It strikes me as I think of yet another blip title how bizarre the English language is: "standing out" contains the same words with basically the same underlying meanings as "outstanding" but means something rather different. So the two photos I'm blipping today - the second being in the extras - weren't really outstanding trees, because in this neck of the woods (hah!) there are some truly splendid examples, but they had branches where autumn had definitely taken hold so that the red leaves on the one and the golden on the other stood out rather beautifully.
The day itself was a busy one for a change, with only the early morning tea time for dismal reflection. I had Pilates class in the morning - I was standing next to the open window of the studio, with an actual wind blowing through it, so that I didn't take my fleece top off till we were onto the planks and strength exercises that always bring a surge of heat. I had my coffee in the garden while chatting to my bestie on the phone; we'd not had a proper chat since Friday as she'd had house guests (2, from one other household!) and we had catching up to do.
The afternoon began with an interview over zoom with a researcher on a project called Childhood Experiences of War & Peace, 1939-1960. I'd rather enjoyed thinking over my childhood in line with the questionnaire she'd sent me - priming the pump, as it were - and as many of my memories are still strangely vivid I was able to enjoy describing them and the emotions of the moment. I ended up by telling her that though today's children would think I'd been positively deprived I knew I'd had an incredibly privileged upbringing in the immediate aftermath of WW2 - even if I did have my tonsils taken out on the kitchen table ...
It was another late walk, however, because of all that reminiscing - we weren't back at the car till 6.30pm. The car thermometer said the temperature was 20ºC, and there wasn't a breath of air. It was incredibly peaceful and lovely; even the birds seemed quite subdued. The second picture, by the way, was taken on the Glen Massan road as it runs past the back of Benmore Gardens, the location of so many of my photos - and so many magnificent trees.
Meanwhile, in Westminster, David Miliband was standing in for Covid-isolating Keir Starmer in the debate on the illegal fixing of the agreement signed off over Brexit arrangements - standing in for him with great passion and panache and nailing the ghastly PM with the truths of what he's up to. The speech of his life - but the bill still passed, because there is a sufficient majority of unspeakable Tories to make sure he can get away with anything.
How long, O Lord, how long ...?