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Dead Scared

Mown down in Barcelona

I am not sure how I survived Barcelona. To begin with, it was stiflingly hot: mind you, when I got back to Ayr it was even stiflinger, to coin a new word. But at least in Ayr I am unlikely to be mown down by traffic.
  In Barcelona, I am. Or rather, I was. First I evade the cars, which are coming at me from the wrong direction. I quickly check that there's no tram coming, too: I check in both directions because I haven't figured out which way the trams are going in relation to the traffic. Phew. Safe. Safe? Not a bit of it, I have forgotten that there is then a cycle path where completely lunatic cyclists hurtle down, no doubt frantically ringing their bike bells, only I can't hear them. Twice I was nearly run over by a cyclist (not the same one).
   And to cap it all... well. I worked out that cars go right around a roundabout, not left. That was mostly good, but then I discovered that on some roundabouts, you can go either way. So I gaily stepped out, having ascertained that nothing was coming, only there was, from the other direction. I observed cars going round the roundabout both ways: afterwards I figured out it was a roundabout on a one-way street.
   But I have survived. And I wrote a short story in sunny Barcelona, of which more anon.
add comment | read comments (0) | 2017-05-28

More on rain

Some time ago, my youngest mentioned that it was 'raining ants and spiders' rather than cats and dogs, and we promptly derived a whole bunch of different animal-related categories of rain. Now there's a new kid on the block: my other half told me that it was 'chuckling down' in Glasgow, the other day. Well, it does that in Glasgow, of course.
  But then I imagined the weather forecaster: 'It will be damp and giggly in the south-west, with perhaps some chuckles in Dumfries and Galloway, but I'm afraid it will be guffawing on the east coast for most of the day, with possible bursts of hilarity in the far north. These will mean difficult driving conditions...'
add comment | read comments (0) | 2017-05-18

SfEP mini-conference

I went along to the SfEP Scottish mini-conference on Friday. Actually, it wasn't so 'mini', with some 90 delegates attending. I was supposed to be giving a brief presentation on SfEP training. So: 'Hello everybody. I'm the training director, and I'm here to show you what training we offer and what's coming up, so if I click to

[You are not connected to the internet]

Oh yes, the internet is a wonderful thing - when it's working. The audience talked among itself while the in-house experts tried to get it up and running again. Then I was sidelined to make way for another presentation, while the experts talked among themselves, still trying to solve the problem. Eventually I was cancelled entirely, as they never succeeded in regaining a connection.

Still, three good things came of it all. I got to introduce myself. The organiser was probably faintly relieved, as the conference was overrunning by some twenty minutes.. I learned that it's best not to rely on the internet for presentations. And even without my contribution, the mini-conference was a great success, much enjoyed by all. Many congratulations to Lesley Ellen and her team, who put it all together.

Oh, and there was one other good thing - I sold a copy of As They Grow Older to a friend. But more of that in another post. 
add comment | read comments (0) | 2017-05-07