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.

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Bank Holiday weekend

A great bank holiday weekend was had by all (except the brave, marvellous and self sacrificing Garret who stayed home alone to serve the every need of our lovely guests (he can iron!)) at my pal Jenny’s 40th Birthday party near Kendal. We enthusiastically and most importantly noisily Samba drummed our way into the celebrations after a certain amount of apprehension prior to the event. A totally fantastic and far too energetic woman led us all into an evening of self-appreciation, fun and even a bit of music too. Toby got a big drum; the girls and I made a rush for the tambourines having had the wildly mistaken idea that for the rhythmically challenged they would be a safe and easy option. This was not, as it turned out in any way a sensible supposition as we then proceeded to make a hash of any rhythm (and we did get the hardest ones of course) we were given to mangle to our hearts content. However, as was pointed out prior to the division of instruments that it was only on the drums that it was really important not to make a mistake as then EVERYONE could hear you! Amazingly Toby maintained a steady BOM and did the Corner family proud big time. Even more amazingly I did not need to actually do bodily harm to any of my children or even threaten it (well, more than once anyway) in a total of about 10hrs together in the car. Toby did get a simultaneous shriek of “Toby!” about one minute into settling down to sleep (all together in one room at a Travel Lodge) as he began to audibly rock a loose tooth back and forth with one perfectly positioned finger. The slightly damp sounding creak that this produced was quite as irritating as the dripping tap in the bathroom, which, as a punishment the errant phantom tooth jiggler was sent to fix. Reality kicked in about 30 seconds after we drove into our gateway closely followed by Sunday night’s guests. Hey Ho….

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Tired but happy legs

A day of time trials. Liz and I met for a wee swim in Lochgilphead in the morning after a mad dash to do breakfasts and get the rooms done. I was very organised and got the car packed with swimming things and bike at 6.30. Admittedly I had this extra time as I got up expecting to have to make the rolls for breakfast from dough set the night before only to find that Garret, bless his little cotton socks had done them the night before. So, on the bike went with very little swearing before walking the dogs and breakfasting the children. We set out to swim the 650m of the sprint triathlon and Liz did a very creditable 10.40s and I did it in 11hrs and 21 minutes at which I was a little shocked. I know that I can go into my own little world whilst ploughing up and down (i.e. what shall I make for tea? Did I close the Rayburn down? Are the dogs locked in? Am I drowning? Ow!! my head hurts when it bangs into the end of the pool like that….) however, I think that the stopwatch I was using had jumped a mode and I was between 9.30-10m ish. Then we hopped on the bikes (well, after manhandling them off the car and losing the bike lock four times, the car keys twice and then the key for the bike lock) and did the triathlon route, a lovely ride along from Lochgilphead, past Dunnadd fort and across to the Crinan road and back along the canal via Cairnbaan. I say lovely although Liz and I had our heads down and legs whirling (most of the time anyway). We arrived back about 43 minutes later hot and happy to be back. The photos were needless to say taken before we set off. Then it was off to the physio (now allowed to run a challenging ¾ km a day building up to 1k by next week…so well on track to be ready for the mull of Kintyre 10k in three weeks then!) Back to school to meet the girls and take part in their after school club “Nordic Walking”, a brisk walk up to the Castle with poles looking for all the world as though we were a group of slightly deranged skiers out without the skis..but good fun and very healthy.