Wednesday, October 01, 2008


We got the bus down to Dumfries on Saturday to collect our other car from our son – he needed it till he bought a new one to replace the one in which he skidded into the wall.

There were two women of a certain age sitting beside us in the waiting area at the bus station in Edinburgh, chatting as they read a less upmarket type of woman’s magazine, complete with lots of photos of lissom or hunky celebs.

I started listening to them without actually looking. (I’m subtle like that.) One of them said to the other, “I like them bearded.”

Her friend replied, “Oh yes, and especially if they’re blue.”

I thought, “?” and glanced covertly at the magazine. It was open at an article about irises.

My mind wandered. Later, I started listening again. They were looking at a feature on kitchen gadgets.

One said, “Do you have difficulty opening jar lids now?”

“Yes,” said the other. “My hands are getting quite stiff.”

“Well,” the first one said, “my mother gave me a good tip. She said it really works. It’s made all the difference.”

“What does she do, then?”

“I can’t remember, but she said it helps a lot.”

Unfortunately they didn’t sit near us on the bus.

We went for a walk with our son and his girlfriend in beautiful sunshine at Rockcliffe, where they’re living.
We saw pretty houses, sparkly water, bobbing boats.

It was lovely to see our boy.

Children are so precious and when they’re little, we long for someone to take them away for a few hours. And then life comes along and takes them away for what feels like forever.


  1. I'm sitting here on the other side of the world, and your little bit at the end about children really bought a tear or two to my eyes.

    Getting nostalgic in my old age!

    What a beautiful place your son lives in:-)

  2. Your son does live in a lovely place, Isabelle, and not too far away. The conversation had me giggling here - I wonder what other gems you missed!
    Back to children - I am finding it difficult to adapt at the moment - probably because I am here all day, instead of working. Not ideal. At all. The silence resonates. You will know what I mean! Not to mention that the mood is not peachy all the time.

  3. But then there's the offchance that they might deliver some grandchildren. Which (according to my Mother) are much better fun.

    I am a hideously unsubtle eavesdropper. Love those women.

  4. What a good story. I love the photos of bonnie Scotland Thanks for sharing.
    Hugs Mary.

  5. And someday they'll give you grandchildren and the whole cycle will start again....Be of good cheer Isabelle. "To everything there is a season...."

  6. Gosh, and I needed to hear the jar-opening tip too. I'm already having trouble.

  7. oh, Isabelle,
    what a beautiful place., on the edge of things, my favourite kinds of places.
    And such colour, too! I spy some very vibrant green there, and lots of beautiful watercolour shades. Things could be far more grim, he could have landed plenty of nasty places.

    It's almost like a TV series, you know, handsome young doctor arrives in wee village, gets up to all manner of caoers. His mother moves there to become a writer and keep a vast garden of flowers, writes a vast novel.

    It'll be epic!

    Must go. I need to draft a letter to the bbc.

  8. Anonymous10:19 am

    I love the soft colours where you live and where your son lives. Funny isn't it how the grass is always greener!My husband and I always sigh when the landscapes of Scotland are featured on the telly.Eavesdropping is even more fun in a foreign clime so imagine how much fun we had on a visit to your lovely land a couple of years ago.We had fun and it was good for the soul.

  9. You always make my teary-eyed when you talk about that boy of yours! And just look what we're missing here in the middle US with our lack of public transportation.

    You know, I don't often read comments on blogs, but I love to read yours -- you have the most insightful readers. Fifi is very funny and I'm now anxiously awaiting that new BBC series starring you and DS!

  10. Isn't discreet people-watching a wonderful sport? I will forever wonder about the lady's tip for opening jars.

    I like where I live, but Rockcliffe looks like a slice of heaven.

  11. Rubber gloves. For the jar lids.

    Love that dialogue, and the scenery.

  12. Oh your son is so lucky - I love Rockcliffe! That part of the world is just lovely - the only really nice paintings (as opposed to prints) that we have in our house were all done by a local artist from that area called Sturgeon. We always used to go to his studio when we were in the vicinity and never left empty handed. I have horrible carpets and filthy walls, but nice paintings!

  13. Lovely photos and lovely words. How I wish you sat next to those ladies on the bus!

  14. I know what you mean about our children.
    We are lucky to have our daughter living close by, with our 2 grandchildren. Our sons are further afeild, & I wish they were closer.