Perhaps I had ambitions to be an MP - or an undertaker!

Friday, August 24, 2012


Last Friday I promised something for dog-lovers, so here it is!

Thanks to


Most schools in Scotland re-opened last week after the holidays - a sure sign that summer will soon be over. But what exactly happened to summer? Yet again, it seems to have passed us by.

In ancient times the Greek physician Aratus, an early weather forecaster, once wrote, “If croaking frogs drone in the swamps, drenching rain shall fall from the clouds.”

Well, there must have been a great deal of droning in the swamps this year!

It wasn’t till the 19th century that weather forecasts became a realistic possibility and in 1861 a Met Office forecast appeared in the Times newspaper. However, following an objection from the Royal Society, the venture was halted and no further forecasts in the press appeared for another 11 years.

There was a time of course when people relied on old weather rhymes. We all know “A red sky at night is the shepherds’ delight,” or a variation of it.

Here are a few others -

When black clouds cross your path,
Black clouds much moisture hath.

When clouds appear like rocks and towers,
The earth’s refreshed by frequent showers.

Mackerel sky, mackerel sky,
Not long wet and not long dry.

Realising that I would be posting this blog on 24th August, I was astonished to find this verse -

If 24th August be fine and clear,
Then hope for a prosperous autumn that year.

Next week I’ll let you know what the weather was like on the 24th.


I don't have any information about this photo.


The strange business about 24th August reminded me of another coincidence I experienced some years ago.

It happened one evening in October 2009. There was a completely cloudless sky here, and I was so impressed with the very bright full moon that I called on Jean to come and have a look.

I then went to get something to read, and I found a book I had bought many years ago, but hadn’t looked at for quite a while - “365 Tao” by Deng Ming-Dao, a collection of thoughts for every day of the year. As I picked it up, it fell open at 3rd October - what a coincidence! Yes, that very day was October 3rd.

But that wasn’t all.

You can imagine my astonishment when I read the words on that page. Here they are -

Silver disc: Let me call you goddess -
You, with your mirrored face,
Tonight, of all nights, your shape is perfect,
Your presence sublime.
You know it too. You appear before the sun has even set,
Glorious without your cloak of night,
Gazing down in supreme splendour,
To make this dusty world pastoral.


This is a photograph of the “Husband and Wife Trees” at Lynncraigs Farm, Dalry, Scotland. They are blackthorns. The photo was taken by Roger Griffith and was made available by This is an example of inosculation, where trunks or branches of two trees grow together.


Following my remarks last week about modern pop songs, I’m finishing today with what I consider a really first class song from the past. Published in 1939, “All the things you are” was written by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II. In this clip, uploaded by Adamfulgence, the singer is Carly Simon. The lyrics are shown below.

Time and again I've longed for adventure,
Something to make my heart beat the faster.
What did I long for? I never really knew.
Finding your love, I've found my adventure,
Touching your hand, my heart beats the faster,
All that I want in all of this world is you.

You are the promised kiss of springtime
That makes the lonely winter seem long.
You are the breathless hush of evening
That trembles on the brink of a lovely song.

You are the angel glow that lights a star,
The dearest things I know are what you are.
Some day my happy arms will hold you,
And some day I'll know that moment divine,
When all the things you are, are mine!



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