March 2019 – The best laid schemes o’ mice and men gang aft agley

Robert Burns was right – all I had planned to do in March came to naught. The excitement of improving the garden was halted by two emergency admissions to hospital. Thankfully I am recovering well although the future depends on the results of a whole battery of tests and investigations.

I’m so glad that we moved from Islay where even a short appointment entailed overnight stays in Glasgow. As it is, Shrewsbury Hospital, only 15 minutes away from home made it relatively easy for family and friends to visit and keep me cheerful.

I had booked a week’s holiday at Tywyn on the Welsh coast for Richard’s birthday. Fortunately we were able to go although I was told to ‘take it easy’. This meant missing out on long strenuous walks but Richard was brilliant at finding short walks in lots of lovely places. The weather was perfect. The sun shone every day and without a single drop of rain the whole experience felt like a summer holiday.

It was a week of waterfalls.

Woodlands were bright with primroses and violets and the sound of running water was punctuated by Chiffchaff calls.

   There were stark slate walls decked with the contrasting shapes of Wall Pennywort leaves.

Walls clung to impossibly steep hillsides and fields were enclosed by vertical slabs of slate fastened together with wire.


Whooper Swans at the end of their winter visit overlapped with the return of Ospreys and Little Egrets joined Shelducks on the estuary.


   Adjusting to various restrictions, including a ban on driving, is frustrating but I know the situation could have been much worse and I am so grateful to the NHS staff, including many from abroad, who were cheerful and helpful despite being overworked, underpaid and under- appreciated.