Saturday 25th. January, 2014 -- Burns Night 

Domestic bliss – Rachel, Rowan and Olive around the stove before dinner

Woke and walked Mix – the first of two walks for later in the afternoon Mix and I set out for a long walk along the road to Fogo. Saturday is a pleasant day to walk because there is very little traffic on the roads around Mount Pleasant. It was an extremely enjoyable walk – partly because Mix now walks so well and partly because although it was cold, it was clear and bright and the rain of the morning had passed right over us.

But back to this morning: I breakfasted and then Rachel and I loaded up my organ and we went off to Gavinton Church where we set it up so that we can provide the music tomorrow. The organist’s brother is arriving from Australia tomorrow morning and our providing the music will allow her to go off and meet her brother. Tom joined us at the Church and we spent quite a while trying to ensure that we got everything right. Then we made our way to Tom’s house where we introduced our dogs to Spike – an older border collie (and perfectly beautiful). Rowan and Spike got on extremely well: I kept a close watch on Mix who was a little bit jealous of Spike’s attentions to his ‘sister’.

Back home today was a day of cleaning and tidying. I gutted and cleaned my bathroom and then tidied up my study. I also put at least three loads of dirty clothes through the washing machine. This done Mix and I had our walk. Afterwards we went out to the summer house so that I could set up a new email address for Rachel. She has been without one for quite a while and is discovering that for some things (completing her tax assessment for one) you really need an email address.

We went across to the farmhouse for dinner. First there was sherry as we sat around the stove. As the picture shows, Rowan is now quite at home and settled down to sleep on the sofa between Rachel (who was engrossed in a magazine) and Olive who was keeping an eye on Rowan. It was another lovely meal and again I ate too much. A diet is moving further and further up the agenda but I’m still at that retirement phase where I feel as if I am on holiday and that soon it will end and I will have to go back to work.

After eating we went back to the Granary where we watched more of The Tunnel. There is only one more part to watch and I am looking forward to the denouement enormously. I have enjoyed the joint French/English language nature of the film and I have enjoyed some of the performances greatly but everything hinges always on how things work out. If there isn’t a satisfactory ending then somehow I feel as if I have wasted my time watching the film. I’ve no reason to suppose that there won’t be a satisfactory ending but whatever happens I will remember some of the beautiful touches brought to their performances by the leading actors.

With Rachel watching a comedy programme (Mrs. Brown’s Boys)., Mix and I came out to the summer house to tidy things up before tomorrow. Then we all walked the policies together before retiring to bed. My days seem so long now but, when I think about it, that’s something I remember from holidays. Long may it continue!

I recorded in my title that today is Burns' Night. I had my celebration of Robert Burns yesterday with the folk of Our Lady and St. Patrick's High School, but I expect that tonight in Luss they will be celebrating, the village hall will be full to capacity and they will all be enjoying a riotous evening. It's the first time for many years that I will not have chaired the event -- not that I'll be missed -- but I hope they are all having a grand old time.


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