Saturday, January 31, 2009

David Michael Garvie 1959 – 2006

Dave Michael Garvie 1959 2006
Once again the year has turned and my old friend is on my mind, and I am sure the mind of others.
I am aware of landmarks in my own life now that I am passing and that he never reached. I have been teaching far longer than he did now. I shall be 50 this year.
I don’t want to be maudlin in my remembrance though, because one thing is for certain. He would be laughing at me for it. He wanted to be remembered fondly by a generation, and then allowed to slip away.
I pass his house every now and then and see that others have taken it over. The George Garvie memorial jungle has been cleared and more light has been let in to the garden. More care is taken.
We used to detonate fire bombs of alarming capacity on the flat patch. Planning carefully, though with scant regard for risk assesment, and then placing them inside his compost bin. Waste gas canisters from mountain expedition, or petrol for a Coleman stove, used to send the lid soaring in to the trees. Mushroom clouds of smoke and burning fuel raining down upon our manic flight. Then, smokey eyed, we would slope off to the pub and put the world to rights until we could barley stand.
Tonight we will sit outside my house and share a beer old friend. And if the sky is clear I’ll get the telescope out and we can count the stars.
God bless Dave.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I don’t know quite what it is but suddenly this week I have become conscious of the fact that I am chasing down fifty, the wrong side of 1000N in weight and pretty unfit unless you count the ability to shuffle.
After passing out in front of the TV twice I made a decisive decision! Something had to change. I have never been a fan of the pointless run but…..
“I just want a pair of running shoes”, I smiled at the girl in the shop. “No brand names mind, I expect this to be a fad that lasts for about a fortnight”.
After rebuffing her attempt to flog me a pair of impact resistant socks I fled before anyone I used to teach recognised my rotundity.
Tonight it’s different.
Instead of passing out in front of the TV you know what I did?
Passed out in front of the TV and a pair of new running shoes.
Today my medium length dog walk took 37 minutes.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


I have zipped down to Bath this weekend to visit my grandmother. She is a remarkably robust character for a woman just a week over 97 years old. Although she sometimes cant remember quite why she stood up and walked across the room (it was to get a vase for some flowers), she has a good recall of most of the last century.
Conversation is a little odd as you can never be quite sure that she has heard you unless you really shout. She still has a most of her own teeth and can whup pretty nearly anyone at scrabble if she can concentrate for long enough.
It is best to visit her in the morning as she sleeps a lot more in the afternoon and she still like to be taken out for a meal, especially a chinese where her favourite is chicken and sweetcorn soup followed by chicken and cashew nuts.
We used to joke about her hundredth birthday but you know...the way she is going she may just make it.
All my grandparents have lived in to thier nineties. I wonder if I will be as good as she is should I ever get there.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Old Rope

I had imagined that there would be a stunning new year photo here of candles all over a frozen pond taken as the new year changed. Well I am still working on that one. The slightest breeze blows the little buggers out.
Instead I give you a sculpture made out of beach junk.
I wish I could claim the credit myself but this one was made and is maintained by Danielle.