Sunday, April 19, 2015


Well, that was another week. Grandson's current passion is arranging strips of white paper all round the room to make road markings. He labours on this, crawling around to make the patterns that he sees on the roads he travels on. Then he puts road signs in appropriate places and lastly makes selected vehicles drive around, observing the white lines, traffic lights and road signs.

He would prefer that his little sister would keep off the rug on which he does this - ie the entire room - but on the whole she picks her way fairly carefully through his townscape.

He's taught her many traffic-related phrases. Today in the car we came to some traffic lights and she said, "Traffic lights up high!"

He tutted. "These aren't high ones, just normal ones." Little sisters, eh? They don't understand the finer points of traffic signals.

They both have colds again. Poor old Grandson is as usual coughing and wheezing. This is a picture of Daughter 2, who visited this weekend, getting infected by her niece (I imagine).

Still, they're very cuddly - if snotty.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


The family is back from down south and we went to the Botanics.

Some of us ran about.

Some of us pursued them. 

We looked at ducks.

It was so lovely to see them again.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A couple of little outings to fill in the time...

Daughter 1 and family are still down south (with our car) so there seems to be a lot of spare time. The other day we took a walk up Corstorphine Hill, which is just along the road from where we live.  This is the rather fine view over one of the golf courses. You can see Arthur's Seat in the distance, our highest city hill. I love that skyline. It's so recognisably Edinburgh.

And this is the other side of Corstorphine Hill, with the Pentlands in the distance. 

Yesterday we took a trip across the river on a train.

 The weather was still warm.

We visited Kirkcaldy Art Gallery, which is not huge but which has some interesting pictures - mainly Scottish, but a few others including one Lowry. I can't say that I really get Lowry. Why is he good? - his little stick men? 

Kirkcaldy does very bright municipal planting, which I found very cheering, though not subtle.

We took a walk in the town, passing one of the houses that Mr L lived in when a boy, and paying homage (above) to 286 High Street, where my great-grandfather was apprenticed as a painter and paper hanger in 1867. I'm not sure that this building (now Murray Properties) is that old, though it might be. We waved vaguely to Great-Grandpa anyway. He died at 40 in 1900, poor chap, leaving a widow and seven children. That must have been tough.

I made Grandson a little pinafore (apron) out of the spare bit from his curtains. Can't wait to see him and Granddaughter again! - not to say their parents.

Thursday, April 09, 2015


Can you hear that? The sound of nothing much? That's what's happening around here. Daughter 1 and her husband and the grandchildren are down south visiting first the other grandparents and now Daughter 2, and it's v-e-r-y quiet in our house. Which is a bit ridiculous, since we don't see the grandchildren every day even when they're in town. Thursday is a day when we do see them, though, so I suppose I'm noticing their absence particularly.

I've been quilting my tumbler quilt - see above. Currently I'm just quilting round the insides of all the patterned tumblers, with the thought of putting motifs in some of the plain ones later. No doubt someone more ambitious would quilt wonderful feathers and flowers or beautiful trailing curves, but I think I'll be content with something simpler.

I've also been sewing this material into curtains for... guess who? Grandson has recently been bought a bed with a play space underneath, and Daughter 1 thought it would be nice for him to have it curtained off to make a little den... and to put things away at the end of the day. My niece gave me this material for Christmas so it's ideal for him.

And the weather's beautiful, the garden's looking good and shortly I'm going to drag Mr Life out for a walk up Corstorphine Hill to fill our lungs with air and refresh our souls with greenness and views of other hills.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Busting out all over

Daughter 2 has been here for a long weekend (but is now gone, alas) and Son and Daughter-in-Law came down today for lunch and the afternoon. The weather was very summery and we decided to walk in the Botanics, as we so often do. First we crossed Inverleith Park, from where there's a good view over the city skyline - Arthur's Seat to the left, the Castle to the right and lots of interesting spires and domes that you can't see because they're behind my family.

The sun was so bright that Mr L, who took the photo, couldn't see what he was taking, which is why he's chopped off the top of his son's head. But the daffodils were the main point of the picture anyway.

Daughter 2 took these daffodils...

 ... and the cherry blossom.

And Mr L took the rhododendron. 

Daughter 2 is going to be visited later in the week by Daughter 1, her husband and the children. Grandson's has said twice to Daughter 2 recently, "Auntie [Daughter 2], why do you only have some toys and some books?" She felt that criticism was implied and that she'd better up her game, so we got out some of Son's old toy cars for her to take with her to entertain her nephew. Look at the nostalgic expression on Dr Son's face as he arranges them into categories on his old bedspread.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Shoes and a hat

Daughter 2 is home for a long weekend and complains that I haven't been blogging much recently. Which is true; mainly because nothing much happens. But here are some truly terrible photos to demonstrate Granddaughter's love of shoes (in this case, her Grandpa's Crocs) -

- which are really quite hard...

... to walk in -

and her appreciation of a good hat.

She is also very very very keen on books. Long may it last.

We were all together briefly this morning but then Daughter 1, Son-in-Law 1 and the littles set off for Easter in Worcester with the other grandparents. Have fun!

Sunday, March 29, 2015


I've spent quite a lot of last week listening to Brahms' German Requiem, which is so beautiful. I didn't know it before one of the choirs I sing in started rehearsing it, but now it's one of my favourite choral pieces. Mind you, this makes it one of my favourite twenty or so choral pieces... my absolute favourite is generally the one I'm learning. But it's very special. We performed it last night - hence the last-week revision - and it was so exhilarating. I love singing in a big choir. The windows rattled in the doom-and-gloom bits! It's wonderful standing in the middle of such a huge sound - even the quiet parts are powerful when 80 people are singing pianissimo.

It does kind of make you think, though - singing about all flesh being like grass. The grass withers and its flowers fall away. Hmm. Yes. He was only in his mid-thirties when he wrote it (well, quite - gosh). His mother had recently died.

So today it was lovely to mess around in the garden with the little ones. It's very difficult to take good photos of Grandson these days. He doesn't stay still long enough. But Granddaughter's reactions aren't so fast and one gets occasional unblurry ones.

Grandson has always liked our little pebble pool.

The garden's becoming more and more colourful as spring burgeons.

Small boys do like playing with a stick.

My other choir is rehearsing Haydn's Nelson Mass and Te Deum, so I need to do some intensive singing along to those CDs in the kitchen for the next few weeks to polish them up. Lucky Mr L.