Tuesday, 22 March 2011


Looking forward to the official opening of Moffat's new Community Wildlife Centre . Will there be frogs? Time will tell. If an index of spring is children playing out in the park opposite my house after school, then it was in full swing today, bikes with multiple riders and trees being climbed. I was struggling with a cardboard robot kit misguidedly ordered from the internet while Harry aged 5 was writing 'Golden Apple Awards' in readiness for his school film night (for Apple read Oscar). I detect signs of pre-award night nerves - he is short-listed for 'Best supporting Actor'. In true Oscar tradition, the role he is nominated for (by his peers) is not, in my opinion, his best which is 'grumpy man' in School of Pop, the season's blockbuster. All the shorts made by his school, Applegarth near Lockerbie will soon be available on DVD so you can judge for yourselves. In honour of the last days of winter, yesterday I made boiled beef and carrots, a nostalgic dish I shared with daughter Elly. After lunch we discovered a tin of Quality Street left over from Christmas, with all my favourites (orange and strawberry creams)still intact. I opened Niall Fergusson's 'Civilization - The West and the Rest' before bed, the second historical blockbuster I have attempted recently. Discussing theoretical holiday destinations with Elly, I am uneasily aware that flying across the Mediterranean to - say - Greece may be unwise with the battle for Libya raging and other signs of civil unrest (not to say revolution) from Syria to Yemen. One day historians may record the self-immolation of a disgruntled street fruitseller in Morocco which sparked off this latest round of uprisings on the Arab street as akin to the 'shot that rang round the world' in Sarajevo in 1914. Like the Japanese tsunami, this great wave may sweep everything away leaving an unrecognisable landscape behind and one thing is certain: the aftershocks will be felt even as far away as Moffat. With which gloomy thought I return to the anticipation of seeing newts in the pond.

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