Sunday, 31 August 2008

Starry, Starry Night and the Light Fantasic.

At this time of year the darkening evenings are made more evident by the need to lock the birds up before the light drops to a certain level. At the moment this is about 8.15pm but by mid winter will be 4ish. Tonight I was on my ownesome with no one to try to persuade into accompanying me with the result that Mr Pig caused me a few problems as he was trying to get into the Hen House at the same time as I was trying to chivvy an errant hen in through the only open door. He luckily responds to a tap on the snout, luckily as he must weigh almost as much if not more than me. The earlier time means that the dogs get their walk later on which tonight was a pleasure,the afternoon drizzle has cleared beautifully and the stars are magically bright and clear above us. The effect is slightly marred, or enhanced depending on your view point by the bright lights of the Connect Festival 4 miles away to the west. It is quite a contrast depending on a turn of your head. Both my boys are there amongst the excitement tonight. Toby, predictably after having been told to text me every two hours has managed just one which bizarrely said "yes". Garret did manage a bit more contact with one phone call, battling against a dodgy connection and the noise with the news that he had caught a glimpse of son and heir and he is having fun...hmmmmmmmm.
I am official taxi driver tonight so Garret can give a considered opinion on the Loch Fyne Whisky on offer (amongst other things). This for a girl who likes to be asleep by 10pm is more of a sacrifice than most would imagine.I have done all the jobs and even brushed my teeth so as to save time between killing the car engine and sleepy time, I did contemplate putting on my dressing gown and pink slippers but best not. Toby would never forgive me (will be taxing various mates home too I suspect).

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Connect etc.

The multi coloured welly brigade have arrived in Inveraray with the usual capacity of the town being swelled by the Hydro Connect festival goers. Garret managed to wangle a free ticket, last night he went down and after an hour or so phoned home...a lone sober man in a sea of drinkers. However once he had stood next to Amy MacDonald's mum....her actual mum he cheered up a bit.Everyone seems very happy with it, and I am happy to be at home so all is well. We have a houseful of lovely happy festival goers so that is even better.

Run total 16miles....did a 3 mile or so with Liz on Friday, more of a wade through very wet ground but we did trog along as best we could. She is still on a high from her phenomenal 1hr58mins 1/2 marathon on Coll.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Mud, Mud ,Glorious mud

Waved off another happy band of holiday makers this am...actually I sort of raised a muddy hand in their direction as they watched me floundering across the mud to feed Mrs Pig and the three little pigs. I could tell which was mud and which was pig because the pig shaped bits of mud were rushing towards me and my bucket oinking their opinion on the 12hrly feeding regime. So, the first Connectors arrive tonight and more tomorrow. The supermarkets in Inveraray seem to have become exclusive alcohol emporiums, mainly beer and vodka so some good deals to be had next week then, alas that they are the two kinds of demon drink that I cannot take to. Quick impromptu run this afternoon after my cycle training came to an abrupt end with an inappropriate gear change whilst on the trainer. I can put the kids chains back on but after 10 minutes of achieving nothing more that an oil hand pack I decided to leave it for those more skilled in the area of bike maintenance than myself.
Running total creeping up 13miles

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Wednesday night aches and pains.

Another Wednesday night run, this time no Garret who is working in Glasgow. To say that my legs are aching is to...lets think of a good one, ahh yes, is to say that the Earth is really quite big. Ow,ow and ow!!! A fast, or so it seemed clamber around some bogs, a loch and some rooty paths and the last mile round a small Lochan. The speed was set by Peter with legs about twice the length of mine and clearly the capability for more speed as he chatted to Bill and me over his shoulder most of the way. I managed quite well until the last mile and then floated along in their wake foccussing mainly on the pain in my legs.....homeward bound I received several messages from Toby about the Oban Games tomorrow and arrangements for getting there. In the parallel universe in which he dwells with the Potato men and pink fluffy clouds it was possible for me to be here cooking breakfasts for 6, and the girls and be driving him to Oban. The beds, as always would be made by a flash of my magic wand whilst the bathroom pixies clean the bathrooms and kitchen etc....actually I would like to live there too. So therefore, Garret will be going to Oban tomorrow.
Run total 9

PS Car we went to see AWFUL so sticking with the devil we know for now......

Monday, 25 August 2008

Another rainy bank holiday

With Bank Holiday Monday nearly over the skies have cleared enough to allow Toby to hoover all the accumulated gubbins out the courtesy car. We are swapping it tomorrow for our useless ****** Peugeot 807 that looks like costing a ton of money for the priviledge of passing its very first MOT. Then we are going looking for a new car....surprise surprise.
I am hoping that all our dutch guests from the w/e made it home safely, one couple paid sorely for a long lie as they slept through their alarm missing their flight to New York.Obviously the beds are too comfortable...hint hint.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Quote of the week...

To Freya "how was swimming?"
Freya "Good.....very wet"

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Reasons to be motivated parts one two and three....

1.Other peoples achievements always seem much better than your own
2.Far too many fit people on TV over achieving in a shameless way.
3.Sheer terror.

Suddenly we are overwhelmed with Dutch guests attending a wedding nearby, a very happy experience for us and hopefully for them. Spurred on by one couple, who ran 14 miles this morning after breakfast (I was of course able to advise on the perfect route and nearly bored them to death with my overly enthusiastic local knowledge) in preparation for The New York Marathon I got on the bike yesterday and whiled away ½ an hour staring at the hut floor and listening to a spooky Play for the Day. Today, still on the up crest of the exercising wave we had a Corner Family style Duathlon. Toby, Rosie, Freya and I cycled down to the shore with the dogs (they ran) and then Coach Freya and I took off, me on my pins and her monitoring everything from speed, distance and possibly wind speed to for all I know for a 5 mile run. She was fantastic especially once I had encouraged her to give me distance updates only every 10th of a mile not every 100th. Even as we approached the turn round place which was up a hill meaning she dropped behind I could hear a distant shout giving me the distances run (if you are trying to make sense of the map we were going to go 4 miles but I was shamed into 5 so we carried on past the finish line and doubled back...psychologically this is quite shattering!). We had a wee rest with the others in a shelter thoughtfully built by Toby and then cycled the 2.5k or so home. Running along by the shore we thought of Lizzie on Coll doing her ½ marathon…it s a perfect day here for running so hope they had more of the same.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Big Day for Rosie (and her Mum!)

Rosie started "big school" yesterday and survived with a smile. The last minute decision to allow Garret to accompany her down to the bus was tempered with a request that he stay out of sight...the same was applied to Freya and me at the tail end of the day.We duly complied and all was well. Lack of photo is due to operator error (forgot to put the battery on charge) and the stress of trying to say goodbye on this big day and make sure that the correct guests got the correct breakfast. I may be able to sneak one later when she has forgotten about me and my camera...and when I have charged up the battery again. Off to rescue banana bread out of the oven now and watch the I write I have cringed over the mens 4 by 100m relay DQ. Oh that reminds me. Obviously now the children are back at school I will attempt to right the ravages of making beds and no exercise in a couple of pressure as we officially entered the triathlon yesterday (caught by Steven, the organiser who has kindly saved us a couple of places so no getting out of it now). So Garret and I cycled a soggy 3.5miles to the pool, attempted to time our swim whilst frankly terrifying the legitimately holidaying folk of Loch Fyne Hotel. We did manage to leave about 3" water actually in the pool and damply cycled home. Jogscotland has recommenced and so a 4 miles along the canal in 32 mins (dragged along in Garret's long legged wake). We are half crippled today. Ooops, forgot the banana bread.....

History, scenery and the inevitable animal picture...making the most of the last few days of freedom......

So, from the top....we had a wander round Auchindrain. This is an open air museum based around an old highland township which is facing closure this year through falling visiting numbers. There is inspiration there for Garret with the barn roof. Next one of our new incredibly friendly chickens. This one especially is doing great things for chicken/human relations. At a recent gathering of friends the 13-14yr old boys were found in the field cooing over said chicken and forgoing (temporarily) the draw of various electronic gadgets. That night Garret found her asleep by the gate, presumably waiting for them to come back. The last day of the holidays I dragged the three out for a spot of exercise and we completed the Leicann walk and boy, was it beautiful.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Rainy run.

A quick run whilst the girls were at a nearby party. This is a road at the head of Loch Fyne that I have not been down since Toby was about 2. An Austrian friend lived there with her American husband who worked for the RSPB specialising in golden eagles. We used to walk along this road with our babies in back packs and Tess, in her much younger days running along enjoying the smells. Today was a bit faster than we would manage in those early motherhood days, helped in places by Ginny still confined on the dog jog lead. The first incident involved two bikers, sheltering from the slight precipitation that was belting down at the time who acted as a magnet to her and so I was dragged inexorably along to invade their personal and private cigggie smoking space. Then I really skimmed along when a deer popped out from a nearby copse. Luckily a fence halted progress and stopped my heels from spontaneously bursting into flames. Our quick out and back was rather faster than intended as we skidded round a corner to be confronted by a group of hairy and immovable highland cows with young in tow. They were very unimpressed by the silly border collie bouncing around on her toes and barking frantically. We conceded to their total right to occupy as much of the road as they wanted and went back to harass the bikers once again.
running 15.5 (ish)

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Meanwhile the work at home went on

Well someone has to tickle Mr Pig......and it has been a while since a pig photo. Lucy takes up guinea pig and bunny watch position, a stance that can be held for many hours when there is nothing better to do. A lovely day all in all. The girls went to Karate pm so a run for me on a very pleasant evening with a bit of breeze. Toby felt that Karate could do without him for the night as he dropped an anchor onto his leg and it made a hole. The gaping wound must have been dealt with very competently by Mrs Skipper as after one day only a small round scrape remains. Hooray for the healing powers of the young man, or for their powers of exaggeration...what a naughty cynical mother I can be.

11.8 total running

Our "competant seaman" is home.

After a good week sailing round Mull and the west coats The Weaver came sailing in exactly on time. they had a great time and saw five basking sharks and loads of porpoises and dolphins....caught a good few mackerel too. A happy boy, the icing on the cake was the PSP bought with his honest toil awaiting him in the car for the homeward trip.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Back in the jogging harness

Ginny, that is not me. We had go at the Liz and Molly technique of running. When Liz hooks Molly up and runs it all seems to go very effortlessly,perfect person and canine harmony (except when M needs to address a call of nature). The start of our run was worthy of a Frank Spencer award to the ridiculous with Ginny failing to understand the concept of a lead coupled with a run, not only that a lead that goes from my middle rather than the right hand...hmmm already the problems are mounting. We will draw a discreet veil over the aforementioned calls of nature which drag the runner to very abrupt halt as your middle goes from a happily facing forward motion at a reasonable speed to a contorted twisting halt, there is also a fair amount of fancy foot work at this point. The reason for all this cuffuffle is that Ginny has finally come into season and in order to protect her from the (less than one in fact) lascivious male dogs lurking around every corner I thought that she should be encouraged to stay with me. We did mange to hobble along quite well eventually, I developed a good eye for the doggy opportunities/temptations until Lucy decided to get a (big) stick at which point all three of us took off very, very fast along a very, very puddly track. "Led by your stomach" took on a new meaning. Reminded by the sheer resistance presented to the otherwise perfectly streamlined me (?!) by my frankly disgustingly hairy legs I stopped off to bully my pal Jacs into coming for a leg waxing session. After this stop I decided to release Ginny and hence came home an awful lot slower without my doggy power house and with a very achy happens if I stop. Oh, I did do 20 minutes on the road bike before the run on a trainer (stationary) this really confuses and pees the dogs off! Run Route

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Country Living

A day of beds, washing sheets and rodents....There was a brief moment when I thought that it had all been far too much for Snowy The Bunny, he is so brave and fiesty when out in the hutch/field but faced with a bowl of soapy water...well, putty comes to mind. His ears do appear very much to attention on that photo. Scruffy, the new kid on the block took it all in her stride but we failed to straighten her eternally electrocuted whiskers.
Last photo...The Grand and Proud Harvest. Rosie pods the third gathering of peas for tea...Wow, The Good Life Argyll style.

PS No running recently, been practicing in stationary bike mode in the shed with a trainer....of the metal variety. Quick run with Liz tonight though...very stiff

Monday:-We took the long and winding road to Kilmelford

and dropped Toby off at The Weaver, a yacht that will be his home for the next 4 nights. I, in my normal organized way allowed two hours for the trip, which included a sub trip to Lyndsay's in Furnace to feed frozen blood worms etc to her fish and frogs on the way. We were, predictably 1 hr early. Having located the marina we drove on to Kilmelford village in search of reading matter for moi. I found a Country Living at...get this to use a common term but utterly deserved £3.30!!! After leaving son and heir we repaired to Oban for shopping therapy, an area that the girls sadly do not (yet) appreciate but they do do lunch, thankfully......

Sunday, 3 August 2008

The Working man in action

Toby hard at work at his second job doing some preparatory nail hammering prior to painting at Lyndsay's house in Furnace. it took him 3 1/2 hrs to prepare the first half of the job so full points for stickability!

Mid week excitment...see what a fascinating life we lead!

This beautiful creature was buzzing around the kitchen and came to rest on the Oban Times, where better? After much photos taking and mental images of a new sighting of rare moth, a quick scan of the moth bible revealed a very common moth called the small Elephant Hawk which feed on rhododrendrons and honeysuckles, it even had to be the small variety to add insult to ignorant injury for the latent lepidopterist within me.