Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Home Alone


Joanne is heading off on Sunday for a routine hospital check up. She’s back on Tuesday and the big question is will I make it through two days by myself? Last week I managed to operate the washing machine all by myself although I was later informed that the garments I had selected the wrong programme and washed my stuff in a colder wash than necessary. But hey, it all looked clean to me and in any case it was a great improvement on my last effort: on that occasion all my whites came out pink. I do try in my own small way not be helpless about the house: I like to Hoover and I fill and empty the dishwasher on occasion.

I ‘blame’ my Mother, God rest her, for this poor state of affairs. We never had to do anything for ourselves when we were kids. I can’t iron for peanuts. Every time I try it ends in disaster and I ruin whatever it is I’m experimenting with.

Even apart from house work, Joanne is much more practical than I am. She’s a dab hand at hanging paper and has a go at DIY jobs about the house. Believe it or not she has HER OWN electric screw driver and drills.

I’m all for equality, me. Especially when it covers up the fact that I’m a useless eejit with not one practical bone in my body.

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Well, my mate Will Wright won the penultimate stage of the Scottish Cross Country Mountain bike Championship and it looks like it’s going down to the wire. Will and I are now toying with the idea of travelling up to Aviemore together for the final stage which takes place – I think – on the 25th September. Hopefully we’ll have enough space in the vehicle for me take Brigitte along as well and we’ll get some road cycling done into the bargain. I’m a bit wary of cycling anywhere with my young friend but I’m sure he’ll be gentle with me.
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Talking of cycling, it just goes to show that Joanne isn’t the only one who can fall off her bike for no apparent reason. Tonight I went out for a spin and on the road over to Balevullin I stopped to let an oncoming car pass me by on the narrow road. Somehow my foot got caught up in the foot strap and over I went. I was laughing even as I was falling. The car pulled up. The driver was Eilidh Campbell and her grandmother Maggie. I offered them a tenner each if they would promise not to tell anyone what they had just witnessed.

It wasn’t until I was down the road a bit – in fact I was at Hough – when I realised my cycle computer was missing. I reckoned it must have come off when I took my tumble and sped back to scene. It was nowhere to be seen. I went up and down that stretch of road on foot about four times looking for it but with no success.

I cycled home, got Joanne, and we came back in the car and carried out another search.

Could it have come off when I went over one of the cattle grids? We looked into both the grids I had crossed. Lachy Brown, cutting grass in an adjacent field, came over and jokingly asked if there was a reward for whatever I was looking for.

But the darn thing seems lost. I’m a wee bit upset about it because the computer was given to me by young James MacLeod for my 50th birthday. James is now in Australia and for all I know he reads this blog. If you’re reading this, James, I’m sorry mate to have lost your present: it meant a lot to me and I’m disgusted with myself for being so careless.

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I was sorry to hear that the Church of Scotland minister, Irene Gillespie, has resigned from her post through ill health. Neither Joanne nor I belong to the Church of Scotland and we’ve never actually heard Irene preach. But we know Irene socially and we always found her to be a very likeable, down to earth person, with a great sense of humour to boot. Although Irene’s departure is not imminent I know we’ll miss her when she does eventually leave Tiree for good.
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