Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Weans and the weather

Many people have said to me,“What a pity you had such a big family to raise. Think of the novels and the short stories and the poems you never had time to write because of that.”And l looked at my children and l said,“These are my poems. These are my short stories.” ~ Olga Masters
My wee 'S' has been suffering from a virus since the weekend. He has a rash from head to toe and is quite uncomfortable. We saw the Doctor yesterday and there is not much we can do about it except for lots of tepid bathing, Paracetamol and Calamine lotion.
G. and l have also been helping 'M' out with her University statement tonight ~ her application for nursing :)

'D' went back to his dorm on Sunday and has been busy with examinations. I called him earlier today and he was doing his food shopping :)

There are more storms and strong winds forecast for Wednesday/Thursday but these will mostly affect down south ~ look out Bob, Marion, Val, Snappy and Clare. Keep safe!
Our forecast is snow!
Bests all.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Longing ~ Sea Fever

'Sea-Fever' by John Masefield is one of Margaret's favourite poems as it is mine. It is a work of art, pulling together imagery, rhythm and complex figures of speech, that truly suggests an adventurous sail on the ocean.

l would love to go on this tall ship sailing holiday around Britain, Ireland and Norway!
Please link HERE to see the video/nice music too :)

I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

By John Masefield (1878-1967).
(English Poet Laureate, 1930-1967.)
~ read by Horizon HERE :)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Blown Away by this Weather

Painting by Scottish Artist: Jennifer Thomson

l wish you could hear and feel the strength of the wind that is blowing around my home right now folks. This is an old house, 2ft thick stone walls and yet l still feel uneasy. Last night G. and l kept a tentative eye on our Barometer in the hall- the pressure fell quite rapidly. Through the night we listened to the wind howling, scraping its way along the road under cars and over dykes- what a sound. No surprise then that 'S' ended up in bed with us. The gusts seemed to ease a bit towards early morning and then pick up again before noon with a thunderstorm thrown in for good measure. What a day ~ l have opted to stay in with wee 'S' and footer about. l am however worried for 'D' coming home tonight, whether the ferries will be running or not?

News Below copied from AccuWeather.com BLOG
Check out how tight the Isobars are over the UK :)

Hurricane Force Winds Today!
Thursday, January 11, 2007

That's right, even though I don't have much time to post, I have to make mention of this. That storm that the computer models were showing moving a bit further to the north and without as much cold and snow with it, well, they ended up ditching much of the snow and cold, but now the winds with this storm will be the big issue. That's right, strong, some above hurricane force wind gusts over parts of Scotland into northern Wales and Ireland. This will be one of the strongest storms we've seen so far this year, and possibly the strongest all year. But, now to your brief forecast.

This is nothing I am trying to hype, this storm could be the worst of the year so far, even worse than the tropical storms that moved through the area late in the summer. This is actually the storm as it moves through early on Thursday morning. Note how the winds at around 1500 meters are upwards of 50 knots, which works out to be around 60 mph. Now, this is sustained winds, and with any rain or any sunshine around, this push in the atmosphere could bring even windier conditions for the area. So, wind gusts up to 70 mph are not out of the question for a long shot in parts of Scotland and Ireland, especially towards the coast. But, this does not mean there can;t be some very high gusts anywhere, especially in thye higher terrain more inland. Winds should start to die off on Thursday night, so Friday should be a much better day wind wise. After looking at things even closer on the image, you can also note the lines a few hundred kilometers off the Scottish coastline in the Northern Atlantic. Some of those winds are sustained at nearly 80 knots, which would make for some very, very strong winds. Not only will the winds be bad, but also the waves will be quite ferocious and the coastline could quickly get eaten up by the strong winds. So, again, I urge anyone around there to please keep an eye out for any warnings that are issued for the winds. They could gust up very quick and without warning.

The Met Office ha basically everyone out for these warnings, so keep an eye on them, as they could change anytime. This is nearly a 50 mb pressure change over the U.K., and with such a storn winding up, this is nothing to take lightly!

I will update later on Thursday with more on the winds and any reports of damage I get from them. If your power stays on in those areas, or you can even get to your computer and use a modem or whatever to get to the outside world, email me at alaneurope@accuweather.com with any questions at all. It's an off day, so I will try and get through all the emails I have.

Look global,
Forecast local(without getting blown away!)
Updated: 1/11/2007 11:10 PM

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A blast from the past

nos·tal·gia 1. a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one's life, to one's home or homeland, or to one's family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time: a nostalgia for the books we read as children.

Blogging sister, Tammy has been churning out a little nostalgia over at her site for some of our childhood reads. There has been some reminiscing over the much loved and ever enduring Nancy Drew Mysteries . Around the age of ten, like many girls l couldn't get enough of Nancy Drew. Deep routed inside was that endless longing to be just like her- clever, investigative and ever ready- the enduring heroine. l used to peer at my neighbours with great suspicion, watching for them to slip up, hoping desperately that there would be a mystery to solve - a deception somewhere! Perhaps somewhere inside all of us is the drive to take on challenges and solve problems – to be the heroine who saves the world.
In the end we mostly settle for saving the peace around us but the dream doesn’t go away and we search for it in many of the books we read. My husband, G. returns often to a book read to him as a child by an old Headteacher and which started off his love of literature and reading. It is ‘Moonfleet’ - a tale of smuggling with heroic stuff abounding. You can read it for free online- link HERE

At present l am reading Edward Rutherford again- wonderful writer- more about him and his books HERE.

Anyway after having talked with Tammy about favourite past books she suggested that l might enjoy the ‘Outlander’ series by Diana Gabaldon. So l went to Amazon.co.uk looking for this book and found it! In Britain it is known as ‘Cross Stitch’ ; why they would call it under a different name l do not know.Suddenly the realisation that G. had said just a few weeks back, "you must read this book called Cross Stitch" – occurred to me. l went upstairs and looked through the bedroom bookshelf and there it was!!! Wonderful! A little detective work and result! :)
Being constant readers G. and l often frequent the ‘charity shop book quarter’. This book, 'Cross Stitch' still had the price label on ~ only 49p!
What a bargain.

“What's a girl sleuth to do without her trademark sleuthing tools? Never leave home without a trusty flashlight or a handy magnifying glass. A bag of clothes and a bathing suit kept close at hand in the trunk for those sudden overnight sleuthing adventures is essential. Always on the trail of clues through musty old attics, castle dungeons, secret passageways with hidden staircases, spooky moss-covered mansions and dark alleys, Nancy leaves no stone unturned.”

Monday, January 08, 2007

Happy Birthday Matey!

Headed across the water on Saturday for 'S's birthday. G. and l had planned to take 'S' to Amazonia World just south of Glasgow which boasts an impressive display of crawly, slithery, twitchy and assorted multi-legged creatures ‘some of which can be handled under supervision’ we read in the brochure. Hmm- spiders. Personally anything with an excess of four legs is to be viewed with suspicion but the wee man has announced his ambition to be a BUG DOCTOR so off we go.

However on the ferry crossing we had a knock at the car window and it was 'S’s' wee friend from nursery with his Dad. They had planned a day out at Funworld which is a huge emporium of slides, ball pools, frames and industrial screaming and so we decided to join them. Bugs can wait. The boys were ecstatic with two hours of running madly around, up climbing frames down bumpy and twisty slides. ‘Groanups’ sit at tables sipping tea except for the odd few who revert to infancy and hurl themselves down the bum battering slidey thing. Yes – I did! We ate a healthy lunch of chips, chicken nuggets and chemicals and decided to take the boys to Showcase Cinemas. G. made me laugh when he told me this is a far cry from the old flea-pit picture houses of his youth when the screen had a rip in it and there was always the faint smell of urine (not his he added). Showcase Cinemas is 12 cinemas in one building all showing all the time and having lived in the USA for a while I am used to such. We opted for Cinema 3 showing ‘Night at the Museum’ which is about a night at a museum. Oh yes - and all the exhibits come alive. Anyway it was a good movie and we all enjoyed it and laughed a lot. After the film we took Sam shopping and let him pick some pirate toys. As well as aiming to be a BUG DOCTOR he is in serious training to be a professional PIRATE and no mistake me hearties. He has all the kit and can sing 15 Men on a dead man’s chest (Which as `G. said is probably why he’s dead!). Wanting to work with lowlife crawly creatures and being a professional robber sounds like he will do well in the future - maybe politics??
By the time we were back on the ferry we watched him fall asleep. There he is – five years old. It’s a tick of the clock we thought. They say that by five we have learned most of what we will be and know so we hope we have done ok by him. Time passes so quickly and every day needs to be cherished. Happy Birthday matey!

Friday, January 05, 2007


New Years Day: Dinner with family - Mum bought the food and l did the cooking of the Roast Beef dinner with all the usual trimmings. I worry about my cooking sometimes though because so often, just when dinner is over, diners - especially teenage ones - are often afflicted with not feeling so good and need to lie down immediately. Curious for sure but some of you will also have encountered this I am sure.☺
2nd: 'D' left to go back to University, 'M' spent time with her Nan so the house was very quiet. Silence has its own music and quiet is a blessed symphony in a world polluted by noise.

3rd: To Glasgow today. The ferry crossing was very rough going over - walloping gales and boat at disturbing angle! The woman who does the pre-sailing safety announcment about life rafts and emergency abandon ship drill was worringly silent and nowhere to be seen. Biggest waves I have ever seen and I fully expected to see the crew huddled in the lifeboat singing 'Those in peril on the sea'! Dropped off food and clothes for son No.1. and went on to pick up my G, (husband) from Glasgow Central Station. He had spent New Year with his parents in Cornwall. They live in a small Cornish village where you can see the stars, hear the leaves whisper and a calling Robin is the loudest sound effect. The land of Kernow, King Arthur and the legendary Cornish Pasty - recipe and article about these soon. Husband home - I have missed him so much.
4th: Quiet day at home with G, catching up on the week and just enjoying being back together.!
5th: Shopping and planning for tomorrow - a BIG DAY OUT!!. It is 'S’s' 5th birthday this weekend! 'S' is the child of our second marriage - we both have older children too.He is the light in our morning, the cream in the coffee, the bacon in our bun and the laugh in the smile.
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