Friday, October 07, 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

Breath...it's Friday!

What a week. While the rest of the country has been basking in glorious sunshine with soaring temperatures we have had the usual ragged clumps of broken cloud blowing over – sun occasionally colouring the land in bright shifting patches but mostly the world has been grey and windswept. I did manage to get a few wash loads hung out on the line this past week – the wind blew fitfully enough to dry the lot so l was pleased.


Update on the bathroom refit : After lots of measuring, discussion and basic sketching for our bathroom we are venturing across the water tomorrow to visit a large showroom full of bathroom furniture, etc. This will give us an idea of what might work- l had thought of putting in an offset corner bath but need to see them now to be sure. I am the 'bath' person in this house- the boys prefer to shower so l definitely want one where l can stretch out and relax.


Our Sam is away out to school today dressed up as Willy Wonka- his school is hosting a 'Dahlicious' dress up party and all the children have to come dressed as a character from one of his books- Roald Dahl. The money raised with go to his Children's Charity raising money for the seriously ill – only £1 per child but with all the schools taking part this should really add up and what a great cause!


News: Our Sam got voted in for Pupil Council this year – he represents the children of Primary 5 for his school. We got a letter from the school which read,

“I am delighted to inform you that your child has been chosen to represent their class year at this session's Pupil Council. This is indeed a credit to them as they are not just popular members of their class, they have also been chosen by their peers as they have been judged to have many skills e.g. they are good communicators, are able to work as part of a team, have demonstrated that they have good ideas and are enthusiastic members of our school.”

Wow!! How proud are we!!


Oh, and look- it's raining again!!

Have a great weekend all!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Another weekend gone

Good evening all.

Another busy weekend almost done and Monday tomorrow already but - l won't think of all that just now. I'm just glad it's almost time for bed – I'm looking forward to snuggling up under the duvet with a good book. Today has been a monumentally wet and dismal day – the only word that seems to fit is dreich! It's hard to believe the reports of this wonderful 'Indian Summer' that's on its way to us especially after the fickle week of weather we've just had but way-hey if it happens.

Well, as you know from the last post, the bathroom window got put in last week by our friend Robert – l'm still taken aback every time l go in there – it's so wonderful to see so much more light!


Over the weekend hubby cemented around the outside and plastered around the inside frame – he still has the windowsill to do but things are starting to really take shape. Today our plumber
'friend of a friend' came round to size up the bathroom for fitting so now l'm on the hunt for a good bathroom suite at a reasonable cost.

Daniel went back to work on Saturday and is recovering well – it always amazes me how much faster you heal the younger you are. Thank you for all the well wishes.

Sorry to hear that Betty over at Country Charm had a fall – sending healing wishes across to you Mrs!

Our Sam had a fun time yesterday at a birthday party – he got to go to a Laser Tag Arena across the water! He had a great time there with all his friends so certainly has something to write about in his school journal tomorrow. He has also been practising the clarinet and guitar and tonight played and sang a song for us (on his Dad's electric guitar) – we were so impressed!

Incidentally our house name means 'House of song' in Gaelic – chosen by us because of our love for music. Hubby and l both play the guitar but he is the pro.

Okay, tired now – up the wooden hill (stairs) for me.



Thursday, September 22, 2011

Let there be light!

introductory text...a window to boldly go where no window has gone before...(said in the style of Star Trek)

We've had a busy day here getting a new bathroom window put in. Up until now we've only had a small skylight so this should make a world of difference and after that it's bathroom refurbishment time!! Hopefully that will be done before Christmas - well, that's the plan anyway.


It's my friend's hubby that has been putting in the window for us and he has done a fine job so far. Thank you Robert! Today he knocked through 16inches (depth) of stone walling and set the window into position so tomorrow he has to cut from the inside out and set the windowsill, etc.


My oldest son has been in the wars - he fell down a long flight of stairs at the railway station last week on the way home from work- ouch!! He had to go to the hospital and the x-ray showed three cracked ribs - one side is quite swollen and the other has a rib that moves around under his skin as he breathes - kind of scary looking! He has been prescribed some serious pain killers and is receiving much TLC (Tender Loving Care).


Earlier this evening our youngest also had his first music lesson on the Clarinet so we have enjoyed his first few musical gasps.


Apart from all the above we are doing okay - the garden is starting to feel tired and yawn looking to be put to bed for the winter. I have been crafting away each evening so will post some photos about that soon.

We are planning another trip down to Kernow (Cornwall) in October so l'm counting down the days- the break will do us all good (no pun intended son ;).

Below are some photos of Sam (son) & Ollie (granddaughter) playing with the Hot Wheels car set - these two always give me something to smile about.

♥ Love and blessings to you all for the coming week♥




Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tegenaria domestica

It's early Autumn and time for House Spiders to start roaming around for mates. I was sitting earlier typing away when from the corner of my vision l saw this huge spider climbing up my desk lamp, not even 30cm from the keyboard! The thing was enormous- bigger than the palm of my hand! I froze – it froze and I'm sure we made eye(s) contact. I backed away slowly slowly and then hurried downstairs to grab my camera and a glass big enough to catch it. Wow- that spider was fast and after a few moments of heightened heart rate and mad thrashing around (me) l managed to trap it under the glass and gloat while l got my breath back.

"To usher the spider into a cup for relocation, hold the cup in front of the spider and use something to gently nudge the spider from behind. A spider's first reflex after being touched from behind is to walk or run forward. The spider will walk right into the cup that is placed in front of it." Wikipedia.
--- Easier said than done!!!!

I knew it was just a house spider but l haven't seen any quite that big! I looked it up to double check and found out that it is also one of the world's fastest spiders - made it to the Guinness Book of World Records, having clocked speeds of up to 1.73ft/sec – arghh!

Do you recall (above) when l said - 'time for spiders to start roaming around for mates' ? Well, l've just read up on these spiders and *queue scary music* this one could already have a mate which could be anywhere!! I keep shivering now and jerking my head uncontrollably as if it's crawling nearby looking for it's lost love that l have tossed outside – eek!


"The spider species Tegenaria domestica, commonly known as the barn funnel weaver in North America and the domestic house spider in Europe, is a member of the funnel-web family Agelenidae and a close relative of the hobo spider." Wikipedia.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Oh, the wind & the rain

Yesterday we had such a quiet Sunday – no one visiting, no one headed out – the phone silent. The rain poured and the wind blew but inside it just felt so warm and peaceful. I remember lying in the bath watching the rain fall gently on the skylight above, listening to its pit-patter sound. I relaxed by candlelight just enjoying the tranquillity of it all.


Today is quite the reverse – we are experiencing the tail end of hurricane Katia – the winds have been strong and in some places over 75mph. Living on the west coast of Scotland we are used to the remnants of Atlantic storms but this is our first big one of the year so we got busy making preparations early this morning for it - making sure pots and tubs were tucked away in a sheltered spot, bins secure and hanging baskets taken down - the usual stuff.

Today l took our oldest lad along with me in the car to pick up the youngest, Sam. Daniel had to keep a grip on Sam as they ran to the car and at one point his hat flew off down the road – exciting stuff. Anyway, we decided to stop by the waterfront and get out to feel the force of the wind gusts. The boys had a laugh but unfortunately l ended up with horrific earache – both ears!
We've been back in for ages - the boys watched a DVD while l made Carrot & Coriander soup- my own version with a few parsnips and potatoes thrown in for good measure. I think soup is just the perfect supper for a day like this.
Plenty of candles are lit around the house and although the storm rages on outside l feel quite safe and secure so now l'm away to watch this new Pirates of the Caribbean film aptly titled 'On Stranger Tides'.
Stay safe folks.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Healing thoughts across the horizon


Today in our home we will recall the moment ten years ago when our son shouted for us to come and see what was happening on the television. It was of course the minutes following the first of the Twin Towers being hit. We watched with millions in realtime as the horror unfolded – one of those moments that you will never forget and everyone remembers where they were. We stood transfixed as another plane plunged into a tower filled with life and humanity – it all felt so unreal.

Our world changed that day and the repercussions of it are still changing the world.

I grieve for the people who died on 9/11 as l grieve for those who died in the London bombings, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in India and for all those who are still dying in so many other places around the world.

Peace and love be with you all. x

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Post from yesterday- around the same time ;)

I'm not long in and l've just sat down with a hot cup of tea. The window beside me is partially open letting in a slight breeze- a cooler Autumn freshness. I can hear the cars passing by below - tyres splashing through the troughs of rain that have run rivulets down the centre of the road.


Today has been a blessed mix of sunshine and showers – the type of weather that creates wonderful contrasts - land, sky, sea and architecture woven theatrically together using just the power of light and shadow.




The grandeur of it all has not just been in the more extraordinary features of nature or buildings, but more so in the less conspicuous and commonplace – an old door knob, a broken gate, moss on an old tree or stone wall.


For me it is the idea of seeing – the emotion of the place, the art within the landscape that is so intense – it's that fascination and tranquility brought about by nature that inspires.



So today, as l accompanied my husband out to one of his work places, l was glad l'd brought my camera because while he was indoors l got to wander a while in the hopes that l might capture just one single shot of this beautiful day to share - with you.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Still August - still Summer

Sitting here and looking out of my window towards the hillside l notice how it is starting to take on a richer hue- the trees have started to turn and with todays rain it just feels like Autumn is creeping slowly nearer – how quickly the seasons seem to pass.

We've had a wonderful summertime – camped down in Cornwall and bought a new tent; took our son (Sam) and granddaughter (Ollie) to the Sea Life Centre at Loch Lomond and spent many many other days down by the beach or at the parks. I took advantage of every good day and still am (taking advantage of these days) - hanging out washings and enjoying just being outside.

This past weekend our little town hosted the annual Highland Gathering where pipe bands and people from all over the world came to participate and enjoy. For me this was the highlight of our 'summertime' but also an event that tends to mark the end of it for us locals. The buzz and lively atmosphere fades as quickly as the visitors leave and the bunting is taken down to be packed away until next time.

On Saturday we had a big family dinner and watched the firework finale down by the waterfront– a balmy evening shared together as we waved at the coach loads of people leaving and watched as the ferries pulled out from the pier.

And on Sunday morning l drove through the town when there was not a soul- a different world – a sleepy world recouping.

I hope you have all had a lovely Summertime so far - that you have had good harvests and good times spent.




Thursday, August 11, 2011

Facebook

I've had no time at all to blog lately or visit - sorry. Our wee granddaughter is staying with us again while her mum is away to summer school for OU - wonderful times but busy.
Sam starts school within the week so might find some time to catch up after that but in the meantime facebook is also a way of staying in touch.
If you would like to join me on facebook please would you send me your link/name to mackenzieinteriors@yahoo.co.uk.
Hope you are all doing well..
bests for the now

Monday, July 11, 2011

Our day out - Saturday 9th July 2011

This is my first upload using You Tube - a slideshow about our day out to see the Tall Ships event at the James Watt Dock and quaysides. Over 57 ships, fantastic stage performances, stalls and fairground - entertainment for the whole family. I loved hearing Yvonne Lyon sing and seeing Sam with Captain Jack Sparrow ;) but best of all those beautiful sailing ships - graceful lines, miles of rigging and huge masts.
Will get round to visiting asap :)



Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

Rapturous Simplicity

Today l've been busy washing jeans, towels and bed linens because the weather conditions have been just perfect for hanging it all out to dry. Seeing my washing hung out on the line and capturing that moment as it all flaps happily away in the breeze, well it just fills me with an inner sense of accomplishment.


I sat outside for a while after l'd hung the first lot up, enjoying the fresh scent of the wash powder as the sheets danced and made snapping noises in the wind. I lay back on the bench and watched the birds sweeping the vaulted sky above while listening to the soft rustle of Birch leaves; to neighbours mowing their lawn and bumble bees busy among the sage flowers. A symphony of sound- of buzz and whir, of rustle and snap...the soundings and rhythms of life.


Simple pure ethereal calm - a moment to take pause and treasure.



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

SUMMER SOLSTICE

Today l woke up to another world- a world with very little sound. Unfortunately l've been stuffed up with a head cold these past few days and had hoped that by this morning it would have abated somewhat- but no. I feel like l have pillows covering my ears and l can hear a washing drum sound, most likely from the pulse of blood in my skull or blocked Eustachian tube – slosh and whoosh and whoosh and slosh. The only sound that l seem to pick up is from our wine fermentation bin behind me- the bubbles repeatedly coursing through the airlock and filling the room with a slight boozy smell - between that and the haze of cold medication it is a wonder that l can type!


On my last post l mentioned that l would post a movie – l had the most difficult time with Blogger on posting but FINALLY got there as you can see from the post below.


These past few months have been hectic for me and sadly the summer weather has been as elusive as ever at least for us up on the west coast of Scotland but nevertheless summer is upon us and it is a busy time. I am trying to savour the joy of this season and get out as often as l can so that these memories will see me though the shortening of days to come. Yesterday was the longest day of the year- sunrise around 4:30am and sunset after 10pm!


Wishing you all, love and peace this Midsummer Solstice.

Loving...

video

Monday, June 13, 2011

Last month of school

With good intentions l started the spring cleaning last week see post below and got a lot accomplished but l've had to stop for the moment to concentrate on the many activities going on with Sam's school in this, the last month of his year.

Last week he took part in the Area Sports Day where all the schools in Cowal compete against each other at different sporting events. Sam was picked to run in the 100mtr for his school. In the running heats he came in second and so l thought he wouldn't have a chance in the final but... he came in second again !!! So this week my wee boy has had his picture in the local paper with all of the other winners – this is the first time he has won a medal.

At the end of last week he also took part in a play with his class – the play was based on the RMS Titanic which is the topic that they have been doing for a while. I was very impressed with all the children that took part, amazed at their knowledge of events and the work that was displayed in their classroom. They were all dressed up in period costume- even Sam wore a bowler hat.

Tomorrow Sam has swimming in the morning and then his own school's sports day in the afternoon so he will be very tired when he finally gets home. On Wednesday there is a Parent's evening at the school too- it is all go at the moment!!

As for the weather, well it has been fickle to say the least. Some moments the sun is shining brightly and the next the heavens open and we have a downpour- not the best for planning to hang out washings.

Sam spent time with Olwyn (granddaughter) out front this weekend - they blew bubbles, ate ice cream and played games. At 2½ Olwyn is really starting to enjoy interacting with Sam and it's lovely to see them together - Sam is so gentle with her and Ollie hangs on his every word.

I've also been tinkering around with ' i-movie' on my Mac computer- a relaxing thing to do in the evening- preferred by me to watching the television. I'm starting to get the gist of it now and will try and add a short video on my next post.

Take care all.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Spring Cleaning Bug

I've been ill and l've been worried but now l am neither!

This morning while getting wee Sam away to school l stood waiting on the kettle to boil thinking and starting to plan. I must have woken up on the right side of the bed because even the ominous weather forecast did not seem to dampen my mood. The calendar showed a few days ahead with nothing pencilled in so l figured – 'hey, why not start the spring cleaning?!' – better late than never!!! I've just had so much going on and when the weather was nice l ended up in the garden so now it's time to focus on the inside.

So after this post and another cup of tea l'll make my check-list, find some up-beat music to sing along loudly to and go throw all the windows open - very therapeutic in its own way!

My daughter, Mel also has some new spring bunnies- 6 in total and all doing well. Some photos below.





Monday, June 06, 2011

The Pendulum of Fate

"This way, that way - swinging with the rhythm of Time's tune - moving with the same unswerving motion, night and noon...Like the heart-beats of the house. With grim monotony - they tick away the measured moments of eternity.
There's a swinging pendulum at work in our affairs - for we swing from griefs to joys - from hopes into despairs... First a flash of happiness - and then a crushing blow.
Seems as if we're meant to keep on swinging to and fro..." Patience Strong

Today l journeyed across the water to go to the big hospital to see about what might have been a 'cancerous melanoma' which turned out NOT TO BE!! Hubby came with me and l cannot convey how relieved we both were when l got the all clear - like a huge weight being lifted. We went to have breakfast together straight after and although it was only at the local Tesco (supermarket) it may as well have been the Ritz because we just felt so happy.
I'm going to keep this post short tonight because l'm babysitting our wee granddaughter but wanted to share the good news.
bests all xx

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Beauty in the ordinary

Seeing the beauty in the everyday things around us is easier said than done, especially when we've had weeks of relentless rain and gale-force winds. But beauty is not always as we imagine- like in a painting or even a small flower, sometimes it's as simple as an old stone wall full of moss and lichen or a weathered shed door with rusted handle, sometimes it's the scenery that we take for granted around us or the canopy of trees that form a dappled shade below. Wherever we look there is always beauty to be found in the most ordinary of places – beauty to be found in the quality of light just after the rain or beauty to be found in the stillness of an early morn.


There is a vitality of greenery this year – certainly one added benefit from the abundance of rain we've had to endure. The trees on the hillside, so lush with so many different shades of green that you are suddenly drawn to the textures; the Creeping Jenny with bright yellowy foliage spreading and filling out in every direction- always a wonderful complement to any neighbouring plant.

Down at the beach l love the shades of the rocks and could stand for ages watching as the waves lap gently over and around them. For me, it's the light- the quality of light that makes everything come alive!


There is nothing more beautiful than a kind spirit – a gentleness and empathy that shines out from the inside. Treating others the way you would wish to be treated – this beauty manifests itself in all sorts of ways – through words and deeds – neighbourly gestures and so on. Sadly however not everyone reciprocates in the same manner, some people hold back and have a coldness inside. I have told my oldest son to not just go for the looks in a girl but to see the beauty that lies beneath – a prerequisite for any of my daughter-in-laws to be – lol.

And lets not forget the most wonderful of moments- sharing and caring. The holding of hands with your partner, the hug from your children or grandchild, a caring word from a friend – that is beauty to warm the cockles of your heart!


So these are the moments in my life that l try to focus on- especially when things are not always easy.

I am drawn to the people who care and to my family who love me.

Love, life and the everyday beauty of things.

I wish you all the very best of weekends and will get round to visiting soon. Thank you for your kind thoughts and wishes.


"Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee,

the small child, and the smiling faces.

Smell the rain, and feel the wind..." Ashley Smith

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

A dismal day - dreaming of sunshine

Well today's weather really is awful- rainy, windy and dull, humph... I'm still a little shaky on my pins so have decided to stay in for a few days anyway. The weather is supposed to improve towards the weekend so l'll try and get out and do a little gardening then– the garden's in desperate need of some TLC. With the early sunshine this year plus last months rainfall the plants AND weeds seem to have come on tenfold!! I'm not going to complain about the weather though because there are serious drought problems arising south of the border. On the news last night cattle farmers were struggling to find enough grass for their cattle/sheep and crop yields are being affected which will bump food prices up later - watch this space.

Last night l was awake for ages – just couldn't sleep. The house was so quiet except for the wind which blew fitfully against the windows. I sat in my wee craft room wrapped in my old cardigan with the fire on and busied myself making a birthday card for my father-in-law- Hubby is going to post it today. Ironically l used sunflowers as my theme on the card - perhaps subconsciously l was trying to let in a little sunshine.

Anyway, from my window here l can see the freight ships going up and down the river – the local ferries also seem unaffected by the wind gusts. Long ripples are forming across the surface of the Clyde – like finger rolls when you smooth the sheets on a bed. I'm enjoying watching the gulls soaring, hovering - it's almost a game for them- bowcurving wind currents. I'm envious. Life seems to be going on as usual even though it's all wet and grey...and l'm stuck indoors.

I've added the poem below by James C. Welsh. It just seems to fit.


A PICTURE IN GREY


Waves on a cold grey shore,

Sea birds on heavy wing,

Mists all the headlands o'er,

Grey thoughts the soft winds bring;

Far out, the white birds cry,

Sigh of the wave and wind,

Ships passing out, and l

Dreaming along behind.


Bleak, bleak, the shore and lea,

Soft stirs the yellow grass,

Grey sand and greyer sea

Change as the shadows pass;

Still out of all the pain,

Out of the misty sea,

Out from this threat of rain -

Shall break the sun to me.

Just another excuse

So, after the last post l thought l'd be blogging again sooner than now! Turns out l went downhill quickly with the stomach flu (gastroenteritis)- oh joy. Yesterday evening l was discharged from the hospital after an overnight there. I went in on the Sunday and was immediately hooked up to the IV and got an injection for the nausea. It was the worst sick bug l've ever had - l hadn't eaten for 5 days and was very very dehydrated - couldn't even keep water down. Anyway after an overnight on the IV = 8+bags later and a few more meds/blood tests l was able to return home.
My husband, Gerald deserves a medal for the way he has looked after me and our family this past week. He has rushed around shopping, cleaning and cooking. All l could do was stay in bed. He has been both mum and dad and is the very best husband l could ever wish for. Thanks love!!!
I am just so glad to be feeling normal again and tonight l had my first proper meal - woo hoo! On the brighter side, l've lost a bit of weight which will do me no harm and l have learned to never EVER leave it so late before making an appointment to see the doctor. We are never too old to learn.
I have to also say how lovely the hospital staff were - so many people make the effort to complain but we will be writing a letter of thanks for the great job they did and their kindness.
I hope you are all in good health. bests all.

ps- Hubby couldn't believe l was dehydrated, not with the amount of Gin l drink (wink)...he actually said that!


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