16 Feb 2020

Hestia - what colour is your name

Sometimes the internet brings us wonderful things and this is one of them.  Synaesthesia is where your senses are more closely linked than the average bear - so some people see colours when they hear words, or music etc.

Can you imagine how wonderful it would be to feel colours from music?!

Anyhoo, in an article on Medium, someone wrote about the colours (or colors if you are one of my American cousins) she sees when she hears someone's name.

She has even designed a tool to let you SEE what colours your name would conjure up for her.

Here's mine:


Now that it's been rendered into an image, I can use my Tarot interpreting skills to tell you what *I* see when I look at the image.

I see an image that starts out as vital and light (on the left), but which slowly descends into sombreness on the right.  There have been two breaks in my life which were life-enhancing (white) but that ended up back in the same place.

Yes, Tartarus, I'm looking at you. Or maybe it's house moves, I dunno.  it's harder to read for yourself because you KNOW the backstory :D 

Why not try the little web app thing for yourself and see what your own name looks like as colours! 

13 Feb 2020

Hestia's eyes and the NHS

On Monday Tartarus, Nero and myself headed north to glorious Perthshire where the soil is the colour of a chestnut and gleams like a race horse's flank in the low winter sun.

We were staying in the Meikelour Estate in a wee cottage (gorgeous - single bedroom, dogs welcome, log fire kind of thing) and the world-famous Meikelour Hedge is but a scant mile's walk to the edge of the estate at the A90.

On Tuesday night, we popped to the other single bedroom cottage to visit our friends - The Mad Woman From Kilmarnock and her lovely hubby. And their two whippets.

As I stepped out into the rural darkness I became aware of a tiny glitter when I blinked.  I thought nothing of it and after an hour it went away.  A lovely evening was had.

I woke up on Wednesday morning with definite visual disturbance - a bar that lay across my peripheral vision of my left eye from about 10 to 12 (if my gaze was a clock face).  It went away after about an hour.

But I was shitting myself.  To tell Tartarus or not to tell Tartarus? I told him.  Just in case anything else happened.

Thursday morning we drove home as planned and I made an appointment for Friday morning at the health centre.

Friday came and my sight felt fine, but I went all the same.  The nurse shone a light into each eye.  'There is more of a halo effect on my left eye,' I admit to her.

She scoots off to ask the doctor on duty at our cottage hospital what to do next and returns with the answer - a pressure test is needed on my eyes.  A puff test.  I get that done every year at the opticians - no sweat.  But cannot be done today on this fecking island.  I need to go to the mainland.

I am left with instructions to phone Specsavers or Optical Express in Greenock and get a puff test today.  Specsavers tell me to come over and they'll squeeze me in.

'Shall I come with you?' asks Tartarus.  I have had the puff test before, I tell him that I will be fine.

The long and the short of it is, dear reader that I found myself at Inverclyde Hospital at 2pm on Friday with high pressure to both eyes.  Drops immediately brought it down.  But the doctor started talking about lazering holes in my iris to help with drainage.

Fine, I think to myself.  That will be about June or July.

'Oh no, we'll do it later today' says my lovely Doctor, as if we were talking about going to Tescos for the shopping.

I text Tartarus.  I ask him to come over on the next convenient ferry - I am not going to be able to drive home.  It's a 10 minute taxi drive from Wemyss Bay to the hospital.  He's there by 4pm.

Just in time for me to get my eyes lasered.

Reader - it was completely painless. And over in less than 10 minutes.
Another quick check at my pressures confirmed that they were down from 40 and 36 to 20 and 16.  The upper range of normal and normal.

The doctor asked me if I had any questions and I shook my head dumbly.  Less than 12 hours ago, my eyesight was fine.  Reading glasses needed, but fine.  Now I am looking down the barrel of glaucoma and eyedrops for life.

I am due back next week - possibly for a bit more work in the eye that is still high pressure and definitely to let the doctor inspect my optic nerves for damage. Permanent damage.

Specsavers were magnificent. The NHS even more magnificent.  This Service of ours is a wonder of the modern world and we need to protect it and cherish it and those who work within it.

24 Jan 2020

Hestia goes jogging. And so do you.

The other week, I started jogging again.  Something to do with the fact that my favourite trousers are so tight that I need to wear them with the buttons undone.  And the fly open.  And a very long sweater or tunic top.  Walking outside with these trews on with this deshabille arrangement is impossible.  The only solution is to shift some blubber.

I am trying to use my mobile phone for more things, so here is me going for a jog around the park when we were expecting Storm Brendan. Sure, it was weeks ago, but trying to get video from Google Photos is like trying to herd water.  Anyhoo - think I've managed it now.  So, here we go ...


Outside the front door.  The official term is 'bricking it'.

31 Jul 2017

Hestia visits ... a brilliant wee garden

So, yanno the Open Gardens Scheme? Well we had a yellow sign go up in the town this weekend.  An Open Garden HERE? In the middle of TOWN?! I couldn't possibly imagine it.

Tartarus was dragged away from some racing on the tv and off we trouped.  We followed arrows up a lane and lo! Along to our left was a GEM.  I had NO idea that this wee garden was here.

Here it is - Marlene Hills lovely little space.  This is one of two gardens.  Which is the front and which is the back, no idea.  Both glorious!


There are the most pristine little grass paths.

Tip 1:  Trimming the grass edges neatly makes everything look fabulous.

Tip 2:  If you like the look of something, just  PUT IT IN YOUR GARDEN.  Peas and Sweet Peas snake up the same frame.  Broad beans brush shoulders with bright annuals.

I particularly liked the Ammi Majus and the other little flower here - lovely colour and delicate, isn't it.  What in the hell is that other flower called?!  It has gone right out of my head.  ASTRANTIA!!!!  


Tip 3:  Frame old mirrors and add them to walls - and if you are clever with the glue and bits of wood, make it look like the window is opening AWAY from the viewer.  This trompe l'oeil is used to great effect (and frequently) in Marlene's garden.  I honestly thought that they were opening out into another space, behind walls and fences! Also, it gives you something else to train a climber around.  Or Over.




Tip 4:  Add height and drama with a pergola painted in a dark colour - acts as foil for flowers - and another climbing frame!  Marlene's hubby made this - isn't it fab?


Tip 5:  Make your lawn borders undulate - much more interesting than straight lines.  See how beautifully it's clipped?! Marlene's hubby again!

Also - she's got her fig outdoors.  Our Figgy is in a pot and I'm thinking she doesn't like it!  *resolves to plant her outside against a south-facing wall, like Marlene*


Tip 6:  Paving stones (again REALLY neatly set!) leaving just a little pocket for some lobelia.  And another nice wavery edge to add interest.  

Tip 7:  Let things self-seed!

Tip 8:  Dead-head until you are doing it in your sleep!

I thought that I'd taken a photo of the little archway just behind that yellow flower in the last photo.  Although the front garden of her little cottage is not huge, Marlene has created a little room (where the bench is) accessed by the arch or this little path.  Keeps the garden an interesting shape.  And arch adds height!

Isn't it a pretty garden and get this.  The whole thing - front and back - was created in 18 months from nothing more than lawn.

EIGHTEEN MONTHS.

I've lived here 20 years and my garden isn't a fraction as attractive as Marlene's. Take heart everyone!  EIGHTEEN MONTHS.

Thank you so much for the lovely tea and cupcakes, Marlene! You and your garden are inspirational! I hope that you have raised hundreds of pounds for your chosen Charity!




24 Jul 2017

Hestia suffers ... social media angst

So, I'm looking idly at Facebook, as I do most days.  Most minutes, if I'm honest. And I notice that a Facebook friend has posted something - a poem - and attributed it to a very worthy and poignant backstory.

The attribution is made in good faith, clearly, but I feel that it's not correct. I google it and I'm right, the attribution is wrong.

Here is the God's honest truth of what happened next:

Explore the ruined citadel of m'blog: