Monday, 28 July 2008

Wonderful Post Appin ......

We escaped for precisely 26hrs between guests to a house Garret is working on, we camped out in the house surrounded by breathtaking beauty.....words cannot describe so I shall leave the photos to say it all. Spot the poor worker in the midst. The last few photos show the Great Toby and Rosie Raft competition overseen somewhat hysterically by Judge Freya and here are the results...
Category One:- Raft must float unaided for 15s winner Rosie
Category Two:- Raft must support the weight of the judge for 15s (was initially going to be Grandma on her chair but she, somewhat over enthusiastically I thought gave in to the judge's request to be chief tester)...hmm tricky one this as the judge fell out big time with Toby and would not get on the raft as he wished so he demonstrated it's buoyancy in a somewhat dubious manner but did win this catogory as Rosie's sank well out of sight.

PS Photo two Freya's catch.

The best Hot Chocolate EVER!

A photo fest of the week beginning with Inveraray Highland Games....

Freya races against the big girls in the 11-15 class despite being 10, and our very own Caber Tosser.

PS It is Garret.
PPS Can't claim credit for the photo of Freya, sent to us by a friend who is now seeking photography work in London

Sunday, 20 July 2008

"Out and back again"

The great day of battle between Man and wet suit has dawned and gone, and we can safely say that Garret won....not the triathlon of course that would be silly but the bit about getting out of the wet suit successfully. he was very pleased with his swim, even during it he gained great confidence from the presence of others actually swimming at his speed or was a 600m "round the buoy and back again" course and once out, on dry land and onto the bike he was kicking metaphorical ass...until the gear wheel put on the night before partially broke leaving him with 5 gears only on a 12.8k hilly course. Undaunted he finished that leg and tackled a run of 3k starting with a large hill (up)...the race organisers must have really been chuckling at that one "Ahhh, now let me see how can we get them really hurting when the end is in sight, hmmm, that hill will do it to poor legs just off the bikes and trying desperately to find the running muscles hidden under the cycling ones".
We are very proud of him and relieved that all went well. Of course the constant cry now is "if only I had trained for it". Nevertheless 17th place is pretty good. After all this endeavour we took Toby to work in the afternoon and went off for a run, I set the route and Garret dragged me along in his wake. My excuse is that he had warmed up first with the mornings fun packed activities so I was technically having the harder run (this was very true). Weeks total for me and the dogs 17m

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Exercises of many kinds (well, at least three...).

What a whirlwind of guests and beds and children etc this week. We have had some lovely guests, very chatty and friendly which makes life very pleasant. Have managed to fit a couple of runs in round all the duties, the first with Lizzie in Inveraray round the golf course whilst her youngest went to golf club. We did four miles which was pretty good considering that my legs were achy from climbing up The Bell Tower in Inveraray with Freya an hour or so before. The other run was last night at Ardcastle with Liz and two other desperate women willing to run in the rain, there are so many twists and turns that I am at a loss to map it but it was 5 miles so the total (11.8m)is creeping up. I finally managed to persuade Garret that, as he is undertaking his first open water swim as part of a sprint tri on Saturday (that is this Saturday!) he really should try his wet suit in the water. I was somewhat worried about the getting out of the suit before the cycle as a trial run, literally a dry run had me in fits as he tried to get wrists and ankles out from the vice like grip. However, after a wee dip in Loch Fyne during which he collected 2 stalkers (large seals who, apparently had large teeth and were showing altogether too much interest in him)it was apparent that a wet wet suit is easier to get off than a dry wet suit. Big relief, now getting in..that is a different story. Another quietish day with far too much time spent talking to friendly guests, can't resist and that after all is what it is all about! No hassle, then Toby did his Woolen Mill stint and then he and Freya had a lesson on Barra, the friendly but a bit lazy horse and Bubbles, the more lazy horse. My magnificent children then cleared out and hoovered the car despite a dreadful head injury for Toby (not a mark on him and soon recovered!). Apart from missing Rosie (we have a SKYE date at 8.30pm) a good day all round.

Monday, 14 July 2008

The day in pictures...the three hours of fun fun fun at M and Ds anyway

What can I add? Freya and Toby (Tossed Rosie into Grandmas car at Moffat at 10.15am)are now tucked up and dreaming in their little beds of all the lovely rides paid for by their good, kind, generous Mummy. As a reward I am now nursing a sore neck and a more than slight nausea from looking up with a more or less constant swivelling from side to side for the better part of the afternoon.Where's the sherry?....

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Girly night for Garret.

Great night out with the girls from jogscotland with their clothes on....going out clothes that is...not a spot of lycra or a woolly hat in sight. The Indian restaurant in Lochgilphead did us proud and maybe, just maybe the waiter has recovered this morning from the onslaught. Much to his obvious confusion he was being hailed as "Gregor" all night ( someone had told Maria that he was changing his name)...eventually he got it, easier really to just go along with the idea. It is the tiniest restaurant and the 8 of us filled it up nicely with room for a couple of tables for two to squeeze in around us to enjoy the conversation. i just wish that I knew half the people that were being talked about. It was like the early days of moving to Inveraray...took me years to match the gossip to the faces. No photos I am afraid, I took a few with my phone but I would definitely be "no Friends Fee" if I published them on the www...nothing indiscreet just blurry. Today I alternated between mother/ B and B lady and regular job as taxi driver for the under 14s.We are all at last back under the same roof and the girls at least are down but probably not out. Early start tomorrow to deliver Rosie to a meet with Grandma at Moffat.....Zzzz Zzzz

Quickie run with Toby today...2.8 miles

Friday, 11 July 2008

Report from the swedish Scouts ...they made it!!

This is a letter I received from the two waifs that wound up here a few weeks ago (see here), I was so relieved and pleased to hear from them.

Dear familly Corner!

We have been home for a couple of days now, sleeping in our own beds, told our story about Scotland for everyone and washed our clothes.
It feels a bit strange to be home but at the same time very comfortable.

We want to thank you for making our journey more easy end fun. When we came to your place we felt really tired and very wet. We really appreciate that you and your familly let us in to your Bed & Breakfast and to share your meals even though we did´nt pay you anything. We really got some energy back to keep on hiking for 8 more days when we met your familly.

The following 8 days went really well and we got a lot of good memories. At the end we had walked about 107 miles, so we got our belts and we also got an award for those who slept the most inside. So as you can understand that award has a lot to do with you letting us in.

The assignment at the school went really good, we hope that Rosie, Freya and there friends thought that it was intresting. After the visit we met a bagpipe player who helped us with an assignment and he gave us a new place to sleep just next to Loch Fyne Oysterbar.

After the 10 days of hiking we met up with the other scouts. We went with bus to Gairloch, in the north, for a few days and visited Highland Games. Next stop was Fort William were we went to the top of Ben Navis. After that we spent 3 days in Edinburgh were we also got our belts (the picture is attached in this email).
Then it was time to fly home to Sweden but all of us really wanted to stay at least a week more i Scotland.

Scotland with all it´s people really made a big impression on us. We would love to come back one day and hopefully all the midges have died until then.

We are looking forward to invite Toby in to our house when he is walking 100 miles in Sweden.
And if you ever go to Sweden to ski or just travelling arround you are always welcome to stay with us.

Thanks once again for all the memories you gave us, we will always remember Scotland in a good way even though you have a lot of rain and midges.

If you have time it would be really fun to hear from you.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

The Great Loch Lomond Adventure

Varying degrees of nerves this morning as we approached Luss, the pre arranged meeting place for a group of hardy canoers and campers On the familiar 1-10 scale...Toby less than 1 and so cool about it all, Rosie maybe a 3 and Freya off the scale with a 15 or so, Me, well, I was a 3 as well until I drove away and now it is steadily climbing ready to reach a real old crescendo by the time I collect them all tomorrow..Pathetic I know. So, what have I done with all my free and unencumbered time.
1. Went for a run (obviously) Furnace to home
2. Strimmed the grass
3. Picked up all the grunge and hoovered the sitting room. Managed to restrain myself from burning "CV". Cardboard Ville (Aptly named believe me) was built in the first week of the holidays and boy am I regretting promising to let a large cardboard structure complete with several "rooms" and a gun turret topped with gun lurk in the sitting room for the duration. Yup I am......
4. Ironing
5. Washed hair


Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Kick back day..

A glorious morning saw us sprinting out into the garden as soon as the jobs were over. Well, after I had explained that PS2's and TVs do not work on nice days the children joined me. There was a lot of weed picking to do in the Polytunnel, still is to be honest but I did the most visibly embarrassing ones. Freya wheedled Dad into putting up her new hammock and Toby took advantage of the weather and put up the tent. Great expectations are in all minds ('cept mine) about sleeping out tonight....hmmmm. After cleaning out the pigs, curiously everyone else became very busy and very deaf around about this time we popped into Inveraray for fish and haircuts. The fish is bought from a wonderful fish van (available on the pier 4-6pm every Tuesday rain, shine, winter, summer...) run by Laura who is very knowledgeable about all her wares. We spent a happy couple of minutes commiserating with each other on the subject of small white turnips (I know it is a boring, rural life but it is my boring, rural life and I like it). I have a very attractive row of these in the polytunnel, all white with rosy pink tops increasing rapidly in girth but try as I might to disguise them (soup, mashed with potatoes,casserole, roast) they are sniffed out with the keenness of three bloodhounds scenting a fox and rejected. I bought monkfish and Scottish haddock to marinade for kebabs for tea. I had a very satisfying kind of "ohh look at me I am a TV chef" moment conjuring up a lovely marinade for the fish with lime, lemon, olive oil, home grown herbs etc until I remembered that the result of this is that I shall spend tea time shouting at Freya and getting very grumpy when, unappreciative of such achievements she will moan at all the "green bits" on her plate.

July 7th...Freya's birthday

The big "one" "oh" for Freya today.The designated birthday treat was a trip to Braehead to see Prince Caspian, we have all read the books and this has been long awaited and did not disappoint. I have now been made the most unpopular person to sit next to and have to sit at the end due to a tendency to get over excited at the battle scenes (Toby did not appreciated the sword thrust and rousing cry of "For Narnia and The North" either in the cinema or re enacted in the Shopping Mall afterwards.)There was also dissent amongst the lower ranks as I had to take a few minutes out at the end of the film to recover myself, even then when I managed to stagger out of the darkened theatre long after everyone else I got smirks from the cinema attendant (I don't think that they are called ushers anymore? This one did not do any ushing that I could see)and a "enjoy the film then?!" as the tears came unbidden once more at the memory of the emotional ending and just how I would feel being ripped from a fairytale land and thrust back into war time London......ahh well...I shall visit it in my dreams.
pS The Cake is "The Monster Book of Cakes" from HP.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Wet kids

The holidays have truly arrived when the first STRAMASH course comes along and so here are the piccies. A day of dinghy sailing for the three squeakers. They are old hands now and much more confident. We rounded the day off at Lizzie's with a quick run and a lovely tea with relaxing chat. At the top of my own personal list of triumphs this week is getting Mr Pig to trust me enough to spontaneously collapse onto the ground and roll over for a tummy scratch...strangely satisfying for all concerned.
2. Freya's sore thumb (of which we heard plenty more later!)
3. Feedback
4. Rosie released from waterproofs.

Quick running resume:- wednesday night 2 miles. Friday night 5 miles karate run Saturday evening 2.8 miles so Grand Total 15.8

Thursday, 3 July 2008

NEWSFLASH:- Legless blonde loses head in rural sitting room...

Ginny is the prime, indeed the only suspect in this terrible crime caught as she was with the evidence...namely Polly Pockets torso in her mouth. Poor Polly suffered grevious injuries losing not only her head and legs, but also both arms and her hair too. Emergency surgery was performed by Dr Toby with the aid of glue, a matchstick and sellotape. Polly is now recovering in a hastily erected hospital wing. Her unconscious body is being monitored by a competent nurse also, coincidentally called Polly Pocket. It will be up to Nurse Pocket to break the news to Polly that through pressures of time to save her life her bottom was actually attached back on backwards but hey life can be a bummer sometimes...Boom Boom!!
PS Running total. One run, the Leicainn with Toby on Monday 6 miles.