Showing posts from September, 2019

An Unhealthy Relationship

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay In my previous career as a divorce solicitor I was obviously accustomed to dealing with people escaping unhealthy relationships. Indeed, there were any number who sought advice as retirement loomed and they could not face the prospect of years at home together. I had never expected, however, to find myself in a similar predicament. Nevertheless, on returning from the Isle of Man on Monday evening, I began to have my doubts and then last night sealed it. Never before have I been witness to such despicable behaviour. We have disagreed over Yemen, with him insisting that the Government would never supply Saudi Arabia with arms that would be used illegally. We have disagreed over measures to improve children's literacy, with him claiming that the problem could be solved if all parents (even those who are illiterate themselves) simply read to their children. But, neither of those compares to how we have disagreed over Brexi

Slow What Did We Make of That?

On Monday night Mister E and I returned from a visit to the Isle of Man. We remain somewhat nonplussed as to how best to describe it.    Northern definitely; elegant touches of Victoriana with its narrow gauge electric and steam railways as well as horse drawn trams; a 1950's seaside holiday vibe; magnificent coastal scenery; historic castles; a proud Celtic history; fairy glens; so much more. No we never solved the mystery of the origin of the three legged Manx symbol, despite paying attention in the museums that we visited and also failed to spot a Manx cat or even one of the wallabies that apparently now roam wild on the island having escaped from a private collection. We did however visit the old House of Keys in Castletown and saw the original site of the  Tynwald, the world's oldest continuous Parliament.  I apologise for the apparent oxymoron but the Slow Movement has been gaining momentum as a philosophy for life in which the aim is to

The Hibernation Season

We returned to tend to the retirement project at the weekend. Up at Crinan, autumn is very much in evidence as the trees that hang onto the hills around the loch begin to turn brown and shed their leaves. We did at least manage to get out onto the water for what we anticipate will be the final time this season. I even made a mighty effort to assist Mister E in removing and bagging the sails, so that he cannot be tempted to plot otherwise. With the sails in hibernation, he must now wait until next year. Of course, we'll be back to continue the electrical work and varnishing, once she's lifted ashore for the winter and then we're talking about returning to marina living in 2020. Rowing a dinghy backwards and forwards just to remove our bedding for instance is a major operation, especially when it involves planning around the wind direction and rain showers. We have come up against the harsh reality of comfort versus stamina when tied to a mooring buoy. In


  Image by Foto-Rabe from Pixabay Attending a conference organised by the good people from Leeds for Europe on Saturday, I was introduced to a new word: Brexiternity. It just about sums up the situation in circumstances where we haven't even reached the beginning of what will, of course, be a process lasting years rather than a single event in time. It's a 21st Century version of purgatory; a living hell of lies and unicorns. Not much comfort to be drawn for all those whose only contribution to the debate is now to demand that politicians "just get on with it." It was interesting and indeed stimulating to hear from those at the centre of the political shenanigans , whether in the European or Westminster Parliaments or even as campaigners. Indeed Hazel Jones, the graffiti grandma from Wakefield, was there and was greeted by rapturous applause for her chalked messages of "Brexit is based on lies. Reject it," which have of course gone viral.

Snakes and Ladders

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay Forget yo-yo dieting, my own nutrition versus body-weight battle is better described as playing Snakes and Ladders. Take the last couple of weeks for instance: Head off to the Lake District for a restful stay, enjoying the beauty of the National Park - move forward 3 squares. Greeted by astounding temperatures and sunshine - climb a ladder. Long walk uphill in blazing heat - climb two ladders. Share a bottle of wine that evening to aid recovery- slide down one snake. Set out on another walk - climb a ladder. Stop for coffee and a large scone - slide down one snake. Walk in rain and swim 20 lengths of pool - climb a ladder. Finish sojourn with a restaurant meal - slide down a snake. Back at home accommodate youngest with fresh produce from the garden and  vegetarian meals - climb a ladder. Work hard at rental property for two long days, preparing for new tenants - climb two ladders. Meet friends in pub whe

Get Set

  I know I've reminisced on this blog before about preparing to leave for holiday in my previous life when it involved a concerted effort of long working days to clear my desk, frequently culminating with an early morning visit to the office on the day of departure. Perhaps there's something about setting off on holiday, stressed out and adrenalin pumping, because last weekend my actions could have been construed as going out of my way to seek to emulate the vibe. We were heading to the Lake District for one of our regular weekly sojourns and planned to set off at 2pm, giving ample of time to arrive in readiness for a 4-5pm check-in. Perhaps 2pm felt just a little too relaxing a departure time. Up at 7 am, house cleaned, bag packed, then what? Make jam, of course! Well I could hardly leave all those ripe plums to waste. What's more it set beautifully and we set off on time too. I may be retired but it isn't an excuse for failing to squee