Thursday, July 28, 2011

Some of the things that retired people do

Well, we couldn't have a blog post without a picture of Grandson, could we? - cuddled at the weekend by Daughter Auntie? It took me a while to figure out what the flying saucer was behind Mr Life's head. I think it's Daughter 1's pregnancy exercise ball, though what it was doing there, I couldn't say.

The day before yesterday I took the car in to be serviced. The car place is beside a canal and if I'd got my phone out more quickly you'd have been better able to see the two swans floating ballet-dancer-like through the water. As it is, you may manage to perceive a white blob making a bit of a wake.

Not sure that this is where I would have decided to site a whole lot of car showrooms, but I suppose car salesmen deserve a bit of beauty when they're stuck in an industrial estate.

Yesterday, for the third day in a row, it was warm and sunny (I was standing perspiring in the shade when I took the above photo) and we went with our friends to Craigmillar Castle, built in various stages from 1420 onward and now somewhat roofless in parts.

Look! There's a curtain wall and some sunshine.

I was persuaded to go up on a portion of roof that's been reinstated. I'm not a person who trusts heights, and I was particularly not keen on the spiral staircase, made of lots of bits of big heavy stone stuck into the wall at one side and apparently attached to nothing but other bits of spiral staircase at the other. I prefer architecture to which I entrust my person (not to say the persons of Mr Life and some of our oldest friends) to be somewhat more recent than 14something and to involve steel beams and safety certificates.

Anyway, the view from up there was good and as you can tell, the building didn't collapse.

Again, call me picky but I wouldn't have given planning permission for those high rise flats (above) in Edinburgh's skyline. I know people have to live somewhere and I'm sure the flats have a terrific view, but... no.

There's the sea in the distance. Look at that blue sky? Set fair for several days, wouldn't you say?

Round the other side, you see (again not exactly pretty, but at least flattish) the Royal Infirmary where Grandson entered the world.

The de Prestons, who owned the castle originally, had a fish pond dug out in the shape of P for Preston. It's not a pond any more but the shape can be clearly seen and it's much bigger than it looks here. I decided that I wouldn't care to have been one of the diggers but then I decided that in fact this would be greatly preferable to building the castle with all those huge lumps of stone as one was balancing, presumably, on wooden scaffolding held together by hand-made ropes. Urgh.

Today it's cold and rainy - well, it's the reason for our nice green grass, not to say all the moss in my nice green grass. I've been waiting in for a delivery of John Lewis's mix-and-match stripy and spotty tablewear. My kind colleagues gave me money as a parting gift and this is what I decided to buy. It arrived. I said to the man, "Goodness, did it all fit in a box this size?"

Can you spot my error? That's right. I should have said, "Goodness, it couldn't all fit in a box this size. Just hang on while I check that it's all there."

It wasn't. Only half of it was. (You may notice the preponderance of stripes over spots in the photo.) A long phone call later with a nice lady from Glasgow and she's looking into it. It's hard to prove that I haven't just hidden the rest of the stuff under the bed, but I haven't. She did agree, though, that everything I ordered wouldn't fit into the one box that the delivery chap said, when asked, was all he had.

Still, it made a nice bed for Sirius. Cassie then came in all wet and stood on my lap gazing affectionately into my eyes for just long enough for her feet to dry nicely and then did a bit of turning round and lying down so as to get all the rest of the rain off her fur and on to my trousers.

It's good to be of use.

(PS I'm sorry if, like my first two commenters, you can't see the pictures. They're not that remarkable so you're not missing anything worldshattering - a castle and some views from the top. Oh, and some plates. They're all perfectly visible when I look at my blog.

I wonder if I did something funny by going into the Compose thing to try to get rid of some of the huge spaces between the paragraphs? It didn't even work to any impressive extent. Note to self: don't meddle with things you don't understand.)


  1. Oh dear. You know how I love dishes and I REALLY want to SEE those dishes but blogger isn't playing nice -- I'll try again later. In the meantime, it looks like retirement is wonderful. I'm hoping a gorgeous castle will spring up in my area for my viewing pleasure by the time I retire. I fear the only curtain walls I will be able to view will be those of corn! (And I think it would be a lovely tradition to have a picture of new grandson with every post!)

  2. Blogger is being a bastard and not showing half of your photos - at least I assume there were photos in those big open spaces with clever descriptive text in between.
    Though, the first one of Master Life is up (and adorable)

  3. A kitty in a box always makes me smile, thanks for that!

  4. Do you know this cat in a box?

  5. I love old castles. More castles, NO HIGH RISES!

    I think people are mistaking the huge spaces between your paragraphs as places where photos should have been. Unless those *are* spaces where photos should have been.

    I can see the photos of Mr. Life/daughter/baby, the castle, the high rises, the car dealerships, the cat in the box on the table... were there more?

  6. No, no, those are the photos.

  7. I can see all the photos. A very pleasing variety of subjects. It must be nice to live in a place where there are so many old castles. VERY old castles! We don't have any Down Under. Not that old anyway.
    Puss In Box is so cute! I nudged Ken into leaning across his desk to have a look and he smiled too.

  8. I can see all the photos too , including the crowd-pulling grandson photo . And lovely they are , too .
    Well , maybe not the high-rise bits . When those , or similar , flats in the city were being revamped a few years ago , one of my uncles was landscaping the bits in between . As fast as his team laid some specially designed paving stones , they were being carried off by people who seemed to have need of them elsewhere .

  9. Oh , I meant to say ... I always end up with those white spaces , too .
    Last time I tried just typing the text in one solid block , then , after putting photos in said block with shoe-horn , breaking it up into paragraphs .
    Still not perfect but HUGE spaces are fewer .