Thursday, 6 December 2007

How to get back into the saddle when one has fallen off the horse known as "Blog"

1.Spend at least a month delaying the moment of re mounting and hence make things even worse.
2. Prevaricate.
3. Spend many hours composing witty one or more liners for each days activities then forget them straight away.
5. Polish the saddle endlessly, get as far as putting the nummnah in place and then decide that there just isn't enough time today.
5. Grab the pommel (keyboard), mix your metaphors and take the plunge.

Too much water has flowed under the blogging bridge to fill you in (first a horse and then a bridge....what am I coming to? There has been Rosie's birthday, ditto Toby, holiday to Leeds and Essex and then a trip to Centre Parks in Cumbria. Last but not least a new Pup. Ginny has entered our lives much to Lucy's disgust. Tess takes her usual vague interest in all small creatures and acknowledges her when the doggy Alzheimer's button is not being pushed too hard. I will post a photo when we manage to remember to take a decent one. Well, thats all for now. Will try to keep more up to date.

PS. Official note of the start of the Old Mill restoration. The long awaited Cherry Picker (many hours spent trawling the Internet and e bay, Garret became positively dehydrated with drooling over many fiscally unattainable models)) was positioned carefully. Toby and Garret rose steadily and triumphantly to the level of the roof and removed the first of the tiles (before they fall!). Oh, one more thing before I sign off, after the activities mentioned in the last entries three of my toe nails went black and fell off...always like to end on a high point.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Today my address is....

No 1, Achesville.
County Down..........

Monday, 8 October 2007

The Pros and the Cons

Pro....finished the race (1.57)
Con...cannot get shoe on left foot due to large and impressive (well, to me anyway) blood blister on the end on one toe.

Memo to self. need to practise hills a wee bit more before next year!

Saturday, 6 October 2007

First 1/2 marathon tomorrow....

aged forty two and three quarters.Nuff Said.

Sunday, 30 September 2007

Competitions of a more acaedemic kind.

Today I entered two competitions in The First News, this is a newspaper for children and it is good. One of the competitions was a sudoku and the other was a crossword. You had to write in the answers and send them to the First News House. We put them in two envelopes and cycled to the post box to post them. I hope I win! Rosie, My Mum, Lucy and I all went on the cycle, Lucy ran, she did not have a bike.
By Freya

Saturday, 29 September 2007

“All of us are guinea pigs in the laboratory of God. Humanity is just a work in progress.” Tennessee Williams...... I like this idea

Today, a day of quiet contemplation and inward reflection….
As if! Kicked off with Pony Club (after administering emergency First Aid to Snuffles the guinea pig who had apparently gone AWOL but was found to have slipped into a box and was upside down considerably shocked…this shock was then intensified by the rescue party who had to be calmed down….alot. After she had recovered, had a drink and restorative piece of carrot, and was restored to her pals Snowy Bunny and Daisy Guinea Pig, I had to self administer my inhaler to offset the ominous chest tightening that is my usual response to Guinea Pigs. Rosie had given me Piriton in the throes of the triage situation, some of which now is contributing to Snuffles’ new spiky sticky hair style). After lunch Rosie and I went for a little run and learnt what our legs feel like running up a small incline whilst the rest went cycling. This was somewhat short lived as Garret got a puncture….well, his bike did and they had to return. Now Toby and Garret have gone to play tennis (Toby is convinced that the new lightweight racquet that we bought him will lead to a slaughtering of the Pater Familias) and the girls are designing posters for a competition to advertise Seafood Week at the Oyster Bar.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

...and there's more

1.Fee starting the run
2.Garret finish line
3.Fee and a wee pal
4.Fee finishing line...finally!!
5.All done till next year.

A great day was had by all (once it was all over that is!)and we were all smiley people about our times in general. Well, would like to have done better in the swim and would definatly liked to have gone faster in the cycle but did okay at the run is a more honest assessment but hey! there is always next year....

"If triathlon was easy, they would have called it football"

1. All ready to go
2. Fee Transition one from Pool to Bike
3. Ditto Garret
4. Fee back from Cycle
5. Garret striding out

Thursday, 20 September 2007

A rear end view

This was sent by Elizabeth Clarke, here last week for a few days. The house is being viewed from the forest track running along the back of our land. In front of the house you can see the view from the north looking windows in all rooms.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

“I believe that every human has a finite number of heart-beats. I don't intend to waste any of mine running around doing exercises”. Buzz Aldrin

If this is so then I have used up a good quota of mine over the last week either in that unpleasant zone of nervousness that causes the heart to pitter patter away and/or by partaking in a ridiculously large amount of exercise over the weekend in Aberfeldy at the afore mentioned Ladies only training weekend. Noses were pointing firmly in the direction of ExerciseVille the whole time, when not doing any we talked about the best way of doing it and how to eat, recover from and prepare for it. All good fun but did result in a very smelly and weary return home to the happy Family Home on Sunday. The highlight was being videoed above and below the water so that our swimming styles could be analysed later and hence any illusions that we were okayish swimmers were shattered into a million small shiny pieces! Actually, very helpful although the new style is hard on the arms so I think I shall have to avoid ironing duties for a while…I will run that by Garret sometime. Have to say I have done okay on that score recently as Linda (Garret’s mum) did a huge pile over the weekend and an even Huger (so massive it has to have a capitol H) pile on Monday night when she was baby sitting Freya. What great value for money, does not expect payment and does the ironing. So the week is progressing as weeks do and the Triathlon creeps ever nearer and the heartbeat is beginning to rise again unbidden. Garret and I sneaked off on Monday whilst T and R were at Athletics club to do a swim in our gear (actually Garret wore his drag shorts and so this is obviously why I was able to beat him). I did a mixture of old and new styles and felt okay (this is no indication of performance on the day as I can easily swallow half the pool in a panic and not breathe for the first three lengths), I did learn that the tri suit needs to be zipped right up to the neck otherwise it instantly fills with water creating my very own little drag device. Okay, enough Triathlon talk, off to get ready for lunch out in The George with my lovely pal Caroline up from Ayr for the night for a bit of horse riding therapy.

PS Re Decathlon...Did not the Plank (but did discover what it is and how to do it in an emergency.....) however did do the Corkscrew (25m, see last entry for exact and far too graphic details of this torture) for the greater good of my team. The mid Argyllers swept the board with the other girls coming first in the decathlon and Lizzie and I and our other team member Debbie coming in Silver position. Debbie was a true star at the Plank an incredible 6 minutes!!! And Liz amongst other things got up there on her toes for the single leg stand as we both knew that I would last a nanno second. Watching me balancing on one foot is like watching a weeble. They wobble and wobble and then they fall DOWN.

Friday, 14 September 2007

A weekend in Aberfeldy

Time for a very quick blogette. Well, the stomach is churning good and proper and I am light headed with nerves. No, not another run/triathlon as such but a ladies only training weekend in Aberfeldy with Lizzie and some others from the Lochgilphead area. There is a very comprehensive programme including a decathlon competition. The list of events for this include something called the plank push up…hmmm no thanks, another one for the old heave ho by me is the “Corkscrew”. This, apparently is when you swim doing one stroke of front crawl and then one of back crawl. I practised this particular torture during the week. Apart from swallowing almost the entire contents of the pool I finished the length (and this is in a 15m diddy pool) in a state of semi collapse. All those carefully balanced systems that we posses as a result of careful and thoughtful evolution by our ancestors do not like being spun round and squeezed like a dish cloth and registered this dislike by attempting to force the contents of my stomach through my mouth and nose. Being a lady I did not give in and merely lay comatose for a while whilst being observed not very surreptitiously by a family also using the leisure centre facilities. To be honest I think that they thought I was a bit disturbed…….Perhaps one event I could suggest for next year is how well you cope with the emotional blackmail laid on one by the offspring when they say goodbye. My girls (Toby is still at school)hung out of the car windows arms outstretched and pleading shouting “Don’t go Mum, Don’t go” in the time honoured way that children have of punishing their parents for daring to have a life. They are now teaching Dad how to give swimming lessons. I just hope that Liz will be here before they get back or I may weaken and send Garret in my place.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Thirty days hath September

September has arrived and along with the summer the B and B guests are slowly drifting away. The weekend was busy, busy with the Connect folk, all very well behaved and nice guests. Actually scratch that, I hate “nice” and so will go with “lovely”. There is something about “nice” which gets my dander up, it is such a nothing word. Anyway, back to the weekend, all seemed to go well at the festival, especially good reports of the food and extras available. We have had several attempts at bookings for next year’s event. We have made a unanimous decision not to take any reservations for that weekend until into the New Year. This is for several reasons, not the least of which is that we will not have a diary until then…I know, the technological age has yet to hit us here in full.
So, the season has quietened and last night we had our first empty night in months, which enabled me to go running with Liz in Lochgilphead. She, poor girl fell her length along the canal path grazing hands, nose and knee. I was able comfort her though as she lay there by pointing out that she would get loads of sympathy from her children, as there was blood present. There is nothing like a bit of blood to get the comfort chip going in a child, swellings…nah, broken bones…nah but the red stuff impresses them every time. Even if you can only squeeze out a little bit I can recommend it when you are in need of a bit of unconditional love and attention. Back to Liz then, she was up and off (dripping blood as she went) again pretty quick and so we did a gentle run along the canal instead of flogging ourselves to get back to the pool in time for a swim. We then went our separate ways, she to tea and sympathy at the hairdressers and me to Jewson’s on errands for Garret. We all have our own special niches in life. Tonight we have two lovely Italian love birds on their honeymoon staying who are very well behaved (so far).

Re the title. I was looking for a really poignant quote for this lovely month designed to impress (and preferably one that I could pass off as my own) but could only find a load of old depressing choss about being sad and going back to school (“September means school and effort” who needs that sort of pious reminder?) and stuff so I decided to go with the first one that sprang to my mind irrelevant though it is!

Monday, 27 August 2007

In the interest of public decency no photos exist of the following....

Having missed out on the Isle of Coll half Marathon on Saturday I announced this am that I would like to see if I could “go the distance”. What a good job that I did the rooms first…Garret and Toby have marked a 10k route out from the house which winds back to Inveraray and then turns along the shore for most of the route ending in Furnace, and then you turn and come back. This in a way is the problem; my poor body had already been pushed to its limits, peeked over the limit edge and run away in fright at what it saw there. There was a point with 3kish to go when I could have given in to the increasingly urgent cries from ankle (L), toes, lungs, groin (think I will stop there) and had a big, big paddy by the side of the track but that would have been embarrassing in front of the dog so I tried to enter a higher plane and slogged on. Garret was meantime offering points of training and advice all along the way as he bounced jauntily and irritatingly from one foot to another effortlessly covering the miles whilst I gasped and panted my way along the route, which I can now appreciate but at the time made me long for a small but sharp knife to sink between his shoulder blades…mind, I would have had to catch him first which would have been a challenge. We arrived back home eventually and I met my friend the gate with cries (well, actually more sobs) of delight and clung onto it for a few minutes in haze of relief, exhaustion and, with quite painfully a very hot head. Garret began to wave something under my nose which when the mists had cleared turned out to be his stopwatch, I know that you are waiting with baited breath… One hour and fifty-three minutes. No wonder I felt as though someone had shaken me up and re-arranged the body parts at random. Of course Lucy needed only a quick lie down and a slurp of water to render her as good as new, jumping around begging for her balloon to be bounced on her nose. For me it took two mugs of water, lots of tea, several Bovril sandwiches and a hot bath, I am still not really feeling up to the balloon on the nose thing.

Sunday, 26 August 2007

......and one of faithful Timmy

Five go off on An Adventure to Inveraray

So off the intrepid Five set on their bikes accompanied by their faithful hound Lucy…sorry Timmy. The sturdiest one of them took on her back a haversack packed with stout waterproofs and emergency rations (actually she forgot these but it sounds good) for the journey ahead (which made her back very sweaty but this cannot be mentioned because in Enid Blyton World there is no sweat, or bickering about who goes first for that matter). Timmy went mad with excitement as they headed off towards a new adventure…who knows what they might find? Smugglers? Criminals? Kidnappers? People who are a bit mean to dogs sometimes? It would be nice to report that they had lashings of ginger beer and freshly made home made sandwiches but two out of the five do not like ginger beer and the housekeeper neglected to make the sandwiches being a spendthrift wanton type of person that prefer to buy a picnic from Londis rather than drag it 4 miles on her sweaty back. Anyway enough of this ‘cos the plot kind of falls down when no one wants to be Julian or Dick.

Saturday, 25 August 2007

Marshmallow Toasting (a serious buisness indeed)

Catch up time

Yet another sausage sizzle, cannot resist a photo session against such a great backdrop. How lucky are we?! Mind you whilst all under 13s were swimming Aunty Liz was huddled in her fleece nursing a sore arm (but she still enjoyed her sizzled sausages and fried egg)

Latest in the H.P saga

Red hot Chili Peppers (or RHCP as us cool dudes say)

Great night at Hamden Park watching the above along with 44,000 (give or take) other people of varying ages.Did not feel too old which is nice and had the experience of viewing the tourist trade from the other side for once (stayed night in a hotel in grown up are we!!! Concert and a night away from home, we even got to stay up past 10pm which made some of us, naming no names (Garret) a wee bit overtired at getting up time the next day.)

Oops, a forgotten picture from many weeks ago......

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

The weekly log of pain resumes

Running club is up and um.....running (sorry) for the Autumn term. We warmed up, we jogged a mile or so and then we raced a mile or so. This latter distance was hotly disputed at the end by those with enough breath to speak and it was decided that it was 1.2 miles at least. This was a time trial to be used at the middle and end of the eight weeks session. With hind sight (slogging along to the 1/2 way turn round point) it would have been better to run really slowly and then look good in October but hey ho.....Check out the times and no doubt the opinion will be that we did indeed do that very thing.4 minute miles they weren't. Plenty of room for improvement. Will publish later times as and when we do them but only if they are better...obviously.

Garret 7.53
Fee 8.48

PS Nice to see Howard and Myrna today for a cuppa...roll on the winter months.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Agonised Thoughts of an aspiring long (well, short actually) distance runner.

Ho Hum (or other such happy sounds) this is nice and the dog is enjoying herself…me too
Ummm Steep hill, ahh well it's good for me, maybe I'll do it at a sprint
And maybe not.....
Could do with some water
Ummm Another steep hill
ipod starting to crackle in one ear
I will have deserved a large Gin and Tonic when I get home
Ahhhh, down hill
Gulp, up again (nice view) Feel sick, forget GnT, just need water
Too hot, Too hot, Too hot
More down hill
Feel really sick now, and a bit lonely on the hills as Lucy potters off into the wild, chases a few deer, sniffs around abit safe in the knowledge that when she returns from these forays I will have progressed about 3 feet.
ipod annoying me a lot now
Why do my knees wobble like that, and why do I do this to myself?
At least the dog is still having fun
Rip ipod from crackling ear; try to find better running music…got Lily Allen…much better..
Long break whilst no tranmittable thoughts pass between my ears except Lily Allen lyrics.
Yippee I can see home at the bottom of the hill
Too fast, Too fast, Too fast! (Not good on down hills, remember?)
Oppps, nearly cannon into small sports car turning at our gate in my haste to achieve the last few hundred yards at a kind of gallopy bouncing type gait.
This last bit set to music...even in my head!

I feel good, I knew that I would....yeahhhh.

Saturday, 4 August 2007

Garden on a plate...let your imaginations soar!!!

A small competition held today at the culmination of a week spent by various committed gardening experts examining and judging participating gardens...a truly british convention.......And Rosie got second prize for her Desert Garden (with a frog that was very froglike indeed...only he started life as a lizard but once the legs were on he was most definatly a frog!) Well done Rosie!

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Barriers to exercise parts one, two and three (and four)

1.Large lunch of left over home made rolls and coffee…time spent allowing them to slip down.
2.Funny programme on radio.
3.Infuriatingly ideal drying weather necessitating the almost constant filling of both washers, then subsequent emptying onto the washing lines (short things only on the one in the back field else the goats, Tabitha and Poppy might sample them as a little break from the more mundane forms of food that are available to them normally). The laundry basket seems to be under a Sorcerer’s Apprentice type spell as it just keeps refilling itself as soon as a load is removed from its capacious interior.
4.Lastly the discovery that the bike that I last rode before the little darlings were released full time onto the world (well, my world anyway) has been used as some kind of bird toilet. It is well splattered at the front where your hands lightly rest (well, grip frantically and sweatily in a manner destined to weld all fingers to the plastic covering in my case) and to add insult to injury my helmet that I left tidily on the handle bars so that I should not have to spend my usual ten angry minutes stomping round the hut shouting “Where the hell is my helmet, I know I left it here…someone must have moved it” has had the best bits i.e. those that are especially sticky and nicely adherent, reserved for the interior and, a nice touch here, the chin strap.
Right, I am definatly off now, so if you happen to be driving along the A83 between Bridge of Douglas and Furnace in the next hour or so (which I admit is fairly unlikely) and you see a labouring, wheezy figure (if further identification is needed there will be an accompanying cloud of dried bird poo drifting along in my wake) toiling up the hills and screaming down the other side, I am no better going down a hill on a bike than I am on a cantering horse (see " Back in The Saddle June 11th) do me a favour and give me a wide berth.

Home Alone

Yippee….. A free blogging moment in a busy world. We are in a whirl of guests and holidays, books and films with the children deep in the world of Harry Potter. Freya has reached the last book and Toby the 6th. After an abortive attempt to see the film finally yesterday (got to Oban at midday to find the times changed this week, despite the film’s undoubted pulling power we declined to wait until 8.15pm and went to see The Simpsons movie instead. An okay way to spend 90 minutes, some funny one-liners but Harry Potter it was NOT.) So, I am home alone plugging away at household tasks whilst Garret has gone off to the osteopaths with children in tow, a promise of HP at the Clydebank Empire afterward hanging around their necks. Please note the lack of a tantrum on my behalf, I shall be very adult and wait for the DVD….they all owe me BIG time though!!
Just the dogs and me today then and maybe, just maybe some exercise, what a novelty that will be. Managed a 5-mile round run yesterday but spent the first couple of miles with the unnerving feeling that my feet had unaccountable become the size and relative weight of Florence’s from The Magic Roundabout (the 70s TV version not the sacrilegious, atrocious film released a few years ago), this was compounded on the hill by a total body lethargy that began mid calf and spread rapidly upwards like a sort of weary hot flush. The downhill bit at the end was great though. Have just realised that I am subconsciously prolonging this blog, writing about exercise instead of getting out there and doing it…Yeah…Go girl Go. A bit of spare time for a change lets gets those endorphins flowing, you know you want to, OR I could just go get lunch……..

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Sunday, 22 July 2007 ....and tomorrow!!

Swimming dog with stick and a friend

We will all soon (tomorrow) be saying goodbye to Pip the Pup who is being whisked off by Mum to a life of white stilettos and partying in Essex. We will all miss her but perhaps Lucy (seen here in Loch Fyne rescuing a drowning stick) the most of all, and the guinea pigs, Snuffles and Daisy the least of all (constant scrutiny and occasional frenzied attempts to dig into the run for a closer but definatly shorter relationship). We will count the days until our own holiday south to see her in October. Toby is off to Sutherland tomorrow for a week camping, getting smelly and a host of new midge and tick bites to show off. Garret and I have an exciting day planned for the girls to compensate them for missing this fest of fun....accompanying Garret to the osteopath for much needed back manipulation (required due to far too long spent hunched over the afore mentioned Harry Potter volume: - a wee topical jest there) and shopping at ASDA…Wow, what great parents we are!!!

Inveraray Highland Games

To the best at throwing the
sledgehammer - a large silver brooch.
To the next best - a set of patent
leather sword belts

Extract from a poster written in 1826
Today I think that the prizes are contained in small brown envelopes and are of the folding paper kind…shame really. We did have a weather eye tuned to the heavy events but mostly spent the day watching Toby competing in the 11-15s track and field events. He represented Claonairigh well, even valiantly taking part against all comers in the “locals” events. The girls were in the wee races…over in the flash of an eye as sweeties are held out to encourage participation.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

The week in pictures....

Aaah, an obvious flaw here, well two actually. One is that I appear not to be able to position the photos in any other way than straight up and down in a line vis a vi above and two, that I only took photos on two days out of the seven available to me.The first photo is a swimming pool birthday cake for Freya, now an aged 9yrs and in celebration of her excellent pool party. The rest are taken from Dun Na Cuaiche, the wee folly above Inveraray that we climbed to on Tuesday. The incentive to make it down again was an Ice Cream at the Edinburgh Woollen Mill....our feet fairly flew down. This was a girly trip as Toby is in Essex with Grandma, actually Doncaster by now on his way back to us tomorrow. The other highlight of the week was the highly entertaining "Shrek The Third" which we saw in Oban. I am ashamed to say that despite the great dialogue and fast action (plus the fantastic Eric Idol) I fell asleep for more than a few minutes and had to be nudged to prevent the cinematic surround sound developing into surround snore effects, at least I did not dribble. I was suffering from extreme fatigue due to an unaccustomed night out the night before.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Cucumber Sandwiches with the Queen

It’s a very sleepy household this morning as Toby and Rosie recover from a night camping on an Island on Loch Awe, they had to kayak there with all their belongings in barrels…apparently. We have not actually seen them yet as we got back last night from a day out after they had retired to bed. I am not sure what Freya’s excuse for a sleep in is, probably terminal tiredness from illicit under the covers reading. The desire to complete the Harry Potter series out weighs any fears that we may hold for her.
The photos are from a dinghy sailing course attended by those who wished to be drenched to the skin by constantly falling in a grey and wind buffeted Loch Fyne..and then at the end when the cold is just receding slightly from the outer extremities to concentrate on freezing just those innermost vital organs, jump voluntarily (that is the bit that seems to set the seal of their patently obvious insane tendencies) into the loch from the pier. Needless to say I was on the sidelines cheering them on from the comfort of my warm fleece…isn’t it great to be able to force your children into “enjoying” all the pursuits that you consider necessary for a fully rounded individual but that were never available when we were young and we seemed to do okay. Anyway back to our day out. We popped over to Holyrood to see The Queen for tea, we hung out, watched a bit of tennis together, munched on a few cucumber sarnies and watched the Royal company of Archers drilling around the place with their very… ummmm interesting hats. Actually, and you will be surprised when I tell you this we just went to a garden Party there along with a few other thousand people all wearing (well, the female ones anyway) hats of various levels of silliness to rival the Archers. There were plainly some folk there who had made a very big, and perhaps in some cases misguided effort and some who had equally as clearly made no effort at all. I can’t really talk though as after much angst and reality checking I decided to wear my “going away” dress, a goodly 16yrs old still with matching hat and shoes. The Queen looked okay though. There were actually some stunning people there impressivly decked out in fabulous outfits and/or uniforms looking so great in the glorious grounds and, amazingly sunshine.There was one fantasic chap in a uniform consisting of black blouson type jacket and knickerbokers with red trim and flashings, tartan red long socks and tartan waistcoaty thing...even the spooks were wondering what it represented.Having given up on being presented to The Queen I set out to spot a spook, not really very difficult and found one to stand next to...sad aren't I.One tip for anyone going in the future, pop into M and S before hand and fill up on sarnies as the tea is delicious but small….no limits on revisiting again….and again….and again….

PHOTOS Freya Jumping Rosie almost smiling

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Blogging doldrums

The Blogging doldrums seem to have hit this week, plenty going on but no time really to write and the inspiration just isn’t there (back of hand laid to forehead in a lovey, writers block over-acting kind of a way)! So onwards to review the week: -
HEADLINING ON MONDAY: - great performance by all the pupils of Inveraray Primary School at their end of term play. The whole performance hinged around Rosie Corner’s one line of dialogue which was delivered with precision, feeling and above all (for those who know her BIG CHEER for this bit) projection. The dancing was great especially the bits with Rosie and Freya, of course. Oh, and Shannon Outterside (“spell check” tried to change this to Guttersnipe…?) wasn’t bad either in her role as The Sun (only kidding, gorgeous singing Shannon).
TUESDAY saw (a few) parents and the S1/S2 pupils gathered together at Lochgilphead High School for the merit certificate distribution ceremony. Well done to Toby and Rhia and everyone else who got them. 30 sore hand-clapping minutes later we were kicked out to make room for the S3/S4 lot. The ladies who lunch (me and my mate Janice) didn’t have time for lunch so had a couple of stiff coffees to see us on the way.
WEDNESDAY Garret was the Corner household representative to LGH School End of Term assembly. In the evening I ran the length of Crinan canal…why? Cos it was there of course. Nah, not really, it was the last session of the jogscotland group for the summer and so we finished on a high doing the whole 8.5 miles.
THURSDAY Legs not too sore and NO SCHOOL DUTIES today. But the downward slide to the holidays approaching at the speed of an express train as Toby finished his term.
FRIDAY Shortest school day of the year with the girls deposited on the bus at 8.15 and us arriving at school for E of T assembly at 11am. Pupils kicked out at 12MD and told not to come back for 6 weeks so that is that!!
SATURDAY Rosie set off at 6.30am to represent Inveraray Primary School at the state opening of Parliament in Edinburgh. She had a great day, picnicing at the Parliament and hanging out with her teachers. One for the memory books, she even saw the Queen (more of Her Majesty later in the week). In amongst all this activity we had our lovely guests predominantly a couple from Sussex staying and a really nice friendly lady from Bavaria. Garret’s mum was also here which was lovely, it is great to see her pottering around and getting enthusiastic about Peter’s house…which after all is pretty special.

Monday, 18 June 2007

Fathers Day, been and gone.

Busyish weekend what with providing the support vehicle for Brownie Revels and a swimming party on Saturday plus the obligatory spoiling of the paternal half of the beleaguered adults in this family. This involved Garret staying in bed Sunday morning, no change there then and eventually rising in a leisurely manner to partake of some porridge and adoration from his offspring. This only once I had removed any unsightly signs of a busy Band B morning. It was then decided on his behalf that what he would really like to do was to go and sit in the smoke of a fiercely burning camp fire down on the shore, and get all hot and sweaty providing a lovely meal for all….and that is what we did! It was Pip the Pup’s first such delight but she cottoned on quick (Looking back I seem to have failed to mention her before, she is for my mum and will be leaving, sob, sob in a month or so) and settled down to drool and beg wordlessly (it would have been quite a surprise had it not been wordlessly but you know what I mean) with her eyes. However this did not work but the patient waiting eventually paid off as she was able to snaffle Toby’s last sausage that he left on a rock whilst collecting a fried egg…..What joy and bliss was on her little face as she hurriedly gulped it down in front of a furious Toby and a frankly and openly envious Lucy. Today was an osteopath day and as usual I paid £30 to have my back fixed only to instantly undo all the work by going on a food shop (sounds like that song,Going on A Bear Hunt…”We’re Going on A Food Shop…We’re Gonna spend a big Wad…..We’re gonna get Grumpy….but We’re not Scared…Well…we jolly well should be, it is a horrible job and I hates it!”). The day has ended on a low, sorry High point with the end of term Brownies jollity, a line dancing session where grown ups were very actively encouraged to join in and dress up (my concession to this was bunches) any way they felt appropriate. Ahh and now the day is done and dusted and I am a Happy Mummy.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Legs are aching so it must be Thursday.

Last night’s jogscotland session was a 10k most of which seemed to be up the longest hill I think I have ever run up. This was at Lochgilphead and through some stunning countryside that I have never seen to before that was just about visible through the veil of sweat before my eyes. The evening was gorgeous and clear, with a distinct lack of midges…perfect! What was even better was the phone call from Rosie just before we left to say she is having a great time, the flying fox apparently was the best as the second time you get to go down blindfold, Yippee what fun! (Brief pause for maternal shudder and regret for passing of that time when such things seemed fun rather than a sadistic punishment). It was lovely to hear her voice and know that all is going well. Today has been dedicated to
· Doing the B and B rooms (of course)
· Eating Garret’s dust as he disappeared ahead of me on his bike into Inveraray
· Forcing tired legs to follow Garret
· Session at Loch Fyne Pool
· Points 2) and 3) in reverse only uphill this time with more wheezing
· Strimming in the garden, not uphill but lots of wheezing.
· Bath…ahhhhh bliss….

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Wet Wet Wet and other Scottish bands

The title says it all for this afternoon (not the bit about Scottish band, I put that in as an attention grabber). The heavens opened this afternoon and the rain is bouncing down still. It is actually very pleasant (for those of us not camping) as the ground is quite warm and it has been very close. The air has cleared now, which is very soothing indeed. Rosie has been canoeing today according to the itinerary so I daresay the weather will not have made too much difference to her general state of wetness. Liz and I made it through a fairly warm run and then a swim before the rain started leaving us to rush home in a very clucky, housewifey way to get our washing in from the line(s). I was lucky Garret was here and had rescued ours, but selfishly had not driven to Minard to get Liz’s…Men.. Huh! He had dropped a piece though on the way in from the garden so my average white (head) band got very wet in the subsequent downpour, so I had to give out a massive primal scream of rage. Anyway off now for the ironing and the nightly dose of Springwatch.

N.B I don’t know whether anyone noticed then how very cunningly, and effortlessly I inserted the names of two more Scottish bands into the telling of that wee tale of everyday nonsense. It takes hours of practice you know.

Monday, 11 June 2007

Back in the Saddle again

A warm, rather close day has given way to a glorious clear evening with that huge sky feeling. The light is so vivid you can nearly taste it, this I know as I have just got back from taking the gang of three out for the last walk of the day (the three dogs that is, the children we have pretty much trained not to need a walk before bedtime.). After a respite night last night, not unwelcome I must say, we are full up again with jolly holidaymakers and one workman, who may or may not be jolly.
This afternoon saw me scampering through the hills alongside and above Inveraray with the girls from Dalchenna (insert posh business name "Argyll Adventure"), Howard, Myrna and Caroline. We were on horseback in case any one thought we were out for a communal jog (far too warm and sweaty for that, and very, very unlikely). My Lewis did me proud (the bliss of a different saddle!) with several really good try-hard canters and an ability to know when to ignore all the negative and opposing signals coming from my hands/bottom/legs and last but not least voice. I did, to my credit (I thought) not scream at all (very unusual) and did also canter down a huge hill (don’t do cantering down hills, fairly high up on the inbuilt Fee mental risk assessment, this is an ongoing life long process that is incapable of being dismantled, switched off or even sabotaged with a sharp instrument….believe me I have tried).Rather sadly in my opinion Myrna tried to belittle this achievement by claiming that it was just a very small hill but I know what I know, and it was massive when me and my boy were heading down it! G’night all….early brekkie tomorrow.

PS My little Rosie is away on her outward bound school trip, left this morning so here's hoping for clear skies and calm waters for the week's duration.

The sound of leather on willow and so on.

A wee rare picture of Toby at transition time at Stirling, I say rare as Garret was far too busy cheering him on to take photos. We have some stunning photos of the grass though. Speaking of Garret he was busy at the weekend bowling a maiden over on Arran, actually I have no idea what that means despite being raised in that haven of all things cricketing (Yorkshire). The Cairndow team summoned all their resources and whisked him away for the day and to a triumphant win. This has lead amongst other things to an inclusion on the team for next weekend (from Rugby to cricket in one easy move….although cricket can’t actually be termed a sport can it? Any game where you actually stop to eat cakes and drink tea mid way is a pastime rather than a sport surely) and a request for sandwiches and cakes from yours truly.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Wednesday training resumed at long last. Hurray!!

A brisk 10k or so last night along the Leicann walk at Furnace with the jogscotland group has blown away any lingering training blues, despite a fairly fast pace (for me anyway!) there is not too much stiffness this morning. I was forced to maintain a reasonable pace as I was the only one at the front who knew the way (Garret did a few extra metres on occasion by taking the wrong way, that’ll teach him to overtake me on the hills), it is not the best-marked track we have done but great views. The constant thudding of the guys’ trainers behind kept me moving along and I went down hill faster with them behind me than with Liz and June leaping along in front as on a previous run (bit of a wimp on the old downhills, I am afraid). The advantage of speed is that midges cannot fly very fast at all!It was a lovely end to a very hot day shopping in Oban. The guests keep on coming; we had divers here this week or bought us lovely scallops fresh from Loch Fyne. The Germans are slowly being replaced by the French as the summer comes on. Time for off now…Liz and the Lochgilpead pool beckon and she did mention hill sprints last night……

Sunday, 3 June 2007

To infinity and beyond ...(as long as it is no further than 10K away)

Another busy, busy week has gone by and no entry… Tut, Tut. I have several times managed to compose in the confines of my head (a strange, nay confusing place to be sometimes) wonderful passages of prose and wit effortlessly knitted together in a seamless fashion that would surly draw the amazed attention of editors word wide who would then pay gazillions for my daily pearls of wisdom. Ah well, and back in the real world life goes on and the girls ready for the daily dose of Harry Potter so I shall have to be quick. We have had my sister Alison here for the week with husband Raymond and son Tom. Poor Tom was heavily steeped in revision for exams upon his return next week. We did have time out to ride together on Thursday, my first ride in 8 weeks so we were a wee bit challenged in the buttock area the next day, when I say we that is the royal we as in me! The great 10k day has been and gone too. The race was superbly set up once again and a stunning route, the only hitch being that they had altered the route slightly and so when Garret, having missed most of the way markers thought he was on the homeward stretch he actually still had quite a way to go. I do have in my possession a photo of his finishing few metres but will not publish it here on the grounds of it being unsuitable for those of a nervous disposition so you will have to make do with Freya clutching her trophy for second girl in her fun run. As an under 9 I was supposed to run with her (actually it was Garret but he was still prostrate from his exertions) but from the word Go! She left me for standing, as did Rosie with her final sprint in between the finishing poles. Toby did well too finishing well up in the older class. As for us oldies I did 52.47 and was 64th overall (out of 300+) and about 5th veteran and Garret was 29th overall with an incredible 45.43. As he never stops pointing out last year he would have been 5th (smaller field). So all happy bunnies. Just awaiting Toby’s return from the Stirling junior tri…so far I have only heard that he is all in one piece and he has a medal…and that after all is what it is all about.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

STB Visit

Our turn last night when the third car of the evening arrived and deposited the Tourist Board Inspector into our midst. Our other guests (lovely German (of course) couple and two girls from Edinburgh were very well behaved and appreciative of our efforts at breakfast time (and we didn't even pay them!) and although we have to wait for the inevitable paperwork it seems that we are free to hold our heads up high in the STB *** category for another fun packed year. It cannot be the nicest job in the world; all those cooked breakfasts must pall after a while (apart from mine of course), and night after night knowing that the proprietor is having a sleepless night somewhere in the building worrying about the state of the sheets and towels. Have just re read that last statement and realised what a sad git it makes me appear but hey ho some one has to care. Apart from that nowt much has happened as my brother used to write home from Ermysteds boarding School in Skipton, North Yorks Dales.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

and the results are in....

Both my boys are home, white faced and tired to the core. Toby from late night/early morning and Garret from, well, the same really. Oh yes, he did do a wee bit of exercise too coming 46th out of 99 in a total time of 1hr 16 mins 30s (s14.55 c38.13 r20.55).A small celebration was held in his honour upon his return with a bottle of Mateus Rose...(well, I did say a small celebration). Too tired now from holding the fort for more now so off to bed. Sleep tight.

Saturday, 19 May 2007

A Dr Seuss Moment.

“The sun did not shine.
It was too wet to play.
So we sat in the house
All that cold, cold, wet day”…..Actually no, we didn’t, we said “This is Argyll, get your waterproofs and off you go to Pony Club” and so it has stayed a very showery day with very (very) brief glimpses of brilliance. We marched off through the sudden bursts of spattering rain (you know, the kind that leaves you utterly soaked) accompanied by a guest who, despite arriving late last night seemed to become immersed in family life and wanted to revisit her childhood where she also went to a pony club in Bavaria. So, she came with us for a nosey whilst her partner had a quick catnap to get rid of some jet lag. A very nice lady. Now we have four bikers from Germany (it is a very German time of year), I thought that my luck was in when I heard the bikes roaring up…Garret is away in Edinburgh doing yet another Sprint Triathlon. I have morphed from Rugby Widow to Triathlon Widow in one easy but pricey move, I am slowly winding up the kilometres: - I even did a couple of 5ks last week but I feel thoroughly left behind by all around me, they seem to be leaping ahead whilst I limp behind. Misery…Misery….Moan…Moan…. Toby is sleeping over at friends’ tonight so it is just us girls home alone (and the bikers, and the nice couple in the double room) and any plans that Rosie and I were hatching for going clubbing (her idea not mine) were scotched by Freya who says she “ doesn’t like the noise” Mind you, I will be struggling to stay awake long enough to walk the dogs and put the birds to bed so maybe dancing the night away is not an option.

Good Luck Garret, and May The Force Be With You- You might need it if this weather keeps up!

Sunday, 13 May 2007

WARNING Parental boasting alert!

Fingernails bitten to the quick and nerves in tatters, one ear cued to the phone ringing. This was my state of affairs today whilst waiting for the news from Bute. And my boy did it! Not the one in the photograph (Garret neglected to take any of Toby so here is one of him..nice background Toby, at least he got the blue sky in whilst England revels in heavy rain), he did well too but the swimming was not good….according to him. But, back to the one who carries my genes within his body (boy, I am warming up for a good boasting Round Robin Christmas Letter this year!) After swim and cycle Toby proceeded to run the course with his cycle helmet still on earning him the nickname of “Helmet”. The weather was good and conditions favourable as they say and Helmet came through winning the Junior novice prize and beating quite a lot of adults too! Well done Toby, I would say that he is following in his parents footsteps but certainly speaking only for my self here of course, I am fully aware that his footprints are filling slowly with ooze and drying up at the edges before I catch up with him. The sickening thing is that he would have happily done it all again in the afternoon.

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Triathlon and beyond.

Well, thirteen hours or so and counting to tomorrow’s triathlon for Garret and Toby (Garret sprint length and Toby novice:- his first one) and the parental nerves are hitting the ozone layer especially Garret’s. Toby is quite chilled and has just retired to bed with a good book prior to setting off tomorrow at 7am for Bute. Garret, meanwhile is strapping bikes on the back of the car and muttering to the midges. So, watch tomorrow for an update, either the woeful woes or the joyful highs. Major panic of the evening is that we cannot find Toby’s phone, which has gone AWOL. He needs it to ring me the minute he passes that finish line…

Thoughts are with the McCann Family tonight on Maddy’s Birthday.x

Friday, 11 May 2007

"Coincidence, if traced far enough back becomes inevitable." Hineu

I am not sure about inevitable but it does seem that if you dig deep enough there is always a connection. Last nights guests were an English couple showing their German friends around Scotland. After breakfasts I was checking that I had contact details for everyone before they left (amazing how many people think filling the forms in is for tracing errant guests, actually it is so we can send on any of the many items that folk leave here from PJ’s through mobile chargers and beyond…even money on one occasion), and for the first time we had guests from Bad Salzuflen a town in Germany that I visited in 1978 as part of a German exchange through school (Wetherby High school 1976-1983 for any one interested). I was chatting with the Germans about this and it turned out that the teacher who had arranged our trip specifically to Bad Salzuflen as that was her home town, Frau Smart (a truly formidable woman and the cause of many young boy at our school to chose German as an option in third year over French) later moved to a school in Leeds (bear with me) attended by the English couple’s sons who then also went on an exchange there to the home of the German couple. The parents kept in contact and now visit each other. As an extra twist the English Couple hail from Oulton a mere 2 miles or so from Garret’s parents. Good Eh!!!

PS Obviously no pictures of this so these are from Easter, which I forgot to put on at the time….too much red wine too little sleep. The bottom one is Uncle Russ and Freya at a stand off in the Laser Quest at Argyll Adventure and the other is The Great Claonairigh Easter Egg Rolling (believe me it needs all those capital letters) Tradition closely followed by the Great Doggy Egg Eating Orgy, in itself the precurser of The Long Dark Night of The Smelly Dog.