Monumental.

For those of you unacquainted with Scotland this is a major heritage site – the Wallace Monument on Abbeycraig, Stirling which reopened to the public last week.

One of the many cool things about the monument is that it has a couple of walks up to the summit, one of which (from the car park) features some very skilled sculptures on the route…including a mini-Wallace monument. William Wallace (very deceased) was reportedly well over 6 foot tall so he probably would have made short work of this ascent. But you can imagine him and his advisors looking down towards the River Forth snaking below them and planning their strategy vs Edward I of England’s troops at the infamous Stirling Bridge. The hills in the background are the Ochils but if you like hills, there’s plenty of them to see from the top.

The Squiddel

A creature of myth, and perhaps legend, concocted by the mouths of under 4s who struggle with wordage with their itty bitty teeth and their embouchures trained into muscle memory honed by years of sooking on boobs, teats or sooky cups.

The squiddel is a mysterious, limbic creature hovering somewhere between land and sea but mostly found in mid-air because the illustrator got halfway through illustrating it and realised the natural habitat hadn’t been thought through. It is a shy animal and quite vulnerable if it dozes off at groundlevel: shrews like to tie its tentacles around tree roots. It exists on a diet of pickles and biro ink and the occasional cola bottle. They have a reputation for cheating at rock,paper, scissors and some hypothesise this was the origin of the squiddel/shrew fallout. Hibernation is between November and the last Thursday in March.

The squiddel has found its way into everyday culture in such scenarios as moving up a nursery grouping e.g. “I’m in squiddels now, Dad. Oliver is in budderflies.”. Keen-eyed as they are some toddlers have claimed to have seen squiddels skedaddling up tree trucks but I have only ever caught glimpses of the tail end.

Wakey Waaaay-key!

The “I’m up so where is my milk/breakfast?” situation.

Why do they think that shouting at your eye will do it? Then you have exactly 20.3 milliseconds to hope your nervous and muscular systems have come to enough to deflect the chubby finger headed towards your cornea.

Effective, undoubtedly, uses far fewer batteries than an alarm clock or phone alarm and is pretty much bang-on time EVEN ON WEEKENDS until BST and GMT start playing their games but really? Is this some kind of technique they learn in nursery?

Poorly The Bobcat wakes. He shields his eyes from the autumn morning piercing the curtains.

“How are you feeling, wee man?”

“Not good.”

“Not good? Awww. ”

“Not good all over.”

“Is there any part of you that does feel good?”

The pinky toe feels good.

It’s a start.