Thursday, 20 July 2017

ASHES TO ASHES

On the 13th July it was the anniversary of my mum passing 25 years ago. That's almost half my life since, which astonishes me. In all that time my mums ashes have stayed with me, and all at the same address. But this was, in a sense, unfair on my brother and my aunt. My brother especially felt he had nowhere to go to pay his respects on occasion.

So the time had come to scatter her ashes, and on Sunday we did just that, in the waters of Loch Lomond.


Why there? Well, my childhood was a tumultuous one it could be said, but the time we lived on the shores of Loch Lomond, in the mid 60s, was the first time that all the family lived together, and they were happy and fun times. Because of this, it was a special place to my mum, including the nearby village of Luss, and so we decided these were the places we would take her back to. Almost full circle in a way. Our plan was that half her ashes would go into the water at the caravan park where we had lived, near Inveruglas, and the other half in the waters at Luss, though within a short space of time she would be everywhere.


My step father managed the caravan site for Halleys of Milngavie, but now it has changed almost beyond recognition since we left 50 years ago. But down on the shore were the concrete remains of the original jetty, where I used to play with my Action Man in his diving suit. My brother and I stepped over the gap of water and onto the jetty, where he read a favourite poem of my mums, by Leo Marks, as I scattered her ashes into the water.

The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have
Is yours

The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours

A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause

For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours and yours

I found this moment, as the ashes fell into the still waters, very difficult. I thought I would be fine, but it was so hard. All I could muster to say was that she had been my best friend.

We then repeated this moment in the village of Luss, which didn't have the same effect on me, most probably because I have no memories from there. The caravan site was where I have my earliest memories, and where my mum bought me my first bicycle.


I've changed in looks a lot since those early days, but what's remarkable is that my mum did not really change in all her years. In every photograph and image I have of her, it was her smile that was a constant and how I always remember her.


Back when I lived on Loch Lomond, a grand old paddle steamer called the Maid of the Loch used to plough up and down the deep waters.


Now there is one more lady on those waters.

I miss you.


Thursday, 13 July 2017

ACROBATS

I went to the cinema this week to see the new Spiderman film. I was pleasantly surprised how entertaining it was, and the acrobatics, though CGi, were convincing.

But, I've recently seen even more impressive acrobatics, right here in my own garden, and way more entertaining!

I was peaking out through the window of my garden shed yesterday when I spotted the resident field mouse precariously hanging upside down on the bird peanut feeder. He was determined, despite nearly falling off on occasion. But it's best you watch him and judge for yourself the entertainment value.

CLICK ON PICTURE TO SEE VIDEO
https://youtu.be/Skr4_sfVf0I

Then to my surprise, another mouse, a third the size and grey, clearly a baby mouse, appeared. They say best to try new things when you're young. Well, watch as this little guy does just that. He decides to have a go at climbing a long thin slippery metal pole to try and gain access to the birds sunflower feeder. Despite several attempts he was unsuccessful. To give you an idea of his size, the pole is about the width of a sunflower seed!

CLICK ON PICTURE TO SEE VIDEO
https://youtu.be/zZFwaax5Sco

Eat your heart out Spiderman!

 

Friday, 7 July 2017

BEACHCOMBING

On a sunny but windy day, Pauline and I went in search of driftwood on the beach and dunes of Aberlady Bay. Many's a time that Pauline has returned from our own nearby beaches, with tiny treasures of polished glass and pebbles, or shells, and re-purposed them into bits of art for her garden.

I've visited and blogged about Aberlady Bay many times, so as a wee change this week, to accompany my photos, is a poem by Angela Wybrow.
 

As the tide retreats, it leaves behind
Once hidden treasures, for folk to find.
Left revealed, is a long strip of shiny, wet sand,
Where treasures, now at their journey's end, will land


By the sea, small pieces of glass have been ground,
Leaving their once sharp edges, smooth and round.
There are a few fallen feathers from visiting gulls.
Smooth egg-shaped pebbles, both shiny and dull.


Shells of all shapes, such as cones, conches and scallops,
Are washed ashore by the powerful sea, as it gallops.
There are lions paws, kings crowns, tulips, angel wings
Slipper shells, jewel boxes, moon snails and other things


Sugar kelp, Bladderwrack and Dead Man's Fingers,
Are some of the seaweeds which, on the shore, linger
The sight of numerous pieces of discarded litter
Leaves behind a taste, in my mouth, that is bitter.


Pieces of driftwood, many with interesting shapes,
From the endlessly shifting sea, make their escape.
If, along a sandy beach, you take a relaxing wander,
There are many treasures on which you can ponder.


Folk can while away many an hour of pleasure,
Sifting amongst all the newly arrived treasure.
An hour or two spent exploring a sandy cove,
Can potentially reveal a whole treasure trove.