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.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Through the eyes of a child.

My five-year -old son lately has been asking the sort of question that younger children are famous for, the kind where you probably ought to know the answer but don't exactly. So, not to fob him off with a ‘just because’ you try to explain why bugs bite, why dogs chase cats and why nana’s hair is turning grey but then you realize that you’re not so clued up about it yourself ~ especially when he starts to ask the deeper follow-up questions on the finer points of what was your!
It’s at this stage you turn to the computer – thank goodness for Google and sites like this one called, HOW STUFF WORKS.

A quick speed-read and then you’re back to help prolong your child’s warming illusion about your knowledge and expertise in all. No will-o'-the-wisp answers allowed.
This morning’s question was, “Why is the sky blue?”. Do you know why the sky is blue?

Wee S has also been taking lots of photographs lately. I let him borrow my camera and off he goes.
Below are the photos that S has been taking- l love the childhood innocence that shines through.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Yesterday evening hubby and l watched a show on BBC called, ‘The Real Hustle’. It’s an interesting series where scams and magic tricks are performed on members of the public. It’s really amazing to see just how sophisticated some con artists have become in their endeavours.

The show highlights ways in which money can be extracted, with a view to educating the viewer in how to avoid becoming a victim. Various terminology is explained, and the marks are fully informed of the cons/scams straight afterwards and repaid any money they'd lost.
*Quote borrowed from Wikipedia

Here is a LINK to some of the earlier shows.

Last night hubby and l sat in astonishment as we watched THE FAKE LEATHER JACKET SCAM. Shocked because a few years back we had obviously been chosen as the MARK for this.

...About five years ago, just after wee S was born we made our usual pilgrimage down to Cornwall to visit family. I can’t remember on what motorway we were but we had pulled into one of the larger service stations to rest up as you do. It was a hot summer and l had to feed and change wee S so we parked in the shade at a more secluded spot in the car park big mistake and never again.
It wasn’t long before a car pulled up beside us, a sleek silver BMW if l remember right. Two well-dressed Italian men not got out and approached us.
They fed us some sorry story that they had been returning from a large trade show up north and were headed back to London to catch a flight home. Unfortunately, while over here they had underestimated the high cost of fuel and therefore needed just enough cash to supply them with petrol and food on their journey south sob sob.
The boot of their car was popped open and one of the men dug down through a pile of leather jackets to find passports for us to verify their ‘identity’. They appeared so credible and their accents were so convincing that I actually felt a bit sorry for them at the time which is the idea.
The boot was tactfully left open to expose the many plastic wrapped leather jackets with designer labels. They pulled out two Gucci leather jackets ha! and offered them at cut price to us, so as to cover their expenses honestly and repay the favour lol. One jacket was whipped out of the wrapping and held up next to me, l was beginning to feel a little uncomfortable at this point and hubby kept shooting suspicious glances. Both of these men were big and intimidating.
“Look at the quality, see the Gucci buttons and labels…bla bla bla.”
We were told that these "designer" jackets would look great on us of course and normally retailed at over £600 each!! One of the men did a little trick next to hubby with a cigarette lighter burning the fabric for some reason- l am still not sure what that was meant to prove ???.
The leather smelled real, the buttons looked genuine but did we really know what a Gucci button looked like? The whole atmosphere was uncomfortable.
So we stuck to our guns and told these guys that we would really like to help them but we just could not afford to buy these jackets. The deal then went down from £200 each to £200 for both. Again we refused and told them we did not carry that much cash get the message.

Looking back now l can see how things were getting out of control and to top it off the next suggestion they made was for hubby to go to a cash machine and get money from our account; leaving me alone with these two strangers and baby S no way! Red warning flags were flying and we were both looking to get out of this situation and quick! Never again would we park so far away from the station forecourt!
The two guys got back into their car as if to reassess the options left to them. Hubby took advantage of this and drove us away pronto!!

While we watched this fraud dramatized and exposed on TV last night we were pleased that we had managed to get away unscathed. Things could have got much worse. Hubby could have been escorted to the cash machine while baby S and l were held hostage- you never know!

See below the leather jacket stitch-up. Although not quite the same as the story above ~ you get the idea.
If it’s too good to be true ~ it probably is!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Singing in the rain

A few months back, in May, wee S had a day trip to Benmore Gardens with his nursery group. My Mum and l decided to tag along and enjoy the day out along with them.
Benmore garden has 100's of different species of Rhododendron, a fantastic lined avenue of giant Redwood trees, beautiful pond with Koi carp, and so so many more varieties of plantings- truly a gardeners delight! Not to mention that you can buy different plants at their nursery on the way out!

Garden Highlights (quote borrowed from link to site above):
"In the wonderful woodland setting of the Eachaig Valley lies Benmore, a Garden steeped in history and surrounded by dramatic scenery. Benmore boasts a world-famous collection of magnificent conifers, flowering trees and shrubs. Its 150 acres feature some of the tallest trees in Britain, including a spectacular Avenue of Giant Redwoods – these majestic giants soar over 40 metres high!"

What a day it turned out to be as the heavens decided to open above us and we all got soaked through! However, all was not lost, as my wee Mum had come prepared with her Macintosh raincoat-lol. Even the children seemed to be unaffected by this torrential downpour and their enduring spirits remained high- it was wonderful to see.
Later the nursery teacher told me that wee S had offered another child his hat. This other wee boy had come with no hood on his jacket and as S had both he offered to share- l thought this was lovely and so did his Nanna.
Anyway here are some photos from that day ~ sadly the photographs do not do this place justice.

A song is also attached to this post for my dear Mum- the lyrics make me smile- hope you all enjoy too.
Mum has been in Germany with my youngest sister these past few weeks helping out with wee Charlie.
l have missed her heaps and am glad to say that l will be picking her up from the airport very soon.
Lets just hope it is a dry day- we have had so much rain lately.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Spot the cat

Well things out front have certainly started to green and grow- you wouldn’t think it was all just a mud puddle just a few months back. We're pleased with the result and as you can see our old car has settled into its wee space; our practice runs at reversing have also paid dividend and l am pleased to chips on the gateposts!
The first photo was taken today as l talked with my sister in Australia- the visiting white cat was making himself feel at home on the gravel at the time of the call. The other pictures are from last week.
I'm just in from sitting up back with hubby and wee S; wee S playing in his tent while hubby and l just relaxed together. The weather over here for the past few weeks has been fickle so we enjoyed that little bit of sunshine this afternoon. Hope you are all enjoying the weekend too.
Current read at the moment is River God by Wilbur Smith-very good and so l think l shall be retiring early.
Bests all.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


Last week our wee S (second from left in photo) had his Graduation. The nursery put on a special show for parents and we went to see S singing in different groups with his friends. It was wonderful and l have to admit that there were many mothers who shed a tear- me amongst them. Below is a clip from the show, it was taken by my camera so the lighting is not so good- gives you the idea though. Thankfully the nursery are giving out taped copies of the show.

S starts primary school mid. August and so l have been busy getting his school uniform together. Most schools in this country have their own school uniform, their own badge and colours. My hubby ‘G’ (ex-Headteacher) and l approve because it means there is no distinction between ‘have a lot' and ‘not’- all the children are equal and it gives them a group identity - something to be proud of. Maybe it is a hankering back to former more disciplined days when ‘do as you are told’ and ‘no’ meant what they said and children were blessed with having less material clutter to confuse what should be a simple and innocent growing up. In truth, we maybe had less choice when we were young but in a way, more freedom and certainly more security.
Here is an old Polaroid shot of my brother and l in our school blazers.

Here is a school photo of me and my wee brother and sister.

Here is another of my younger two sisters- aren't they sweet?

By the way my blog is rated G for General Audience- had better not mention that l am eating some whiskey marmalade on my toast this morn.-lol
Online Dating

Glad to report that our shower is now up and running so this weekend we are going to redecorate the bathroom.


They drive me crazy…but l still love them.

Is growing up so difficult- what happens to us between being a child and a parent? The in-between years of discovering who you are. Living with teenagers/students is difficult. I didn’t realise how tranquil last year had become being down to just one. Is that terrible to say? Is there a time when your kids just outgrow the house- when they need their own space- perhaps so.
Having them both home again sounds nice (and is nice 90% of the time) but earlier l was listening to a serious rumble downstairs. M heading out to work and late, she needs to brush her teeth but D is in the bathroom- taking more time about it the more she makes a fuss. Quite normal goings on in this house although l am amazed my bathroom door is still holding together! Anyway you might think that you are prepared for these turbulent years but you’re not. I take my hat off to those parents out there who have been through it and survived- they know how hard it is and well, perhaps we’re almost there.

It’s late now, not completely dark but the street lamps are glowing. There is a soft mist on the river and the air has that ‘after rain’ smell. M is just in from work and D will be home shortly. I just feel drained and need some sleep.
Happy to report that l got much done today- washed the windows, dusted and did washings. My friend came over in the afternoon for a cup of tea and chat- good therapy.
Best of all hubby made me a really special meal tonight and we had a few minutes of treasured time together. I’ll tell you about it all later.
Hope you all are enjoying the weekend.
Cheerio and off to bed l go.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Packaging experience

One thing l know as a Designer is that the way you package your product matters- finding the brands ‘visual voice’ pleasing, so to speak. My Apple Mac keyboard arrived today and as always with Apple Macintosh l was smiling as l unwrapped. Apple excel in customer satisfaction- a truly world class service; the box was delivered on time by courier, bespoke cushion packaging, beautifully sealed and just a joy to open. You may think this is a wee bit over the top for a regular delivery but Apple know that details are important and they put much thought into it- graphics, colour, texture and shape; user interface begins here!! The whole box was totally spot on- ‘the ultimate packaging experience!’.

~~ Your packaging must draw consumer attention and serves as critical point-of-sale advertising. Your package design also sets the tone of the product,
whether it is premium, quality choice or the more economical buy.~~

Anyway, it’s raining, it’s pouring but l’m back online and soaring!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Technical Difficulty

Himself here reporting that - due to a technical difficulty involving the keyboard, an excited laddie and a cup of tea - normal service is suspended until the postie turns up with a replacement keyboard. (no I couldn't fix it - mac keyboards are sealed tight - I tried really I did!).
While I'm here you may care to know that I will, cringeworthily and with true Brit. grovelling, be cooking again this weekend. My Doctor tells me this will elevate me to the status of SUPREME MASTER and STUD of CHOICE in eyes of illustrious HERSELF.Who is that laughing - what?
Bless all for kind comments and know herself is thinking of you all - her dear friends - missing you and looking to be back asap.
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