Hellooooo! How’s things? Hope you are all well and enjoying the festive season. Have you had a nice time? I hope so. I am currently nursing an upper respiratory infection (a head cold and sore throat in other words) and am feeling a bit bleurgh! Luckily it’s only come on me the last couple of days. Apparently it’s making hubby’s life miserable because I am snoring worse than normal! Hope he doesn’t get this bug. It was the girl who brought it in, I’ve got it, the boy is sneezing and I’m hoping hubby doesn’t get it cos he has his last chemo this week. Hurrah!! If he has a cold it could delay it. The poor soul has been pretty unwell over the past few weeks with the build up of the chemo in his system. He’s been spending a lot of time in bed, it’s a real shame. One more to go plus two weeks of chemo tablets and that will be him. This year has been a bit shit, but I feel we’re coming to the end of it (I hope). Here’s to a better 2016!! Hubby deserves it. Am so thankful he’s still here with us because we nearly lost him a couple of times, but he pulled through. Yup, 2016 should be so much better!!
In case you are wondering, I’m putting in ‘winter wonderland’ type pics because I feel we should always have snow at Christmas (thanks to Charles Dickens for this!! Apparently when he was a child, we went through a mini ice age and Christmas was always snowy so he wrote about snowy Christmases and now we all feel it should be snowy). Anyway, it’s not snowy here in Scotland. It’s been raining and very windy lately, although the last couple of days have been calm and dry. I am, however, still missing the snow (I feel a bit peeved we don’t have it – feels more Christmassy somehow)…hence the pics.
Still trying to tot up our Christmas movies. We’ve not been watching a lot of Christmassy tv because basically the tv has been rubbish this year. As hubby quite correctly pointed out – Why are we paying our TV licence to the BBC when all they have mainly been showing is repeats of shows from when we were kids!?! And it’s not just been them! Other channels have been regurgitating tv shows from Christmas past too! And films. Yesterday we watched The Great Escape for instance…how many times has that been on British telly since the 70s??? The only thing new I’ve been watching is Dickensian, which I’ve only seen the first episode of. I love Dickens and this looks promising. I hope it’s good. Also watched the very last Downton Abbey…well I had to find out if Lady Edith got her happy ending. Seems like all the characters did. Hubby thinks Downton is rubbish and that it was all tied up too nicely, but I love a happy ending and I love Downton, so it was thumbs up from me. Even Daisy looks like she’ll finally get some romance. I know it was a cheesy finale, but it made me happy. I now feel all the characters will have a happy ending, which is the Disney-type ending they all needed!
I’ve been taking it a bit easier these last few days so there’s not much to tell. My mother put on her usual massive spread for Christmas Day – it was great. She did the full thing and there was at least five courses. My favourite was the home-made soup – my mum makes the most amazing soup. I have tried to emulate her, but can’t quite get it right. It’s like ambrosia. I love it. When I was in my early 20s and still living at home, I lived on her soup for a whole winter. She would ask what I wanted for dinner and I always asked for her soup…it’s that good. Thanks mum!! It was a great spread…especially the soup!
Haven’t been doing too much over the last couple of days except try and bring down the mountain of dirty washing that suddenly appeared two days before Christmas (when the kids were told to tidy their rooms…ahem!). Nearly at the end of that. Plus am spending a lot of time reading. Hubby got me the new Terry Pratchett book The Shepherd’s Crown (I love Terry Pratchett), so will start that as soon as I have finished Eat my Globe by Simon Majumdar. He’s a lover of food (aren’t we all?) and decided to travel the world trying out different foods. It’s a great read. He comes a lot of dishes he loves and a few he thinks are disgusting and meets lots of really interesting people along the way. Am nearly at the end of it, but have really enjoyed it.
We also have a few family board games to play…can’t wait to get into my Terry Pratchett The Witches boardgame!! (she says shivering with excitement!)
Right, on that note, I’m off to make some lunch. Got a pork pie in the fridge that has my name on it. Til next time!
PS If someone was to ask me what the theme song for this Christmas was I would have to say the Dr Who theme tune. The boy is obsessed with Dr Who and got more Dr Who stuff for Christmas. If we don’t hear the theme tune from one of the many toys, he’s humming it or singing it or him and his friend from across the road are yelling it at the tops of their voices. Sigh. On that note, thought the Dr Who Christmas special this year was rather weak…the series is not as good as it used to be even with the excellent Peter Capaldi in the lead role. The storylines are often way to complicated for kids (the boy will now only watch a maximum of 15 minutes of an episode, but sits through hours of previous series – he’s a big fan of the Matt Smith storylines, but also loves the earlier seasons). However, I can’t say that for the Christmas Day version. I will continue watching, however, because I love Dr Who too!
I have the lurgy. The boy brought in the cold a few days ago and I’ve been sneezing and been snotty ever since. My throat hurts and I generally feel a bit off colour. I had a medicinal glass of wine the other night there, but that made me feel worse…the next morning! Anyway, I shall soldier on.
How are you? Hope you are well. What have you been up to? We put the Christmas tree and decorations up this week and the house is looking very festive. I bought a new, slimmer tree and new lights and they look great. I like to buy a new ornament for the house every Christmas and this year I chose this…
The kids think I’m weird putting out figurines from The Nightmare Before Christmas, but I love them! Nothing like a bit of the macabre to really feel Christmassy!! Hee hee.
Other news and sadly we’ve lost another uncle to cancer. My thoughts go out to his daughters, my cousins, at this sad time. Feels like too many people are being affected by cancer this year.
Anyway…I am going to finish here because I have the house to clean and an ironing mountain (yes I have never managed to see through my intention of doing a bit a day…instead I leave it to pile up hoping that somehow it will go away. I hate ironing!) to do. So I will finish up here.
What is it with older men on trains? They always seem to fall asleep. I travelled home by train all week this week and on Tuesday and Wednesday, I sat across from older men. Both times they’ve been fast asleep. Obviously my conversation is not as scintillating as I thought! Not that I’m bothered. I usually spend train journeys with my nose in a book or talking to friends who happened to have been getting the train too. Anyway, I digress. Now I had the dilemma – do I wake them in case they go past their stop or leave them where they are? I opted for the latter. The reasons for this are: 1) usually people wake up before their stop anyway; 2) it was early enough that they could have gotten another train if they overshot their stop, it wasn’t like it was the last train; 3) I was being a bit lazy…I was so tired I couldn’t be bothered talking to anyone and waking them up would have meant I’d have to talk to them. I know – so antisocial!!
This is not what our trains look like, but as I like steam trains, I decided to put it in.
Once again this blog is late. I usually write and publish it on a Thursday or Friday (today is Saturday), but I’ve been so busy that I couldn’t do it. I simply did not have the energy to think of anything even remotely interesting to write. So I left it today. So where have I been? On Thursday, I went out with mum. She bought me loads of lovely things for my birthday and we had a cream tea in Marks & Spencer’s café in Braehead. I love scones with clotted cream and jam, so it was fab. Friday I met up with friends in the morning and we had a visitor in the afternoon. This morning I took my boy to his swimming lesson and the girl to her singing lesson.
This afternoon I flaked out on my bed and watched White Christmas on the telly. I love that film.
The only thing that I ever worry about regarding this lovely old film is the fact that the little girls are up on point. Surely they are far too young to be on their blocks?? Everything I see them I have this faint feeling that they probably grew up to be ladies with very damaged feet. I mean look at this…
I also think the same about the little girls from the Lullaby League in The Wizard of Oz.
Maybe I should just enjoy both films and stop worrying about the feet of the cast.
Right, so how’s your world been this week? Just letting you know I am not going to mention all the bad stuff that’s been happening in the world lately. I think there’s been enough of that on telly, so am just concentrating on what makes me happy.
Reading – no surprise there! Have just finished Jenny Lawson’s (aka The Bloggess) current book Furiously Happy. It’s very funny and a little sad in places as she talks about the mental health problems she experiences. Would recommend it. Her first book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened was excellent. It’s about her crazy upbringing. Of the two, I preferred it, but it doesn’t have the excellent cover of Furiously Happy. Look…
The raccoon is a real stuffed raccoon called Rory. Jenny is a collector of weird and wonderful taxidermy. I love Rory. I want one. She very kindly put an image of Rory on her website for her fans to print Rory and taken him with us wherever we go, but my printer would only ever print his left hand. Sigh. I had plans to take pictures of him annoying colleagues at work, in George Square and on the train. Now I will never have the pleasure. I think the expression on his face is hilarious. I can never feel down looking at him. Added to that is the fact the publishers have very helpfully put glittery bits on the cover and you have one perfect book cover!
2) Crafting – I haven’t felt like doing much knitting or sewing this year. Think I’ve simply been too tired. However, I am going to make my kids something for Christmas. I do this every year. Normally I make stuff for other members of the family too, but I just couldn’t face it. Anyhoo, I will show you my makes once they are done.
3) Cooking and baking – again I’ve not enjoyed doing any kind of cooking this year. It’s become a major chore. I think I probably just need a wee break. Roll on Christmas. Hopefully I’ll get my cooking mojo back then.
4) Watching old movies on the telly – I watched the 1947 version of Miracle on 34th Street (a young Natalie Wood played Susan) on Wednesday and White Christmas today. So big tick for that one!
5) Looking on Pinterest. Here’s my pages if any of you are interested in looking at all the fab stuff I like. I love Pinterest. My hubby doesn’t get it. I can’t describe why I like it so much. It’s like compiling your own online scrapbook of some of the most fantastic images and ideas ever!
6) Meeting up with friends…you know who you all are! Thanks for the birthday wishes, cards and pressies by the way. My birthday isn’t til next week, but have already been given some lovely things.
7) Reading some more – am now in that weird place where I have to decide what I am reading next. I kind of like this time because the possibilities of what will happen next is endless…will it be a murder mystery, a biography, non fiction, comedy, a classic?? Hmmmm. The toss up is currently between a Dorothy L Sayers novel or something by Jon Kabat-Zinn (probably Full Catastrophe Living – was talking to a friend about this, she’s into Mindful Meditation too. I haven’t read it yet, but she swears by it, she thinks it’s amazing).
8) Hiding from the kids so I can get some well earned peace and quiet!
A spring has finally sprung and the last week has been lovely and sunny (with the odd bit of rain). Was nice to get some sunshine for a change. This winter has been so…well…boring. We didn’t even get any snow. It was all rain, wind and more rain. And the sky was dark and brooding throughout. So it’s nice to see a bit of sunshine. Fair lifts the spirits.
So how are you all? Hope you are all well and having a good week.
This week, I had Monday off due to the bank holiday and then was back at work. Last night I went to Weegie Wednesday to hear Rights agent Fiona Brownlee talk about her career and her company. Was really interesting. Also met a few new friends, which was nice. Plus got to speak about writing and publishing with other folk from the industry, which is always great.
Telly – Game of Thrones just gets better and better. I loved Monday’s episode, but nothing can beat the demise of you-know-who last week. Am still enjoying that!! Not seen anything much else this week. Been exhausted with the early rises and the fact the boy decided to get up at 3.30am on Tuesday morning. Thank god for tea that’s all I can say!!
Last weekend, we all piled over to my sister’s house to help celebrate her husband Sean’s 50th. She put on a great spread – with some help from my excellent cook of a mother – and we had a great time. Highlight of the afternoon: when my sister produced fake moustaches that we all put on and had pictures taken. It was hysterical. Weirdly my daughter actually suite hers, but my hubby looked like a porn star. The boy – normally such a dandy – refused to try one on. I’ll need to get copies of those pics!!
Anyway, I must go. So until next time!!
ps next month’s Cake-a-licious is changing to my favourite Scottish food and drink!! If any of you have any suggestions, send me a message or email me on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Okay, so it’s not a real person, but I miss it none-the-less. My mobile has died and I’m in mourning for it. No more the sneaky buys from Amazon from the comfort of my bed whilst hubby watches late night telly downstairs, no more texting my mad friends and cackling over the things they say, and no more photos and films from the lives of my young family over the last few months (I only hope I’ve downloaded most of them).
What happened was this: I noticed we were running out of bread, so sticking to my plan of trying to walk everywhere within a mile of the house, I decided to walk. I decided to leave my shoulderbag at home so there was less to carry, so popped my mobile into a shopping bag along with the keys to the house and my purse. Me and the chicks (complete with scooters) then walked the 15 minutes to the shops in our village.
All was well and good. We went into the shop, I picked up a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine (for that evening – it was Friday), the kids got sweeties, we paid and then left. Still all was good. The chicks scooted on ahead and it was fine.
Time came to cross the railway line (we are allowed to do this) and scoot along the river heading home. Unfortunately this was when disaster struck. The boy’s scooter hit a bad patch of road and he went head first into the dust with a scream. It was my fault, I forgot what was in the bag!! I put the bag on the ground (I didn’t slam it into the ground, just placed it) and went to help my boy up. I brushed him down, kissed him better and it was then I noticed it…wine was spilling out of the shopping bag like blood from a corpse. It oozed into the dusty road. I opened the bag…yup the bottom of the bottle was smashed. We walked on a bit, I took the bread, keys and my poor old mobile out of the bag (it was soaking) and put the bag and the remnants of the glass bottle into a bin near the station. I cleaned off my mobile the best I could, but it still gave out a couple of death chirps before going blank.
We rushed home.
When we arrived, I opened up the mobie and dried it all inside. I put it on the boiler to dry, I put it in a bag of rice to draw out the moisture, I did everything I could…but it is well and truly dead. Death by wine. I have ordered a replacement phone – a secondhand one – and hopefully it’ll come next week. That was probably the most expensive bottle of wine ever…it’s costing me around £160 for the phone. Sigh.
So if you are a friend of mine who has been texting me and wondering why I’m not replying it’s because my mobile phone is now in mobile phone heaven. I will get back to you (if I can and the SIM card has all the contacts on it) as soon as I can.
Front of house: no we don’t have a river running at the front of our house, that’s where the pavement and road are.
Back of house: that’s a big puddle down the bottom of the garden that nearly covered our wheelbarrow. It’s gathered at the trees at the bottom of our garden. You can just make out the green of the weeds in the wheelbarrow. Thankfully it just gathered there and then flowed out and into the burn behind the fence. The burn has not burst its banks.
Ooh it’s been a bit exciting round here this afternoon: thunder and lightening and flash floods. And a bit scarey biscuits. The pics above are the back and front of my house taken with a mobile phone. Not great quality, but shows you how high the water was around our house (well, those are pics of the water subsiding, the water was actually higher than that). It was so bad I was starting to get concerned about our house getting flooded. Thankfully, the rain stopped and the water eventually subsided.
There comes a time in the life of a blog when you run out of interesting things to say. I am at that time. I don’t lead a really interesting life…it’s a run-of-the-mill working mother’s life which is taken up with washing and cooking and ironing and cleaning. So this week I don’t have much to tell.
Okay, so I have one thing to tell. Last week we all went to the village’s Gala Day. This is the second year it’s happened and it was really good. My parents came with us, the weather was fantastic and the gala was packed. It was really nice to see a big part of the village turning up to support it. What I love about living in this area is that because we are near Faslane (our local naval base) and many people living here are in the emergency services, we always have interesting people turning up with interesting vehicles. This year was no different: we had the Fire Service again (my boy loves Fireman Sam so he was in the cab of the appliance (that’s Fire Service speak for Fire Engine) and chatting away to the Firefighters) and the Bomb Squad turned up too. When we first heard they were coming, hubby and I couldn’t help but laugh in that ‘what do you mean the bomb squad are coming to the gala day?’ kind of way. It seemed absurd, but the guys turned up with a big truck and four by four plus one of those robots you see in movies like the Hurt Locker…the robots that they send in to defuse bombs. It was (in the words of my daughter) ‘awesome’. They chatted to us about what the different equipment did. They had helmets and breathing apparatus for underwater work and all sorts of other stuff. It was great. My dad, who was in the Royal Naval Reserves, was in his element chatting to the guys. There was a climbing wall and stalls and all sorts of other things and of course I forgot to take photos!! It was a good day. Mum and dad came back to ours afterwards to sit in the shade and drink tea and chat and have a laugh. It was great.
Talking of the good weather, I’ve been putting the guinea pigs out in their pen outside and they are loving it. It’s a wee bit windy tonight, but they are still out there cropping the grass and running around and generally having a nice guinea piggy life. It’s nice to see them doing it.
What else has been happening? Well I was gasping for a cup of tea earlier, but had to go and get the kids from school, so I put some tea into a travel mug and took it into the car. I put it in the cup holder, but the cup was slightly too big. I thought it would be fine, but I’d just reversed out of the driveway when the cup took a dive and ended up under my feet, boiling hot tea splashing all over the car floor. Several curse words later and a screech to a stop (not literally, I wasn’t going fast, but it sounds more dramatic) and I surveyed the damage. There was not one jot of tea left in the mug and my carpet was steaming. Sigh. I was busy muttering to myself when I was suddenly aware that I was not alone. I looked up to see my two neighbours looking at me as if I’d gone mad. I didn’t know if they thought I had lost my mind, but they gave me such quizzical looks that I felt an explanation was in order – there was also the fact that I’d said some expletives rather loudly and my drivers’ side window was open at the time. Anyway, I rolled down the passengers’ side window and explained what had happened. They just laughed. I thought nothing more about it until I returned home later this afternoon to find a travel mug stuffed into the metal bits of our gate. I knew immediately who had left it there!! I went over to thank them and they just laughed. They said they felt I should have a new mug seeing as how the other one was so tricky!! It made me smile.
It’s past nine o’clock just now – Wee Willie Winkie time in Scotland – so I will end this blog here. I need to go and retrieve the pigs out of the garden anyway and stuff their cage with hay. They love munching on hay. So until next time.
PS a wee word on Game of Thrones…sigh!! I can’t believe I’m going to have to wait another year to see the next series. It cannot come quickly enough. The last one of the series was good because it tied up a few ends regarding what had happened to other characters. My fave moment of the episode was when the Lannisters were gathered and Joffrey was spoken to like he was a small child. I think Joffrey will try and get his grandfather and Tyrion back for that – he’s that nasty – but he’s not clever enough. Anyway, I need to wait til next year to find out what happens OR I could read all the books. Dilemma, dilemma. Ach, I think the books it is!!
PPS have just rushed outside to rescue the guinea pigs. All of a sudden the heavens opened and the rain came down really hard. They sheltered in the cardboard box I’d left in there for them, but they still got a little wet when I scooped them up and ran back inside. Have you ever seen a disgruntled slightly wet guinea pig? They are hysterical. They have expressive wee faces and the faces they showed just then was ‘we are seriously pi**ed off’!! Hee hee.
Exciting news. I’ve uploaded the first three chapters of my new book Dusting Down Alcudia on Authonomy (look under the title of the book). I’d be keen to hear your views on it via Authonomy or get in touch: email@example.com That’s not how the new cover will look and I’ll share that and when you can buy the complete e-book as soon as I can.
So, how’s your week been? Mine has been sunny – the weather has been sunny and some days have been hot, so it’s been a nice week to get out and about.
Last weekend, we bought the kids a trampoline and they’ve barely been off it. It’s great. Hubby finished putting it up on Sunday and we hardly saw our offspring all day, although we heard them. They only came off it to get fed. The wee fella was so tired on Sunday night that he could barely climb the stairs to bed. He went to bed and was still in the exact same position the next morning when I went to get him up. He was so cute.
Here’s a mad story for you. My workmate told us the tale yesterday of a moment of daftness in her life: she had gone to a local shop for some groceries. She wandered around the aisles, filled her basket with things for dinner that night and then made for the cash desk. She said she didn’t think anything of the weird look the cashier gave her until the woman said: “Um, do you know you have two pairs of glasses and a pair of sunglasses on your head?” My friend’s had flew to her head and sure enough, all three pairs of glasses were there. She was mortified, but it was a funny story to tell. What a woman!! That’s the kind of thing I would do!! Hee hee.
Right, on that note, am aff to do something else.
Til next time!
PS Watched Monday’s Game of Thrones this morning. It was fab as usual. That Joffrey needs to be brought down, he’s an evil wee git. Was glad to see Tyrion was being a gentleman where Sansa was concerned, Shay certainly seemed to like it too. And dear old Dany seems to have a new beau. He was quite handsome. But, oh what an ending, I really am rooting for Samwell and his lady friend (I forget her name) and the little nameless baby. I hope they get beyond the wall and survive to live a happy and long life. Can’t wait til next week.
I had to include this image as the inspiration of this post. I’ve not been blogging for the last two weeks for two reasons: I’ve been really really busy and the main reason: I haven’t had a clue about what to write. So I was walking down the stairs about ten minutes ago and I came across the above ensemble. These do not, as you might think, belong to the girl. No, they are some of the boy’s most prized possessions and they make me smile. The pram he was given as a toddler along with a baby because my husband and I didn’t want him to feel left out when we bought our daughter a buggy and baby. He still plays with it although you are more likely to see Action Man or a toy car in there. The bow was given to him by his uncle. The snazzy evening bag was his gran’s. My mum lets the kids raid her jewellery box and dressing up bag. He came home with this about a year ago. He loves it. We just let him get on with it. We want him to have a happy childhood where he’s allowed to be himself so we just let him play with the stuff that makes him happy. He’s no less boyish and boisterous because he likes his evening bag. Also, this gives us great images to show his first girlfriend when he’s older or display at his 21st!!! Teee heeee…evil parent laugh!
Right, firstly I want to get something off my chest. To the person who sent me a message who said my blog was boring and that he could help make it more interesting…I thank you for being so blunt, but I don’t write my blog for you, I don’t want to be really clever with headlines and if I want to put film up on my blog I will. I suspect the message was from some company trying to get me to spend cash with them so that they can revamp my blog. I don’t need it. I like my blog the way it is. It may be boring to some, but I like it. I don’t live a pretentious, glamorous lifestyle. I’m a working mum who likes to craft and loves to write…that’s it.
Talking about crafting. Here are a couple of pics of the dresses I made my girl’s toys…firstly Elizabeth models a knitted dress I got from Ravelry. Thank you to the creator of this. This is the pink version. I also knitted a white one.
Elizabeth models a knitted dress in a lovely candy pink!
Ruby, meanwhile, sports a lovely summer frock made from a free bag I got with a magazine. I like the material, but the bag was too wee to be really useful.
Okay, apart from sewing and knitting, I’ve recently finished my fourth module of my Mindfulness course. It was great, I loved it. Mindfulness is great for just slowing you down, putting stuff into perspective and making you really appreciate life as it is. Am definitely going to keep my formal practise (meditation) and informal practise (being more mindful generally) up because I really feel the benefits: I am less stressed, happier, I sleep better and I appreciate things more. Totally win/win.
I’ve also been doing a lot of driving the kids around to parties. They had three parties this weekend alone! I dropped both off at a local soft play area on Friday morning (they were off school due to an in service day) and scarpered to my friend’s house for tea, cake and putting the world to rights! We like a lot of the same things so we spent a lot of time talking sewing, meditation and general life. The kids meanwhile had a great time at the party.
Yesterday, party number two, was my neice’s tenth birthday party. The whole family were there at my sister’s lovely 1930s bungalow. Her husband did the barbeque, the table was groaning with food and we had a great laugh catching up and playing with a £2.99 sheet that reminded me of the seaside boards where you put your head through the hole and have your picture taken. Much merriment was to be had.
Party number three was today at a local community centre. I took the boy, he was there five minutes and then refused to stay. It was the quickest kids party I had even been at. Normally I would have made him stay, but I couldn’t be bothered with the whining. We went to ASDA instead to buy milk. I’ve stopped shopping there as much because I find it quite expensive compared to Lidl and Aldi, but I sometimes drop in for the odd wee thing. As usual on a Sunday, it was packed. We left as soon as we could.
I’ve also been writing my books for adult. The first is now complete and with a couple of friends for comment. The second I’m still working on. They were both written several years ago, but I’ve gone back to revamp them with a view to selling them as e-books. We shall see if they are successful or not.
Right, I am away to sew up another dress for a dolly and three pairs of dolly knickers. I also have to cut a few patterns out for the boy’s doll Tom, including pants. I’m of a mind to make mini y-fronts for a laugh!
Until next time.
PS Game of Thrones – Ouch…that was painful to watch Jaime Lannister lose a hand a couple of weeks ago, but what a wheeze when Cersei was told she would have to marry Loris last week. That certainly wiped the smile of her face. Saw the actress who plays Cersei – Lena Headey – as Mama in the new Judge Dredd pic. Wasn’t a bad movie and even with a huge scar running down her sneering face, Lena managed to look stunning.
PPS Currently reading: The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell. It’s excellent, especially for anyone with socialist tendancies.