I used to be indecisive…

…but now I'm not so sure


Friday letters – the mid September edition

Dear garden birds,   Another letter to you – that’s three quite recently.  I just want to say that it’s nice to hear you singing again – it’s been very quiet of late.  Apart from one little blue tit on the peanut feeder, I haven’t seen you, but hearing you is a step in the right direction.

Dear magpies,  Please can you sort out your differences more quietly, or at least lower your voices?  You make quite a racket.

Dear Japanese anemones,  I think I say this every year, but you are such lovely flowers and bloom for so long.  As other plants are beginning to fade at this time of year you are still going strong.

Dear foxes, I haven’t seen you for ages, but I know you are around judging by the rubbish that was strewn around in our garden this morning.

Dear Alexander McCall Smith,  I was so happy yesterday to discover that you have brought out two new Scotland Street books.  I knew one was published recently, but I had completely missed the previous one.  I have them downloaded onto my Kindle already – I can’t wait.

Dear self,  Well done for completing your latest crochet project.  It’s been a long process, but the final result looks good.

Have a good Friday everyone.



Friday letters – the next edition

Dear garden birds,  After expressing concern last week at your absence, I was pleased to see one or two of you out and about.  I’m really sorry that I disturbed a small group of you when I went out into the garden yesterday.  I didn’t see you again for the rest of the day, so I hope I didn’t frighten you off.

Dear parking wardens,  I hope you are pleased with the spoils of your patrols of parked cars now that the parking controls are back in place again.  The restriction time had barely started when I spotted one of you rubbing your hands with glee as you plastered yet another ticket onto a windscreen.  If you work on commission, then you must have done very well in the past few days.

Dear neighbour, Thank you for cutting back the tree in your back garden – our house is suddenly a lot brighter inside.

Dear solar panels on the sloping roofs of building,  Why do you have to be so ugly? Would it not be possible to make you so that you blend in a bit more? I know that the idea behind solar panels is very sound, but you really do stand out rather a lot, and not in a good way.  You are covering the whole side of the roof of a new building which has been erected in a local park and you really are a blot on the landscape.  Several houses in my neighbourhood also have them and they really do spoil the view.

Dear car driver who was behind me as I drove away from the petrol station,  Thank you for drawing my attention to the fact that I had forgotten to replace the fuel filler cap.

Dear Great British Bake Off,   I, like many other fans of the show, was very sorry when you announced your move from BBC to Channel 4 with a change in three out of your four presenters.  I was nearly going to vote with my eyes and not watch.  However, I would like to say that, having decided to watch the first episode just to see how awful you were,  I am enjoying it almost as much as before and I am really glad that I didn’t abandon you.

I hope everyone has a good Friday.


Friday letters – the latest edition

Dear people in the south of England ,  I would like to apologise for the steady rain that we had in the first part of the week.  I’m afraid it’s all my fault because I decided, on Monday, to re-waterproof my waterproof jacket.  It’s always good to check that a process has been successful, but I wasn’t expecting it to rain that much.  Sorry.

Dear man in short floral shorts,  It was 9.30pm on a very wet, almost autumnal, night and there you were in your summer shorts.  Very brave I thought. 

Dear people dressed for summer on Wednesday,  Do you have some kind of special zone around you which repels cold, wet rain?  While the rest of the people in and around London were wrapped up in their wet weather, warm clothes, there you were in your shirt sleeves and skimpy tops with no apparent signs of being wet.  Even your shoes (light, summery ones) looked perfectly dry.  Whatever your secret is, I would like to know it.

Dear wine tasting evening,  You were very interesting and I learned a lot about  grapes and how to taste wine properly.  I’m afraid I failed completely to discern the notes of black fruits, apples, guava, buttered popcorn, burnt toast, autumn, leather and cedar wood in the selection of wines we tasted but at least I could tell the difference between the whites and reds.

Dear traffic cones,  Where have you gone?  Since I last wrote Friday letters I have made another trip to Scotland and back and hardly saw you.  There were a few, but not the vast quantities that usually line the roads (particularly when it is the school holidays) so where are you all? Perhaps you have put in for a transfer and have been moved to other parts of the country, bored with the M1, M6, M74 and M73.  I hope wherever you are that you are behaving yourselves. 

Dear fellow bloggers,  I keep saying I’ll soon have time to catch up with you all, but I’m afraid that hasn’t happened. As for writing posts, I’m not sure when I am going to get round to doing a proper post (not that this isn’t a proper post!) about my travels because I have another busy time coming up now starting with a weekend visit to the Norfolk coast to stay with friends and then next week we are having family stay with us for holiday fun and birthday celebrations.

Dear mandarin ducklings,  Huddling together on the canal towpath, with people walking or cycling past, seemed like a strange thing to do, but you seemed quite unaffected.  You didn’t even seem to mind when I stood very close beside you to take a picture.  Safety in numbers I suppose.


Friday letters – the final July edition

Dear school summer holidays,  There may be many more children around because they are out of school now for six weeks, but the upside of that is that driving anywhere is so much quieter.  It’s not until you can get to where you are going without waiting in long queues of traffic, that you realise just how much school related traffic there must be on the roads.  Either that, or lots of people who would normally clog up the roads have actually gone away on holiday with their little darlings.  Whatever the reason, I would like to say thank you for the pleasure of quieter roads.

Dear the phrase ‘on the planet’,  When did you become the normal phrase to be used instead of ‘in the world’?  We used to hear about an athlete being the best ‘in the world’ or an event being the largest ‘in the world’  but now they are the best/largest/loudest/busiest on the planet.   I’ve been noticing it more and more recently, and just wondered if there was any particular reasoning behind it.

Dear wild swimming,  When I was growing up we went swimming – in the loch, in the river, in the stream, in the sea…  Now it seems we were wild swimming.  I had no idea -I thought I was just swimming!  Who decided to rename it, and why? Is it suddenly more dangerous than it was?

Dear sewing in the ends of crochet squares,  You are such a tiresome task.  I know I should have done it as I went along, but I didn’t.  Next time I will remember (I hope!).

Dear darkened room,  Thank you for being available for me to lie down in after booking a short holiday in the shortest time ever!  It took me a while to recover.

Dear all,  Have a good Friday.


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?