Friday, 27 June 2008

A big day for Rosie

Not a dry eye in the house as the P7s sang a very emotional (and very quiet) "leaving" song...well, actually there was, neither Rosie nor any of the boys shed a tear. Even the teacher was making use of a box of tissues in the classroom after the assembly. We had a slap up celebration lunch at the Woolen Mill, we can really push the boat out when needs be, you know. We received the news that Kirsten the manager there is willing to launch Toby into the world of High Finance and employment. For £4.20/hr for 1 and 1/2hr every other day he gets to keep the outside of the shop and car park looking tidy and neat. The good news is that the hours can be worked at any time during the day even after closing time so it is very flexible, the bad news is that he is busy spending money that he does not yet have.....
Running total. Toby and I did a very wet and progressively soggy run tonight whilst the girls did that Karate thing. I sploshed along in his wake for nearly 5 miles and then by dint of cheating (I gave him both dogs on their leads creating an initial advantage with the doggy drag factor but then Ginny scuppered him by going one way round a lamp post and Lucy the other) I made it first back to the car on a sprint finish. So after all that the total is 18.5miles...Yahoooo what a lot of miles!!!

Photo one for posterity
Janey, Jake, Morven, Donald, Megan, Lindsay, Joe, Rosie, Ewan, Dee

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

"Nowt much 'as 'appened "as they say in Yorkshire.

A wee bit wet today..actually it is more than a wee bit,I did manage to grab the only semi dry 38 minutes of the day to get a run with the dogs and now it is coming down again. Quiet sort of day, I feel like a mother-in-waiting for the summer holidays.....

Run total 13.8 miles

The big Green Adventure

Once again the parents of Inveraray Primary School were banged over head with the Hammer of Guilt and the Baton of shame as our little darlings performed another environmentally themed play. Tongue out of cheek it was very enjoyable and the girls did really well. Rosie as an environmental activist was a side kick to Professor Plantpot and Freya was a Fox...the activist had changed before I got to her into miniskirt and T shirt but I got the Fox for a photo session.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Beware guests leaving very generous connection with the following of course

My morning's tasks after clearing the table and saying good bye to guests etc always start with feeding the pigs, goats and poultry. the guinea pig and rabbit are left to the children or Garret due to uncontrollable and inconvenient allergies on my part. This morning I found that not only had Mrs Pig and the Three (not so) Little Pigs let themselves out of their field, they had somehow manipulated their trotters to shut the gate behind them..amazing. They had not gone far and were stuffing themselves like...well, pigs, with about a weeks worth of food. Despite such gluttony they were easily lured back home with a shake of the yellow (pig nut) bucket. Mr Pig was in the next field smug in his goodness and virtue. A walk around the fence deepens the mystery. Apologies for casting aspersions on anyone's integrity and honesty will be printed forthwith if more information comes to light.....I shall be interrogating the pigs later once I get a strong enough light bulb.

Monday, 23 June 2008

A lovely run...and back

Spring seems to have effortlessly melted into summer here in Argyll. The meadow flowers and woodland fauna have changed and the colours are pinker and paler. A lovely 8 mile run today along the back roads to Inveraray past the water well and back. I stopped briefly several times:- To take photos, let the dogs have a drink or two, call of nature (sorry, but it happens to us all...) and to remove a fly from my eye. There was no chance of negative splits (time 90 mins total) as the way is steeper on the way back, of course the wind was against me (I am really scraping the bottom of the barrel now) and also my legs were knackered.......

Running Total 9.8 miles

Athletics Club Sports Day:-Sunday

This is a club that the children attend every week and this is the high point of the year. The day dawned...well, wet and dreary and got slightly better as the day wore on. Undaunted the Corner threesome manged the following:-
Freya Silver in High Jump and 800m. Gold in 400m. Class under 11s
Rosie Silver in 400m Class under 13s
Toby Bronze in 1,500m and Silver in 800m. Class under 15s
No apology given for parental pride, they have worked really hard and trained amid all sorts of weather conditions and with sore tummies and aching limbs so good on them all and a big cheer.
Garret was cheering from the side lines whilst I struggled with the rooms and very wet weather! Feeling guilty with so much athletic endeavour going on I had a quick 16 minutes (oh, so precise) on the treadmill with interval training and, believe it or not almost managed to fall of it at 9k/hr...good job it was not in the 14k/hr mode that kicks in every two minutes with lung/leg strainingly regularity.So, not much mileage but lots of effort!
1.8 hard won miles

Saturday, 21 June 2008

R.I.P Snuffles the guinea pig......Friday June 21st

Pigs, goats and automobiles.....

Since I last wrote we have sold all the children and bought a new eh! Regretfully we have not achieved the height of car sophistication (in Toby's eyes), this belongs to a very cool guest (we only have that kind) who departed this morning towards Hadrian's Wall. He was very obliging and allowed a photo shoot before he left. The animal images were captured by Freya in a creative moment. We see Poppy and Tabitha having a wee chat with Mr Pig,having a good gossip, filling him in on all the scandal and no doubt "dissing" Mrs Pig. Then a little demonstration of the daily stretching exercises "Up and down and up and down and grab a branch and puuuulllll". Finally Tabitha clearly having a good chuckle and shamelessly posing for the camera.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

“Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they're supposed to help you discover who you are.”

These two Swedish girls arrived on our doorstep yesterday afternoon with rain dripping from their hair, noses, jackets and the largest back packs I have ever seen. They are part of a troupe of Scouts that are facing a Scottish Challenge to walk 100 miles in ten days to a pre arranged meeting place. All the participants are dropped off in pairs in different places, at the last minute they are given the relevant maps to their area, told the meeting place and then left with a small amount of food, a tent and a little bit of money for each day. They hope to find some hospitable people along the way who may put them up and/or feed them but they are not allowed to accept any lifts or financial help, they must not pay for accommodation (indeed their daily allowance would hardly get them to the foot of the stairs) and even refused the offer of transportation of their bags as far as Inveraray on the school bus. As part of the challenge they must find a school and give a talk to some pupils, we rang the girls head teacher and she was very pleased to oblige so we waved them off just before ¼ past eight this morning. Having spent the night before near Loch Gare in a very wet tent (with a brief visit from a coughing deer) they were delighted with a bed in the library and a chance to dry off and we shared our meal with them. They have a certain amount of information that they must gather in response to specific questions so I hope that we did not give them too much! Hard to stop us once we get started….Very good luck to them, I could not hold back my inner mother and asked them to email me when they get home to let me know that they are safe .
Re the above Quote by Bernice Johnson Reagon, Bernice had obviously never seen such large backpacks on such slight girls!
Running tag:-6 mile run with Liz yesterday at the Quarry. 8.5 miles

Monday, 16 June 2008

Another day ,another run and lots of butterflies

Tentatively tried out my wonky knee which is not so wonky any more, I cannot keep using it as an excuse. Not too bad at all. I just did a small run as there is a brief flurry of forestry work along my usual track so up the big hill it was. Brief though this run it is steep up, up, up and then equally as steep down. I took this photo just as the down starts and the dogs had raced off leaving me far behind. This is about 1/2 hr walk from our house and you can just see Loch Fyne in the background. Our house is well hidden at this time of year but there is a small white smudge visible near the bottom left, a couple of cm in. The track that I descended by is to the right of that (bottom)and then disappears into the greenery. The knee did okay and I only stopped once entranced by this pretty little butterfly (not this exact one, that would be an extraordinary coincidence), oh, actually twice as I took the photo but it obviously does not count as a stop if you have a really good reason for it.
Big day for Rosie today as she gets to go to the High School for her first induction day. She did mention at breakfast time that she thought she would far rather stay at home and that she had more than a few very surprising.

LATER She's home...and she is smiling!



*Freya being decorated
*Rosie testing the Shower
*Pigs showering
*Running repairs by Freya

We boogied on down at the Carnival in Minard on Saturday. This was a three way joint ("joint" as in togetherness not hey, man great weed....) school event between Minard, Furnace and Inveraray. Rosie was in a dance representing carnival/fairground rides but the photos are on Toby's phone and the download defeats me. I remembered I had camera capability rather too late but got the shot of Freya having a face paint. More excitement awaited at home, Lyndsay...The Queen of Shopping (not clothes and boring stuff like that but really useful things that you did not know you needed)dropped off an outdoor shower from Lidl. This is the ideal things for hot piggies without a proper wallow.It has been so dry that the wee spring at the wet end of the field has dried up and now there is no wet end. The Three Little pigs are okay as they sneak next door to Mr Pig's rather better equipped quarters for a quick wallow in his semi detached pond so this is for Mrs Pig.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

The Fall of the year

No, not autumn already but a mother and son competition for the most spectacular (and most painful injuries) fall of the day. His was during the 200m race at Sports Day with a lovely slide along the atsra turf which already has large portions of skin from pupils scattered across its false surface. Mine was 1/2 mile or so into a 6 mile run at Auchindrain, a lovely uncontrolled chin dive into the stony path. I am please to report that mother and son both picked themselves up (actually I was dragged up by concerned fellow members of jogscotland) and finished the run. I did duck out of cycling home again, in a fit of enthusiasm I had cycled the 4 miles to Furnace too so the bike was returned via the boot of the car.
Toby even managed to pass another competitor.
Injury Summary Table:-
Very sore and scraped Knee
Slightly less scraped hip
Even less scraped elbows 2 of
Very Fat Lip
Fat Knee
Scraped, bruised and a little bit fat chin
Cut Finger (wedding ring)
Bruised wrist

CONCLUSION:- I look ugliest so I win (and he is at school whilst I am writing so has no say in the matter).
Running Total 13.3

PICTURE Mrs Pig carrying her bed around in case a wee nap sneaks up on her unexpectedly.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008


The little piggies have found their way under the gate to join Mr Pig much to their mother’s initial dismay.They have a ball over there as there is a small stream and so many more animals to tease. The best game is to wait until the ducks are walking down to the pond and then run really fast at them making them scatter. I would not have believed that this was a deliberate game had I not stood and watched it this afternoon. They were positively grinning as they headed back up the hill to an indulgent Mr Pig. This pastime led to all the geese, ducks, cockerel and goats standing nervously by their huts watching the incomers anxiously. The piggies cared not for the elders statesmen of the field and spent the afternoon pottering backwards and forwards between Mr and Mrs Pig. Before wasting so much time in pig-watching I ran with Liz at Furnace, a slightly shortened version but needs must. The rooms were to be done when I got back and then I settled to the aforementioned pig watch.
Total so far 7.3 miles

Monday, 9 June 2008


All hands to help today despite the tiredness lingering on from:-
1. Busy week away and too many late nights (girls)
2. Too many late nights watching TV cop shows (Toby)
3. Coping with 1. and 2. (me)
It took less than two hours to move the stones, re edge the area, re cover with a (hopefully) more robust weed mat and then regravel with chippings from Grandad's drive which is so thick with chippings that the coal lorry nearly sank last week.
Pig news flash. Mr Pig was tempted into the next field away from Mrs Pig and the three little pigs on Saturday as we do not wish the pitter patter of more tiny trotters just yet. He is not surprisingly not all that delighted with this arrangement but is settling down and likes his new sleeping quarters. I cannot believe how much time they all spend snoring away in their lovely straw beds! They retire before I do and there is not a nose on sight before about 8-8.30.
Poppy is also quite outraged at the new occupant of her field and seems to be petitioning the others in a frankly speciesist way against poor Mr Pig, plus she nicks his pig nuts out of his trough when he is not looking. Ahhhh, the fickle memory of goats, she forgets that she was once the scary new comer.
Little run speeded along by the thought that the school bus may beat me home as I left it a bit late in the day. 2.8 miles

Friday, 6 June 2008

The Good Life revisited

They are here! Mr and Mrs Pig and the piglets. After much deliberation and procrastination all was ready and I made an emergency dash to Lochgilphead for pig food, collected Liz on the way for a wee run and a brief swim before the pool was invaded by Mums and Toddlers. After a hurried phone call from Garret at the pig farm during which he was assured once again that I really, really did not want a full sized male boar to cope with. So, Toby and I set off to get the girls from the school only to be sent away again due to an hours delay. We came home and found Tom aka Garret with horse/pig box borrowed for the occasion parked a few vital feet from the field, a runway made of old boards etc was in place and we were urged from the car to assist as the dogs were proving to be useless assistants. I was Margo, would really have preferred to be Barbara obviously but still have some issues re screaming when under pressure so Margo it was and that left Toby as Jerry the willing but not always totally helpful side kick…..The great precautions and especially my stick were totally unnecessary as when 5 pigs who have been kept with other much larger pigs in a pen catch sight of a field with proper grass and everything they just want to get at it in a big way.Off they trotted and so far all is fine and dandy. True to type Ginny is terrified and Lucy friendly even going as far as to touch noses with Mr Pig through the gate. Once Margo had taken all the photos we reverted to type and sped off to get two very, very tired girls. Am feeling a wee bit Good Lifey at the moment as I have just had a glass of Garret’s elderflower Champagne (Shame we did not have pea pod to be really in character Twisht)…very dry…. Hic….

Running Total 12.8

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Twisting the knife....

The outrageously large amount of money that we scrimped and gathered together (on the upside we did save £16.60 on dinner money this week and a considerable amount on washing powder as apparently some thing really dreadful and indescribable happens to the under 12s if they actually wear the same clothes for two days running. This has ceased to affect Toby who takes an alternative view to his school uniform getting visiting rights to the laundry basket, a quick glimpse once in a while is fine and certainly no two clean items on at any one time or you might die, any way back to stonkingly large amounts of cash...) to send the girls on their trip was certainly worth it as revealed by this postcard in the post today.

"Dear mum,dad,toby,lucy,Ginny and the rest of the animuls
This morning we went to wordswerths house. I brot a toy black cat. I fell homesick.I really really want to come home.we are on our way back from rockwell maner what have you been doing today and yesterday. Love Rosie"

Just in order to twist that knife just a little bit more the postcard picture is not of "Wordswerth's" house and any of the other numerous beauties of the Lake District but of a Border Collie that reminds her of Lucy with 4 puppies... Given all this the phone call last night went relatively well. Maybe we should pop down, get them and she can spend the rest of the week practicing her spelling.
Back here Toby is getting a bit sick of being an only child and getting all the attention full on. He did cook his own tea last night, a sort of soggy rice dish with bits in it from the fridge bottom which unfortunately was not sufficient to share so I heroically gave it all to him, well he is a growing lad. Apparently it was still not enough as he had to fill up with toast about 7.30pm, I think that the sight of all those baby birds on Springwatch being force fed maggots and lacewing flies etc made him peckish...(?) We have one of those little see through bird feeder thingys that you stick on the window, I bought it years ago so we could be proper parents and encourage our offspring to feel at one with nature by watching the blue tits etc bang repeatedly around trying to extract any foodstuffs remaining stuck in the corners. Today we had a new visitor to the little box of pleasures, one of our rather large ducks trying to perch in a frankly dangerous manner (even if you can fly) on the windowsill flapping in a very uncontrolled and unconvincing way. It did manage to make me jump quite a bit as it took off lawnward bound when I came into the kitchen.
Our ducks have not really managed to pass the important (for a duck) art of flight down the generations as they should have done, this one actually possesses advance flight skills as it obviously can make it up as high as a window sill.
Managed a run round the circuit last night. 4.2 miles (about 40 minutes, hard to tell as I met the girls from Dalchenna out for a ride going the opposite way round the track and stopped for a chat) Total 11 miles

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

"Licensed to thrill" (with my breakfasts of course) OR "An Inspector calls"....

Have just waved off the Scottish Tourist Board Inspector after a successful inspection so free to continue another year!Ahh, the stress. No suggestions to improve this year either so either he is getting kinder (fat chance) or we are getting better. Nice guy but it is not a job I would wish to do. All that peering at peoples bathrooms and feeling their towels.
What else, lovely day again, the run with Liz at lunchtime was a bit too hot but we covered a few miles chatting away.Her boy is on the same trip as the girls so we swapped "sibling left at home" stories. My lungs are fine with extra inhalers to give them freedom but the legs feel like lead.....Now waiting for guests to arrive and Toby to drag his way back from school.
Running (get it?) Total 7 miles

Monday morning

Playing catch up again. Yesterday morning the girls took off for The Lake District for a residential school trip.The pre trip feelings are clearly showing with Freya verging on the tearful at the thought of the unknown quantities ahead. Rosie as a veteran of two trips was only momentarily nervous. Now we are awaiting the big phone call home tomorrow night (and hoping that it comes before running club!)

Training schedule. new week so new total (should not be too hard to beat last weeks!)1/2 an hours run while Toby was at Athletics club