Posts Tagged ‘outings’

TGIF

February 2, 2009

February, that is. I never could get the hang of January. I really should just schedule myself to be absent for that one month of the year.

So, Scotland being ever a contrary sort of place, has once again waited until well after the holidays to grace us with a considerable snowfall.

My family back home are surely saying, ‘Pfft. You can still see the ground in places.’ Fair enough, but this is serious for us. The South of England has ground to a halt, apparently.

Nyssa, our little polar bear, outside practicing tennis. By herself. It should be noted that she’s only wearing a coat because I insisted.

Two blue garden gnomes? Nay, after several weeks, the Dynorod people finally came back and gutted out the sewage pipes and filled in the hole. This would be why I’m slightly happier to have Nyssa running about in the garden–not so likely now that she’ll infect us all with cholera or something..:P

Robin saying ‘hello’ outside the living room window. Yes, actually I will use any excuse to post gratuitous robin pictures.

We have also had an unusual amount of winter sun, which means occasionally I can get the house to a happy temperature. Mittens enjoys basking weather a great deal.

Truth be told, so do I. There is a direct correlation between how warm I am and how likely I am to get properly dressed. I say properly..no doubt my fashion sense is somewhat lacking in that regard.

Thanks to Kosmic, we did make it out of the house last week. We had a sort of ‘swap shop’ with other homeschool kids. By which I mean kids (mums) packed up loads of stuff they wanted to be rid of and brought it along with no intention of taking more stuff back home with them. It worked out mostly well for us–here Joseph is dutifully trying to convince people of the brilliance of his Doctor Who collection. I admit I was a bit sad that he considers his Dr. Who phase to be utterly over. If only Lego snagged the franchise, it might have had a chance with Joseph.. I’m sorry, but there’s no way that Star Wars is *more* cool.

Nyssa being not so dutiful–can you believe she’s actually swapping?

This was me during the swap. The Scout Hall we were in did not have the heating turned on in that part of the building. It wasn’t just me being wimpy. Ask anyone.

What a fabulous lad, doing the sweeping up.

Nyssa was too busy getting to be with another girl. She’s had quite a social week actually–tonight she comes home after having been at another friend’s house for 3 nights! I would have thought (hoped?) that that would have been too long without me, or at least Joseph, but apparently not.. I guess that’s good. (*sob*)

Oh yes, I’ve started a new knitting blog here. I had another one, but got annoyed with it as it’s a different user and requires that I log out of this account to use it. Yes, I’m very lazy. I’ve also had cause to post to my garden blog, which is linked in the sidebar, if you’re interested.

So, things are looking up. Valentine’s Day is coming up, for which I continue to try and train James, and after that it’s but a short jump into spring!

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Cold cold cold

January 19, 2009

This is me these days:

Very cold and a bit resentful. The former because the house just won’t heat up properly, and I wear many layers of clothes, hats, and jackets to preserve my body heat. The latter because we’re paying what I’m guessing is more than £200 per month just to run the boiler and I feel that for that money I should be luxuriating in nothing but camisole tops should I choose to. So, due to cold, giving all our money to Scottish gas, and feeling generally lethargic, we haven’t been up to terribly much aside from the odd virus. Remember that song, ‘If we make it through December..’? Yeah, that month for me would be January. At least next month I can eat lots of chocolate and pester James for cheery flowers.

We’re fully back into homeschooling at least. Keeping the kids’ brains busy makes me feel less bad about not going hardly anywhere. They’re about to finish a math text which makes me feel vaguely accomplished. Though to be fair, we’re impatient learners and will have techically done less than 1/4 of the prescribed work as we have no desire to do busy work once a concept is mastered. The fact that I always performed worse in classes that required a lot of pointless scribbling is probably biasing my teaching methods, but we work with what we have..

When we’re not learning, we are doing crafts, building Lego and playing Wii. Oh yes, I got a Wii and Wii Fit for Christmas. You can guess who the only person still without a Wii Fit profile is :P. I’ll get around to it just a soon a I can remove a few layers of clothing without risking frostbite.

Some few pictures from the last month:

A rather badly taken photo of our Christmas spoils. ‘Spoil’ is a fairly appropriate word in this case, as the kids managed to end up with even more this year than usual. I think James wins as gift-giver this year with the boots he bought for me. He had noticed that I had ordered some boots on clearance only to have the order cancelled as they had run out of stock. Seeing that I was bummed out, he then went to Glasgow a few weeks later and managed to track down a pair for me–in the right size, in the right color! It was on this trip that he also managed to snag the Wii stuff. I was so dead impressed, particularly as his normal shopping strategy involves me having to kick him out of the house on Christmas Eve with the bank card.

I did manage to finish his quilt in time for Christmas, the piecing and binding hastily sewn up while he was away on business. The back is seriously amateurish, and the actual quilting was minimal. Fortunately, I had bought a high quality wadding which tolerated my half-assedness well, at least where the quilting was concerned. Technically, this is my first quilt that had a proper wadding and backing, and I found it enormously frustrating. The cotton and the wadding stuck to each other so much that trying to align and smooth them required almost more patience than I could muster. I was sure I must have been missing some key insider tips on making the whole experience zen-filled. Ah well. Also, you might notice the quilt is square rather than a standard bed size. I could pretend that I just like it that way, but the truth is that I screwed up a couple rows of cats and couldn’t bear the thought of picking out all those stitches. Fat quarter quilts are great, so long as you don’t screw up any of your pieces. Anyway, James likes it, or at least is wise enough to say as much. I DO like the cat motif. It’s hard to see, but the fabrics are all very beautiful, and have an asian theme. He picked them himself, actually! His Christmas sweater is almost finished, the knitting on the second arm due to be finished today.


This is one of the cuter advent calendars I’ve seen. James’ mom Anne sent it, and the kids really liked putting it together every day. They even hid little surprises in most of them and made up a game for us to play, which we finally got around to doing the other day. Very sweet.


Oh oh, Mo got me a gorgeous stack of fat quarters for Christmas. We seem to have a decent system–she sends me fabric that is so hard to get here (in person anyway) and I send her British yarn. Her birthday is coming up, and I’m having a terrible time trying to decide what to get. I want to get her loads and loads is the problem because I adore spoiling her, even more so now that she’s about to have her baby.

The cats have been up to the usual naughtiness.


I thought I was very clever repurposing a birdfeed holder for cat food. I forgot to consider the fact that birds aren’t capable of lifting lids of that size. It is now weighted with a jug of juice. I would love to have an immaculately styled home, but it’s precluded by my need to have the house strewn with McGyver-esque naughty cat solutions. The downstairs toilet is the absolute worst. I have, in this tiny room, two cat litter boxes; one open and another huge covered one. I also have to have a big empty plastic bin next to the toilet. Why?? Because Mittens prefers to urinate on bare floor. I suppose I should be grateful that he will at least use the bin, but sheesh. What really gets me is that if he sees that he has peed in the box and no one has gotten around to mopping it up yet, he will suddenly deign to use a litter box. Argh!


Mittens has extreme food tracking skills. We rarely get cat food in the Tesco order (grocery home delivery–a godsend, even if I do hate Tesco), and yet on the recent occasion that I did, he zeroed in on the bag, which was wrapped in another bag, neither of which was leaky, and prompty tore into it. Here James is extracting the kitten from the bag. Being on a diet must trigger some latent desperating hunting skills, or something. Poor fattypuss.


I found the kids these excellent super-challenging dot-to-dot books that are pretty addictive. Mittens even likes to give them a go..


Representative of who is in control of this household.

The kids were invited to a little Build-a-Bear party, which was very cute, have to say.


Funny, it was the adults who thought this part looked a bit dodgy. Growing up twists the mind..


Nyssa went for a typical cat-in-pink-dress sort of thing. Joseph chose a bear and dressed it in slippers, an army helmet, stuck a wee cat to its arm, and gave it a little backpack stuffed with another tiny animal. Hehe. Oh, also Grandpa Mike and Grandma Mel should note that I was serious when I said that Joseph wears his new hat everywhere! 🙂


Lovely robin, very grateful for his food (better be–I buy him premium stuff) and look at how tubby he is, even though it’s midwinter! ❤

Run-up to Christmas ’08

December 24, 2008


Looks like our heroes are SOL.


A Christmas ornament box *shrug* That’s my seester and me in the photo.


If there’s one thing keeping community halls open in this country it’s the need of the British person (apparently) to hold fundraising events. These events have led to the evolution of a number of games that one must pay to play. We went to a village Christmas Fayre and came out with what are, I have to say, the worst Tombola prizes ever. The chocolate buttons would have been a winner, but for the fact that the box had obviously been opened already and hastily taped shut again.. I’m not sure what’s worse, the Miller beer Joseph won, or the scary finger puppet.


The household naughties in a moment of cute repose.


Nyny’s first choir concert! Look at her stance and her gaping mouth–she’s a natural! 🙂


My pear cheese! It’s got pear schnapps in it or something..I dunno, I saw it in a deli and just needed it!


This we did not need–a pork liver jelly. Afficionados of American 60’s-style Jello side dishes should take heart; their British cousins are keeping the beastly tradition alive and well.


The annual gingerbread day–this is the girls’ cake.


The boys’–I like the snow drifts. Also like Joseph’s bug cookies.


Me screwing up with the camera..looks sorta trippy.


Our Christmas tree (dur)


Owls are way better than angels. Besides, I stuck my swarovski (love) star on the leader.


Joseph appropriated the mantle to display the contents of his Lego advent calendar. I gave up trying to control the decor of the room not long thereafter–to be fair, Joseph has at least as much flair for that sort of thing as I do. He made a very nice little centrepiece with tree clippings and a little bird ornament.


Ha! Caught with a corm! If I haven’t said, we call those packing corn-based pellets ‘corms’..because we’re LOL-idiots. Mittens has been put on a diet and so has taken to inspecting our many packages for these things. He hoards them and snacks on them when he wants food. He also rips open bags of the corn-based cat litter when particularly desperate..poor fattypuss.


Look what we found in a junk shop in Perth! I’m a tacky SOB, so rather than paying the 6 quid to own a bit of my heritage, I just took a picture.


But we did buy these! James was dead impressed to find what he calls my new ‘titchy boots.’ They’re just like his army boots, but, er, titchy! 🙂


Trippy photo of the kids while we’re waiting for the panto to start. We saw The Snow Queen this year.


Merry Christmas from Dynarod–a big hole into the sewage system in the yard, which they won’t likely get to filling in until the new year. 😛


Joseph, defying the homeschooler stereotype of the anti-videogame household. Xbox Lego games are his primary holiday occupation (apart from actual Lego).


Nyssa, performing her primary occupation–devouring books.


Christmas cookie-making, as overseen by Mitu. The messy kitchen would be his fault. *cough*

Hope everyone has a lovely Christmas!

Some peechers..

December 14, 2008

..that didn’t fit in thematically with other photos.


Nyssa and Joseph looking rather gorgeous at Ben and Meg’s wedding.


I need to dig out the rest of the wedding photos. There are some funny ones that document exactly how quickly it was that Nyssa managed to make herself unkempt once she was allowed to.


I bought the little heat pad for me..


Roald Dahl and wine, excellent.


She’s looking much too mature these days, if you ask me.


That’s a bit more like it.


Pumpkin spice cookies with chopped chocolate and galaxy buttons. I dunno, they were very nice.


I post this picture of a tired me to show mom my hat and that I still wear Grandma’s coat.


A most surprising thing–I adore scones with clotted cream. There is nothing attractive at all about the words ‘clotted cream’ but the stuff is gorgeous.


Joseph turned 10 this year. He was quite adamant that we get these candles when he saw them in the shop. Poor kid..

Me and the Girl

November 30, 2008

I like December because Christmas shopping gives me an excuse to take the kids out singly, which I always enjoy. Yesterday, Nyn and I went to Edinburgh.


That’s right, those are a US 6.5, so she’s certainly fitting into adult shoes now.


The German Market is in town! Pretzels and pyramids for everyone!


Put a moon in the door instead of a heart, and you’ve got something I seriously need to own.


Warm pretzel love.


Possibly the best thing of the day–all bedecked with garland was this kid with a sign that said ‘free hugs’. How could we not? Reminds me of the Seattle ‘smile’ guy.


Nyssa really wanted a trip to the salad bar at Pizza Hut. The waitress convinced her to get the kids meal because it included one for free. See here her puny salad. I love the ‘I’ve been gipped’ look on Nyn’s face when surveying her meager bowl. Hehehe.

We had a very nice time, and public transport actually more or less worked (it’s been real touch and go lately). We got our gifts, wasted all sorts of time in shoe and perfume departments, and drank plenty of decaff lattes. Having a daughter is excellent stuff.

Where’s the Nikwax??

October 10, 2008

I don’t know if you’ve noticed in the sidebar, but there now a link to a little blog I keep for my garden. It’s where I indulge my need to post pictures of robins and roses and suchlike. I made a post detailing the things I ordered from a nursery a week or two ago. Anyway, point is, they all came today. The weather was not good. Very windy in the AM and very rainy in the PM. Before the weather switched over to the afternoon’s downpour I went outside to try to get some of them in the ground. I started with the items going along the perimeter of the house, which was probably a mistake. For some reason, someone thought it a brilliant plan to put 6 inches of pokey red rocks all around the house, even in areas obviously meant for plant bedding. Rocks are not good mulch, even crappier as soil! Also, as the garden hadn’t been tended for a while, there were many stubborn things to be uprooted. We now have several square feet of dirt where I pulled out things that had invaded the lawn. I like naturalized gardens, so long as everyone knows their place! I also found yet another random pipe coming out of the ground. Nobody knows anything about the workings and history of this house as it’s so old so there’s no chance of my knowing if it’s important or not. I managed to get in the salix (mini pussy willow!), the two jasmines, and the australian mint bush (smells gorgeous, truly). I was wet, but doing alright until the rain soaked through my army coat (stupid me, not having waterproofed it..) and water dripped down my soaked hair and into my eyes. I started to dig up more rocks but finally admitted to myself that I had probably best go inside. I tend to get a bit obsessively focused on things, sometimes ignoring good sense (people who know me are probably pointing and laughing :P). So I sheltered the remaining plants reasonably, and gave up for the day. I really hope the weather improves tomorrow. BBC weather is being a tease.

Joseph, my dear child, has developed some interesting Britain-specific quirks. I found him a couple hours ago sitting on the couch with a dozen or so stuffed animals watching Mock the Week, one of the UK’s more cynical current events quizcoms.

So, I have some photos. I may as well post Nyssa’s birthday pictures separately, as there are quite a lot.


In a bid to save money and make Jamie proud I redid an old purse that was missing its handle. I love the tacky owls ever so much. The handle is also in that fabric.


The new stripes in my hair. The lady didn’t want to lighten my hair all at once, so she’s going to do a few sessions of highlighting. That would be the reason for the evil blonde. I dunno, now that it’s got a weird red in it, I don’t hate it nearly so much. My hair is finally growing out as well. The ladies said my hair was a such good shape. I had to laugh. It’s because I never style it and don’t wash it any more than I absolutely have to. It’s nice that there are *some* areas of life where the path to health is laziness.


This just makes me happy. Organized gift wrapping stuff.


Last week we went to the zoo! Joseph took our pictures. Not bad! This is the first time I hauled out the winter coat this season.


What’s this? What poor little thing is the losingest animal today?


Aww..


In the education building. Hmm..


A homeschool mum was nice enough to organize a talk for us on the Budongo chimpanzees and the local villagers.


Carrying things on your head is harder than it looks.


Aw…a stuffed penguin is extra pathetic.


Maybe he misses his friend.


I wonder what he’s thinking about. I find it interesting that he puts his hands between his knees when he lays on his side as I do.


This is a nifty sculpture.


They have just one polar bear.


I heard an enormous amount of screeching and thought the chimpanzees were running riot. Turns out a bunch of kids from a primary school had turned up at the playground. At one point a chimp, who was in the cage adjacent, did come up and yell at them in a ‘hey you kids, get off the lawn!’ sort of way. The photo above is telling. If *Nyssa* thinks people are being too loud…hehe.


Gorgeous male leopard. His spots are visible in the sunlight.


I just don’t know what to make of this. The poor cat was obviously stressed, as he was pacing back and forth endlessly.


That said, they are in a desperate situation. There have got to be some in captivity with those numbers to ensure that they aren’t lost forever.


Another beautiful cat.


Badgerbadgerbadgerbadger…this little guy was so hard to photograph! He just trots and trots all about.


I had never seen a Pallas Cat before. He is just completely charming!


He was even obliging enough to wash his little face while I was watching. He is terribly covetable, I must admit.


A fairly excellent facial expression.


Jamie loves lemurs. We found him a wee one in the gift shop on the way out.


He has such a fascinating face. OK OK, I realize my commentary is lame. I’m no Attenborough. Moving right along..


On the train home, we had to stop for a while on the bridge. That’s always fun. At least I had the leisure to get some pictures of the road bridge.


On Tuesday we went to help at Pillars. Our chore this week was a most excellent one-we got to harvest the rest of the cucumbers and tear down the plants. The kids were very pleased to get to take a few home.


I do so love polytunnels.


I also like an excuse to pass an afternoon in an army jacket, garden gloves, and a weird hat.


I covet this house and its climbing maple-looking plant.


Joseph designed, built, and painted a really fantastic lightsaber. Does this mean I don’t have to buy him one for his birthday? 😉


My hopelessly spoilt cats–I’ve made them beds next to me at the computer. Well, it makes them so happy! And I have no shame when it comes to my kitties.

This and that around the house

August 14, 2008


James was gone, and I had found some organic bacon and Pilsbury crescent roll dough at Tesco (I know, wtf?). Couldn’t resist making pigs in a blanket. This is a notable meal in that I haven’t actually cooked raw meat in more than 5 years. I suppose bacon is hard to mess up–put in pan, fry until nearly rock-hard (I love it that way). So these items, along with Minute Maid orange juice, was very reminiscent of things I ate as a kid. So nice, in an artery-hardening sort of way.


This is what I like to see, a man at some sort of labor necessitating a ladder.


Not so much what I like to see–a man coming at me at breakneck speed on a child-sized scooter.


Definitely what I like to see, a shaved husband. Not so sure about the kid-tormenting though..


Hehe, super Ikea dinner–quorn swedish meatballs, boiled buttered potatoes, gravy, and even loganberry jam.


Poor Joseph, doomed to be forever upstaged.


There’s always stuff in the news insinuating that homeschoolers do what they do in order to abuse their kids and escape notice. I point out here that 1. this has been caught on film and 2. not all of the kids packing the baby into the recycling bin are homeschoolers.


The field behind our new doctor’s office. Could almost be Idaho if you squint right..


Aw, the scruffy village charity shop cat. The tag reads, “Tiger’s: do not sell!”


I submit proof that Joseph does know how to swing *and* that he indeed likes it.


Since Mitu has been given the chance to go outside on a lead, he really really really loves going out. Sometimes just to hop up on the windowsill and watch us pull weeds.


Random bit of our garden: it wouldn’t be a Scottish garden without ‘decorative’ thistles.


This is growing near the front door. I don’t know what it is, but it’s beautiful.


Nyssa has to be hosed off before coming inside from gardening. Only we don’t have a hose or indeed a tap (spigot) outside, so this has to do.


Nyssa putting on a puppet show with Einstein and ‘Homorabi’ the cat. She means to say Hammurabi, lol.


Cookie, Einstein, and Hammurabi, the cast of our puppetry. We are freaks.


No joke: 35% rise in gas prices. That’s fine, we just won’t cook or heat the house this winter. Been meaning to give the kids an object lesson in austerity anyway. 😛


A rainbow out the front door, and me having been quick enough to catch it.


James encouraging kitty bad manners. *sigh*


I may have said before that pipe cleaners are the best craft innovation ever. Here we have pipe cleaner Death Star and pipe cleaner Fighter whatsit (Joseph will strangle me for not remembering which). Nyssa in her usual posture of late–engrossed in a book. She was so sweet the other day, she comes to me and starts gushing breathlessly, as though she were speaking of a crush, about how many different sorts of books there are to read and how she loves that there’s always something new and wonderful to learn about, etc. etc. Aw.


Aw, cute, how sweet, etc. He’s also fluffing up my fabric.


This one just makes me giggle. I have this demanding little guy in my face all the time.


Nom nom nom. But FFS, I thought it was expensive enough at 50% off. Can you believe someone is meant to pay the equivalent of $10 for a wee bag of animal crackers??


We met this little kitty named Puisicain at Dobbies Garden Centre. They’re trying to raise money for Glendrick Roost, a sanctuary for rescued, abused and/or unwanted animals. They’re having a hard time at the moment because their leased land has been pulled out from under them to make way for some other more profitable venture. If you know of a location, please contact them. Also, please go and give them a donation. They’re just a wee charity, but they care so much for their animals and do such good.

Festivals Cometh

July 26, 2008

One of my goals this year was to get involved with the Edinburgh festivals to a much greater degree. It’s just lame to have such a rich resource every single year and not take advantage. This year we’re focusing on the Fringe and the Book Festival.

At the Book Festival the kids will be seeing the author of the Horrid Henry books, most of which Nyssa has read. Should be exciting for her anyway. Joseph will be unimpressed at the wake-up time.. That day should be fairly spectacular for them though as they get to hang around at the festival, have lunch out, go on a storytelling tour with friends, and then have a sleepover with said friends (to let Mum and Dad go to other events that perhaps don’t bear mentioning). James will be going to see Iain Banks, which should be very cool, particularly if he can find a friend to go with. Any takers?

We have several Fringe events scheduled. Joseph has a drama workshop called, ‘Jedi Training Academy.’ Really, could there be anything better? Nyssa will go along and be a good sport (right Nyssa??). Later in the day we will see The History of Scotland in 60 Seconds or Less, James Campbell’s Shut Up Stupid (description: ” at language, idiots, teddies, neuro-linguistic nightmares and blankies. Stupid. Bumface.” Hehe..), and Bale De Rua (“Direct from a sell-out Paris season, the UK premiere of Brazilian dance and percussion spectacular. Featuring an exhilarating blend of capoiera, hip hop and original music, this street ballet will have you dancing in the aisles.” I’m really looking forward to this one.).

Our next Fringe day starts with a drama workshop that Nyssa chose, themed on Roald Dahl. Afterwards we will watch the show performed by the company that put on the workshops called, “Rapunzel–May the Force be With You” which is billed as the fairy tale done Star Wars-style. Cool. Later we’ll try to catch the free show ‘The Comedy Cartoon Story Show,’ put on by a stand-up comic/cartoonist. That should be interesting, at least. I think that afternoon will be our best chance to go see Wall-E.

The next week the kids are both participating in a 5-hour-long (woah) circus skills workshop, put on by Albert and Friends Instant Circus, who are up from London. This event could go many ways, and suffice it to say that I won’t venture far from the venue and will pay close attention to my mobile. 😛 Later in the day we meet up with James who will take Joseph to a stand-up comedy club aimed at being appealing to kids while Nyssa and I see an American high school production of Hair.

I’m quite excited because I get to see Rich Hall and Jimmy Carr. My very very very kind friend is taking the kids for the night so James and I can go out and paint the town. Or conk out at 11. But at least we’ll be conking out in a hotel! August should be all kinds of fun.

Some of this and that..

July 22, 2008

Hard to believe, but we’ve just about been in the house 2 weeks. The sky high pile of boxes behind me seems to indicate otherwise. Mostly things are fine, just little niggles. Like the gardener who doesn’t clean up his clippings. Or the leak in the downstairs bathroom. Or this:

We were left a gift by the former tenants. The washer wouldn’t drain properly, so I dug around in the pump filter and pulled out about a week’s worth of bus fare, a key, and other assorted goodies. And this was after I had cleaned out rusting metal shards from the rubber whatsit next to the door. If I die of lockjaw, you know who to pin it on. Ugh.

On to nicer things..


Possibly the most ridiculous thing we’ve come up with yet–taking our cat for a walk. Thing is, we feel bad that they look so desperate to explore outside and they’re too crap to be outdoor cats. Surely we can train them to walk on a lead. Surely? Mitu has been the bravest. On his first attempt he did explore the perimeter of the house, and we were encouraged in our lunatic idea. But then the next time he just kept bolting back inside. I think we might need to enlist the help of tuna.


I love catching the kids in ‘ARGH!’ moments. James made Joseph a CD of Star Wars music..but made the first track ‘Zurg’s Planet’ from Toy Story, which Joseph is decidedly *NOT INTO* anymore. Hahahahaha.


When I picked up this log, I was so enchanted with the myriad assorted sizes of Roly Poly bug that lived on it that I went to get the camera. I got back and there weren’t any on it anymore. I think this visitor to our yard might have something to do with it..


You see the landscape whizzing by? We are on a highway. I worry for the mental health of our bus drivers.


Just around the hills from our place is a brilliant organic farm and wee shop called Pillars of Hercules. Now being an area resident I couldn’t wait to start volunteering. This morning was our first go, and aside from Joseph being extremely unimpressed by our 7am wake-up time and his allergies being fairly nasty, it was a lovely morning. These are my two children in the broad bean patch.


I have many beans.


I adore this photo. And so many people will enjoy the beans we picked. 🙂 Afterwards we were asked to pick some blackcurrants. Poor Joseph was so hay fevery that he was holding a kleenex to his nose with one hand and trying to sort berries with the other. I thought that perhaps was a bit too organic (ew..) so retired him for the day. The bell rang shortly thereafter, and we went in for a very nice tea break. Someone made me a cappucino and spoiled the kids with organic sodas and we all had toast with set honey. All the workers sat around a rough-hewn table and it was just very, very pleasant. Hopefully we’ll make it once a week or so.


Organic farm kitty.


That’s my girl, showing off the John Deere. That’s her having-just-said-‘Aww Yeah’ face.


I didn’t take this, found it on a google image search for Strathmiglo. It’s nice to live in a place pretty enough that you’d look for a picture of it to use as your desktop wallpaper.

That 7am wake-up time is catching up with me. *yawn*

Am I British yet?

July 5, 2008

I just bought my first pair of wellies:


Thanks to TK Maxx, now I can go splosh about in the creek, sorry, the ‘burn’ at the bottom of our garden. 😀

Getting Joseph to stuff his face is problematic. I let the kids pick where to eat the other day and they, after realizing that McDonalds at that point was yob hell, chose The Pancake Place. We like this place because they do proper american-style pancakes with all sorts of toppings. My waistline dislikes this place for the same reason. So, invariably, we get into the place and Joseph picks up a menu and promptly loses his appetite. Nyssa, on the other hand, orders the biggest, most absurdly piled up plate possible, The Alaskan:

She’s certainly enjoying herself. When Joseph got his plate full of pancake, ice cream, and chocolate, his appetite made a miraculous comeback so it wasn’t all a wash.

I feel the need to point something out with regards to my eating habits; well, one habit in particular as it never fails to elicit weird looks:

I refuse to believe that I’m the only person on the planet who pulls the onions out of the onion rings then happily eats up the breading. In my opinion, the onion is there merely to provide form and flavor. Who actually wants to eat the slimy things??


Um. Oh. (Freak.)

This is me after eating too much pancake and onion ring crust. You can also see that my hair is back to its ‘normal’ red state. It’s got some brown highlights in it as well.

On to some various aspects of our new stomping ground.


There are some ridiculously cute strawberry plants growing along our path. The fruits are pathetic little things, measuring about one centimeter, and more likely to be trodden upon than eaten but they’re lovely. Besides, they might attract bunnies!


Isn’t that nice? It’s a properly old building. Well it would be in the States anyway.


This is our new neighborhood cat. He’s so lazy and lovely. If you coo at him enough he’ll get up and sort of languidly wander over for a cuddle.


The kids checking out the community notice board.


The local shop is pleasantly unskeevy. Well, compared to the other franchise possibilities (*cough*Spar*cough*).


The village clock tower.


Everything is in chaos or in boxes, but the kids have been very upbeat about it, for the most part. Granted, living so close to a public transportation and shopping hub was convenient, but it will be nice to live somewhere where there are fewer than 3 car alarms going off per day and not quite so many drunk people shouting outside the windows.