Cellardyke today

View of Cellardyke harbour, looking towards the slipway.
How Skinfast Harbour in Cellardyke normally looks.

This time yesterday nobody even knew where Cellardyke was!

“So, where are you moving to?” people would ask me.
“Cellardyke,” I would reply.
“Cellardyke, it’s next to Anstruther on the East Neuk of Fife coast
“… near St Andrews?”
“Oh, right!”

Now everybody and their duck knows where Cellardyke is, thanks to the breaking news about the dead swan in the Skinfast Harbour. (It was confirmed earlier today that it did indeed die of the deadly H5N1 virus.)

The View from the Potting Shed‘s own intrepid reporter was out on the scene this morning, as the media circus came to town, and provided these three photographs for our readers.

View of Cellardyke harbour, looking towards the slipway, with a TV van in the way.
“Mork calling Orson, come in Orson…”

View of Cellardyke harbour, looking towards the slipway which is awash with reporters.
Journalists and reporters gather on the Skinfast Harbour slipway.

TV reporters on the slipway at Cellardyke.
It’s usually hard enough to get parked around there at the best of times! Oh, yeah, and more reporters and TV journalists.

Now don’t say that View from the Potting Shed doesn’t do its best to serve its readers with the latest current affairs! (Photos and permission to publish them kindly granted by IM.)

In other news…

In other news, I signed up with BT today for a decent telephone (BT Together Option 2 The evening and weekend plan) and broadband (BT Broadband Option 4 Power surfing) package for our new home in Cellardyke.

So, that’s the important things dealt with: removals firm, somewhere to live, broadband. The rest are mere details.

What I’ve been up to …

Cellardyke harbour in the summer.
Cellardyke on a warmer, happier day, late Summer 2004.

I’ve hardly had time to blog these last couple of days, so what have I been up to that’s kept me from entertaining you? I’ve just got in from a visit to the public house (my first since the smoking ban) and have been catching up with some disturbing news.


My diary shows that Monday was completely clear, so I probably did absolutely nothing then. So that was easy. I wonder why I didn’t blog much, in that case.


Tuesday was another matter. On Tuesday I had a meeting in the morning with someone at Church HQ about the Website. I foolishly promised to try to possibly get the site done as much as I could before I leave. In two weeks time. It might actually be easier for me to climb through the eye of a camel, with a needle, … or something.

In the afternoon I came home and had a jolly good sit down. That website business is going to take an awful lot of work. Which needs an awful lot of planning. Only I’m so tired now … I’ll just have a quick game of Battlefield 2 as a pick-me-up.


This morning I visited the Christian Fellowship of Healing for their bible study and Eucharist — I was presiding at the Eucharist (communion). I then may have inadvertantly got roped into helping them with their website redesign.

This afternoon I finally finished our removals application form. We were given a couple of A4 sheets where we were invited to list everything we own and how much it would cost to replace. Now, what a massive, and scary, task that was. It took Jane and I three days to do it between us. I don’t think I’ve looked at the Argos catalogue at one sitting over such a prolonged period as today.

I took it along to the Post Office along with a couple of other parcels, and managed to leave the one package that I was going to the PO in the first place for. Never mind, I’ll go again tomorrow. Today, in fact, and my day off. I’ve just realised that this will be my last day off before I finish. I don’t get Maundy Thursday off, funnily enough.

Before I went out to meet Patrick, Martin and Al at the infamous Pear Tree House Jane and I had a look for a telephone and broadband package for our new house. At the moment we’re thinking of going with BT for their Power Surfing option:

Ideal for power surfing and heavy email traffic, plus photo, music and video downloads. Includes free modem router.

Sounds like us, especially if Jane will be working from home a couple of days a week, and I’ll be continuing to try to take over the world via TCP/IP. Mwahahahaha!

Then I spent a thoroughly enjoyable evening with the aforementioned Al, Martin and Patrick. Al kindly gave me a compilation CD of songs by Jonathan Coulton, a former computer programmer who now writes beautifully weird songs on his guitar.

Here is the first verse and chorus from one song called “Re: your brains”:

Heya Tom, it’s Bob from the office down the hall
Good to see you buddy, how’ve you been?
Thing have been OK for me except that I’m a zombie now
I really wish you’d let us in
I think I speak for all of us when I say I understand
Why you folks might hesitate to submit to our demand
But here’s an FYI: you’re all gonna die screaming

All we want to do is eat your brains
We’re not unreasonable, I mean, no one’s gonna eat your eyes
All we want to do is eat your brains
We’re at an impasse here, maybe we should compromise:
If you open up the doors
We’ll all come inside and eat your brains

A modern day classic, I think we can all agree.

Now I’m going to bed. Having been reading more some disturbing news.

It’s a sign!

Sign reading The British Institute of false information, with a hand pointing right, round a corner.

Yesterday, much to my delight I received a package from Amazon UK. Inside was a surprise gift from a friend of mine of this book, called Signs of Life by Dave Askwith & Alex Normanton.

Book cover for Signs of life, showing a sign reading Disappointing Ruins.It arrived just as I was about to get ready to leave for St Andrews. That had to be put on hold for a quarter of an hour as I sat at my desk and laughed and cried and wiped the snot from my nose. I’ve not read such a funny book since The Timewaster Letters by Robin Cooper, and The Framley Examiner. Two books that are guaranteed every read to have me laughing like a hamster on top of a washing machine. (I was never any good at similies, sorry.)

Signs of life is a picture book. A collection of custom-made signs placed in public places: inside trains, on walls or trees, in telephone boxes.

This is my favourite:

English Heritage sign reads Jacob von Hogflume 1864 to 1909, Inventor of time travel, lived here in 2063.

A few of the signs are a little rude, some of the signs are simply surreal, but they are all very, very funny. Thank you, Pip for buying the book for me. I wonder what Christianity would have turned out to be like if signs from the Lord were this funny…

Please pray for Andy

Andy Williamson leaning over a bannister at Darley Dale School, Derbyshire
Andy Williamson leaning over a bannister at Darley Dale School, Derbyshire, December 1988.

Yesterday I got an email from my good friend Steve alerting me to the blog post of another friend from National Youth Choir days, Andy Williamson, where he revealed that he had suddenly discovered that he has Polycystic Kidney Disease.

This is the same condition that I have, although Andy’s is in a much more serious state of advance than my incarnation of the disease. Andy’s blood test showed

a Creatinine level of 916 (normal is 80-122), and Urea of 36.1 ([normal is] 2.5-7.5)

Over the last few years my Creatinine levels have hovered between 100 and 122, and Urea between 5.9 and 6.6, which, while at the higher end of normal, shows that my kidneys are still in a fairly healthy state. And, as I’ve stated on this blog previously, if I manage to lose some weight that can only be a good thing for my overall health too. Andy’s readings, as you can see, were astronomically high.

I met Andy at my first NYC course at Darley Dale School in Derbyshire in December 1988. It was the same December as the Pan Am Flight 103 disaster over Lockerbie; there was a member of NYC on that flight, Helga Mosey. Although I didn’t know her, I too cried, alongside with my new friends.

Anyway, that event coloured much of that course, and in some strange way actually might have helped people grow closer together, and have helped new members to be accepted quicker than they might otherwise have been; I don’t know. But what I do remember is how kind so many long-established members of the choir were to this, new, 17 year old Bass 2. And one of those was Andy.

Andy lived in Darlington (I think) in those days, and so chummed me back on the GNER train north from our concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

We met up again last August during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as Andy was playing saxophone at about a million different gigs, including with the Big Buzzard big band in the famous Spiegeltent in George Square.

Anyway, please do pray for Andy. He began kidney dialysis today.