When Nasty Jen lost her Mr Darcy

“Is he safe and well?” read the text from Nasty Jen.
I didn’t know, actually.  I’d left Jen’s new prized possession, her Mr Darcy keyring, in a plant pot at The Orchard, our local establishment just down the road from the church.  For all I know he might have taken root and been well on his way to germinating into a Mr-Darcy-keyring-tree.
I decided not to reply.
A bunch of us, including Nasty Jen and Kenny D, had popped in to the Orchard the night before , to plan our Easter Monday St Andrews trip.  Jen was showing off her Mr Darcy keyring, so when she passed it round, I thought it would be hilarious to remove it from her keys when she wasn’t looking.
The next day after work, feeling the guilt, and mentally branding the word IDIOT on my forehead, I entered the Orchard and headed straight for the plant pot.  I sidled awkwardly up to it, embarrassingly close to a sofa containing two women deep in conversation.  When are two women on a sofa not deep in conversation?
“Um, I left something in here last night… nope it’s not here now” I explained, eloquently, as one of the ladies looked askance at me.  I shot out of the room without looking back, feeling a little like Mr Bean.
Confounded cleaners.  Which meant I had to ask at the bar.  I approached it sheepishly, and asked the genial curly-haired barman if anyone had removed a keyring from the plantpot in the corner.  He didn’t think so, but he asked the manager, who disappeared down the hatch behind the bar.  He reappeared a few minutes later, looking pleased with himself.
“Just to be sure it’s yours, can you tell me what’s on it?” he asked loudly, and somewhat triumphantly.
“Errr. Mister Darcy” I muttered quickly, hoping the regulars propped up along the bar wouldn’t hear.
“Yeah!” he laughed, and handed it over.  I mumbled my gratitude and tripped out onto the pavement as fast as I could.  Am hoping we don’t find ourselves back in the Orchard too soon.
The sun shone all Easter weekend, perhaps an unprecedented occurrence, which gave Jen at least three opportunities to claim sunstroke, none of which she passed up.  I destroyed DC over 18 holes at St Andrews on Easter Monday, albeit it was the ‘Himalayas’ ladies putting course.
Kenny D has undergone something of a transformation since I last wrote.  After a few exploratory runs at the turn of the year, he has turned into a fully-fledged card-carrying fitness-obsessed Action Man, scoffing at those of us who use motorised transport for distances under ten miles.  Ken now prefers to hike instead, making light of such obstacles as rivers (he just goes through them) when they get in his way.
F… has been in Ghana for the last six weeks, and blogging furiously.  Should one look away from her blog for more than a minute one is likely to look back to find it has been updated at least once in the meantime.  She has now likely made more posts to her blog than she has made decisions, and as a result has out-blogged me 25 to 1 since the beginning of March.
Wiseman has been strangely quiet, nursing his coccyx perhaps, although that has never been a quiet occupation in the past.  Perhaps he’s been taking time out to read F…’s blog, or possibly he’s just been ashamed to show his face recently, having forgotten my birthday again this year, and then snubbed my party.  Pfffff.
I apologise for this lengthy hiatus in my blogging effort, and am grateful to those of you kind enough to have encouraged me to write again.  I am currently en route to visiting my sister in London, to admire my new nephew Sebastian, who, in joining myself and Hamish the cat, evens up the gender imbalance in the household somewhat.
The lady currently beside me in the departure lounge has been talking non-stop on her mobile phone for 45 minutes now.  It appears that a sofa is not a pre-requisite to inane female chatter…

Healthy eating at Easter

Went to give blood on Good Friday, a little apprehensively since I’ve had a cold recently, and am still coughing from time to time. The nurses at the Blood Donor Centre in Edinburgh take a fairly relaxed approach to your suitability to donate blood. About as relaxed as an SAS admissions officer. If you’ve so much as recently walked past someone who sneezed, they’re liable to shake their head sadly and ask you to come back next time. Woebetide you if the person who sneezed as you walked past might have once had sex with someone in Africa. Then you’re for the high jump. You can see why I was apprehensive. Not only have I coughed recently, but I know a man with a Kenyan wife. So when I mentioned that my plane home from Australia in January had stopped off at BANGKOK… the eyebrows were raised sharply and she disappeared to ascertain my fate. I glanced nervously upwards, half expecting a hermetically-sealed container to drop from the ceiling and insulate me from society until I was safe.

I protested that I hadn’t left the airport in Bangkok, and had purchased nothing more than a book while I was there, but all to no avail. Apparently the plane even touching Thai tarmac knocks blood donation on the head for 12 months. Malaria hotspot, it would seem. So that’s that. Still, I came away with some mini-eggs courtesy of the Blood Donor Centre.

Easter Monday brought an expedition to St Andrews, after breakfast at the incomparable Indigo Yard. Kenny D, Broon, and Jen all made the trip, among others less infamous to the readers of this blog. We were all careful to suck on sweets as we went over the Forth Bridge, after Jen’s public assertion that her ears pop when she goes North.

The sun shone, the wind blew, and we had fun. The sun shone so much that Jen went slightly pink and declared herself to have sunstroke. The wind blew so much during our time on the beach that we all experienced exfoliation by sand-blasting, and are still finding sand in various bodily crevices. Actually, I can only speak for my own crevices. A long and satisfying game of beach cricket was marked by the usual events: dropped catches aplenty and Kenny D muttering darkly about the uneven surface every time he got bowled.

Dining in Zizzi’s that evening, I took a moment to read the advisory notice on my glass bottle of Coke. It advised me that 330ml of Coca Cola, ie one glass bottle or a can, contains 39.5% of an adult’s RDA of sugar. I pondered this for a moment, considering how I’d started the day with a breakfast soaked in maple syrup, and reckoned that with the syrup and Coke alone I must have been close to sugar saturation for the day. I looked up to see three year old Lewis polishing off the last of his own bottle of Coke, and breathed deeply. What percentage of a child’s sugar RDA, I wondered…

My sister and her partner were up over the Easter break, which meant I finally got the chance to meet my 11-week old niece. We got on reasonably well, I feel. She seemed to tolerate me when I kept moving, as if this held promise that I would soon hand her over to someone more competent. Childcare, at that age, seemed refreshingly logical and uncomplicated to my bachelor eyes. If she was crying, she was either hungry (hand her to my sister), or tired (hand her to my sister), or had a loaded nappy (hand her to anyone in sight. Except perhaps, my dad). If she wasn’t crying, carry her around for a bit for bonding purposes until she started crying.

On Saturday at our church’s music practice, two of the band, by necessity, brought their young kids along. Surveying the carnage in the church at the end of the practice, and the fraught look on the faces of the parents in question, I was reminded that childcare doesn’t stay logical or uncomplicated for long.

The weather was glorious in Galashiels today, which is where my job took me. Sitting outside at lunchtime, drinking my way through 60% of my sugar RDA, I looked up to see a bus with a question plastered over its side: “SALT. Is your food full of it?”

I checked the bottle. 0.0g salt.

Phew. Still eating healthily.