Jeanie has been in the Hebrides. She saw some standing stones.
She spread some ashes, then she went to Portree and visited a house that various of us had a lovely time at, a few years ago.
Today I arranged to meet Fat Mac for coffee. It’s the first time I’ve met him for almost six months, during which time he’s been going through various life-changing experiences, several of which have been tragic.
The most recent time I met him for a pint, back in December, somehow, and I don’t know how, I ended up at 3am in the Bongo Club as part of a multi-racial party of people who were mostly less than half my age. I was dazed and confused, and even worse – the DJ didn’t know who Brian Wilson was. Fat Mac had earlier that evening either fallen down a manhole or got lost in a bush on the way to the Bongo Club.
So today, I carefully planned to avoid going to the pub by meeting him in St Andrews Square, with a view to having a coffee at the Virgin Money Lounge.
“Hi Rodz. Ah’m nae goin tae thae ponsey bourgeois Virgin megalounge place. Ra pub is roon ra corner. I’m aff theres. Ye can hae a coffee there if yez wan, an watch me drink.”
“Fat Mac!” I said, noticing his reduced bulk, “Nice to see you. You are no longer fat! I already know someone called No Longer [No Longer Grim Jim], so you will have to be Previously Fat Mac. Is that OK?”
Ignoring my question, he said, “Ah’ll hae a pint a Guinness.”
Three pubs later, Previously Fat Mac became a bit disorientated, but I’m fairly confident that he got home OK. I got home OK as well, not via the Bongo Club.
I’m determined to get to grips with my new mobile phone. My previous mobile was a Samsung Galaxy Ace, and it had problems. My laptop couldn’t find the drivers for it! I spent hours trying to fix the bug, trying and dowloading all sorts of things that didn’t work. I thought it was likely to be a problem with the laptop, so I eventually asked my sons to check it on their laptops, but the same thing happened. I couldn’t upload photos directly onto the laptop, and it also seemed impossible to attach photos to emails, and as a result I used the phone only sporadically.
I’ve never found much need to phone people on the mobile to say, “Ah’m on ra 26 bus, just cummin up tae Meadowbank. Ah’ll be hame in twa munnits” or, “Bruttney, A’hm in ASDA. Dae yez wann’n twel cans ae ‘Bru or jus sux?”
Having poor eyesight and club fingers hasn’t helped, and neither has the fact that several of my friends don’t use their mobiles very much and tend to keep them switched off. This is fairly common with people of my age – often they don’t use their phones much.
Then the contract for the Samsung came to an end, and Virgin offered me a new phone – an HTC with a slightly larger screen, using Windows 8.
The larger screen helps a lot.
So now I use three different operating systems – an old version of Windows on the laptop, Android on the tablet, and Windows 8 on the mobile. I have no contract for the tablet – I use it on holidays, etc and connect to free WiFi.
There are several movies on at the Filmhouse which I hope to see over the coming weeks, including Beware of Mr Baker, about Ginger Bakes, and Village at the End of the World.
The one I braved the Edinburgh road diggings to see today was about a Norwegian lad who rebels against his bourgeois family and leaves them in order to team up with some hippies in Berlin. Like many hippies, they like to get nude, enjoy free sex and hope to save the world. Their unique way of saving the world involves forming a charity which sells access to their films of free sex, and they then travel to the South American forest to try to give the local indians the money they’ve made from their website. The locals view them with suspicion, and don’t want their money. Instead, they seem more interested in getting jobs and the latest model of chainsaw.
It is either a documentary/quasi-documentary, or it contains some of the best acting ever.
I had a problem figuring out how to ask for a ticket.
I forgot to blog about our visit to Dryburgh Abbey the other weekend, on the way back to Edinburgh from Ancrum. The site is maintained by Historic Scotland, and parts of it date back to the 12th Century. It is one of several abbeys in the Borders.
As well as being the resting place of Sir Walter Scott, it is where Nigel Haig is burried.
As it says in Wikipedia, “It is not known when or by whom the Catrail was made, or for what purpose.” That kind of sums it up. The ditch was probably not a fortification, as it isn’t substantial enough to be effective, so it may have marked a boundary between two lost kingdoms in the early Middle Ages, but in that case you have to ask why they went to so much trouble. It is unusual in that it runs from the south towards the north-west, and then curves eastwards towards Selkirk.
It was very heavy going, walking over the spongy grass.
In some parts it is barely discernable, and in others it has disappeared altogether.
You can just about make out the path of the Catrail in the photo above, through the trees and then over the hill, towards the right.
I was using a 1974 O/S map, which didn’t have many of the recent tree plantations marked on it, and once we left the trail and went through the forest we got lost. There was some discussion about whether we were completely and utterly lost, completely lost, or merely lost.
However, after we walked across some boggy fields and back into the forest, we emerged at a track which was more-or-less exactly where I thought we should be. From there it was less than two miles back to the car.