Friday, April 27, 2007

On this day

It's Friday again already and l am so glad that the weather has come through for us-no excuse not to get out gardening and finish the wall and driveway this weekend.
SUNSHINE OF THE MOMENT, artwork by Nikola Kitanovic Nikkolai

Below is a Wikipedia MeMe- l was tagged by Betty over at Country Charm Sat. April 14th- l'm just finally getting around to it, oops.

Go to Wikipedia and type in the month and day you were born. (For me—Oct 15).

1. List three events that occurred that day:
A. 1987 - The Great Storm of 1987 hits France and England.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
I remember that storm well but perhaps my husband even better who was living in Devon at the time. He was teaching a primary classroom (37 kids!) when the roof above them blew off. Hubby had to decide whether to stay put or lead the children through the storm to the main building- he got them all out safely, all holding hands together - in my eyes - a real hero!!

B. 1997 - The first supersonic land speed record is set by Andy Green in ThrustSSC (United Kingdom).

C. And just for Connie- 1951 - Television sitcom I Love Lucy premieres.

2. List two important birthdays:
A. 1948 - Chris de Burgh, Irish singer and songwriter- who can forget The Lady in Red?

B. 1959 - Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York

3. List one death:

4. Tag five friends to do the same: (ONLY If they want to!)

A. Sigrun over at Hillside garden

B. Claire at Claire’s garden

C. Bob - Gardener to the big house

D. Margaret over at Margaret’s memoirs

E. Alice at A growing delight

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Memories are made of these...

Excerpt below from my diary 26 April 2000.

"G. asked me to marry him on board the Balmoral today- in the rain- splitting waves and seagulls soaring. I love him so much! Oh.. and l said, yes, yes, yes!!! We went on to have a browse around Rothesay with the children. We have never held hands so tightly - a day to remember forever."

By accident l came across this last night and smiled when l saw the date! I could remember it all so clearly - the memory of clinging to each other under a big umbrella with the sound of the flags flapping from the masts above. It didn’t matter that the weather was wild or that we were getting soaked- we were just so in love and everything around us seemed wonderful.
Below are some photographs from that time.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wednesday Witterings

For a slideshow on all our driveway work click HERE to visit THE RATTLE BAG.
For the next five days the forecast is set to improve- sunshine over the weekend so we can complete the job out front- wonderful!

Below is an old post from last April- wonder what my neighbours would think if l built one of these with the left over stone?! In truth l did think about Andy Goldsworthy when l was building the low dykes- he is well known also for his dry-stone wall enclosures. l love all of his design work- a true inspiration.

LaNd ArT
Andy Goldsworthy is an environmental sculptor ~ he uses natural surroundings to create art forms~ exploring and experimenting with various natural materials such as leaves, grasses, stones, snow etc. Check out his portfolio HERE.
He evokes a time before the flight to urban environments, when people were generally more connected to the natural world and attuned to its habits. Through Goldsworthy’s work, we experience the world he knows and the world that our ancestors knew.
Andy Goldsworthy reawakens us to the patterns and rhythms of natural settings~ born in England he now resides in Scotland.

"And that's what art's about, isn't it? ... It makes you see things in a different way than you would normally."
-- Andy Goldsworthy

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Folly, family and fame

My hubby was away up to Oban today with his work colleagues for a meeting. Oban is a lovely town on the west coast of Scotland- it is from here that you can travel by ferry to the Island of Mull, where I am planning to take the family this summer for a holiday.
Dominating the Oban skyline is McCaig's Tower. It looks very much like a Roman Colosseum- known locally as ‘McCaig’s folly’ because it used up all of his money and was never completed. In architecture, a folly is an extravagant, frivolous or fanciful building, designed more for artistic expression than for practicality. In answer to Val, this tower is not named after the poet Norman MacCaig but instead after a banker named John Stuart McCaig. You can click on the links to learn more.
As a dominating seaside town, Oban came alive during the Victorian era- the tower was built towards it’s end 1897 -1900.

On another note, my son D has been very busy sitting exams to finish his first year at university. On the way home yesterday from one such exam he passed a very long queue outside a local music shop. They were all waiting to meet the band Travis- who were doing a special promotion. Knowing how much l like this band D joined the line- he was the very last one! He waited for an hour and a half to buy their new album and have it signed by the whole band for me. Oh..I do love that boy.

Monday, April 23, 2007

One year down already

I started blogging just over one year ago- Thursday, March 30. The first year anniversary date has passed and l was unaware - not to mind. Anyway l never thought l’d be here for as long. I’ve gone through a few different blog designs and changes and it makes me smile when l think of the time spent changing html around and being creative early on. Not to mention the heartache at loosing a good post or comment to Mr. Invisible! Arghh!! Now l always try to backup just in case.

I hung out to the end as an ‘old blogger’ – a bit like my personality- ‘never surrender, never retreat’. When logging in l used to perceive the words as a choice between ‘old codger’* or ‘new bugger’- l’d rather be a bit eccentric so stuck out with old - that was until finally they gave me no choice!

My reason for setting up a blog space was because my two older children had their own sites – on Bebo and My Space. They seemed to be very up-to-date with this new online service and l saw how much they enjoyed keeping in touch with friends, etc. l thought it would be a good thing also to keep in touch with the kids and family further afield. It was fun to learn something new- a creative outlet- still is!

Strangely enough, l intended to blog about my interior design projects and love of architecture but family life and other projects took centre stage. Perhaps this year l will cover some of the things that l initially planned.

Most of all, I delight in the fact l have made so many great new friendships - a few rare jewels! Mostly l have learned how normal l am though it all- that there are other women just like me out there interested in similar things, with similar personalities who love to share and care. Even although we are miles apart it is nice to sit down and have a peek at what they are up too- just by the click of a few buttons!

Below is an older post that went unread - in my case it took a good few of these before someone left a comment. Perhaps now and then l might bring one out and dust it off- seems a shame to let them just fade away.
Here is one below.
Bests all :)

WeBLOGging* I read somewhere yesterday that 2006 is the ‘Year of the Blog’. Personally l’m not surprised by this as most of my family are online and quite active in the ‘blogosphere’. Irony is that now we seem to know more about each other than ever before! Personally l think blogging has many good points as well as also being a creative outlet for tinkering around with graphics. Who would have imagined 20 years ago you could sit in your own room and share thoughts and events with people from almost any part of the globe. Of all the IT innovations the ‘blog’ has virtues. People are actually sitting down and being creative with language – something l thought was a dying art with texting as its death knell. People have become diarists – recording their lives and feelings unashamedly. They read the writings of others – contribute to others work and learn of other peoples experiences. Gardens, holidays, birthdays, poetry – you name it and it gets blogged up – and if it is sometimes a bit self-indulgent – so what – the feel good factor is worth it. It’s a really good place – a public refuge - to moan and shout about work, relationships, failures, frustrations and the downright dross aspects of life. Somehow there is a feeling of satisfaction from airing your life in public – a sense of belonging to something more than our own four walls. Good therapy even if we are fast becoming nosy parkers on an industrial scale. Me - I’m off to iron the new lace curtains I’ve had made for my screen.

*Definitions of Weblogging on the Web:
• A weblog (usually shortened to blog, but occasionally spelled web log) is a web-based publication consisting primarily of periodic articles (normally in reverse chronological order). Although most early weblogs were manually updated, tools to automate the maintenance of such sites made them accessible to a much larger population, and the use of some sort of browser-based software is now a typical aspect of "blogging".
wikipedia: Weblogging

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Completion of the driveway

Does anyone remember this from last September? Parking-not-fine

Well things truly got underway with the front driveway during the Easter holidays. Our eldest son D was home and with his help we knocked down the wall for the entrance and gates. Kerri had asked where the opening onto the road would be - good question! You couldn’t see it on earlier photographs as we wanted to keep the wall up for as long as possible - to contain the mess and keep wee S from going out near the road. Thankfully our daughter, M has helped look after S this past week so G and l could get on with the work- and that we did! The wall came down, we edged the drive with concrete slabs, l built small dykes (recycling from the stone wall), G built the steps and two pillars, l ordered the chuckies and coping stones, lots of sand and cement mixing, etc. Hubby and l work together really well and l am so proud of what we can accomplish. So, sitting here with the job almost complete, l feel utterly exhausted but also pleased. I am so glad it is the weekend and is pouring down outside- nice to be stuck in for a wee break.
The weather has been wonderful for April so there was really no excuse not to get stuck in out front. l have missed checking in with you all much but knew you’d understand that something was keeping me busy this end.
As we wanted to keep the job as tidy as possible (all the way through) we chose to recycle - no skip required and saved money to boot! First we raised the flowerbeds with the extra soil. You’ll remember my visit to the horse farm for manure to help enrich the soil. Who could forget that! Poor wee S falling into the ‘horse moose’! (story here)
Next we dug in our edging borders to contain the lawn and separate from the drive. When the wall came down we used the stone for small dykes and used the extra rubble for construction hardcore.
We still have plenty of good stone left for another project around back. Lots of measuring throughout the project to make sure the gates would fit and not drag on the slope. Digging enough depth and gradient at the gates for G to cement the driveway up to the pavement/sidewalk- also to hold the weight of the car and keep gravel from getting out. Always thinking about heights, depths, slopes, weight and levels-lol. Anyway it’s almost done- just to render the pillars, Hammerite the gates, paint the wall and Bobs your uncle*!! Slideshow of our project to come.

Hope as l visit with you all that things have been going well.

*Bobs your uncle
Phrs. There you have it; a catch phrase expressing satisfactory completion. E.g."Make sure you have primed and undercoated the wood. Then apply the gloss paint and Bob's your uncle! The wood will stay protected and look good for another couple of years."

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter!

My walk this day with God, My walk this day with Christ, My walk this day with Spirit, The Threefold all-kindly: Ho! Ho! Ho! The Threefold all-kindly. ~A prayer from the Outer Hebrides, Scotland.

Find out more about Easter in Scotland HERE- Easter egg rolling and hot cross buns! I'm eating one right now with a hot cup of tea.

And just for Early Bird a poem by Norman MacCaig HERE. Two versions of the same.
Hope the second version brings a smile.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The "Thinking Blogger Award"

Early Bird kindly nominated me for a ‘Thinking blogger award’. I thank her very much and much appreciate her kind comments. Early Bird and l started blogging around the same time- a real blogging sister.

I now have to nominate five others. Please know that l wish l could nominate all the links on the side bar. In the spirit of fairness l have not picked my family or those who have already been nominated.

  • Kerri (Colors of the garden). l so enjoy visiting Kerri’s blog to see the beautiful colours of her garden, family and home. There is always something new to learn about and she voices from the heart.
  • Connie (Serious Mumbo Jumbo). Well Connie and l are in a way related-lol. Her wee lass Rosa Rita and my Randy are quite the item! Connie always makes me smile with her creative graphics and genius.
  • Kris (Kris's Korner of the World). A real soul sister who tells it like it is. Her posts are always so honest and we both are very similar people inside. I just wish we lived closer.
  • Kirsty (Witterings & Wanderings). Another Scottish quine online. Kirsty lives in America now and talks candidly about her life experiences there. Kirsty has a few blogs on the go- all worth a peek if you have time.
  • CJ (Sunshine and Shadow). CJ lives very close to me here in Scotland. I always enjoy seeing how she is getting on and what project she is up to. She and hubby are both creative and talented.
Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.
Charlotte Whitton (1896-1975)

This is a very busy weekend for us here. The weather has been outstanding and we got much done yesterday. Wish l had more time to visit you all at the moment but will ASAP!

Men at work- real action video HERE- lol

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

No one is too busy to talk about how busy he is.

Lots going on folks. Will be back when l can. The weather has just been fantastic so we're making hay while the sun shines!
A wee Scottish joke...

Tony Blair visits the hospital

Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister, is being shown around a hospital. Towards the end of the visit, he is shown into a ward with a number people with no obvious signs of injury or disease.

He goes to greet the first patient and the chap replies:

"Fair fa' your honest sonsie face, Great chieftain e' the puddin' race! Aboon them a' ye tak your place, Painch, tripe, or thairm; Weel are ye wordy o' a grace as lang's my arm."

Tony, being somewhat confused (easily done) goes to the next patient and greets him. The patient replies:

"Some hae meat, and canna eat, and some wad eat that want it, but we hae meat and can eat, and sae the Lord be thankit."

The third starts rattling off as follows:

"Wee sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie, O, what a panic's in thy breastie! Thou need na start awa sae hasty, wi bickering brattle! I wad be laith to rin an chase thee, wi murdering pattle!"

Tony turns to the doctor accompanying him and asks what sort of ward is this. A mental ward?

"No," replies the doctor, "It's the Burns unit."

Monday, April 02, 2007

April hath put a spirit of youth in everything

April has started in fine fettle. Yesterday being April Fool's Day, hubby informed me that he had had enough with work and was retiring- l was shocked but also relieved when l realized he was just pulling a fast one-lol. I wonder how many people yesterday were teased about tartan paint- that's an old one! Extra UK facts about the month of April HERE.
It’s the Easter holidays. The sun is shining and the locals are out in droves. T-shirt strolls along the prom and happy gratitude’s everywhere. Typical Scots- nothing brings us out faster than a bit of sunshine and an excuse to dress up in those frivolous garments at the far back of the wardrobe! That neighbour you thought had moved away or died is crashing around in his shed. Gardens and homes everywhere are getting the springtime facelift while the smell of freshly mowed grass swirls up your nostrils.
The coach loads of tourists have reappeared, spilling out onto the prom happy for the good weather and to be stretching their legs. l am glad for them too for this town can be rather dour when the sky is grey- and l'm not just talking about the buildings. It's almost as if our 'feel' and 'do' emotional thermometers are set to the same course as our local climate. There are more words in Scotland for bad weather than good- have a read for yourself HERE.
Talking about the weather is one thing we do well - the central peg of social intercourse for this country. Given the fact that we can go through so many different types of weather in one day- well, there's always variation. And there's never talk about the weather without a bit of folklore thrown in, such as 'check out the berries on the rowan, the fish aren't biting, when the cockerel crows at dusk, spit of the cuckoo', etc.

"If you don't like the weather in Scotland, wait half an hour and it will change"

l have to say thought that this past weekend has to be the best of the year so far. Unusual to see such pure blue sky and feel the warmth of the sun through your clothes - sun lasting all day!
l am sitting here typing away in shorts and T-shirt-lol. So much to get done around the house and then l'm headed up back to clear out the small shed and hang out washings. Rest assured l won't be wearing these shorts anywhere but home. The reason: Well it is only April and my legs are so white you can actually see a reflection! However l did get a bit of sun on my face over the weekend. Hubby and l did plenty of work out front and up the back too. We're almost finished with clearing out the driveway space. Our neighbour was thrilled to get some extra topsoil and us thrilled to give it away. The photo's below were taken last night. It will look much better when the tons of chuckie-stones go down for the drive ;)
Bests all.

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