Thursday, 29 May 2008

the village people

mrs mac and me

i must stress that all my village characters bear no resemblance to actual villagers, living or dead. my characters are the invention of my mind, the result of an over active imagination.

yep that's my story and i'm sticking to it!

did you know?
scottish black slugs are cannibals!
yup, indeed. just been outside for a smoke and coffee and there was this big fat slug munching on this small black slug. well... the little one had already changed planes as some great clumping idiot had stood on the poor wee thing. "which great, clumping idiot?" ask.
"no names, no pack drill!" ... i reply.

i met mrs mac when i was earning my daily crust in the care sector. an impossible woman, she was the main reason i decided that care was not the career for me. i mean really, i had neither the guts nor the gumption to sweet talk her out of her nightie and into her day clothes. mrs mac would just say ... "no! i am quite comfortable as i am!"

there was also the small matter of nourishing meals. if it was not a bacon butty or a sweet and sticky cake... well, mrs mac saw absolutely no point in popping in her teeth to eat. no amount of loving preparation and whiney, wheedling on my part would ever persuade her otherwise.
what a woman! well into her eighties, she has lost none of her personal power. she still smokes at least forty cigarettes a day even though her heart is failing and her chest clogged. how many times has she been knocking at heavens gates? guess they up there are also reluctant to deal with her, as she always rallies and returns home to make another day difficult for those who care!

back to the main point, in the year past, the council has built a ramp, allowing wheelchair access to mrs mac's bungalow. mrs mac arranged the purchase of a smooth running wheelchair. mrs mac likes to get out for a stroll in the fresh air and a cuppa at the garden centre. once a week, it is both my pleasure and my pain, to assist her in taking the air.

mrs mac delights in criticizing my wheelchair driving skills.
"where did you learn to drive? careful we are not arrested because you are drunk in charge of a wheelchair! ouch... can you not be more careful...these old bones of mine feel every bump!"

me ... attempting to remain calm in the face of extreme provocation...
"ah woman, best you remain silent about my driving skills or i'll leave you here to free wheel home."

raucous laughter and the odd cackle from mrs mac...
"aye, and you would to, you stroppy bitch!"

man... i can't wait to be eighty. there is the small matter of not having to pay tv licence fees and then...
you get to be able to say whatever comes into your head without folks taking a pop at you.

having the ramp and the wheelchair have made a huge difference in mrs mac's life, she gets to be out and about, chatting with her neighbours and seeing a little life. a week or two ago, mrs mac and i had just turned the corner from her road into the road which runs along the sea shore. a bloke working in his garden came over to greet mrs mac and they spent a view minutes chatting. we said our goodbyes and i sprang into chair propelling action. no more than five of my steps and mrs mac pronounces acidly, at the top of her voice...
"nosy old git!"
this of a man at least forty years her junior and well within hearing distance! i turn and flash him an apologetic smile...
he grins back, his expression clearer than words...
'aye mrs mac is out and about and in wicked form!'

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

cloud cover

i woke up in the clouds this morning. the farm buried in the soft white. unusually silent, the life sounds muffled by the surrounding cloud. the hawthorn tree,white with blossom, vague, lurking in the distance.

i had slept late, i had been up till the wee hours and my room under the eaves has blackout blinds. i am now convinced there must be some type of noxious gas polluting the air of my place in ballantrae. when i'm home i spend a large proportion of my time sleeping, i have even been known to fall asleep whilst typing! one day of good farm air and i am up and running, reading without falling asleep, watching the telly without falling asleep and best of all...writing without falling asleep.

this afternoon i drove down, out of the clouds, mission...collect meds i should have picked up on friday. i was delighted to find my village still there and with very little difficulty, remembered the purpose of my jaunt. then, a quick visit home to pick up my messages and make a few calls.a decent cup of coffee, wash the few dishes i had left in my rush to reach the farm before the children left.

back into my lady rav, she growling with pleasure as we climbed back into the clouds.

ayrshire in the spring time, the gorse bleeding hard yellow against the green hills, the blue of forget-me-nots, the pale gold of primrose bedecking the banks of the burn. the softness of the almost rain and the welcome lack of freezing in the mist.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

battling the grey

loch leven

i'm back at the farm...doing a wee bit of doggy/kitty sitting. it's raining... of course, must be the first proper rain we have had in the past month. but a dried out gargantuan pothole is only half the fun of a full to the brim gargantuan pothole.

yeah... i'm writing! i wonder why? is there a curse which comes along with the ghost who keeps company with me in my victorian abode? the curse of the dreaded "writers block"...
i must ask around about my companion ghost, maybe there is some known history. i think he is a he... he doesn't worry me much, but then i do tend to sleep like the dead. i did hear footsteps one night...
walking up a passage which is no longer there, plus it was footsteps on a wooden floor. my whole flat is carpeted!

enough already with the heebie jeebies! so long since i wrote, so many new experiences. so many blogs started and never finished.

i have to admit i had an attack of the GREY... kind of sneaked up on me, caught me unawares. so i floated for a while, in abject misery, before dragging myself off to my GP in search of prozac and nirvana.

so... how did i spend my time, the time when i was not either sleeping or staring into space, filled with a major melancholy malaise. well, i forced myself to walk, which forces me to interact almost as if i was a normal person. i really could have had a great career on the stage, i am a master of deception, a genius at producing "the happy face" even in the most depressed circumstances. as time went by, i perked up little by little, my mate shona and i continued to enjoy our tuesday lunch dates...i can never be sorry for myself when shona is about, she makes me laugh and appreciate life. plus we tend to find ourselves wonderfully full of the fruit of the vine, sharing the latest village tales and giggling like teenagers. a while back shona's mum asked shona...
"how old is this woman?"
shona replied ..
"thirty going on sixty"

hmmm... maybe more like thirteen going on...!

i spent four days in the kingdom of fife, in a fishing village called leven. i was told there was a big old rock, much like my beloved ailsa craig, off the coast. bass rock... the mythical bass rock! i was in leven four days and i saw most everything there was to see, except bass rock. hidden by the sea mist, they told me...hah! the craig NEVER goes walk about for that long. i reckon bass rock falls into the same category as nessie! these scots will imagine seeing any damn thing to lure tourists to our bonnie shores.

we drove around loch leven, where mary queen of scots was imprisoned in leven castle for a time, (1567 to 1568) before her escape..
in a small village called lower largo i was shown a statue of robinson crusoe. evidently this fellow alexander selkirk was born in the village and daniel defoe based the tale of robinson crusoe on his experiences.

we ate fish and chips in anstruther, at the world famous anstruther fish bar . unfortunately nobody really famous was eating there that particular day. but the fish and chips was to die for!we strolled along the harbour enjoying the sunshine and ice cream cones, the green eyed girl chose 'rum and raisin' whilst i myself chose the more exotic sounding 'burned cream'. tasted like plain old vanilla to me, but who am i to judge, an ice cream connoisseur i am not!

thinking of visiting scotland?... i do recommend the kingdom of fife, lovely countryside, quaint villages and friendly folk. of course fife in no way compares with beautiful ayrshire!