Thursday, 31 January 2008

Birthday Highs and Lows

Penelope Cruz says “ In Spain we celebrate every birthday and enjoy the wisdom and experiences that age brings” Well, bully for the Spanish. It must be all that sun that makes them so positive. Over here we say “ We celebrate that with every passing year your eyesight fails in exact proportion to the increase of wrinkles and hence you do not notice them as much” What a merciful God we have indeed.
So I mulled yesterday as I celebrated yet another year of experience and numbed the pain of sooo much wisdom with some red wine and a couple of (very small, honest) glasses of cool,smooth Drambuie. The atmosphere in The George, Inveraray was a balm to the troubled aging (but oh so wise) spirit with the fairy lights still up across the entire ceiling and great food. With good friends (and of course the wine) the glooms were held well off with a sharp stick and even the stormy weather could not intrude. The storms continue spasmodically so no Adrenaline fix this week aka ski-ing…curses. Took Lewis no further than the indoor school on Monday where he pranced and twirled in the Dance of Dread (it deserves capitols) with the memory of a frankly vicious assault last Friday fresh in his diabolically divided horsy brain. The wall banner blew out in the wind and touched him on the ear. I can relate to the fear and sheer danger of it all (we make a fine partnership!). We tangoed together for a while and then I gracefully retired impressed by his strength of purpose in avoiding two very small but apparently deadly areas of the arena. He has all my admiration for determination,I know as well as he does that there could well be monsters there at any time past present or future.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Smugglers dodge sniffer dogs and risk $1,000 fine for a Burns Night haggis

The above headline caught my eye when surfing for a suitable Burns quote for today and I read on. Apparently loads of otherwise law abiding Americans and Scots alike are smuggling their Burns night treat in through US customs either in person or by post (one lady who received her haggis by the latter method said "It looks great, but it stinks a bit."...hmmmm one way to spend the end of January losing a wee bit of that extra Christmas weight as food poisoning tightens its grip on your bowels methinks). The US spokeswoman for the Customs and Border Protection, a Ms Byrd was obviously not of Scottish descent as she firmly stated "One thing I am absolutely sure about is that our officers don’t eat them." Well, they certainly would be wise not to eat the one previously mentioned. No such worries here as ours is fresh and ready to eat tonight with a large side order of Neeps and Tatties and a small(ish) side order of Whisky.
Other news is the success of the Curry and Quiz night (I can hear the relief oozing from you at that exciting newsflash) last night with £287 raised for the High School PTA. I was dispatched round The George to bully all the poor unfortunates in the bar having a quiet meal into buying raffle tickets and nearly got myself into more trouble than I had intended by approaching a group of happy gentlemen drinkers and brightly asking "Can I interest you in a pound a strip" I shall leave the story there but I did leave the table with £25!.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Every Grey Day has a bright spot somewhere.

No lasting damage from yesterday only an annoying sense of humiliation coupled with a determination to do better next time…Managed a run with Lizzie this am accompanied by Ginny for the first proper time. It went quite well from the point of view of increased forward propulsion for me on the first 2 ½ laps as I was towed along by a small and very determined puppy. The next 1 ½ laps were a bit more under control apart from when Lucy turned round ahead of us, stepped out into the road and almost lost her nose to a passing van. Then coffee and a chat at Lyndsay’s house, an hour and a half later I left clutching skis, poles, cool specs with hooky ear things, silk leggings and a great hat (there may even be a photo of the latter at some point…if we ever feel safe enough to take the camera out!). This cheered me up no end and even rendered the by now steadily falling rain more acceptable for at least an hour. I will draw a veil over the rest of the day and spare you the details of my house cleaning.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Ski Monday

Today my incredulous readers we donned skis and intrepidly made our way to the top of the mountain and gracefully descended amazing all and sundry with our skill and poise….OR…the ski instructor met us at the ski school with the news that we are to ascend into the clouds for the top of the mountain and descend down a blue route (telling me as a comforting aside that the route he bought me down last week was a red). Suffice to say that I found just the tow up terrifying and totally embarrassed myself on the way down as only I know how….me scared…Never! At the top I was encouraged on my way with the news that for me especially the low cloud was good as I would not be able to see what was coming.
I tried a variety of ways to get down, side steps, falling straight and sliding on back, falling legs first and body sideways, inching down on my bum with my legs almost wrapped around the instructors legs (not too bad that one!), sliding on my bum with the instructor sliding on his too, walking with no skis, and on a few occasions even skiing…with skis on. Ahhh, well another psychological terror mountain to climb and conquer (and ski down) in the mind of Fee.

PS Garret did great, falling many times but with great poise and good humour, he even got praised on the last run down of the day.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Question:- What makes a glass of wine totally and completey neccessary ......RIGHT NOW!

Answer:- A day spent by one tired Mum with three tired children shopping in Oban. See ya.

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Dancing on Ice?

Not quite but a fast and furious game of Tag on Ice with none of the elegance of the above.
The Venue:- Drymsignie Leisure Centre, Lochgoilhead
The Reason:- Toby’s (very) belated birthday celebrations
The Time:- This morning
Participants:- Toby, Freya, Rosie, Ross and Scott Henderson (Pals of T’s) and me.

This rink is the smallest I have ever seen and rectangular instead of round. We practised for a while with varying amounts of success, Ross and Scott have never skated before but during Tag (after we had frightened the other users away) what they lacked in grace and the ability to stand upright for more than twenty seconds at a time they made up for with “speed rolling”. This is when a skater is advancing to tag you, you fall and roll and squirm away as fast as possible…effective but cold! As the fastest and neatest skater I was confident of not being caught but as I was also the most wussy one, scared of falling the two balanced out as the other four taggers took turns at recklessly launching themselves in my direction. Great fun.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

A day (? Date) to remember

Today is the birth date of Al Capone Italy, gangster (Chicago bootlegging) which he shares with David Lloyd George (L-PM-Britain, 1916-22), the same day but not the same year the latter being 36 years older. Trivial and useless information but none the less pleasing. No excitement here today apart from the production of a batch of melting moments for Rosie’s Burns coffee afternoon tomorrow. Ahh well, cannot live life in the fast lane every day. Liz and I went for a soggy run along the Loch at Furnace which gave Lucy the chance to stretch her legs and that is about it…Oh I tell a lie, how could I forget the parent forum meeting (the group formerly known as PTA) tonight? Scrub that about the fast lane, how much more excitement can a girl take?…..

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

A busy week…having fun

This week seems to be turning into my post Christmas rush week off. The above photos are from a morning spent with horses and children messing around followed by an adventure walk from our house with the dogs. This ended with Toby falling in an icily cold stream, which was very funny to all concerned except for him. Sunday saw swimming at The Loch Fyne Hotel and then on Monday Garret and I had a wonderful day off (Thanks, Eleanor for having the girls after school!) at Glencoe where there is good snow cover. I reacquainted myself with skiing, only been once before for a week a staggering (to me) 25 years ago. Garret had his first and only lesson at Glencoe a few years ago. We pottered exhaustingly around for the morning and then after a sandwich that we were both far too nervous to eat we headed off for a lesson. There were two instructors and 5 pupils and after the very first descent it was decided that due to my extreme fear factor (but good muscle tone…I am allowed to boast once in a while) I would get one instructor all to myself. There then followed a very enjoyable, instructive and exhausting 2 plus hours as I was coaxed and cajoled into parallel turns and was eventually taken to a higher steeper run down which I did ski! Well…actually I fell down quite a lot of it, threatened avalanches from all directions with my screams, had a (only one, quite a small one) hissy fit and blessed my lovely instructor all the way down as he patiently skied backwards in front of me catching me as and when required. So, it is back to the slopes ASAP for us! Will post photos as soon as we can manage to carry the camera safely. Horses today with Howard and Myrna riding through the hills on a lovely crisp day…bliss, what a lucky girl I am! Out in a few minutes to jogscotland to maintain that muscle tone.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you're forced to.

The above seems apt at the moment; as I have just been told by youngest offspring that I am not really old, just middle old. Happy New Year to everyone whereever ye be.
I was going to post a photo of my “post Christmas blow out pre post new year Exercise regime” self but decided to spare you so instead you have the delight of seeing the encumbrances with snowman friend “Stony” plus Ginny and Lucy. The snow gave us a memorable trip back from the sales in Glasgow over the Rest and Be Thankful Pass on Thursday, and provided Garret with yet another story featuring Garret the Hero. These follow a regular and recognisable theme with great skill or courage on his behalf for example the triumph of man and horse at 2006 gymkhana jump off when he and Barra jumped, ummmm, lets see, at least a metre and a half, won the competition outright. I on the other hand was the only adult this year in the novice category and managed to rise above my humiliation (I am very crap at jumping, and the horse does not like it much either) to revel in the third place, the really important thing here is that I beat my children hollow!!! Anyway, back to the weather that we British love so much, Stony is now a distant memory aka “The Snowman” and Toby and I have just been for a run in the hail. So, off for a bath now to try to restore a level of circulation consistent to maintaining life to my lower limbs and bottom….mind you, wouldn’t mind if a bit of the latter fell off! With that attractive thought in mind I am off.