Cracking Up

Kate’s favourite veg? Collieflower.

Colliefications? None.

Collities? Gentle, sweet, intelligent.

Ailment? Colliecky.

Etc etc

I have started creaking at the seams – surely too soon for my age. Sciatica made its presence known in January. It is a considerate one though, in a way. It allows me to walk, stand, sleep, dance but not sit down. It obviously doesn’t like idleness. About the same time the shoulder pain came to keep company to the sciatica. I finally went to see the doc in March and got a steroid injection for the shoulder. Well, that put me out of Olympics and after weeks there is still no improvement.  What now? Would a holiday somewhere warm and sunny help? Can you get a prescription for that? As it is we have booked a four day stay in a hotel in Rathmullan, Ireland. Katie the Collie will enjoy the beach. For the same money we probably could have gone for a fortnight somewhere warm and sunny. Be optimistic, that could be the summer. Maybe I’ll get some brand new ideas while walking on the beach, sitting in the pub listening to music, sipping Guinness. Here’s hoping.

At the best of times my memory isn’t good with abstract things. I can’t remember the four lines of my favourite poem and yet I enrolled myself into Gaelic classes last September. I happened to mention, jokingly, to a fellow dancer Anndra, at the Kirkcudbright summer festivities that if I grow up I’ll take up clarsach playing or learn Gaelic. Well, I dug myself into a hole there. He said he’ll be starting to teach Gaelic in Kirkcudbright in September. Um..ah…ok. Am I grown up now..? Not really but give it a go. I now know more than I did 24 classes ago, but don’t expect me to write poetry in Gaelic quite yet. Fascinating as Gaelic is, the old brain is struggling with the different grammatical rules and sounds. I even bought a ‘teach yourself’ book but that wouldn’t have made sense had I not been to the classes. The teacher has a patience of a saint. The pronunciation is still a mystery to me, the dh fh bh gh – sometimes all of them in one word. Consonants are very popular in Gaelic. Ah well, one day I’ll be able to order a dram of uisge-beatha and a glass of fìon in a taigh-seinnse.

We had winter this year – four whole days. It was the worst snow storm I can remember in my 32 years in Galloway. We usually get very little snow but this year we made it to the national news. Just as well we didn’t need to go anywhere – we couldn’t have. It was interesting to watch the road. An amazing number of drivers ignored warnings and the very obvious road conditions and tried to go somewhere, with varying success. We called the road the Bankhead Pass. We were cut off from Friday morning till Monday afternoon. On Sunday it didn’t snow any more but fierce wind whipped the snow from the fields onto the roads. It was a weird sight. The view towards the Lake District was steel blue sky – or sort of Payne’s grey – and drifting snow. The view towards the hills at the back of the house was blue sky, sunshine – and drifting snow. I always thought the Army was the last resort to call when going got tough but even they got stuck. It took several hours to dig and tow two huge lorries away on Saturday. On Sunday they tried again – and turned back.  Who do we call now..?