I recently spent a couple of weeks working on the beaches of Harris and Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Life can be tough sometimes. It was the beginning of May, pre-midges and so often hot in Scotland. We did have lots of sunshine whilst the rest of Britain swam in rain but oh, so cold! There was a bitter north east wind for most of the trip which brought in hail storms for at least a couple of days. Despite the wind, and dressed in our best winter outfits, we walked miles across some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and counted cockles, worms and anything that didn’t escape the sieve. We also found a little time Continue reading
One hitherto unforeseen advantage of trundling round the house with the vacuum cleaner is that it gives you space to compose blog posts in your head. One disadvantage is that the instant you switch the machine off, those wonderfully crafted words disappear, sucked up as far as I can tell into the Dyson.
Anyway, there I was, mulling over the apparent impossibility of getting GP1 to even think about doing any revision for the forthcoming prelims or perhaps even making a list of what he needs to do. I don’t ask for much. His younger brother, on the other hand, also faced with exams, comes out with such gems as “Mum, if I do this past paper could you mark it so that I don’t cheat?” You’d throw up wouldn’t you, if he wasn’t your own son. So I just laugh, lavish praise, agree and wonder why the application genes couldn’t have been divided equally.
Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to auction tickets for someone to accompany me to Parents’ Evening tonight. Continue reading
A week or so ago I was on the Menai Straits in Wales inspecting the underside of boulders. As you do. More of that another time, I hope. I came home to find, amongst the usual glut of emails, one telling us that Ken Farrow, a fellow diver and long time friend, had died suddenly, probably whilst I was wandering the Zostera beds of Foryd Bay. He had surfaced from a dive with his wife Alison, off the wild and spectacular Noup Head on Orkney, climbed onto the rocks nearby and simply gone to sleep. It may be the way to go, but what a gap he has left behind.
We have known Ken and Alison for over twenty years, our friendship dating from when GPD and I moved to the marine station at Millport on the Clyde. Ken and I were fellow National Instructors, and all the Scottish NIs would converge on the Clyde Continue reading