Thursday, June 22, 2006


Summer Solstice, eh? Longest day an' that? I can't remember a worse summer day than today has been - rain, gales, temperature more suited to March, inspissated gloom. I drove us to Rothesay this afternoon to do a spot of singing in rehearsal for the service of institution next week - well, I drove to Colintraive to get the ferry. The road was flooded in several places and water pounded off the hillsides and down the ditches, while the wind had the full-blown trees thrashing about. I suppose days like this have always cropped up in the summer months, but I find them intensely dispiriting.

At least I had some exercise: the swimming is coming on nicely at 30 lengths three times a week before breakfast. My pal Di bought new goggles and now steams along faster than ever, while I pant in her wake (literally). I feel one's length must come into the equation ....

Maybe my gloom was intensified today by the realisation that I am now indeed the matriarch of my family. With the death today of my uncle, there is no-one of that generation left and I was the first of the next generation. I can remember the fun I had as a small child with my youngest uncle. Life is very brief, really. May he rest in peace.

I'll finish off with this pic of the lovely house we stayed in in Crete. It is perched on the top of a hill covered in olive groves. Down the road a bit are some orange trees and a couple of lemon trees. I snaffled a few oranges one evening to squeeze for our breakfast - we never saw anyone picking them and they were falling off the trees. This was the second time we had stayed there, but it will be our last as another house is being built further up the road - indeed, at the road end - and the solitude which we so enjoyed will not be the same. In this weather it seems a long way away. My tan is beginning to look a tad yellow - no, I didn't sunbathe: it just happened.

There's always the bottle of Holiday Skin ....


  1. Sorry to hear of your uncle. My thoughts are with you.

    I know what you mean about the weather and all that. I did post something, but as usual, my sister's horribly ugly and ever-so-slow PC crashed, lost the whole flaming lot and now I'm so tired that I can't be bothered writing it all again. grrr

    Lovely house. I have left some comments on your flickr. Ewan says he has added me to his, but I can't find him on mine - do I need to do something? Help!

  2. Maybe my gloom was intensified today by the realisation that I am now indeed the matriarch of my family.

    It's a strange feeling, isn't it? As you point out, life is so brief and this just underlines it.

    As for the swimming, what you lack in speed you gain in style - I continue to strive to match that :p

  3. Duffy - I don't quite know what your problem is with flickr. "I can't find him on mine" sounds waifish, but what exactly do you mean?

  4. Anonymous1:12 AM

    My uncle -Alec Stewart- is getting buried tomorrow near Fort William
    so he must be dead too.
    My uncle Ecky had a very tragic life
    you would not wish his life on your worst enemy.

  5. Anonymous2:30 AM

    Chris, sorry about your uncle. I have found that funerals are becoming an all-too-common event in my life.

    I do envy your weather! It was body temperature (36 C) for a high here, and we are in need of some of your excess rain.

    Your house in Crete does, indeed, look lovely. I visited that island over 30 years ago and enjoyed it very much, but we have not had a chance to go back. As always, I enjoy your photographs.