It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas…!

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We went to the winter fair in Glasgow’s George Square recently. It was kind of done by accident because what we were actually doing was meeting my step daughter for dinner, but we went to the fair afterwards. There was an old fashioned merry-go-round, which I love (excuse the pics, they were taken on my phone which has a rubbish camera) and the kids went on. There was a helter skelter, which they did not. There were stalls and, yes, we did peruse them. The boy got a hand crafted recorder (am regretting that purchase!) and a hand knitted SpongeBob Squarepants hat. The girl got lovely ethnic earrings and something else. They both badgered me to buy them bubblegum flavoured meringue which I did. It was the size of a small loaf so I broke it in two and they munched it going round. My step daughter didn’t want anything, I did ask! It was a good evening. My step daughter is lovely and the kids love seeing their big sister. Hopefully she’ll come down to see us over the festive period.

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What else has been happening in my world? Nothing much to be truthful. I spent the weekend clearing out cupboards and putting up the Christmas decorations.

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Here are a few of my favourite new decorations (all bought, none made this year)…

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This smiling mouse is from Marks & Spencer’s. They always have lovely decorations and I couldn’t resist him.

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Betty Boop as an angel. My boy doesn’t like her, but I’ve always been a bit of a fan.

 

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A pug and (in the background) a little blue tit. I used to have three of the blue tits, now I only have two…one of the dogs (Millie) ate the other one. Sigh.

Talking of Christmas (and getting into the Christmas spirit), I have picked up one of my favourite Christmas books to read again…The Hogfather by Terry Pratchett. I thought I hadn’t read it, but I definitely have and I enjoyed the tv programme based on the book (so much so that I bought the DVD to watch again!). Once again, Mr Pratchett does not disappoint. The Hogfather is fab. I am loving it. It’s set in the Disc World where they celebrate Hogswatch instead of Christmas and the Hogfather’s sleigh is drawn by enormous pigs instead of reindeer. The Hogfather goes missing and Death takes over the role spreading joy whilst his granddaughter Susan investigates. It’s one of his best, definitely is.

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In other news…had to bath the dogs. They’d gone out for a walk earlier and got covered in mud. This would be fine if the pair of them liked getting a bath, but they don’t. Millie – white and the dirtiest looking- actually did quite well. She stayed still long enough for me to wash her, despite trying to escape earlier. Casper made a bolt for the door as soon as I put him in the bath and disappeared downstairs. I spent ten minutes chasing him around the living room before I finally caught him and took him upstairs. For a small dog he is surprisingly strong and I had to really hold him still whilst I washed him. He struggled. Water went everywhere. I got soaked. The bathroom was covered in muddy dog water. I finished. I dried him and let him go. He sped out of the bathroom like there was a firework tied to his tail and spent a good 15 minutes rubbing himself dry on the carpet downstairs whilst I tidied the mess of the bathroom. It took me  half an hour to dry out in front of a radiator. I think I may have to wrap them in cling film before I take them out again so they don’t get covered in mud!! Only joking!

Right, that’s really it for today. I have been writing, but been a bit naughty the past couple of days and done nothing. I will get back to it tonight! For the rest of the week, I’ve got a few wee things planned, but nothing of note. Til next time.

Dawn xx

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The fox, the hare, the robin and the pop up shop in Glasgow’s Finnieston area

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Hello. How are you? How’s it going? I’ll bet you’ve all had a really busy week getting ready for Christmas. Over the last week-and-a-half I’ve attended the boy’s nativity (which was a hoot), got an excited girl ready for her very first ceilidh, took her to her ballet exam and went to the school’s Christmas church service which was held in the school hall this year as the church is full of the Christmas tree exhibition (trees decorated by local groups and very good by all accounts). I also met friends for lunch at Jam Jar, one of our local cafes, and had the best cheese on toast I’ve ever had: sour bread toasted and topped with crispy bacon, ham, cheese and cranberry sauce all served with a lovely salad and crisps. Oh it was to die for!

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Today, I met up with an old friend I haven’t seen for years and it was great. We went to Finnieston in Glasgow, had lunch and wandered about. We also dropped into a pop up shop called Veneer which is a shop run by Bespoke Atelier and filled with some lovely items all designed by Scottish based artists. My friend picked up a beautiful silk scarf. I now have scarf envy. The pics in this blog are all from the shop and are really lovely. My favourites, however, are these…

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They are by a company called. Joy Collection and are tree ornaments. I love all three animals – I have a bit of thing for all of them, particularly hares. Unfortunately, Veneer is only open until tomorrow, but if you go on the Bespoke Atelier website, you’ll get the names of all the companies involved.

Anyway I had a good afternoon. We ended the afternoon with tea and canoli for the first time (the pistachio one is amazing) in Panevino. I returned home to find my front garden filled with twinkling tree lights courtesy of hubby who put them up in my absence. Looks great.

Right, am going to leave you now. I will try and do another post next week, but in case I don’t get round to it, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.

Dawn xxxx

It’s been a while since my last post, but lots of things have happened!

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Hello! How are you? How’ve you been? What’s been happening in your world? There’s been lots happening here…so where to begin?

Well, a couple of weeks ago, we all piled down to the Lake District to stay in a tipi at Ullswater. It was great. We stayed at the Waterside Farm – they supplied the tipi and we supplied ourselves. The tipi was bigger on the inside that it looked on the outside – a bit like the Tardis! – and had a double futon (for me and hubby) and two single blow up beds (for the kids) plus a cooker and a whole load of cooking utensils and cutlery etc. We spent two nights there. Luckily the weather was really good for most of the time we were there so we were able to cook sausages outside on the camping stove and toast marshmallows in the firepit. The kids were in and out of the lake, paddling, feeding ducks and generally having a great time. It was a lovely place and I’d recommend Waterside Farm for somewhere to stay – the staff couldn’t have been nicer and the place was just lovely.

The Lake District itself is simply stunning and I loved it…it reminded me of the Highlands except not quite as big. Yes, I loved it there and could see why Beatrix Potter fell in love with it all those years ago.

Talking of Beatrix, we didn’t just stay around Ullswater, we also drove around Lake Windermere, drove through Grasmere and stopped off at the Beatrix Potter Experience in Bowness. What a lovely place to visit and the kids really enjoyed it…it’s full of little scenes from her books and we had fun peeping through windows and identifying the characters. The kids, of course, were desperate to buys something from the shop, but I think they felt the things on sale – although lovely – were a little too young for them what with them being an ancient 9 and 6. They got to spend a bit of money in Keswick, where I also picked up some Star Wars (original films) fridge magnets. 🙂

It was a great couple of days away and we all enjoyed ourselves. The only two things spoiled it for me: I couldn’t get to sleep and woke at 5.30am every morning due to the light. Also our last day was so wet that we just left early…there was no point hanging about. It was torrential.

Anyway, to celebrate our little holiday, here’s a couple of pics I took at the Beatrix Potter Experience. We all enjoyed it, the little scenes were lovely, but I would have liked more on Beatrix herself…

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My favourite...Mrs Tiggywinkle!

My favourite…Mrs Tiggywinkle!

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Talking of the weather, it’s generally been really good…which makes a change. Of course, it’s helped that the weather has been so good because this whole area is buzzing about the Commonwealth Games. I live within an hour’s drive of Glasgow city centre, but I haven’t been to any of the games…I’m not a lover of sport. Hubby and my dad, however, went to the Rugby 7s at Ibrox and had a great time. My friend attended the opening ceremony and loved it (I’m afraid you either loved or hated it…I watched it on telly and loved it) and various other friends have been going to other sports. I’ve not heard one bad word said about the Games, in fact everyone has been raving about it.

Last weekend, my dad also celebrated his 68th birthday so we all piled round to my parents house for a fab home-made curry (including pakora, naan and some really nice puddings). What a laugh! Was a really good day. Also celebrating their birthday last week were my father-in-law (86!) and my nephew (3)! Happy birthday all of you!

This week we’re having a quieter week. I’m off from work to look after the kids. We’re just relaxing, popping down to the shops or the library and generally taking it easy. In the mornings, I’ve been watching White Collar on Netflix…am now totally hooked!! Thank goodness for telly that you don’t need to concentrate too hard on because I’ve been knitting away…I made the girl a mermaid and the boy a robot (both Alan Dart patterns…I love Alan Dart’s stuff!). I’ll put a pic of them both in my next post. In the meantime and as promised, here’s a pic of the cake I made my friends who recently had a Civil Partnership in Edinburgh (also an Alan Dart pattern).

stuff from tablet 374 (2)Anyway, must fly. Am currently reading a biography of Albert Einstein (interesting man) and Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped… they are calling! Til next time!

Dawn xxx

A round-up of the weekend

What a strange weekend it’s been. Above is a picture I took of the Clutha pub, scene of that terrible accident on Friday night. Never thought when I took this picture a few weeks ago, when I was bored travelling home, that such a thing could happen. Am so sorry for the people who have lost family and friends in this tragedy and I hope that everyone who was injured recovers. We had a couple of friends in that bar that night: one got out unscathed-ish (she’s still very shaken) and the other is currently in hospital with quite serious injuries. We hope she gets better soon.

Anyway, it was my birthday yesterday, so we started celebrating early: on Friday hubby and I went to see Thor and we had lunch together and it was so nice to get some time alone with him. We never have total peace…our kids are noisy and boisterous and full of life, which is great, but sometimes we need our time together. Yesterday, once we’d established our friends were okay (well one isn’t, but she’s recovering) we had a quiet day before going to The Village Rest in Luss. What a great restaurant it is! Great food and a really nice place. It was good for the kids too because they could get food they liked. We were stuffed and it was just great. Then we came home and chilled out in front of the telly. Perhaps my day wasn’t everyone’s idea of a good birthday, but it was for me. My life is so busy all the time that to get a bit of me time is precious and that’s exactly what I got. So, anyway, before I go on I’d like to say thanks to hubby, the kids, family and friends for all the lovely pressies and birthday wishes I received!!

Right I am off to do something domestic. Piano practise is done, bread is cooking, got loads of ironing and washing to do…sigh.

Dawn xxx

PS below is a blog I was supposed to put up on the 25th, but due to technical issues, was unable to.

November 25, 2013

Hello there! How are you? What have you been up to? I can’t say I’ve been up to anything truly exciting, but the week has been busy none-the-less. It’s funny how time is flying by faster and faster…before I know it it’ll be Christmas and I’ll be wondering again where the year has gone.

Anyway, here’s me wittering on again about nothing in particular when all you are wanting is to read something interesting and maybe educational.

(pauses for affect)

Well, okay, maybe something interesting…not sure if my blog is ever educational!!

Right, what have I been doing all week? Well, there was a piano lesson last Thursday whereby my teacher gave me We Wish You a Merry Christmas to learn in time for the festive season (my husband is no doubt really looking forward to hearing my rendition on Boxing Day along with our daughter on – squeaky – recorder!). My parents were visiting on Thursday afternoon to see the boy who turned six last week. My dad came with me to collect him and his sister. The wee man came out of school all full of purpose as he usually does and stood beside me. I said: “Look who’s here.” He said: “Who?” and it took him about five minutes to realise his grandfather was standing beside me. He was all beaming smiles though when he saw him, which was nice. The girl, of course (not one to miss anything), spotted her grampa from a ‘mile’ off and ran into his arms.

On Friday, I visited my friend for our usual cup of tea and cake. Then we popped down to The Commodore in Helensburgh for a spot of lunch. That was good.

Friday is pizza night and we ate it as usual on trays in front of the telly. We watched a film, but I can’t remember what is was…sigh, it’s old age I tell ya!!

Saturday, I took the girl to her art lesson, bought wee bits and pieces for Christmas, drank tea with another friend whose daughter is also in the class, picked the girl up and went home. In the afternoon, I caught up on housework and crocheted yet another lap blanket…this time I finished one for the boy. He wheedled it out of me yesterday and has been wearing it like a cloak ever since. I’ve started one for the girl.

Yesterday (Sunday) I had to miss my usual swim and stay in as I seem to have the Lurgy again. Didn’t fancy passing it on to fellow swimmers or getting caught short in the pool, so stayed at home and crocheted. By the afternoon, it had gotten better and me and the boy went to the local supermarket to pick up supplies. As we did this, hubby took an excavator upstairs to clear out the boy’s pigsty of a room. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration, but he did clear out six bin-bags of rubbish and broken toys. SIX!! The boy’s room is now looking like it should (ie tidy and pleasant to be in). I spent the rest of Sunday afternoon lying on my bed, feeling ill and watching a slushy Christmas movie on telly (can’t remember what it was called, it was one of those afternoon movies that the Americans make so well – made for tv movies?? All romance and slush. I enjoyed it none-the-less).

Ooh, forgot to brag…I have now bought everything for Christmas, I have nearly finished my Christmas cards and wrapped around half my presents. How good am I this year?? It is of course all down to the fact that I hate all the extra work and stresses Christmas brings, so am trying to get it all done by December 1 so that I can enjoy all the festivities in the run up to the big day!! It’s purely a self preservation thing!! Can’t wait til the Christmas hols!!

Currently reading: Diana Gabaldon’s Voyager (third in the Outlander series)

Currently watching: haven’t seen Saturday’s Dr Who yet as was watching other stuff. I’ve heard mixed reviews, but will still watch it. Saw the new Oz film yesterday…it was disappointingly okay. Sigh. Not a patch on The Wizard of Oz. Great special effects though!

Currently listening to: Radio 2.

Right, am off. Til next time.

Dawn xxx

Glasgow Vintage at Merchant City Festival

I have a confession. I went to the Merchant City Festival on Sunday with the kids and my friend AJ and her daughter, and I didn’t take any pics. I think I was so busy keeping an eye on my kids that I didn’t even think about taking photos. Sigh.

Still, I have the memories.

Okay, the main reason why I wanted to go to the festival was that there was a huge vintage part to it organised by Wayne Hemmingway and his team. We met AJ and her daughter at Queen Street station and then trundled down to the Merchant City, which is a really nice area of Glasgow for shops and restaurants. Here’s what we saw:
– a girl in vintage bathing suit, goggles and flowery swimming cap doing some street art and pretending to dive
– lots of stalls selling foods from all over the world, the smell was incredible
– a vintage market with lots of goodies…my fave was the Dennis the Menace stall selling memorabilia from the Beano
– circus and other street artists
– live bands
– afternoon tea in china cups and cupcakes
– a dance area with a man demonstrating 70s disco (complete with silver platforms and sparkly jacket)…he got some folk up from the crowd and the only reason AJ and I didn’t join him was that our kids were bleating ‘No!’ and looking mortified
– an area where you could get a vintage makeover (was sorely tempted, but would have been difficult to sit for half an hour with my two wriggle chicks bouncing around…they never stop)

There were also lots of folk dressed up in vintage styles ranging from the 40s through to the 60s. Excellent!

Was a good afternoon and was great to catch up with AJ again. Was exhausted though when I got back home…we walked around for several hours, had tea at a teensy vintage style caravan that was a ‘travelling tearoom’, and trawled the stalls. Next time, I leave the kiddies at home. I think I was too anxious trying to keep a hold of them to truly enjoy the experience.

The day before, the immediate family (all 12 of us) went over to my mum and dad’s to celebrate my dad’s 68th birthday. I can’t believe he’s 68. My mum will be 69 in November. When did they get older? Anyway, we ate out in their garden, my mum put on a fantastic spread (as usual) and we had a right old laugh. My parents put out a paddling pool (shaped like a pirate ship) in the garden which my boy and my three-year-old niece were never out of. It was a good day and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Happy birthday dad! I should also mention my two-year-old nephew who celebrated his birthday last Tuesday. Happy birthday to you too wee man!

Dawn xxxx

Glasgow in the sunshine

Templeton Carpet Factory, Glasgow Green by James Morrison

It’s amazing what a little bit of sunshine does to the residents of Glasgow. Myself and a colleague went for a walk at lunchtime around Glasgow Green (pic above is the old Templeton Carpet Factory which looks on to the Green – it’s based on the Doge’s Palace in Venice and is quite lovely) and the park was full of people enjoying the sunny weather. It was even a little warm despite the very cold start to the day (frost on everything). It was a lovely morning anyway…for the first time in weeks it was actually starting to get light when we left the house  and the birds were singing their little hearts out. Made me feel all spring-like…well until I had to scrape the car!

Anyway, I’ve not blogged much over the last couple of weeks because it’s been really busy Chez Nelson. I had a weekend of Mindfulness followed by an extremely busy week of work and people dropping in to see us. My stepson turned 21 last week – can’t believe he’s that old already, I’ve known him since he was seven – and my girl turned eight. We went out, had lunch to celebrate my stepson’s birthday. Next day we took our two, my neice and three of the girl’s friends to the pictures to see Wreck it Ralph (which is great – who wouldn’t want to explore Sugar Rush world?), followed by pizza at Frankie & Benny’s. We went for the early showing (10am) and didn’t get home til the back of 2. I was exhausted, but my girl had a good day and that’s what mattered.

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Pictured: Doulton Fountain with the People’s Palace behind (at Glasgow Green)

Because of all the things going on last week I’ve not had any time to do anything…except continue reading my latest book. I noticed that the last book I spoke about was To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. I thought I liked it at the beginning, but as the story dragged on I found there wasn’t really much of a tale to enjoy. The book only seemed to be about time – ie the passage of: slow and languid at first and then zipping ahead – and loss, and the characters’ desire to get to the lighthouse. Am not sure what the lighthouse signifies – death? An ending? Nothing much else seemed to happen and I must admit I got bored towards the end. I doubt I’ll read it again despite it being so nicely written. My current book is different. Am loving Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens. At least there’s a good storyline and there’s a good pace to the story. I don’t feel like I’m jumping all over the place to different viewpoints, although the book has many narrators. Next book in the queue is The Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, which I read a number of years ago and really enjoyed. Although, I need to ask the question – why do Scots in books always have to have red hair? It’s such a cliche. Not that there’s anything wrong with red hair, but there are more folk here with brown, blond or black (and sometimes other colours) than red. In my mind, Jamie Fraser is more dark-haired and brooding. More Mr Darcy in a kilt. Mmmm. Ahem…anyway, must go. It’s getting late, the kids need to be put to bed and I fancy another cup of tea (am such a Tea Jenny!).

Til next time!

Dawn x