I've noticed a bit of a tendency to look on the dark side lately.

Like this morning. Most mornings Ned and I end up having a chat with old Mac, on our way up to the woods.

This morning old Mac is hunched down in his anorak and thermal hat. "Two more weeks tae go, and ah'm away yi know."

Two more weeks to go???? And he's gone? How? How does he know?? Pancreatic cancer? Liver cancer?Emphysema? MS? Angina? Kidney failure? Is he planning suicide already? But he looks fine, or as fine as you can when you're over 70 and standing in sub zero temperatures.

I'm composing the appropriate sympathetic response here.

"Aye, two weeks till ah'm gone. Gone! Har!"

"Aye, gone tae Australia!"

"Oh, oh! Great! ha ha, yes, oh you know I thought....oh never mind. No that's lovely"

I'm hoping this ongoing assumption of doom, death, bad news and disaster is going to be temporary.