Monday, June 17, 2019

Summer is definitely a-coming in

I don't know where the time goes - cliched but true. It's gardening season, so that accounts for some of it. My alliums are very good - such excellent doers. Look at all the different kinds of bees (and possibly non-bees?) on them.

Aah, irises.

Aah, clematis.

Aah, foxgloves, which I didn't plant but I did deliberately leave to flower. I do love them, though they're somewhat smothering the things in that bed that I did actually plant.

From Thursday to Sunday, one of my choirs hosted a choir from Wales. We personally had to stay a very interesting French lady (who lives in Wales) and the whole long weekend was taken up with rehearsals, two concerts and various sightseeing trips. One of the churches we sang in was right beside the Castle, so I nipped out for some fresh air between the rehearsal and the concert. It was all great fun but somewhat exhausting.

The Edinburgh grandchildren had a complicated weekend too, since Grandson (now the Elder) was away at Beaver camp overnight on the Saturday (and seemed to have a great time, despite his granny's anxiety - first night away without family). Granddaughter the Eldest was in four shows put on by her dancing school.

This is a very bad photo of her looking to see what the little girl beside her was doing and then doing it too, a second later. I'm not sure that's how it's supposed to work but of course she was the best really... .

When the shows were first mooted, the little ones were told that in their scene, the big girls were going to be princesses and the little ones were going to be frogs. This shows poor knowledge of the psychology of the modern small girl. There was rebellion - they wanted to be princesses. The whole thing was changed, and they were Victorian girls with balloons (not entirely sure why, but the dresses were pretty. Frogs indeed!).

And now I'm off to sew the wadding together and pin my quilt. Then - at last! - I can start to quilt it. It's not been touched for weeks for reasons of busyness. This retirement thing is a whirl of activity.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Flowers flowers flowers

Today we walked up the river in the other direction, admiring the oxeye daisies

and the ragged robin

and the buttercups, on the river bank.

We then reached the recently restored Saughton Park. It was pretty before, but a bit neglected in parts, but it's had a Lottery-funded makeover and is now stunning. They must have got a good deal on alliums!

 I just love herbaceous borders.

Vistas lead the eye away

and beautiful colours demand close attention.

The restored bandstand with a familiar old chap sitting on a bench to enjoy the view (actually looking at his phone).

The statue is by Kaivalya Torpy and is supposed to embody visions of peace. I'm all for that.

This house once stood in the gardens - built in about 1640 but left to decay in the 1900s and burnt down and demolished in 1952. Yes, quite.

They've excavated the footprint of the house and this is it.

Here's somewhere to sit out of the rain and look at the gardens in more typical Scottish weather.

And then we walked back home past the playing fields, where wild flowers have been planted along the path.

All so lovely and within ten minutes' walk of our house.

Thursday, June 06, 2019


Recently the summer has been less than impressively summery, but today was very pleasant so we went for a walk by the Water of Leith. 

This chap has reappeared since we were last here. He's a self-portrait by Antony Gormley. There are five similar ones, mainly in the water, and they were knocked over by the force of the river in spate (according to the internet) in 2017. They're hinged, and designed to fall over rather than break. I would not myself enjoy seeing lots of me, naked (or even clothed) all over the city, but each to his own.

We've walked here often, but it's always enjoyable.

We came to Stockbridge.

It's nice to be in the city but away from all the bustle and noise.

A big sky in St Mark's Park.

Do you see the swan on its nest?

And then we got to Leith, where the river joins the sea and where we were glad to sit down and have a coffee. We haven't been walking as much as usual recently what with one thing and another, and five miles was enough for today. We need to get fitter!

Monday, June 03, 2019

A bit of hyperbole

It's such a lovely time of year - irises in the garden.

On Saturday we visited the Gardening Scotland show and enjoyed the exhibits in the Floral Hall. I love these carnations.

And I have a soft spot for streptocarpus, though this is the reason that I have too many of them... .

Beautiful paeonies, which I restrained myself from buying because my garden is TOO FULL.

On Sunday, the Edinburgh grandchildren were painting in the garden with big brushes. Biggest Granddaughter looked at her brother's creation and said (I wrote it down, so these are her exact words):

"That front bit of your train is so realistic, so unexpected, so elegant, so unique!"

She is a hoot. If possibly a bit over-the-top.

Then today we went up to visit our northern family. Small Grandson slept all the time we were there. So cute!

We went with Son and Middle Granddaughter to the park, where she ran, hopped, bounced, roundabouted and climbed. Son nobly and nimbly climbed after her. This was quite high and she's only 2 and three-quarters, so I'm glad he's fit!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Golden days

It's good to recall lovely days. So here are some pictures of two of them. On Saturday, Mr Life, Daughter 2 and I took Littlest Granddaughter (now a big cousin!) to the Botanics.

She enjoyed running through the willow tunnels.

We enjoyed the mecanopsis. I really must try harder to grow some in my garden. I think they like more space than I ever have to offer them. That blue!!

Littlest and her mum, admiring each other.

On Sunday, I decided to buy Middle Granddaughter a big sister present of a doll and a car seat for it. And very quickly (in snatches between returning home at lunch time, then going to the supermarket and then spending 7.30 - 9.45pm at choir) I rustled up a little quilt to go with it. I mention this not because it's a thing of beauty - which it absolutely isn't - but because I would never have had the confidence to imagine that I could do this in a few spare hours without a second thought before Thimbleanna took me in (mainly online) hand and made me a quilter (of sorts). Thank you, Anna! Mind you, I wouldn't have had the required stash either. Thank you for that too, Anna. (Oops.)

Son and family have two black cats.

We took it up on Monday morning when we met Little Grandson. Middle Granddaughter was quite intrigued, at least while we were there, though I'm not sure that her idea of getting a baby to shut his eyes would actually work for her little brother.

We went for a walk in the wood with Son and Middle.

There's the River Tay with the hills beyond. (The Ochils???)

There were some genuine, non-Spanish bluebells.

Memories to treasure. Count your blessings, Granny.