Thursday, November 01, 2007

Dr. What? Dr. Who!

Last night for Halloween hubby and l were busy helping out at the school fancy dress Disco. Our wee 'S' dressed up as the famous Time Lord and Adventurer, Dr. Who. 'S' takes his role as Dr. Who very seriously and has done for quite some time, modelling himself on the Scottish actor (currently playing the role of the Doctor), David Tennant. He pulls the same faces and poses, talking as if he is in fact the real Doctor - a true fan.
During the summer we made S his own Tardis (time machine & spacecraft) - to see it LINK HERE.

This past May at the Chelsea Flower Show there was a display called, 'A Garden in Time' using the theme of Dr. Who.
" Cardiff County Council will create A Garden in Time feature celebrating one of the region’s most successful recent exports, Doctor Who, which is made by BBC Wales and filmed extensively in Cardiff. The garden will feature the Tardis as the centrepiece of the dual garden contrasting a typical 1960s urban garden (when Doctor Who was first on our screens) with a modern day garden emphasising an awareness of sustainability, recycling and climate change."

Talking about recycling and space travel, just before going out last night l made myself a giant broomstick (to compliment my Witch outfit) from the dried up grasses in the garden. l won't tell you what hubby's comment was about that!-lol.

Lastly, for those of you who have a scientific mind and extra free time on their hands, the Robotic Dalek Pumpkin. LINK HERE to see how it's made. LINK HERE to watch it in action.
Hope you all had a great Halloween.
Bests for now.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Call it a day

Like Jamie and the Magic Torch
Wind licks the chimney slide
Softening whirling sounds in a room gently lit

I hear a wee lad playing in his bath
A big lad playing on his guitar
Rain stroking panes in parallel relief

I think of bulbs needing planted
Dream of cosy sleep on an even keel
Where parents are better
And Halloween past

Thank you for all the lovely wishes for my birthday.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Freshers, Fundraising & Freeze

Just sitting here for a few minutes waiting for the tradesman from Scottish Gas to appear. Yesterday we had a problem with our connection between the thermostat and boiler so our radiators were not coming on when needed. The weather up this way has turned quite chilly and without the heating on it feels like we’ve skipped autumn and jumped straight into winter!

I decided to go with the Council job after all and so have been busy filling out forms for Disclosure Scotland checks, etc. I am pleased to say that l am also working ‘fill-in’ and volunteer hours for the other job too so in a way managed to marry them both together.

During this past week hubby and l became committee members at the Parent Teachers' Association (PTA) for S’s school. It will be good to get actively involved in the fundraising events throughout the year.

Both D and M have finished with Freshers week and are now down to serious study. We are heading up on Sunday to visit, drop off some food parcels and set up M’s Wi-Fi connection.

D got a weekend job with a bank, which will help support him financially while at university. This past fortnight he had to go through four different stages of interviews including a math test. The numbers of applicants for the post started at over 20 and dwindled down to 14, 7, 4 etc. l remember D calling me after the last interview- he felt he had done his best but didn’t think he’d get the job as the others seemed more qualified. The next day however he got the call to tell him that he made it through! I am so proud of him for not giving up, for travelling to all the different places and sticking with it. The bank that D is going to work for won the 2006 awards for ‘Best bank in the world’- beating off competition from Canada and India. High speed Internet banking with a Scottish accent - what more would you want.

Well l need to run and pick up a wee laddie. After the October holidays wee S will be in school full-time. I am glad now that things are changing and moving on - better to keep busy.
Have a lovely weekend all.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Diagnosis: Paralysis by Analysis

Symptom: You’re looking for work. Find two places, hand in CVs, go for interviews, hear nothing and then suddenly on the same day get offered work at both!

THINK… l’d love to be able to ‘marry’ both these (part-time) jobs together. Unfortunately FIND… they both require hours on a Friday.

So now l have Paralysis by Analysis- utterly bogged down in details. Nicest atmosphere? Strongest personalities? Hourly wage? Permanency?

DECISION: Church or Council? Now there’s a choice!
Service often overlong – service often under par!
free music

Kate Rusby is a British folk singer who comes from Yorkshire tha'knows. l have many of her CDs and would love to go and see her in Concert.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A last wave to the QE2

This piece of history left the Clyde this evening.

Wee 'S' and l rushed out to see it sail by as did most other people from the town including my mother and brother.
The QE2 is a tribute to Scottish boat building – one of Britain’s best.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Inveraray Town

‘S’ went into school today proudly wearing his badge from his tour of Inveraray jail. It says that he was ‘pardoned for good behaviour’- long may it continue!
Below are two slideshows- the first is of Inveraray town. This small Argyllshire town stands along the shore of Loch Fyne, utterly picturesque with it’s whitewashed stone homes underneath the green mountainside . I love the view across the water as we drive around the Loch and as it unfolds until around the bend is the promontory of Inveraray.
This is an old and ancient lochside place of fishing and of travellers.

The jailhouse that we visited (second slideshow) is of Georgian architecture - as are the other buildings that line the main street- this uniform shape and colour all add to the character and you can see why, with its history and romance this place draws visitors. Along the main street is The George Hotel, an old Inn where we had lunch among old beams and Scottish memories.
My favourite feature in Inveraray is the Celtic cross that stands down near the pier. Yesterday as l stood looking at it with wee ‘S’ an older gentleman came up to us. He told me how his mother’s mother had passed the story on of how the cross was brought here along Loch Fyne during the Ice Age. I can’t see how he figures this timescale as the town origins date from around 1453- perhaps it was just a very, very cold year. Or perhaps the cross was made much earlier, perhaps on Iona and it dates to around the Stone Age- you never know. Anyway he seemed like a nice old bloke and kindly pointed out the Latin inscription to me on the side of the cross itself - I’d love to find out what it says.
You can see Inveraray castle peeping out along the shoreline on the old postcard with the cross (above). This postcard is from 1902.
You may note that wee 'S' took his beloved 'Billy Bear' on tour with him- a day to remember indeed.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The dust settles

Just a short post tonight to let you know l'm still blogging. These past few weeks have passed so quickly and l have had no time at all to get to my computer. My oldest two have left now for university and it has been an emotional and busy time.
We moved 'D' up to his flat over two trips as he begins his second year doing Mechanical & Electrical Engineering. He is currently looking for a wee job to help with expenses and l worry how he will manage to juggle his time between full days of course study and work. 'D' is a very likable lad and has moved into a flat with his pals for this year- they have had a couple of ‘moving in parties’ and l can only hope that these will now settle down as the year commences.

My daughter 'M' started her university on Monday of this week and moved into her flat on Wednesday - another two ferry crossings! This is her first year of nursing and she is just about to start Freshers' Week. She has quite a few flat mates already: four French girls, three Scottish lads and one Irish lad. 'M' is also in the top flat (same as her brother) - lots of stairs but worth it for the views. I love this picture of her.

Today l had to head around Loch Fyne to the town of Inveraray so l took my Mum and wee S along for the ride. This time we took the tour at Inveraray Jail - a place we’ve so often passed by. Wee S really soaked the whole experience up and it was lovely to watch. Mum and l enjoyed shopping at the Inveraray Woollen Mill afterwards. I took loads of pictures so will post a slideshow tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The walk to school and back

A hearty breakfast and a brisk walk- the best way to start the day! I'm just back from taking wee S down to his school. The weather is good, a bit cooler now but it was nice to hear the birdsong. So now l'm in fine fettle and plan to get caught up with a bit of house tidying; well that's the plan anyway.
Yesterday l went swimming and did 30 laps- when l got out of the pool my legs felt like jelly and l needed a quick pick-me-up (almost off the floor!), so l headed up the road for a cup of tea with some much needed sugar.
The slideshow below is of my morning walk to S's school and back. The garden area in front of the large church is known locally as 'Hangman's hill', named for obvious reasons. I use the walk home to give myself a quick paced workout- uphill most of the way! The church is undergoing some structural work at the moment as you can see with the scaffolding. That's my lovely daughter 'M' wearing the green T-shirt- she was just saying 'Cheerio' to her pals down the town as l walked by.
Ok, one more cup of tea and then l'll get something done.

Porridge by Spike Milligan

Why is there no monument
To Porridge in our land?
It it's good enough to eat,
It's good enough to stand!

On a plinth in London
A statue we should see
Of Porridge made in Scotland
Signed, "Oatmeal, O.B.E."

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Hoots Mon!

As you know it was the Highland Games weekend and from Friday morning through to the firework finale the town just bubbled with excitement, enthusiasm and camaraderie. Below l have linked to quite a few short videos (on my other site) so that you can hear the bagpipes and get a gist of what the atmosphere was like. I was thinking of you all as l took the photographs and videos.
HERE is a pic of Sam in Highland hat as a wee laddie :)
One slideshow below is of the people gathering to watch the bands make their final walk down from the park. This last parade though the town is always the highlight for me as you get to see the shields/trophies and also the lighter spirits of the band members after competition. At this point l got kissed (slobbered over) by the big man dressed in drag much to the amusement of the crowd- you can see him wearing his long black wig on the first slideshow help!- he left me covered in lipstick! The other slideshow has some of the bands marching past just before the firework display.

I got home late last night from the big trip into the city with my son 'D' and all his stuff- he has now moved into his apartment for his second year at university. I will post more pictures of that later. I dropped by to see my Dad as well on route so was a bit sad leaving them both.
Our car is also in the garage today getting a full-service so l’m watching the clock here so that l can pick it up before they close.
So much to do these days and just not enough time! I am missing checking in with you all but will ASAP. Thanks always for taking the time to drop by. Hope you’re all keeping well.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Highland Games Day

Just a quick post here today as it's the Highland Games in our wee town. This Highland Gathering is the largest in the world with pipe bands and dancers coming from many different countries- over 150 bands at least! I can hear the pipe music as l type here so want to get out soon and enjoy the day. It is hard to believe that a year has passed since my sister from Australia was over visiting- l remember all of us huddled under a giant umbrella laughing with the kids as the bands went by. That old slideshow of us is HERE- miss you all Sis!!

This past week I have been with two dear friends, each with one of their children in the hospital (planned surgeries). Wee N (age 3) had Palate surgery on Wednesday and M (age 7) had her Eye surgery yesterday. Both children are doing well and were really brave but it is always difficult to see wee ones having to go into hospital.

On Thursday night we went to a neighbouring village Gala. The weather was very warm for this area and it seemed that everyone came out to enjoy the evening’s events- music, dancing etc. Wee S enjoyed himself immensely as you can see from the pictures below. He met up with some of his best pals from school and had a brilliant time.
My sister-in-law worked one of the stalls. You can see her on one of the pictures wearing a T-shirt that says, 'Stop the Traffik'. You can read more about human trafficking HERE. We signed her petition of course.

Well it’s Saturday already and sadly a bit drizzly this morning- sunshine going to break through by midday. The pipe bands might get soaked and you know what they say, "heavy kilts and heavy drinking makes for strange bagpipe music!"

Monday, August 20, 2007

The glass is still half full

For dinner on Saturday night we used vegetables from the garden. Although l don’t have a big veg. plot you have to admit that THAT courgette was a whopper! Hubby did them diced and hot fried in butter with fresh mint leaves from his 'mint from Cornwall' tub he keeps in the garden. Little tomatoes from my wee plot baked in the oven with grated Parmesan. He is a man of few words sure - but big moments when I need some TLC.

My wee nephew, Sorley (isn't he a sweetheart) was Dedicated at church on Sunday - his mum and dad took part in the service which added a nice touch. Afterwards all the family and friends were treated to lunch at a local restaurant. Sitting there as a family, having a few giggles and just being together, well, l didn't take it for granted.

We bought a nearly new car just before S started school and sold our old one the same day! G got attached to the old car ('Faith' by name!) and so it was sad to see it/her go but it is being used for Outward Bound work with young people so being well employed. New car is smooth, quiet, all the electrickery, CD player, computer and very roomy. No reassuring aches, rattles, thuds, grinding noises or squeals. Very spooky.

Went for a quick paced two-mile walk along the Prom. with a good friend this morning- the weather was just perfect and we had a good old natter together- therapeutic for us both! Photo was taken Friday evening from the same Promenade.

Over the weekend l got the front garden cleaned up a bit while hubby cut the grass so now it's all looking much better. Afterwards we went out for a Guinness - velvety smooth and so refreshing after the work!
Best Guinness G says is in Ireland but this one went down pretty quick and well. When G went to Dublin he went to the Guinness factory for the tour around and included samples. Afterwards, outside, when they were waiting for a taxi he chatted to an old tramp with a horse and cart. The taxi driver laughed and said it was the old man Guinness - family owner - who often did that to find out what people really thought of the place. Truth or Blarney?

And last, but certainly not least… l feel blessed with the best group of friends on Blogger! Thank you for your kind and supportive comments.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Empty-nest syndrome

It’s a dreary Saturday afternoon here in Scotland; doesn’t look like the rain will stop anytime soon either- just drizzling away. My first post back was yesterday, a wee post on our son, S starting school and what a good time he’s having there. What l didn’t really tell you was how l’ve been feeling lately. It’s not just about the wee one going to school but has to do with my older two, D & M leaving for UNI. in September. I think some call it Empty-nest syndrome. You can read more about it HERE.

I knew it was coming, all summer l have been helping them gather bits and pieces for their year ahead; things like laundry hampers, bed sheets, files and dustpans- all the things you need to be organised and ready for life as a student. Anyway as l said l’ve known it was coming, last year l had the worries with Daniel and the coming to grips with him being on his own but l knew he’d be back for summer and that made things a bit easier. This time they both leave for all twelve months of the year, M with her nursing and placements and D because he has rented a flat with friends for the full year- a double whammy. They will both be living and working in the city and l really hope they find time to meet up together and support each other. I’ll miss them.
This summer l ‘shelved’ the thought of them going, put it somewhere out of reach so l didn’t have to think of it and what it meant. However with Sam going to school this past week it seemed like a bracket fell from wall and the shelf came down. All week l’ve been weeping at the least little thing- it doesn’t take much either and l can’t really explain why. I just feel bereft, as if l’ve lost something. All my life has been spent raising my kids and now their going out to make their own way- not wee S yet and l am so glad he’s still at home- but it’s a bit hard at the moment.
l’m remaining focused but thought l’d put my feelings out there in case anyone else was feeling or had ever felt the same. I’m a bit unusual in the sense that my children have such an age gap but l feel sure that there must be other women out there who can relate to this.
On Monday l’m going to go for a job interview locally- just a small part time thing just now while S adjusts to school and then come his full days, who knows. I need some focus and a bit of time to find myself.
LOL- laughing at myself here while having another wee greet(cry) again.

On a more upbeat note Merle over at Third Try recently gave me the Nice Matters Award. Under the circumstances you have to smile but a big hug and heartfelt thanks to Merle for this all the same- a bit of sunshine at the moment is most welcome. This award has to be passed on to eight others. I’ve tried to be fair and to give this award to Bloggers who have not already had it. So here goes, in no particular order... 1. Sorlil (Parenting in Progress) 2. Tammy (My Gentle Retreat) 3. Sue (Susie’s Space) 4. Kerri (Colours of the Garden) 5. Claire (Claire’s Garden) 6. Snow White (The Funny Bone) 7. Sharon (Amelia Rose Cottage) 8. Susan (Celadon Pool Two)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Time for school

Our wee S started school 'Primary 1' this past week. He goes to school in the morning only until October and then it's full time. He is adjusting to it all really well and has already had homework to hand in - of which he is really proud. S is hungry for learning and it is wonderful to see him embrace this new beginning.
After school today we're going to the swimming pool- l might just make this our Friday afternoon routine.
Between my older two leaving for university in September and S having just started school things feel a bit strange for me at the moment. These past few weeks have passed in a blur. Thanks to you all for the kind comments.

First Day at School by Roger McGough

A millionbillionwillion miles from home
Waiting for the bell to go. (To go where?)
Why are they all so big, other children?
So noisy? So much at home they
Must have been born in uniform
Lived all their lives in playgrounds
Spent the years inventing games
That don't let me in. Games
That are rough, that swallow you up.

And the railings.
All around, the railings.
Are they to keep out wolves and monsters?
Things that carry off and eat children?
Things you don't take sweets from?
Perhaps they're to stop us getting out
Running away from the lessins. Lessin.
What does a lessin look like?
Sounds small and slimy.
They keep them in the glassrooms.
Whole rooms made out of glass. Imagine.

I wish I could remember my name
Mummy said it would come in useful.
Like wellies. When there's puddles.
Yellowwellies. I wish she was here.
I think my name is sewn on somewhere
Perhaps the teacher will read it for me.
Tea-cher. The one who makes the tea.

Monday, July 30, 2007


Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night, having dreamed up a wonderful post for your blog; then next morning you feel utterly frustrated because you hadn’t jotted it down and now it’s lost? I hear that some writers get their inspiration this way- got the hang of waking up in the night with a giant exclamation mark hovering above them, then quietly dictating semi-lucid ideas into a microphone- clever idea indeed. Paul McCartney attributes his song ‘Yesterday’ to a tune he heard in a dream and managed to write down before it slipped away.
l did this kind of writing in my sleep again last night, didn’t write anything down and now it’s all gone which makes me all the more frustrated because I will never know whether it was trite or the germination of a good idea to craft and polish. Most likely the former lol!
Today however l am redeemed as l have two esteemed blogger awards to perpetuate- ‘Pay it forward’ sort of thing. Firstly I must say a big thank you to my two dear friends, Betty and Connie.
T H A N K Y O U !
They have each given me one of these compliments and l am very touched to have been thought of . Personally, l don’t feel like I’ve been putting enough time into my blog lately to deserve them but I send my heartfelt thanks to them all the same.
And so, the nominees are… in no particular order…drum role . . . .

1 Kris could not be more reflective than she already is! I can hear her speak so clearly through her posts- wonderful writing. Kris makes me think, and wonder, then think a little more- l admire her honesty and realism.

2 CJ is a woman of many talents and l admire her creativity and honest observations of life far travelled. We live not so far apart here in Scotland and l feel blessed to have her as a blogging friend and neighbour.

3 Val lives down in Dorset, England- a place that where l would love to live. What is great about reading Val's blog is that she has been up my way a few times on holiday and loves it! Perhaps we should arrange a house swap-lol.

4 Kirsty is a Scottish lass living and working in America- l much enjoy her patter! I love her take about life over here in Scotland- although abroad she keeps up with what's going on at home.

5 Alice is a wonderful photographer from Down Under- in tune with the world around her. She captures movement and atmosphere brilliantly in her images. I enjoy looking at her photographs because my sister lives in Australia too.

I think back over this past year at the fun Connie and l have had with our 'Love Bird Saga'. Connie is mommy to Rosa Rita as l am to Randy. We both have only one Love Bird each and as most people know these birds usually live in pairs- our two lonely birdies seemed just the perfect match for each other. Connie is a cracking in-law to have, very creative herself with a caring and gentle spirit, a woman with a great sense of humour who always gives me a right giggle.
And so l pass this Creative Blogger Award on to:

l'm away now to enjoy the rest of the evening. Bests to all friends and family.
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