Monday, 31 March 2008


My Pizza is top left...Smiley Face!-Rosie

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Playing with Next blog button

I have only just noticed this wee search button at the top of the page and "wasted" a good 1/2 an hour or so happily wading through other peoples private is great, a license to be voyeuristic at long last. Being one of those nosy people that stare across into upper floor windows, and down into ground floor room from the top deck of a bus wondering fruitlessly about the lives and loves of those inside I find it great to flick across all these thoughts and photos from across the world. I found Pictures from A Taxi on first click and then panicked trying to relocate it but eventually tracked it down.The contrast with my world is astonishing but nonetheless appealing. I really enjoyed looking into this guy's world. He is a New York Cabbie and takes a photo each night.I did also stumble across a very weird blog by a woman in the south of England who comforts herself whilst her man is away at sea by making some seriously strange cards but I will not inflict that one on you (just yet)

PS Tonight we have staying an Australian couple who just turned up on the off chance that we might have rooms (!). Apparently she sought us out after researching her family and learning that a (very) distant ancestor married the "Laird of Clunary" way back when...she is married to, with the delightful touch of serendipity a cousin of the present Inveraray Policeman.

Fluffy cloud day

A good walk to blow the cobwebs away. The bridge picture was on the way home and is the Old Road bridge spanning Douglas Water on our land.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

More ramblings on...Rambling

Escaped the house of plague today for a walk with the dogs. I did take a few of my own personal germs with me, I imagine them as a multi coloured buzz of sparkly lights whirling around my head AKA the blue birds in a cartoon that denote a knock out. Occasionally one lightly lands and delicately re-ignites my cough which is slowly retreating but alas too slowly to make competing tomorrow, or even completing the Bute Triathlon a sensible proposal and if I can’t do it Toby definitely can’t still with his barking cough despite constant pleading…and as for Garret, well enough said. The walk was romantically pleasing in a soft rain kind of way, the cloud was low and the drizzle gentle against Rosie’s silly hat that I had jammed on before leaving. This lasted until I turned for home causing the so far gentle wind to drive the rain into my face stinging it and giving me ice cream cheeks (like an ice cream head ache but lower). Also I discovered that yet another of my waterproof jackets is….ummmm…not. Then I trod in a puddle in my trainers and there the story ends.

Quote of the day. Watching the weakest link
Question “what is the phrase said by Highwaymen when holding up passers by. Stand and deliver your money or your……?

Answer by Toby “Wig”!

Friday, 28 March 2008

Animals by Freya

Taken this morning before a desperate fight broke out between the two Guinea pigs.After three rounds and a knock down Snowy The Rabbit declared Snuffles (L) to be the victor and consequently the rightful owner of the celery...Daisy (R) took it all in good part and wandered off to eat some cabbage leaves.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Rambling on, starting with teenage boys ( as good a place as any)

Wearing full protective gear and safety equipment (rope and karabiners essential to ensure a safe exit to the world outside, a sleeping bag and thermos are also advisable in the event of ambush by rogue socks) I entered Toby’s bedroom at the weekend, the resulting scream of horror and disgust reverberated around the house startling dogs and family alike. How can some one who has previously expressed extreme surprise at the lack of plastic juice/water bottles available for after school clubs etc unearth six from the undergrowth? What is truly shocking is how like a mother I sound……but come on, SIX!!!! Digressing from the hormonal minefield of Toby’s room, I also discovered a horses girth cover, I have no idea how that got in there,I move on to today’s activities. Mainly ironing with a bit of light relief cleaning the sitting room with Jeremy Kyle on in the background for a satisfying amount of cringe worthy but sooooo addictive listening. I did cycle to Inveraray to collect a prescription (did I mention no car previously? More on that later) only to become truly depressed at the lack of cycling ability, my excuse is that it was so cold I could not adequately change gear and may be able to extend this to why my legs would not go round and round fast enough too. This was the first outing for the road bike since September which would be fine if it was not for the fast looming Bute sprint Triathlon on Sunday…yes this Sunday. However back to the car so I do not have to dwell on Bute and suffer the usual devastating nervous tummy, you know the one. When you think about event X (insert interview/competition /presentation/parents night (or is that just me) and your stomach does that sudden downwards lurch with a slight light headed dizzy sensation and light perspiration to brow (or upper lip depending on preference) to follow and an acute yearning for the day after the afore mentioned event.).
Have just read back on the Blog and realised that I have not mentioned the total cessation of engine action suffered by my car last Thursday on the way to Karate with Freya and Toby. We abruptly stopped about 2 miles out of Inveraray on the Dalmally road conveniently on a corner with hazard light furiously beeping and Freya almost catatonic with fear. Two local paramedics kindly shoved us out of the path of vehicles and a friend passing a few minutes later delivered Freya back to Mum before we could get started on the horror stories and urban legends (remember the one with the lunatic on the loose and the head banging on the car roof?). How mad can the hazard winkers send you after 1/2hr or so? Toby and I were happily practising our synchronized blinking by the time we were rescued by W D Semple’s on a silver horse (well, yellow van really if I am totally honest) Long story shorn to the bare bones time…having suffered a weekend of nail biting fear with the prospect of a HUGE bill looming we had a very agreeable phone call from the dealers today saying that yes, there is a horrendous problem, and that yes we have suffered big time with this vehicle since we got it (brand new) and so Peugeot are going to pay for it!! Unbelievable. Now then let me see how will the advert go ummmm........

Reliable Peugeot 807 for sale one careful Lady owner?

Monday, 24 March 2008

Still Argyll has sun.....

Just a few snow flakes here but a lovely bright sunny day to see the travelers on their was South. Russ and Kate after a quick Easter break took Mum and Pip back to Yorkshire to be delivered into the loving arms of my sister Liz before being conveyed the last section of the journey tomorrow. She is thankfully looking much better than she did a month ago...obviously a diet of listening to constant bickering, red wine and very unreliable meal times agrees with her.

Then we retired for a cuppa and girly make up session by Kate.

Easter Eggs and sunshine

A fine Easter here in Argyll with no snow but quite a lot of sun and family to share it with. The traditional Easter Egg rolling (a completely non negogitable total participation sport)was stage managed by Freya who painted the (most of them...two done by Rosie) eggs beautifully with each persons name. The winner in the Furthest Distance on the First Throw was my good self, there was a nail biting battle for the Most Durable Egg by the two Grandmas and Rosie with the latter finally taking the honours. The dogs gorged themselves as is traditional upon hard boiled painted duck eggs, we did miss Sam and Tess who used to fling themselves into this with much more gusto than the pappy younger canine generation.
PS Line up for the Easter Egg rolling L-R
Mum, Peter, Kate, Freya, Rosie, Toby, Russ, Linda, Garret.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Bringing the roof down.....

Narrowly missing the cherry picker the roof of the Mill finally folded today with a little assistance from above. Garret and Toby spent most of the day with a brief interlude for the first BBQ of the year salvaging the tiles that can be reused. Stage one of many.

Friday, 14 March 2008

More Ski-ing

Another great day skiing, eleven days away and we missed every minute! The day was breezy at times but the snow was good and thick. Was tempted into going faster by Ryan and then later down The Wall by Garret. The latter I did squealing all the way first run and grimly determined the second. Hate the tows so the skiing down is light relief. This means that I am slowly inching my way up the mountain…watch this space to see if I make it down the Main Basin by the end of the season. Some spectacular falls including one for me into a deep gorgy thing that was apparently designed for fun but I went over the side and catapulted about 10 feet into an abyss type place. However skis disengaged beautifully and no harm was done (can you apply a plaster to a bruised pride?). We had encouraged Howard and Myrna to come too and great fun was being had by all until an innocuous fall by Myrna in Mugs Alley resulted in a distal undisplaced fracture of her radius (how guilty do we feel now!!!). So sorry Myrna. The only other downside of the day (admittedly less important than a broken bone) was coming out of the cafĂ© after a coffee break and finding that my poles had been taken. The perpetrator had however left me a very attractive pair of shabby bent SHORT poles with pink paint peeling off them, unmatched wrist straps and baskets…all in all a very good swap. However Garret tracked my poles down and persuaded the skier to return them to me. This meant that I had time to Ski down Mugs Alley a few more times in my usual uncontrolled way having a darn good time!

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Remaining positive in the face of adversity

Mum, the girls and I had a real treat yesterday as we travelled to Oban through the sleet/hail/driving rain (but no winds like the southern half of the UK) to visit the optician and shop. As regular readers will have noticed I find food shopping one of life’s great pleasures but yesterday’s trip round Lidl was made even more delightful than ever by a small boy who entered just behind us and continuously blew on a whistle as he aimlessly wandered around the store. I say aimlessly but maybe not as try as we might we could not shake him off. The only (very temporary) relief came when he removed the whistle from his mouth to proudly explain to all the shoppers who were wondering if they had suddenly lost their hearing by the sheer absence of sound “I gotta whistle” which he certainly did. It improved Mum’s head cold no end to listen to him cheerfully peeping away at it. We, of course were in the queue behind his presumably, tragically totally deaf family at the checkout (how does fate arrange these things!?). Having loaded 75% of our huge shop onto the groaning conveyor belt thus reaching the point of no return a bottle of Olive Oil was knocked off dad,grandma and granddad's pile and onto the floor. This meant that not only did I get the pleasure of touring round the all other cash stations with my trolley to get access my shopping but we had the joy of enduring, sorry listening to the wee mans whistle for just a bit longer. I tell you, the sound of several brains clicking back into place and beginning tentatively to function once more as the doors slid closed behind him was audible….Mind you we had a great bitch about them to the till guy and I learnt that the best thing to soak up a bottle of spilt oil is cat litter…not a totally wasted experience then.

Monday, 10 March 2008

Photo upload

Apologies for the positioning of the photos below. It has taken me a day to get Blogger to upload them, a problem that,after reading the "help" forums I am not alone in having. I had to do them one by one and by the time I realised they were in the wrong order I had very nearly lost the will to live let alone view another horsey photo. The fact that they were inserted at all is due to having to spend an hour or so (or two or three) on the computer wrestling with Visitscotland's "update your own availabilty the easy and quick way". I will translate this for all who have not had dealings with vs as "Do you wish to have your brain feeling as though it is plummeting down through your spinal cord in an unidentifiable squishy glutinous mass of neurones and grey matter after the sheer mind altering frustration of dealing with all things computerised then be our guest and login here" Actually for the first day I could not even get past the login section but I shall leave it there as the synapses are starting to spark just in anticipation.This bored me so rigid that a bit of light relief was needed. Never one to buckle down to a task that is better ignored I have spent a happy 1/2 hr or so surfing ski sights, youtube and my blog thereby combining things that I wish I was doing, have done and will never do all in one neat little session.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Paper Chase at the stables (tokens not paper to prevent littering…and cheating)

Toby and Howard plotting their game plan and then setting off (once we had surgically and painfully removed the clock stuck to Toby’s head and Lewis’s extra leg) on their noble steeds into Ye Olde Wildlife Park and beyond in search of the priceless,ancient tokens of Dalchenna. They fought their way past dedicated (always the scariest type) campers on a journey that took them across rickety, slippery bridges spanning a possibly troll infested river (well, there are some pretty mean herons about sometimes) and many other dangers that I have run out of superlatives to describe on their dangerous quest. They both pitted their wits against the most cunning of riddles and clues (the most challenging got by Toby with its fiendish reference to Thomas the Tank engine) to win through triumphantly and to return safely to the safe havens in one piece and tokens collected. Actually, so did every one else and his Dad came first with his partner so a painful few days ahead for us all.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Gorgeous Loch Fyne

A quick reminder of the countryside around here rather than exclusively further north. These photos are from Tuesday when the weather was sublimely perfect and I enjoyed a run up and over the hill with the dogs. It was warm and still, a perfect contrast to the last two days. Yesterday I ran along the shore at Furnace back towards Inveraray way. The plan, as I was feeling weak and feeble was to attempt a long steep hill with Pip on the lead (not a dog to be trusted when there are deer/squirrels, and/or cats but not too many of them where I was, in a 5 mile radius) in order to get a bit more forward propulsion than my legs can usually maintain. It was a shame that Pip was not in on the initial planning and brain storming session for this plan of action. The response to the (much) reduced speed up hill was to potter off to the side at the end of the lead having a good sniff and snuffle around at her own leisure whilst poor old slow coach caught up. Once I had reattached my arm into the shoulder joint after the inevitable battle of wills regarding exactly who was going to back up when small trees, shrubs and in one case Lucy got in the way of the lead we tackled the downhill. Needless to say I had misjudged the distance that I would have to go to drop back onto my original track that I left in order to seek out a suitable hill. The last time I traveled it was on horseback and surprisingly it seemed much shorter…well, for the rider anyway. Ok, back to the downhill. Imagine a gentle cresting of the hill followed by a dull popping noises as the shoulder joint re dislocates and Pip takes off joyously down the hills dragging me behind with legs whirling round far too damn fast. I think that we will leave it there picking up the thread of the day an hour later as I was safely cocooned in my pal Lyndsay’s house enjoying the view of Loch Fyne from her dining table and sharing a delicious lunch with Mum and Lyndsay. When I say sharing I would not like to give the impression that lunch was an equal three way split as it is a serious prospect feeding me post run.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

and more (wish we were there today, supposed to be even better)


Belated Mother's Day posting

Pavolva prepared by Freya, I was the Johnny to her Fanny Craddock, for the three Mums here this year.