Wednesday, April 30, 2008

All in a days work

Here is the slideshow of the pictures l took on our journey to Helensburgh. The photographs with snow are from the same journey back in February. There is a photograph in the slideshow of three Peacocks walking down the road in front of us and another of someone in a canoe heading towards Helensburgh- l did wonder if it was my blogging friend Claire!
I've a big day tomorrow - lots of driving but l'm looking forward to visiting with my older two children.
Night night folks. To my Sis and friends Down Under- Good morning!

P.S. My neighbour across the street is getting a home perm in her kitchen tonight- with the window all lit up it is hard not to look! She must be wondering about me here typing away too- ha! The other neighbour two doors down is standing on a ladder painting around the window frame- it's all a go go here. I'm away to bed.

One hour too early

A rose-bud, by my early walk
Adown a corn-enclosèd bawk,
Sae gently bent its thorny stalk,
All on a dewy morning....

Yesterday l was away in Helensburgh with hubby. G had work there so l was up early to go along for the ride. We motored along the banks of Loch Eck, Loch Fyne, Loch Long and Loch Lomond - the water was so still it reflected like a mirror. We drove up over the Rest and be Thankful and past the Arrochar Alps- the Cobbler, Ben Ime, Ben Vane, etc.
The vibrant glow of gorse waved at us from the roadsides, as did the wild primrose. We had to drive slower along certain stretches of the journey where there were sheep grazing, often having to navigate our way around a wee lamb and it's mother crossing over. I enjoy eating lamb but always feel terrible about it come Springtime. Don't ask me to pass the mint sauce!!

This morning I woke up and started getting wee S ready for school as usual, forgetting that the alarm had been set for an earlier hour (from the trip yesterday). It wasn't until we reached the school gates and empty street that we realised something was amiss - arghh - one hour too early!
I have to say though that it has been a most productive morning because apart from getting wee S to school l had cleaned out the fish tank, put a washing in, hung a washing up, got the rubbish bin out for pick up, scrubbed the cooker hob, swept the kitchen floor, watered the indoor plants- and all this before 8am! Wow- l must be a morning person after all.

Now l'm off to take a friend out to the garden centre and help her make up some hanging baskets- l'm doing the same for another pal on Monday! Any excuse for a visit to the garden centre for me!
Wee S has Scouts tonight and tomorrow l'm headed up to the city to check in on my older two kids.
Hope to download the photographs from yesterday A.S.A.P. and will add them to the next post.
Cheerio and bests for now.

...So thou, dear bird, young Jeany fair,
On trembling string or vocal air,
Shall sweetly pay the tender care
That tents thy early morning!

Sunday, April 27, 2008


It was a braw afternoon yesterday so the wean sat most of it on his bahookie, hiding oot in his wee club hoose. He had kitted it oot in gallus style with rugs and throne, jorries, boodle bag, chocolate digestives and bottle of ginger- a stoater of a secret den- unco braw! I heard him blethering to himself and at times felt quiet bamboozled about what was going on inside especially when it shoogled so. Occasionally l saw a keek of breek or shank but mostly l just listened with my lug to his gab. I even held ma wheesht when he came oot to plouter aroon and when he went birlin doon the path! At least he’s no like the big yins yet - plain gyte and oot roamin – he’s still just oor ain wee poke-shakkins.
The playpark:

Friday, April 25, 2008

Beside the seaside, beside the sea.

When I walked S to school this morning the whole town smelled of ‘beach’- that delightful and distinctive smell of aromatic sea air – for me one of the perks of living by the seaside. I continued walking after the school run, following my nose so to speak and ended up sitting down on the rocks by the pier enjoying the freshness and quiet around me. The ferry was far enough out by then to send endless ripples straight towards shore, so I sat there for a long time watching the bubbles bounce against the rocks below.
I don’t know if it’s the same for everyone, but for me, in moments of life’s changes l try to analyse and define what is, taking reassurance in the constants. So this morning l sat there looking out onto the water, listening to the sound of my thoughts, like an ocean trapped in a seashell.
Some say that we are born at the bottom of the ocean, a foetus swimming towards the surface, perhaps guessing even then at what the future might hold – love, breath? To me this is just a metaphor but a good one, for having always lived by the ocean l recognise just how great a part the sea plays in giving me a sense of place.
And just like when l'm gardening, it gives me a place to think.

thoughts by the sea
by Everett A Warren
August 26, 1998

whispering *** listening
murmuring sea-song ***crashing upon rock
pull of ebb and flow *** drifting, dreaming
silent it lies for a breath *** still visual cacophony
gathering *** swelling
rescinding *** retreating
salt-spray *** stinging
upon the shoreline watching *** on waves thought speeding
falling *** rising
mind-sailing *** heart-feeling
sails billowing *** with the dream

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Old and New

Almost a week now of complete sunshine and blue skies, for those living in warmer climates perhaps not that great a deal but for us here on the west coast of Scotland- very nice indeed. As l said on my last post- no excuses for being lazy! So this morning I’m going to get caught up with a few inside chores then it’s out to the new play park with wee S. After that it’s back home and paint the front garden wall! I’ve already started a pork casserole in the slow cooker so life feels organised.
As for this play park, well it’s been under refurbishment and today is the date set for completion so it’ll be swamped. See above plans- lovely curves and spacing!
Our town has had very little for the children for years now- the old swing park was in a sad state of disrepair and the even older paddling pool to the side had been half filled in with soil- a far cry from what used to be. I suppose with everything else good old ‘Health and Safety’ have had something to do with the closure of so many of the parks hereabout- the old rolling barrels behind the town hall are a long time gone.
I took wee S a walk along the shore the other night to see how the new design was coming along. This park sits to one side of W*est Bay and is a lovely walk to from our home, along the shoreline, which gives the mind time to wander.
When we got there l stood resting my arms on the railings as wee S played on the beach. As l looked on to what was left of the paddling pool area my mind flew back thirty years to the wee girl l once was. I remembered sitting on the sloping sides with the many other families and children, the laid out towels and laughter, kids with boats and grandparents walking the perimeter with rolled up trousers. There was innocence then and a joy for socialising with your neighbour. It’s something l miss terribly and feel sad that my children won’t know.
I stood there long enough to watch the swans make there way from one end of the bay to the other- occasionally coming in for some bread or titbits thrown and then S and l headed back home.
I came to this town for holidays as a wee girl with my parents, to visit our Granny and Grandpa. l believe it was those holidays and the being with family that prompted my parents to move here. Mum has a picture somewhere of Gran and Grampa sitting against the rounded wall at the turn to this swing park looking very rounded themselves. Granny looked loved sitting there beside Grandpa, lovely with her big fluffy hat and hairpin. Grandpa with his gently crooked smile, which always made me think he knew something l didn’t, his braces holding up his trousers to chest height- l miss them both.
I sound like the wee old lady at the end of the Titanic movie talking about her past with no pictures to show – just the memories stored in her mind. Fortunately though l have just found some other pictures of that time and my Grandparents. I am the wee baby and girl in the pictures- always sitting on my Granny’s knee.
Grandpa and Granny were married for over 65years- married in 1923.
Their birthdays were on the 5th and 8th of April.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Keeping Busy

April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks Go. ~Christopher Morley, John Mistletoe

Daffodils glint and sway in the sunshine to the hum of mowers cutting grass behind.
Windows opened for fresh air to travel freely like the neighbours themselves busy with chores inside and out. Swollen shed doors wrenched open again after long winter months ready now for a sweep out and shelf makeover.
The town is busy and people are smiling – a time of rebirth.

I’ve been keeping busy around the house here with Hubby – painting and gardening. The weather has been cool but beautifully clear so no excuses for not getting on.
The grass has had its first cut and I’ve added some Wallflowers and Stocks to the border along the pathway for their sweet scent. It’s just a joy to be back outside again, listening to the birdsong and busy planting.

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.

Lord Byron (1788-1824)
Pleasure in the Pathless Woods

Monday, April 07, 2008

Caution: this woman is flammable!

PhotobucketSupreme Master Chef... Auntie Betty hits the Grand Old Age of...

Auntie Betty is a creative and talented woman who, at this moment in time, has decided on a slight career shift. She has moved into the realms of 'Revolutionary Baking', using only home-style ingredients and products. Move over Aunt Bessie- here comes Auntie Betty!! She delights us all with new and truly inventive recipies like, Shoo-fly pie, Tixylix Eclairs, Chocolate Torte with Tetley cream and Chicken noodle and Pistachio Pound Cake. Not to mention what she can do with a little Daz Dressing- the mind boggles!

How old? Well l stopped counting when the curtains caught fire, l mean, did you see how many candles were on that cake!

What is it that keeps this woman so enthused for life and young at heart- always on the move for finding new ways to be creative.
Answer: Auntie Betty is a lady who swears by her daily oxter dabs of WD-40. You may gaup, l certainly did when she told me that it had actually stopped her squeaking, drove out unwanted moisture, loosened rusted parts and freed up sticky mechanisms. It’s amazing that she hasn’t yet thought about using it in one of her unique designer cake recipes – or, perhaps she has!!! Arghh!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Sunshine and Showers

It has been raining outside this morning but thankfully l managed to get S into school before it came teeming down. We even managed a detour on route to drop some books off at the charity shop - part of the ongoing spring clearout.

The upside of living where we do (Scotland’s west coast) is the dramatic scenery but the downside has to be the rain (although my father-in-law might argue the Midge instead!).
Certainly we have ample vocabulary to describe the rain, describing the action of it, its direction and intensity. Perhaps we do this to help in our acceptance of it- like an Inuit with ‘summer snow' or a Texan with 'a baking sun'. Somehow by making it more interesting we build up forbearance and learn to live with it. To talk about the changeable weather is our national pastime - we don’t even realise we’re doing it anymore – like tapping the barometer on the way out of the door or packing wet weather gear in with packed lunch!
It must be noted however that there is also a special Gaelic word for when it stops raining- ‘turadh’- just don’t ask me to say it.
Yesterday it stopped raining so l took more pictures (below).

After picking up S from school yesterday we walked along the shore and climbed up c*astle hill. We bought an ice cream at the café below and before heading home bumped into my sis-in-law out strolling along the prom with her S also. Nephew S had such a wonderful smile for us and shared licks of ice cream with his cousin before we parted. Everyone was in a sunshiny mood.
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