A Shower Room Update, Appreciating the Little Things and “Going Home”

I have absolutely no idea how to pitch my blog posts at the moment as in the few days between writing something new, the world has yet again been transformed into a place none of us would have recognised only a couple of weeks ago. I admit to having had a rather large wobble over the last 24 hours (too much social media), but after the massive treat of going to the local supermarket for a basketful of basics, and having just met some of my neighbours (at a distance) for the mass round of applause for the NHS, I think I’ve just swung the other way – What a roller-coaster of emotions. Still haven’t spoken to my mum or had any communication from the care home and DD is at the other end of Scotland with her boyfriend in their one bedroom flat (true test of a relationship), so tough.

Last time I wrote about how I had eventually treated myself to a new shower room after 20 years of making do with the previous owner’s version. Although last week the plumber was confident it was a CV-19 Free Build, by late Monday it was obvious he wouldn’t be able to come back. I paid him in full, as he is one of the many self-employed tradesmen who now have no work. A plan came through to help the self-employed this afternoon but many will fall through the cracks, including ourselves – Not complaining as any help should go to those most in need, but I do worry about a lot of the locals who depend on tourism and the service sector for their livelihoods.

Last time I also shared one of the little films I made at the 2018 Spring Equinox after taking a few classes at the Apple Store. Here is the second one, this time featuring a piece of music by Mark Knopfler, which seemed to suit the particular scenes around here really well. I give you Going Home from the excellent 1983 film Local Hero. Watching it now, I cannot believe how quickly something like going for a leisurely drive has turned into a pipe dream. At the moment, I feel as if I will never take anything for granted again.

Until next time, I hope you and your loved ones stay safe and well.

If you are a frontline worker, we are so grateful for all that you are doing. At times like this it becomes obvious which jobs are worthy and necessary, but sometimes poorly paid, and which are very well paid but not necessarily worthy. The Cult of Celebrity has been seen for what it is and for that I am grateful.

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team Bacharach and David - The opening line to that song was "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

16 thoughts on “A Shower Room Update, Appreciating the Little Things and “Going Home””

    1. The shower is of absolutely no importance now so just tidied up the mess and put it on hold – I just found it ironic that everyone was going mad panic-buying toilet paper just at the time I had no toilet.

      It certainly is a crazy and disheartening disaster but no-one could have anticipated or planned for it – We’ve had many disaster movies over the years but this is on a whole new level. Take care Rick and family.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. We certainly are – Take care Neil and Sandy.

      He was born in Glasgow but moved to Newcastle in the NE of England as a boy – It seems “Going Home” is used by Newcastle United FC as an anthem at home games. Who knows where he lives now but no-one is immune to this situation so he will too be self-isolating at the moment.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. OK Alyson – your mention of “Local Hero” has prompted me to relate the boring story of me writing the first ever newspaper story about that very film. At one time i was in charge of Aberdeen Journals’ Buchan office and – being a journalist of the old school – I actually went to places and spoke to people, seeing if they had stories I could write about. Les Rose was then owner of the Pennan Inn which I visited regularly to sample sea food straight from the wee boats that worked out of Pennan harbour. (BTW Les’ sister Margaret Rose was in charge of the Aberdeen branch of the Communist Party for many years, but that’s another story). Anyways, I was back in head office at Lang Stracht at the time but I’d dropped by Pennan during a weekend break and Les mentioned that two blokes called Bill Forsyth and David Puttnam had visited the village and were planning to film there. Pausing only to chat with Les’ parrot, I got back home and tracked down Mr Puttnam at his Enigma Films office and got to talk with him & Bill Forsyth.
    They told me they were returning to Pennan to a Friday night meeting of the residents to ask about making various adjustments to the village to ensure authenticity and the like and they invited me to attend the meeting. I would get and exclusive interview if I promised to wait until then to give the story to the P&J. I agreed and the rest, as they say, is history.
    Ps – There’s a dramatic twist to the tale in that, en route to the meeting, I swung by Meikle Wartle (lovely name for a tiny wee hamlet) to collect my girlfriend and due to it being blizzard conditions that night, I managed to skid off the road and crash into a large snow drift. Ended up wading through the snow to my girlfriend’s place where I phoned the Fraserburgh hotel where Bill and David (first name terms notice!) and explained my problem. They said no worries and gave me the go ahead to tell my news editor to roll the presses! And so, another notch in my reporting career!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well well, it took a global pandemic but at last Lynchie has decided to regale us with some of his very showbiz tales from his days as a reporter in Aberdeen. As you can see everyone enjoys your stories and they will keep our spirits up during these difficult days – Feel free to share more (although I see you already have).

      I particularly love your stories because I’m from the Aberdeen area and lived in the city for 9 years in the 80s. I come from a place not that far from Meikle Wartle. Glad you survived the snowdrift.

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  2. We were supposed to be getting our kitchen done in May.
    Can’t see it happening somehow. First world problems I suppose given everything that’s going on at the moment.
    Lynchie – friend of the stars – we need more of your stories to keep us going
    You are so right about the Cult of Personality Alyson
    We now know who is important if we didn’t do so already
    One good thing that may come out of this that it may debunk Thatcher’s statement that there is no such thing as society

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The story had a sting in the tail. The following day (a Saturday) I managed to get a farmer to tow my car (owned by the newspaper) out of the drift and had to drive back to Aberdeen and return it to the company’s garage. Then I walked through the editorial hall – a huge rooom with loads of desks, divided equally between reporters, sub editors and newsdesk editors of Aberdeen’s 2 daily papers. It being Saturday, there weren’t many of my colleagues from the Press & Journal (Aberdeen’s morning paper) there, but – as I walked to the far end of the hall – the entire Evening Express team stood up and applauded. They were cheering because – due to a lack of communication – nobody had bothered to tell poor Ethel Simpson, the P&J’s on duty deputy news editor that I’d been stuck in a snowdrift and spent the night at my girlfriend’s country cottage. Ethel had panicked when I didn’t appear on Saturday morning and had been phoning police, ambulance and Aberdeen Royal Infirmary thinking I was lying dead in a snowdrift somewhere in N-East Scotland. How we laughed! 🙂

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    2. The shower room is just so unimportant now in the grand scheme of things but in a town like ours where half the people work as self-employed tradesmen or in low paid service sector jobs we are going to have a mighty problem over the next few weeks if hard cash doesn’t get to them soon. I fear the chancellor’s measures are well-intentioned but won’t get to those most in need first.

      So glad Lynchie shared his story – We must drag some out of him. Normal rules of engagement don’t apply any more.

      I have a terrible feeling that all those people who voted Tory for the first time in December are going to be the ones that will suffer most and yes, we are now all in this together and interconnected so god willing most of us get through this, things will never quite be the same again.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. These are tough times; tougher than tough. It’s gonna need a Herculean effort by everyone to pull ourselves out of this.
    Those who do ‘make it’ will, I hope, never take anything for granted ever again. But we haven’t even got our foot on the first rung of the ladder yet.

    Cheerful little soul, aren’t I? Stay safe, Alyson. Love those around you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To think we had both written a blog post earlier this year about how the world had gone to hell in a handcart over the last few years. We had absolutely no idea of what was to come did we, not could we have. I am absolutely enjoying every little pleasure (a walk, a trip to the supermarket) at the moment and seem to have become super-sensitised to birdsong etc. Being positive we will “make it” and I do hope we never take anything for granted again, although it does seem to bring out the worst in a small proportion of people. Yes, stay safe John and family.

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    1. I usually have a very distinct template for my blog posts (picture, video clip, audio clip, montage and lyrics) but normal rules just don’t apply any more so I think I’ll just keep firing my little videos and pictures at you as long as I still have access to my PC – If any of the technology starts to fail it would be tricky to get a repair at the moment.

      So glad we got to hear Lynchie’s story – He must keep them coming. Hope you and the family are holding up. I imagine you are still working in some shape of form – Good luck with it all.

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  4. Absolutely agree. Everything is different now, our new values could not be in sharper focus. Gorgeous video Alyson and brilliant story from Lynchie. Here’s to more of both please!

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    1. Hi – Great to have heard one of Lynchie’s stories and yes, we need more. Just published a follow-up to this post actually from a time when a leisurely Saturday drive was something to do on a “less” fast-paced day! Starting to feel a little guilty actually that the world is now split between those of us staying at home and those of us working like never before on the frontline. Many can work from home which will have its challenges but still doing their bit – Other than helping out neighbours at the moment I’m a bit useless and the NHS Volunteer scheme is for England & Wales, although no doubt we will have something similar soon. I will keep blogging.

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