Another One of Those Studies

I see this week the British Press has picked up on a study published in New Ideas in Psychology. It's by Norwegian expert Hermundur Sigmundsson and is titled Passion, Grit and Mindset in the ages 14 to 77: Exploring relationship and gender differences. The media reports are obviously easier to read than the scientific analysis and their coverage of your get up and go leaving at the age of 53 has been amusing to say the least. Despite conjuring for me an image of John Wayne in True Grit, it is nevertheless an accepted given that passion, grit and mindset are amongst the most important attributes required in order to be successful. Sadly the study shows that the correlation between the three has broken down by our early fifties. We can get through with sheer tenacity but the passion is gone, or we still hold the belief but lack the energy.I guess I'm living proof of creeping cynicism as I age, an increased boredom threshold and yes my vitality escaping out of the window when it&…


I believe we are all getting just a little bored with the restrictions on our lives emanating from Covid-19. I'm certainly fed up with attending meetings on Zoom rather than in person and no, it has nothing whatsoever to do with my lack of photogenicity. I think what I miss the most though, are the casual face to face interactions with strangers and acquaintances; everyone seems so stressed at present that few wish to linger and chat, with or without a face mask. It was certainly a bit rough of Kim Kardashian West to rub it in, however, with her insensitive viral tweet: "After 2 weeks of multiple health screenings and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time."Mind, I'm not sure which I'm more jealous of: a trip to a private island or the multiple health screenings. Neither are readily available to us mere non-celebrity types even if t…

Touched by the Giggles

My attention was drawn to an article in The Times the other day about a sense of  humour deficit. It referenced a book by Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas entitled 'Humour, Seriously' which I vow I must read one day.Anyway the gist of the article was to point out that once we grow up and aquire the responsibilities of the workplace environment, human beings have a tendency to lose their sense of humour and give up on the giggles. It's a bit like all those surveys on enjoying life, we reach 23 and everything is downhill from then on.Or is it? Just as life satisfaction picks up again in our sixties, it seems that cheeky sense of humour never really leaves us after all; it just lies buried under the myriad of red tape and bureaucracy that weighed us down for a few decades. Moreover a quick jump into retirement and a few weeks later there we are dancing to sunbeams and in my case laughing at sunflowersClearly my own anecdotal evidence is probably in need of careful scientif…


I've been as busy as ever of late achieving very little, although I have read a number of books and pulled the information together to get my tax return prepared, as well as spending time in the garden, wrapping it up ready for winter. All of which is a bit of a shame because I did mean to follow up my last post about our trip to the lighthouse with a description of the culpability it evoked.You see our first evening there got off to a dreadful start when we sat down to eat. Mister E poured us both a glass of red wine and we toasted our stay in an amazing location.Putting those wine glasses down again, however, was a big mistake. Mister E noticed that the table top seemed to be at an angle and that there was a discernible wobble. He ducked down to take a look and then bobbed back up again. Splash! One wine glass fell over and its contents splattered over the pale primrose wall.Talk about guilt. Nobody can have felt so bad since George Washington chopped down a cherry tree. Even the…

Escape to the Lighthouse

If your dream covid escape involves a boat trip out to a rocky isle, we could not quite manage that last week. Instead, our vacation to a lighthouse keeper's cottage required the navigation of a narrow single track lane of some one and three quarter  miles in length with plenty of bends and sheer drops but very few passing places. Who would have thought that a dry land commute could be quite so exciting? It also beats queuing at an airport check-in, any day.

Deprived of this year's sailing season, seeing the sea was itself a novelty. Perched on a cliff on St Abb's Head in the Scottish Borders, we were suitably remote and our days were spent walking along the cliffs in both directions, including to St Abb's Harbour and beyond.

As the cottage was not part of the light itself, there was no circular staircase to negotiate and fortuitously, despite a vivid premonition of sleeping under a stroboscope, our bedroom window was not affected by the flashing light. Exploring on arri…

Harvest Festivals

It's that time of year again, or so I was reminded when I went into the garden to be confronted by an enormous combine harvester bearing down towards me. Choking on the dust from the grain and sneezing incessantly, I dashed inside to escape.
The next day the farmer returned and everything was neatly baled before being safely gathered in, two days later.Life in the vegetable patch isn't quite as mechanical, but I have been digging over the sunken beds that are empty, adding compost and tucking them up for the winter with a layer of weed suppressing fabric. I've also been doing a bit of gathering in on my own account, collecting the last of the beans, courgettes, peppers and cucumbers, although the tomatoes seem keen to go on and on for the time being. Yesterday found me harvesting lavender or to be precise its dried out flowers, after spotting a recommendation by way of variation to my porridge bathing. Briefly, I mixed oats and lavender, added essential lavender oil and the…

I am a Sloth

I am a sloth! Typing it out might make me feel as though I am writing lines for some demented pedagogue, but sadly this week the cap very much fits.  Perhaps I'm just having one of those intermittent down periods that retirement frequently brings; a week where you need to recharge your batteries and re-evaluate plans before setting off again with breakneck speed into the distant yonder. Alternatively it could be that I am the product of months of restrictions, collapsing into a lethargic heap with the weight of them.
I haven't done a YouTube exercise class for a week now and my efforts in the garden have been pretty much limited to watering the pots and hanging baskets.I have declined to the point of doing one thing a day, ignoring my To Do List and at a total loss to understand where the rest of the time has gone. So on Tuesday I hosted the good ladies from Reading Group in the garden; on Wednesday Mister E and I ate out to celebrate his birthday; yesterday I visited my mother.…