Timetabled in red, my weekly post on a Friday.  Isn’t that what I said – well, wrote?  Always a girl of my word, then, here I am.  Whether or not I shall finish it today, in time for posting, is another matter …  I might add that I was going to write ‘a woman of her word’ but – aside from the fact there is no such thing anymore, apparently – it is a word I have never liked.  Somehow, I have always felt it has derogatory connotations, especially when compared to the more genteel lady – a far more pleasing image demanding of respect.   

Just popped out to test the rays with a quick walk.  A glorious day and the countryside surrounding me – stunning.  None better.  An abundance of stubble fields to transport me back to happy days …  Stopped in my tracks by the smell of lilac, the dying breath of those beautiful purple flowers, I was reminded, too, of how – as little girls – we used to love making ‘perfume’.  Armed with jam jars full of water, we would pick petals from our favourite blooms and submerse them in anticipation of a winning scent.  I loved the lilac bushes, prolific in our rambling garden of old, and, for some reason, the smell of cat mint is another memory which lingers.  As for the resulting ‘perfumes’?  Nothing more than jars of childhood dreams …

This past week has not been wasted.  In fact, the word discipline may even be appropriate for one who has spent her days writing – my future bestseller/film or, possibly mini-series – and her evenings strolling on the beach.  Have I ever mentioned my aversion to people – or, shall we say, the public at large?!  Suffice to say, for one so afflicted, the trick is to aim for six/six thirty pm when most have departed, slaves to their burgeoning appetites.  That famous stretch of sand, boasting its iconic skyline, never fails to delight.  Barefoot, I escape the few remaining, by paddling in the shallows, stopping every so often just to pause – and think.  Something we need to do more of – just stop, and think.  Guilty, myself, I go to the beach to walk but, really, I love nothing more than to sit on the dunes and stare out to sea, mesmerised by the changing skies, the sight and sound of the waves breaking on the sand, the seagulls flying overhead and the smell; that unmistakeable smell of seaweed and summer holidays.  Someone once said it was good for the soul …

I rarely return without a handful of shells, unable to resist.  I have learnt, however, that the glistening hues which catch one’s eye in the sand, all too readily lose their lustre once home.  For, removed from their natural environment, it is as though life ebbs away leaving only the shell, devoid of its soul.  As futile as trying to catch a moonbeam in the sand …  More reluctant to pick them up, I still do and I have a treasured vintage wash bowl full of them in the bathroom upstairs.  Layered in dust, the other day, I emptied them into the bath for a long overdue mass cleansing.  Sadly, the lustre can never be reclaimed but each and every one of them is a reminder of my favourite place; my spiritual home.  On that same shelf behind the bath, are shells I brought back from South Africa – from the beaches at Fish Hoek and breathtaking Llandudno.  There, too, is a stone from the shore at Hout Bay.  Old habits die hard.

Some people have no interest in shells.  I suspect we would have little in common.  Strange but, as the years go by, I become more and more fascinated by people; more observant.  Often, it is the little things which reveal the most.  In my mind, those who stop to pick up shells are more sensitive, creative; more at one with nature.  Gentler, even – as, I believe, are those who take the time to interact with children and dogs.  Then, there are the many who pass by, deliberately averting their gaze, no thought of a smile or just a polite ‘Hello‘.  Devoid of manners, of course – and warmth.  Interestingly, the same could never be said of the people in Aboyne and Braemar.  Greeted by adults and children alike, everyone was so friendly and ready to smile when we were there in early August.  Almost disconcerting!  Could it be that they were happy in their lot, or perhaps Deeside breeds politeness in its glistening clear waters?    Either way, they restored my faith.  I could go on, noting my observations of the public at large but, as the sun sinks, I am running out time.   Due at The Wee Pub next door in less than an hour – read elaborate shed in neighbours’ garden, complete with table, chairs, fridge and superb sound system – I am on a mission to post this before I go.  God knows, you wouldn’t thank me for posting it on my return!  19 Crimes, need I say more?

More than eight hundred words and entirely benign – well, almost.  Who would have thought?  The new me?  Pause for laughter …  Quite honestly, the world is so messed up, even I am stumped as to where to begin.  I find myself avoiding the news, no longer glued to Dan Wootton & co. of an evening.  Involuntary self-preservation, perhaps.  Instead, Becca – my dear friend, Shona, too – encouraged me to watch Firefly Lane on Netflix.  Completely hooked, although, with accompanying dread, as I know the ending is heartbreaking.  Perhaps a fitting contrast to my other addiction at present, Celebs Go Dating!  Mark-Francis.  My guilty pleasure.  Oh, for an evening with …

That’s it!  Must go.  No time to discuss Paris Jackson – daughter of the late Michael, not (who mentioned Mark Lester?) –  who, apparently, now chooses to identify as a black woman!  Michael (her father, but not really) would have been so proud.  He, who spent his whole life trying to turn his skin white while protesting, in song, ‘I’m not going to spend my whole life being a colour’!  Oh, how that made me smile …

Last thing, Good Luck to my friend, John Souttar, playing for Scotland in the UEFA Euro Qualifier against Cyprus as we speak.  No telly in The Wee Pub but we’re rooting for you!

Let me leave you with a snippet from last night’s Celebs Go Dating.  Even added it to my phone Notes given that it made me laugh.

ADAM: If you were on a date now, what would be on your bio?

MARK-FRANCIS: I probably don’t like you.  Full stop.

Dare I say, like minds?

This is Trish, signing off.

P.S.  It may be drivel – and unchecked – but I kept my promise!

P.P.S.  How could I fail to mention the first anniversary of the Queen’s passing?  Unbelievable!