If I say it quickly I can forget that an eighth of the period has already gone.

On Monday I took the car to the carwash because it was a lovely day and the car was showing the dirt of 2 weeks travelling. I went to pay the car wash fee and remembered that I had left my phone at home. I am totally lost without my phone. Apart from anything else since the banning of cash during Covid I have used it to pay for everything. The only cash I have is £1 and 50p coins I keep in my coat pocket for the car park in town (which still uses coins) and tips in the caf├ęs. 

So I pulled out my credit card but that wouldn't work because I need to verify it using the PIN and I've never done that. The other card was new and also needed verifying. 

I stood there stumped for a minute when one of the girls said "You can use cash." Cash! Of course, banknotes! There in my wallet was a lonely £10 note. My car would be happy! 

I have completely got out of the habit of using cash for anything at all and more and more places realise that electronic transactions mean no cash counting at the end of the day and it's cheaper to 'bank' electronic transactions than it is to bank cash. 

Some businesses and people prefer cash, of course, because it can be 'banked' at home rather than via the taxman but, on the whole, the electronic world has arrived.

Despite that I still find it hard to believe that I actually forgot that I could use cash for my carwash.

Thursday 16 March 2023


I'm in Glasgow. It's cold, wet and windy. Sometimes I just yearn for some sun.

I was supposed to leave the Island on Monday with hospital appointments on Wednesday in Glasgow for a bone scan and cancer trial review and my operation to change my uretic stent tomorrow (Friday) in Ayr. I always plan to leave early just in case of ferry delays.

Because of the weather the ferry was seriously disrupted and I eventually got away at lunchtime on Tuesday and drove the 270 miles to Glasgow that afternoon/evening. So I got to my appointments yesterday.... just.  The only delay being a half hour extra to get through roadworks in Glasgow which I need to go through every time I leave Anna's for just about anywhere. Not to mention that it took me over 30 minutes to find a parking place within walking distance of the the appointment. So I was late. Anyone who knows me knows that one thing I cannot cope with is lateness. I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've been late in my life. Either that or I have a selective memory! 

For various reasons I have flown down to hospital for my previous two visits to the Mainland. However, I have developed a serious dislike of air travel. Not planes which I quite enjoy but airports. In fact not airports per se but security queues, boarding pass queues, queues, queues and more queues. And waiting. Lots of waiting.

I'm seriously thinking of becoming an Island recluse. Of course that's not practical if I want the NHS to keep me alive (which, thank heaven, they seem keen to do) or do a myriad of other things. 

But as I write this sitting waiting for my car parking camera to be sorted by the dealer and have time to think, I just want to be back in The Woodlands with friends having coffee and saying how fortunate we are.

Sunday 12 March 2023

It's Oh So Quiet!

 It’s oh so quiet.

I can’t believe how much background noise there was in the house. The washing machine and the tumble drier are in an annex to my kitchen. The ‘kitchen’ is the room where I tend to live and write all my letters and emails and posts etc and generally do things because it is a lovely room with a fabulous view. It’s not a noisy room unless there is an Easterly or North-Easterly hammering rain onto the windows. Of course there are the sounds that you don’t hear consciously: the fan over the cooker or a kettle boiling or the many other subliminal sounds which we do not hear or rather which our brain filters out including computer, phone and gadget warning noises. For many years I’ve had tinnitus. I don’t hear it because if I did I’d probably go mad. But when all the other noises stop I realise just how noisy the tinnitus is and I want it to go away or rather I want something as a distraction.

I used the past tense because an hour ago from the time I am writing this the house went absolutely quiet. Not a single sound could I hear. The sudden quiet was deafening.

The power went off. I still had a 3G (instead of 4G) signal so immediately went onto the app of the electricity generating company. There was no indication of a fault in the area. Messages on WhatsApp told me I wasn’t alone though so I reported the outage.

Then the phone signal went off as well.

Since then there’s not been a sound in my house because, for once, there’s not a breath of air outside either.

My emergency generator is kaput as well and I’ve put off getting a new one. After all, power cuts these days are rare.

I have plenty of light and emergency gas heating and a big camping stove.

So I think I’ll get myself some lunch.

It’s now an hour since the power went off and it’s returned. It’s possible that if there is a major outage off the Island or the subsea cable has been severed again then the Island’s old huge diesel generators have been started up.

I can now hear odd sounds again. We have power. It was or maybe still is for many a major outage. Looking at the map it would indicate that there is a supply break on Skye. It would not be the first time we have been affected by a power line down in Skye because our supply come across Skye and under the sea to Harris and up overland to the main distribution station outside Stornoway.