Oh, ye’ll tak’ the high road, and I’ll tak’ the low road,
And I’ll get to Scotland afore ye;
But me and my true love will never meet again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond.
And so we found ourselves, Dear Reader, TG and I along with some friends attending the wedding of the lovely Ms Emily over the bank holiday weekend on the (not so sunny but still bonnie) banks of Loch Lomond – Luss to be exact.
I used to live up in Scotland as a very small child when my Dad directed numerous episodes of Dr Finlay’s Casebook back in the late 60s but apart from that and a short stint working on the Glasgow Herald (in London) my Scottish connections and visits there end. So it was with great excitement that we set off for a weekend of fun and frolics and frolic we indeed did.
Luss is a very pretty village in a conservation area having been restored in the 90s and is full of slate roofed cottages
We stayed in the Loch Lomond Arms and the staff couldn’t have been nicer and more friendly. In fact, that was true of everyone we met in shops and hotels over the weekend which is so refreshing.
We had such a lovely weekend. Lots and lots of laughs. Some very dodgy Scottish dancing at the reception. The trying on of various tartan articles. Far too much wine. An abundance of haggis with just about every meal. The realisation that heels, a wide planked pier with BIG gaps and a metal grille do not make good friends. A wonderful cruise on the Loch. And a really lovely wedding.
TG and I plan to go back to bonnie Scotland, hire a car and explore. It was a beautiful spot despite the weather and there is obviously so much more to see and do. I can’t wait!
P.S The Bride wore Jimmy Choos. I am beyond envious….
Read Full Post »
Now it may be that I’m at a funny age Dear Reader (no heckling from the back please) but I have had a hankering for a little red scooter for some time (mid life crisis?). A few years ago a friend suggested that I do my test and all of that stuff but I didn’t get around to it and to be honest didn’t have the time and / or inclination. After the events of last year and my somewhat hermit like state you will know (if you read this insufferable drivel) that I ceased the alcoholic beverages for the month of January this year. Somewhat sensibly for me, I decided put the money that I wasn’t spending on wine into a savings account and save up for said red scooter, take the test in the Summer and have my sunny day transport by the time the weather picked up (the 12th of never the way it’s going at the moment).
Fast forward to the weekend just gone and a conversation with an old friend in the depths of Lincolnshire about the above plan. ‘I have a Lambretta that you can have and it’s red’ said He. ‘Really?’ said I. ‘Yes indeed, I don’t ride it any more and I’d like to give it to you as you want one so much and I know you’ll love it’ said He. There had been an amount of drink taken.
With the dawn of the following day I thought that he might have changed his mind (sobriety and all that) and was quite prepared to let him out of his promise, but no – paperwork signed over and the most beautiful, mint condition, all original red Lambretta is mine.
I am completely blown away by his unbelievable generosity. He would not accept any money at all but only asked that I would love it, not sell it and keep it forever and ever. No problem at all.
In answer to the many questions that I’ve had from various folks over the last couple of days
Why did he GIVE it to ME (a bizarre question) – because he wanted to – no strings apart from the above – he gave me a table years ago under the same rules. I will of course use it – why would I not? No TG will not be buying a matching one – he is not interested. Yes, I am beyond excited about the prospect of having something that I’ve wanted for a very long time. No, I won’t be joining the owner’s club or any other clubs for that matter – not really my scene. Yes I do know how it starts, where the brakes are etc etc etc – I’m not a six year old child. And yes, I am incredibly grateful for this most amazing gesture of generosity from one of the nicest people I know and whom I have known for nearly 30 years – a gent amongst men.
I foresee sunny days pootling around the Island with a picnic on my smart chrome luggage rack (must get basket for this pursuit), the sun on my face and the wind in my helmet. I still have to do my test but I’ll get some practice in up and down the drive first and as TG has already passed his test I can be a glamorous (again no heckling please) pillion passenger in the meantime. I can’t wait. :0)
Read Full Post »
Posted in Life, the universe and everything..., tagged Anemones, cool dude, easter, grandchildren, grandparents, photography, sartorial, spring on April 23, 2013 |
2 Comments »
There comes a time in a young man’s life when his thoughts must turn to his apparel. There is no certain age for this and indeed there are some young men who never quite get the hang of what is cool and what is not.
Not so the Smallest Baby Boy who pitched up on Saturday looking every inch the cool dude…
In fact he was a dude so cool that the sunglasses stayed on in one way or another all day
And making daisy chains with Pops
Turning Madam into the Spring Princess
He was loath to remove them for any reason at all. I feel a sartorial boy coming on in the future.
In other news EVERYTHING has finally begun to emerge in the greenhouse and to date there are beans both runner and broad, tomatoes of two different varieties, spinach, broccoli, garlic, chillies, basil, courgettes and of course the obligatory sunflowers. I’m wondering if the veg patch is going to be big enough for it all as there are already potatoes, herbs, rhubarb, red currants and artichokes on the go……watch this greenfingered space! Elsewhere there is finally colour apart from the Primroses and Daffs
These are my Mother’s favourites and were grown from some bulbs that she gave me a couple of Christmases ago
They have withstood all the awful cold weather and are enjoying a bit of sunshine at last and are so delicate and perfect. It makes your heart glad to see that the Winter is finally behind us and we can look forward to sunnier days and warmth on our faces.
Apart from all of that, I have nothing more to impart Dear Reader except to show you the following. Madam and her bunny cakes. Well it was Easter after all…..
Read Full Post »
I have forgotten how it is to be so completely absorbed in a task.
Read Full Post »
Picture if you will Dear Reader, five ladies (and I use that term loosely) in pink wigs and scarves, drinks in hand lurching across the dancefloor on a cross channel ferry to possibly the worst cabaret (and I use that term loosely too) I have seen and you will have some approximate idea of my Friday night… I have never actually been on a hen do before – apart from my own about 20 years ago the net result of which was terrible food poisoning and the dodgy Greek restaurant we had chosen being closed down by the health department – but that is a story for perhaps another day! And so we five headed off of the sunny Isle and across the high seas to St Malo for a weekend of drinking, eating and enjoying with a spot of French shopping thrown in for good measure.
I shall save the blushes of (some) of my fellow hens and not talk about flaming Sambuccas / being turfed out of bars / dodgy dancing and kleptomania and instead tell you that we had a most splendid time and show you some of the more acceptable photos……
There are a few arty farty ones – but I’ll save those for a later date. Wouldn’t want to get you all over excited. Suffice to say, the bride to be enjoyed herself. Her fellow hens enjoyed themselves. And the crew and fellow passengers on the Bretagne quite enjoyed the spectacle!
Read Full Post »
Posted in Life, the universe and everything..., tagged death, gardening, grandchildren. grandparents, hen nights, Isle of Wight, life, St Malo, The Folly on April 9, 2013 |
Leave a Comment »
Well Dear Reader the Spring finally sprang (or is it sprung?). The sun shone muchly on Saturday and the Small People and I sallied forth into the garden for a spot of doing. I wish I could bottle them at exactly the ages that they are now (doubtless the Other Child would not agree) because they are just such fun to be around and they so enjoy the simplest things in life.
We did some digging
And they did quite a lot of watering – mostly themselves if I’m honest. Observe the Smallest Baby Boy who has thumb firmly inserted throughout all operations….
Madam has a pink watering can – natch
They really enjoyed being outside after the endless Winter and went home rosy cheeked and knackered after one of Pops’s legendary strawberry and raspberry milkshakes (as I cleaned the mess up in the kitchen I wondered just who is the child in this scenario…).
Hypnotised by a large flower / contemplating how it works / sucking thumb
We had such a lovely time and I shall miss seeing them this weekend when I am on the high seas on the way to St Malo for a hen weekend….yes you DID read that correctly. Watch this space for later details and probably quite a lot of pictures of French windows – well you know how I can get…
I also managed to get my sewing machine out and turned a £1 tweed jacket into these little lovelies
I have plans to make some more if I ever get around to it….
On a different note we were really upset to hear that our very favourite dog Molli Folly had died unexpectedly and suddenly on Saturday night. We had taken her for a lovely walk on Easter Sunday and she really was the gentlest soul. We will miss her and I know that the Folliers are missing her very much. I am not a dog person at all and am in fact allergic to most of them but even I made an exception in her case. See you Mols.
And so that is it! There has been more but I’ll save it for another time. Whatever the weather – enjoy life Dear Reader and think of me on the high seas on Friday evening, glass in hand, pink wig on head……..I can see your mind boggling already!
Read Full Post »
For those of you who are familiar with my good self, you will know what a technophobe I am. I do sometimes dream of doing whizzy clever things on my computer but, truth be told just the writing of this and the uploading of photos does my head in…
So, Dear Reader, it was with trepidation that I took possession just after Christmas of my first ever iPhone. I had resisted such technology on the basis that my little Nokia was quite adequate thank you very much and why did I need the internet on tap when all I was interested in was the odd phone call and text? Well, *whispers in a conspiratorially hushed tone*, how very wrong I was. I absolutely love it. Not for the access to the internet which is handy at times I’ll admit. Not for the bloody touch screen thingy and the keyboard which drives me insane and makes for the worst spelling EVER. No, Dear Reader, I love it for the camera. I love that, wherever I am, the chances are I will have my phone – but not necessarily my camera and so I can capture moments which before would have had me moaning and sighing and realising that the moment had passed and the camera was at home. And the thing I love most of all is Instagram because having never ever got to grips with photoshop (more in a ‘can’t be bothered’ way than anything else)is that I can take a photo, alter it slightly and send it on its way. Bloody brilliant!
Of course the sad thing about all this digital technology, is that there will be no albums to leave the kids (I can hear them thanking God from here) and that’s a bit sad. Who doesn’t enjoy old albums full of dodgy mullets and flares….or is that just my photos….?
Anyway (and don’t pretend you didn’t know this was coming) I have selected a few to share with you. Madam Rainbow and landscapes feature heavily – mostly because they are both largely inanimate – but there are a couple that might give you a laugh or two…
I do love a bit of black and white
And not a pancake in sight
Quiet winter Island
It costs nothing, is a lot of fun and instant as the name suggests. What’s not to like? Love it, love it, love it!! My photography skills still leave a lot to be desired and I WILL get to grips with the other photo things out there, but for now I’m having a bit of fun!
Read Full Post »
Posted in Life, the universe and everything..., tagged Appley Beach, beach, family, friends, Isle of Wight, Ryde, seaside, shell collecting, shell seekers on March 5, 2013 |
Leave a Comment »
Life never ceases to amaze me Dear Reader. And not always in a good way. But there are notable exceptions and last weekend was one of those.
Picture if you will two people (ladies) who ‘meet’ online. They swap messages, blog posts and an interest in making jam and sewing. They then swap a cat.
Now you might think that there is nothing so peculiar in this (or perhaps you might – I’ll admit the cat thing is a tad odd), but this has been the beginning of an enduring online relationship. And so Abby and her children came to stay at the weekend.
It is not just a wee bit strange but very strange in the great scheme of how we make friends in out forties – or maybe not – who knows. Anyway suffice to say that we had a lovely weekend. We talked about all and more and TG was very taken with the younger folks (as indeed were they with him).
The smallest Madam decided that the beach was just the place for a walk on Sunday. Now, if I tell you that hypothermia was my favourite cause of death on a beach on the Isle of Wight last Sunday - then I would not be exaggerating by even the teeniest of measures. It was bloody freezing and there were numb bits of me which have never been numb before in my lifetime! Madam was not to be deterred and so a shell gathering we went. Look at the triumph and delight…
Hunched against the cold
Children are so amazingly resilient when it comes to being completely frozen but being absolutely where they want to be. It’s wonderful to watch and it was also lovely to see the real pleasure (albeit with a good dose of bickering) to be had from the simple pleasure of shell seeking. Brilliant.
Read Full Post »
It has been a funny old weekend Dear Reader. A weekend that whatever I have done, wherever I have been there has been one over riding thing lurking. This weekend last year my Dad died. Strictly speaking date wise it will be tomorrow, the 25th, but it was in fact, Saturday night. I remember this very precisely because as coincidence would have it, we had dinner with the same friends on this Friday that we were having dinner with on the night that he died. We all recalled this and were thankful for no awful phone calls in the midst of things. In case you’re wondering, we carried on with the dinner last year and drank many toasts. We drank another to him on Friday night too.
The most interesting thing if you like that has come out of this past year (and I know that this is perhaps a huge cliché) is that I have realised who my friends are and that some of those friends may not necessarily have been people who you have ever met in person. I have also realised how crashingly disappointingly some so called friends behave at a time when you need nurture, sympathy, empathy and love the most. There was one person in particular who behaved so very badly, so selfishly and so unsympathetically that it took my breath away. Who was so self-absorbed with their own pursuit and gain that friendship went out of the window. A year on I am still smarting and haven’t quite got my head around forgiveness. Whilst one should never do anything with the expectation of reciprocation, I did expect more.
But on the up side there were some wonderful surprises – and so to the people who I have never met thank you – to Al and Anna and Rachel, thank you for your kind words, your cards and gifts. In particular to Fiona for her wise words on parental death and to Pete for his constant bolstering and good humour just when I need it. To the constants, the Folliers, always friends extraordinaire, my lovely brothers and sisters in law and lastly but most importantly to TG and my wonderful children who provide all the comfort in the world. Before this turns into an Oscars speech I shall stop!
And so Dad, here’s to you. I still think about you all the time and wonder if you’re having any luck with the horses wherever it is you might be. Hopefully more than you had when you were here – but perhaps the less said about that the better!! Chin chin.
Read Full Post »