The Monday Morning Quote #459

“The challenge is staying alive,  dying is easy.” 

Joe Walsh (who celebrated his 70th birthday on Nov 20th)



Post-Ophelia. Pre-Brian.

It has been quite a week at Rees Acres. We are used to wind and rain here on our hillside but I have not enjoyed/endured a storm like Ophelia before anywhere.

One of the joys of living here is the weather, in towns or cities you tend to be concerned with, “am I going to get wet walking to the car, bus, train or whilst on my bike”; here, a few miles from the Fastnet Rock I listen to the shipping forecast and know what’s going to happen. I can watch the rain clouds coming towards us, or see them pass and leave their contents on the land a mile or two away, knowing that our turn will come soon enough.

On nights where there is calm, but a storm is forecast, I can hear the noise of the sea passing up and over the hill behind our home. On clear nights the stars in the heavens are magnificent, with little light pollution to distract you.

We lost power for 24 hours or so, that’s long enough to be a novelty and quite enjoyable in many ways. With a wood burner, a gas hob and plenty of candles and batteries we were safe, warm and dry and well fed. Intermittent broadband is, in the grand scheme of things, a minor irritation and a very “first world” problem. Others, not far from here have been without power and water for close on five days, the people doing the repairs have had to stop because of the increasing winds so they will be without until Sunday at the earliest.

We feel as if we have more neighbours, more people who are looking out for us, who will miss us here in a sparsely populated area than we ever did when we lived in the middle of Cheltenham – but that may be my rose tinted specs!

The one memory that will stay with me, long after the logs from our five fallen trees have been used to heat our home, is of a funeral. On Tuesday evening at 8pm I could hear the local solitary church bell tolling, this meant that the coffin with the deceased was on its way to be left in the church for a funeral the following day. This “removal” followed the open coffin with the dead person having been laid out, probably in the undertakers premises, during the day. We have very few street lamps at the best of time, and on Tuesday there were none, so I was able to see the procession of cars from about a mile away. Led by the hearse, I counted more than 50 sets of headlights making stately, respectful progress from Skibbereen towards our parish church. The fact that all those people were willing and able to make the journey with the deceased, a 94 year old lady, says a lot. The majority of those, and scores more, would be at the funeral mass and burial the following day.

The Irish way of death is something that I am learning about gradually, I know it is legendary, or a perhaps a stereotype, but there is a lot to be said for the way that death is handled here.

The next storm, Brian, is arriving as I write and will be at its worst in 8 hours. Ophelia was American in origin and presumably named after the character in Hamlet who went mad after the death of her father and, possibly, Hamlet’s treatment of her. Brian is Irish named, after Brian Boru, and, unlike Ophelia which moved mostly south to north, is going to head east across the UK, I trust that you will stay safe.

PS Did I miss Dental Showcase? Yes and No. Yes, after 25 (or more) unbroken years I will miss being able to take the pulse of UK Dentistry. No, I not want to have missed the past few days here.


Should you lie in the sun?

I periodically share information gleaned from a well know dermatologist.

This time there’s also a video where, to celebrate an auspicious birthday, my little brother shows the results of his experiments in cloning.

It is well worth a watch, or two.

The Monday Morning Quote #449

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.

Edmund Burke




Sometimes you have to be grateful….

I was contacted by a prospective client yesterday who asked for testimonials from clients with whom I currently work or have worked in the past.  I want to thank the several individuals who responded to my emails within minutes with, “of course”, “pleased to help”, “send them my way” and variations on that theme.

Gratitude isn’t a good enough word.

Thanks folks, you know who you are.

Walter Becker RIP

I somehow managed to miss out on tickets for the forthcoming Steely Dan/Doobie Brothers gigs, they were on my musical bucket list and will have to remain there.

It was with great sadness that I read of the death of Walter Becker. The tributes will flow from those who are far more entitled to comment on the technical elements of the music that Steely Dan made. I just know their first four albums as the soundtrack of the years 1972-78 and that Reelin’ in the Years still makes me smile and want to dance. I remember the excitement that I felt when I managed to buy an import copy of the single at a wooden record shack in the Haymarket in Newcastle. I know I had it on the album but it was a great single, so when it played out it was finished, it didn’t merge into the next track – some of you will understand the feeling.

Had I realised that they were a “jazz” group it is doubtful I would have shown such interest or had such enjoyment. Thank goodness my ears were my only arbiters.

Richard Williams blog.

London Jazz News.

The Guardian

Once more:

The Monday Morning Quote #427

“Face the dawn.

Embrace the dawn.

Don’t waste the dawn.”

Damen Dempsey – Simple Faith


%d bloggers like this: