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FIONA ARMSTRONG: A salute to Rotarians – and to spring

The signs of spring are gladdening as Fiona gets to enjoy her garden.
The signs of spring are gladdening as Fiona gets to enjoy her garden.

A local Rotary Club has a big anniversary.

The Dumfries group is marking 100 years, and the cameraman and I go to film them for our local ITV programme.

There the archivist tells us about the book he is writing on the club’s history. We see members planting a centenary tree – and organising a litter pick.

‘Service Above Self’

‘Service Above Self’ is the motto. And over the years this organisation has raised a mass of money for local, national, and international charities.

Just like Dundee Rotary – which, I understand, is also into its 100th year.

By the way, both groups were actually set up in 2021 – but as no-one could celebrate much then, the festivities are continuing into this year.

Then there is Perth Rotary which is five years older. Plus all the other local clubs that will at some stage be marking their own big birthdays.

Dedicated men and women

All over Scotland, Rotarians are continuing the work of helping others.

They are helping local communities and aiding the international fight against disease.

They are getting humanitarian aid to where it’s needed – and now raising funds to help refugees in Ukraine.

I take my hat off to these dedicated men and women.

Shifting the snowdrops

Meanwhile, the gardening hat goes on as the outside effort continues. And among this week’s tasks is shifting snowdrops.

Now that they are dying back, great clumps along the front drive can be divided and the bulbs replanted at the back of the house.

It is a satisfying operation. Unlike dealing with the weeds which seem to be appearing at a rate of knots.

All it takes is a bit of sun and a lot of rain and they are galloping away.

Solving the MacNaughties problem

At least I seem to have solved the problem of what to do with the MacNaughties. Who will not let me outside unless they, too, can come.

But the problem is, as soon as your back is turned, they’re off.

So, the Norfolk Terrier and the Chow are put on leads. Which are then tied to the wheelbarrow handle wherever I decide to stop.

It works well. As long as there is something heavy in said barrow.

Otherwise they can drag the thing a fair distance before I catch up with them…

The colours of spring

Happy days. At least spring is now sprung. Buds and shoots appearing. Hosta tips visible in the flower beds.

Pink and purple heathers add a splash of colour. As do the rhododendrons which are starting to come.

It is a time to savour nature. But it is not quite warm enough to sit out. And to my regret we do not have a conservatory.

So, on a Sunday lunchtime the chief and I squeeze into the porch and enjoy a drink overlooking the front lawn.

It is a squeeze. Because with us, of course, are two hairy hounds. Who are never far away when a bowl of nuts is on offer.

And before the dog police get onto me – they only get one, honest…


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