1 EAGLETON NOTES: October 2023



Wednesday 25 October 2023


In a recent post Rachel made the point that, for her, 'One Task a Day is Enough'. Obviously when Rachel talks about 'one task' she is talking about something that is consuming of time and energy both physical and mental. 

Unlike many people I know and admire I have never been single-minded in anything.  Eleven years ago (I really can't believe that it's that far in the past) I wrote a post about ARADD (Age Related Attention Deficit Disorder) with a very amusing video. It was entitled 'Just a Thought'. Only one of my regular commenters today commented then so it may be worth a wee look although many of you will, I'm sure, have seen the video.

My latest visitor, Anna, has returned home after ten days here when we spent most of our time socialising, walking (when Storm Babet let us) and generally having an enjoyable and relaxing time and we got some gardening done too. Unlike many of my readers once I'm engrossed in looking after guests, I can't usually find time to blog and may only read blogs without commenting. 

So this morning was a day for catching up with laundry, ironing and housework and so on with a wee excursion at coffee time into Blogland. 

This afternoon I'm doing my stint in the Old Shop, Bayble. I've never blogged about it so I'll do that shortly. It's very quiet and very cold!

I've spent a lot of this evening on the telephone.

I was going to say that I have no idea how some of you fill your days with so much and still blog. But many of you are organised of mind and body and it is obvious from the fact that you can build a house or do a day's work at the office, feed the family etc etc and still keep us all up to date that you can concentrate properly on things as you go and thus achieve many things in a day.

I struggle to think and chew gum simultaneously. No. I'm not being self-deprecating nor modest. I am just someone who knows my abilities and limitations and lives with them. I have other strengths but concentrating on one thing at a time is not one of them. 

As a result this simple post has been written over a period of 14 hours. 

Anyway be happy and, above all, wake up tomorrow.

Tuesday 10 October 2023


I'm not really a 'pet person'. I kept mice and later white rats when I was a child and admired them for their characters and intelligence. They lived in very large cages and had pretty good lives with lots to do considering that they were in captivity. The rats were incredibly smart and worked out how to open the hasp and staple door lock by removing the peg. 

I inherited a cat at one stage. I can't remember his name but he was generally known as BP (short for Big Puss because of his considerable size). He died of kidney failure just a few days before my first trip to New Zealand. He probably knew something was up. He was at least 16. Until then he's never been to the vet apart from innoculations etc in early life.  When he came into my house for the first time and tried to come into my bedroom I said 'No' firmly and put him outside the bedroom door. For the rest of the many years he lived here he would lie down at the bedroom door but he never crossed the threshold.

Big Puss aka BP

However the piece de resistance of an animal outsmarting me was a border collie named Bobby whom I looked after for a friend  while he was away. I'd been given instructions on his walk routines and routes (he lived nearby) and at the allotted times he would sit at the front door and wait to go for his walk. He would walk to the intersections to see which way we were going on any particular day and the second he got an indication he was off. It was all very organised and routine for the first two walks on Day 1.

However, at 5pm on the dot he was again by the door and indicating that it was walk time. So I assumed I'd not understood my instructions and this walk was repeated when he went to the door at 5pm each day.   I never did understand how he knew the time down to the minute for each walk. I don't have any such routines so it was all a bit alien to me.

On the day when his owner was due home we were on the 5pm walk when his master returned in his car. He said it was very good of me to add in an extra walk but he hoped Bobby wasn't going to expect this in future because he wouldn't be home from work to give him it.

I could almost see Bobby grinning from ear to ear at having completely outwitted me.

I've never trusted an animal since!

Saturday 7 October 2023

An Interesting Flight

Many many moons ago in the '70s I was flying from Stornoway to Glasgow on a Vickers Viscount (a four-engined turbo prop passenger plane).

It was a fabulous day and the Captain announced that we were flying towards Fingal's Cave (Fingal's Cave is a sea cave on the uninhabited island of Staffa, in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, known for its natural acoustics and made popular in music by Mendelssohn's Hebrides Overture.).  He went on to say that he was going to make a low pass and that passengers on the port side would get a really good view.  He then went on to ask passengers not to all crowd over to the port side or we would tip the plane over.

It was a really low slow pass which I'm sure would not have been countenanced by the Powers That Be.

However, he got a rousing cheer of thanks from his passengers and I think everyone on board would have retold that story many times.

In this risk-averse world where such actions could not be hidden or overlooked because of modern monitoring in and outwith the plane such experiences are unlikely. I think the world is a sadder place as a result.

Monday 2 October 2023

On Not Being Important

When I was 4. I used to go to Sunday School. It was fun. I thought. We sat in inward facing circles with children of our own age with about six children in each circle with space for a 'teacher'.

One Sunday we were singing a hymn. I have no idea which one but presumably one suitable for young children. At some point I opened my eyes and realised that no-one in my circle was singing except me. So I stopped singing.

When we finished The Teacher leading the Sunday School called me up to the front of the hall. My circle was one of the nearest to her so I didn't have very far to go.

"Why did you stop singing?" she asked me.

"Because everyone was looking at me." was my lame, but I assume truthful, reply.

"What makes you think you are that important?" she responded and sent me back to my seat.

That was about 75 years ago and I can remember it as if it had happened yesterday. 

It was an unspeakably cruel thing to do do to a child that age and at the time it stung and made me self conscious and, of course, made me the butt of teasing for a good while.

On reflection though it was probably one of the best things that ever happened to me. I rarely get embarrassed when something potentially embarrassing happens to me  I automatically remember her words and realise that, in reality, no one is looking at me. Everyone is far too concerned with their own world.