Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Work and non-work

It’s been a bit of a crazy week. This is partly because tomorrow is our big national exam day and therefore our exam students, who have spent much of the year not doing a lot of the homework that we set them, have leapt into action, burnt lots of midnight oil and given us big piles of things to mark. And of course it all has to be handed back more or less immediately to give them a chance to benefit from our sage advice.

It’s amazing how many students wait behind at the end of class at this time of year and say things such as, “I’m having trouble writing literature essays. Can you give me a few pointers?”

Exactly what do they think I’ve been doing all year? Telling them a whole lot of nonsense so that I could keep the good stuff, the answer to all their problems, till the very last lesson – when all would be revealed?

But I don’t say this. I sigh and repeat all the usual advice. The real answer, I feel like telling them, is to read a lot and practise writing a lot, well in advance of the exam. Starting when they were about eight. It’s a bit late now.

Anyway. The other thing keeping me busy has been that this is the start of the birthday season chez Life. My mother was 86 last Friday, our son-in-law 28 yesterday and Mr Life attained his 60th birthday today. How can I be married to a 60-year-old? – at my age? Astonishing. There have been various celebrations of these splendid events. We had my mum to dinner on her birthday and then on Saturday we took her to lunch at Crieff Hydro. At the top, there she is in the gardens, with the hotel in the background. Then above, another view of the grounds - it was a lovely sunny day.

Later we went for a walk up the hill behind the Hydro where we scattered my dad's ashes last year. We said hello to him.

Here's Mr Life pointing out something or other to my mum.

Maybe it was this view. The weather had got a bit hazy by then, but it was still lovely.
Then today we had a birthday dinner for Mr Life (and son-in-law) and on Sunday, once our boy has returned from New Zealand, we’ll have the extended family to lunch for further celebrations. Mr Life got a single lens reflex digital camera for his birthday and has been playing happily with it ever since. He’s a man easily pleased with cake and expensive technology. No doubt he will share today’s photos with me in due course. Watch this space. You can’t wait, can you?


  1. Happy Birthday, Mr Life!

  2. Students are students the world over, it seems. Why do today what can be put off until tomorrow?

    Your mother is 86? She looks very good.

    I enjoyed the photos of your beautiful countryside and the slice of life. Happy birthday to your loved ones!

  3. Your mother looks very sprightly for 86! Happy birthday to the 60 year old Mr Life.

  4. Happy Birthday to Mr Life and the rest of the Life clan! And who wouldn't be happy with cake and technology, really? I knew I recognised that building in the first photo but couldn't place it till I read on. I love that part of the world and my husband does too - surprisingly, given he spent a few miserable years at boarding school just up the road!


  6. Cake, technology, and a loving family...

    I like your comment and share it - how can I be married to a (nearly) 60 year old? I'm looking forward to Mr Life's photos, really!

  7. Happy Birthday to Mr Life! I think you should try out his camera too. How exciting!

    I can't believe the wandering son is about to return. Time has whizzed by so fast, though not, I suspect for his mother!

    It is raining here. This does not suit. At all.

  8. Happy Birthday to Mister Life. I think some cake and expensive technology would make anyone happy on their birthday!

  9. Your mother indeed looks very good.
    Such lovely photos, a beautiful season for celebrating all those birthdays and the son coming home already!

    I have had a bit of a flower thing since I looked at the last few posts of yours...I bought some, and some bloomed in the garden!

    Good Luck with all the exam faff. May the force be with you.
    (do you have to mark the papers? )

    from myself and my cats.

  11. Hey Isabelle,

    I just love your blog. It's my one blog addiction at the moment!

    What gorgeous photos of the countryside. And I can't wait to see Mr Life's photos too. I got cake and a digital SLR camera for my 30th birthday last year and I was a VERY happy girl. And I am addicted to taking photos!

  12. Happy Birthday to Mr. Life! Cake and technology ... every man's (is my apostrophe o.k?) dream.

    Your Mum looks great! Presuming you got her genes, you'll be giving the 60 year old a run for his money! Another of the" everyman's dream" portfolio.

  13. Happy birthday to Mr. Life, your mum, and SIL!
    My hubby will be 60 on Wednesday. It is a bit hard to believe we're married to men that old, isn't it? But I actually beat him to 60 by 10 months :) He calls me his 'old lady'....and gets a beating for it :)
    What a lovely place for a birthday celebration. Your photos are beautiful!
    My hubby says he'll settle for just the cake :) Good!

  14. Age has a nasty way of creeping up on us all. We attended my Uncle's 100th birthday party on Sunday and he was cross because he couldn't hear most of what was said to him! Apart from that,he's that age!!!
    Ken is now on the wrong side of 65 and not looking forward to 70 AT ALL. I'm still happy being 60, considering my Mum died at 57...
    Your photos are beautiful as always; you must have a stack of photo albums at home if all your photos over the years have been as good as the ones you post here!
    And your son is home already?? Gee, as Linds said, that went by very fast indeed!

  15. You're so darn funny Isabelle! This line cracked me up: "He’s a man easily pleased with cake and expensive technology." Doesn't that just apply to all our men? As always thanks for the beautiful pics of Scotland!

  16. Hearty happy birthdays to all the Lifes! Love the springy green of the trees in those pictures....