A gorgeous day for learning to ride his bike

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What a difference a day maaaaaaakkeess!!!! Isn’t it gorgeous outside just now?? Makes such a difference when the sun is shining and the heavy rain and hail disappears. We’ve also had really strong winds this week. There were two nights I woke up because of the noise of the stormy weather outside…not good. Anyway, today feels more like spring, which is why me and hubby prised the kids away from the telly and made them go on a long walk down the side of the River Clyde. There were a few grumbles, but they had sticks and they used said sticks to write cheeky messages in the sand at the beach near where we live, dig up shells and generally wave them around. The boy also used his to ‘shoot’ his sister a few times, but she had her ‘invisible force-field’ up so the shots were deflected. (looks bemused!) Of course, neither of us remembered to bring our phones or a camera to take shots of the said events, but not to worry!! It was a good walk, blew the old cobwebs away and we returned home in time for lunch, all hungry and rosey-cheeked.

So what’s been happening in your world this week? I’ve been quite busy since my last post. Although I’ve been off, I’ve been knitting, watching copious amounts of telly (watched all of Whitechapel…my God the first series was good! Second series not so good, but there was no way they could have topped the first series! Also, started getting into Fringe, but am reserving judgement for that!), cooking and baking, cleaning the house, looking after the kids and generally being a mum. I decided that I wasn’t using the week off to work on writing as I felt I really needed a break, so opted for the ‘see what I felt like’ view of the world. I felt like knitting and watching telly so that’s what I did. How lazy!!

Yesterday we had a couple of friends come round for lunch. Well, we went to our local hostelry and had lunch. Was nice to see both of them. Haven’t seen either for ages, so it was good to catch up.

Today, apart from the walk, I’ve been listening to music, watching yet more of Lie to Me (still addicted) and catching up on Facebook (also addictive!). I thought that I’d better do another blog so that I’ve written at least something this week. As I write, my boy is learning to ride his bike. Hubby tried last year, but the boy wasn’t having any of it. I hope he learns to do it this time round. Before he went out – the boy that is – he put in an order for tea and biscuits for him and his dad. This is something the two of them do a lot. If hubby is out in the garage doing some work on something, the boy likes to go out to his ‘workshop’ (ie the back of the garage) and do some ‘man work’ too. Always, always, before he goes out he says: ‘Mum can you make me and dad some tea and biscuits?’ and cos it’s cute of course I comply!! He’s such a wee character my boy. In case you’re wondering, the girl (also a character) is out playing with her friend.

Anyway, enough of domesticity, am away to read some blogs and maybe maybe do some writing!! Better make the tea and biscuits first though!!

Dawn xxx

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.

Doulton_Fountain_-_Glasgow_Green by Michael Gallacher

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

Birthday on Millport

Last week the entire family went over to the Isle of Great Cumbrae to help my sister Lesley celebrate her (in whispered words) 40th birthday. Of course I forgot to take pictures to use in this blog, so have been forced to use the one above that shows Millport in less sunnier weather.

Anyway, the day we went the sun was splitting the sky. We arrived in Largs (home of the famous Nardini ice-cream…yum!) around lunchtime to catch the ferry across to the island. Armed with folding chairs (which we barely got to sit on…more about that later), a picnic and lots to drink (non alcoholic!), me, hubby and the weans got on the ferry for the (what felt like) five minute trip across the water.

We disembarked at the other end – along with lots of other people – and caught the waiting bus down to Millport.

We met up with Lesley and the rest of the family at The Garrison House (former barracks/captain’s house built in 1745, which is now a community cafe, museum and centre) and spent a few happy hours under the shade of the trees, eating too much, chatting, watching the kids running around and generally having a nice time. We also paddled in the sea, something I’ve not done in Scotland for a long time. Yes, the water was freezing, but you soon get used to it! We had ice-creams all round and about 4pm, when the temperature was not even thinking about falling even slightly, we decided we were departing. Being a pale northerner, I had had enough of the heat and was desperate to get home and into the shade of a cool house. En route home we had the obligatory fish n chips in the car (it’s traditional in our family that on the return from a trip to the seaside we have fish and chips for dinner as a treat or in our case: two sausage suppers and chips for the kids. Heaven!).

I think the best bit of the day was the reaction my youngest had to the travelling. My boy was very excited: not only did he get to go on a ferry, but on a bus too. You forget that kids are so used to being driven everywhere these days, that a bus trip is about the most exciting thing to happen to them. In my day it was the other way round.

Anyway, we had an excellent trip ‘doon the watter’ albeit we didn’t jump on the Waverley to get there.

Dawn xxx

NB regarding the folding camping chairs which I purchased two of from ASDA the day before the trip specifically for going to Millport – no sooner had one of us (myself or my hubby) get up to see to one of the kids, buy ice-cream or do something else, than one of our family members slipped into our place. They did offer to get up, but I didn’t have the heart to shove my mother or father off of them or Lesley’s friend. The kids weren’t so lucky though! Wooohooo – evil mother laugh.

Just photos…

The River Clyde the other night…

A trip to Edinburgh Castle…


Stunning windows…

The clock tower where the crown jewels are housed…

Inside the Great Hall…

Again from the Great Hall…

I just loved these…

Another room in the castle…

The lion…

The horse…

I couldn’t show the crown jewels as you’re not allowed to take images of them, but they were impressive. My favourite pics are of the lion and the horse statues which I just think are really stunning.

The castle wasn’t the only thing I visited in Edinburgh when I was there earlier this week. Also managed to take in the Writers’ Museum which is dedicated to Sir Walter Scott, Rabbie Burns and Robert Louis Stevenson…all writers I admire. Plus finally got round to visiting the National Gallery. I’d never been before and I just loved wandering around its warm rooms gazing at pictures I’d only seen in books. It was a very enjoyable day.

Dawn xxx