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      • Sunday 29th. September, 2013 -- My Last Sunday

        I tried to take this surreptitiously while folk were arriving in Arrochar Church this morning -- and, as a result, I missed one half of the church!

        Up at seven and started my final Sunday by walking the dog. Back to the Manse to shower and soon it was time to set off for Arr

      • Saturday 28th. September, 2013 -- The Final Furlong

        Ben Dhu and the Strone

        I snatched this view of the twin peaks of Ben Dhu and the Strone as I walked Mix along the river path early this morning. I always think of the Strone as being 'my' hill because for many months I climbed up it five times a week in order to lo

      • Friday 27th. September, 2013 -- Gathering Momentum

        Olivebank sets out on the start of her journey to Duns

        Got up and walked Mix and by the time I arrived at the Manse, folk had arrived to take Olivebank off on the first stage of her journey to Duns. It took them no time at all to pull Olivebank onto the back of their truck a

      • Thursday 26th. September, 2013 -- Catching up with all the last minute jobs!

        This tree in the Remembrance Garden caught my eye

        It is Thursday and I have become ever so aware of how much there is still to do. I did manage to complete the paperwork -- just as well because no sooner had I done that than the computer packed up! It seems to me that everyt

      • Wednesday 25th. September, 2013 -- Back to School for a really happy Day

        Alison with a photograph of what the school was like when she first arrived

        I awoke with much to do, and truth to tell, much of what I had hoped to do is still not done at the end of the day. After walking Mix around the glebe I started to work through the service for Arrocha

      • Tuesday 24th. September, 2013 -- So busy I've almost forgotten Mount Pleasant!

        Mike, Ian and Robbie

        I got up and walked the dog. Came back to the Manse and showered and it was still not eight o'clock. Got some things done before setting off for Helensburgh for my physio appointment. Came back relaxed to meet Robbie and Mike (from Luss Church) and

      • Monday 23rd. September, 2013 -- Monday, and things don't go quite my way!

        One of the nicest cards I've ever received

        I intended today to be a day of really hard work but it didn't turn out that way. I walked the dog, settled down at my desk and it wasn't long before Robbie telephoned to say that he and Mike were on their way to see

      • Sunday 22nd. September, 2013 -- A Lovely Sunday

        It didn't start out that way, in fact it was a really wet and nasty morning when I walked Mix along the river path. It was still wet when I arrived in Arrochar and it was raining when I stood at the door to shake hands with folk as they left the service at Luss. But none of that s

      • Saturday 21st. September -- A Quiet Saturday!

        The organ class in full swing -- Carol, Lindsay, Nick, Rachel and Morag -- admiring the fine sounds emanating from our organ.

        Up early (well, not too early) and walked the dog. Today is one of those real treasures: a Saturday without a wedding. We did have a wedding arranged

      • Friday 20th. September, 2013 -- Where has everything Gone?

        Mix has found the one comfy spot in the house!

        Today has been one of the strangest days of my life. What's more, it has completely taken me by surprise. I haven't allowed myself to think past the removal and now that that has been successfully (?) completed, I can

      • Thursday 19th. September, 2013 -- Back to Luss

        Got taken to task by someone who reads the blog (and hasn't met me) for not putting a picture of myself on the web-site so that they can see who is writing all of this stuff. So here I am! Sixty-seven and a half-years old, retiring in eleven days time and moving from Arrochar and L

      • Wednesday 18th. September -- The Third Day

        Ian, Malcolm, Stuart and Allan -- job done!

        Awoke early in Luss and by 8 a.m. the second load of furniture was being loaded into the three removal vans which were at the Manse -- having returned the previous day from the Borders. There wasn't a huge amount to do but thi

      • Tuesday 17th. September, 2013 -- The Removal Day Two

        Malcolm outside the door of the Granary and it is not yet eight o'clock!
        Awoke early and was just coming to when I realised that four removal vans were driving in to the courtyard. I was panicking because I realised that I should have been going to my physio but it had gone o

      • Monday 16th. September, 2013 -- The Three Day Removal Begins

        Vans started to arrive early for the Removal Van Convention held at the Manse -- we managed five by the middle of the day!

        I was up early today anxious to walk Mix before everything started to happen. I was glad that I had because the first vans arrived early -- four of them

      • Sunday 15th. September, 2013 -- The Calm before the Storm

        A view of Arrochar Parish Church

        What a lovely day! It started at Arrochar where I conducted the ten o'clock service -- the lectionary presenting us with the fifteenth chapter of Saint Luke's Gospel, without any doubt my favourite chapter of Scripture. Having condu

      • Saturday 14th. September, 2013 -- A normal Saturday at Luss!

        A typical Luss Wedding scene.

        It wasn't really a typical day for us because we had our usual appointment with boxes which had to be filled. But for Luss it was a fairly typical day -- a wedding in the Church (often there are two or even three) and loads of visitors who

      • Friday 13th. September, 2013

        After yesterday's blitz on boxes I thought that today would be easier; but I woke with my body telling my brain that it really couldn't cope with another day like yesterday. Well it was never going to be that way anyway because there were a number of duties which had to be un

      • Thursday 12th. September, 2013 -- Boxes!

        Boxes, boxes, everywhere -- and scarcely a place to sit!

        There is little to write about today. There was to have been a wedding but the couple decided not to get married so today Rachel and I filled boxes and carried them around the house. I ended up more tired than I can ev

      • Wednesday 11th. September, 2013 -- Pilgrims from Kirkcaldy

        Some of the 'over-flow' from the dining room into the lounge!

        We had a lovely day in Luss today. I rose early and walked the dog and was concerned that it really was rather wet. Normally this wouldn't have mattered but today it did because today we were being

      • Tuesday 10th. September, 2013 -- Through a Glass Darkly

        I was out in front of the Manse at Luss saying good-bye to Robin and Glenys who have been with us for a few days when I saw the two dogs, Rowan and Mix, looking through the window. I knew the sun was shining on the window and I knew my reflection would appear in the picture but still I

      • Monday 9th. September, 2013 -- Making Things Safe!

        A view of the Granary back garden now securely fenced and dog-proof!

        While I am up in Luss Tom has taken charge of having the back garden at the Granary securely fenced in. This means that once we get down to the Granary the dogs will be able to wander in and out of the hous

      • Sunday 8th. September, 2013 -- Another Busy Sunday!

        This is a picture of one of the Churches which is in my care until the end of this month. I have actually been minister here for almost fifteen years -- and they have been happy, happy years.

        Luss Church sits in the village of that name, on the banks of Loch Lomond. The tin

      • Saturday 7th. September, 2013 Back in the Parish with twenty-three days to go.

        Here is another view of the Granary from its garden.

        I'm back in Luss and you can read that 'twenty-three days to go' in two ways, both of which are true. Twenty-three days and I will be able to start to do some of the things that I'm looking forward to

      • Friday 6th. September, 2013 -- 'Things that go Bump in the night'.

        We all breakfasted together in the farm kitchen. I should say that by this time I had taken Mix for a very lengthy walk, had enjoyed a glorious shower and had been to the Duns Golf Course and joined! (I'd seen a web-site advertising the fact that they were having an open day tomor

      • Thursday 5th. September, 2013 'Starting to Get Organised'

        This isn't a very good picture -- I took it on my telephone -- but it summed up today. Mum sitting in one of her rooms in the farmhouse emptying boxes. The farmhouse is a very large house and is being shared by my sister and her husband and my mother. The ground floor centres arou

      • Wednesday 4th. September, 2013 -- D-Day!

        My sister has been counting down from sixty-two days (the time she sold her home and became homeless) and now the great day had arrived. Mum travelled down in the removal van with Malcolm and Allan; Olive and Digger drove from Luss, setting out in good time to be at the Borders before

      • Tuesday 3rd. September, 2013 -- D-Day Minus One

        Mum standing outside her home after most of her possessions have been packed and put into two large removal vans in preparation for the journey to the Borders tomorrow morning.

        Today I drove across to Fife to be with my mother while the removal men moved in to pack up and

      • Monday 2nd. September, 2013 -- D-Day Minus Two

        It's Monday and we become the owners of our new home on Wednesday at 2 p.m. I got confirmation from our solicitor today that all of the money was sitting in his account just waiting for him to press the button and it will transfer to the present owners. I understand that happens s

      • Sunday 1st. September, 2013 -- D Day Minus Three

        It is Sunday the first of September, 2013 the start of a month for which I am paying the Church of Scotland £500 to be allowed to work as Parish Minister in Arrochar and Luss. Strange? Yes, of course it is -- but as you read my daily diary and get to know me better you will discover t