If I wanted anything to represent this past year that I’ve spend being 50 it’s probably this photie.
It wasn’t always an easy route to walk, and I know the next year will be no different. But the balance has shifted because these days I’m happy more often than I thought I could be and simply more than I remember being for, well, forever.
I have a bit more focus, a bit more energy and a lot more smiles. The joy in just being me is there again when I look for it.
50 was a good year and I celebrate it’s passing with joy and with hope for the future in my 51st state.
Whatever the hell that will be.
The two burds sitting on the old telly aerial and looking at the sun through the thinning fog on the Clyde. What are they thinking?
“It’s clearing up, those seagulls will be back on our arses”
“Big spot in cloud, cannot fly when big spot in cloud, big spot should be in sky. I’m scared”
“You know, you only notice the little things when the weather is bad. I mean, never even noticed this low aerial before. We can get to the bin outside the shop so fast from here”
“Aye, if the gulls don’t beat us to it”
Or do they sit like they have a pause button on waiting for things to go back to normal.
I can spend hours on questions like this. It’s easy to see why it’s been said I lack focus.
I had a magic wee run of trips to the shore in the mornings. Biting cold and glorious sunrises. That extra hour out and about in the mornings with Holly at high school is a joy indeed.
The burds I caught about was a complete accident, I was looking across the river and they flew past me a few feet away. I tracked them as best I could with the camera at arms length and clicked. Happy with that.
Below is through the living room window that night. Beauty and wonder really is all around us. It’s your head that got to be in the right place to see it, not your feet.
That’s the thing though, easy to move your feet, not so easy to shift your state of mind.
I thought autumn had burned out fast this year. A blaze of colour and cold clear mornings or windy days with leaves in the air where I had to be somewhere in a hurry gave the fear, I was going to miss it again.
It clung on though.
The leaves are sparse now, looking outside I’d say nearly gone now, but the last of them were the brightest.
It’s not often we manage now. In Linda’s old job her hours meant we could nip into McDonalds for a latte and a catch up a few times through the week.
Now we don’t get much of a chance at all, but today we were at opposite side of the Erskine Bridge with an unexpected hour to spare.
It was a glorious day, mist on the Clyde, blue skies above and low winter light trying cut a gap through them. Not cold, just right, a great day for a walk.
We didn’t get far though, no time, but it was still beautiful.
We did have early an Christmas lunch though. Sandwiches with turkey, bacon and stuffing and coffee with ginger, toffee and nut flavours.
It was just perfect.
My life has always been a riot of chaos, stress, joy and excitement. I think that this year, the good guys are winning that battle.
I’m endlessly drawn to the shore and the harbour at dusk and dawn in winter.
The light is magical, the contrasts stark, the joy constant.
There is blue in between though. The sun is still warm, arms length warmth though, family you only see at funerals warmth.
The trees at the crags are nearly bare but the leaves that cling on shine bright.
The angels share from the nearby bond makes the bark black and the orange burns all the brighter for it.
Late at Aberfoyle the sun strikes the trees higher on the slopes and then just the highest tops.
Whole a snow capped Ben Lomond summit is scraped by a streak of thin cloud. Oh to be standing there.
The river is edged with ice, mist swirls on the water, a cormorant reluctantly takes flight as I realise I should have worn thicker gloves.
He doesn’t know that he’s evil, he doesn’t know he’s vermin, he’s just being himself.
And he’s good at that.
I’ve started taking a camera around with me again. I used to do it all the time and not too long ago I couldn’t even find the camera, or a battery to go in it.
The charger was a whole other level of missing.
It’s the winter evenings that get me. Dark at four and the blaze of colours just before it, the creep of black shadows, the bite of cold on my nose and standing alone in places where if anyone sees me they think I’m up to no good.
Bowling is a great pace for this. The ever faster crumbling harbour pulls me down with optimism and whatever warm jacket was to hand.
It’s not always spectacular but is always pleasant or interesting, calming or melancholy.
I like fooling the camera, making it take darker shots than it really wanted. I now fully accept that I am very limited as a photographer and I just like doing my own thing.
I mean, that’s almost a teenager.
What the hell man.
Dalmuir fireworks never disappoint.
I’m not the biggest fan of summer, it saps me of energy, strength and enthusiasm. Autumn is like fresh batteries and winter is like rocket fuel but I am taking a little time adjusting the creeping darkness this year.
Maybe it’s age, maybe it’s all the awesome big dinners from online vouchers, maybe it’s time to get my arse in gear. Easier said than done, especially from under a PHD down quilt.
It’ll get better I’m sure.
I was not along in watching the sunset.
We both had snacks, mine were sweet, I think hers were savory.
We went to see Gary Numan at the O2 Academy in town, I think she just played at home. Still savory.
Still, could have worse neighbours.
It was only this week that I finally took the big chrome fan that’s kept us cool all summer out of the living room. Might have been a bit early looking at it out there on Saturday, but I’m sure that blue sky and sunshine was programming fault and the hotfix arrived in time for our day out on Sunday when it surely pissed down.
I can see the seasons change from this window just by the sky. The sun disappears from view when it hits the horizon for the summer, but autumn brings it back a few degrees a day and winter has it staring right back at me through the glass.
I’m glad the times are changing. I’m looking forward to golden leaves, cold days, weak sun and frost. So much has changed this year, I’ve had my very own seasons. Magic.
A few weeks back the moon was very strange. Dark and fuzzy, deep orange behind mist and ribbons of dark cloud.
I remembered it well, it happened a couple of nights in a row.
I was up the crags last night and took a bunch of photies. When I downloaded them when I got back there were a few of the moon from back then still on the card.
I must have taken them on a late dozy wander for a pee or a cuppa. The moon slipping down into Misty Law and Hill of Stake with the reflection on Bowling Harbour.
It’s been a quick summer. It feels like I hardly sat down, even a month into the new school term feels like I blinked and it happened.
I’m going to go back through my files and try to piece some of it together so I can remember it in times to come.
Truth be told I won’t forget it, it’ll just be nice to see it again when my knees have finally gone completely.
I spend so much time creeping up on wildlife just for it flit, flat, flut away. Especially in the crags where it’s all over the place all the time and I have no evidence of it whatsoever.
But, this time was different. I heard it first, the low jagged thrum of the wings was really close. We stopped and I tuned my ragged ears into it as best as I could.
There in the grass, just by the path.
I pulled my phone out, flapped open the case and pulled the camera up in what felt like 33 minutes.
Still it sat there, big eyes disinterested, wings wide and hanging from a blade of grass looking as gallus as as a cafe racer leaning on a BSA Goldstar.
I got a couple of shots. That’ll keep me going for a wee while.
Got behind in my explanationing. Blogging is old hat so that’s what I’m calling this now.
So I was rummaging behind the passenger seat of the truck for a folder of certificates and much to my surprise all I found was a sharp pain.
I pulled by hand back, saw the nail hanging off of my (former) ring finger, pressed it back on with my right hand then dropped my face onto the drivers seat before I puked all over myself.
I’ve had a lot of stupid injuries, but this was the winner, even better than being blown up. A fingernail. What the hell man.
So with bravado and pain killers, some help with cleaning and bandaging I got on with it. For a whole day and a half.
My finger started going a bit funny, red was creeping down past the knuckle and it was very swollen and angry looking.
The doctor went “Oof” and I nearly shat it.
“Take these for 48 hours, if there’s no improvement or you feel anything else before that, phone in and we’ll take it from there. Can’t be too careful with sepsis.”
Whatever he gave me knocked me flat, I slept for most of the next week and with a much less red finger, I must add. Caught in time.
It was a mess though and I was off for best part of three weeks, couldn’t hold tools, couldn’t play guitar or hold a PlayStation controller either for that matter.
All because of impatience. And putting the nail back on, apparently that was stupid. I like the new claw I’m growing in its place though. Much fancier.
Luckily Linda’s schedule is as all over the place as mine and there was much lunching, cuppas and gadding about.
And a blue ice lolly? Hell yes, maybe it was all worth it.