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  Cool Scots by Greg Moodie has arrived, signed to me from him, and it is in no way diminished by the fact that I instructed him on the wording he should put, "from one Cool Scot to another".  There is nothing wrong with proclaiming one's own coolness.  It's a beautifully made hardback book with glossy pages and proper stitched binding, colourful Moodie images and descriptions of the achievements of each of the 42 cool Scot depicted along with their Coolness Ratings.  Available at, Coolness rating: way too cool for anyone who doesn't have it on their bookshelf.
    A wee postman detail here, the usual Sunny D postman is a gem.  He will go out of his way to be helpful.  But sometimes there's this other postman guy and he'll go out of his way to do his job badly.  He delivers other people's mail to us often and leaves the gate open on his way out.  Perhaps it's a political issue for him, given that the house is obviously the house of a Scottish independence supporter, perhaps he's just an arse.  So, it was the arsey postman who delivered someone else's large package envelope to Starry Towers today.  I wouldn't have minded so much if it was for a neighbour, but this was for a woman at the other end of the village.  I was so tempted to bin it but I put that wrong idea from my head and took a walk.  Wearing an EU Saltire and SNP badges in case the recipient required to be reminded how kind a Scottish independence supporter is.  The receiving gentleman remarked on how good my actions were.



































  Major life event coming up.  Today I took the first official step and sent my retirement application form and request to benefit from the phased retirement procedure.
  The Husband was dying (a bacterial infection), and I recieve this text at work.  He cannae even text because he's chittering all over, typos galore.  Then he says I lack empathy.  It's just a wee rigor, also it's very difficult to impress a nurse.  To be fair I'd have been more impressed if he wasn't already on the anti-biotics, and I did show concern two days before when the other symptoms first started and advised him to phone 111.  I'm not a monster.
  When I was at work on that day I noticed this stain of unknown origin on my trouser leg.  It's not the substance it's made of that of any interest, it's the shape, like seeing jesus on a slice of toast.
  Movie Watch (no spoilers).  The Husband and I watched The Handmaiden.  Sumptuous.  I
  The Husband and I watched Il Gioiellino.  Every time I watch a movie telling of (based on actual events) financial scandal, I'm furious again. Only way the people of Scotland can be free from this is with a major progressive step forward and away from the system that permits the elite greedy pocket-lining, tax-dodging mates-network, their corruption-enabling laws, politicians, business-people and their banker pals.  Still love Toni Servillo.
  The Husband and I watched Graduation.  Romanian movie well worth watching for insight into the nature of humankind from a Romanian point of view.  Very good.































































  A Sparrowhawk came to the garden.  It's a good sign, I'm obviously a well attended bird restaurant, but I was torn between wanting to watch and photograph him while dreading him taking the life of one of my Sparrows or other wee birds.  The only bird who went near him was a Magpie, he didn't try it with the Magpie.  He's a beautiful bird but all the time he was in the garden he was on prospective-dinner-alert as you'd imagine he would be, every movement was him looking and reacting, three times he behaved like he was going for something tasty, quick eye movement and down he went.  I had to decide watch and photograph or get out there and scare him away, I decided nature should take it's course, but happily my regulars were wise and made themselves scarce.  From what I've been Googling, this Sparrowhawk is a good adult age, the orange of his irises tells his age, the broken iris tells he's had a traumatic injury at some point in his life.
  Every now and then (ok, twice in my life) I've remembered the fridge freezer condenser coils need cleaned.  I really must remember to do this more often, it's apparently important in a climate change way, all that dust on the coils increases the electricity usage.  I'm a Housework Hero, job done.  Listening to A A Gill's Pour Me A Life helped me find the humour in my task.
  Movie watch (no spoilers).  The Husband and I watched Runaway Train.  Obviously the '80s, sexist and no respect for health and safety.  Many faults, the '80s acting, just shout a lot.  What helicopter pilot would allow that?!  One guy at the train control office was flicking through a porn magazine at his '80s.  I have a story from the '80s where two male trained nurses ordered me (a young female student nurse) to perform a task which involved me bending up and down a lot, when I looked round to see what they were doing they were sitting with porn mags and their feet on the duty room desk smiling at me, creeps.













































  Of all the tragically wrong and stupid things from Trump so far surely really stable genius is the most ridiculous thing from a leader of any country in the world ever.  Surely we've reached peak Trump, please let it be over soon, it's scary having this idiot bigot racist sexist president.  I read Fire And Fury by Michael Wolff, extremely happy Mr Wolff wrote this book.
  Unison have sent me my annual refund cheque again, in lieu of the funds I don't want going to the Scottish branch of the Labour party.  Why they can't just not take the money in the first place is the mystery.
  Feeding the birds, especially at this time of year is an important, pleasurable and gratifying experience.  Here is my recipe for dried Mealworms.  Place dried Mealworms in a bowl, add boiled water, leave 30 mins, feed the birds.  Then try to patiently ignore The Husband's so called jokes re his wife's favourite breakfast cereal.
  Sent these RSPB birdsong cards to my parents just because I know they'll enjoy the surprise "I love you" message and hearing the birdsong when they open their cards, Dad got the Robin, Mum got the Blackbird.
  Movie Watch (no spoilers).  The Husband and I watched RAW.  French horror, it's ok, better just for being French.
  The Husband and I watched Patriot's Day.  Very...sing along with me...I'm proud to be an American, but it's actually quite good.
  The Husband and I watched Gorbaciof.  I'm a big Toni Servillo fan, but this is my least favourite so far.
  The Husband and I watched La Ragazza Del Lago.  A fine Toni Servillo movie of a Norwegian book, the tale transferred to Italy.  Good seeing Mr Servillo in this role, he's such a great actor.





  Since Xmas Day I've worked one day, the rest of the time it's Winter and I'm not leaving the house unless my life is at risk.  Even photies have been taken through very clean kitchen windows.
  Movie Watch (no spoilers).  The Husband and I watched Baby Driver.  More style than substance, glaringly obvious it's aiming for Tarantino status and failing kinda miserably.  The music's good and Baby is likeable.
  The Husband and I watched Let Us Prey.  Scottish movie, good horror stuff, but like all horror movies there are inexplicable decisions made.  My instructions to the good character at various for backup, phone an ambulance, 9th in the queue, really? how you going to explain that to head office? went unheard unsurprisingly.
  The Husband and I watched Life.  We picked it for the actors.  It looks nice, but it's seriously bad at science and at portraying scientists.  The plot basically ignores everything...rules, protocols and risks.  Me watching Life...that's not right, a scientist wouldn't do that, how do you know it experiences fear? don't do that, shit you done that, why would you do that? You'll have to blow up the ship now, oh, you're going to risk everything alive on Earth, because you're that important? blow up the ship for goodness sake.






























































  Happy Hogmanay and a Guid New Year all.  Lets hope it's a good one full of love, health and happiness, retirement for me and progress in Scotland achieving independence, that would do very nicely.
  We had The Boy and The Lovely Girlfriend over for New Year's steak pie dinner today.  Click on the above image for the full menu, no one made it to the Banoffee Pie stage (though I see late on this evening that someone has taken a slim slice of it from the fridge) and there was no Vanilla Ice Cream available when I was serving up the Sweet Platter, turns out The Husband had already eaten approximately 9/10ths of the tub throughout the Xmas to New Year week.  This problem solved itself when I remembered we had Ice Cream Shots.
  Movie Watch (no spoilers).  The Husband and I watched The Marker.  Gritty and very dark, not one for when you're feeling depressed about the human race.