Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Behind the green door

Many people have read the Dan Brown books. In his book, 'The Da Vinci Code' he talks of finding the 'keystone'.

Silas knew the information he had gleaned from his victims would come as a shock. "Teacher, all four confirmed the existence of the clef de voƻte . . . the legendary keystone."

In architecture, a keystone is the stone at the top of an arch. It is the supporting element for the entire arch— without it the arch would collapse (in a cathedral dome the keystone holds the intersecting ribs).

In the first picture you can see a generic "true" stone arch above the door- the centre block being the 'keystone'.

I just love the colours and textures of this old place.

Monday, February 26, 2007


Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in memory as the wish to forget it.” ~Michel de Montaigne

Yesterday we decided to go out to the horse farm in Glenlean to collect a bit more manure for the garden. As it had been raining the day before we were warned to bring our wellies by ‘E’ (the owner).

The first three snaps are taken on the way out to the farm. I was lucky to catch the photo of the rainbow on the hillside just before our turn off.

This particular farm is very old, very little has changed over the years and when you visit it feels as though you have stepped back in time. So quiet and nestled cosily up against the hillside ~ l wouldn’t mind living there myself.

‘G’ got straight to work, shovelling the manure into bags so ‘S’ and l went for a wander. We walked behind the farm and barns, along a grassy bank and found lots of frogspawn in a shallow gully.
When we got back to where ‘G’ was he asked me to hold one of the bags open, saying, “Be careful where you stand, there is a deep hole over there.” Click here to see conditions. I took one step and lost my shoe - lol - got it back and bent over to help. Just then we heard a strange SQUELCH sound and ‘S’ disappeared!!! He was buried up to his waist in horse slurry and still sinking- arghhh! It was hard not to laugh- we were all in shock and ‘S’ was none to pleased. He’ll not forget that visit in a hurry!
Lucky for us we had an old picnic blanket in the boot of the car, one side of it plastic and it helped to contain the mess. Poor ‘S’ did reek a bit though. Here are some of the things he said as we bundled him into the car wrapped up like a sausage.

“ I didn’t like falling in that moose mummy!” (the word ‘moose’ being a cross between manure, horse and mud-lol.)

“l never want to go back to a farm- l never want to be a farmer!”

“Mummy quick wash my hands- this really isn’t poop, is it?”

“Oh, l want a bath, l want a bath- l don’t want to be covered in this moose!!!”

'G' and l couldn't look at each other all the way home- his lips were twitching something awful and l was having a hard enough time trying to contain myself for 'S'.

Once home we stripped the wee soul at the back door and got him plonked in a bath full of bubbles. Soon he was laughing at the whole thing and telling his nan and sister all about his great adventure. The stuff memories are made of :)

I'll blog more photos of this lovely old place tomorrow :)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Empire State of the South

Betty "Horizon, Your post is so interesting today, especially the bit about 'when I lived in GA, US. You lived in the United States? I live in GA, USA and wonder where you lived. Please put me out of my suspense!"

l lived in Athens, Georgia for one year. Both my older children went to school in Colbert, Georgia. I remember it was 1996 that we were there because Atlanta was in full swing with the Summer Olympics. Both kids really picked up that southern drawl and l remember walking the tree lined streets with majestic antebellum homes (some used as fraternities & sororities for UGA). I used to take 'D' and 'M' via an old fashioned ice cream parlour on the way to a local park- the park had it’s own Black Bears and Owl population.

l lived also in Maine, New England and Texas. Camped in Canada and other States too. l will post more on these later :)

Friday, February 23, 2007


My sister had her wee baby boy this morning. Her husband was by her side. Mum and baby doing well.
I am an auntie again- yeh!! Now just my other sis to go- what a year we are having!
All my siblings having babies so close together- sometimes it just happens that way :)

Howdy Blogging Buckaroos!

I awoke this morning to the sound of birdsong, the light peeping in along the curtain tops and the muffled chatter of children walking to school. Today is Friday and the weekend is here to enjoy!
A quick peek at the weather over my bowl of yogurt and Alpen: “a bit of rain and shine” ~ typical. As my granny used to say, “Yer grandpa’s like the weather- nae pattern.”, meaning: The Scottish climate is like your grandfather – unpredictable. lol
But then there is another saying: “January’s cauld can be used”, meaning: Even January can be a lovely month if you know what to do with it. So as it looks like Sunday will be braw* l’ll make plans for then. :)
My youngest sister is past her due date for her first child. I have been thinking of her much because l know she is more than ready for things to start happening. She lives in Germany now with her husband who is stationed there with his army regiment. My mum is going out in a few weeks to be with her.
Here she is in the photo with me. This snap was taken years back when l lived in Georgia, U.S. My mum and sister had come out to visit and we took them to a place called Ghost Town in the Sky ~ what an adventure that was. 'D' is the cowboy and 'M' the indian.
Well l need to get on, 'S' has a birthday party to attend tomorrow and l still have to go and buy a present for his wee friend.

Additional Note:
When l was busy scanning these photos 'S' brought his empty plate of oatmeal over and sat it on my chair, then hung back giggling, waiting for me to sit on it! He is so funny and l had better watch out- the wee trickster!

Unintelligible, yet somehow mysteriously compelling, Scots word for grand, fine, super, etc

It's a braw, bricht, moonlicht nicht t' nicht
(Translated into lesser English: It's a superb, bright, monnlit night tonight)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Scotland- Wild & Mild

It’s raining here today but after a few days of bright skies l do not mind so much. l think to myself, how mild this past year has been overall. Up in the back garden the Mallow is still in flower and some Daffodils are already out. In general, January and February are normally the coldest months for Scotland so this is quite unusual.
Given our latitude it really beggars belief that our climate IS so mild. Have a look at the map- see how far North we are!
I've been thinking a lot lately about blogging friends around the world, e.g. Kerri in Upstate NY with so much snow and Alice and others, including my sister 'Down Under' , so hot and in need of rain.
To a large extent, the winter temperature in Scotland/British Isles is influenced by the surface temperature of the surrounding sea. We owe much to the ‘Gulf Stream’ or ‘Mid Atlantic Drift' and its warming effects for this latitude. There’s even a difference it temperature between the West and East Scotland given that the Gulf Stream flows up the Western side. The Isle of Jura is a good example of the 'micro-climate' you can get in this area. The sea is temperate and the climate mild, allowing tropical plants such as palm trees to flourish.
The Gulf Stream is one of the strongest ocean currents in the world. It moves warm water from the Gulf of Mexico north into the Atlantic and eventually flows up to us here. Anyone want to send a message in a bottle? :)
However it must also be noted that with the high latitude of Scotland comes short winter days and long summer ones with extended twilight. The need for heavy curtains is great or else we would never get the bairns to sleep. “Mummy, why do l need to go to bed, it’s still light outside?” On the longest day there is no complete darkness up north at all.
For me a good indication that spring is on the way is the fact that the days start to ‘open up’ again. When this happens l tend to busy myself in the garden. Unfortunately my local garden nursery does not open until March 1st so l have been doing other things like adding manure to the flower beds (fun) and aerating the lawn.

“Whether the weather be fine, Whether the weather be not, Whether the weather be cold, Whether the weather be hot, We'll weather the weather, Whatever the whether, Whether we like it or not”

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Wed. well-informed


Want to watch a movie or show you missed?


TV-shows: 17992 links
Cartoons: 5151 links
Movies: 2582 links
Anime: 12235 links
Music videos: 5741 links
Sport: 957 links

After you have selected what you want to watch remember to ‘continue to content’.
If your computer is fast enough you can watch the film/show online as it buffers. If not, pause, let it feed for 10 mins. and then come back.

Last night l watched ‘The Last King of Scotland’ about the dictarorship or Idi Amin in Uganda. It was just in our movie theatre last week!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I'm just so romantic

"Scotland, above all, is a land of romance and of poetry"
Sir David Wilkie

For Valentine's Day l bought my husband, G. the more practical gift - hmm- a toaster, some sweeties and a film.
G. bought me some flowers, chocolates and rose perfumed bath salts.
Begs the question- who is the more romantic? So much for the quote above-lol.
G. is an English Gentleman :)
Does that make me the cannie and wyse dealing wee Scot?
;) Oh crumbs.
'S' made me a lovely card at nursery, a Jelly baby cake and beautiful noodle necklace ~ like father like son you'd think but he did eat the cake! ;)

Monday, February 19, 2007

PC Palaver!

We ordered 'D's' new PC at the end of January- a very nice one with snazzy case and flat screen monitor. He has been needing it for university (software and l am sure a little gaming too :)
We paid the extra £35 for courier deliver within 5-7days and so two weeks pass by and finally it arrives- not good.
'D' came home over the weekend excited at the prospects of setting it all up and me driving him back Sunday with new PC in tow.

The story so far.

On arrival two of the boxes were ripped – the one containing the collection of various leads and stuff quite badly and the box containing the tower had a gouge in its side.
This did not bode well and when we came to put the PC system together it proved to be so.
1. The screen power lead was a 2 pin affair and not usable. We connected the power lead from my husband’s similar screen. That worked.
2. The PC had no power lead supplied with it at all. Again we used the lead from my husband’s computer.
3. The tower is not the one we ordered. We had paid extra for a nice case.
4. Switch on. Nothing. The screen displayed its logo and had power but the PC was as dead as the grave. Yes we tried the wee switches at the front but there is obviously no power coming from the Power supply unit into the computer. Yes we tried changing the leads - it is dead.
We packed the thing back in its box and at present is sitting in our Hall looking rather sorry.

Hubby and 'D' could have gone into the unit and tried to fix it but that would have invalidated the warranty so l have been on the phone all morning trying to sort it out- what a palaver!

As for the rest of the weekend- we got a good amount done on the driveway/garden project. l enjoyed clearing out my rockery area too.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Because laughter really is the best medicine

This photo makes me smile. It is of 'M' a few years back when we were visiting 'The Big Idea' (science centre) across the water.
'M' has just applied to do nursing and midwifery at university but here she is singing into the transducer used for the Obstetric Ultrasound! :)
As l have heard say, "Humour is a social lubricant that helps us get over some of the bad spots."

Here is 'M' holding a baby (our 'S') - l can imagine that will be a fun ward! :)

'M' has a great sense of humour and a warmth that embraces you. I know that she will make a wonderful nurse and l am very proud of her.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Could two days be more different?

Yesterday l accompanied my husband as he drove around the area- one of the more enjoyable aspects of his job. Within the space of a few hours we had passed four lochs (3 of them pictured). At Ardentinny wee 'S' and l had time to get out and walk along the beach~ the sun was shining and although it was cold at least the air was still and water calm.
'S' discovered some rocks shaped like a love heart on the beach- he was so excited- another lovely addition to the Valentine’s afternoon. He also found a dragons tooth but that's another story ;).
l climbed many of the hills around Ardentinny when l was a teenager- l enjoyed orienteering and have often thought about joining a club again. hmm.




Anyway, today is somewhat different- a nightmare outside and the wind and rain are lashing against the windowpanes as l type away. l'm intently listening out for thunder just in case l need to sign off quick. 'S' has been at the doctor this morn. - another cold virus- poor laddie.
After the doctor's appointment we headed to visit my Mum but when we got there her power went out so l had to root around under the stairs for the fuse box ~ all ok now.
Last night l was reminded of just how much my Mum means to me. A dear friend called to tell me that her Mum passed away. l knew that my friend’s mum was very ill but the news still knocks you back a bit.
Photo of my mum and us kids. l can remember that day in the photograph so clearly. Mum had just come out of the hospital with my youngest sister and Dad took the picture. Funny how little snapshots of time stay with you forever.

Take care all.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

On a wing and a prayer!

SONG BELOW: Slightly amended version (ahem) of the 1942 hit by Harold Adamson and Jimmy McHugh

Comin' in on a wing and a prayer
What a sail, what a flight!
Oh l really hope l see dear Rosa by tonight
How l sing as l limp through the air
Look below, she’s in the field over there!
Though we now have to build our new home
We shall still carry on
Comin’ in on a wing and a prayer


Finally together, Randy asks dear Rosa if she will be his Valentine :)


Tuesday, February 13, 2007


The Lesser Antilles just gave me the willies!
After stormy seas l find myself washed up on shore; too dazed as to remember the happenings of the last few days. Thankfully l woke to the chitchat of some local birdlife and after much sign language and rapid gesturing l’ve discovered that the galleon ran aground just south of Dominica on the Island of Martinique! I leave immediately to fly to my dear Rosa – she is the air beneath my wings.

My dearest Rosa has sent me a Valentine's card!
I so want to surprise her for Valentine's Day. Will l be too late?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Postcard from the edge

Ahoy there Mumsie.
On Saturday l boarded a galleon in the North Sea that was bound for for Scotts Head Bay, Dominica. Dominica is in the West Indies ~ there l plan to rendezvous with my dearest Rosa. The place that we have always dreamed of meeting ~ a place called Roseau! Once we have rested a while we plan to seek passage to Antigua, via Guadeloupe. Antigua has wonderful local bird life; it has a flock of free flying domestic lovebirds- no less!
Don’t worry about me. Work onboard has been hard but l am bearing up well~ especially with a bit of grog towards evening to warm my cockles. I find I’m
suffering slightly from a bit of scurvy but luckily l have no teeth to loose anyway. As they say dear Mum, “Nothing succeeds like a toothless budgie!”.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Still utterly twitterpated

Dearest Rosa Rita.
I have enclosed the above news cutting to explain why l have not been in touch for quite some time. You may have found someone else and l may be too late. I just wanted you to know my dearest feathered beauty that l had been incarcerated unjustly ~ a case of mistaken identity ~ hauled up in front of the 'beak' on a false charge! I was an innocent bird, unfortunate to be lifted for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. No matter what you might have heard on CNN and BBC, you must know that l have been cleared~ exonerated! If it had not been for the photograph l had of you my dearest Rosa l do not think l would have had the strength to endure.
Since my release from parrot custody (apart from having a good bath and shave) l have been thinking about you non-stop; everywhere l look l see hearts and hope gifted by St. Valentine. I do hope that you will find it in your heart to still care a bit for an old ‘jail-bird’ like me. I was certainly not there when l did it! (but l don't want to keep repeating myself ;) lol.
There, I have said it. I can rest now. And as I dream, I will dream of you.
With undying love

l have tried to find the letters from dear Rosa Rita over at Connie's Blog but the archives do not go back far enough. Needless to say she is a much-loved wee Lovebird, very attractive with a wonderful character. Poor old Randy is besotted and utterly twitterpated.

1)to be completely enamoured with someone/something. 2) the flighty exciting feeling you get when you think about/see the object of your affection. 3) romantically (ahem) excited 4) the ever increasing acceleration of heartbeat and body temperature as a result of being engulfed amidst the exhilaration and joy of being/having a romantic entity in someone's life.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Spring Fever

January was a month of illness in our home ~ glad to report we all survived!
Lots of book reading to pass the time- l am on my fourth book of the Outlander series- great adventure story with a dash of history and romance thrown in for good measure.
Thank you for the well wishes and kind e-mails sent. Thanks also to Tammy for recommending this set of books.

This past weekend we had good weather so set to work on the new front driveway. We have changed things about much and have purposefully raised our flowerbed edgings to accommodate the extra soil that is being dug out (by hand) for the drive itself. As well as the design changes for the front structure of driveway/garden l have started some seed trays to aid my feelings of restlessness and excitement brought on by the coming of Spring.
Bests all.

“You get spring fever being in this house. Every room has a view outside.”
~Bonney Todd

Top photo- Loch Striven- taken 2 weeks ago.
Photo below- Sam in snow- mid January

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