Jumpers are finished quickly when I’m too stressed to read.

Ahhhhhhh!!!!! Can’t read! My mind has all the calm of a herd of Tasmanian Devils riding a Waltzer. On the upside, being strung out on nerves and unable to read means I have finished my jumper in record time, and seen a mackerel, up close and personal. Hopefully next week normal book service will be resumed, and Christopher Marlowe and Nicola Barker will get a look in. The jumper fits nicely, although excuse it’s slightly odd shape, it still needs blocking.



Tomorrow, (or today, if you are reading this on Tuesday) is exam results day in Scotland. And to cut a long story short, my daughter has a conditional offer to the only university she can go to, and so her results are currently everything in her universe. It’s not like there’s the equivalent of a sixth form college for retakes around here, and even though she has a respectable batch of highers from last year, and only has reservations about one of her exams this year, she is mucho, mucho stressed. I’ve tried not to pass on my deep suspicion of optimism, and my unscientific theory that the minute you think things will be okay, life will slap you down, but nevertheless, she has been mired in terrified doom, preferring to look on the black side and only occasionally entertaining the idea that it might actually be alright.

To attempt to keep her sane I’ve put her on a program of bracing walks and favourite meals, and occasionally spout slogans at her, such as ‘Your result don’t define you.’

And yesterday, we spent a couple of hours staring into the water at Tarlair Lido.

Here it is in its heyday –


And here it is in it’s charmingly dilapidated state now –


High tides fill the clear pools with fish, both large, and in the form of swirling shoals of sand eels, small. There is a healthy permanently residential crab community, permanently having dramatic showdowns with limited actual contact.


And judging by the amount of baby turbot (or plaice, or sole. Small and flat, basically), it’s also a bit of a wee fishy nursery. We sat on the edge of the rectangular pool and were occasionally visited by a pretty big mackerel, I had no idea they were so beautifully marked, like a bright green and black tiger. People are aware of the large, edible fish that can get trapped, and a man did turn up with a fishing rod, but luckily a couple of older chaps then turned up with their model boats, and he left.


Staring into the water, surrounded by sky, hopefully helped my daughter feel that life goes on, no matter what her results are. There is a lot of innate wisdom and comfort in the environment, and in the wildlife itself. And we must remember what a wise fish once said –

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*Β 8 a.m Update –Β She got her marks! All is well! Joy! *collapses in heap*