Archive | April 2014

100 days – Day 8

It’s the last day of April and, on arising, I opened the back door to let in some cool Spring air.  The cherry blossom tree in my garden is flourishing – bedecked in beautiful pink.  The birds are singing.  It’s amazing to think that tomorrow will be the first of May…..with some folk getting up early to collect the morning dew.  Spring has sprung!




Then indoors to check my emails.  Among them was a message from a local country house hotel advertising the CHRISTMAS menu!

It would seem – in this country at least – that our calendar has gone awry.  Cadbury’s creme eggs on sale from Christmas Day; winter sales in the autumn; Chritmas goodies in the supermarkets sometimes alongside all the paraphernalia that is associated with Hallowe’en.


Yesterday, a friend posted on Face Book this quote by the Dali Lama:

“There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called Yesterday and the other is called Tomorrow. Today is the right day to Love, Believe, Do and mostly Live.”




 And as the Roman poet, Horace, puts it: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.    seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the next (day)[/future].





ps the Christmas menu DOES look rather appetizing:


Soup of the Day
Home-made Smoked Salmon and
dill Tartlet, served with Side Salad
Duck and Orange Pate with red
onion marmalade

Roast Turkey, Chipolatas, Stuffing
and rich pan gravy
Grilled Salmon served with soya
infused julienne of vegetables
Roasted Peppers filled with
savoury rice on a tomato, basil coulis
Topside of Beef, whisky and
haggis sauce
Served with a selection vegetables
& potatoes

Traditional Christmas Pudding with
Brandy Sauce
Individual chocolate and orange
tart with Chantilly cream
Fruit of the forest Pavlova
with coulis
Selection of cheese and biscuits

Tea, Coffee and Mince Pie

Friday 19th December 2014
Make this the year you celebrate your work’s Christmas event in our luxury heated marquee. We will provide a three course dinner and disco. Book early to secure your table(s). Only £24 per person. Party Night bookings require Pre Orders.

Alternatively, THROW YOUR OWN PARTY!
We are available for work and family parties, we can help organise a disco or band and the marquee can be your own for the night!

Special Offer! Book your party night by 1st July 2014 and your guests will be offered a complimentary welcome drink on arrival. Just £10 per person non-refundable deposit will secure your booking.

100 days – Day 7 (Daisy)

100 days – Day 7

(video of Daisy swimming at Spittal beach – with son Bobby)

Missing Miss Daisy – it’s a week today that, with great sorrow and heart-searching, that I left my oldest dog, Daisy, behind at Tweedmouth where she is now living with my son and daughter-in-law (and Daisy’s son, Bobby)

She has such a tremendous time there – and a boring existence here (especially since my wife, Helen, died – and she was very much Helen’s dog) – that, for her welfare’s sake, she will have a better quality of life in Tweedmouth.




Miss you, Mama Daisy – hope to see you soon!

100 days – Day 6

I made soup in the slow cooker on Friday evening and all day Saturday.

if I were to say that the recipe was “just out of my head”, you might think that it was made from mince!  Actually, thinking back – when Helen and I got married in 1973, one of the first meals she prepared was “mince soup”. Even she agreed that it was pretty revolting.

No, this had chopped chicken breast, mushrooms, red peppers, leeks and onion – in a chicken stock with basil, roasted garlic, a spot of white wine and anything else that I could find in the fridge that hadn’t gone off.




In some Caribbean countries, pepperpot soup can last for months, if not years, as the cook adds extra ingredients on a daily basis to top it up.




One Soup – It ain’t the ganja; it’s the pepperpot!


I’ve done something the same but the added homemade meatballs (which disintegrated into mince!) and rice – to convert it into a sort of stew – have made me think how lucky I am that I no longer have to go out, being retired, and that there is almost instant access to the loo!


 Anyone who tells a lie has not a pure heart, and cannot make a good soup.


100 days – Day 5

Today’s Gospel is the story of “Doubting” Thomas


Caravaggio(b. 1571; d. 1610)   The Incredulity of Saint Thomas ( c. 1601–1602)

“Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing.”

It’s commonly held that Thomas didn’t accept the Risen Christ’s offer, that his empirical world-view was superseded by FAITH; and so, because of faith, he believed.

This wonderful painting by Caravaggio would suggest otherwise and that Thomas did, in fact, take up Christ’s invitation.

Is Christ almost FORCING Thomas to carry out his  earlier declaration, “unless I… place my hand into his side, I will never believe”?

Look at the furrowed brow on Thomas’ forehead; Christ’s strong grip of his wrist- is there hesitation here?  Does Christ have to force a hesitant Thomas when the latter is actually with him.?  Is this Thomas effectively being told to “put up or shut up?”, given his earlier bravado?

Perhaps Caravaggio caught something of what the author of the Fourth Gospel really meant to convey, but what others over the centuries have misinterpreted.

Thomas is, after all, the Patron Saint of blind people!


a friend posted this today on FB:



 Tradition says that Thomas  became a missionary to India.

There once was  an Albanian woman in her thirties who  felt God calling her to go to that same country where Thomas has allegedly taken the Faith.

This young woman went, and for the next 50 years she did amazing things.

But inside she doubted. She wrestled with faith. Sometimes she even questioned the existence of God.

The other disciples may have called her, “Doubting Teresa”. But we know her as Mother Teresa, the woman whose life many call saint-like.

The opposite of faith isn’t doubt – it is apathy; and sometimes – just sometimes our doubt  can lead to an even stronger faith


100 days – Day 4

imageThe 1902-1903 Cup Winners top


On this day – 26 June -112 years ago, Hibernian FC (the Hobbos) last won the  Scottish Cup.  The Final was played on the 26th of April 1902 at Celtic Park in Glasgow and was the final of the 29th season of the Scottish Cup. The Final was due to be played at Ibrox on 12 April, but the first Ibrox disaster happened a week earlier during the annual Scotland v England fixture. This meant that the Final was delayed by two weeks and moved to Celtic Park, even though Celtic were one of the finalists. . Hibs won the match 1–0, thanks to a 75th minute goal from Andy McGeachan.




It was such a long time ago that Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show was still touring Britain!





Disheartened (sic) at being beaten yet again by their greatest rivals – Hearts – at Tynecastle, a Hibs fan, unable to see properly because of the tears in his eyes, walks into the path of a bus that is travelling along Gorgie Road.

He’s very badly injured with both legs smashed and shattered.  After months of surgery and rehabilitation, he is still confined to a wheelchair and it looks as if he will never be ambulant again.

His mates pool some of their Giro money to raise funds to send him to Lourdes as a last resort (Ed:  it is a resort, isn’t it?  check!)

With considerable difficulty, he manages to travel there, and is helped into a “healing pool”. (Ed: is that why his friends pooled their money?  check!)

Suddenly, the waters start to churn and swell and swirl, and a cloud descends over him.  From the cloud – a voice – the voice of the Amighty himself, quiet but thunderous, “My son, what do you wish for?  What miracle do you seek of me?”

Awestruck, our wee fan stutters, “Boss, can ye make me walk again?”

There is a pause, and then a further turbulence in the waters – and the Voice from the cloud speaks…….

…… “My son, your legs are too broken and crushed and beyond repair; you will never be able to use them again.  But I could MOT your wheelchair if you wish… Or have you anything else in mind?”

“Boss, yes – oh yes, please…. can you make it that Hibs win the Cup next season?”

The Voice: “I think that I’d better have another look at your legs!”

100 days – Day 3



A major Rangers shareholder, Sandy Easdale,  told BBC Scotland yesterday that the financial situation at Ibrox is “fragile”.
“The club’s gone into administration once… I don’t think it would survive a second one”

Additionally, a senior source within Ibrox has described the League One champions as “being on a life-support machine”.




Nowadays, where are the men who are loyal to their club – people of honesty and integrity?  One such was Sandy Jardine, a gentleman and a most skilled player for Glasgow Rangers, my own team – Hearts – and, of course, Scotland.  I awoke this morning to the news that he had died last night.  He was only 65.

A commentator has written that it was not just his talent that set him apart, but his his sense of right and wrong

He was a quiet man but a strong one, and was respected throughout the footballing community for his decency and moral courage

How unlike the spivs and wide boys who hijacked his beloved Club and dragged it down into the murky regions of allegedly dodgy dealing and financial peril.

RIP, Sandy Jardine, player par excellence and all round decent bloke.



100 days – Day 2




I was supposed to be in Glasgow today to have lunch here at the Horse Shoe with a friend, but unfortunately had to cancel our meeting.

Pubs come and go, but the Horse Shoe endures – the literally horseshoe-shaped, longest continuous bar in Britain ensuring its fame,


 In folklore, horseshoes were considered lucky.   To ward off goblins and evil spirits from their homes,  people hung iron horseshoes over their front doors.   They were thought to be frightening to these wee nasties because they looked like the Celtic moon god’s crescent.

Sadly, no luck for me today






100 days – Day 1

woke up in the middle of the night with gout in my left toe! Now that’s odd as I take preventative pills every morning. Has gout been conquered through the intervention of modern medicine or are my new Converse sneakers to blame? I think that we should be told the truth!



one loathsome person in the reptilian shape of Tony Liar gave a speech somewhere about siding with The Russian Pudenda or whomever and attacking towel- heads instead. I was watching “Jeremy Kyle” at the time, so missed this message from on high. On the whole, from what I’ve read of this crook’s drivel, the intellectualism displayed on Jezza’s show was more sensible.


had to stay in all day, waiting for a replacement Sky box to be delivered. Rarely watch Sky, but feel that I’ve got to contribute to old Rupert’s divorce settlement to the fragrant Wendi. …… which, in a way brings us back to Tony and a painful experience!

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