I used to be indecisive…

…but now I'm not so sure


Friday letters – the school summer holidays edition

Dear time,  You clearly ignored my last letter to you as you are flying past very quickly as usual.  Please, pretty please, could we have a little bit of a slow down?  If slowing down is not an option, an extra hour in the day would be a good start,  but the perfect solution would be an extra day in the week (a non-work day naturally).  Any chance?

Dear local people,  Batten down those hatches, stock up on plenty of supplies, abandon all hope of a quiet afternoon sitting in the garden with only the sound of birdsong for company…  The school holidays begin today and the little blighters will be everywhere. 

Dear airports,  I have heard that today will be the busiest day of the year for travel.  I hope it all goes well for you.

Dear TV drama The Loch,  Well, that was six hours I won’t be getting back.  I stuck with you because I kept hoping you would improve, but sadly you didn’t, although perhaps the last episode was actually quite dramatic in some places.    I had high hopes for you, being set in the dramatic Scottish countryside, but sadly I was bitterly disappointed.  The writing was poor, the characters were unbelievable, there were shoals of  red herrings rather than just the odd one, the logic of the tale had huge holes in it and the story was just too preposterous.  If there is a second series (surely not) I won’t be watching, even if the scenery is beautiful.

Dear foxes,  I haven’t seen you in the garden for ages – what’s happened?

Dear all,  Have a good day.







Friday letters – the slightly grumpy edition

Dear cinema goers,  Do some of you not eat for the whole day before going in to see a show?  Are you so ravenous that you have to eat so much? On a recent trip I was surrounded by the noises of people eating popcorn from enormous tubs which are full to the brim, sweets and nachos and drinking fizzy drinks with lots of ice in the cup.  Even the high volume of the soundtrack didn’t mask the noises produced by the rustling of the packaging, the rummaging in the packet/tub, the crunching of the sweets and popcorn, the ice cubes hitting each other and the slurping of drinks through a straw (and in one particular case the insistence of one small child in getting every last molecule of liquid out of his cup through the straw).  I know it’s nice to have a treat when you go to the cinema (ice cream for me please) but do you need to have quite so much of it, and consume it quite so noisily?

Dear cinema treat manufacturers,  I have written to you before, but it’s time for another letter.  Why is it not possible to make quieter packaging for your products?  It would reduce my stress quite considerably, and I know I am not alone in this.

Dear TV chat shows,  Why, when guests are welcomed into the studio, do they all kiss the host and each other?  They have just been sitting together, moments before, in the green room.  I would rather be entertained by the anecdotes of the guests than watch them waste time with all the kissing.  When there are lots of guests on the sofa it can take quite a while!

Dear spare buttons on shirts,  I have noticed a worrying trend over the last year or so.  The fabric on the shirt has developed small holes just where you are.  In all the years of doing laundry, with spare buttons attached to the label which is sewn into the side seam near the waist of the shirt, it is only recently that this problem has happened.  What is different?  Is it to do with the action of the washing machine, or is it happening when the shirt is ironed?  I have not changed how I do either of these things and now I am finding small holes in shirts even when they are quite new. I’d be grateful if you could let me know what is causing this problem.

Dear sports commentators,  Sometimes we just want to watch the match, and appreciate the skill of the players.  We do not need your constant talking and chatting with each other.  Sometimes it is ok for there to be silence.

Dear readers,  I will try and finish with a less grumpy letter.

Dear birds,  It’s good to see you enjoying the bird bath.

starlings in the bird bath

Have a good Friday.







Friday letters – the dreich weather edition

Dear weather gods,  What you are offering this week, compared to last week, is quite unimpressive for the end of June.  I would like to put in a request for some dry weather please while I am based here in Scotland, not just so that I can get on with outdoor tasks without getting soaked, but so that I can enjoy the scenery.  I think we have had enough rain thank you very much – everything is looking green and well watered, so there are no worries on that score, and what they  need now is some dry brightness.

Dear Scottish school children,  I feel so sorry that the first day of your summer holidays, yesterday, was so wet and miserable.

Dear Motorways,  Thank you for being trouble free when I was driving north at the start of the week.

Dear Barcelona,  I’m sorry that another week has passed without a post about you, but I have a lot on at the moment – maybe next week I’ll have more time.

Dear self,  Why can you never remember all the things you were going to write lots of letters about?


Friday letters – the summer solstice edition

Dear summer solstice,  You certainly made your presence felt with record temperatures.  In fact, Wednesday was the hottest June day since 1976. It’s hard to think that we are now on the downhill slope to winter.

Dear football pitches,  When was it decided that you would be used as a unit of measurement.  In the last few days I have heard several things being described as having e.g. the “area of about six football pitches”.  I have a vague idea of the dimensions of a football pitch, so can use that to work things out, but it’s only rough.  At school we learn about metres, centimetres, feet and inches etc, and practise measuring using them, but we don’t learn about football pitches.  There must also be some confusion over which type of football pitch we are talking about – soccer, Gaelic football, American football, Australian rules, Subbuteo, there are so many.  So when I hear that a building is about the size of six football pitches, how big is it really?

Dear insects,  You must be extra happy this week.  I left two small patches of clover and daisies on the grass last week for you and now the whole grassy area is covered in clover flowers (white and purple) and various other wild flowers. It looks quite pretty and I hope you are making the most of it.

Dear mint plant,  Another week and you are still alive – keep it up!

Dear shops,  How can you possibly be advertising ‘back to school’ items already – the current school term hasn’t even finished!  Let the poor children and teachers have a break before you remind them that the new year is just around the corner.

Letter box, Old Grammar School Gardens, Fowey, Cornwall


Friday letters – the warm and sunny edition

Dear weather,  What would we talk about here in the UK if we didn’t have such wildly variable weather.  Yesterday was pleasant and sunny and today looks as though it is going to be similar. The forecast for the weekend, certainly here in the south of England, is for hot and sunny.  No doubt we will complain about being too hot.  Just a few days ago we were complaining because it was a bit chilly for this time of year – we had to put jumpers and socks on and some of us even had to fire up the central heating.   We are never happy, but at least we always have something to talk about.

Dear garden,  You are looking nice and tidy after my efforts yesterday – I only wish you would stay like that.

Dear insects,  I hope you appreciate that when I cut the grass yesterday I left two patches of daisies and clover uncut.  It was tempting to leave the whole of the grass uncut (it is covered in clover, daisies, buttercups and other unidentified little flowers) for your needs, but the poor birds were getting lost in it.

Dear car,  I hope the drips that have appeared on the ground where you are parked are not something serious.

Dear mint plant,  So far so good.  I have had you for ten days now and you are still alive! 

Dear Barcelona,  I’m getting round to writing about you, I promise, but it’s a slow process.  In the meantime I’ll post another photo so that you don’t feel I am ignoring you.  It’s a photo of work in progress, although I hope my Barcelona posts will appear before this particular piece of work is finished!

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, June 2017







Friday letters – the day after the General Election edition

Dear news coverage,  It must be a very difficult job to talk about absolutely nothing for hours on end during the night as the results come in, particularly early on when there were very few results to analyse.  I marvelled at some of your ticker tape headlines… ‘Breaking News – Exit polls can sometimes be incorrect’.  How can that be breaking news?  Also, if they can sometimes be wrong (and spectacularly wrong relatively recently) why do you bother to do them?  Here we are in the middle of the morning and there is still lots of speculation going on, charts to be shown and discussed, pie charts in pretty colours, ‘experts’ and pundits discussing the what-ifs, and if onlys, everyone second guessing everything.  Watching it is exhausting, so actually producing the content must be even worse!

Dear Barcelona,  What a wonderful place you were for a long weekend’s break.  Hopefully I will find some time before too long to write a post or two about you.

Dear readers and fellow bloggers,  I must apologise for my absence at your blogs.  I’ll get round to catching up soon – I am not ignoring you, I promise.  My Inbox is bulging with notifications of posts – none of which I want to miss.

Dear ‘no cord’, easy touch window blinds,  You are a total mystery.  I have read instructions, I have looked at YouTube videos and I can still not get you to ‘open’ with a light touch on the two little plastic handles at the bottom.  Closing your slats, or putting you up or down I have mastered quite proficiently, but getting you to be down with the slats open seems to be beyond me.  What is the trick?

Dear baby bird,  It looked like you were enjoying the bird bath, and taking your instructions from your parent very seriously and having a good splash around.






Friday letters – the first June edition

Dear young man in town,  It was so nice to see some good old fashioned manners the other day when you held the shop door open to allow me to go through before you.

Dear Marks and Spencers,  I would have thought that you would have paid careful attention to your grammar when preparing some new posters to make us aware, in store, of your travel money services.  There, plastered all over the place, are posters telling us the we should have ‘less worries’ and build more sandcastles (amongst other things).  Fewer worries.  Fewer!  Not less.  We could have less worry, but it must be fewer worries.  If you would like to employ me to pop along to one of your advertising/marketing meetings and point out a few simple grammar rules, I would be more than happy.  I am reminded of the time several years ago when you didn’t know how to use apostrophes correctly and had posters in store advertising CD’s and DVD’s for sale.  Thankfully I think someone had a word with you because I haven’t seen that sort of faux pas again.

Dear book pile,  Oh dear, I’ve been book shopping again.  I blame the book club I belong to.  When it’s my turn to choose the book for us to read, I think I am going to have to pick something that is already waiting so that I don’t have to add to you.

Dear fingernails,  Please can you sort yourselves out – there is too much snagging, splitting and flaking going on for my liking.  You used to be so reliable.

Dear peppermint tea,  Have I mentioned before that I like you?

Dear fresh mint tea,  I like you too, in fact I like you most of all, but I have no luck at all in growing mint successfully, so I have had to resort to tea bags.  Sorry.