Archive for May, 2011

Home alone

Monday, May 30th, 2011

I’m back at the old homestead — the Professor has further business in Edinburgh, but I was anxious to get back. A strange, quiet place it is, with a dog shaped hole in it. Miss Kit has taken it badly: I got back to find her hiding in the attic. The Northern Gentleman rang up […]


Sunday, May 29th, 2011

Sorry, everyone, but we have lost Meg, our Miss Best Friend. It was only when we were back on a train a couple of hours ago that we re-entered radio contact, the mountains of Snowdonia having left us completely cut off since the last communique, and caught up with a lunchtime message from the Northern […]

24 Hour Party City

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Well, we are too old, stout and countrified to find the idea of a 24 hour party at all appealing, but we have had a very interesting day. Mine started in a somewhat alternative Manchester, Chetham’s Library, a 17th century foundation in a 15th century building, where I spent a happy morning on […]

We’re on a train

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Actually, something of a feat. Today’s main business is going to Manchester, but we haven’t got there yet. Aberdeen to Edinburgh was fine, but we then picked up the Transpennine at Edinburgh, and it ran into trouble almost immediately because of the high winds, and crawled down Anandale at 50 mph. Just outside Lockerbie […]


Saturday, May 21st, 2011

The first phase of sorting out the track is under way. Visitors to the old place will be amazed to hear that a lot of the road is now almost flat, and the potholes have gone. Basically, a nice square sort of man called Malcolm has deployed an ingenious machine which breaks up the […]


Friday, May 20th, 2011

Dear old Ms Best Friend went for acupuncture this morning. We were somewhat concerned because yesterday she seemed to be barely mobile, but by the time the vet had finished with her, she was surprisingly spry and much more cheerful. Also, her Dr. is about as certain as you can be that however awkward looking […]

The dust settles

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

I have had a strange and strenuous day. As of nine-ish, when Honey the Hamster Loving Hippie arrives, I was fully expecting a gang of ouvriers to tip up tomorrow morning and start demolishing the extension which functions as utility room. At the top of today’s agenda, therefore, was emptying the utility room. We have […]

Questions, conceivably answers

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

We had a splendidly antiquarian start to the day. A friend of ours who has a great Catholic archive in her charge was going north to deliver an unspeakably valuable book to an exhibition in Edinburgh, one of these things that has to be couriered by a curator. Since she also wanted to see us, […]

Foreign Parts

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

We were invited to lunch by younger colleagues who have not yet featured in this blog, along with the French Correspondent and Palaeontologist. As things have turned out, we live as far north of Aberdeen as is rational, and the Y.C.s in question have ended up settling as far South, and so, a dickens of […]


Saturday, May 14th, 2011

The dear old dog continues to regain health and spirits, and can now potter about in quite good style. The inflammation on her arthritic elbow has gone down. We’ve been absorbed for a couple of days — we were on duty for an early evening lecture and to entertain the speaker — dinner in Aberdeen, […]

Slightly happier old dog

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

I had a good idea this morning. Miss Best Friend hasn’t much cared for her dog bed for a while. She clearly wants to lie with her bad leg stretched out straight and not flexed at all, whereas the round bed promotes curling up, so she has spent most of her time lying on the […]

Old Dog

Monday, May 9th, 2011

We’re increasingly worried about Miss Best Friend. The wound on her inner elbow has finally healed, and she has been released from the bucket on her head, but something, possibly the lack of exercise caused by the imposition of the bucket, seems to have triggered a marked escalation of her arthritis problem, and she is […]


Sunday, May 8th, 2011

It’s been very dry for quite some time, and we have had some heavenly days. Today we woke to heavy rain. Apart from the inevitable problems of Miss Kit (sieze cat, bang door shut, bung her in flower bed, cat shoots for door, which is shut. Cat cowers under bench. Human stands at far end […]

Summer plumage

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

We had a very early start from the Tibetan poppies, but as the tulips start going over, their bold orange, red, green, maroon, Chinese pink, and yellow gradually fading, early summer is rolling towards us. The narrow yellow stars of my species day-lily are already shining bright, along with the first of the ‘batchelor’s buttons, […]


Friday, May 6th, 2011

The Youngest Godchild, he of Northfield, is now in possession of that useful adjunct, a little sister. She must be … oh, quite six hours old by now. We sent some prosecco down to Edinburgh against this happy event, so I trust that the adults involved have by now wetted the baby’s head.

Progress of a sort

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

We have become slightly less scruffy: the appearance of an inexpensive upholsterer in the vicinity has come as a great boon. The very stained and shabby grey and white striped sofa in the sitting-room is now a temporarily un-stained and un-shabby green and white striped sofa, a great improvement. We have also got around […]

The Alternative Labrador

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Miss Best Friend had a course of acupuncture today. She appears to have enjoyed it, wagging throughout, and we also came away with some manuka honey to put on her healing inner-elbow — we are having to continue with the lampshade, though the wound is now skinned over, till it is repaired beyond any possibility […]

Tales from Moomin Valley

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

The weather has continued to be improbably wonderful. Also, the oaks are out and the ash are not, which is supposed to be a sign of a good summer. For some reason the horribleness of the winter has caused everything which didn’t actually die to hurry up and grow. The first Tibetan poppies are out, […]