Sunday, 20 August 2017

Games People Play.

Games People Play. 

You can hardly believe some of the tales that you overhear on the golf course. Apart from all the putts that sat on the lip of the hold and refused to go in and all those marvellous shots that just about happened. 
What I did not know was that there was golf in the afterlife, not that I am ready to tee off there just yet. 
But I heard the Peter and God played frequently.
Peter is a testament to material values, decked out as he is in the latest golf fashion, with a brand new set of clubs and all the accoutrements.
God, in contrast, is a picture of virtue wearing his old gardening clothes and trailing a tatty old canvas bag with a real mixture of ancient and rusting clubs, some of which even have hickory shafts.
On the first hole St Peter smacks a beauty 275 yards straight down the middle.
God, however, tops his drive that trickles along the ground.
It only travels about 70 yards but just before it's about to stop a rabbit runs out of the gorse, grabs the ball in its mouth and hurtles off down the fairway while St Peter watches in astonishment.
Before the rabbit can reach safety, however, a magnificent eagle swoops down and snares the rabbit in its talons before rising majestically, the rabbit still struggling in its grasp but defiantly holding the golf ball in its mouth.
As the eagle soars over the green a bolt of a lightning from a clear blue sky strikes it, killing the bird instantly. It drops the rabbit, which in turn drops the golf ball, which strikes a sprinkler head at the side of the green and takes one bounce straight into the hole for an ace on a par-5 hole.
St Peter slowly turns and says to God: "Are you going to show off all day or are we here to play golf?"
Now I am sure you are aware that this is a funny story.  This next little tale is not so funny at all and knowing some golfers it could well be a very true story. 
Alex and Jim are trying to get in a quick eighteen holes, but there are two terrible lady golfers in front of them hitting the ball everywhere but where it's supposed to go. 
Alex comments to Jim, "Why don't you go over and ask if we can play through?" 
Jim gets about halfway there, turns and comes back so Alex asks, "What's wrong?" 
Jim replies, "One of them is my wife, and the other is my mistress."
Alex responds, "That could be a problem. I'll go over and have a word." 
He gets about halfway there and he turns and comes back, too. 
So Jim says, "What's wrong?"
Alex murmurs, "Small world."
Have a marvellous day.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Please describe.

Another of my older paintings.

Had a rather pensive and thoughtful day until I met up with my good friends for a bit. We then went back a long way as we recalled some of those funny moments that cheer the inner being. 

Somehow or other we started talking about when we were both teachers and preparing students for examinations. This is probably because right now the students of today are just getting the results of the examinations they sat just before the summer break.

Examinations are a very serious moment in the lives of most students and it is understandable that they sometimes have a little sense of panic and make some rather sill silly mistakes. 

Like myself there are teachers who keep notes of those and they find there way into the staff rooms of the land.  

Let me give your day a light start and a smile. 

Name some famous pilgrimages. 
Muslims used to go to Gamages but now it’s closed. Christians still go on pilgrimage to Lord’s.

Name the four seasons. 
Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar.
What is the equator?
A menagerie lion running around the Earth through Africa.
Name a greenhouse gas. What could be done to decrease global warming?
Cows make large amounts of methane when they fart. This could be reduced by fitting them with catalytic converters.
Now that I would really love to see. 
How are the main parts of the body categorised? (E.g. abdomen.)
The body is consisted into three parts - the brainium, the borax and the abdominal cavity. The branium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs, and the abdominal cavity contains the five bowels, A, E, I, O and U.
Briefly describe the skeleton and its function in the body.
The skeleton is what is left after the insides have been taken out and the outsides have been taken off. The purpose of the skeleton is something to hitch the meat onto.
And one last little one.
What is the Fibula? A little lie. 

Go on smile and have a good day.


Friday, 18 August 2017

There Seem No Words.

There are times in life when words just seem meaningless. I arrived home yesterday from a nice quiet time spent with friends to hear about the events in Spain. I like many of you have walked down those very streets. I have taken school trips and walked down those streets. 
Words can never express the horror we feel so maybe I should not even try. 
I gather my words from the depths of my heart,
My feeling and thoughts let free over the boundaries of space.
Like the scent of a rose on the wind I send my feelings
To those  in innocence walked the paths I trod.
To face the hate of horror.
Like raging waves my heart cries out.
I gather courage from the peeled rose,
Allowing strength my bones to fill.
To console and ease the pain,
to sail through storms.
When words alone seem not enough .
Yet all we have to express love. 
Like me I am sure your thoughts are with those in Spain this day. 

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Don't get greedy.

I have been doing a little painting thesis last few days but taking it slowly and easily so here today is another of my abstracts from the past. This one one is in the pile that will eventually be painted over. I called it the journey of life.

A bit of a shambles of a painting to be honest but for many life can so easily be a bit of a shambles. Yesterday I had a tee time booked to play a little golf. I drove all the way to Aberdour to discover I had left the wheels of my trolly back at home. I cancelled my time and drove home collected my wheels and drove back in time to grasp another free slot of somebody who had cancelled because it was raining. 

Such is the ways of life.

I heard an interesting comment made more than once yesterday by a group of golfers playing not far from me. "Do not get greedy play safe." 

Now here is a little ditty that might be appropriate in so many places. If found myself giving thought to just what is greed. If we do not desire something, can we ever succeed? Is this the same as greed?

What do the famous teachers of old say about greed?

A student asked his teacher this very question, "What is Greed?" 

The teacher told the student to walk through the field of corn and select the best grain of corn he could find. "But there is one rule, you cannot turn back for what you have passed. You must pick only as you move forward."

The student did as told. He walked through the field and as he did so he saw a beautiful grain of wheat. He instantly liked this and fell in love with it. He did not pick it because he thought there might be another bigger and better one yet before him. He looked and looked as he travelled through the field. he saw many good grains but none as good as the one he had already passed. 

Eventually he arrived at the far side of the field empty handed. He returned to the teacher and told him his tale of searching for better. 

The teacher looked at him, "You did find one seed that you thought was wonderful but kept looking for bigger and better.  But you discovered that there was no bigger or better. That my student is what we call greed."

I was walking up the ninth fairway and watched the group behind me play off the sixth tee. Don't get greedy I could almost hear the older one say. Play safe. As I moved towards my ball I saw his drop in the centre of the green and roll towards the hole where it disappeared from sight. A hole in one. 

It was not for me, maybe I was not playing safe maybe I was being greedy and trying too hard. I certainly have done that in the past and lost out more than once. 

Have a trouble free day and play safe. 

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Being Rich.

I was thinking a little more about my tale from yesterday, and was reminded of the tale of the old man who lost his axe. 

He was convinced the the young lad that lived in the same street as he had stolen the axe. Every time he saw the young lad pass he was more and more convinced that he had a suspicious look about him. That little smile he gave to the old man said it all, "I have the axe you lost."

This went on for some time until one day the old man was searching in his shed for a saw. He could not remember where he had put it.  In the midst of his search he found, yes you have got it, the lost axe. 

The next time the young man passed and smiled the old man saw that really he was a very gentle and kind young lad. 

A little question. Have you ever done the same? Another little question. Have you ever dreamt of being rich?

Of course we have, do we not all do that?

There was a very rich miser who had buried his wealth in his back garden. Every day he went to the spot and dug it up and counted it piece by piece to make sure it was all there.

He made so many trips to dig it up that a passing thief began to realise what was happening. So one night the thief crept into the garden and dug up the treasure and made off with it. 

When the miser went to dig up his wealth he was overcome with grief and despair. He groaned and tore at his hair. His neighbour heard the commotion and asked what had happened. 

"My gold! All my Gold!" cried the miser, "Someone has stolen my gold."

"You mean you had gold in that hole in your garden? Why did you put it there? Why did you not keep it safe in the house where you could easily get it when you need to buy things?"

"Buy things! " screamed the miser. "Why would I ever use it to buy things? I never touched the gold I could never think of spending any of it."

The neighbour looked at the miser and bent down and gathered a load of pebbles and threw them into the hole. "If that is the case," he said, "cover up these stones and count them them. They are worth just as much as you have lost."

Yesterday I managed a little beginning on a little canvas before my elbow began to ache again, but in that time I smelled the treasure and the joy. It is really all about what you value. 

Have a marvellous day.


Tuesday, 15 August 2017


Apologies again for a painting I have used before. I think you are aware of the score. 

I read a notice that I have read many times before every time I do I have the same thoughts. The notice said, "Not all disability is visible!"

A very telling notice in so many ways. It does in fact make a very powerful message. The sad and underlying thing is that we now live in a society where such notices are necessary. A society where sadly we think of number one far more than we do of others. It is just life. 

I am sure there are in society those who do abuse the system but that does not mean that we should automatically jump to the conclusion that everybody is. 

This reminds me of this tale which I know to be true. There was a man who would rather help another than hinder. He never looked for return favours or anything for the help offered. His help came because he cared and because he felt good to be helping others. 

One day while out walking and enjoying the colours of autumn he found a purse lying on the track before him. He picked the purse up to find it empty. Just at that moment a woman in the company of a policeman shows up and he is arrested for the theft of a purse. 

The woman kept asking where the money that was in the purse was. The man kept repeating that the purse he had he had found and it was empty.  "Please give me back the money it is money to pay for my sons medicine," she said.

The man opened his wallet and emptied it giving her all the money he had. She left without another word.

She was pleased to have her money back but was shocked when she counted it to realise that there was a lot more there than she had before the loss. 

A few days later as she was one her way to collect the medicine she was aware that she was being followed. After her previous experience she immediately approached the same policeman who was standing nearby. 

She pointed to the old man telling the policeman she was afraid. The policeman looked at the old man and said he was the same man they had arrested a few days before.  He then went on to tell her that after some investigations they had discovered that the old man had not been guilty of theft and that the money he gave her was all that he had. 

The old man explained that he had seen her on her way to get the medicine for her sone and had followed just to make sure that she got there safely. 

It is so very easy to jump to the wrong conclusions. If we see a person and jump to the conclusion that this is a bad person there is nothing surer that it will be simple to find many things to back up our conclusions of the person.

On the other hand if we see a person as kind and considerate how surprised we will be to discover that they are just that helped by your very belief. 

Have a wonderful day and remember, "Not all disability is visible."

Monday, 14 August 2017

My lawn.

My apologies another of my older abstracts I am still unable to spend time painting or sitting in front of my computer.  Off to have further tests this morning at the doctors. We shall see.  

I feel so frustrated not being able to do the many things that I want to. Going to art galleries only makes me want to paint. Standing in my garden I only see all the requires doing and is not being done. 

But a little lesson was learned the other day when I saw two people in high visibility jackets taking a picture of my lawn. They explained they were looking at the lawns in the village and were considering putting mine on the short list as one of the best. 

So maybe a little more patience and to take note that sometimes more is less. 

There were two neighbours who both retired at the same time and both lived very close to each other. One was a retired teacher the other an insurance agent with an interest in technology. 

Both of them on retirement decided to plant up their gardens and try to make them look good. Both visited garden centres and purchased plants and seeds. 

The retired teacher once all planted up gave his plants water and feeding but nothing like the amount of attention the insurance agent gave to his.

Both gardens looked good but the insurance agents had such more greenery and looked much more lush. 

Then one night came the storm. Wind and rain battered against the plants for many hours. The next day the teacher had to prop some of his plants back up but they were looking good. The insurance agents had been torn out by the roots and were in a terrible state beyond retrieval. 

The insurance agent was surprised to see this and spoke to the teacher. He spoke of how he had spent a great deal more time giving them water and food while the teacher gave much less. "Now look at the mess."

The teacher smiled, "You gave your plants far too much attention and they did not have to make very much effort on their own. You made growing far too easy for them. I on the other hand gave them enough but left them to put down roots to help themselves.  That is why one lot survived the others did not."

In warm vine growing countries this is exactly what happens. The farmer plants the vines tends them by pruning and timing but they have to reach down deep to find water for themselves. This makes them strong and able to survive the dry soil and often strong winds and showers. 

It is the same with life if everything comes easy to us we are less able to face difficult times. Children who get everything they ask for often do not appreciate very much. 

My lawn seems to be doing very well at present without my constant attention.  maybe I should just let the healing process progress and accept where I am at present. 

Have a marvellous day. 


Sunday, 13 August 2017

Poor Little Anne.

Still finding painting an impossible thing to do. I do keep trying and I am aware that The longer I do not paint the harder it will be to get back to it. 

My painful elbow  although less so than a week ago is still making a lot of things more than difficult. 

But we all have to face those difficult things in life and in the grand scheme of things I think this will not rate very highly at all.  The tablets I am taking are giving me all sorts of side effects, but I was told that this might be the case and to persevere. 

I may have told a similar tale to this before it is the tale of the young girl who had one of the most terrible days ever and yet from it others learned a beautiful lesson. 

Her name Anne she was a young nine year old who had finished her time at the little local school and was now ready to go to the next stage.  

She arrived at the school for her first day. She knew nobody and nobody knew her. She had been pleased at the prospect of this new venture and was very keen to learn. Coming from a very poor home she felt pleased at the opportunity given to her. 

When she arrived at the school she waited outside for the students to enter. She felt very alone. She became aware that the other students were far better dressed than she was and that many of them were looking at her and talking about her.  Some of them even began to make fun of her.

Once inside the class she was introduced to her new fellow students. Many of them just looked at her wondering why she was there.

The first thing on the agenda for the day the teacher told them was a short test on what they had learned one week ago. They were each given a sheet of paper and told to write down the seven wonders of the world. 

Most of the students began writing immediately.  The teacher became aware that Anne was writing nothing. She told her just to do her best. Anne said she was finding it very difficult. She told the teacher that there were so many things that she was finding it difficult to choose. She was told again just to do her best. 

After they had been given time to complete the task the teacher gathered in the papers.  She then returned to her desk and began going through the answers reading them out and praising those who had got all seven correct.  Most had in fact remembered.  The great wall of China, the Colosseum, Stonehenge, Great Pyramid of  Giza, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Tajmahal and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. 

Eventually she came to Annes paper.  She began to read. The Seven Wonders Are, To be able to see, be able to hear, be able to laugh, be able to feel, to think, to be kind and above all to be able to love. 

The teacher was left speechless  and many of her classmates looked at her again seeing a different Anne. This poor girl for a poor village seemed to have a grasp of what was important in life. 

Life is not always easy but it is always a joy to have what we have. 

My good friend says, "When I get up wheezing for breath in the morning at least I know I am still alive."

Have a wonderful day sun shining on Freuchie this morning. Meeting my daughter at the Book Festival today so all my aches and complaints will see small. 

Saturday, 12 August 2017

It was a hound to happen.

Have you ever stopped to think how things come round. It seems there are just some things that are almost bound to happen. 
Let me explain in a tale.
Once a highly successful businessman, running a health insurance company was getting ready to go to his office. When he reached into his car and opened a door, a stray dog sleeping under his car suddenly came out and began growling and barking. The businessman got very angry and  picked up a few rocks and threw them at the dog but missing with every one. The dog ran away.
On arriving at his office, the businessman calls a meeting of his managers and during the meeting he transfers the anger he was still feeling about the dog to them. 

The managers also get upset by the anger of their boss and they put their anger to the employees working under them. 

The chain of this reaction keeps going till the lower level of employees and finally, the anger reaches to the office cleaner.
Now, there was no one working under him! 

So, at the end of the day, he heads off to his home; He is greeted by his wife who asks him, “Why are you so late today?” The cleaner upset due to anger threw at him by the staff, gives an angry response to his wife!  And says, “I didn’t go to the office to play, I went to work, but all I get is hassle, so don’t irritate me with your stupid questions!”
So, now the wife is upset that she got the edge of his tongue for no reason. 

She puts her anger on his son who was watching tv, “This is all you do, you have no interest in studying! Turn off the TV now!”
The son gets upset! He walks out of the house and sees a dog passing by looking at him. He picks up a rock and hits the dog in his anger and frustration. 

The dog, getting hit by a rock, runs away barking in pain.
This was the same dog that barked and growled at the businessman early morning.

So what started as a normal day ended up because of one little incident to have a throughly miserable time. A time that need not have been as it was. 

A little anger and upset can go a long way. A little good and a happy smile can make good things come around.

This is life as we find it. Beware of the barking hound that lives within. 

Have a marvellous day. Rain pounding on y window I am sure it will not be raining on the golf course, can my elbow take it.  The hound within. 


Friday, 11 August 2017

The joy of biking.

The one thing that can be done even with a painful elbow, and even with sore ankles is getting on a bike and cycling. It seems that the exercise is as good as many of the joint damaging alternatives. 
I suppose the only negative that has to be put on that would be that it matters where you do the cycling. 
It is very much easier to cycle in France than it is anywhere in the uk. This is down partly due to the laws in France that states that the cyclist must always be given preference before the car. So when cycling in France I frequently find cars stopping to allow me over a junction or rained a roundabout. So different from here where the car always has preference and cycle lanes disappear the moment things get difficult. 
In Inverkeithing where i lived before moving here we actually had a cycle lane painted on the road that lasted just slightly more than the length of a bike, believe this is true it is still there. 
In Belgium and Holland it is an offence to drive on a cycle lane, in fact it is an offence to walk on most of them. Now how often in the uk do you see cars parked on them forcing the cyclist out in front of traffic? 
We really are just not geared up to it at all in the UK. Councils will tell you how many miles they have but will be reluctant to tell you the state of them or how many of them are like some, just painted lines at the side of the road where it is impossible for cars to pass without driving in them. 
When things get difficult you are on your own. But here is a tale of one cyclist who did get help. 
A cyclist whose cycle had been damaged and was unrideable stuck his thumb out for a lift. After 3 hours he hadn't got anyone to stop. 
Eventually, a guy in a sports car pulled over and offered him a lift but, of course, the bike wouldn't fit in the car. The driver got some rope out of his boot  and tied it to his bumper. He tied the other end to the bike and told the rider, "If I go too fast, ring your bell and I'll slow down."
Everything went well until another sports car overtook them. The driver forgot all about the cyclist and put his foot down. A short distance down the road, they hammered through a speed trap. The cop with the radar gun radioed ahead to his colleague that 2 sports cars were heading his way at over 150 mph. 
He then added, "And you're not going to believe this  there's a cyclist behind them ringing his bell to pass."
In spite of this I encourage everybody to give it a go who can. I even did this as a magistrate.
A young man was in court having pled not guilty to speeding and having refused a fixed penalty.  After trying to argue his way out of his speeding offence, I found  him guilty and fined him £85 a bit more than a fixed penalty. He paid up on the spot and was given a receipt. 
A bit upset by losing the case,  he sarcastically asks, "What am I supposed to do with this, frame it?" 
"No," I replied,  "You keep it. Two more and you can get a bicycle, and take up cycling."  

Thursday, 10 August 2017


 It never fails to amaze me how life can turn on a little moment. One moment you can be high and full of joy then for no apparent reason you can find yourself in a place you would rather not be.

It can be something very simple that makes the difference. Or it can be one of those life changing moments, like the loss of a close friend. 

Our happiness and sadness can so easily be entwined by the things we have little or no control over. 

This thought made me think again about the whole meaning of happiness. This was also added to when a friend asked me straight out , What is Happiness?" 

Here are some thoughts my apologies if this all sounds so earnest.

Happiness is Tolerance. If you become a member of the perfectionist club, be ready to live a life of disappointment often offended and lonely.

Happiness is not the absence of pain. There is no such thing as a pain free life. In fact emotional pain is a useful life tool that alerts you to a mismatch between values and your environment.

Happiness is an association. If you want to be happy associate with happy people.

Happiness is not in fact a pursuit.   Forget about chasing happiness and you will indeed become happy.

Happiness is a state of mind. Regardless of your goals in life or where you are going, you can choose to travel your life’s journey happy or unhappy.

Others can invite you to feel miserable you do not need to accept the invitation.

I really do hope you have a joyful day. 

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Notices rules and life.

It is funny how things turn out, so often not at all the way you would expect them to. Often this is because people never bother to read the notices or rules. 

This was brought to my mind while talking about swimming pools on caravan sites with my son. These pools are full of notices giving you the does and fonts of the pool.  No jumping, no diving, no eating around the pool  and no inflatables. 

I do not think I have ever been at a poolside where most of those rules have been getting broken, sometimes all by the same family. So the pleasure of others spoiled by the few. 

This led me to being thinking of some other interesting notices I have seen this summer.  I read one  at the side of a golf tee I was walking past.  It read, YOU ARE 154 YARDS FROM THE GREEN. AT 164 YARDS THERE IS A VERY EXPENSIVE STAINED GLASS WINDOW. CHOOSE YOUR CLUB CAREFULLY. 

Or in the back garden of a house I walked past most morning for a fortnight during the summer, where I had been invited for coffee. I saw this interesting notice at the side of the pool. 

Earlier this year I saw another very amusing notice. Before I tell you what it is let me tell you the golf course was covered in snow to at least a depth of five inches. Popping above the snow was the notice. 
DO NOT PLAY UNTIL THE 13TH TEE IS CLEAR. That might have taken a considerable wait. 

Sometimes the unexpected can work out not at all as you thought.

A man was walking down the street when he was accosted by a particularly dirty and shabby-looking homeless man who asked him for a some money  for dinner.

The man took out his wallet, extracted ten pounds and asked, "If I give you this money, will you buy some beer with it instead of dinner?" 

"No, I had to stop drinking years ago," the homeless man replied.

"Will you use it to go fishing instead of buying food?' the man asked.

" No, I don't waste time fishing," the homeless man said. "I need to spend all my time trying to stay alive."

"Will you spend this on greens fees at a golf course instead of food?" the man asked.  

"Are you NUTS!" replied the homeless man. "I haven't played golf in 20 years!" 

"Will you spend the money on a woman in the red light district instead of food?" the man asked.

"What disease would I get for ten pounds?" exclaimed the homeless man.

"Well," said the man, "I'm not going to give you the money. Instead, I'm going to take you home for a terrific dinner cooked by my wife." 

The homeless man was astounded. "Won't your wife be furious with you for doing that? I know I'm dirty, and I probably smell pretty disgusting."

The man replied, "That's okay. It's important for her to see what a man looks like after he has given up beer, fishing, golf, and women."  

Not everything is as it first seems. Have a wonderful day. 

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

The yellow ball.

My elbow problem continues to keep me from my computer and iPad. It keeps me from many things right now I have so many antibiotics inside me I wonder if I am able to do anything. Surely everything inside me is coated in one or other antibiotic. 

So with that being the case I have sat about a bit doing trivial things, and wondered what I could be doing instead.

I could be standing at my easel, but that seems to be a no. I could be wandering the fields of Aberdour Golf Course, but I am sure that would be time wasted. Is not golf a good walk wasted anyway?

On that not here is a little thought. 

In my hand I hold a ball,
Yellow and dimpled and very small.
How harmless it is this little sphere.
Not frightening at does it appear.

By its size you would not guess,
The awesome power it does possess.
One day I fell beneath its spell,
Since then I have wandered paths of hell.

My life has never been the same,
From that day, I chose to try this game.
My head is full for hours on end,
Time spent a fortune it has made me spend.

It has made me smile, and made me swear, it has almost made me cry,
There are days when it seems it would be easier to die.
Each time it promises me a par,
But first I must hit it straight and far.

To master such a tiny ball,
you would think would take no time at all.
But my desires this ball refuses,
And off it flies just as it chooses.

It hooks, it slices plops and dies,
And often disappears before my eyes.
Some days it will have a whim,
And hit a tree or take a swim.

With miles of grass on which to land,
It decides upon a hole of sand.
For it I would sell my soul,
If just for once it would find a hole.

It has made me whimper like a pup,
And often promise to give it up.
Maybe drink would ease my sorrow?
But this wee ball knows,
I will be back again tomorrow.

I better go and take those tablets and find a chair where I can do no damage. But those potatoes look ready to harvest. 

Have a great day.