JD ( job done)

She stood on the quay side in silent anticipation, her hands buried in the warm pockets of her Duffle coat, protected from the chilly wind, the very wind that reddened her cheeks and ruffled her hair.
Dried out Lobster pots, stacked 3 high, acted as a barrier,protecting the unwary from the inevitable.
On an exposed patch of sand, a young boy tormented his yapping, leaping terrier with a piece of drift wood. A little further, stood an angler.
The Lass looked firstly to her left, and then to her right, the Scottish coast line stretched from horizon to horizon, becoming a smudgy grey blur, before blending with the sky and the sea, and then vanishing.
The Harbour was quiet, apart from the Gulls kicking off and squabbling over scraps of food every now and again. She lifted her expectant gaze to the sea, and scanned the choppy surface until it collided with the sky. She spoke inwardly to herself, almost a prayer. “Please be good, don’t play up, not today, please.” She understood the language of the sea, and its temperamental moods. A Herring Gull landed on top of the Lobster Pots, and greedily gulped down its scrap of fish.
There! Lurching through the white caps, she saw the small boat, its bow exploding in showers of white foam each time it met the swell, as it chugged towards her.
She ran the short distance to the end of the Quay, and excitedly started to wave both arms above her head.
In the boat, behind the small covered wheelhouse, stood a man, his stare fixed on the approaching shore line, his calmness be lying the inner turmoil of his emotions.
The steady, chug of the engine, competed against the sound of the Sea, and the growing number of raucous gulls, squawking their laughing cries as they followed in the boats wake.
The thud of a wave, caused the man to squint in anticipation of the coming spray.
The Sun, so far absent, turned the spray into a cloak of rainbows as it broke free of its cloudy restraint, and filled the scene with its welcome glory.
The once featureless shore line, now surrendered its detail, the man saw the welcoming harbour, and on the wall, a Woman, now jumping on the spot and waving her  raised arms criss cross, above her head. The man, no longer able to restrain his emotions, released his hold of the boats hand rail and returned the gesture.
The couple semaphored their joyful, happy feelings to each other across the closing distance that lay between them.
The boat entered the calm safe water of the harbour, passing in front of the waiting Girl, its progress creating a mere ripple, as it headed for the granite steps of the quay side.
With their gazes locked, the Girl briskly walked, occasionally breaking into a short hurried jog, as she followed the boats progress.
She reached the steps just as the small blue boat pulled along side, and watched, as a coil of wet rope was thrown ashore into the waiting hands of the unofficial welcoming party. Heavily accented instructions and greetings were exchanged between the Skipper and his old friend on the quay side. As she descended the the steps, he disembarked, and still a little stiff from his journey, he eagerly strode, two steps at a time toward her.
They finally met, and instantly fell into an embrace, an embrace built over time with love and feeling.
Without breaking the embrace, she pulled back her head, and looked into his eyes, she saw her image reflected in a tear, a tear of happiness and elation.
She wiped away the tear holding back her own and asked “JD?”
Now looking at his own reflection, he winked reassuringly, “JD” he replied.
With their arms draped over each others shoulders, they headed HOME. JD.


Fish ‘n’ Chips

It was going to be a long day, but a pleasant, exceptional one. To be in the company of my younger Brother was treat enough, but the fact that he’d, set aside, and devoted the full day, to me, personally, magnified the enjoyment of my day out, ten fold.
My disability, made accessing the fells, to seek out those Alfred Wainwright MBE, panoramas, impossible, but the great mans writing brilliance, brought all that was beyond me, into the palms of my hands, today he was, my eyes.
Although unable to walk, just being amongst such  magnificent scenery, enveloped by 5 million years worth of geology, brought back memory’s of; Checking zips and pockets, adjusting boots and Bergen, map, and the all important, compass. All the preparation and anticipation, experienced before crossing the start line, of any walk, flooded into my mind, washing away any stress or anger, and replaced them with bewilderment and awe.
Even being restricted to the passenger seat of the car, couldn’t diminish the feelings of, joy and contentment that I felt.
The road was smooth, and snaked, undulating, along the shore-line of Thirlmere, the soothing sound of rain water swishing under the tyres, and the gentle warmth omitting from the dash, lulled my mind. I was safe, I was happy.
The dark inky surface of the lake was chopped by a cold westerly, a stark reminder, that just beyond that piece of glass, lay a totally different world of seasonal experiences.
My belly rumbled, “Soon my pet”, I said, rubbing my paunch. Fish ‘n’ Chips by the Sea was on the itinerary, but I needed a snack, like now.
“Chuck  a right, Bro!”
“Here!” Shrieked Brodle, turning the steering with all the urgency, of a Helmsman, in a force 10.
We turned into Pye lane, as we drove across the river Rothay, I peeled my face from the cold glass, the wipers crossed the screen, clearing my view, revealing the post card setting that was in front of us. Grasmere.
Like Brigadoon, this quintessential Lakeland village, the grey colour of the stone houses, saturated, by the steadily falling rain, appeared, as if by magic.
Trees, native and naked, except for the green of winter moss, stretched into every available space, softening the sharp edges of their stone neighbours, blending the entire scene, into one of breath-taking natural beauty.
People, not cars, occupied the very narrow streets, using them as a foot paths, going about their business, looking upon us, and our mode of transport, with a silent,  disgust, hidden behind false smiles of acknowledgment. Obviously not locals, I could tell by their attire, which was a mix of, do I look the part in this, and, a Go Outdoors mannequin, bushy beards, also seem to be a part of the outdoor vogue, a must have, even for the women.
The heart of the village, was taken over, by the outdoor pursuits dealers, killing the character, and uniqueness of this Cumbrian gem, turning it into a Betsy-Coed or similar place look-alike, great, if woolly knickers are what you are after, but a piping hot, spicy, Cumberland sausage
, wrapped in flakey, golden pastry, no chance, rarer than hens teeth.
My pangs of hunger faded, stilled by my thoughts of good, old-fashioned, fish ‘n’ chips, dampened with a splash of vinegar, sprinkled with a shake of salt, then wrapped to form a parcel, warming my lap, until a suitable view-point is found to enjoy their crisp, freshness
Join me ‘The Bugs’ for more gripping tales, as I continue my search for all things nice.

The Lakes

Once clear of the congested urbanization, that is Greater Manchester, the journey northward to the lakes along the M6, was quite a pleasant one.
As we drove across the River Ribble, day break slowly seeped into the landscape, revealing the switch from heavy industry, to a softer, more traditional, land management  approach to making a living.
The green, undulating, low-lands, their area now partitioned by dry stone walls, instead of the more familiar hedgerows of the south, was home to Sheep. Tough as old boots, and hard as nails, these Icons of the Fells, dotted the landscape, sharing their daily food supplement with flocks of ravenous crows, and chattering Jackdaws.
From Kendal, the Motorway climbed, steadily, but noticeably, forming the Eastern border of this Unesco site. Teasing glimpses of the high fells were revealed as if giving us a sneaky peek, as we rose from the valley bottoms, as if to whet our appetites, sharpen our senses and intensify our expectancy of what lay ahead.th (1)
Snow blanketed the hills, fluffy grey clouds rested along the tops of the highest peaks, stealing the view from anyone walking the ridges.
Exposed granite, forming formidable crags, that housed Falcons and Ravens, added depth and character to the white, winter canvas.
The temperature dropped by 2 degrees, the wind ticing displaying Buzzards onto the wing. This truly beautiful enviroment, has the potential to astound, mesmerize, and kill.
During the harsh winter months, dancing Daffodils, are a long way off.th (2)


Yesterday, the eve of my 59th birthday, as I stood watching and waiting for the Chickens to turn in for the night, I thought to myself, “you know what, tomorrow, I’m going to treat myself to a few hours writing.”
As the light fades, our 7 chickens, start their predictable routine, strutting and clucking around the coup. They ignore my presence as they take their last sips of ice-cold water, or peck inquisitively at potential morsels. Simple creatures, they don’t ask or demand a lot from us, yet, they reward us with the finest eggs this side of the Mississippi.20171026_140555.jpg
I do enjoy my daily trip to the Chickeroonies, keeps me in touch with the daily cycle of light and dark, the importance of daylight. I make sure that they don’t miss a second of it.
Well, as I promised myself, it’s now 03:50hrs Zulu, and I’m sat here, glasses perched on the end of my conk, poised, raring to go, let the festivities begin, yeeha.
Not really, I’m not that way inclined these days, I’ll more than likely spend my day doing my Saint Francis of Assisi routine, feeding, watching and generally keeping a north eye on things. I wouldn’t wish it any other way.cropped-dscn06051.jpg
There will be ample time during the course of the day, as I await my ultimate present, to reflect on how lucky and blessed I am, to spare a thought for others, not necessarily those less fortunate, just others in general. The others that make up and complete my jigsaw of life, Brother, Sister and Friends.
Anyway, back to my ultimate present, I’m bouncing up and down on my seat just thinking of it, I’ve had this present for the last 24 years of my life, and I never tire of experiencing the joy, love and happiness that it
I am of course, talking about A’r Jack, the Women we all love.20171229_133009
As we raise and chink our glasses of Tenuta Frescobaldi, then my birthday will be complete.hoopoe


New life

Mud, and more mud, the horses, Kracker and Poppy, although wrapped up warm, squelch through Winter’s  mire.
Redwing and Fieldfare chatter as they search through the leafless hedgerow, for any remains of Autumn’s bounty. A chill wind ruffles a feather, times are hard.
The sky remains forever grey, full of unpleasantness, waiting to catch us out.
The spirit of every creature is tested during these difficult months, mine included, but as I trudge across the garden, willing myself on, I notice a break in the soil, and just below the surface, waiting for the moment, Snow Drops.snowdrop-flowers-spring-flower-plant.jpg
The first in a chain of events that will lead us out of the dark and onward into Summer.
With a smile, I snuggle inside my fleece, look at the waiting ducks, and carry on.
With assistance from Hazel (my stick) I return to the cottage, a crackling log fire and a bottle of fine malt greet me.
With the chill dispelled from my ageing bones, and sat comfortably, I reach out and grab my Old Pulteney.
I watch as the amber liquid poures into my glass with a reassuring glug, filling the air with its scent of Speyside.
I raise my Glencairn of glowing spirit to the fire, the flames, distorted by the cut crystal, dance a glowing dance.
“Happy new year everyone.”