In the birdhouse, all seemed to come at once.
We had the delights of Nancy's performance of an urchin in the musical Oliver and were suitably proud and impressed with her acting, singing and stamina. It seemed to soak up weeks with endless and later rehearsals, but it was all worth it.
There were the local swimming championships, loud and hot as ever. We came away with medals, but no golds or trophies.
In both cases, it was great to be there and it's nice things can settle to a slower pace for the holidays ahead.
There were also a couple of Italian visitors and a friend who wanted to introduce her dog to children (the dog remains unscathed, in case you need to know).
I also got to meet up with my brother who was in Edinburgh to do a piece on Scotland's desire to chase the pink tourist pound, that on the back of a show with Bake Off's Ruby on the role of food in art and preceding a trip to Paris to work on a programme on La Haine which, almost unbelievably, was released twenty years ago. Geoff was the man behind the audio version of Sleeps With The Fishes, so I owe him several for that one.
My favourite read or March was by Russel D McLean and his lates McNee novel, Cry Uncle. It's a real belter. Well written, gripping and exciting as well as provoking thought. It's set in Dundee's underworld and is top notch. The only slight reservation about recommending it is the price - it comes at the top of my kindle range - but if you don't rush out to buy it now, you should certainly add it to your watch list and snap it up should that ever drop. For me the hardcover and paperback offer much better value and it's likely to be one you'd like to keep rather than recycle. A must for lovers of the many Scottish crime writing best sellers and deserves a place on the shelves right along side them. On the gritty side and all the better for it.
I also really enjoyed Voluntary Madness by Vicki Hendricks. It's a tale about a young woman and her alcoholic partner who have a suicide pact and spice up their lives with escalating crime and playing dare. Really enjoyable and only recently re-released by New Pulp Press.
Last on my list is the Hard Case Crime novel, Somebody Owes Me Money. My review of this one will appear at some point in the excellent All Due Respect magazine, but I can say that I liked rather than loved the racy action and the 1960s pulp feel, even if it seemed slightly dated.
Finally, the films that stood out for me in March.
First off, the rather lovely Man In The White Suit that appeared on iPlayer last week. Terrific stuff and nicely political, as well as being rather amusing.
Ida came to Dunbar as part of the film club offerings. It's a stylishly filmed piece about a novice nun who meets up with her aunt who is a washed up judge who finds it easier to turn to the bottle than to face her past. This one reminded me why I stick around in the society - for every two or three that don't hit the mark, there's another that blows me away. It's black and white, set in Poland in 1960, is bleak and harsh at times and is also touching without being sentimental. There's a tasty soundtrack, including some cool jazz, and there was something about it that reminded me of a Cassavetes B movie from way back. Get it if you can. Better still, find it on a big screen.